What can I expect from two older arabians?
   

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What can I expect from two older arabians?

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        06-14-2013, 05:00 PM
      #1
    Foal
    What can I expect from two older arabians?

    I've been helping a friend clean up their family's farm. They have two older Arabian horses (best guesses for ages around 20 something and near 20 years old) living here for approximately 10 years without being handled much at all. I've been told that one of the kids who lived here before had been able to halter them when she was still living at home, but it's been 10+ years since then.


    When we first arrived the horses were hesitant to even let us touch them. After a couple days of carrying dried apples around in my pockets and giving them each a slice every time I pass through I've noticed some change in their attitude towards me. They will come to greet me now, let me rub their noses for a short time, and sometimes they'll follow me back to the gate.

    I still don't feel a great level of trust between either of us. I can tell they are apprehensive, and likewise, I am more timid than I would like around them. I have very limited experience with horses in general, let alone untrained and unfriendly ones. I do have a lot of time and love to give them though, and I'm hoping I can get over this with a little bit of effort.

    I would like to be able to train them if it is possible. I don't expect that I'd be able to ride them anytime soon, if ever at all, but I would like to be able to groom them without being kicked. They frequently come up from the pasture with burdock in their hair, and I'm fairly certain they haven't been groomed in 10 years+ either ever since the daughter moved out.

    I do live about three hours away, and though I visit frequently, I wonder will it be a problem for the horses to have more than one 'handler"? Or is it good that they are being handled at all. Furthermore, am I being a jackass for even trying to train these horses? Will it actually improve their lives, or are they too old and accustomed to their lives to try to do anything with them now beyond giving them some treats for fun?

    Thank you for any help and advice you might have! I'd love to hear any/all thoughts.
    BayDancer likes this.
         
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        06-14-2013, 05:23 PM
      #2
    Started
    Welcome!! I really think you should give them a chance. Arabians can be quite long-lived, and have good memories, so you may be able to pick up where they were left 10 years ago. I just rode my Arabian mare, who had not been ridden in 9 years, and she just walked off, then trotted like she had been ridden almost every day.

    I also believe another capable person in between your visits will be fine.

    Good Luck, and we will need pictures!!

    Nancy
    BayDancer likes this.
         
        06-14-2013, 05:32 PM
      #3
    Started
    Personally if you don't know what your doing I would send them to a trainer to get de-sensitized, we don't want no body getting hurt here :) but you do sound patient and willing to put the time into them. Heck who knows maybe they could be your ridding horses with time put in to them. Do the people want to sell them?
         
        06-14-2013, 05:54 PM
      #4
    Green Broke
    Arabs think a little different than other breeds.

    They will not put up with "the beatings will continue until the morale improves". Arabs can't be forced into anything; they have to think it's their idea, whatever "it" is That includes loading in a trailer and it sounds as if they may not be versed on being hauled anywhere

    Meaning find a fair-minded and ethical trainer in your area that has worked with Arabs for several years.

    My Arab is 27. I rescued him 20+ years ago. To this day, I have to be in slow motion when I put a halter on him, mess with his ear, just anything with his head. He used to go absolutely nuts if I raised my hand too fast, these days he just gets those "Betty Davis Eyes"

    They are wonderfully loyal horses, when treated fairly, and will give their life for their Person.

    If it's come down to either you or the slaughter auction, they are basically healthy, you have ample room for them to be outside and play, have shelter, then take a chance on them.

    If they are treated fairly, I agree with the previous poster, that anything they learned 10 years ago will come back quickly BUT that includes the bad too
    Wallaby likes this.
         
        06-14-2013, 06:01 PM
      #5
    Showing
    For starters, take a comfy chair and something to read. Don't even think about them. This seems to trigger a desire to check you out. Do take a dressage whip or stick about 4' long and keep it handy, in case. Often what happens is they will start sniffing your head, maybe your ear and face. Use the stick to touch the chest if you feel one is too close. Try not to look at them or talk. Do this as often as you can. It will build confidence in you and the horses.
    bsms, Boo Walker, kmach and 1 others like this.
         
        06-14-2013, 08:56 PM
      #6
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CityDweller    
    ... I have very limited experience with horses in general, let alone untrained and unfriendly ones. This is why you shouldn't try it alone & with no mentoring, both for your safety & the horses' sakes. Their being Arabs doubles the dangers, since they're like a Jack Russell compared to a mellow Lab. I do have a lot of time and love to give them though, and I'm hoping I can get over this with a little bit of effort. Good: Lots of time & love are what you need. However, the skill development/inner transformation from direct-line (predatory) thinker to thinking like a horse (prey animal) takes more than a little bit of effort. Know that to partner a horse (esp Arab), your effort must be 100% & sustained for as long as you have the horse.

    ... Furthermore, am I being a jackass for even trying to train these horses? This question shows that you're humble enough! It shows that "jackass" isn't the right word for it: "uneducated in all things horse" is better. Will it actually improve their lives, or are they too old and accustomed to their lives to try to do anything with them now beyond giving them some treats for fun? Each horse is different; the horse will tell you if you're dealing wrongly with it. Thank you for any help and advice you might have! I'd love to hear any/all thoughts.
    These horses know a lot more than you right now, (no shame in that, the btdt horse teaches all of us at first). Horses can give hard lessons, so you need human supervision/mentoring, Parelli Level 1-2 home study courses or some other program to enable you to stay stafe as the horses teach you, plus you need to learn how not to inadvertently harm/mess up the horse's mind in the process. I find PNH Levels 1-2 to be a reasonably priced, convenient, & fun foundation.

    Hope that helps!

    Eta: Saddlebag's exercise is from PNH, to give you an idea of the patience development required. Also, please be careful when dealing with both horses, especially at liberty, as their interactions can cause you bodily harm. You must learn who is the alpha horse, & deal skillfully so as to not get caught in line of fire, should, e.g., alpha cause beta to move her feet - right over the top of YOU!
         
        06-16-2013, 09:21 AM
      #7
    Foal
    It will probably be difficult, but Arabians learn quickly. Just start out with the basics and slowly grow. :)
         
        06-23-2013, 01:02 PM
      #8
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by greentree    
    Welcome!! I really think you should give them a chance. Arabians can be quite long-lived, and have good memories, so you may be able to pick up where they were left 10 years ago. I just rode my Arabian mare, who had not been ridden in 9 years, and she just walked off, then trotted like she had been ridden almost every day.

    I also believe another capable person in between your visits will be fine.

    Good Luck, and we will need pictures!!

    Nancy

    Thank you! This was the kind of answer I was hoping to hear. They seem like sweet horses, and I really want to be able to do something with them. At the same time though, I want to make sure what I'm doing is in their best interest.

    Here is a picture I took about a week ago.
         
        06-23-2013, 01:14 PM
      #9
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Casey02    
    Personally if you don't know what your doing I would send them to a trainer to get de-sensitized, we don't want no body getting hurt here :) but you do sound patient and willing to put the time into them. Heck who knows maybe they could be your ridding horses with time put in to them. Do the people want to sell them?

    I'm almost certain that we don't have the funds for this. The owner isn't likely to pay for anything besides the bare minimum. How necessary is it if they aren't easily spooked? I've been clearing scrap metal out of the grove in their pasture for about a month now. I drive a pickup right in there and they didn't seem to mind. They seem okay with the lawn mower too. We've been mowing a lot of the burdock down also.

    Also no, they are in no danger of being sold. The owner is cheap, but he promised his kids that he wouldn't sell them, in case they ended up with someone cruel or at the glue factory.
         
        06-23-2013, 01:37 PM
      #10
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walkinthewalk    
    Arabs think a little different than other breeds.

    They will not put up with "the beatings will continue until the morale improves". Arabs can't be forced into anything; they have to think it's their idea, whatever "it" is That includes loading in a trailer and it sounds as if they may not be versed on being hauled anywhere

    Meaning find a fair-minded and ethical trainer in your area that has worked with Arabs for several years.

    My Arab is 27. I rescued him 20+ years ago. To this day, I have to be in slow motion when I put a halter on him, mess with his ear, just anything with his head. He used to go absolutely nuts if I raised my hand too fast, these days he just gets those "Betty Davis Eyes"

    They are wonderfully loyal horses, when treated fairly, and will give their life for their Person.

    If it's come down to either you or the slaughter auction, they are basically healthy, you have ample room for them to be outside and play, have shelter, then take a chance on them.

    If they are treated fairly, I agree with the previous poster, that anything they learned 10 years ago will come back quickly BUT that includes the bad too
    I am definitely not looking into any methods that would require them to be beaten. I can't afford a trainer though. The owner would never pay for it, and anything I can't do myself or with a friend isn't going to be an option for us.

    They are welcome to stay on the farm where they are living now until they die. The kids didn't think they would end up in a good home, so they made their dad keep them on his farm.

    I would say they have been treated somewhat fairly. They basically were bought to manure their gardens and improve the soil quality. They've never been hit or over-worked, or anything of the sort.

    I fear if they have a sense of neglect that they might see some poor treatment though. With the exception of a grandchild or two giving them an apple or carrot once a year, they haven't been terribly well cared for. The owner throws hay into their pasture in the winter and calls it good. Otherwise they've been completely neglected, their stable isn't in great condition, and I thought they looked kind of skinny/sickly when we first got there in the spring. One of the first things we did was to get them a bag of cracked corn and a salt lick.
    BayDancer likes this.
         

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