Rebuilding Horse-Human Relationship - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-09-2012, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Rebuilding Horse-Human Relationship

So this April, a friend of mine called me up, concerned. She is an impulsive horse buyer, and is convinced her new appendix will be grander than her OTTB mare. So she offers me the mare for free.

I ride her a couple of times, have to have her, take her home. She was difficult to earn the trust of, and I never fully got it. We started a relaxed relationship, and were getting along fine, working together, but were still missing that element. It was coming! Slowly but surely though. I then got in a riding accident on a different horse, and couldn't ride at all. So I leased her for two months to a stable I trusted, for her to be a lesson horse. The stable did not work, to say the least. I went to go see her, and she was worked into the ground, barely fed, and never groomed. As soon as the contract expired I got her home (regardless of my handicap) and fattened her up. I am now riding again, and she is not the same horse.

She is faster, ruder, pushier, hard-mouthed, and runs from me in the pasture. I am certain it has to do with the past two months, and I have been trying to work with her on the ground for respect and other aspects, but she just runs me over. I know how to deal with pushy horses, and I know how to deal with her. But she was not a pushy horse, or like this at all.

Does anyone have an idea on how to regain this reationship? I understand her anger, and know I should relearn her thought process... But I'm not sure how to go about meeting the same horse twice, since she is probably the same deep down.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-09-2012, 02:26 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
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She'll 're-adapt' to you soon. Horses are pretty good at fitting in with their regular crowd. If they weren't so adaptable I really doubt that most of us could survive our associations with them.
Ian McDonald is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 09-09-2012, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Toronto, ON
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Poor girl. I'm guessing time will be your biggest asset in this situation. She's likely running from you because a) she has learned not to trust, and b) she doesn't want to work. Maybe focus on spending a lot of time with her just hanging out in the paddock, and progress to walks, etc. before you saddle her up.
Meatos is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 09-09-2012, 11:42 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kansas
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If you know how to do Join Up, it might help. The trick to doing it effectively is to be very aware of her body language.
Aside from that, I agree with Meatos. Get a chair and a book and just be there. Don't put any pressure on her in the beginning. Don't stare at her. Don't pet on her. Just be there.

If you bring her in to a paddock at feeding time, this can be very effective.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-09-2012, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Ground work. I like Clinton Anderon's techniques.

She sounds like she learned a lot of things lesson horses often pick up combined with a huge amount of mistrust from poor treatment. I sure hope you don't trust that stable anymore and have approached them about the condition of your horse.

She's been bounced around a bit in a short amount of time and some horses just don't do wel with that. I understand that you wanted to keep her in work, but next time please consider just letting her be a horse and doing what work with her you can or finding an individual leaser.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-09-2012, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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The harder she pushes you, the harder you push back and get your point across to her. If you have a round pen put her in there without a halter so she doesn't have that mental connection and get her feet moving. Doesn't have to be fast, just moving. Leave her be for a few minutes to get any excess energy out before you start. No more than 3 rounds then get her doing turnbacks (switching direction). She will travel about a third of the pen then back again. You may get some bad attitude so be sure to remain well out of kicking distance and keep your lunge whip handy. If she kicks out at you, lay one on her butt and make her move. If she tries to turn into you show her the whip to direct her away or use it on her neck if you have to. As she tires, she will want to stop and maybe come in to you. She is not allowed to do this until you stop her and invite her in. She will want to come to you so she can rest. That's ok as long as it's on your terms.
Saddlebag is offline  

disrespect , ottb , pushy horse

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