Very Scared Brumby Boy (long post, sorry)
 
 

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Very Scared Brumby Boy (long post, sorry)

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  • Boys frightened by gelding knife
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    06-21-2008, 03:39 AM
  #1
Foal
Very Scared Brumby Boy (long post, sorry)

Hi Guys,

Just a quick question regarding a young brumby gelding that I am taking on. The place where he is kept no-longer wants him as he is not useful to them, and quite frankly, i'm happy to take him on just to get him out of there.
This place has been running for nearly 2 decades, and I have only known about it for a few weeks. I've spent many many years working with breakers (for want of a better word) and employ a lot of different methods myself when working with horses. I used a lot of natural horsemanship combined with bits and pieces i've picked up over the years.
Yesterday I rang and asked that the gelding be bought up to the yards for when I arrived. (this place is busy and needs plenty of notice, plus we aren't allowed to bring the horses up ourselves). I got there about 15 minutes late to find this young gelding being tied up in the yard. Not just a halter, but a tie up collar along with a surcingle and ropes going to three of his four legs. He was very distressed and a bucket of sweat! I had specifically asked that nothing be done with him before I got there as I wanted to assess him in my own time with him free in the round yard. After a bit of yelling and screaming, and cutting with the aid of a pocket knife, I got all the rope off my boy and let him free into the round yard. The poor boy was sooooo frightened, I was horrified! As it turns out, these people believe in breaking the spirit of the horse in order to make it pliable, not what i'm into.
Long story short, this boy has suffered quite a bit of abuse in the last three weeks (he's only been out of the bush for that time) and I am after ideas on how to get him to relax around people. Even though he was supposedly given to me free, I have paid $50 for him and gotten a receipt so that at least I can say that he is mine. I've also paid for him to stay where he is for the next two weeks and will visit him for about 4 hours each day. He's been moved to a section of the property where he wont be disturbed.
So, any ideas on how to get him to relax before I ask anything of him guys.
Have to run, and thanks in advance.
Sorry for the running off, the dogs got out, rotten little darlings! Lol
Bdna
     
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    06-21-2008, 07:40 AM
  #2
Showing
I've only trained horses that were born in captivity. I think you have much work ahead of you. Take it VERY slow and be careful. Happy to hear you are going the new way instead of the old tie them down and break their spirit methods .
     
    06-21-2008, 08:26 AM
  #3
Foal
There is no way I could break the spirit of an animal.
This boy has already seen enough pain and torment in his short life, hopefully I can make the rest of his life more cheerful, im just not exactly sure where to start. He accepts my hands on him, but hates the feeling of being enclosed, be it by halter, rope, anything, (i can't even carry one without him getting uptight), so im due for lots more research to see where I can go with this little man and not make him unhappy.
Will try to post pix of him soon, once I get a good one. I was going to take one today but he was a mess with sweat (i hate to think what happened to him before I got there) so thought i'd leave it until I could give him a brush, if he'll let me.
Bdna
     
    06-21-2008, 09:28 AM
  #4
Yearling
Just work on bonding with him, because you wont be able to do anything constructive till he views you as a friend.
     
    06-21-2008, 09:51 AM
  #5
Showing
Wow, you are in for a good deal of work but it can be well worth it. First of all, how old is he and how long has been gelded? The fact that he is gelded means that he has had some contact with people.

This will be a lot like working with a Mustang and the first thing that needs to be done is to gain his trust. I would start by having him in a round pen with just you, a chair, and a good book. Sit in the middle of the pen and read. Sooner or latter he'll come over to you; it may take an hour or a few days but he will. I would not pay any attention to him for a while. After a bit, I might try to touch him but if he retreated I'd go back to reading. Again, sooner or latter, he will let you touch him. After that it's a matter of building on it. It helps to understand the mind of a horse and what they react to. A wild horse is no different then a horse born in captivity, it is just that his instincts are more honed.

That may be enough to get you started but it is a long road. Once you have his trust, he will be a very loyal horse.

BTW, if possible, I would try to be the only one feeding him and hay should be all he needs for now.
     
    06-21-2008, 10:23 AM
  #6
Trained
Iridehorses took the words right out of my mouth. You might take a look into Monty Roberts. He is a trainer that does the "joining up" thing. I'm sure I couldn't do him any justice by trying to explain it in my words so I'd try his site.

Good Luck to you and Kudos for your methods so far!
     
    06-21-2008, 10:39 AM
  #7
Foal
Hi Guys,

I'm planning on spending my day tomorrow in the yard with the boy. He's not likely to be happy about it but hopefully persistence will pay off.
I've read quite a bit of monty's join up and tried it out once on my old horse with fantastic results, and im hoping to do the same with this boy, although I expect i'm going to be working with this boy for a while.

Apparently he is 5 or 6, but I think he's younger. I've also been told two different things. 1 was that he was only pulled out of the bush 3 weeks ago, the other that he has been caught for nearly a year (im inclined to believe neither story).

According to this boy people can't be trusted, neither can ropes, or anything out of the ordinary. From what he told me (no, im not nuts, just my term for it) he wants to be friends but is too scared to. He desperately wants pats but is scared of hands, and he'd really rather I didn't move around because it makes him uncomfortable. Gates are a big issue, almost as if he's been jammed in one, and he is horrified by my hat, so I have to take it off.

Sorry, im rambling again guys

Bdna

Ps. Will give you an update after tomorrow
     
    06-21-2008, 11:53 AM
  #8
Showing
Congratulations on what you have done. My respects to you. Working with a horse that has not been handled and on top of it abused but an accomplishable challenge in the right hands, which with sounds like you have the experience necessary.

The mare I currently have I got a good deal on as she has never been handled in her life. I did have the advantage of having only a horse who had no been handled. No abuse with her.

Be very patient, think like him/her and always care for your safety over anything else. With these guys the progress is slow but the changes much more rewarding than those you get with your more typical horse.

Good Luck and keep us posted with your progress.
     
    06-21-2008, 10:44 PM
  #9
Weanling
I agree with pretty much all of what everyone has said. You definantly have a challengin road ahead of you. I would suggest really just breakin it down for this young geldin. Just really bond with him, and slowly work at what things he is scared at. If he is scared of the gate then I would suggest slowly workin by it, and get him to realize that the gate is not somethin to be affraid of.

I would suggest alot of patience, but really work on gainin his trust and become his best friend.

Keep us updated on everythin.
     
    06-22-2008, 10:06 PM
  #10
Trained
I agree too with what others have said. I have worked with wild and abused horses, but it sounds like yours may be both! I'm curious why the place he came from couldn't use him - did he have too much fight still in him for them? Could his 'spirit' not be 'broken'?

I would personally make a point of spending as much time with him, without asking anything of him for now. Take a book, or take some tools & fix the fencing, whatever. Make sure you also have some yummy feed, apples, carrots, etc to bring him. You might not get to handfeed him to start with - might take a while of just putting the feed down a few metres(or more) from you to start with. The feed will help him form a good association with you.

Once you finally get him trusting enough to allow you to approach & touch him, I'd use approach & retreat to desensitise him to the proximity & then feel of ropes before I actually tried to tie one onto him. I'd use a long rope & a smallish yard the first time I attached a rope, so that you can keep control but let him move his feet when he needed & not come up against hard pressure.

Throughout his training I'd be using lots of positive reinforcement(reward - treats, scratchies, Good Stuff) to create and reinforce good associations, and I'd take it very slowly and easily for him - baby steps & lots of repetition to get him confident before going onto harder lessons. With good treatment, you might find he gives you a lot more respect and trust than the average horse, once you earn it.
     

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