Trainers: Share stories of "Outlaws"
In the circle of trainers and horsemen I've known and looked up to, there's always been a certain amount of admiration for broncs and outlaws. They're put on a pedestal, so to speak. Thought it'd be interesting to hear about the bad ones.
This one time at cow camp.... LOL
Yeah heehee....I bet you have some good stories on this subject
Some stories are not fit for the internet.
We had a colt that came out of CA, he was super gentle on the ground, loved attention, one the first ones to latch on when you trotted out to wrangle and would actually eat a tube of dewormer on his own. But was the most dishonest horse to ride. I seen him buck a kid off 6 times in 6 rides. A fellow co-worker that is a champion ranch saddle bronc rider had Hell riding him. One day gathering cows he had tried to buck him off several times. Not cold backed or fresh, but waited coyote like. When we got close together my husband and I seen him cut in two, we ran in, I got one side and hubby got on the other kept him straight and whopped on him with our romels to get him to quit and break the habit. He never did get over it and that line of horses are known to be a little nasty. But it sure is fun crashing into one like that :)
My husband had a horse that had an odd quirk.
This horse was great. Cover ground well. Knew his part of getting you on a critter so you could rope it. Knew how to hold one just right.
But... never, ever reach forward and give him one of those appreciative "Good job, son" pats on the neck. He would break in two and do his best to stack you on your head.
It wasn't the rider shifting forward, I tried. It really seemed to be the affectionate pat. I tried it on the ground and his expression even changed. I swear he glared at me.
There were others that just bucked for fun throughout their lives. Like when the weather was cold, or just those "I feel great!" bucks. The only ones I quit were the ones that would cheat you while you had something on the rope. Too dangerous for the animal and me. Yeah, you can throw your dallies, but things can go wrong, too.
There was one gelding that was brought in from pasture that was tough. He was four years old. Had been halter broke at two. Had a few weeks of riding at three. That was the norm at that ranch. Usually worked well.
This one came in breathing fire. Charge anyone who came near the corral. We thought he might have gotten into something toxic, maybe had been fevered and got brain damage. Maybe taken a blow to his head. But, we thought we'd give him a shot at life.
We roped his front legs and slowly pulled him to a stop. He was, um... angry. Then we roped him around the neck. We pulled him over, restrained his legs, and threw a tarp on him. Then waited.
After a bit, when his breathing had calmed and his muscles relaxed, we haltered him and let him up.
He was a different horse. Still flinched when touched for a couple days. Tucked his tail when saddled and for the first few rides. We rode him in a D-ring snaffle, got him going with neck reining, graduated him to a medium port curb (that was right for his mouth).
He became a very good cow horse. Really excelled at sorting and was decent for roping and doctoring.
A friend called me one day saying her godfather had a couple horses, and ne of them was so mean he was the only one who could touch it. Leo bit, bucked, struck out, would come lunging at you if yo picked up a crop or whip, would rear and try to come down on top of you, took a saddle, but you had to have it so his head couldnt move or he'd shred your legs.
In the time i worked with him, he tore down a public park fence, ripped a chunk out of his owners shoulder and landed me a square double barrel kick to my right hip.
One day, id had enough. He reared up on the line, didnt want to go left, and he came down ready to charge me, so i charged him, swinging the lead in one had and the whip in the other, screaming my head off and kicking dirt and rocks at him. must have looked like a whirlybird screaming devil of some sort cause he whipped around that lung ring so fast it made me dizzy, and after a minute or two, completed join up like an old pro BOTH ways. ;)
i didnt see him for a few months after that, and he was right back to being a big yellow nasty booger.
Bout 10 or 12 years ago, a popular (well popular around here) qh breeder brought me a mare to ride. It was an 8 yr old halter mare, nobody ever saw a need to ride her but been handled a lot. Big and pretty, looked like the poster horse for aqha. Well this mare seemed fairly gentle so I started ridin. This old gal sure was hateful at first but I chalked it up as spoiled behavior from never being asked for anything. Thing was, the more I rode her the more dangerous she became. Any time she felt leg pressure she'd squeal and kick or bite yer leg and pull you out of the saddle. Had to keep a deep seat to not get drug off. If you tried to move her over on the ground by putting yer thumb in her side she'd do the same. So she wasn't an outlaw as far as being wild but would hurt ya just the same. I tried being nice. I tried being mean. I tried tricks but nothing did much good. I got her to do the basics and after 30 days she'd kinda lope circles an pick up her leads and back up but she resented it. She'd kick you if you were on the ground and kick and bite your feet from the saddle.
The owner showed up after 30 days to get her. I took her thru everything and explained to this lady that I could make her do what I needed just couldn't make her like it. Well the lady tells me "this mare has a brain tumor and ovarian cysts so that's why she hates everything". Said she brought this mare to me first because if I made any progress on this crazy one she knew I'd get along with her good ones.
one grade qh gelding. My BO picked him up at an auction at 3 months old out of pity. cute little sorrel with a star and strip. from day one he was quick as a whip. He picked up on everything so fast. halter broke in a half hour and picking up his feet. nothing scared him, he was super friendly and loved people. At 2 I put a couple rides on him and he was quiet as can be, and super willing, but I never let a horse get away with any bad behavior, and he must have known that. always had to keep the gates clipped because he could undo any knots.
as a late 2y old he was sold to a nice couple, they werent super knowledgable, but they ment well. They fell hopelessly in love with him, and had to have him. As they started working with him, you could see the change. he was starting to understand, for the first time in his life, that there were people who didn't know what they were doing, and didnt reinforce rules or set boundaries. The first time he threw somone I beleive he was three. someone pulled back on the reins and he reared up. then he bucked a couple experienced people off in the round pen. he was used to getting his own way and they were asking for things he didnt want to do. they got back on, but by this point he knew what he could do.
he went to a good trainer for 3 months who could ride out the bucks. part way through his owner went to ride him and the second her butt touched the saddle he bucked her off, sending her to the emergency room with a dislocated hip. at the end of three months the trainer said to take him home, and that he would have to be ridden regularly by an experienced rider to keep him riding decent, because he never stopped trying to get you off.
he was ridden a couple times after he came back, but he bucked every time. always unpredicably. at the beggining, sometimes half way through, some times at the end. he had massage, chiro, vet appointments, all was clear. a cowboy came to look at him for a project, got the saddle on and watched him buck rodeo style for a half hour in circles around the arena before he could grab the lead rope again. he pulled the saddle off and left. another cowboy tried to ride him out. he did some nh ground work first, he even seemed fine with the saddle, but when he got on, it could have been the calgary stampede. this guy rode him out, untill he tried to flip over backwards when bucking didnt work.
to this day I have never seem anything like it.
I bought a 3 year old Appaloosa mare to train. She had been backed.. walk and trot.. and had the smoothest trot I ever sat to. Taught her to jump too.. and she was pretty good (even in front in the air).
She was very downhill in her build and balance. I spent a LOT of time training her on the flat and got her doing nice figure 8's with lead changes and so forth in the ring. I took her to another location and it was like she was as green as the day I got her.
She was a pretty horse but to this day I think she was just simply not.. smart.. at all. She would have to be retrained every new location we went to. She never generalized the cues on the flat from one place to another.
That being said, I also foxhunted this horse. She was the best fox hunter I ever road. Never stopped at a fence and when the huntsman blew "Gone Away" we were never left behind.
One time we were following a bit too close and the horse ahead of us refused a 4 foot rail and rock wall. That horse turned sideways in front of us.. a nice big Thoroughbred. My little 15hh Appaloosa could not stop so she jumped.. over the horse's hind end AND over the fence. Never touched a thing and went on with the hunt as if nothing happened.
Sold her for Foxhunting I did.
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