New horse scared of me
I just got my first horse! she came two days ago and is a 13 year old tennessee walking horse. i went out yesterday to groom and spend time with her but every time i get close she runs away from me. she will come up to me if i have hay or carrots but she sticks out her neck and takes the hay or carrot then runs off. i got close enough to touch her a few times and she flinched and ran off. i was extremely patient and tried everything i could but after 2 1/2 hours i got frustrated that i could touch her or be close to her without her running off. i tried letting her come to and just standing there, i tried coming to her from an angle, tried food, nothing worked though. I'm only 13 and I'm starting to worry maybe she isn't the right horse for me. she isn't trained to great and when i rode her when i went to see her she would stop and turn randomly. she also isn't trained to canter, but i was so excited that she could be my horse i thought i could help her and train her. she also has aural plaque in both ears and I don't think i could be able to halter or bridle her on my own. with all these things happening I'm thinking she might not be the right horse for me, but it makes me extremely upset thinking i might have to find a different horse because all i have done for weeks now is think about her and get excited and talk about her. i know she hasn't been here for a while and isn't settled in but I'm not sure what to do and if she is a good horse for me. any advice? thanks and sorry for such a long post lol
Welcome to the Forum
I'm sorry but I dont think that this horse is the right one for you. You are young and sound inexperienced too and she sounds as if she needs someone with a lot more knowledge and expertise
This is why having a good advisor with you when you try a horse is so important - if I had gone with you for eg I would have told you not to have her.
You dont say where she came from but I would ask if they will take her back if possible.
You could find a place with a good trainer to keep her - where you could both learn to together but IMHO you would benefit far more and get real pleasure from a reliable schoolmaster at this point in your life
Green on green (an inexperienced rider and horse) is a recipe for disaster. As you are so young, I have to ask why the responsible adults in your life chose to move ahead with the purchase of this horse with the laundry list of issues that were known (ie the lack of training, the troubling signs during the test ride, the issues with her ears and your ability to tack/untack her yourself). I understand that YOU are young and were excited, but that is why you have parents/other adults in your life that are there to bring reason to these situations.
I agree with jaydee that this particular horse is not the horse for you at this point in your life. I know that stings and comes as a huge disappointment, but it's better to realize and address that now than down the road when you and/or the horse have had to suffer for the decision that was made to purchase her.
IF you are set on keeping the horse, the involvement of a professional trainer for both of you is a must.
Yeah honey, you made a VERY poor decision in choosing this horse. Don't beat yourself up about it. It happens all the time. You seem to be aware of it, so that is better than most.
Some words of advice, the things people are about to say you may not like to hear, but the ONLY way you are going to help this horse is to listen. Do not get upset if people seem rude, or when they tell you you can't do this. Listen and understand.
I have a few questions:
do you have any adults that can help you? Do you take lessons? Do you have any experience with horses? Are you around anyone who does?
Why on earth did you choose this horse?! Why did your parents let you? Lol! At least she is just running away and not trying to eat you.
If you do it right, and get help, you very well could make a great horse out of this one. You can't do it alone, though.
You NEED a trainer, Girly. This horse needs to be given at least a month at a good trainer so that she can get a better education. You can't blame her for not knowing.
Horses are not like puppies. Generally speaking our relationships with dogs always starts with us being the teachers. Even kids can take a puppy and create a great, well trained dog. HORSES are the exact opposite. Our relationships here *should* always start with a horse that know WAY more than us. And they can only know that when they are taught by someone who knows WAY more than them.
Being blunt, not mean, you don't know more than this horse. YOU need to be trained. SHE needs to be trained. By a trainer.
For encouragement, I started "playing" with foals when I was 12, so you are at a fairly capable age to start learning. I most certainly didn't do it on my own. My parents, who are professional trainers, were always outside supervising and telling me what to do. "Do this. Do that. Don't do that. That was dumb. Instead of that, try this..." And so on. You really need to be shown what to do.
In the meantime:
When you are out there, when she comes up to you to smell you, right before she almost touches you walk away. See what happens. Don't be abrupt and stalk off. Just lower your hand and walk away a little bit. Don't leave, just go away to inspect a stick or plant 15ft away. Then go try again.
How I work with my foals is really similar. They are always loose and it it my challenge to get them to let me hand them before they are weaned. It is AGONIZING when you get to that point where they will let you be close enough to lick them and they still won't let you touch them. It takes TIME. If I get in a hurry, or get frustrated, it sets me back. I have to be calm and patient, and it is HARD for a person like me!
Don't be too dependent on treats. Treats are there for rewards, not bribes. They have created many many monsters.
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This method works, not immediately but you will get long lasting results. Hang your halter and rope on your shoulder or elbow so it's in plain sight. She may be grazing which is good. I want you to circle around until you are in her blind area (directly behind her bum) but well away. If she continues to graze walk up and make enough movement to move her. Don't use your voice at all. Go stand on her spot for the count of 10 and look down at it. This will often cause the horse to stop running off. When she's grazing again repeat the above movements. The goal of this is to get her watching you with both eyes. She won't want you going around behind her. If she watches with one eye do the above until she is watching with both. This means she will be facing you. Just stand still. If she looks away to her right, you turn your head and do the same. She is thinking of leaving but your turning your head away will draw her back. If she walks off, immediately turn the opposite way and walk away 5 or 6 strides then try to circle her again. You must walk away when she does. Very important. When she will stand slouch your shoulders a little and look at her knees and approach with your free arm, and offer the back of your hand for her to touch. If she does, turn and walk away a few steps. Look around or up at the sky as tho you are interested in other things. Some horses will pick this time to approach. When you turn around again offer your hand first (horse greeting). She knows you have the halter. If she will greet you, rub her forehead. Thats the only place horses can't scratch and if the bugs are out she'll appreciate it. Move to her neck and see if she'd like a scratch between her elbow and belly. Be sure to have your shoulders and belly button facing her body. Take the lead rope and put it over her neck, not sneaky or she may think it's something to be feared. Once the lead is over she should stand for haltering. At this point as soon as you do up the halter, rub her face, then remove the halter and leave the pasture. She may even follow you. You caught her and asked nothing of her. That's a big plus in a horse's mind. The next time you enter the field she may take off again but usually not so far and less effort. Just do as you did the day before. It will take much less time this time. Again after haltering remove it and walk away. Now a routine is starting to happen and horse's like routine. On the third day bring her out, give her a nice brushing and put her back out in the field. She's not afraid of you, she was outsmarting you. The above method will turn you into more of the leader that she needs.
katie, do you have any experienced adult or (better!) a trainer around who could work with you and the horse? Although I have to agree with posters above - this horse may not be a right choice for you at the moment (and I do understand completely your feelings about the whole situation).
The op sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders, and seems like she is capable of dealing with letting this horse go, and is coming to terms with it. A lot of adults are blind to problems like this. A lot of people don't understand what to look for either when looking for a horse, and what problems there may be, and how easy/difficult some problems are to correct. A lot of people don't take the (sorry OP)smart course of action when purchasing. I appreciate her parents trying at least. The whole family just needs more education.
What I am worried about for this kid is the chance the patents might refuse to let her get another, more suitable mount. I know many "be happy with what you have" parents.
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OP, your horse isn't scared of you.
Hi, and welcome to the Horse Forum.
First of all, your horse is not afraid of you. She is just smart enough to 'grab a bite and run' and does not want to be caught.
You are just going to go from one problem to many more bigger problems with this horse. You need a 'forgiving' older gentle horse for your first horse. That kind of horse will teach you a lot more than one that needs a trainer or experienced rider.
One of you needs to know what your doing. At this stage, it needs to be the horse.
If you do not have a trainer or person around that gives lessons, you need to at least find a knowledgeable horse person that would be willing to help you get started. Getting off on the wrong foot can wreck and ruin your horse experience as well as put in a position to get hurt. They are about 10 times bigger and about 20 times stronger than you and you need to know how to be the leader in the relationship you develop with any horse.
If you don't have one, please get a helmet and wear it when you are working or messing around with any horse.
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