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training a severly aggressive horse

This is a discussion on training a severly aggressive horse within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse who holds grudges, waiting for the killer bite
  • Horse needs retraining aggression to be sold

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    05-23-2013, 01:25 AM
  #11
Started
I've never dealt with a horse that is "severely aggressive" ever. Why? Because I don't allow it.

To the OP, this isn't directly directed at you.

But, in my exp, unhandled horses tend to be well mannered. They got no bad habits, yet.

Enter a handler that creates/allows bad habits. Now the horse sees ways out, and figures out more. Each pushing a lil further.

Bad habits suck to fix. But can be. But it needs to be done hands on, daily, and over a long time.
And can be dangerous.

Moral of my story? Probly sell that horse, buy an old steady eddy, and learn. It'll be way more fun and useful to all.
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    05-23-2013, 01:38 AM
  #12
Started
I agree with the others.

1. Have the vet check the horse for pain (an equine vet, not a GP)
2. Evaluate her diet
3. Find a trainer EXPERIENCED WITH AGGRESSIVE HORSES (just any trainer will not do in your circumstances, and your level of experience does not matter -- if you are asking for help here, you need someone there with you to help you)
4. If options 1 through 3 don't provide what you're looking for, or if you decide not to deal with it (no shame, it's a big problem and there are plenty of horses without these problems), either have someone experienced help you sell this mare to the right person, or put her down. She IS dangerous, and she WILL hurt you or someone else if you don't get it figured out or sell her to the wrong person. The horse world is very tightly knit, and you don't want the reputation of selling an inappropriate horse to an inappropriate buyer.

I know this is probably not what you want to hear. If you feel offended, take a few hours before you reply (to my post or others). Really think about the advice being offered. I have a lot of experience with horses. I grew up with them. I've ridden green horses, and I've spent the time to finish barrel horses and show horses. And I am telling you, I would not knowingly let a horse like that step on my property. I realize you didn't know this about her at the time, but now that you do, you have a choice to make. I would consider all the things outlined above, but would probably just skip to option number four. There are a lot of good horses and good prospects out there. You have to ask yourself if this horse is really special enough TO YOU to deal with this situation. I've never met a horse that was good enough at something that I would deal with what you describe. And I've owned and ridden some of the very best at my chosen discipline in my chosen breed.

I just hope you really think this through. I don't want you to feel bad, in any way. It's possible something is wrong with her, and it's possible the seller took advantage of you. Either way, it's not your fault. So think about what you want out of horses, and the issues you're willing to put up with. Keep in mind that this IS a dangerous situation, and no one here wants to see you get hurt.

Best of luck.
     
    05-23-2013, 01:52 AM
  #13
Showing
This may come across badly but the fact she is getting worse means you've lost her respect. It may be a pain issue, who knows, but now you have no respect instilled from this horse.

A trainer or experienced horse person is your best bet. Change your perspective on how to interact with this horse...because honey what you've been doing isn't working.

Someday go watch a large herd in pasture together and watch how they communicate. They don't play games with each other to get along.

1. They indicate with their body language
2. They follow through with their threat
3. They don't hold grudges after their request is met


If you follow those 3 rules, you will find your horse will respect and listen to you.. and have more of a real bond (out of respect and as a provider) with you.
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    05-23-2013, 02:36 AM
  #14
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
This may come across badly but the fact she is getting worse means you've lost her respect. It may be a pain issue, who knows, but now you have no respect instilled from this horse.

A trainer or experienced horse person is your best bet. Change your perspective on how to interact with this horse...because honey what you've been doing isn't working.

Someday go watch a large herd in pasture together and watch how they communicate. They don't play games with each other to get along.

1. They indicate with their body language
2. They follow through with their threat
3. They don't hold grudges after their request is met


If you follow those 3 rules, you will find your horse will respect and listen to you.. and have more of a real bond (out of respect and as a provider) with you.

Funny, but that is the essence of the Parelli stuff I learned; seems the later stuff is a bit wishy washy from what I hear though. And then the self proclaimed Parelli people all seem pretty wishy washy to me too.
It sounds to me as though you have gotten a bit of a domineering horse. The people who had it probably knew the horse, and knew how to keep its nonsense under wraps, and it knew its place in relation to them. They may completely believe they had a good quiet horse; they may not have been conning you. You the buy it, you are still getting to know the horse, perhaps not as experienced in dealing with a wide range of horse types, and have let it get away with putting you in place, and subsequently it has become your boss. So if you think about the encounter from the horse’s perspective, very time you ask it to do something you are challenging its dominance and its reacting the way a horse would; trying to put you in your place.
Don’t feel bad about it. Most people let their horses walk all over them and don’t even know it, the trouble starts because horses can be a little dangerous, given the hooves, teeth and size etc.
I doubt pain is the cause, if it has happened all of a sudden, I.e. In the time you bought and took control of the horse; I’d be willing to bet it’s that the horse tested you a few times, you mightn’t have realised it, let the horse have its way, and so get to thinking it’s in charge.
What you should do is 1) Get rid of it and get a horse that is not so domineering, or 2) don’t go near the horse till you have a trainer to get it under control and show you how to deal with it.
It sounds unworkable as it is; if you keep just pecking away at a horse like that you will likely turn it into a killer. Even if a trainer gets it under control it could be that it’s too much hors for you at the moment.
As for the Parelli stuff. I learned how to train horses that way many years ago, and I have straightened out a few rank horses with it, and believe me, it’s not all fluffy games and lollypops. Seems too many of the “Parelli people” think that it is all love and kisses and “bonding with their pony “starwishes”” and so they wind up with rank horses. Kinda ironic really (though it sounds as though market forces and an increasing number of urban middle class affluent people getting more and more horses and having a bit of distaste for making a horse show respect when needed has changed Parelli’s model some).
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    05-23-2013, 05:42 PM
  #15
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnrewPL    
Funny, but that is the essence of the Parelli stuff I learned;
And yet the essence is lost admist the "games" and the confusing/conflicting methods of getting "the result"

The methods are probably more important than the outcome.
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    05-23-2013, 05:52 PM
  #16
Super Moderator
I think you probably have a very intelligent horse that knows she can do what she wants when she wants and to heck with what you think or feel.

You need to get her to a trainers or sell her to someone who can keep her in her place.

I doubt that she would be extremely aggressive if she were to meet with an knowledgeable handler who met her nonsense with determination, fairness, experience and a knowledge as to how to correct her.
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    05-23-2013, 06:49 PM
  #17
Yearling
I say DO NOT put her down unless a vet or a professional trainer that knows THIS horse thinks it is for the best. Every horse, even the most dangerous, should get a second chance...

Now, get a vet out to check for pain, if there is no pain, find a trainer for the both of you, one that will train you to train your horse, as if she is disrespecting you, that won't change even if she goes to a trainer.

If you do not, and I mean do not want to get a trainer, do little things with her that will get you some respect, even while you are in search of a trainer. Don't ride her at all until you have control on the ground.

You can work on leading, if she tugs or pushes GET AFTER HER!!!
Once she leads good, work on lunging and yeilding and backing. Every little things she does wrong, correct her and make it clear to her what you want her to do... Do you have a round pen? If so, maybe put her in there, and MAKE her move her feet the way you want her to go, and the speed you want her to go, it is YOUR choice not hers.

Getting her to move her feet tells her that you are the leader and can make her move where and when YOU want her to.

Do lots and lots of ground work and don't ride her until you have her complete respect and control on the ground...

If she is too much for you to handle, just sell her, be honest in your ad or to the people who are interested, and make sure she goes to a home where the people know how to handle her... but please do not put her down unless it is the ONLY option.
     
    05-24-2013, 06:02 AM
  #18
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
And yet the essence is lost admist the "games" and the confusing/conflicting methods of getting "the result"

The methods are probably more important than the outcome.


Yeah, something has gone off the rails there somewhere. Either the Parellis have caved in to the cutesy cuddly stuff and actually sell that stuff now. Or the type of people drawn to natural horsemanship are bias in the parts they like to pay attention to, only keeping all the nice “friendly” stuff and disregard what it actually may take to keep a horse honest and call it “abuse” and then make excuses for badly behaved horses.
For example I read on a thread on here somewhere that some so called Parelli trainer said you have to wait till a horse gives you permission to catch it. Every time it laid its ears back when she approached it she would think up excuses why she should respect the horses decision not to be caught. What a load of crap. When I was working in the cattle industry I could’ve imagined telling a station manager that I couldn’t go catch my horse to muster cattle for the day because it hadn't given me permission, I'd bee looking for a new job real quick.
     
    05-27-2013, 01:16 AM
  #19
Yearling
Never met a horse who's biting issue wasn't resolved fast by a hard slap across the nose. Deck them the instant it happens, then rub the face. If they do it again, smack them even harder. A horse's bite is a lot more damaging than an open palm.

My mustang pony tried to get mouthy with me once (nosing my shirt was fine, bringing teeth into the equation was not fine) and I smacked hard him for it. He has not gotten mouthy since nor is he head shy, hard to catch, scared, etc. He also tried rearing once, and that was resolved by a hard yank on the lead rope to put his front feet on the ground and then some hard working. Back up! Turn! Back! Forward! Stop! Turn! Back!

He now has perfect manners. I'm not a nervous owner either, I'm not as spritely as I used to be but I don't take sour attitudes either. He just likes to try his luck and he found out that his luck has an extremely short lead rope in my pasture.

Under saddle issues should be resolved with a good trainer. She's probably just too much horse for you, barring health issues. The reason she's getting worse is because you allow it, likely due to a lack of confidence. Riding lessons on a solid, safe, secure horse can really build confidence and teach you invaluable skills both on the ground and in the saddle.


Consider horse herd behavior a moment - the top horse isn't the top horse by being demure, it's the top horse because it straight up went out and smacked every other horse until they behaved.
     
    05-27-2013, 10:23 AM
  #20
Super Moderator
All I see is a SPOILED HORSE -- probably spoiled with good intentions accompanied by a lack of skill and knowledge. If this horse had decent or good manners when purchased and rode nicely when purchased, it is just one more horse that has gone downhill like a land-slide when a 'green owner' interacted with it.

If the original poster comes back, (has not been seen since this was posted) I would suggest finding an experienced person to help them. This does not need to be a trainer but a person that rides a lot and has respectful, well-trained horses.

A horse can be well-trained when purchased and then can take a giant step backwards every time their new owner interacts with it. Some horses will get pushy or even aggressive; Others will just get sloppy and act less well-trained and more like untrained dummies.

When I trained for the public, most of the 'broke horses' I got in were, to some degree, spoiled horses. Some horribly spoiled that reared or flipped up-side-down while others bolted and ran off, either riding or on the ground. Some attacked and tried to strike or bite their owner while some would kick your head off. Some if these horses had been ridden and handled safely for years, had been shod many times and some had even been successfully shown. What they all had in common was a inexperienced owner that did everything wrong. They stepped back when they should have stepped forward; They stopped asking when the horse offered the slightest resistance; They had not followed through and made horse do what they had asked it to do. None of this was intended because they had the best of intentions and wanted the best for the horse. It was just how it came out because of their lack of skill and knowledge -- their lack of timing and feel -- their lack of know haw and when to do the right thing.

Most spoiled horses are not inherently aggressive or mean. Some may be a lot more dominant in nature, and all horses do not come with the same level of trainability. But many horses are a lot different before and after handling and riding by a green owner.

I urge the OP to read the 'sticky' article at the beginning of this training page Every rider IS a trainer -- every time you interact with a horse because everyone is actually training their horse every time they handle or ride it.
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