Working with Mac
I just don't know what to do with this horse. His name is Mac and he is 8 years old. We sent him to the trainers when he was four. Thing is, the trainer didn't train him. Her apprentice did, and she didn't spend a day with him. 1000$ for her to take him out and lead him around in front of us, calm as can be. He was the same as before, spooky, didn't listen, still a momma's boy. Now he's worse. He can't leave the pasture without his mom. His ground manners are horrid, he does not lead anymore. And I cannot control him in the saddle, he does what he wants even if he just runs blindly while I try to turn him. He ran us into a tree today. I don't know what to do. He is an angel when we take him out with Babe, but I have no one to ride with, so I can't. I know we have a trust issue and he does not respect me. How can I get him to respect me and trust me? Mom will not send him to a trainer because we do not have the money to waste when they have done nothing for us before. Should we just sell him?
Bad pictures when he's all dirty, but it's all I have.
From what I gather in your post, he was trained 4 years ago? How long did the training hold and what have you done with him in the last 4 years? Are you doing any ground work with him?
You can't expect any training to last if you don't follow through with it. Did you have any training to go with his?
I have been riding him for those 4 years. Just pleasure riding and trail riding though. He had a 6 month break two years ago when he had problems with his hooves, But when we had the okay from the farrier, I started riding him on the trail again with Babe. And he does great with Babe there with him. In fact, a few weeks ago, my brother and I went for a ride, Babe and Mac, and he did very well. It's just when it's just me and him. He had one month of training, but after we got Mac back, the apprentice quit and we learned that she had spent all of her time with my other horse and spent maybe a week with him. He doesn't lead no matter what, even if Babe is there.
Our trainer said afterward that the apprentice was supposed to talk to us every now and then and tell us what we needed to know and show me what to do. But she didn't.
That's terrible to hear - you pay for training and really not get what you paid for. BUT that was 4 years ago and it's what kind of work you've done with him in the last 4 that count at this point.
It sounds like you have a horse with no respect and is buddy sour besides. How I would start is by teaching him to lead and do it little by little away from his buddy.
When I have a horse that is disrespectful about leading I start by expecting him to lead and when he balks, I back him up then move him from side to side and start again. I will keep that up until he figures out that going forward is a lot less work then what happens if he doesn't.
Things don't change overnight, you will need to do this every single time you handle him. I would make it a point to work with him twice a day if possible. Working with him only once in while is really useless because he has been at this for too long. If you have him in a pasture and bring him in for feeding, that is a good time to start since he wants to go in the direction of the barn anyway.
If you have a round pen that would be a great way to work with him away from his buddy. He can only concentrate on you and that is a way to build respect and trust- a one on one. If you don't, then use a 20' lead line and work with him like he was in a round pen only attached to you.
It's easy to suggest a trainer but not having access to one either by finance or distance is understandable so you have to learn at the same time.
Okay, I will work on this. I do not have a round pen or an arena. We have a very long driveway though, and that's where I can work him.
It will be pretty much impossible for me to get to him even every day, but I will try hard to.
Thank you for your help. I will certainly be working with him as much as I can.
mymonkeyhero: I was in your shoes exactly 2 months ago, Koda didnt have NO respect for me at all,he always tried to nip and bobbing head at me, he was very disrespectful.Now only 2 short months and LOTS of learning from internet and everyone on here :D , I have learned alot, I spent every minute that I could with him, leading him out to the yard (where theres more grass) and talking to him, grooming, petting,sometimes hours a day, I always made sure I went out everyday even if it was just to feed him.now I am lunging him to walk, trot, canter. I can left his feet to clean. I have even saddled him and rode. But what I'm tring to say is DON'T GIVE UP. he will come around. You are at the right place, these people know what they are talking about. You can also go to youtube.com and watch some videos on horse training. good luck, keep us updated on your progress.
Thanks for the encouragement, nldiaz66, :)
I have a question, is it alright if, when he goes for grass while I'm working with him, to make him work in circles for a little while? Or is it not so good an idea?
what I do when working him, I dont let him eat grass until I say he can, if he tries to before that I pull up on his lunge rope or lead rope and when we are done working I let him reward himself by eating some grass. :)
by the way, mymonkeyhero: your horse is beautiful, how old is he or she? how big?
He's an eight year old Paint and he is approx. 15hh.
Ah, his head is so strong that if he goes for grass he gets it. He does not respond to pressure. If he goes for grass and I want to pull his head up, I have to lean back and use all my strength to get his head back up. So that was why when I get his head up I get him moving so he can't drop his head while I can't do anything :)
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