What to do with a horse that's moods change

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What to do with a horse that's moods change

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    03-03-2011, 06:25 PM
What to do with a horse that's moods change

I have a five year old Thoroughbred gelding. He is off the racetrack, he doesn't like to run. Since we got him home, he has been moody. Like if I am grooming him, one minute he'll love it, but then the next he will be really touchy. Yesterday, I was asking him to move over, and he almost kicked me. He sometimes doesn't like to be touched. I don't exactly know what to do with a horse like this. So any imput would be awesome!
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    03-03-2011, 06:49 PM
When did he last race? Are the first owner from the track or was there another owner?
    03-03-2011, 07:01 PM
Good topic. My pally can be the same way sometimes. One minute he's loving his bath and the next he's swishing his tail, pinning his ears and trying to take the hose from me. He let's me do things to him somethimes and others its a battle. I love him no matter what! Moods and all!
    03-03-2011, 07:20 PM
The thing about the track is that bad things happen there. Horses are rushed through things and have to endure a lot of things that stick around for years. They are so young when they go to the track. My mare tolerated baths but didn't like them. So sometimes I think that we think it's OK but they are just going inside themselves and then all of sudden they wake up and then that's when they lash out. When I first started riding my mare she would get very cinchy and would occasionally try to bite me. Of course she had no brakes when I got her either and at the track they use the bit to aggravate them so they will run faster. Lots of people make the mistake of too much contact and then wonder why they take off. TBs are great fun but you really have to slow way down and make sure that they are interacting with you rather than just tolerating you.
    03-03-2011, 07:24 PM
Oh yes my mare hated being touched at first. But just you wait until the Summer when he gets some bug bites he will be begging you to scratch him.

I don't like the sounds of him trying to kick. And just because they had to put up with bad stuff doesn't make OK for them to hurt you. What did you do after he tried to kick you?
    03-04-2011, 05:41 AM
The best thing to do is match your horse.

"if he gets pushy, you get pushy, if he gets soft, you get soft"

If you do it entirely emotionlessly you can't really go wrong following that rule, unless the problem is fear related.
    03-04-2011, 09:19 AM
Green Broke
Well, to add the the excellent advice you have already been given, I'll throw mine in there:

Believe it or not, grooming for the sake of grooming is very unfamiliar to OTTB's as no one has the time to spend with them when they are racing to do such a thing. Unfamiliar to a racehorse means that they are on their guard and ready to respond I.e. Not relaxed.

He will learn to relax and enjoy the routine, just give him time. Be aware of sensitive spots, horses are just like humans and have 'ticklish' spots and will flinch or wriggle when you groom them. Of course you don't have to avoid these areas, just be aware that they are sensitive and brush softly.

No matter what, kicking, biting and other signs of aggression are absolutely not allowed ever. Don't let him get away with aggressive behaviour because he is off the track, had a tough time, in a bad mood or anything like that. No matter what his circumstances and mental state at the time of grooming, he must be respectful.

I like the way Chris said it:

Originally Posted by christopher    
"if he gets pushy, you get pushy, if he gets soft, you get soft"
    03-04-2011, 04:16 PM
I don't ever let him get away with any kind of bad behavior. Thanks guys, I have never thought of that, I just always assumed that they would be used to grooming. I guess its a matter of time. Thanks a lot
    03-04-2011, 04:24 PM
Originally Posted by TheLovedOne    
When did he last race? Are the first owner from the track or was there another owner?
He has had another owner before I got him, but that person just trail rode him. He has been off the track for about a year, a lady saved him from going to the slaughter house.

thoroughbred, touchy, training

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