My horse has lost it! HELP!
Hello! I'm completely new to this forum. I honestly joined because my horse has gotten horrible and I have no clue what to do. Let me give you some background first.
I've had him for about a month and a week. He's an 8 year old paint gelding. I got him from a rescue. The lady who had him, kept him and a stallion in paddock together for 4 years without seeing a vet or a ferrier. I'm pretty sure she never even took him out of the paddock. With that being said, he does amazingly well for not really being messed with for 4 years. He is broken...kind of. I mean, I can get on his back but that's about it. Okay, that's pretty much the jist of it. He really just has no manners. I had been working with him for a month, everyday. He was showing MAJOR improvement. I can tell he wants to learn and was eager to do things. His manners were improving and I had finally gotten him to understand to move forward when I applied pressure, not backwards. He was doing amazingly well and I felt so proud. Well, I had to leave the state for about a week. I had a lady at the barn I board him at feed for me while I was gone. He really didn't get worked at all. When I arrived home and went out to work with him, it was like I had a completely different horse. I was expecting for me to have to go over some things with him, but he's just....a mess. This might be ridiculous, but I feel like he's really mad at me. Anything I ask him to do, he pins his ears completely back and refuses to do it. Even the simplist things. He hasn't had much excercise, so I tried to lunge him last night and when I asked him to move forward (his ears back the entire time), he turned straight for me. I've even had him rear up on me a few times. I don't know what to do. I can handle horses that won't listen, but he's just scaring me. Anytime I even approach him, his ears go back and he comes at me. It's killing me because he was doing so good and now I'm completely lost as to what to do. Nothing I'm doing seems to make a difference. It's like he wants nothing to do with me.
Hopefully I didn't leave any major bits out. I just really need some help so any advice at all would be amazing. Thank you guys for taking to the time to read all that.
If you are to the point of being afraid, I would suggest you send him to a professional trainer if you can afford it. There comes a time when its time to call in help, It sounds like you are at that time. I'm sure there are some who will say to do parrelli games or another clinitians methods and they may help you but on the other hand I don't want you to get hurt either. Who knows what this horse has been through before being rescued by you. He may have some deep seated emotional issues that need professional help. The main thing is be safe, be safe, be safe! Can't say it enough.
First, messing just a month is not whole a lot. Talking from own experience as I did buy 2 youngsters with no handling at all myself 2 years back. Training, trust, respect etc. are not coming in minute. Took me months to teach them such a "simple" thing as picking hoofs and hold them for me for while. So you need to be patient!
Second, from what you described sounds like he may have some health issue (does he walk or no limping, is his back feels ok?) or was somehow abused while you were not around (may be unintentionally). Forget about horses being mad of us for not showing up. :) Give you an example: I got wild youngster and taught her pretty much to put on - take off the halter. One morning I came to the stall and she was snoring and didn't let me put halter on her for while (I did eventually, but not right away). The reason was the barn owner tried to put halter on her (to help me I guess?) that morning before I showed up. The end result: no halter and scared to death yearling, and 15 mins work time for me trying to calm her down and reassure everything is OK.
Try to work with him for couple days to see how he reacts. Check his body for possible cuts etc (sometime they behave really weird having cut somewhere on leg), try to push on his back to see whether he'll feel pain or something. If it'll still be so strange, may be makes sense to call your vet.
Kitten you may be on to something. Just wonder what happened besides being fed for the week he was being taken care of by someone else.
Yeah, definitely. I'm a bit concerned about that. I mean, this woman knows her stuff and she told me that she didn't really ask much of him while I was gone. But I was still working on simple things with him. I'm pretty sure she's the type that likes to hit. A lot. I didn't find this out until after I got back. I'm just not sure what to do now to gain his trust back. I miss what we had and I really want it back.
I'm also going to learn more Parelli and try that out with him. And do a really extensive exam of his body, just to be sure there aren't any injuries I might have been missing.
Thanks a lot for your advice guys. :D I've been going crazy with this.
I was wondering the same thing........maybe someone tried to do something with your horse while you were away. Let me tell you, I've seen it happen when I've worked at stables before and even though it's not my horse, it makes me angry that someone would do something like that.
Definitly check for pain. If you can rule that out, then like Vidaloco said :lol: I would suggest trying Parelli. Now, I don't want you getting hurt either, but if he's not in pain, then it sounds to me like he's just being snotty. You were away and now when you come back into the picture and start "bossing" him around, he says, "No way! I'm alpha here!" Parelli would help build his respect for you and give you more "arrows in your quiver" to deal with his attitude.
One thing you can do in the meantime is if he pins his ears at you, like say you are backing him up, you do NOT tolorate that! That's him basically sticking his tongue out at you, so you need to back him up A LOT. Swing your lead rope/lunge line back and forth STRONG and walk towards him. Keep that up until the look on his face changes to being softer, then stop and let him lick and chew and think about it for awhile. Invite him in and rub him. Make sure to do LOTS of rubbing after an episode like this, you want to keep discipline and lovey time in balance.
You'll get his trust back with patience and care. May take a week. May be couple (depending on horse). I'd may be back off on working him for week or so, just pet him everywhere, brush him, talk to him, give him some carrots if he shows any -tiny- sign of friendliness to you, sit in his field with him, take for nice walk with some grazing etc. Just do it several days in row and see how he behaves to you. If he's calm and nice, start work again slowly.
The owner of my barn (I used to keep horses) tried to free lunge my youngster once (again, without asking, but I was nearby - just wasn't quick enough to stop her). QH turned her butt and bucked at her really bad with pinned ears - if the barn owner wasn't fast enough she'd be hurt pretty bad. I may assume someone hit your horse in round pen, so he may consider work right now as new panishment coming.
Here's my 2 cents!
Spend as much time as you can with him and do simple things such as grooming, leading, etc. It will help rebuild that trust.
Then once you're ready to start training again I'd be firm but gentle. Don't let your fear influence your behavior and always end on a positive note with lots of encouragement.
It's good to hear you're looking into Parelli. That trainer knows alot! He could teach us all a thing or two. Make sure when you lunge and interact your body language isn't fearful or threatening, but purposeful. Read about communicating with your horse on his level.
This thread really hits home for me. I had an abused 4 year old and boarded him at a nearby stable.
He'd always been cautious about letting anyone but me in his stall with him. Example: my father tried to come in when I was grooming him and he put his ears back and stepped forward angrily. I had to work with him for a long time to get past his aggression, especially on the lunge but we made much progress after about a year.
Then after I moved to this new stable things got worse. He reared up when people came to feed him and they claim he bit someone for no reason.
To this day I can't prove anything but I was kicked out of the barn and had to give him over to a professional trainer because I didn't have the time to deal with his new insane issues plus go to school full time.
I've regretted letting things progress like that ever since.
I'd hate for that to happen to you. I wish you the best of luck
Sounds to me like the poor fella is not trying to be nasty but is simply scared. He has had a pretty crap life thus far and it is going to take a lot of love, time, pats, hugs etc for him to understand that you are not going to leave him too.
I firmly believe that horses do know who there owners are and do get there feelings hurt when we leave. This is apparent by the way they respond when certain people appear, ie when the person who feeds them shows up - they know there feed is on the way and start to carry on even before there dinner is out of the feed room.......
Be patient. He will come around. It is going to take a lot of time, not just a few weeks...... Keep your chin up :)
I am having the same problem with my horse, Creeky.
Well it started one time i rode him on his own in the paddock, but because my horse was in a diferent paddock he decided to go spazzo and galloped my leg into a tree....OUCH.....so im left with a little 50c scar on my kneee....back to the story, he had already bolted and stopped at a fence on me before so after the tree i just leaped off him.
(Didnt ride him straight after, my foot was twisted from the tree).
any way a week laighter we went on holiday for about no more than 2 weeks and when i arrive home he wouldnt let me anywear near him or nobody else.......he use to let us walk straight up to him and put his halter and now for its been about 2 months and ive just been slowly getting closer to him and ive actually just been able to pat him and rub him with his lead rope......ADVICE, just take thing very slow
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