Misadventures with Wiski

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Misadventures with Wiski

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    03-26-2009, 12:26 AM
Misadventures with Wiski

I bought Wiski 2/15/09 (day after valentines day). About a week and a half earlier I tried him out and he seemed awesome.
Between then and now (3/25/09) a lot has happened so far with Wiski. I found out so much about him in the whole 5 weeks I've had him. I've found a list of cons/things to work on...
-likes to lead me
-doesn't like to lunge
-grabs everything in site with his mouth
-bucks when going into a canter (at least at a lunge, haven't cantered on him yet)
-will fight with me when trying to put the bit in (a little molasses goes a long way)
-needs a lot more time under saddle
-spooks at random things and is great with others
-needs his feet to be worked with more (puts them down fast)
-isn't really finished
-not really very lovey dovey (doesn't care about the petting)
-paws the ground when tied
-likes to throw the bridle/halter off when their being removed

That's all I can think of right now... I'll probably add to it later.

Although Wiski is a tough cookie, I've already made a commitment to him so I'm going to do my best. Just because he's not perfect and I'm not very experienced doesn't mean that I should just get rid of him and move on looking for an "easy" horse to deal with. Honestly, if I sell him or give him away something bad might happen to him and I really do like this horse.

A little more history on the "Wiskers" "Frisky Wiski" "Fwiski". He is a BLM mustang caught in one of the Nevada herds when he was around one. Some training and trail riding was done from then till six years old when he was sold to a guy named Herald who's had him for the last eight years. For the last three years he's been out to pasture doing nothing but being a horse. He's now fourteen years old and still not finished. He's got a very mustang attitude and is really intelligent but is also a handful.

When I first got Wiski I got on him bareback with just a halter and reins to ride him with.
The first time I lunged him he did fine going counterclockwise but was a pain to get to go clockwise. We've been working on that with a plastic bag at the end of the whip. It's been helping.
We've had to work on him nipping a lot. I've ended up having to smack him in the muzzle when he does it. One time we even had to take my daughter to the ER because she ran up to his stall with a baby carrot which fell out of her hand and he mistook her middle finger for a baby carrot. No serious damage was done but she does have a bit of a scar where he broke the skin. No more treats by hand from now on.
Lately we've been having issues trying to get the bit in his mouth. I think I've got that solved with the molasses but I'm still waiting on the D ring snaffle to come in the mail (YAY).
Today I got back on him and rode him under saddle for the third or fouth time. He was being a big butt so I only rode him for about ten or twenty minutes before I got off. I was more concerned about trying to get him to calm down and just stand there than anything else. When he wouldn't stand still I just backed him or made him trot a little till he calmed down. It wasn't a bad day compared with some but my boyfriend said it was a nightmare. (boy he's seen nothing yet )

Well that's all for tonight I think. I'll add on as I go... Hope you enjoy reading.
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    03-26-2009, 01:54 PM
Just a thought, He will probably end up teaching you more in the long run, if you stick with him. Just take it one step at a time. I would pinpoint a few major habits then work down the line.
Id start with the mouthy/nippy- id bite that one in the butt. It def. Looks like you guys are headed in the right direction :) mustang's Can def. Be a hard to work with. But if you get it right and you guys click he will be amazing for you.

My horse does this grabs everything in site with his mouth.
He is just a mouthy horse, some are my boy likes to play with everything in site. I keep him from grabing things you don't want always have a rope or something he can play with when he's being tied or just standing still.

Also When you bridle him do you put your right hand on top of his head and left hand with the bit? This will help keep his head down with the presher from your right hand on his pole. You can also try sticking your fingers in his mouth were the bit goes between the gap in his teeth and rub his toung or top of his mouth, hold the bit in the usuing your left hand and holding the bit. :)
Anyway im sure you already know this, this was just a suggestion. Would love to hear how he is coming along.
    03-26-2009, 02:14 PM
I've thought about what kind of toy I could get him. He likes to grab grooming brushes out of my hand and brush the ground with them so He really does need something fun. Would a big beachball be a good stable toy I wonder? Or I could put one of those hanging treat things in his stall. I really don't want him to get so bored that he takes it out on me every time I go to see him..
    03-26-2009, 02:59 PM
Is there any way you could get a trainer to help work with him? He sounds like he has some dominance/respect issues. All of the things you listed aren't disconnected. It sounds like he's pushy and doesn't respect you and that's why he's resisting in so many different areas. Groundwork would probably go a long way to helping with this -- to show him that you are the boss and not him. The more he is allowed to get away with things like this, the more he will take advantage of you. Sorry if this sounded harsh at all. I really hope things work out for you two. Can't wait to hear updates!
    03-26-2009, 03:14 PM
Jubilee, of all the things I would love right now, a trainer would be awesome. Unfortunately there isn't any around. I'm trying to do my best to work with him and get as much help from the experienced people around me as possible. It's going to be a hard road with Wiski, I hope it's all worth it in the end.
    03-26-2009, 03:23 PM
I don't think a beach ball would last very long, maybe an old bucket. We even use old Plastic Bottles from milk carrtons And tie them to something in the stall. Does he get to be turned out? Might be a big part of all his habbits.
    03-26-2009, 03:39 PM
There isn't really turnout at the barn I have him at. There's really only two places to board at in town right now. The one I'm at has an indoor arena and one turnout pen outside. The boarders have to be around when the horses are turned out anywhere so it's a very limited amount of time he gets to be turned out. On the bright side they feed our hay for us twice a day and there are lights in the arena and barns. I picked this place because of the indoor arena and the fact that they feed for us which means that I don't have to show up early morning then later in the afternoon.

The other place only has an outdoor arena but does have turnout pastures. There is no lights so I wouldn't be able to work with him after dark. And it rains here more often than not so I would only get to work with him on dry days. There are no services provided at this barn and there isn't even water feeders so I'd have to give him bucket water twice a day. The place is also practically falling apart haha.

There is a place I got put on a waiting list for that has indoor and outdoor arena, turnouts and does full care, he also provides hay and shavings. I'd love to put Wiski there but I'd have to wait for an opening for that to happen. It's quite a bit more expensive than caring for Wiski at either of the other places but it might be worth it if I can get him in there.
    03-26-2009, 04:43 PM
Yeah I here that, :/ Turnout is best I know all of my guys do better on 24/7 turnout unless bad weather, I would like for them to be up during the day during the summer but that doesn't happen. Are you able to work with him everyday? If so that's great, its what he needs to be able to get out and strech his legs. :) If you have any questions please feel free to PM me. Iv def. Had my share of horses with problems.
    04-03-2009, 02:17 PM
Last night I went to the barn to see Wiski. To see what I could do with him... One of the first things he did was he straight up BIT ME! I guess he's a bit sensitive about his mane being touched. I wasn't in the right position to smack him at the time so instead I got in the stall with him and played with his mane. HAHA I tried to entice him to try and bite me (it didn't hurt that bad when he did anyway so maybe I got a little fearless). Everytime he reached over to bite at me I said "quit" in a very firm voice and tapped his nose. Then I found this spot by his side he doesn't like touched and brushed it. It was even more of a button than the mane. He REALLY doesn't like it being touched. It's right next to his armpit so maybe it tickles. But I touched anyways and he wanted to bite and as he tried harder the taps on the nose got harder.

I got done with the brushing and moved to work on his hooves... he only gave me a little struggle this time and it all ended on a good note. I got a little ambitious to try out that new snaffle bit so I tacked him up (He took the bit without any struggle at all) and took him out. He did chew on the bit a lot so maybe I need to adjust it a little, not sure. I know it wasn't hitting his front teeth but it also wasn't making wrinkles in his mouth.

I found out that riding in a jointed snaffle is MUCH different than riding in a solid curb bit. First off... there's no leverage so I had to adjust a bit for that. Then there was the fact that I have never ridden in a split bit. So I had to figure out how to do that too. I only rode him for about 10-20 minutes, and really we were only working on leads and stops. I had to learn how to stop him in a snaffle LOL. I'm sure you're all laughing at me saying "what a silly newbie" or something like that but you know, for not having a trainer or anyone to teach me but a book and a forum I'm sure improving and it's something to be proud of **** it!

Also!!! Wiski has never been really lovey so far. But last night I got him to let me direct his head when he's standing there... I got him to gently put his head against my torso and just keep it there quietly. He wanted to nibble at my sweater but I was like "quit" in a firm voice which didn't make him startle but did get him to stop nibbling. If you knew Wiski you'd know that this was a feat in itself. He was just so relaxed with me yesterday, it was really like a different horse was forming... it was all the attitute change after I popped him hard in the face after he bit me the second time yesterday too... would that have something to do with it? Either way, something gave and a little bit more respect and willingness came out from him yesterday and it was awesome!

So I think he and I are bonding a little more... It makes it all worth the hard work put in.

Ok that's all I have for now in my little bloggy, journal thing.
    04-07-2009, 03:11 PM

The last two days have been productive with Wiski. Some of the things on my list are at least slightly better!

- He's not as mouthy as before, I poke him in the side of the mouth anytime he get's mouthy with me. So that's improved a bit lately.
- Now instead of him leading me I have more control due to a stud chain and a bit more respect on his part. So that's at least a little better.
- I can put a snaffle bit in his mouth with just slight resistance but nothing like before!
- I can do all four feet without him kicking them down now.
- I make him lower his head under my arm when I take the halter off so that's improving somewhat.

All of that still needs to be worked on to be completely solved. But a little progress is worth talking about right?

I rode him yesterday and he did GREAT. I wasn't doing too bad myself, I know I'm improving every time I ride so that's nice. I did use a riding crop as an aid yesterday but only had to use it twice and only threatened him with it. I think I need a smaller seat on my saddle but I'll have to wait for that. My aunt has two really nice saddles that she's going to give me, but she's in Alabama, I wonder what shipping would be.

The other rider in the arena didn't have so much luck with her horse though. It's the horse next to Wiski in the barn. I looked over at them and her horse got down on it's knees, the rider jumped off and then the horse rolled in the arena sand with tack on and everything! It was a scary thought. I'm hoping it doesn't give Wiski any ideas.

He's still a pain to lunge and all the other things still need to be worked on.

Well that's all I have for now.

- Beth

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