New Horse Training Client (Have some Concerns) Please Help!!
I have recently started a new job at a horse rescue. The owner who used to do all the training is no longer able to do any thing that may cause her to get hurt or anything strenuous. (Aneurysm) For the last year the horses she has been rescuing have only been pastured and brushed and fed. There has been no training. There are 25 horses ranging from three months to 8 years old. They are divided up into five pastures five horses each. I am working with the two six month old stud colts first (her wish). My problem is that she does not have a round pen or anything other that the pastures. I have offered her to bring one of the horses at a time to my facility but she is worried about getting them in a trailer since NONE of them are halter broke. I try to work with them on getting used to the halter and lead rope (introducing it to them) but they are so close to each other that when one starts acting up they all do. I cannot work with one in the pasture and also watch my back for the others (they love to run around and be young). Any thoughts on how to go about this? I have asked if we can section off a portion of the pasture and put one of the horses in there as a solo, but they are such a tight group and are very attached to each other that I am worried that unless I can work with the horse away from the others (as in not even being able to hear them) it is going to be a long hard battle... PLEASE HELP!!
Wow! Is she that rich?? 25 horses for pasture puffs.... If she's that rich ask her to get round pen, or at least those portable panels you can put up in field and "make up" the round pen. Explain her it's unsafe for YOU to work in environment you work in now.
that is a tough one. If you can section it off to have them separated that will at least keep you safer. will still take a lot of work as like you said they'll be listening for the others....plus you run the risk of them going through the fence. which being only 6 month old colts is highly probable.
do you have a stock trailer? one that you don't need to use daily? one that the step up isn't drastically high? if so, see if she'd let you park it in the turnout with the two young colts. put their water at the edge of it so they can drink it without having to step up and in for a couple days then gradually move it farther back. won't take them long at all to figure out it's ok.
at least it worked for me with a 2 and 3 year old that had never been halter broke;o) they always loaded like champs the rest of their lives too;o))
then once you can load them safely maybe then she'd let you take one to your facility?? just a thought.
(do make sure to block the trailer on all four corners and front and rear tires if you're not leaving it hooked to a truck....I know that's pretty obvious thing to do and since you're tackling this job you probably already know that....more for those who might read this and think they'll teach their horse this way)
I don't believe she has a lot of money... 25 horses im sure takes most of it... but she has been trying to find a trainer for the last year but we are in a very small town with a lot of "cowboy" trainers.... nothing wrong with them.. just not the right fit for an abused horse.... Would it be wrong of me to push for one horse at a time to come to my facility for a couple of weeks? It is more expensive for that... but I don't want her to think im pushing for it for the money...
To Shainne35... Yes i definitely have thought about that... I personally do not have a trailer that I can leave for that amount of time... This is just a really tough spot to be in right now because I want to help these horses and their owner, but I am not going to risk my life or train them half ass...
that's too bad you don't have a trailer to use. it's an easy method and is the least amount of stress for the horses and very safe for the people involved;o)
do be careful and YOU SHOULDN'T RISK YOUR LIFE!!! NO HORSE IS WORTH YOUR LIFE!
Countrygal892000, I get the feeling that you want the best for these horses, but my gut is saying that the owner is standing in your way of doing just that. There are ways to halter break horses or get them in a stock trailer if they aren't halter broke; it sounds to me like the owner is making excuses. What irritates me is that this woman took these horses in, but hasn't done a thing with them. Her personal situation is terrible, and I feel badly for her, but unless she bought all 25 at once and then very very soon afterwards got her diagnosis, I'm having a hard time with the situation. You do not wake up one morning with 25 horses and no means to care for them. You do not take 25 horses in without knowing how you're going to get them cared for with farrier and vet care, and without facilities in place to facilitate such training.
Countrygal892000, I think you're being awfully generous to take them one by one to a proper facility to get them trained up, and hopefully rehomed. I wish you all the best, and hope that the owner of these horses comes to realize that you're doing her a giant favor that most other people wouldn't.
Wow, what a tough situation. Good for you trying to give these horses a chance. If you have access to a stock type trailer, maybe you could mention that it is possible to use a few fence panels and drive them into the trailer without them being halter broke. That way, you could get them to a place with adequate facilities for training. You are a saint for trying to help and I hope you can find a way to work with the owner (or at least that she will try to work with you) so that those horses will have a chance.
Thank you all for the well wishes and suggestions. They are taken to heart more than you will know. The owner is so scared to even talk in a loud voice for scaring them. I understand that these are abused horses, but they are going to have to get used to being around loud noises and dogs and other such things. They are her horses so I don't want to impede too much, but to do my job I have to put in my two cents on how I believe they need to be handle. She did hire me after all. But I did talk to her tonight and we have agreed for her to purchase a round pen or boards and make one. So im guessing this weekend we will put it up. After I get some of them halter broke I am going to push to get them transported to my facility for further training. Again thank you all for your input! Any ideas on anything (training abused and neglected horses), please don't be afraid to let me in on your knowledge!
Here is my advice...which also is my signature....don't make excuses for them. Don't allow them to be babied because they have been abused. You treat them the way you treat all your other horses and everything should be just fine. Set goals and accomplish them. Horses don't understand pity. They really don't. By softening your approach to accomodate a possible abuse victim...you aren't showing them compassion...you are showing them weakness and an opportunity for them to be the alpha over you.
Treat them like all the others you have ever worked with. Be firm, be consistant and be caring. Show that them is nothing to fear and most of them will believe you.
I would lump them into age groups and start there. For all it matters, you could lump them into colors. Just something to seperate a group of them. Have a plan and stick to it.
Good luck. This board is a wealth of knowledge if you hit a snag.
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