My horse should win an academy award.... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-05-2010, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
You have a truely rare problem. Most people don't think about thier horse enough but I think you think way too much. You can't spend so much time disecting everything your horse does that you don't get anything done. If he tries to bite you then deal with it but then move on.
I guess we'll see won't we? I'm not sold on Parelli working for him, but at this point I figure what the hell? For 75 bucks for a week, we'll see what kind of horse Kristen can turn out. While he's never tried to bite ME specifically, this is the third time he's bitten another person, although he's never even pinned his ears at a child. I will say that yesterday he WAS much softer, quieter, and more responsive....which is essentially what we all aim for in a horse to begin with.

However, a while back (when I was looking for someone to put miles on him) I realized that I'm probably throwing him off balance...my left leg is a quarter of an inch longer than my right, and I'm left handed to begin with. Then while I was watching Kristen work with him, I realized I was clenching my jaw and hunching my shoulders a little bit. I've known for a long time that his trot makes me tense, along with the above observations on my timing and my forgiveness.

Ever so slowly I'm learning
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-05-2010, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Horse Poor View Post
IN MY OPINION - if a horse is "licking and chewing" without a soft eye and body, that means the horse is thinking about USING his teeth and mouth, not that he's submissive…
In a dark stall, and without having the knowledge or the eye to see how he was positioned, etc (I don't know how he was either, I wasn't there) it would be easy to make a mistake like that. Kristen is also working with the BO to make sure things like that don't happen again.

Although it was human error, he still shouldn't have felt he needed to be hostile with a woman he's had daily contact with for nine months of his life.
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-05-2010, 08:07 PM
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I think you're going the best route with this guy. I know I can be a supporter of harsh discipline, but you have to pick your battles and the fact that this guy has learned how to hide his "anger" is a scary scary situation. It's easy to deal with "dangerous" horses that hate the world - it's downright terrifying dealing with an animal that has perfected the sweet and innocent act and then takes you when you least suspect it. I can guarantee that attempting to hit a horse for behaviour like this is likely to get you killed - they have learned they can beat you, and they aren't afraid to fight back with everything they have.

Best of luck - I'm not a huge supporter of natural horsemanship, but in my opinion, it's THESE situations where it can come extremely in handy for reintroducing a horse to respect when he's learned he's bigger then you.

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I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #14 of 16 Old 03-05-2010, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MacabreMikolaj View Post
I think you're going the best route with this guy. I know I can be a supporter of harsh discipline, but you have to pick your battles and the fact that this guy has learned how to hide his "anger" is a scary scary situation. It's easy to deal with "dangerous" horses that hate the world - it's downright terrifying dealing with an animal that has perfected the sweet and innocent act and then takes you when you least suspect it. I can guarantee that attempting to hit a horse for behaviour like this is likely to get you killed - they have learned they can beat you, and they aren't afraid to fight back with everything they have.
We do have one of those horses on our property, and SHE is a scary b*@$#. The first day she arrived on the property, the on-site trainer was almost killed because the mare reared up in her stall and then proceeded to turn around and send both back feet at her....This trainer is 5'5" and weighs maybe 120 lbs. Yesterday when we took her turn out buddy away from her, she crashed through three fence boards in order to get to her and then took off around the property. She's been at the barn almost two months and while she is much better than when she arrived, she still knows she can kill a human, and has no fear of them at all.

The saddest thing, and probably the funniest too, that I saw with Ice yesterday was the look he wore while working with Kristen; very soft, a little confused, but alert and attentive and willing and then how his look changed when I approached the fence line (at her request)...he looked like something out of a pound! Still soft and willing but just a little defeated and sorry for himself. He knows he's done wrong by me, or he thinks he has, and the way Kristen described it was that he's always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-05-2010, 10:57 PM
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This is just my experience with Hoover, but it may help in some way:

Hoover was first an Amish horse, and they beat him all over. His legs, his head. After that, he was owned by a nice man who kept him as a pet, and pretty much let him do what ever he wanted. When I bought him, he was confused. He didn't know his boundaries, or his "place" in his human "herd." He never knew if he was about to be beaten, or be allowed to be alpha and push everyone around.

After about six months of having him, it all came to a head. I was brushing him in stall, and he pinned me in the back corner, came at my head snapping and dancing. He scared me so bad I socked him in the nose (only time I have ever used a fist on him). He rocked back in surprise, then came back at me. I managed to get the door open and dive out into hall, but he had bitten my arm purple. My BO and trainer went in and gave him a piece of his mind, and Hoover kicked at him.

I put him in training with my BO, and the turn around was amazing. After a month, he calmed down. He is happy and content, because he knows his position and what is expected of him. He had been confused, and that made him scared, which made him act out.

So hopefully, your experience is similar to mine and the trainer will do wonders with him. Hoove was trained by a form of natural horsemanship, in which we teach the horse we can make them move, and then that it's lets work to listen to us. We never use more than a cotton lead rope in training generally, or hands and voice. Hoover is now so mortified if I raise my voice to him he hangs his head and refuses to meet my eyes for a moment, with a look that is so apologetic like "I'm sorry mommy, I do know better...I love you..." Heh. Then I hug him and tell him I still love him, I just don't like it when he acts that way.

"Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high. Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky. And live like you ain't afraid to die...don't be scared, jut enjoy the ride." - Chris LeDoux
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-06-2010, 12:36 PM
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^

Perfect example. The average horse hasn't learned that you are any different then the "lead mare" - heck, I bet most horses think we're SCARIER then the lead mare! When put in a situation where they feel like taking advantage of you, getting a fist to the nose is usually a pretty huge deterrent.

To a horse that's been beaten half his life, and learned that you really can't hurt him unless he's hog tied on the barn floor, attacking back only provokes him because he knows he's "free" and he has the ability to finally win this fight.

It's unfortunate because with horses like this, it's almost always the NEXT owner who bears the brutal brunt of it, the one trying to help and not hurt. The first owners are smart enough not to ever give the horse a chance to strike first, because they know they'll be in pieces around the stall.

Huge congrats with Hoover anyway, so happy to hear you brought him around and gave him a new lease on life!

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I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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