Need Help With 4 Year Old Clydesdale!
A couple weeks ago, some friends of the family bought a four year old Clydesdale. He's 17.1 hands, and they say he's been broke, but from what attitude I have seen so far, he doesn't seem to know much at all. It's the same story with the owners. The other day, they wanted me to put the saddle on and get on him to see what he would be like. I agreed to it. So, they brought out a brand new Wintec saddle, a 30 inch cinch, a very heavy pad - plus cushions to put under the saddle for his withers (for a reason I didn't press), and a western headstall with no chinstrap, and the bit was a simple eggbutt snaffle. I'm no where close to being an expert, but the situation kind of screamed 'horrible accident' So I refused to get on until they had a proper fitting cinch, and chin strap for the bridle. Instead, they asked me to work with picking up his feet. I asked why, and they said he sometimes wont pick his feet up at all, or he'll just pull away. It sounded like an easy fix, because my own horse used to do that, so I went over and ran a hand down his front leg to let him know what I was about to do, and as easy as it is to breathe, he picked up his foot. I held it in my hand for about two seconds, before he violently pulled away. After a few more tries, he did a little better, so I moved onto the other front hoof. Same situation. After that, I went to his back feet and picked one up, only this time he lashed out, I held on for a few thrashes before letting go and retreating backwards a few steps. When he lashed out, it wasn't a simple 'I don't like that' and trying to get away, it was a vicious kick intended for me. Ever since they got him, they haven't done anything with him, not even put the halter and lead on and just walked him around. So he's gotten very attached to their riding pony, and he wont even move without him. The other two horses don't get along with him, so they only use those two horses, and just leave the Clydesdale and pony at home when they go ride, and it has made both of them barn sour. The owners can't afford an instructor to come out, and that is the only reason I have agreed to help, but if I had known the conditions were going to be dangerous, I would have declined. But I've already said I would help them, and I would feel bad if I told them I couldn't anymore. Can anyone lend me some advice?