Two years ago, I bought my first and only horse, a palomino gelding who is now around 16 years old. I bought him from this ranch, where he was a barrel racer. I was so happy. He was perfect. I didn't use him for barrel racing, since he was older, I offered him a nice "retirement". He was a perfect first horse. We went on trail rides through forests and fields, bathed and brushed him regularly. I gave him mild exercise, like trotting and reigning. But...about a year ago he became "cinchy" (jumping when we tighten the cinch). It was a small problem that we were able to fix. But then more problems arose. He hated the saddle. Period. He wouldn't let us put the bridle in. The halter on. I could hardly brush him without him freaking out. The vet checked him out, and of coarse, didn't find anything. We use to get around and fix the mild problems he had, but now their are so many. I've ruled out many reasons like, "maybe he's lonely?" But I show lambs and always have a few around, and he really likes them, and my neighbors have horses that he sees a lot. I then thought, maybe I'm not spending time with him? I ride/brush or bathe him everyday in the summer, at least 3 times a week in the spring and fall, and the winters here are really cold, so I just visit him when the weather allows. Then, this spring I'm having back surgery, so I'll be in bed for at least three weeks, so if that's the case, he will get terrible. I'm the only one in my family that knows how to work with horses. I'm so sad, I just want us to be friends. He enjoys riding, dosent give me a problem once we get the saddle on. I'm depressed, I cry myself to sleep. I just want him to love me. Because I sure do love him.
I just tried to brush him... I went to put the halter on using methods in a horse training video. He jerked away and ran. So I waited till it was time for him to eat and brushes him while he was eating. I then got the bright idea to try to put the halter on him while he was eating. he wouldn't even do that. I brushed him, and talked real nice to him, but when he was done, he freaked out than ran from me. I've been crying for a while now....
It may be a respect issue. Is anyone that's fairly knowledgeable about horses around to help you? Don't get discouraged. You'll have good days and bad days and they'll come and go just the same. It can be frustrating.
Thanks. My mom works with a lady that his helpful, but nobody really has the same problems? I just don't see how it changed so bad... I've seen people that spend minimum time with their horse, and they're fine....
It's like he's been untrained...
Part of the issue may be that he's one of those horses you HAVE to keep on a schedule, or they 'forget' all their training.
He may also be lonely. Sheep might be some company for him, and although he can see the neighbor horses, that's nothing like having your own herd buddy.
If pain has been completely ruled out, then you may need to go back to square one in his training. Some horses require a refresher course if they haven't been worked with consistently. He's obviously sour and doesn't respect you.
You should spend a day with him trying to put the halter on, and leave it on him for a few days.
It is bad for a horse to be bathed everyday, so maybe just groom his and occasionally bathe him.
For a while with my horse (I got her 4 months ago, she is a 2 year old) if I would miss just 1 day spending time with her, she would get pouty and not listen to certain things I did. But the next day, she would be back to normal, because I did not skip.
I had to get her out of that, so there would be days where I would purposefully miss days, then go for like 2 days, then miss another day or two.
Now I can miss like a week, then go out, and she is fine. She likes to be a horse on the days I am not their.
It could be with your horse, he doesn't respect you, or he just wants to be a horse, or he needs attention everyday, all the time.
In general most horses need herd mates that are around them consistantly. While you can fill in as part of his herd if your not around most of the day he will still get lonely. Its generally from most horse people I know not advised to keep a horse by himself. If you aren't in the place to purchase another horse perhaps think of boarding somewhere that has 24/7 turnout unless its harsh weather.
Your horse will be happier with a herd and since he is not a show horse or competition horse anymore there is no real benefit to him being without his own kind. The best retirement for him is you 2 to enjoy one anothers time and him to enjoy time with his own kind.
Also remember that right now because you are his surrogate herd he needs to respect you at all times. If not then he will do as horses do and take charge of the relationship. IE running off when trying to catch him to groom, nipping at you, kicking at you, etc.
You always want him to recognize you as the boss of the herd. Know he will challenge you and if he feels he is winning then he will begin to balk at everything you ask of him.
I suggest an experienced trainer coming and working with you to help you regain that relationship with your horse.
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