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Sliding4ever 07-30-2008 07:16 PM

Having to make a hard decision soon-(vent)
If anyone reads this all and understands it, you are great!

I'm having some problems with my 8 yr old pinto gelding. I got him on Thanksgiving day and he was perfect for a few months. I don't know a thing about his background and never will. It was either in Feburary or March that the problems started. But those problems are gone and I'll go to what he's doing now.

I mostly ride on the road infront of my house. It's fairly safe and the people in my neighberhood drive slowly past us and I move out of their way. Whenever I lope him (and he will do this in his "pasture" as well) he veers off the road and will basically try to run head first into a tree or post or neighbors driveway. This past Monday I was fooling around and trying to trot the barrel pattern on him. Well on the third barrel he decided that he only wanted to turn halfway and went head first toward my rabbit cage. He came within inches of hitting his head on the outside cage (the roof which is sheet metal that can gash his head open) that keeps the horses from messin with the rabbit. I tried to get him to turn but he wouldn't budge at all just basically locked his neck straight. I used my leg as well and that didn't help at all. He does this all the time.

I quite the job I had in June when I graduated HS because of the people that worked there. I am currently looking for a job now. We just bought a horse trailer but it has to redone before it can be used, no telling how long that will take my dad. So the only things that I can think of is #1 get a job of course #2 get his teeth checked real well #3 if #2 doesn't work then send him to a trainer. The only 2 trainers that I've seen and ad for one is $125 a week the other $625. The 125 one deals with problem horses and uses Clinton Anderson methods.

He's a fairley good horse, he's got great ground manners most of the time. Its just this one problem.

I just don't know what else to do. I just can't trust him anymore. I worked hard to earn the what I paid for him and I stupid to pay what I did.

If getting his teeth checked aren't the problem and don't work I might send him to the trainer or maybe even just sell him. I don't know that if I do send him to a trainer that I'll be able to fully ever trust him again.

I really want to run barrels so I obviously need a horse I can completly trust.

Is giving him 2 chances being fair enough? Is there anything else I can do? I've looked into chiros for him but there are not any around me. And I know my parents wont travel to one.

If anyone read all that thank you so much!

Vegashorselady 07-30-2008 08:01 PM

First off, I don't think it is uncommon for a horse to be on good behavior for the first few months in a new home. It's the "honeymoon" period. Then they start testing you to find the bounderies. It sounds like the problems you are experiencing now is a respect issue, that and he doesn't give to pressure well (since he is ignoring your leg and rein when you try to turn him). He's testing you out right now and I'm betting he's figured out that he's the boss. If you've never dealt with this before then the best thing would be to work with a trainer for a little while so you can learn how to get him to give to pressure and gain his respect. Don't give up on him yet!

kickshaw 07-30-2008 08:35 PM

i read it all - no cookies?? :lol:

I would work with a trainer. It might even be something that you can take one or two lessons with and "voila" you have a plan to fix the problem. (also, check to see if the trainer can come to you...once or twice a week; might be cheaper and you wouldn't have to haul the horse 8) )The good thing about the trainer is they will probably be able to tell you within the first few rides if he's "loco" or if it's fixable.

What about back to basics? Will he turn when he's not running the pattern? Stop?

I know you feel you're in a tight spot, but hang in there and keep on working with him!! :)

Sliding4ever 07-30-2008 08:36 PM

The thing is I just don't know when I'll be able to get him/us a trainer. I need a job first its just too much money to ask my parents for especially since its my hobbie not theres. And I need my dad to finish repairing the trailer. At the rate its going... it will be awhile.

kickshaw 07-30-2008 08:43 PM

so why not take the time you have (or have to wait) to "restart" him? :D

lunge line work, circles, slow work, stop/start, move away from pressure type stuff?

as for the teeth, (and I know every horse doesn't fall into this category) is he chewing funny when he eats grain or hay? what type of bit are you using? How old is he again? (I know that they grow new teeth at a certain age...hmm)

Sliding4ever 07-30-2008 08:49 PM

He's 8 yrs old. I haven't noticed him chewing wierd but he does drop a ton of feed which I know that means it might be his teeth but sometimes I think it just him being careless, because if I add something to it like syrup he's real careful not to drop a crumb.

For a bit he has a reining bit (I think ) its broken in the middle (just 2 pieces) and has 2 copper rollers on both sides. I've also had him in a chain bit with one of them life saver type things in the middle. I think it was a Sharon Camrillo (sp?) brrl racein bit. He did the same thing in that. He doesn't like solid mouth pieces at all, and I have a wonder bit I use on the mare but its a pain to keep changing bridles and all for that. I even put him in a Dr. Cook bitless bridle hoping that would really help and he ran straight through it. I thought I was gonna break it. It was adjusted right and everything, even my mare ran through it.

Vegashorselady 07-31-2008 01:37 AM

If he's running through the bit, bitless bridle etc. again, it is because he is not giving to pressure. Kickshaw's suggestion of going to square one and doing some groundwork is a good one. Practice some lateral flexion on the ground before you ride. If you can get him to bend his neck and touch the saddle at the slightest touch of the reins on the ground, chances are you'll have a lot better luck turning him while you are riding. :wink:
Also, you said you can't afford a trainer right now but do you have any neighbors, friends who have some experience with difficult horses? Maybe they would be willing to help you out a little? Or maybe you could swap some stall cleaning etc for some lessons with a trainer?
I don't think your boy sounds like a crazy horse, he's just testing you out.

mell 07-31-2008 01:44 AM

i think you should maybe get a vet to check him out, it sounds unusual that he would just run head first into things, in the pasture to.

Sliding4ever 07-31-2008 12:13 PM

I only have one neighbor who I know could probably help and she said she was gonna get her horse rideable agian so she can help me. Then I talked to her on the phone awhile ago said she walked her horse down the road with a saddle on and that was the last time I heard anything about her helping me. And I'm not sure how she treats her horses. Their both real underweight and have witches knots covering their manes last time I saw them anyways.

If I can't get him to bend and all that from the ground, should I just take it slow and walk around untill I get him to a trainer or vet?

Vegashorselady 07-31-2008 01:30 PM

Well, don't rule the neighbor out yet. Call her up and ask if you can come over and watch her work with her horse. That way you can get a good idea of how she treats them and decide weather you like what you see (this is a good idea with a professional trainer also).
As far as bending goes, you'll get it from the ground. Just take it slow. At first, if your horse bends his neck just a teeny little bit release the rein, rub him and let him know he did what you want. Next time ask for a little bit more and build it up from there until you can get him to bend his neck until his nose touches the saddle (about where you knee would be if you were on him). When you have that down do it while you are sitting on him.
Oh yeah, and if he isn't doing the barrel patern well at a trot slowing it down to a walk is a great idea. Take it back down to a walk. Do it at a walk until he has it down so well that you barely have to touch the rein to get him to turn the barrel. Then speed it up to a trot again and do the same thing at the trot.
I really think you can work this out. I had similar problems with my gelding after I'd had him for 6 months and I was able to work them out by doing a lot of ground work. My horse ran himself into a cactus one day just becuase he was testing me and didn't want to listen to my rein and leg cue (not giving to pressure).
Sorry this reply is so looooong. :shock:

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