Extremly aggressive horse
Hello. I guess lately I find myself dealing with a lot of problems :D. Well, here's the story.
Lately we received a new horse, he is a stallion, 4 or 5 years old, his name is Calin. He is a Shaghya Arab, almost or over 16 hh I guess, he is branded but the brand is not very visible, I guess because of his coloring. He is an abused horse, obviously. I don't know his past, I know only that he has bitten his owner from the belly and the owner received medical care. After that we were called to help the owner to catch his horse. He said initially that we should take the horse because he can't handle him. After that he said that he called us only to help him catching it. We ended by buying the horse with almost 600 $. They wanted to kill the horse so we saved him from sure death. The catching was a real fight. The horse was so aggressive that he wanted to attack all the people that tried to approach him. If you came close to him, at 100 m, he will attack you. And it was an open field. He tried to attack even the car, he took a bite from the car and wanted to crush it with his front hoofs.
We catch him with a lot of effort. He loads great but we needed two or three people to hold him.
Now we want to geld him and then work with it. We will be happy if we could bring him to a state were an experienced person could handle him. I'm aware that he will not be a docile horse ever. He saw that he could attack a human, or dominate him so it will be very hard to teach him otherwise.
I think that the horse was beaten up often and he think that every human want to beat him when he approach him. He is very scared of groups and children. If you go to him lonely he is more relaxed and you can touch him. But if he feels threatened he will turn his butt at you and try to hit you, or he will try to attack you with his front legs. We can't keep him in a stall because it will be almost impossible to catch him after, so we keep him in a standing stall.
I want to see your opinions. Do you think that his case is beyond hope? You think that he can be trained to not attack people and accept their presence? What will be the best way to approach him?
And I should mention that we can't send him to a trainer :lol:. We don't have horse trainers here in the proper sense. In my country this job doesn't exist. The so called horse trainers are the ones that can teach a horse some tricks or teach him to accept the saddle or harness. But even this things are done by the owner. We have two very experienced horsemen who will deal with the horse. This is the best that we can offer him. They said that the horse will be ok and they will manage to calm him. I trust them but I wanted a second opinion. I know that the ways of training are different and I want to hear all the opinions available.
I will put some videos with him to see his reactions.
DISCLAIMER: I know that the person that is dealing with the horse in this video doesn't do this in a responsible manner. But it was his choice to approach the horse and to expose himself to the danger. He worked with horses more than 15 years.
1. Here Calin is treated in a very calm and non aggressive manner. We try to make him tolerate human presence. We can't punish him if he tries to bite at this point because he will become to scared and defensive. We try only to make him understand that human presence is not bringing him any harm. If we will accomplish this we will try to demonstrate him that we are leaders and he must obey.
2. Here you can see how nervous the horse can be. He is biting the metal bars form his stall.
Calin 3 video by gothic-evans - Photobucket
3. Here the person is trying to put a bit in his mouths. We want to put a bridle on him for a better control. Because he stands only in the stall 'cause is very dangerous to bring him outside with only the halter. The horse got scared and tried to attack. The person was ok after the incidend.
Calin video 2 video by gothic-evans - Photobucket
How very, very sad. He's quite beautiful, too.
My opinion: I'm very uncomfortable with the restraint. I know you have to be safe, but forcing the human presence doesn't seem to be working. I would actually stay away. After gelding, and doing his feet and teeth (under sedation) I wouldn't touch him at all, maybe not for weeks. I would put him in a pen large enough for a little exercise, and some shelter, and get him used to being fed. The human presence would become something less than evil. I would start touching him at a distance, with a shedding comb, something with a handle, just to brush flies off. He needs to want to come to the human. I would try to have just one handler. Other people should stay away. I think everything needs to be as consistent as possible.
When it was time for necessary handling, like farrier work, I would use a mild sedative. Horses can learn under mild sedation.
I would expect this to take a long, LONG time. I've heard of horses being rescued like this, and many never become more than pets. But you never know, especially with Arabs. Best of luck!
he is gorgous he looks to have some draft in him. what seems to work is not forcing the prescence but def using food to get him to tolerate you and then want to b with u
wow he is beautiful. It's too bad that you don't have an area to put him to just be a horse for a while. Him being tied up like that is not helping the situation at all.
Geld him like yesterday!!! Find another barn to keep him at until he recovers then bring him back and turn him out with the herd so he can learn to be a horse. THEN, start getting him used to humans again.
Keeping a horse tied 24/7 is not humane. You are only adding to his stress.
Just watching that video scares the crap out of me. If you decide to push forward with recovery, expect it to be a long and drawn out process that could take years. Even then, I doubt you will ever be able to fully trust him. Gelding him should help. Im sorry to say that if he were my horse, I would try my best and if there wasn't progress in the first few months...he would have to go. Does he only attack when provoked? Was he ever handled?
Yes, you are right. I definitely agree with you on this one. But, not in this circumstances. Considering the circumstances we didn't had a choice. We are the only horse rescue in the country. A country with 22 million people with one single rescue. If we didn't took him he will be dead now. So I guess that being tied until he will get calmer is not such a bad thing. We want to geld him asap but it will be a hard job considering that it will be hard to make him his post operative treatments. But we don't have a choice. So he will be gelded, then we hope that in two or three months he will be calm enough to accept a handler. Hopefully we will be able to turn him out in the arena. In a couple of months he will be calmer. If not, I don't know. We will try our best to rehabilitate the poor animal. I know that the condition aren't great, the trainers aren't what you'll call a trainer, the rescue center doesn't have the condition that you are used to, but it's a different country. And for sure I hate my country when it comes to animal rights or animal care. But we must deal with it. This is the only chance to save this animal. If we sale him or give it away they will beat him more in order to approach him. That's the rule here, when an owner has an aggressive horse he will beat the animal in order to handle him. This is what happened to this one too.
As a rescue we try to change the things. And we try to give the animals better conditions. In your country this rescue centre won't be approved, because of lack of condition. We do feed our horses and treat them in a nice way, but we don't have the minimum of 10' x 10' stalls, or very big pastures. We have a lot of standing stalls and just a few stalls that are not very big.
And I really appreciate all the input and advices. So keep them coming. We really try our best to save this poor horse even if we don't have all the conditions. I really think that it's best to give him a chance to a better life.
Is there any way you could build him an enclosure to walk around in, instead of being tied. That alone sounds frustrating for him, and no way to expend all his excess energy.
However sometimes we all have the best intentions and need to work with what we got.
I would use a sedative to work with the necessary (feet trimming and getting him gelded). Also I would leave him alone and not try touching him just yet. I would have him in an area that has people around alot but noone paying too much attention to him. The idea being him accepting people in his space and them not doing anything with him. I would also have someone (a person) just sitting in the stall next to him (out of harms way). Again this way he gets used to the smell and sight of people without them touching him or getting in his space. Hopefully he will get the idea that people around doesn't have to equal him needing to be aggressive or protective of himself.
I also agree with Beling - be consistent, feeding at the same time, handling him on the same side, having his food and water at the same location, ect.. Having consistency and a routine may help him feel more stable and safe and his environment then is predictable.
Could you also have a very calm horse or some other animal in a stall close to him for the animal confort and that way he's never alone?
When it comes to touching him I would use a glove tied to a stick or whip (or something to act as an extesion of your arm). That way he can bite and kick that instead of someone possibly getting hurt. I would only do the touching for very short periods of time (5 min a day a couple of times a day or something), and then build on that.
Also, in my opinion, restraining the horse to accept human touch seems a little unnecessary. I think if you work within his comfort zone (using some of the ideas I previously suggested) you will end up with more positive results.
Best of luck
I'm sure that he was handled. I guess that he was stolen from somebody. In my country the horses are branded only if they come from stud farms. Calin was probably stolen from such a farm by the gypsies and sold him after. I guess that he was dominant and hard to handle so they beat him up in order to calm him down. For sure he was sold numerous times, drugged in order to be sold and so on. This owner purchased him and after 2 days the horse bitten him and then escaped. When we first caught the horse they all came, 5-6 men with forks, metal bars and so on and wanted to kill the horse in front of us. We let the horse escape in order to save his life and then talked with the people and offered us to buy him from them. So we purchased him and after that we tried to catch him again.
So you can imagine how was his life before we purchased him. Is no surprise that he is so aggressive, he has such a strong personality and it's such a dominant horse.
We know that will be a long way until he will be ok. We don't expect him to be an angel. As I said we only hope that he will calm down in order to be handled safely only by an experienced horseman. We won't sell him, he will become a permanent resident to our rescue center. It's the only solution for now. Maybe he will cooperate with us in time, and maybe he will recover more than we expect. Only time will tell.
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