Need Help with new horse! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-02-2011, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Need Help with new horse!

Hello everyone,

This is my first time posting so any suggestions are welcome!
A little backstory:

My boyfriend and I purchased a 9 year old gelding Appaloosa,13.2 h in late November. He was great for the first week he was at the barn. We have a barn that his family keeps their race horses at during the off season. The horse would let us groom him, bath him, and ride him. He would be turned out daily with no problems. The lady we bought him from said he was the extra horse on their farm but did get ridden quite a bit She said he was sweet and great with children. We visited him twice before deciding to purchase. He was SUPER sweet and calm.

A few weeks ago his behavior started getting progressively worse. He jumped over a small (4 foot) fence and ran into the barn over to the feed room. No big deal. Partly our fault for leaving the barn door open while we were getting ready to feed the horses. My boyfriend has many nieces and nephews and they all sat on him while we walked him around. No problems.

Recently though, every time we try to ride him he moves around a lot when we put the saddle/ bridle on. Once we get him ready he will walk around the ring a few times but steers terrible. He will keep walking over to where he knows the door is. He will rear and buck if you try to steer him away from the door and complete the circle. After about twenty minutes he will hit a stride and steer as wanted.

When he first came to the barn he would let us groom him. Now we have to clip him in the stall and he moves around constantly even when being brushed.

Last week I turned him out alone and was walking back towards the barn when I heard a loud crack. I turned around and he had jumped the 5 foot fence and was running towards me. He stopped about a foot in front of me and I brought him back inside. He had a large cut on his inner haunch that was bleeding from where he hadn't completely cleared the fence. I cleaned the wound and just let him be.

For the past week he has not let me go near the injury. He is walking normally but I haven't ridden him since. I have taken him out and walked him around so he can exercise. Today my boyfriend and I went to clean the injury and he tried to get away and almost fell down. He tried to kick both of us to the point where we just gave up. An hour later I came back to him and had to feed him carrots while my boyfriend simply sprayed the area with antiseptic.

My boyfriend seems to think the horse was tranquilized when we went to see him initially before we bought him. In my heart I do not think he is a bad horse I am just looking for a little advice, especially on the jumping the fence issue. The race horses that are a lot taller than him do not even attempt to jump the fence. He has not been able to be turned out because of this and I hate for him to not get the exercise he needs. I go there everyday and walk him around the ring for an hour so he can get some exercise, but am really looking for a solution to this "problem".

Thank you in advance for your kind suggestions/ advice!
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-02-2011, 11:29 PM
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Can he be turned out with another horse? It sounds like he may be very very herdbound, and that is why he won't stay in the fence.

Have you tried putting an electric strand over the fences, and teaching him a healthy respect for them? I know for a jumper, that may or may not work; it did help a snotty pony cross I had when I was growing up...he daily tested that strand too, to see if it had been turned on...scary smart! If it wasn't on, he would lean, or try to jump!

I would not simply be walking this horse around for exercise...invest in some lungeing equipment and start working him to actually get rid of some of that energy...if he can't be turned out you have to do more than walk him! I would think someone at that stable should be able to help you get him lungeing.

It sounds as though he may have been drugged, OR he is just reading you as a handler, and has decided you aren't strong enough of a leader for him, so is being a snot as a result...see if you can't have a trainer come out and both watch you handle him, and be able to give you ideas on how your handling may be effecting his behavior, and help you make the proper adjustments to help both you and the horse.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."

Last edited by mom2pride; 01-02-2011 at 11:31 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-03-2011, 12:19 AM
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That pony needs to be in jumper training! a 5 foot fence! Wow!

But that is disconcerting that he will run at and jump something that would appear impossible to a more sensible horse. Doesn't speak well for his brain.

The behavior in the arena makes me think the saddle might be causing pain, and it didn't do it at first or rather it takes some time to actually make him sore.
just a thought.
tinyliny is online now  
post #4 of 7 Old 01-03-2011, 09:20 AM
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My previous horse always used to head for the gate in the ring and when you tried to pull him away he would just go crazy, i would try what mom2pride said, put some electric fencing up and this will teach him not to jump the fence, we had to do this with a cob of mine and he wouldn't go anywhere near it after he tested it! That normally works...
It sounds like he's nabbing to go back to his stable with regards to going to the gate in the ring, try and get him to go faster past the gate..My friend used to have an arab and she always went really fast up to the gate and then slowed down as soon as she got to it, so try the other way round maybe?!


He knows when you're happy, He knows when you're comfortable, He knows when you're confident, And he always knows when you have carrots. X
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-03-2011, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. I know we all have busy lives so it means a lot to get such thoughtful responses. We are looking into getting an electric fence put up. There is some lungeing equipment at the barn and we are going to work on that. We took him out once a few weeks ago to train him on it but he just stood there and was very stubborn. As Tiny said, I am concerned at the fact he even attempted this jump, as the race horses that are stabled with him have not ever attempted to jump it, even when it is obvious they want to come in.

This morning I went to the barn and my boyfriends brother helped me clean the wound. He is a trainer and is going to start working the horse more. The horse was jumpy at first but it was amazing; he actually let him clean the wound and apply ointment to it. I do believe he knows I am somewhat "afraid" of him so he knows he can get away with being a brat!

I am trying my best not to get frustrated but it is hard when he was doing so well at first and now seems to be regressing rapidly. He certainly has a ton of energy and I will keep you posted on how the lungeing exercises go. I have this week off work so will be able to devote a lot of time and energy to him.
lilamy is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 01-03-2011, 10:01 PM
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Forgot to add that if he wants to hang out at or near the gate, that is where you need to really really work his tail off...then move quietly away from there and let him relax...eventually he won't bother going to the gate because it means work. IF you don't feel comfortable working his tail off undersaddle, then get off and lunge him, or do other groundwork exercises... I've had to get off and work horses; had an Appy that was really herdbound last year and he would buck, spin, rear, etc to try and get rid of you, even when at the gate...he just plain didn't want to work, so I worked him hard at the gate on the ground, rather than possibly hit the dirt and have to quit because I got hurt. As long as he is being worked, don't see having to get off as "the horse won"...he didn't, because he is still being worked. The manner doesn't matter, it's whether you do it or throw your hands up and quit and untack and put him away.

Definitely have the trainer work him...and don't be afraid to have him work him hard; he will likely need a few "come to jesus meetings" in order to get him back to the point he was when you got him.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-03-2011, 10:21 PM
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You have a huge advantage that you have a trainer on hand to help you out when you run into these problems. Hopefully he'll walk you through how to deal with him on your own.
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