New Horse, any tips on gaining its trust?
   

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New Horse, any tips on gaining its trust?

This is a discussion on New Horse, any tips on gaining its trust? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Advise on what to do with a new horse
  • Horse won't let you brush her

 
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    08-04-2008, 03:38 PM
  #1
Foal
New Horse, any tips on gaining its trust?

We just recently acquired a slightly underfed horse from a woman who was clearly not able to take care of it well - she gave her to us for free because she apparently needed to give it up because she could no longer feed it or pay for boarding(sp) and she rarely visited her or the colt that was with her, so she's very skiddish.

According to the woman we got her from, she's a yearling and possibly Quarter/Draft, and according to her size she does seem to be pretty young, though I can't be sure about her breed.

She seems to be very head-shy and she doesn't want me anywhere near her unless I have food. She also won't eat any foods other than hay and so far we've only been able to feed her alfalfa hay which probably is only exaserbating the problem, I've heard Alfalfa hay is for horses who get exercise and I can't give her any until I am able to get her to walk with me on a lead, which she won't even do that, let alone let me close enough to touch her head.

The woman who had her before us would feed her alfalfa pellets and a lot of grain which by now I understand was a horrible idea, grain just gives them more energy and takes time to burn off, I'm assuming I'll need to wait a while for that grain to burn out of her system.

But no matter what I do she doesn't want me anywhere near her and she's most definitely only interested in food, most likely because she barely got any in the home she was in before ours.

Also, she bonded heavily with the colt she was with in that other home, and the colt was also very aggressive towards her and sometimes wouldn't even let her eat, I'm a bit concerned about that as well.

Another thing I'd like to mention is, according to her last owner, she has a possibly painful history, she originally lived in Nevada and was actually a wild free horse, and apparently didn't have much contact with humans until there were too many horses in the herd so apparently they took a bunch of the foals and auctioned them off.

She is clearly afraid of men - she won't go anywhere near my father - and she MAY possibly have the number '2' branded in her backside, my mom swore she saw one but I have yet been able to see it.

The last thing I want to say is, I know it was a horrible idea but this is actually our first horse. Yes, I know, we should have started out with a regular horse to get used to teaching and to understand howt hey work but we didn't have much of a choice, we would have liked to wait and get a good horse but this one was in trouble and we needed to take her in.

So I would like to know, can anyone help? I apologize for how long this was.


Edit: Also, what would you all suggest for getting rid of flies?
     
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    08-04-2008, 03:54 PM
  #2
Trained
1)I would seriously consider talking to a vet. Get a balanced diet going for her. It will reduce the amount of "hottness" and help to get her level headed

2) Save some serious heartache and possibly injury and get a local trainer involved. It sounds like this horse needs re-started from the ground up.

I wish you good luck and oodles of safety...please be careful!!!
     
    08-04-2008, 03:54 PM
  #3
Foal
Oh come on, I know you guys are there... please? I'd really like some tips here, it's my first horse... you gave that other forum tips. Thing about her is, she doesn't know what a treat is really, because she's never been given one. I know she knows what grain is, but she doesn't know what fruits and veggies are, she refuses to eat anything else but hay and grain.
     
    08-04-2008, 03:55 PM
  #4
Foal
Oh jeez, SO didn't see that until a second ago XD; sorry Thanks for the tips, I was thinking about a trainer too
     
    08-04-2008, 04:09 PM
  #5
Weanling
Here's my advice on the question in the title, I'll leave the rest to others.

For a month or two, be all business with this young thing. Move slowly, speak softly, be clear about what you want her to do, be patient with mistakes, but be firm about demanding obedience in the end.

Don't do any liberty work with her for awhile--by that I mean, when you are with her, control her head at all times--use a halter and a leadrope. Don't hang around with her, petting and giving treats, without controling her head--either lead her, stand with her, or tie her.

You can do a lot of bonding in two ways: tie her for gentle grooming, or lead her to grass, and handgraze her on the lead.

If she can't be tied right now, handgraze her yourself, or have someone hold her while you gently groom her.

Does she tie? If not, get her used to it by having her stand at the hitching rail and just circling the rail with the rope--keep her tied for a short time, then release the pressure, gradually buidling up to the point where you actually tie her. Praise her for standing, soothe her, run your hand along the top of her neck and withers--this soothes her while signaling that you are the one in charge.
     
    08-04-2008, 04:13 PM
  #6
Weanling
As for getting a halter on her: approach her side, stroke her, slowly work your way towards her head, try to gently ease the halter over her nose--have the top piece unbuckled, don't try putting it on over her head using the throatlatch. In other words, get halter on her nose, then slowly slide the top piece along her cheek, over her poll past her ears, and ease it into the buckle, and you've got her.
     
    08-04-2008, 04:21 PM
  #7
Trained
I couldn't help but to keep wondering...
Can you halter her?
Will she walk on a lead?
Will she allow you to pet her at all?
She is a yearling....yes?
Was she just left to pasture and never handled?

I have concerns for your safety..as I already posted. I have been kicked/bitten by more yearlings than adult horses... I just didn't want you to think that I was giving you a blanket answer...I really would start at the vet, then talk to a trainer especially since she is so young. Being there in person is 1000 times better than trying to explain on here. I apologize if I am fumbling my words. Perhaps you could get some one out to have a look at her and outline what they would do since it will be a while before you can start training, as in breaking a horse. This is usually the time where they are learning ground manners etc...
     
    08-04-2008, 04:35 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrow
Here's my advice on the question in the title, I'll leave the rest to others.

For a month or two, be all business with this young thing. Move slowly, speak softly, be clear about what you want her to do, be patient with mistakes, but be firm about demanding obedience in the end.

Don't do any liberty work with her for awhile--by that I mean, when you are with her, control her head at all times--use a halter and a leadrope. Don't hang around with her, petting and giving treats, without controling her head--either lead her, stand with her, or tie her.

You can do a lot of bonding in two ways: tie her for gentle grooming, or lead her to grass, and handgraze her on the lead.

If she can't be tied right now, handgraze her yourself, or have someone hold her while you gently groom her.

Does she tie? If not, get her used to it by having her stand at the hitching rail and just circling the rail with the rope--keep her tied for a short time, then release the pressure, gradually buidling up to the point where you actually tie her. Praise her for standing, soothe her, run your hand along the top of her neck and withers--this soothes her while signaling that you are the one in charge.
Thing is Arrow, she won't let me near enough to put a lead on her, nor will she take treats, nor will she even let me pat her or touch her in any way. The most I can do is lightly pat her nose when I feed her hay. I know what you're saying, I wish I could brush her and groom her but she just won't let me do it. Should I tie her down and do it? Or...
     
    08-04-2008, 04:45 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dumas'_Grrrl
I couldn't help but to keep wondering...
Can you halter her?
Will she walk on a lead?
Will she allow you to pet her at all?
She is a yearling....yes?
Was she just left to pasture and never handled?

I have concerns for your safety..as I already posted. I have been kicked/bitten by more yearlings than adult horses... I just didn't want you to think that I was giving you a blanket answer...I really would start at the vet, then talk to a trainer especially since she is so young. Being there in person is 1000 times better than trying to explain on here. I apologize if I am fumbling my words. Perhaps you could get some one out to have a look at her and outline what they would do since it will be a while before you can start training, as in breaking a horse. This is usually the time where they are learning ground manners etc...
As an answer to your questions, in chronilogical order xD:
She has a halter already on her, but she won't let me close enough to touch it. So I can't even take it off.

She WILL walk on a lead... kinda... when it was on her (the woman before us would NEVER take it off *rubs head* it was horrible) but ever since I took it off she won't let me near her to put it back on. However, the woman before us WAS able to lead her apparently, but when I would get hold of the lead before I took it off, she would jerk away hard, she didn't want me pulling her around at all.

She won't allow me to pet her. At all. The closest I can get is when she's feeding from my hand, I can pat her nose a little. One time she DID let me rub her forehead but it was only for a moment.

Yes, she's a yearling, or at least, according to the woman we recieved her from. She's still very small so I'm assuming her being a yearling is true. But remember, this woman wanted to get rid of her as soon as possible, she could have easily lied about her age just to get rid of her.

It would seem that yes, she mostly was just left to pasture and never handled, she had a colt companion, another yearling, and she was also rarely fed apparently. The woman who had her would only go there to feed them I think, I'm not sure if she was ever handled a lot. But remember, she was also a wild horse at one point.

It's funny you mention that safety thing, I can go into her pen, even without food. She doesn't kick or bite, she doesn't even usually tuck her ears back, she's almost always very curious. When I try to touch her, she doesn't tuck her ears back, she actually keeps them forward, but she does move away or step away, she doesn't want me touching her at all. When she's eating, if I try to pet her, she steps away so I can't touch her. However she NEVER tries to bite or kick, it surprised me, even when we had to coax her into the trailer to bring her to our barn she never tried to kick or bite - she DID jump and jerk around, trying to stay away from the trailer, but that was it.

XD too bad you couldn't come and take a look.
     
    08-04-2008, 04:54 PM
  #10
Weanling
Don't approach her head. If you can slowly get to her side, stroke her barrel and topline, then her shoulder, and slowly move up her neck, scratch under her cheeks.

Don't try to grab her. Stroke, talk, having your arm over her back is a dominant signal--after awhile she will probably turn to her.

I guess she has a halter on--what I meant to add to the halter bit--have a leadrope with you, as you stroke, drape it over her neck, move it to her poll, then you have her around the next at least--don't nec pull and try to hold her, but see if you can snap it to her halter.

What I'm saying is approach her from the side first--not from the front.

It does sound like you need some expert help--as Dumas Girl posted, perhaps have a vet check and get the vet's advice?
     

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