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justsambam08 03-03-2010 06:51 PM

My horse should win an academy award....
 
For best actor. He had us fooled for a good eight months. Today of course was the culmination of his acting career, when he attacked my BO. I was not there for the incident, but while we were having the conversation about it, things lined up for me in my head. She told me that a little girl was uncomfortable fastening the leg strap for his blanket whilst in his stall, so she stepped in to put it on. She fastened it no problem, walked around him to check everything else was where it should be without so much as a sour look. As she was leaving, she saw a piece of plastic near his door, so she bent down to pick it up. As she stood back up, he pinned his ears and bared his teeth at her. They started a little dance of "my space, not yours" for fifteen minutes. It ended with what Pam (the BO) thought was submission--she thought he was licking and chewing while in the back corner of his stall, so she turned to leave quietly. He apparently lunged at her, grabbed her by the arm, and quite literally tossed her to the ground. I didn't see it, but she says her whole upper arm is purple.

The first thing that caught me was the fact that she'd bent down--If I bend down in the round pen to say, tie my shoe, he'll take it as an opportunity to turn or stop without asking. The second thing was that it was in his stall. Obviously he sees this as his space, for the most part he is right. We did have some issues earlier in our relationship that a respect stick seemed to fix, so that has been brought back out and now stands out by his stall. The third thing that caught me was that she mentioned that he may have been beaten, something I have also thought in the past. When you ask him to move out of your space his head flies up, his eyes roll back, and its obvious he's in "protection" mode, more so than just "bah, get your hand away from my face!"

Let me just say that she didn't just let him get away with attacking her. Of course he won that round, but later she had one of our NH boarders work with him. She said they worked for about a half hour, and really pushed him to throw a little bit of trust out there. I think she follows Parelli, which honestly I could care less about what program specifically she works. I think he's officially been moved from the "horse with a problem" category to "problem horse". He has no trust in people in general, and for myself I'll say that he only has a tiny bit. However, throughout his life I now know that he has most likely learned to comply with what you ask of him, rather than truly be submissive and really want to do it. Behavioral training started today, and it will most likely really start tomorrow. Since Pam knows that I am monetarily strapped, she's worked out with Kristen (new trainer) that its 15 dollars a session with no time limit. Kristen wants to work with him through the week, and probably next Thursday it will be me working with her working with him, and then we'll talk about long term.

I think what honestly bugs me most is that nobody saw it coming, and apparently training isn't everything. I've always known that he has an attitude, and that he is never one to just back down at the wave of a crop. Having said that, he has excellent ground manners, and he's definitely made improvements in his round pen behavior. He doesn't yank me around the yard, nor do I have to yank him. I can stick my hand out towards his butt, and he'll pivot on his front feet in a full circle. Without a halter on, I can hold my hand out as he's walking and say "whoa" and he stops dead. Whether its because he was truly beaten into compliance or what, his "well-trained" demeanor is no indicator of "well-mannered".

So, for anyone who read that whole thing, thank you! I would definitely appreciate some "problem horse" success stories, haha. Needless to say until I get the okay from Kristen, riding has stopped, which is so sad because I love my new saddle! Now lets all hope I get that overnight job I'm in the running for.

Seahorseys 03-03-2010 07:30 PM

That's interesting, I had something similar happen to me last week. Frida is sweet- a bit nosey, somewhat easily distracted, and she can get her mare up once in a while during training. In our training right now, I can't trust her to stay focused, we are still in that phase where I have to remind her to take responsibility for the work she is being asked to do, but I certainly wouldn't say we butt heads or that she resists. Most of the time she is respectfully compliant with me and my trainer. I don't consider myself an aggressive person. She has never truly felt the whip (sure, I graze her hocks and tap her hind) and she has only been reprimanded physically (swiftly) for things like nipping and dancing for the girth. Everyone thinks she is sweet, and for the most part they are right. However, my BO called me last week and said that Frida pinned her ears and half bucked at her when the BO was coming in to take her out of her stall. She then told me that she hit Frida with the halter and lead - and that Fri feel completely down in her stall as a result. She told me this was a sign that Fri is easily intimidated and that I am not aggressive enough with her. I don't know, but I don't think horses plot against us, but I do think they try to do everything they can to try and do the least possible. I went up and showed the BO at least 10 times that I can put Fri in her stall at any time, and that when I want to come in, she greets me at the door. It doesn't matter if there's hay, food or what time of day it is. I trained her to come to the door and put her head in the halter no matter what. Even if I am bringing food, she'll come to the door, and then I say "Go to your kitchen" and she waits by her bucket till I drop the food in. I, personally, don't like to hang out in her stall, or do anything but feed, retrieve, and retire her there. I don't play that game of my space, your space, circling around the stall and confusing the horse. Perhaps it is wrong of me to allow her to think that when she is in that 12x12 stall of hers, she can do the nothing that she so often craves to do.

My trainer once said that we may encounter problems with her only respecting me. i don't know why she said this. I know that it has only been me that has handled her from halter to backing until I moved into a full care facility in December. Perhaps your horse is discerning and won't acquiese to just anyone without gaining his/her respect.

rottenweiler 03-03-2010 07:44 PM

Wow, sounds like a scary situation. My first horse had 'issues' but was always good with me. A 'friend' sold her to me for what she had into her and said I could keep her at her barn for free as long as I paid feed, vet etc... One night she called me on the phone. It was cold out and going to be colder that night. She called me and told me I needed to go out there and put a blanket on my horse because she went to and my horse bit her thigh. Now, I went out there and put a blanket on her with no problem but I'll say this...I saw the other woman put blankets on HER horses and she literally THREW the blanket at/on the horses. I think she just spooked mine and that's how mine reacted.

kitten_Val 03-03-2010 07:56 PM

Just wondering how old is he?

I worked with very dangerous horse before. He didn't attack people but was plain dangerous under saddle and had zero trust in anyone. He was hit in head really bad some time before I started working with him, and I believe he had mental issues (from the way he behaved). I worked with him for over year. He certainly started to trust me. From starving horse he turned to be really nice looking very tall qh gelding I got compliments on all the time. But... Even after all work he still was very dangerous: he reared for NO reason and flipped over all the time. He almost fell on me once (I was quick enough to just jump off and roll away, so at least he didn't flip with me on him), and couple weeks later he sent another person (with tons of riding and breaking horses experience) into ER (also - reared and flipped over the head). After that I just stopped riding him (although I still was feeding and brushing him till I left the barn). He was not mine though. It was VERY sad situation, because the horse was just stunning with the very good bloodlines.

justsambam08 03-03-2010 08:32 PM

Val, he is 12 years old. Before I bought him, he was living with a very nice woman and four other horses for about a year, and she basically had no interaction with him. They were all on 24/7 turn out and the woman's only function was to provide food. Before that, he was a racehorse.

I feel like I should also add that I'm going to talk to the BO about possibly getting him out of his stall. Although we aren't exactly equipped for pasture board and he's not the friendliest of creatures to other horses, we may have a couple of options as to getting him out in the daytime as well as at night. I'm also going to fill in Kristen on his history, since I don't know what Pam had the opportunity to tell her and see what she thinks...I think being on turnout 24/7 may have spoiled him a little, and its also possible that he just has bad associations with being stalled.

Seahorseys, while for most horses I would agree with you on the "your stall, your space" idea, I think in the case of horses who have respect issues (which he does, or did, or whatever) they can't own anything, and thats just IMO. Its funny that you say that he may have problems respecting her because I actually think thats the case--she said herself she has no interaction with him other than leading him in and out, which he'll do very well for just about anyone because of his racing days, as long as you're sure of yourself and what you're doing. Having said that, as much as I like being the only one who he doesn't give crap to, its not safe since the BO's kids (who are 13, 7, and 4) also help around the property and pitch in as far as throwing hay and feeding and turning in and out. I would feel so horrible, moreso than I already do, if that had happened to the little girl instead of to Pam. Under saddle he is a dream--SO willing and fabulous work ethic, but I think I would rather have a brat under saddle and a sweetheart on the ground than vice versa.

kitten_Val 03-03-2010 08:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justsambam08 (Post 568474)
Under saddle he is a dream--SO willing and fabulous work ethic, but I think I would rather have a brat under saddle and a sweetheart on the ground than vice versa.

I'm not positive it's better. :D

It's a tough situation. Some horses just need that constant reminder who is the boss. Unless your BO will be serious EVERY time he shows any aggression he probably not gonna change. And I agree with you - it's better for smaller kids to stay away from him. All I can say good luck trying something new (like pasture board)! I really hope he'll change to the best.

iridehorses 03-05-2010 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justsambam08 http://www.horseforum.com/images/ala...s/viewpost.gif
Under saddle he is a dream--SO willing and fabulous work ethic, but I think I would rather have a brat under saddle and a sweetheart on the ground than vice versa.
I would rather work with just the opposite. I would rather start off with a horse that knows that once the saddle is on, it's time to work and nothing else matters. I like working with horses that have problems on the ground but are all work when being ridden. Unfortunately, most of the horses I get to work with are just the opposite.

PechosGoldenChance 03-05-2010 02:43 PM

[QUOTE=kitten_Val;568490]I'm not positive it's better. :D

It's a tough situation. Some horses just need that constant reminder who is the boss. QUOTE]

This is extremely true!!! I stated a while back in a post, basically the same thing. They constantly test you, and it's like "dude, seriously, not kool!" lol :evil:

kevinshorses 03-05-2010 02:58 PM

You have a truely rare problem. Most people don't think about thier horse enough but I think you think way too much. You can't spend so much time disecting everything your horse does that you don't get anything done. If he tries to bite you then deal with it but then move on.

Horse Poor 03-05-2010 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justsambam08 (Post 568359)
They started a little dance of "my space, not yours" for fifteen minutes. It ended with what Pam (the BO) thought was submission--she thought he was licking and chewing while in the back corner of his stall, so she turned to leave quietly. He apparently lunged at her, grabbed her by the arm, and quite literally tossed her to the ground. I didn't see it, but she says her whole upper arm is purple.

IN MY OPINION - if a horse is "licking and chewing" without a soft eye and body, that means the horse is thinking about USING his teeth and mouth, not that he's submissive…


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