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jamm 03-30-2010 12:17 AM

green family with a green horse.
Hi, New to the forum and need some advice. My father-in-law bought a 2 year old horse for my 9 yr old daughter. Yes I know, not good. Well, here is the low down. We were told kids were riding her and she had a wonderful disposition which she did. We quickly realized that if kids were riding her it they were not going anywere. She did not really know anything. So we had her for about 2 months and then sent her to "cowboy camp" for 30 days training. She came back almost perfect. We (mostly me) rode at least everyother day for about a month. Then all of a sudden one day last week she was horrible and has been everyday since. When I get on, she shakes her head, crow hops ans seems to be afraid of everything. She almost bucked me off. She also stretches her mouth and is drooling. She seems very nervous. This happend pretty much overnight. The only thing we changed is that we opened her lot up to the big pasture and she now has a large area. I called the trainer and after describing this to him over the phone, he thinks that it is just because she is young. He says that a young horse can just overnight become rebellious and that giving her the freedom of the large pasture is probably what sparked this. That all makes sense to me, but he did also offer to trade her for a 12 yr old gelding. I just want to get a 2nd and 20th opinon. Will they turn overnight, or is there something hurting/scaring her that can be fixed. We do love her and she had been very calm. Even traveling to a friends house and riding beautifuly.

darkwillow 03-30-2010 12:34 AM

Ummm...I think your best bet, first and foremost, would be to get her checked for pain. This includes teeth (dentist or vet) and spine/joints (chiropractor). She may have sharp teeth, or she may have fallen over and put a joint out. Considering she is drooling, I would get the teeth checked first.

I'm not sure having the horse in a larger pasture is what sparked this. I have a young horse in a pasture and, if anything, it seems to have mellowed him out even further. They have less pent up energy and get more exercise.

Lastly, some young horses are not very tolerant of green riders and the mistakes they make. If you are a green rider (?) then there is the possibilty that the mistakes that you make occasionally just put her over the edge. Young horses generally aren't as tolerant and resilient as older horses. Especially since she is two.

Also "cowboy camps" are probably not that good an idea. They start the horse, but young horses need more training than can be provided in 30 days.

Your best bet will probably be (if she isn't in pain) to sell her and get a horse far more suited to your family. Green riders and green horses don't mix (but you know that =P). I'd get more opinions than mine, but you probably need to get a different horse. A 9 yr old would probably be far more suited to, say, a Welsh pony. Or you could go for a mized breed with draft blood for a bigger horse.

SeWHC 03-30-2010 12:38 AM

The open mouth, lolling tongue, and drooling almost sounds like choke to me. A horse with choke for a week probably wouldn't be alive though.

I dunno, I'd consider the trade.

dressagebelle 03-30-2010 01:03 AM

I agree that a horse with choke would probably be doing even worse after a week, though horses have had choke for a couple days and been fine once the blockage was removed. But with choke, generally its not just slobber that comes out, its foamy mucus like stuff, and is obviously not just saliva. I honestly would suspect something like a tooth problem, or hitting her head somehow. I know someone who's horse freaked out during a thunderstorm one day, and slipped on the rubber mats in her stall, and hit her head on the shelter roof. She ended up becoming paralized on the left side of her face, though it was quite obvious what the problem was, and the owners saw it happen. Something sudden like that I would think would be more of an injury or pain type of response, and not just a baby moment of I'm gonna be bad. Maybe for a day or two, but if she's normally very sweet, I would get her checked out to rule out any physical problems first. Then I would sell her, or trade her for a horse that is better suited to you, your family, and kids.

equiniphile 03-30-2010 02:19 AM

Honestly, I know you've been told this a million times, but green horses and green families don't go together. I would take the trade and document this as a bad experience and a lesson learned lol.

With regard to the problem she's having.....I don't know, but something doesn't seem right to me. I fail to see how her trainer can pass it off as adapting to a larger pasture, but hey, he knows the horse better than I do. I think this is a physical condition

darkwillow 03-30-2010 02:20 AM


kevinshorses 03-30-2010 02:59 AM

Look closely at the horse the trainer wants to trade you but it is hard to imagine that it would be any less suited for your family than the horse you have. I had a two year old filly that I was trying to sell and she was really a nice horse and was coming along great. A man and his daughter came to see her and wanted her for teh girl. I told the man he should go to the sportin goods store and buy the most expensive golf club they carried and every morning give the girl a whack with it. That way she would hate golf instead of horses and they could just throw the club away and not have to spend nearly as much money or ruin my horse. I don't think he was happy with my analogy when he left but I sure didn't regret not selling that horse.

justsambam08 03-30-2010 03:04 AM

I'm going to offer a different perspective here....could her horse have been perhaps foaming, instead of drooling? I know Ice gapes his mouth also and tries to push the bit out of his mouth, perhaps since the horse is young, he's wagging his tongue because he's uncomfortable?

Other than that I agree with the others. More training (for you and your horse) is strongly advised, but getting an altogether new, dead broke horse in addition to lessons for you would be even better.

kitten_Val 03-30-2010 09:06 AM

Frankly, I'd call the vet, not the trainer. If horse suddenly bucked you off something was hurting her. And if she's not getting better that's another sign.

Speed Racer 03-30-2010 09:39 AM

Yep, I'm thinking pain somewhere, probably in her mouth if she's drooling and gaping.

Horses do not have a drastic change of personality for no reason. Usually, when an animal who is normally sweet and docile becomes recalcitrant, it tends to be a physical issues.

I do have one question, though. Does she have access to loco weed? That affects a horse's central nervous system, and could account for her seemingly heightened state of fear.

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