Serious Question Regarding Behavioral Issues in Horse (Long) Please Read!
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Serious Question Regarding Behavioral Issues in Horse (Long) Please Read!

This is a discussion on Serious Question Regarding Behavioral Issues in Horse (Long) Please Read! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

    Like Tree18Likes

     
    LinkBack Thread Tools
        01-02-2013, 11:01 PM
      #1
    Yearling
    Serious Question Regarding Behavioral Issues in Horse (Long) Please Read!

    Hey all!

    I have an OTTB who I've had for the last two and a half years. I have plenty of experience with OTTBs and green horses, but this one is a different story.

    I have talked to my vet about him and he believes he has put up a mental block from being abused at the track. The problem, however, is that no one will ever be able to know exactly what happened to make him the way he is, so I don't know how to approach helping him.

    First off, let me start by explaining his many issues. He tends to come out of no where with his problems. He's usually fine, then randomly just freaks. He never kicks, but he will rear, and when he freaks out, he is not concerned about anyone, not even himself. He just wants out of the situation entirely and will do whatever it takes to get away.

    I have a few examples. He hates the wash stall. It's an open wash stall, with 4x4 posts and 2x6s making a "box" on three sides, much like the fences in his fields. There are cross ties. I put him in, got half way through bathing him, and he just FREAKED out. I wasn't expecting it, no one was. He starting flailing back and forth, rearing, etc. Everything making it worse, there was nothing I could do but roll out from under and watch, trying to talk him down, but he wasn't listening. He was set on getting out. He proceeded to rip one post out and break the metal on the other, along with breaking his halter.

    Another example, he's terrified of the farrier. We now have to drug him everytime he gets his feet done. He starts out fine, then will get one shoe about half on and start rearing and jumping around, knocking anything over or out of the way. I've tried a loose shank, just to get his attention (nothing terrible) all the way up to a twitch. He will just rear back and tear out of it.

    This isn't all though, he won't let me worm him, he doesn't trailer well (I was informed by someone who briefly knew him at the track that he actually reared and flipped over in the trailer one day going to a race. Now, I am not 100% sure this is true, as I wasn't there to see it for myself, but it wouldn't surprise me.), he doesn't take well to new places AT ALL, he dislikes the vet, he won't stand to be hosed.

    It seems like EVERYTHING sets him off. I'm not sure how to approach anything because I can never pinpoint a single underlying issue. I've spent the last two years trying my best to explain to him that he is fine and I will never hurt him, but I don't feel like I'm truly getting through to him. Like I said, my vet thinks it's a mental trust block he's put up that will take a lot of patience vs a mental problem, but I don't know where to start with helping him and it's getting a bit ridiculous.

    He's really strange too, some days, he's great to do something, then the next day, it's like I'm dealing with a totally different horse. When I'm in the ring riding, I've never had a single problem with him. My boyfriend's 9 year old brother can get on him and ride him around.

    But the ground is a different story.

    Please help. I'm willing to listen to any and all ideas and thoughts you have.
         
    Sponsored Links
    Advertisement
     
        01-02-2013, 11:18 PM
      #2
    Super Moderator
    I doubt that anyone on this forum can really help you over the internet. This sounds like such a dangerous situation. I know that he may be savable, but in the meantime, in the blink of an eye, he could get you or someone else killed. And common sense, such as most any horse person must excersize to keep "reasonably" safe in our interaction wiht horses, will be of little help because you cannot plan for or avoid his episodes.

    Honestly, I would consider either finding a trainer who wants to take on this challenge or putting him down. I hope this is not an extreme response. It is my gut feeling, but then I am not an extreme horseperson and would RUN from this type of situation.

    I do hope you find a way to stay safe .
         
        01-02-2013, 11:28 PM
      #3
    Banned
    There is a discussion on the forum right now about a very bad tying and pulling back issue......but it touches on some horses being 'unstable' mentally....it might interest you.

    Don't feel like you're alone, most of the stuff you have described has been seen and dealt with many times before.

    MAJOR tying problem. Please help
    deserthorsewoman likes this.
         
        01-03-2013, 12:29 AM
      #4
    Trained
    I might be completely off with this, but illsay it anyway
    I don't know about here, but in Europe TB's on the track have certain things done in a certain way.
    Tying: NEVER in crossties(standardbreds are the ones in crossties all day), always single rope, with a piece of baling twine between rope and halter, and mostly IN the stall.
    Farrier: again, IN the stall, with a very fast working farrier
    Leading: relatively short, with rope through the halter ring. People are specifically instructed to LET GO of the horse before they get in danger. In fact, most tracks lead with a Chifney bit always for greatest control possible.
    There are certain routines in racing stables who are never ever forgotten.

    If it is like this here too, that could be the explanation for at least some if his behaviour. He's gotten loose before and now fights for it.
    I'd try first tying him in his stall for grooming. If he remains calm, I'd try the farrier in the stall. And see from there. For hosing, keep his lead in your hand, don't tie him.

    Like I said, I could be wrong, dead wrong, but it doesn't cost anything to try.
         
        01-03-2013, 12:32 AM
      #5
    Weanling
    I had a horse with possible brain damage. When I first started working with him, he would lose it and rear, throwing himself over backwards. He would also charge people and just randomly explode.

    I trained him myself, but I have a lot of experience with 'problem' horses. And I don't think I'd ever risk my life like I did with him again, its just not worth it. I'm lucky I survived what I went through wit that horse. Your life is more important. Please be safe, he can kill you in an instant. When their brain goes into panic and fight mode, anyone in the area is at risk of injury or death.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        01-03-2013, 12:40 AM
      #6
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
    I might be completely off with this, but illsay it anyway
    I don't know about here, but in Europe TB's on the track have certain things done in a certain way.
    Tying: NEVER in crossties(standardbreds are the ones in crossties all day), always single rope, with a piece of baling twine between rope and halter, and mostly IN the stall.
    Farrier: again, IN the stall, with a very fast working farrier
    Leading: relatively short, with rope through the halter ring. People are specifically instructed to LET GO of the horse before they get in danger. In fact, most tracks lead with a Chifney bit always for greatest control possible.
    There are certain routines in racing stables who are never ever forgotten.

    If it is like this here too, that could be the explanation for at least some if his behaviour. He's gotten loose before and now fights for it.
    I'd try first tying him in his stall for grooming. If he remains calm, I'd try the farrier in the stall. And see from there. For hosing, keep his lead in your hand, don't tie him.

    Like I said, I could be wrong, dead wrong, but it doesn't cost anything to try.
    That's interesting, in NZ it's the complete opposite. We tie in the stall and in cross ties, at the races in cross ties or stall and at the track each morning in cross ties.
    Farrier takes as long as he needs.
    Walking for miles! With chifney bits or just a halter if you get the odd gentle old,soul......and you do get em!!!!
    Also....we are never to let go of a horse if we can possibly help it. The chances of injury increase ten fold when a horse gets loose and gallops down the Tarmac all the way home (they almost always ran home!) .....
    We also taken them swimming a whole lot!
    Interesting how different countries have different methods, I would have never have guessed they did it like that in Europe!
         
        01-03-2013, 12:45 AM
      #7
    Started
    This might sound REALLY out there but,if he was raced chances are he was stalled and handled by people primarily his whole life. You could try letting him be a horse. Let him learn herd mentality and pecking orders. Even if just over winter and and spring. Then try working with him again.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        01-03-2013, 01:51 AM
      #8
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
    That's interesting, in NZ it's the complete opposite. We tie in the stall and in cross ties, at the races in cross ties or stall and at the track each morning in cross ties.
    Farrier takes as long as he needs.
    Walking for miles! With chifney bits or just a halter if you get the odd gentle old,soul......and you do get em!!!!
    Also....we are never to let go of a horse if we can possibly help it. The chances of injury increase ten fold when a horse gets loose and gallops down the Tarmac all the way home (they almost always ran home!) .....
    We also taken them swimming a whole lot!
    Interesting how different countries have different methods, I would have never have guessed they did it like that in Europe!
    I worked for board at a breeder/amateur trainer/jockey. He was a master breeder/keeper,3 years apprentice, 5 years journeyman then master school and degree.Did this at one of the oldest TB breeders in Germany, Schlenderhahn. It's all about tradition. My farrier was track farrier and also resident farrier at Faehrhof(Lomitas, Surumu, Acatenango) he told me the same thing.
    I saw the same in Italy.
    Like I said, it won't cost anything to try
    stevenson likes this.
         
        01-03-2013, 02:01 AM
      #9
    Green Broke
    I agree with letting him learn how to be a horse first, and put in place by teh other horses. He may be glad for human touch afterwards. ;)
    My old grumpy TB hates being brushed except on his neck. We have to start with his neck brush some off his back and sides and go back to his neck before he gets pissy. He will kick bite and strike. Some horses just Hate water. I would also try holding his lead while brushing etc to see if it improves his attitude or tying in his stall, be sure you have a safe way out in case of an outburst. Leave the door/gate open enough that a push lets you out.
    deserthorsewoman likes this.
         
        01-03-2013, 02:40 AM
      #10
    Yearling
    This horse sounds definitely abused. Sounds a bit impossible, but is there a way that you can contact his old owner about his abuse?

    Have you tried to do some desensitizing? Or is it that one second he's good then the next second he's up in the air and you can't do anything about it? Like you we're explaining in the wash rack incident?
         

    Thread Tools

    Similar Threads
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    A very odd horse transaction....(long read) MorabMom Horse Talk 21 04-02-2012 12:20 PM
    DAY 1 (long read) KatCashen Horse Training 27 08-23-2010 07:03 PM
    Some Serious Behavioral Issues - sorry it's so long! tarebear Horse Training 6 05-28-2010 08:59 PM
    Behavioral Issues Solo Horse Training 32 03-11-2009 08:40 PM
    Interesting read on Horse Nutrition-LONG ahearn Horse Health 4 08-07-2008 06:21 PM



    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:47 PM.


    Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
    Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0