Reading your last post, charlie, I'd say change the trainer. Getting on barely trained horse with training holes bareback in field is just as crazy as it comes. No wonder she was bucked off... Plus by that she actually teaches him that he CAN get rid of the person on back easily. Not good at all, because you'll be the next one he'll try this trick on.
First of all, what do you (the barn) feed to him? If he's on sweet feed I'd at first remove all sweet feed and switch him to something like beet pulp or low sugar/low starch pellets. Second, you have to be in charge. By that - work him when he wants to get back to his buddies. Don't let him do what he wants: take him to the ring or round pen and lunge: walk, trot, change direction, trot, change direction... And again, look for the trainer who works with problem horses and knows how to deal with the horse.
I just wanted to third "find a new trainer". It's nuts to get on the horse you described to us bareback and in a field. Your trainer did a foolish thing doing it herself, and then did a STUPID thing by telling you to do it. You didn't get hurt because you were lucky, not because the horse wanted you on it.
The safest thing for you to do would be to send this horse to a trainer. It needs to be worked with by someone who will stand up to it and expect manners from it everytime it's worked with.
I am going to be brutally honest here, sorry if I offend.
Your trainer is an idiot.
You need to set yourself up for success with a young OTTB. That means that EVERY situation that you present him must allow you to have the upperhand should anything go wrong. Being in a paddock on him bareback, in the snow, with just a headstall and not helmet I suspect is a stupid thing to do and has NO benefit for the horses training.
OTTB's are beautiful, sweet, kind horses but they have had a different upbringing to other horses - they are trained to race. It is our job as their first owner in their new life to introduce things to them in a way that allows them to understand what you want and also in a way that is not dangerous to either them, or ourselves.
OTTB's get a bit of a bad name but it is truly undeserved. We begin asking them to do things that they don't understand straight away and their confusion can result in bad behaviour. So be sure that each time you are teaching him something new, you are very clear with what you want - you want him to walk calmly, you want him to maintain a pace without breaking into a different gait and so on. It takes time but they are intelligent creatures and love to please humans, just be patient.
Asking a 4 yo OTTB to have a nice bareback ride like he has been doing kiddie rides in the pasture all his life is NOT a logical step for him, in his mind.
Now, onto the respect issues. My current mare (also an OTTB) is a particularly feisty individual, towards other horses and occasionally towards humans. She has never threatened to bite anyone but she is not afraid to use her back legs when she gets shirty. She has given the ranch hands a couple of good wallops despite my best efforts to warn them about her, but that is another story.
She only ever tried it on me once, and never again. When a horse is being aggressive you need to react with TEN TIMES the intensity of their aggression. Now that doesn't mean you lay a hand on them or beat them, I would never suggest that. However you need to make them think that their lives are coming to an end.
When my mare threatened me I was about to let her go back into her pasture after I had worked with her. I saw her pin her ears, then the tail was going and I was waited to see what she was plotting so I could react. She picked up the hind leg closest to me (as I expected) and lashed out in my direction. Well she didn't get to finish her maneuvre. I waited until the leg was in the air (so she was on only three legs) and abruptly pushed her backwards and to the side, yelling all sorts of obsceneties at her. I did this swiftly and forcefully, in fact it sat her on her arse in the dirt pretty quick smart.
She had the fright of her life let me tell you. However, that horse has NEVER backed her ears at me or threatened me in ANY way ever since, that was over six months ago. She is the sweetest horse, walks right up to me in the pasture and loves to be affectionate with me - no long term adverse affects.
You need to nip this in the bud right now before it escalates. Timing is everything. Be aware of his body language - horses will tell you EVERYTHING about them if you are just aware and listening. Knowing what he is about to do is the key to reacting swiftly and appropriately.
He looks like a sweet boy and I hope that you can get this sorted out.
I don't even know where to start! Any trainer that would put an inexperienced horse owner on a horse she is already having trouble with, BAREBACK no less, is nuts!!!!! Just her getting on a horse she doesn't know , bareback, outdoors in snow, she is out of her gourd!
That horse has SOOOOOOOOOO many wholes in his training you shouldn't even be on his back yet, let alone riding him bareback!
It all sounds amusing and like a game of tough guy and seeing if you can make him stand still (never heard of that. That is the biggest bunch of hogwash I have heard of) for a minute, but the truth is one of you may get hurt soon.
YOu could see how your friend handled him on the lead that he needs good leadership and to go back to the basics to fill in all the gaps in his training.
The fact that you are in for the longhaul is admirable and I think you will be a really great owner for him in time. But he needs to learn manners in the safety of a round pen or small paddock, and not all at once. Start small and build on it. This is where some understanding of the concepts of Join UP come in handy. Getting your horse to let go of his mental obsession with the herd and look to you to be something so compelling that he will give you his attention.
He sounds like a powerful horse and such animals can be hard to get to give you their respect, but once he does, he will be formidable! (in a good way)
WOW! Y'all are TOUGH!
I was looking for some more of maybe POSITIVE FEEDBACK! Lol.
Thanks for your feedback, but I must say, I LOVE my trainer.You might think she is crazy, but she isnt afraid of getting bucked.She also wasnt phased by his behavior. The fact that she was so calm the whole time taught me a lot. She has been riding since three and her father ownes and breeds horses for a living...She breaks and trains horses( has worked under KC Pierce and Stacy Westfall-I am SURE all of you know them...) and is a barrel racer. I appreciate your concern though!( My trainer before also let me get on him bareback and we never had problems either, but then again, we were aways in a ring!But my old trainer also never fed my horse, nor did any ground work! She only rode him as his "training" Not one ounce of ground work!)
He would have bucked me off if he wanted me off during this ride....I didnt just get lucky- cause I have ridden him many times bareback and with just a rope around his neck! I AM CRAZY ARENT I? ( I mean that in a joking way) Are y'all going to tell me I was crazy to put 2 of my 3 children on his back bareback for our xmas picture???
I agree though that he should have been lunged on a line, not how she free lunges her horses....he has never done that before and he didnt know what she expected from him...
By the way, charlie has not been ridden in 6 weeks!( advice per new trainer--she wanted to only do groundwork first!) He has only had groundwork! And hasnt shown any negative behavior until this past week. We are thinking he is showing this behavior because he was FINALLY accepted into his new herd and is moving up in rank.Plus, he had almost a week off with no training due to snow storm and trainer's horse at hospital and my husband off in London with no one to take care of the kiddies!
The reason, I think, she wanted him to stand for a minute was because he was being so impatient...she wanted him to respect the fact that we were standing and talking to eachother, and he needed to wait.
But, he did not want to wait!
And I think she got off with the buck because she knew he was uncomfortable- it wasnt like she flew off and rolled in the snow, it was more of a graceful buck Like she jumped to the side or something- I don't know, it all happened so fast
I didnt even notice the buck, but she told me she felt his back end go up a bit...she wasnt phased at all! She was riding on top of his jacket...I am not sure if she was even holding on We had already walked so far without any issues! I think it was the trotting up hill part that he didnt like.
He is fed strategy. Twice a day, along with omega grande as his supplement. He has hay in front of his face all day long pretty much-- I think its 30% alfalfa, something and then something else...I can't remember....He gained 130 pounds in 5 weeks!
The last place I had him he was so mistreated, here its like he lives at a spa!
If anyone has anything good to say, I would love to hear it! I like the idea of the rope halter...and round pen, join-up- my trainer and I spoke about this afterwards- he needs a smaller area to train...Any ideas how to get him to not be so worried about the herd?? I know I could ask my trainer all of this, but I thought of asking other people too, its always good to ask more than one!...Thanks for all of your positive feedback
Thank you for the feedback...I totally appreciate you taking the time to write all that you did. I will definitely take into account everything you said..
My trainer is different- but that's what I like about her...
I guess the reason she might have felt that it was ok to get on him is because he never posed any agressive behavior before, and she has also started training certain horses bareback first.
She did mention during all of this that I had 3 seconds to address bad behavior, and that his body language says everything- she aslo talked about making it like his life was about to end- she had everything under control when we were dealing with his bad behavior in the woods- I FELT OUT OF CONTROL I have never seen charlie act this way!!
I have faith in our trainer. Not going to quit on her yet! But I do appreciate all of the information you gave me! Wow, what a difference someone can make with the tone that they speak!! THANK YOU
I love my horse to death...and when people told me what a mistake my old trainer had made by choosing him for me- I couldnt give up on charlie- I just love him so much!
And I don't QUIT!
Hey no problem at all. If you really like your trainer then stick with her. However I would suggest that you keep posting on here for alternative advice from time to time as you will get many different people giving you good advice and you can take what you want from it and incorporate it into your own training with your horse. That is the beauty of this forum! No one single person has all the answers, myself included, but put a bunch of knowledgeable horse people in the one place and you will certainly be on the right track!
I don't think you should quit on him, he sounds like a lovely boy. You will just have to be very mindful that every time you are working with him, you are teaching him something - are you sure that you are teaching what you WANT to be teaching? After every session with him, ask yourself - what did he learn today? Was it what I wanted him to learn? Is it a step in the right direction or a step in the wrong direction?
One last piece of advice in relation to something else you mentioned:
Originally Posted by princecharliehorse
I FELT OUT OF CONTROL I have never seen charlie act this way!!
I understand this and it is entirely possible that you WERE out of control. However don't transmit this feeling to your horse as it won't help either of you. Even if you think you have no control, act like you do. "Fake it till you make it" if you like. Just means that no matter how scared/unsure/worried you are feeling, act like you are the master and commander and your horse will respond accordingly.
Just as we read the body language of our horses, they are just as adept at reading ours so make sure you are sending the right signals!
"You will just have to be very mindful that every time you are working with him, you are teaching him something - are you sure that you are teaching what you WANT to be teaching? After every session with him, ask yourself - what did he learn today? Was it what I wanted him to learn? Is it a step in the right direction or a step in the wrong direction?"
Wow. Yes. This is a GREAT peice of information! Thank you!
I will definatley be asking myself these questions! I always try to leave charlie on a good note- even if its something simple like- back up.
Any ideas on how to get him to leave his BFF more easily? Should I not take him for a walk again today in the woods? I have never been worried to "walk" Charlie anywhere before...but I just don't want him to act up and then not ahve any back up...OR, with my personality- should I just TRY- "FAKE IT TIL I MAKEIT" and take my horse for a walk like I normally do!!!
I LOVE THAT! Fake it til you make it.love it!
Part of the problem with getting him to leave his herd buddy is that he feels safe there. Horses are herd animals, that is how they find safety from predators. Asking him to leave the herd is asking him to be vulnerable.
He needs to look to YOU for comfort and for safety. This will come as he begins to look to you as his leader. He will only do this if you are cool, calm and collected wherever you go with him and whatever you do with him. So take things slowly, encourage him to do things that make him vulnerable but you MUST act like a leader - you must be in control of the situation in order for him to feel safe in your company alone.
At the moment he is thinking 'oh my goodness she is taking me away from the herd and there is all this scary stuff out there, how will I fend for myself? That's it, I'm going back to the herd because it is safer there.'
What you want him to be thinking is 'she is taking me away from the herd but I am sure that wherever we go she will look out for me. No need to worry.'
So each time you take him out, be patient and reassuring but most importantly, be a strong leader. Doing things such as riding bareback in the snow, having him throw the rider and take off into the sunset just affirms in his mind that there was something to be scared of and the way to solve it is to get rid of the humans and fend for yourself! Hence the need to take things slowly. Present scary situations to him and get him through them with you being in control THE WHOLE TIME.
If slowly means just hand walking him away from his buddy until he is out of sight, reassuring him and then returning him safely then do that! Every positive experience in your presence he has will help begin building a relationship where he trusts your judgement and knows that he will be returned safely whenever he is in your presence.
Okey dokey! Going to take him for a walk like I had been doing before...( I usually "walk" him with a lead line up to the park/woods, to get him used to being away from the horses and too see what the outside world is like...)
I think we might have done too much! I guess I expected WAY to much of my Charlie boy! Now I feel bad
BUT! Today is a new day!!!!!
And the place where he stays, its an older horsewoman who takes care of her horses and mine--she just sent me an email...here is all she wrote:
"He's going to be OK going away when you start using him more and it's not so cold. The horses are all running around this morning again - and Rocky and Charlie II are the instigators.... They all left their hay piles for the open field this morning. "
Nothing makes me happier than to get messages like this from her...she takes such good care of Charlie! I feel like putting Charlie in a private barn was the best thing for him! He was like a robot in the other place. He barley moved and when he did his head was down...he was depressed and probably so weak! The horsewoman/barn owner mentioned that some of his behavior could be due to the fact that he actually has energy now that he has FOOD, LOL!