my cheeky unhandled 2 year old - any ideas?
well.. where to begin! I bought a 2 year old irish sport horse gelding about three months ago. He had never really had any handling and had spent his days living out and not often seeing any people. I kept him in a stable for the first month I had him, handling him everyday, walking him down the yard and generally getting to know him. I saw a huge improvement in him. For the first few days he wouldn't let me near him and then after a few days he started coming over to me, taking feed out of my hand and letting my rub him. One problem though... he doesn't trust anyone except for me!! when anyone else comes near him he just steps back and snorts at them. I've tried getting my mother and boyfriend to go in and try feed him and rub him but I can see he isn't comfortable with either of them. He's very jumpy when others are near him but with me he's perfect! Any ideas on how to get him more used to other people?? The owner of the yard i keep him in said 'just break him!' but personally I feel its too early to start breaking him.
Another issue I had with him is that he learned to get away from me. To cut a long story short i brought him out for some grass one day, me holding the lungeline and letting him just graze as he wished. He then got a fright when something moved in the trees and galloped! Of course I tried by best to hold him but ended up letting him go. Everyday after that he just kept doing this! As soon as i would take him out of the stable he'd gallop up the yard and i couldn't hold him - yes i know very dangerous!! It eventually got to the stage where i couldn't take him out of the stable. I then got my boyfriend and myself to bring him out and we managed to hold him! we've done this a few times and he's never got away since but he does still try. I even tried bringing him out with a bit in his mouth but he still fought against me. This is really annoying because I don't have someone strong to hold him everyday and i'm scared that if i try bring him out myself he'll start all this again! So any tips?? Thanks in advance!
It sounds to me like your horse is very disrespectful. I would make sure to use a rope halter so that it gives more pressure to the horses head than your typical nylon or leather halter. Also, I would get to do some groundwork in a roundpen before I start opening up all the other avenues...ie pasture, open field, etc.
It is too early for working him undersaddle, but it is NEVER too early to teach a horse basic manners and do groundwork.
I get the feeling from your post that you have never had the experience of starting a horse from the ground up? If that is indeed the case, you need to enlist the assistance of an experienced trainer yesterday.
Forgot to mention I don't have access to a roundpen!! Only a 30mx40m sand arena.. not exactly ideal for the run away horse!
I have experience with young horses just not one that was never handled and is very jumpy
Complete lack of manners and proper ground training aside, a contributing factor in the horse's desire to break away from you and take off is that he is a young horse, full of energy and, from your description, only taken out of the stable on lead and for hand grazing. He is a young, growing horse - full of energy, who is cooped up in the stable almost the entire time - that in and of itself is a recipe for what you are encountering, even w/out the training issues being involved.
As to your previous experience- this has nothing to do with whether or not a horse is jumpy or unhandled - anyone with much experience in handling ANY horse would have, at the very least, already been doing some serious ground work to make the horse a safe, mannered and manageable individual.
You are seriously overmatched at this point and apparently not able to make your current facilities work (btw, lack of a round pen would not impede the type of work needing to be done with this horse if done properly) - I suggest you either send the horse off to a trainer with different facilities or allow the horse to move to a home that can provide the structure, training and environment he needs.
Have you used a chain over his nose when taking him out with the lungeline? My gelding (now 8) was a very obnoxious and creative horse and the only way we used to be able to lead him in and out would be if we used a chain and put it through his mouth! When it was in his mouth he was a doll and just focused on trying to get it out of his mouth but that helped him stay entertained.
Do you ever lunge him outside before/after he grazes? It may be good to lunge him somewhere before you take him out because then he won't have that same get up and go spunk they have after being in the stall and getting grain! I have found that lunging works on horses as long as they aren't Arabians or work the same way Arabs do; My TB mare and QHs all do great with a little bit of working to quiet them down!
For clarity's sake - my question was have you previously started a horse from the ground up doing every bit of the training put into that horse yourself -- have you? You say you have "worked with" young horses, but there are plenty of ways in which one can work with young horses and not have been responsilbe for building that horse from the ground up.
Clinton Anderson TV
Click on the episode guide and watch the colt starting 1 and2 . It was with a wild mustang...This is very good..watch it and you will have some great moves with halter training and introducing different things touching him. I agree use a rope halter.
This really is a respect issue and needs to be resolved sooner than latere. I wish you luck!
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