One person horse?
I know there were a couple of threads awhile back about this but I cannot seem to find exactly what I'm looking for so here I am at 1:30 am begining a new one.
I have next to ZERO experience with TB's, and this is part of the reason I am kinda throwing this out there, I am used to arabs, and we all know how silly THEY can be.
Anyhow, as some of you know I bought my TB Gelding Butch in December, but had been riding him for a woman for three months before that because she wanted him worked and was afraid to ride him since she had been tossed once when he was 'in a mood'.
Having had only a few hours each week with him I never tried too hard to dig too deep into why he may have acted that way with her. He also rolled over on her once and rolled on another person once, but never gave me the slightest impression that he might do something like that when I was riding him.
Well, now I've got him back and he's mine and I am seeing more and more of his personality shine through his Eyore Facade.
So, by now I have been riding him for 5 months, and have never had a single problem. We have worked diligently on his ground manners and I sometimes employ the help of my BF to get him used to more comfortable with someone besides myself, as my daughter and her friends are all excited to ride him.
Yet, it seems every time I hand him off to BF something crazy happens. He has rolled twice, bucked twice, and just straight out refuses to listen to the most general commands. He jerks away from BF, buries his head in the grain bin, won't stand still, tries to refuse the saddle, he just turns into a complete mess.
When I see these things, which I can put an end to by just stepping into view and sometimes a 'PSH!' it makes me wonder about his past.
His last owner said SHE had trouble controlling him and I've spoken to a couple other people who have said 'You bought THAT? For HOW MUCH? WHY? He's uncontrollable!'
But... he's NOT. He's SENSITIVE. At least that's what I think.
What do you guys think?
Is he sensing with others that he can get away with murder and so doing just that? Or does he actually have THAT much faith in me that I won't steer him into danger?
His biggest issue is being led out of the pasture. He is the low man on the totem pole and so a couple of the horses will follow us and try to nip his rear end. When I am leading him, I shove him genty to the side and wave the lead rope at the others and he stands patiently, watching me.
If someone else is leading him and the other horses try this business, he starts to buck and has nearly run one person over trying to get out of the way.
I'm sorry this is so long, but his behavior is so drastically different when he is with me than anyone else and at times I am so touched because it is clear he trusts me, he has never once fought me on something I asked him to do, but I worry that he might never be able to get along with anyone else. As far as having others ride him or what not. He's is NOT down.
So, end of rant, is he a one person horse or does he just need more time? Either way I don't mind, he is the great love of my life and if he is just mine, that is what it is, I will just have to fenaggle another, less sensitive horse for the girls and BF.
I will tell you that a horse can sense when someone is a leader and when someone is not. Only that he should Not be allowed to get away with any type of disrespect. Anyone who handles him needs to feel the same confidence you must have. You must teach anyone who handles him on how to correct him in a quick and strict manner so he will learn not to behave this way.
It can become a dangerous situation for anyone including you. I do believe that a horse is capable of trusting one person and not another. But he will need you to become stronger and teach others to handle him with more sensitivity and firmness. He will test you from time to time to see where you stand in his world. One little give from you can turn out to be a big deal to him.
You don't want him getting any ideas that humans are weak. I would say as far as anyone you want him to be able to be near, that person needs to be right there with you to watch what you do and how you react to what he does when he acts up. If your daughter wants to ride him be with her on the end of a lead line for a few days. Probably not what she will want but it would satisfy her curiosity and she will get to ride him.
If anything, get another Broke horse for the kids. It will not hurt anyone to still watch how you respond to him when he's "in the mood". Good luck with this and stay safe. I do believe he trusts you but there's a reason and I would really try to figure out why and try and pass that on to BF and your daughter. Its very helpful to all when a horse acts up.
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Aside from her basic training as a foal, I am the only person to work with/handle Sunny(TB). This becomes very obvious when someone else tries to work with her.
My aunt can't deworm her because she "acts crazy," but when I do it she is fine.
They can't get her halter on.
They can't give her vaccinations.
She's tried to kick them.
But with me? I won't say she's an angel, but she definitely doesn't give me trouble in those areas.
I believe it is because I am the only human who has demanded her respect, and who hasn't feared her. It sounds like this could pertain to your situation, too.
My strategy with the situation is that I don't let inexperienced people do anything other than the very basics with Sunny, like leading for a short period or brushing her shoulders(I don't like them by her rear).
This way she always has to respect whomever is working with her and she learns that she can't just run over everyone.
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I've had many horses in my life and would not have thought in those terms until a few years ago and a QH mare nicknamed Alice. I traded another horse for her based on her breeding.
I rode that horse everywhere for a few months and she never gave me a single bit of trouble. Eventually I came across her old farrier who told me some horror stories about how she threw her former owner all over the place. About that time, a friend of mine wanted to buy Alice and use her for a brood mare. He made me an offer I couldn't refuse and I sold her. Neither he nor any of his exercise riders could stay on her. They could ride her once or twice but eventually she would decide that she didn't like them and off they would come.
To make a long story short, whenever I came to visit, no one else existed - she would come over and follow me all over the pasture, and she would call to me when I left. It's been 2 years since I sold her and she is still the same when I see her. She's a brood mare now and hasn't been saddled in over a year - even though she is only 8 years old.
MBender ~ I agree with everything you said. Sadly I think BF is a lost cause, because he straight up refuses to be firm with him. And so it causes tension but I have had to refuse to let him do certain things and if Butch and I are in 'work' mode I refuse to let him be there at all.
But, yes, he needs a lot of work (Butch...well, BF too, ha-ha) and consistancy and until just these past few days we have been pretty much only able to ride in the small arena inside, I will try leading my daughter, like you said. Thanks for the advice!
Sunny~ Your situation sounds pretty much the same as mine. It is hard for me to actually TEACH someone as I am trying to do with my daughter, I can only go on what I FEEL when I'm with a horse and when she's with him I can't feel his tension or how his head is going to move. And yeah, for the time being I have totally had to keep anyone from trying to do anything other than brush him toward the front or give him a cookie, but yeah, leading him anywhere is not an option for anyone right now. I'm not too worried about BF but I am hoping that once summer vacation hits and my daughter can be with me more he will become easier with her, also. Thanks a bunch for sharing and advice!
iridehorses~ Your story is touching and sad. My mom had a horse like that when I was a kid. No one could ever go near her and when my mom hurt her back and couldn't ride nothing could be done and Goldie just became a pasture buddy for my horses. Isn't that odd how that happens? Personally, this is my first experience with something like this. The horses I had growing up were like big puppies, anyone could ride them, clip them, whatever, they didn't care. So, I was hoping to find similar stories, advice and critiques in a way.
Thanks for sharing your story!
I think instead of just teaching my horse, I'm going to have to teach my people as well! :/ Thanks everyone!!!
Yup, my once in a lifetime horse was a one person horse. It is the girl in my avatar, can't tell you how much I loved her. She is an OTTB and had a rough time on the track and off the track as she is somewhat....opinionated. As you can see from the piccie, she wasn't this way with me.
However, I also found out that having a one person horse can be a pain in the butt and I don't ever want another one. It's great if my horses like and respect me but I want them to share that sentiment with all people, not just myself. No idea how you go about training that, it is really up to the individual people that are handling the horse at the time.
Unfortunately my current TB mare seems to be showing similar signs of being a one person horse. She has kicked the ranch hands despite my warning them not to put up with any of her crap. One wouldn't even go into her stall to feed her, he would just gingerly pour her feed over the divider like she was some sort of carnivorous monster. Towards me, a sweeter, kinder more respectful horse I couldn't ask for. Like night and day.
She is pasture boarded and only goes into a stall to be fed. She puts herself in the stall and waits to be fed to avoid being caught. When she is let out she rushes past them and screams around the paddock like an idiot for a minute or two. Again, human error as whoever lets her out should make her wait patiently and politely until they allow her to pass by.
Just found out the other day that she doesn't allow herself to be caught by others either. I didn't believe it as she is waiting at the gate when she sees me coming and usually tries to get her nose in the headstall before I am even ready to put it on her. But saw it with my own eyes. She doesn't run away but she will just keep enough distance between her and the person so that catching is impossible. She doesn't appear scared, a little wary and perhaps defiant.
So it is sweet but it is more of a pain in the butt than anything else. With the current situation, I would say it is more the fault of the humans than it is her really being a one person horse but unfortunately the result is the same.
So my advice (which I have to take myself) is to get others handling your horse too, show him/her that ALL people are to be treated with respect. Otherwise there will come a time when someone who is not you may need to do something with your horse and you want your horse to behave appropriately!
This is slightly late but maybe it can still be of use ^_^
I very, very strongly believe that there are 'one person horses' out there, and many of them can't ever be 'trained' to like other people. Its been tried thousands of times and almost every time it fails. And really it's not fair to try and force them to like other people. HOWEVER. It is CRITICAL that you make it clear to Butch that even though he doesn't have to like other people, he absolutely cannot act up any time he pleases with them.
I have a AMH filly named Sour who sounds to be a LOT like Butch. Granted, she has had some bad things happen to her to make her dislike certain people more than others, but she seems to also of just been born with something in her head that doesnt let her trust. Really, I’m not sure she’d even be a one person horse if it wasn’t for how insanely stubborn I am. She lets me know constantly that she would be perfectly fine with no person in her life. However, it is also apparent that she has chosen me as the one person who is allowed to ‘annoy’ her as she puts it x] before I began to work with her, she was considered the demon spawn of the barn. She was IMPOSSIBLE to catch (you'd have to first corner her, rope her, then drag her atleast 5 feet behind you out of the pasture) to get her, no one could touch her, you couldn't halter her without her taking a bite out of you, and if you DID somehow catch her, she's rear,buck,kick, and bite until you gave up. Then she'd smugly prance away. With me, although it took some time (more like two years)- I eventually won her trust and she now comes up to me in the pasture, allows me to halter her and lead her out, she lunges, sidesteps, backs up, and turns on cue, lets me touch her everywhere but her hooves, and although she sometimes does take a kick at me or nip me- its not near as bad as with anyone else. She doesn't allow anyone but me to handle her unless I am with her (and absolutely NO men). However, I have slowly taught her that she is not allowed to hurt anyone who wishes to catch her. She still misbehaves as far as getting pushy and nipping, and she's still the barn terror- but she's not half as bad as she used to be. I've taught her that no matter how much she hates someone, she MAY NOT hurt them. She can sulk and pin her ears as much as she wants, but as soon as she takes a nip or a kick at them, she's in trouble. Somehow you're going to have to relay that to your horse. That disliking is ok, but action because of the dislike or mistrust is not ok. It will take time, but it can work.
whooo for huge posts! xD but one more thing. I don't think you can teach a person the way you act around a horse. Its something unique to you. And even if you could, and they mimicked you perfectly, Butch would still know its not you. They can't be tricked that easily :wink: believe me. It WILL help to find someone who is confident and not afraid of him to maybe work along side of you with him though. Like with Sour, I think the reason she respects me is because I portray myself as the alpha. She bites me, I "bite" back. She gets too close to me, I force her away. She turns her butt at me, I make her run. She knows I'm not afraid of her, so she listens. She's not necessarily afraid of me, but she respects who I am and the fact that she needs to listen to me.
Ok now I'm rambling :lol: sorry! Hope something of this made some sense atleast. haha. Good luck and remember "you can be as annoyed as you want to be, but you can't do anything stupid about it" is the motto! ^_^
Well said Endiku.
Reflecting back on things, I don't think either of my two are true 'one person horses' it's just that they are both a little fiery and need a strong leader that doesn't take any crap. That is not always the case for every person. Truth be told, that grey horse was a rotten stinker when I bought her and it took months of training and persistence on my behalf to get her to behave nicely. Once we clicked we never looked back.
I like to say that 99% of horse problems are 'user error'.
Iride's story sounds more like a true 'one person horse'. Great story BTW, I was a little sad that you sold her and think you should buy her back ha ha. I'm such a little girl at heart :wink:
ETA: Dusty, pictures please!!
I tried buying her back but he won't part with her - even though he can't ride her. She is due to deliver next month and I'd like to be there for that.
Swoop is like that.. but he's gotten better with time, but u can still tell he's "my horse" i let my bf ride him years ago and she was a top rider in her state. well as long as she let him do what he wanted.. he was fine, the moment she asked him to do what she wanted not in a mean way but normal, off she went. he still tests me bf and anyone who rides him but no one can get him to behave or move like i do, not even my dressage trainer. but no one can even attempt to ride him if im not there.. that turns out HORRIBLY
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