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loopdaloop 02-28-2007 01:22 PM here..and needing advice
hi everyone,I really need some help.
We've just bought a 16hh pure french trotter (we live in france so there is plenty about!) who is 12 years old and was supposed to be an angel. in fact, we tried him out and he seemed perfect.
Now the dream of having my own horse has turned into a nightmare. 3 times hes threatened to rear with me. he barges in the stable and won't let me groom him unless he is tied up quite tightly against the wall.
i know a lot of this is down to my confidence as i dont have a lot of it around him anymore,but also he refuses to even try and bond with me. when he first arrived i sat in the barn with him and tried to stroke him,scratch him,just generally do some bonding. he kept walking away from me and now he refuses to come unless i have food.

Its completely heartbreaking for me,as for the past 10 years (I'm 14 by the way...i've loved horses for as long as i can remember!) all i;ve wanted was a horse. My friend mangaged to work with her horse,and everyone else seems to cope. i don't understand and its making me upset and stressed out. does anyone know what it might be about???

ImaFlashyBit 02-28-2007 01:43 PM

First of all don't get frustrated and don't give up. It def. sounds to me like a respect issue and something that can be solved with the two of you taking lessons together. It will build your confidence as a young rider and teach you how to better handle him when he does act up which will in turn help correct him as well. He def. needs some groundwork and some manners.
Stay positive, owning a horse is at times challenging but very rewarding. The bond you to can form will be amazing, you just need to get eye to eye first.

JumpinHigher 02-28-2007 02:21 PM

Hey, don't be discouraged! When I got my first 2 horses, the one that was absued and spooky as all get out became my project. I went into it expecting troubles, whcich I did run into frequently. But I tell you, one thing will help you more than anything else-

Join Up. Or free lunging. Or whatever you want to call it. Here's a good start:

1) Take him into a roundpen ( trust me it's so much better. When I first started I had to run around the whole darn arena to keep him going), and work him. Work him work him work him. Keep him trotting, and if he canters, that's ok, because right now, controll is not the issue. Let him run. Let him run till he gets tired and only wants to trot. And then keep making him trot. Work him until he dosn't want to work anymmore. Watch his inside here almost caonstaly, eventually, that ear will almost always be on you- which means he's paying attention to you.

2)But that's not enough, Keep him going. It's ok if he sweats, the whole point is to make him go go go until he dosn't want to "go away" from you anymore. He When he starts relaxing his head and his ear is always on you, stop chasing him, and watch him. He should stop and face you, maybe even walk up to you, although he is more likely to do this if you turn your back to him. But before you attempt to ask him to follow you, come up to him qand rub his forhead, and then walk away and see if he follows you.

Montey Roberts and a couple others whom I greatly respect say this should always be the end result. I dissagree. My horse never lowered his head and licked in chewed. it just wasn't in him. But eventually, if I put my hand under his chin and drew his head forward and THEN walked away, THEN and only then, would he follow. But the one thing you look for is the turning to face you. that means he respects you some, if not completely.

3) Now, if he does no follow you, or backs away- or lunges at you- when you approach him, then send him off again. and start the process all over again. make him go go go. Let him know YOU are alpha. this is nothing new t them. This is herd hierarchy. the lead mare does it to insolent yearlings. All horses understand it (There's always an exception or too though). This is not cruel and unusual. Sometimes it take a horse a couple of sessions. That's ok. But keep doing this until you get the desiered result or you can no longer chase him because your too tired ( that's how liong it took with my horse).

Now, this may take a couple days, maybe even a week- Duke was terrified of humans and loathed them with his very existance. It took him a long time to accept me as alpha- AND trust and respect me, which is your true goal.

You can IM me or email me anytime if you have any questions.

mokinho 03-01-2007 01:04 AM

adjustment period
There is ALWAYS an adjustment period.....

It may take longer than a few days or a week, its up to you to be persistent on a daily basis and start with baby steps.

Take him out and tie him up tight just has you have had to do in the past. BE RELAXED when your brushing him. Then sometime in this process when you think he has relaxed some, adjust the rope by giving him some more length and brush some more. BE CONFIDENT and talk to him the whole way through don't be jumpy or make sudden moves let him know what your doing the whole way through.

He needs to know everything is OK and to learn to adjust to who you are and that takes TIME.

How long have you had him?

Softtrainer 03-05-2007 09:08 AM

Be careful with tying him up tight. If he does not know how to give in to pressure, then he will forever pull against whatever it is that's applying the pressure.

Teach him not to fight by applying downward pressure on his lead line (by pulling down with your hands and just holding it there). Once you feel him release or give even a little bit to your pull, stop pulling. Do this over and over and over until all you have to do is tap the line and he will drop his head. By doing this, you are teaching him to give in to the pressure and to relax. He will consistently fight you and be high strung while tied if you do not teach him how to accept it and relax. You can also do the same thing to his poll. Apply pressure with you fingers and release when he gives. See how low you can get his head! Have fun and enjoy your horse :0)

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kristy 03-06-2007 12:01 AM

You are over your head. Period.
You are dealing with a horse threatening to rear, a very dangerous situation for you to be in. It is NOT worth compromising your safety, trust me. There are good replies above, but I don't agree with any of them promoting you to take this on your own.
The very first thing I would suggest is to eliminate all possibility of pain. The saddle, her soundness, her teeth, whatever. If you are absolutely certain pain isn't a cause, continue. If you do not find pain when there is some but "assume" everything is okay, you will ruin your horse even further, I promise. Call a vet, trainer or professional to help assess your horse, it's worth it and the wise thing to do.
If there is no pain, get a trainer. This is a serious behavioral issue and I feel that (by no fault of your own) you shouldn't tackle this by yourself. I completely understand being frustrated to tears over a bump in the road with a horse. But please, take it from someone who has been in your shoes and consider my suggestions.

loopdaloop 03-06-2007 02:09 PM

Hi..thanks for all the replies!
Its going a lot better now. my mums pretty good with horses having been around them for a long time and shes been helping me out a lot. he's calmed down and hasn't done anything to stop me riding him (rearing,bucking...etc) and is actually beginning to listen to me and is settling in a lot more.
There isn't any pain luckily,we've had him checked out. we had his hooves loked at by the farrier as well last week just to make sure and because they weren't properly cleaned or even trimmed at his last stables and, although me and my mum tried, we couldn't get all the horrible nasty stuff out he took it out and we have been wondering if it could have had something to do with that.

And i really don't want to be annoying but i have another question. is there any particular reason for him to be licking everyone in sight?? he has a salt block as we wondered if he wanted more salty things but it doesn't stop him. Its rather confusing!

CowgirlKate004 03-07-2007 12:31 PM


Take a deep breath. Horses are VERY sensitive to everything around them. A new place, new people, new food, even something a little as different water or different pasture buddies might make your horse stressed out. The best thing you can do it sit back and realize your horse is going to need time and that you cant gain his trust overnight.

The horse will pick up on your nervousness, lack of confidence, and frustration. Remember that horses in the wild are herd animals. The horse that thinks he can dominate you, will. He can tell that you are not confident enough to MAKE him walk nicely next to you, to MAKE him stand while you touch him and brush him, to MAKE him behave when you ride him or lead him. I know it's hard, but you have to be his herd master for him to respect you. He's just being a bully.

Small steps are the best. If he only comes to you when you have food, use that to your atvantage. He'll want the food. But make him do something you want him to do before he gets it. If he wants the carrot in your pocket, make him stand for 2 minutes while you bush him. then reward him. If he tries to push you around, you have to push back. If he tries to drag you into the stall or something like that, walk him back out, and dont let him go to his food until he can walk in nicely. Horses aren't dumb, they can figure out that if they want their food, they will have to behave. When he realizes that behaving and treating you nicely will gain him a reward, he'll learn that you are the way to food and you are his master. But you have to believe that yourself, and it wont happen overnight, so dont loose faith.

High Fence 03-07-2007 10:40 PM

I have never read a book about horses . but since birth ive never not had a horse or aleast ten . and im here to tell you my idea . first of all allways remember its like the justis scale . one cup is work and disaplin the other is loven ,peting ,and feeding . so for every time you give him a treet or grain or snack he needs five minutes of work . if you feed him five times you owe it to him to work him 25 minutes. this is very important if you want a balanced horse . if you just make him back up ask him to stop then come forward and stop until he listen . or in the round pen not full laps around but maybe a half then change directions. its not about going around but doing what he is told so constantly ask somthing diferant.he should look strait ahead unless you ask for somthing diferant. if you have cotrol of the head the rest will fallow. throw your treats in the trash!!!! no human or beast ever got respect from bribeing someone. and no one will love you becouse you pay them evan if it is with treats . bottom line this horse is spoiled like a little kid and used to getting his way .if there is only one thing you can get him to do wether its back up or what ever . make him do it to let him know your incharge .nice will come on its own it will just show up gradualy and one day you will say with a smile remember how it used to be. it sounds like you have a beutiful animal now make him that way on the inside just demand respect . one mian thing to remember maybe you have hered the 3 second rule were you have three seconds to respond with disaplen well its WRONG you have three tenths of one second them your in the mind of your horse. He then thinks you know what he is thinking. then and only then . he is the one who is intimedated. this is alot but its real simple .and dont look him in the eye that means your asking him if this ok .that dont work becouse your in charge. basic halter class western plesure style .is a very good exersise. well get tough and have fun :wink:

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