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twogeldings 04-16-2009 06:27 PM

Major improvement for the almost-untouchable Red Man
Red hasn't been worked with since he was a yearling (he's now 3). He won't halter. He won't let you put a lead on. He doesn't like to lead. He doesn't like being touched. He doesn't like eating with you standing/holding his bucket. I haven't even tried picking up his feet yet, or tying him.

But I've been trying 8D

When I first got him out to my pasture, he would throw his head up to avoid being caught.
Today? He came over to the gate. I caught him by the halter. No problems. No head tossing. Nothing.
You had to be lucky to put a lead on him.
Today? Clipped it on LOUDLY, not a fidget. Just a cute 'love me' look <3
Wouldn't come near the feed bucket with you there.
Now? He will come and eat. (after a little bit of circling you, of course, but he does relax and eat)
Didn't like being touched anywhere.
Now? I've been grooming him, petting his face, tickling his nose, giving him kisses.

He is certainly starting to settle down and learn to trust. I put him on a lunge line and worked on respect, body language, and being approachable with him, then let him nibble on the fresh grass in the field. Groomed him while he grazed. After a few minuets he would stop turning to face me, just relaxed and enjoyed getting curried and shed-brushed.

He has a ton of personality hiding under all that shy, do-not-want attitude. Bugger that I have to sell him T.T

Anyone else have any untouchable horse stories? It's amazing what you discover when you polish away just a little of that attitude, suspicion, and fear...

smrobs 04-16-2009 10:50 PM

Wow, that sounds like you are doing great with him. Yes, I do have an "untouchable" horse story.

Denny arrived at our place in 1996. His owner, "Sharon" said that he was tough and dangerous. She had a couple "cowboy" friends of hers try to break him and it ended badly both times, with one of them ending up in the hospital. :/ So she sent the horse to my Dad, who had a reputation for working miracles with problem horses. The first day Denny was there and Dad went into the pen with him, poor Denny absolutely panicked. He would ricochet off of the panels, the barn, or anything else in his way trying to get away from people. My Dad just watched him for a few minutes and left to re-evaluate the game plan for this horse. Due to time constraints with his new job, Dad didn't have time to mess with the horse and he called Sharon and told her so. She said just keep him until you have time, PLEASE. So flash forward to 2 years later, I am a freshman in high school and having kind of a tough time with personal things. One morning in November, I was feeding the horses before school. I started really looking at Denny in the pen and fell completely in love. He was still untouched by anyone else. At that moment, I decided that I wanted to ride him. So that afternoon after school, I came home and carried my saddle out to his pen. It took about 30 minutes of just standing in the middle of the pen to get him to calm down enough to walk up to him and everything else went smooth as glass. I started riding him that next day and he only ever offered to buck one time about 2 weeks into his training. No one but me had ridden him until about a year into his training. After he was broke, Dad called Sharon and said that he was ready to go home but she did not have the money to pay for the bill so she offered the horse instead. That is how I got my 16th birthday present. To this day, I can do anything on him but any man gets close and he freaks out. I really believe that they abused him because he came to us very headshy with broken teeth and several scars. But as you can tell, he made a pretty good turnaround.

This is a pretty poor quality pic but it is me leading him around the pasture with nothing but my hand resting on his poll.

And as you can tell, he looks absolutely terrified of being ridden. :p

Most of my other horse stories are of "untouchable" horses but this one was my favorite.

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