I found this forum while looking for a resource website to help me with a training issue. (be warned... this post includes a very sad story.)
Firstly, I grew up with horses... Im 25 now and by the time I was 16 I owned 3 which I trained from green babies to be awesome bomb proof hunter jumper show horses pretty much all by myself. :)
I donated them to my stable I rode at to be school horses when I was 18 after being offered my dream job in London...
Soooo.. it's been 7 years since I've done anything with horses... (but it's like riding a bike right.... it's not something that you forget when it was your passion and life for so many years...)
I just had an opportunity "fall into my lap"
I have a friend who has two full blooded arabians, once upon a time she used to ride them and work them every day... and then she fell very ill with cancer which she has been battling for 8 years...
When she got sick... her horses became pets...(like two big dogs really) Of course she has had someone looking after them in that time... but only basic grooming / feeding....(they're overweight, underworked and have forgotten A LOT of their manners)
But here's the sad part.... in addition to having to deal with cancer she's also had to deal with an abusive husband which she has FINALLY gotten a divorce from... This dude is the lowest of the low... not only did he beat his terminally ill wife... he would go out to the paddock and beat her favorite horse as well
(yeah I know... disgusting right?)
His favorite methods of abuse included beating the horse with a 2x4 and tying him up for hours in the stall with his head as high as it could possibly go.... (nose straight up in the air)
(when I heard all this on my second day of working with them I burst into tears... how ANYONE could do that to a horse is beyond me...)
But now that this history has come to light... It begs the question...
How the hell do you erase those kind of emotional scars from an animal?
He REALLY freaks out when you try to touch his head (behind / in between his ears mainly) ... lashes out with his front hooves and tries to bite...
And also he HATES it when you go into the stall with him... he turns violent and tries to kick and definitely won't let you get ANYWHERE near him with a halter if you're in that space.
I desperately want to help this horse learn to trust people again... I know it's going to take a lot of love and patience on my part... but I could really do with some creative training techniques to try to reprogram this kind of behavior... I've dealt with "problem" horses before... but never in this context....
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. (I know it was kind of long)
If there's anyone out there who might have some advice to share your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.