Stuck in a rut - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-09-2012, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Stuck in a rut

I just want to start by saying that if you have seen this post on another forum I apologize as clip and paste is the best thing ever created. Also, out of desperation it is posted in several areas.
I have a beautiful gaited spotted saddle horse that I rescued 3 years ago. I am a rescuer and foster home for many animals, as space is plenty. When I purchased….. Yes you heard it right PURCHASED her she was under weight terribly, suffering from strangles and smelled like the most grossest thing as I could tell she was never turned out. My husband was trying to coax me to purchase another but I just couldn’t leave her to die. She would have died by the end of the week. Did I say we purchased a dilapidated old horse trailer also just to get her home that day.
Anyway, when I first got her home she was so run down and neglected that she wanted no human contact what so ever. She would stay at least 50 feet from you and was afraid of everything. Imaginary flesh eating eyeball sucking monsters were everywhere waiting to eat her. Literally it took a year just to get within 5 ft but she would tremble and her eyes would bug out and she would brace to run if you reached your hand out to her. Here we are 3 yrs later and the only accomplishment I have achieved is being able to occasionally touch her but only for a few seconds then she gets the wild eyes and backs off as though she thinks I am fixing to pounce her. She came to me rideable but I haven’t ridden her, not out of fear but out respect for her trust. She is very smart and will avoid capture at all costs. It is hard to get her into the round pen because she figures out your sneakiness before you can get her in. It is almost impossible. And, if the stars are aligned and the plants are in a precise “S” shape I might get her into the pen to halter her. With lots of horse treats I can get her into her halter in about 10 min to sometimes an hour. I am so at a loss at winning her trust and trying to bond with her. I have tried everything including treats. Maybe I am missing something. Please help.
Sarah V is offline  
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-09-2012, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
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Bless you for giving her a chance at life. I am sure you have tried this, but I've heard of several people who gain trust by spending LOTS of time with horses without trying to accomplish anything. Just by sitting out side of their stall and reading a book for a few hours. Bringing a lounge chair into their pasture and laying there for a while. Gives them a chance to get use to the sight and smell of you without expecting anything out of them. I guess they learn that you being there isn't going to change their day.

I am sorry I dont have any other tips, but good luck with her! I am so glad there are people like you in the world.
MelissaAnn is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 04-09-2012, 10:36 AM
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Hi Sarah. Welcome to the Horse Forum.

I am afraid that you are missing everything. This horse needs a competent leader and trainer and not a friend.

If it were my problem, I would put her in a small, sturdy corral. If you don't have one, build one or make one from sturdy panels. [I do not ever use my round pen for a corral. It really messes up the footing and it does not have any corners.]

Then I would get a halter on her any way I could. I have used a stall, bucking chute, a stock trailer or roped them when there was no other way to get it done in a timely fashion. Then, I would work with her and when finished, I would turn her loose in the corral dragging a 15 foot rope. Catching her with the rope should be no problem.

A person that knows what they are doing can use a round pen to get a horse to come to them, but I have never seen this technique taught on the internet. It takes a real live person that knows when and how to 'read' a horse and they 'approach' (drive) the horse at the appropriate time and 'retreat' (draw) the horse at the appropriate time. Timing and 'feel' are everything.

If you catch this horse by picking up the dragging lead-rope, you can do the same thing. The 'approach and retreat' method there is also the easiest on both handler and horse.

The main thing you need to learn -- no matter what method you try -- you cannot back up or offer release at the wrong time. I suspect that is exactly what you have done to make her worse now. Timing is everything and you can't learn that off of the internet.

Even a feral horse that has never been handled can be gentled within a week and can usually be caught anywhere within a couple of weeks. Remember, a horse needs a competent leader that they respect and look up to. From that relationship comes trust. Not the other way around.
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Cherie is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 04-09-2012, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
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This horse has your number. Sorry - but you need to step up and be more firm with her. Horses need a herd leader.

Sit down and make yourself a schedule and stick with it. (i.e. at 5:00 p.m. every day you go out and halter her and brush her down, etc).

Stop feeling sorry for her and treat her as she should be treated.
mls is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 04-09-2012, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Palmyra, Wisconsin
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How have you been doing hoof & health care?
I agree with the others, you need professional help with this horse. She sees no reason to be cooperative so someone needs to give her some.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-09-2012, 11:28 AM
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Okay I know this has nothing to do with the post BUT i have to say NATISHA I want your what looks to be a RAM (AVATAR) he is sooooo cute!!!
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-09-2012, 11:34 AM
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I have to agree with Cherie on this one. YOu need to watch some join up with Monty Roberts or something similar. If you have horse channels they show lots of stuff on colt starting and they do it with untouched horses in a short amount of time. Like a few hours.
churumbeque is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 04-09-2012, 04:22 PM
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Location: Alberta, Canada
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By the sound of it you need some help from somebody who has worked with this kind of horse before. If it has been three years and you have seen virtually no progress you are doing something wrong. My advice would be to hire a trainer or sell this horse to somebody who knows how to do what needs done.
LynnF is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 04-09-2012, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: vandalia il
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oh boy... i do the same thing. i have a few tips or some thing s to try. i didnt go to school for horses but i have been doing this long enough im reliable. i wish i was near just to work with the horse. is she of good weight? do you feed her grain every day? well its time for her to become respectful again i only do this in the spring and summer when my horses have grass and hay. there all well taken care of i dont want to hear its harsh. and they get fed 2 times a day so... fist get her in some kind of rutine. im not saying feed her more if you must split whatever in half set times in the day that she gets fed shell start waiting for it then lock her up at dinner time yeah u might have to feed her walk away then come back and lock the gate but ta da shes in and trust me shell go after that grain. dont stand by the trough and wait or she wount. once you have her in there at the end of the day and shes locked in a small paddock or pen stand there and watch her. like i said its time for her to work and be a horse again. in the morning feed her and let her out once you have this scedual down and its not taking you 5 hours good. in the morning dont feed her bring the feed and sit it 5 foot from you and let her come eat it with you there. dont give in. we know she trust you bc u halter her. once you have a halter on her work her just wallk trot lunge lines... its going to help her brush her play with her feet tie her up to something just do something with her every day even if its 10 minutes. every day!!! i cant stress it im young i have a baby and a ft job and i have 3 boys 1 is the same way and trust me in a month we will have her standing for ther farrier. mine is. and hes not the first i ahve trained its a respect thing were teaching her she dont get fed till she works even if she never gets rode again her work is behaving. i know its tough rescuing them then making them work for there food but its okay as long as your not starving the animal they dont need grain to live its actualy better for them to be on streaight grass. but who has the money in the winter for that?! lol any way message me if you like my training advice and we will work on this ol girl ourselves! ill give you tons more advice.
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-09-2012, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Oregon
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Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
I have to agree with Cherie on this one. YOu need to watch some join up with Monty Roberts or something similar. If you have horse channels they show lots of stuff on colt starting and they do it with untouched horses in a short amount of time. Like a few hours.
Agreed....Rural Television (something like RFTV or RDTV) has a lot of programs you can record that show you how to gain the respect and trust of the horse. The horse knows it can get by with why change?
Groundwork, groundwork, groundwork!!! It takes time, knowledge and CONSISTENCY.
You can find natural horsemanship used DVDs on Amazon and Ebay pretty reasonable if your cable company doesn't have the shows we talked about.
DressageDreamer is offline  

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