Frustrated with newish horse and need help
You really don't NEED to read the part below here, it's just background which is probably helpful, but not necessary. Sorry I wrote a novel!
Hi. So, I got a new horse, a palomino quarab, about two months ago. He's six years old, had been shown western pleasure, and seemed to be mostly finished (just needed some more work 'on his lope,' according to the trainer). He had never been on the trails, however. I'd shown him to my riding instructor who also said she trained and she said she thinks he'd do fine, she'd take him for a month and get him used to the trails and the road and send him back to me (I live an hour and a half - two hours away, I'd been making weekly trips up there for a month or two).
We paid her to train him. Well, he spooked IN HER PASTURE with NO RIDER, bucked, reared, bolted, spun. She said she wasn't getting on him and refused to work with him. She also refused to refund our money. Now, I used to have a horse, a well broke OTTB and I'd ridden him all over. But that was years ago and I'm pretty much a beginner again. I can w/t/c on a horse with decent posture, but I'm much more timid. So, we decided to sell him and get a more broke, safer horse. And he basically went with no riding or anything that much (save for one time my aunt and I went down there and road him around the pasture/instructor's yard and he was time). Now he is down here and we are taking care of him.
My aunt used to ride a lot in her youth and is basically fearless. She hops on him bareback and runs around on him. She's also ridden him in just a halter. I don't think she's a very good horsewoman, however. She tries to persuade him with treats (at least I think she does) and doesn't act like much of a leader. And now he's gotten very disrespectful, I think. I could be way wrong because I'm really not that experienced around horses, so please feel free to correct me.
More essential parts here:
Whenever she goes to put the bridle on him, he backs up, tosses his head, throws a fit. He will normally let her get the bit to his mouth, but freaks out when she goes to put the rest over his head. I saw him pin in his ears back and, today, he even reared up a little while they were trying to put it on. Now, I don't think he's scared of it because, although he'd been doing this almost every time, he let her put it on with no problems yesterday. But, today, he was doing the same thing.
We have no lunge whip and no lunge line, but I am borrowing one tomorrow. And my mom wants me to work with him, but I really don't want to - I'm inexperienced, I'm kind of scared of him, and I have no idea what I'm doing even though I've read a lot. I'm scared of hurting myself or him or giving him bad habits or just 'ruining' him. But I have a feeling she's not going to let this go until someone finally buys him or I work with him. And so I'm here to ask: What do I do? Other than how to put the bridle on him, I want to know some good groundwork and respect building exercises, how to react when he pins his ears (I've taken to just jumping at him and looking angry, which causes him to run off and me to have to walk after him to catch him - that's another thing, he runs off and is hard to catch), and what to do in general so I don't mess him up. And also if you think it's a good idea for me to try to work with him, or just to fight my mom on it. Thank you all! And sorry again for writing a novel.
Editing to add we don't have a round pen.
I can't figure out how to edit again, but I wanted to add that he is absolutely fine once he has the bridle on. It's just getting it on that is the problem. Oh, and another thing, he will do small bucks if a fly gets on his butt (according to my aunt, I am scared to get on him. I tried getting on him again about a week ago, bareback, and I was nervous, trotted him, and fell right off. we are just not a good fit).
Thats fine, you could lounge in a arena. Anyways, try lounging a lot and brushing for a while to regain trust. Rub on him, give him treats, brush on him. Just slowly bring the bridle around him until you feel comfy trying to put it on him. Hope I could help :) And good luck with your trouble horse! Happy Trails! ;)
Thank you for your response! We don't have an arena either, just his pasture. Would that still be okay?
You are afraid of the horse. That is not going to fix this. Someone is going to get hurt.
Sell this horse and then use the money to take some lessons with someone reliable.. and then get an older horse.. one in his teens who is done showing and ride that horse.
I am selling him. I refuse to get on him because I do not trust him and, as you said, I'm scared of him. But my mom wants me to work with him and she really won't listen to reason. Also I am taking lessons, but not on him. I'm just trying to make the best of it for now and get her off my back. If it really is that bad of an idea to do groundwork with him, I will just leave him alone though. Thank you for responding! :)
your aunt is "forcing" you to work with a horse that you are afraid of? That doesn't sound like a very caring aunt. You can find a buyer for him, as is, I think but you'd have to take a cut in his price. Also, I can't believe your trainer would not refund money paid for training that she refuses to do.
And, a horse spooking and bucking in the pasture is a crime? horses do that all the time. they are just being horses.
that horse has some issue with his ears being touched. this is a fairly common problem. With patience, you could fix this. you can bypass it by unbuckling the bridle, bringing it over the head (with the bit held in his mouth) and rebuckling it. not a cure, though.
It's my mom, not my aunt. My aunt is fine doing it herself, I guess. She keeps telling me though that there's nothing wrong with him (aside from him rearing and freaking out when trying to get the bridle on), I should just ride him and keep him. It's what everyone's been telling me, but I am firm about not wanting to keep him: I am scared of him and do not trust him. And I want a horse I can trust and be comfortable around.
My mom's logic is this: if I'm scared of him and don't want to work with him, how am I going to do that with a new horse (despite the fact I've told her I'd try to find a much more well broke horse) if he has problems. And is telling me to just go out there and try it and is even giving me crap about reading up on working with horses from the internet, saying I should just go out there and do it myself. And I'm just really frustrated. I really want a new horse because I miss riding so I will work with him (only groundwork) if I have no other option and it's deemed safeish for both of us for me to try it.
Yeah, I agree with that too. I think the trainer was just a crook and trying to take our money. She wasn't really a 'professional' I guess. She was breaking and training her own horse for dressage and taught riding lessons, but I don't think she had a.. business? She charged 200 for the training when she never worked with him at all.
I touched his ears earlier today to see how he'd do when I went out there to shovel poop and he seemed okay with it, if a little nervous. But, I will tell my aunt about the bridle technique you said - I'd be willing to lunge him and stuff, but I am NOT trying to bridle him after I saw him rear up like that. Thanks for responding! :)
I'm glad you are selling him. Being inexperienced and put on a horse you are afraid of is no fun for horse or rider. Has he had his teeth checked? If the bit is hurting something in his mouth he would avoid taking it.
It really isn't fun at all! My friend and aunt convinced me to hop on him a weak or so ago bareback and I was terrified, and then I was terrified BECAUSE I was terrified because I was scared he'd pick up on it. And then my friend was encouraging me to trot, which I stupidly agreed to, and he had the roughest trot and I fell right off and hit my head badly. And people wonder why I refuse to get on him now lol
I don't know if he has had his teeth checked, actually! I will ask my mom about it in the morning and see if he could get them done if not. Thanks for responding!
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