Very Bad Mannered Horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 02-16-2009, 02:07 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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I work with a horse like this. He came from an abusive home and has scars on his back from an ill fitting saddle. In my situation my horse was just so -worried- and -expectant- of pain that he over reacted, it was purely physcological. What I started doing with him was grooming his girth, touching it gently with my hands and talking to him. After a while of doing this, I would set the saddle on his back and prepare for him to paw, correct his pawing with a firm "NO". once he simmered down, I would gently hold the girth so it was touching him, but not actually tie it up to the saddle, I just wanted him to feel it on his belly and realize there was no pain. Through out this process I talked to him the -entire- time. Gradually I started tightening the girth, and now he has very minimal reaction to it, and when he does, I can simply say "NO" and he relaxes.

With a different horse (who was not as severe) I would put the bridle on first, his bit had spinners on it and it was enough of a distraction that he didn't pay much attention to the girth :)
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post #12 of 15 Old 02-17-2009, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maryland
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Oooh I've always always wanted to try a join up, but I don't know where I'd do it because there is no circle pen and the indoor is huuge. And Frisk used to be an eventer before he was bought as a lesson horse, he has no history of abuse, which is why nobody understands his attitude.
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post #13 of 15 Old 02-17-2009, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Illinois
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he may just have an attitude, the horse i ride is 4, my owner has had her since she was 1 and right out of pasture, no history of abuse. she just has a plain attitude. wwhen you tighten your girth, she doesnt snap, she just tosses her head. Maybe you should slowlt take the girth, let him sniff it, tell him that its not going to eat him, once he is calm with that, rub it all over his body. once he is calm with that, attatch it to the saddle as loose as you possibly can. after he is comfortable with that, slowly and gradually tighten it. do this as many times as you come to the stable for a lesson, or just to hang out. I only just thought of this, so im sorry if it doesnt work! as for his behavior with the other horses, i dont know how you could help that. maybe take him to a horse that is IN its stall so really they cant kick eachother and let them get comfortable, maybe he'll make a friend or two =] hope i helped!
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-04-2009, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Maryland
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I tried massaging him before I tightened the girth and it seemed to work! He tossed his head up, which is also not good form, but he didnt try to bite!
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-04-2009, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Florida
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I'd think about going back to basics with saddling him. He's telling you he doesn't like what is going on and punishing him for giving you feedback is not going to help. I'd start at the beginning.

Get the saddle pad and allow him to sniff it. Put the pad on his back and if he tenses up, tosses his head, pins his ears, etc. take it off, put it back on, take it off, put it back on, etc. until he is relaxed. Do the same thing with the saddle. When you go to tighten the girth do it slowly. Slowly pull the girth up and the moment he protests stop pulling the girth and wait until he relaxes, then let the girth go. Do this until he is cinched up. What this will show him is that you understand his opinion of the girth and that you respect it. If you do this every single time you saddle him the behavior will go away.
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