How to know if my horse was abused? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
 112Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #21 of 31 Old 01-11-2019, 10:14 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 16,163
• Horses: 1
It could be from anything. Horses do silly things.

I wouldn't even give it a second thought. Live in the NOW.

A lot of horses are afraid of whips, doesn't mean they were abused. Now, my horse, she WAS abused/beaten with a whip, many times from my old BO, to get her on the trailer (hence why trailer training her took me a few weeks to get her used to the fact it was a positive thing now), I mean, they were LOOKING for marks after, that's how bad it was...that's a whole 'nother story...but it took me a bit to get her used to the whip when I lunge her, and understand it isn't a scary thing.

However...not EVERY horse was abused just because they're afraid of them. :)
JCnGrace and AtokaGhosthorse like this.

Ride more, worry less.
PoptartShop is offline  
post #22 of 31 Old 01-11-2019, 10:24 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,769
• Horses: 8
Best thing OP can do now is slowly desensitize her to the whip if it's a tool she or he uses often, and it sounds like they do. By slowly, I mean fully earn her trust FIRST before reintroducing it, and then show her, let her smell it, see it, inspect it, hold it neutrally so it's not appearing to be 'in use', then walk away, put it up. Do something you don't need the whip for. Rinse and repeat on subsequent days until she's no longer alarmed at the sight of it. Gradually, eventually move it to her shoulder and rub her with it after she's inspected it, give her a snack for tolerating it if she's not a grabby greedy sort, then walk away. Rinse. Repeat.


I couldn't let Trigger SEE a lunging whip or a riding crop for a very long time. Even the tail end of a lariat/roping rope, would send him into a trembling puddle of terrified, shaking horse flesh and his ability to think was gone, just by the sight of those objects.


It took a long time, and I had help, my cousin's daughter, who came to the house every other day, in the evenings after work one summer. We spent hours just being around him, throwing a rope, swinging lead ropes around his legs, under his belly, across his butt and shoulders (Also things that terrified him). By autumn, we were able to introduce a lunging whip and it took many more hours or letting him inspect it, reassuring him we weren't going to beat him with it, and letting him move away and come back to inspect it again, and learning what his breaking point was (Too much seeing it would cause his brain to pop and suddenly, he's no longer 'two eye' thinking, but one-eye thinking and wanting to run away or shake apart, and once he got to that stage, it was pointless to try anything else except to be gentle and love on him with the scary things out of sight and not bring them back out until the next time).


That was two years ago. I'm still working with him, but he's not terrified of whips anymore.


PS - I got a lot of advice from some really worthy members here to desensitize him to the whips early on. It was good advice, it wasn't the right time for him - he hadn't come to trust me or look forward to being around me yet. Now I can do about anything I want around him, including trip and fall down in the woods while leading him out, and he doesn't freak out... much.
JCnGrace and PoptartShop like this.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
AtokaGhosthorse is offline  
post #23 of 31 Old 01-11-2019, 11:29 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 7,176
• Horses: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by heather313233 View Post
my new farrier said something to me that concerned me. He said those who train roping horses are known to be pretty rough on the horses.
That's a pretty stereotypical statement to make.

I know plenty of ropers who treat their horse like gold.
And I know some trail riders who should have their horse taken away from them.

Abuse is found everywhere in the horse world and I find it ill-educated of your farrier to make that statement about ropers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heather313233 View Post
This wouldn't normally concern me, except my mare is absolutely terrified of any stick or whip I pick up anywhere near her, even though I have never touched her with one.
And what does this have to do with roping?

Sounds like she just needs some desensitization work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by heather313233 View Post
She also has a very large and deep scar on her face. Below I have attached multiple images. Could this be a sign that my horse was beaten or mistreated in another way?

Highly unlikely that someone abused her to intentionally cut her face. Not impossible, but probably more likely that she cut herself on something at one point in time. You said it yourself -- horses get knicks, scrapes, and injuries from time to time.



My horse Red probably looks like he is abused to you then. Both his back legs are scarred up terrible, he's missing a chunk of his brachias muscles on the left front, and he's got a permanent bump on the back of his cannon bone on the left front.
....when in reality, he got into the fence on 3 different occasions (to scar up the back legs), he got kicked as a yearling (which tore off the muscle), and he probably slipped on the ice (and caused some swelling and scarring in the deep digital tendon).

Yeah, he's a little bit accident prone.

But getting back to your horse, if she was abused ..... why does it matter? You don't approach training any differently based on the horse's history. No matter what, you still train based on the animal you have in front of you TODAY.
loosie, boots, greentree and 2 others like this.

∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
beau159 is offline  
post #24 of 31 Old 01-11-2019, 12:20 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 2,769
• Horses: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
That's a pretty stereotypical statement to make.

I know plenty of ropers who treat their horse like gold.
And I know some trail riders who should have their horse taken away from them.

Abuse is found everywhere in the horse world and I find it ill-educated of your farrier to make that statement about ropers.
THREAD DRIFT: I hate the ropers and barrel racers and yeah, even bronc riders, get so many blanket statements about abuse hurled their way.

Rodeo is no different than any other horse oriented sport or activity. I've seen a barrel racer bloody her horse up from spurring him on a 110 degree summer afternoon to win a field race for a belt buckle she will never wear. I know other barrel racers that aren't there for the show or the prize, but there to excel in a sport with their horse, and those horses are treated good as gold. They're a huge investment of time and money for them... yet for the former type barrel racer, horses are machines, to be used, and thrown away when they break down. I blame some of those 'girls' moms and dads for simply handing them a 1D or 2D horse and not making the kid work for it and earn their spurs.

I know more than one roper that wept when his one and only best most favorite horse died well into his or her 30s and left them so grief stricken they aren't sure, 10 years later, if they'll ever find another horse as important to them as the one that died. Some have told me they will never rope again - they can't go through the loss of another horse that means so much to them. And these are salty, punchy* grown men in their 40s. And I've seen team ropers roll in in $200,000.00 rigs, unload, do their half hour of work, hoping to win 500.00, then immediately load their horse and roll on to the next rodeo. Their horses are usually crazy as run over dogs... because they never see anything but the inside of the trailer for days on end, except for that half hour of roping.


I know bucking broncs that not only buck at rodeos, but turn right around, after they're bucked out, and are saddled up and work the rest of the rodeo as PICK UP HORSES. They are treated like royalty, they know their job at the given moment, and take their jobs seriously.


So. I think a lot of people, ignorant to western riders and rodeo eventers, make these blanket anecdotal statements, probably based on a single person they've known or heard about, or even based on some horrific video on Youtube... and the reputation becomes one that's ill deserved.





*Punchy: N.Texas/S. Oklahoma slang for cowy, tough, bad888, rugged, etc. Origination: Cow Puncher.
boots, JCnGrace and mmshiro like this.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
AtokaGhosthorse is offline  
post #25 of 31 Old 01-11-2019, 12:27 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 3,043
• Horses: 0
I'd make it my life's work to get her over that whip/stick thing. I'd carry it when I lead, stick it in a back pocket when grooming (horse not tied in case of panic), set it on the ground and later pick it up and toss aside, go pick up sticks in the pasture and drag them around, scratch her with a whip or stick. Really, no end of things to do to get her past this. Do everything in a matter-of-fact manner...no big deal.


Years ago we had a gelding who, on occasion, would decide getting into the trailer was not on his agenda.
All we had to do was show him a crop, or a twig for that matter, and he would get right in. No panic but just an "Oh, okay" sort of attitude. Evidently someone in his long life did some convincing. He was a very easy guy to live with and I doubt he was ever abused but someone found the key to this particular quirk.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
Dustbunny is offline  
post #26 of 31 Old 01-11-2019, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 119
• Horses: 1
I totally understand that not all trainers are the same and I do not assume so. I know that most people who train love horses and want to do everything possible to help them succeed. I have been working on some desensitizing things especially with rope ends and whips as well as plastic bags, camera clicks, and people speaking. She does really well with simple distractions but will not be anywhere near a whip unless I tie her off somewhere and then bring the whip to her.

She is doing very well with her weight, and is even slightly underweight at the moment. I am working on bringing it back up just slightly but she seems very happy. Although I am disappointed my new farrier did make that general statement, he is an incredible farrier and spent a lot of time working to make her hooves even and making sure she was taken care of. He walked us through what foundering is again and what he was seeing on her. She has no white line, but he does know that she has foundered and is doing many things to help her by informing me and trimming her the right way. He did his job incredibly and though he made that statement, I do appreciate how well he's done with her.

I do not assume any group of riders or trainers act a certain way or treat horses a certain way, I am simply concerned about my mare. If I know she was abused or even if it's likely, I feel like I could better understand her and know how to take care of her better. She loves food and that comes in handy with training. Part of that makes me think she may have been neglected in the past. If I knew she had been beaten by a human I could be sure to always make sure she knew I had a whip before moving towards her in any way. I hold the whip far out from my body directly vertical so she will realize I have it and will let her watch as I slowly walk towards her, as to not make her as nervous.
heather313233 is offline  
post #27 of 31 Old 01-11-2019, 10:26 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 19,653
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by heather313233 View Post
She has no white line, but he does know that she has foundered and is doing many things to help her by informing me and trimming her the right way.
Yeah, as I've said time & again, probably also to you, owner education is a HUGE part of keeping horses healthy, so it's great if you've found a knowledgeable farrier who also wants to help you learn. I'm keen to see what her feets look like now? I don't get 'she has no white line' - what do you mean by that?

Quote:
If I know she was abused or even if it's likely, I feel like I could better understand her and know how to take care of her better. She loves food and that comes in handy with training. Part of that makes me think she may have been neglected in the past. If I knew she had been beaten by a human I could be sure to always make sure she knew I had a whip before moving towards her in any way. I hold the whip far out from my body directly vertical so she will realize I have it and will let her watch as I slowly walk towards her,
I don't think your knowing whether she was abused or not will help you better understand her. I think your learning more about equine behaviour & bodylanguage, and learning about behavioural psychology/learning theory will help that. As people have explained above, just because she's afraid of a whip doesn't mean she was 'abused' by one. Likewise just because she loves food doesn't mean she has been neglected... any more than I have, who loves food more than many!

I don't think 'ensuring you always have a whip' is appropriate, whether she was 'abused' in the past or not. And approaching her with a whip slowly with it in view is not likely to make her any more trusting of being approached by a whip. Nor is whether you hold it vertically or some other way. I'd just be rather blase with whips, sticks etc, but with whatever it is she's afraid of, I'd STOP approaching her with these things BEFORE she got truly afraid - approach & retreat & gradually increase her 'comfort zone' by not forcing the issue.
blue eyed pony and boots like this.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
loosie is offline  
post #28 of 31 Old 01-14-2019, 12:25 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 7,176
• Horses: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by heather313233 View Post
If I know she was abused or even if it's likely, I feel like I could better understand her and know how to take care of her better.

Nope.


Let's say you have Horse "A" who was abused and is very anxious and spooky because of it.
And let's say you have Horse "B" who was not abused, but still has anxiety and spookiness because lack of experience.


Both horses are anxious and spooky. Their history of WHY they are anxious and spooky does not matter. You will still approach both of their training exactly the same.


That is what I mean when I say her history doesn't mean anything. You train the horse you have in front of you at that moment. How they got there, doesn't matter.



Quote:
Originally Posted by heather313233 View Post
She loves food and that comes in handy with training. Part of that makes me think she may have been neglected in the past.

LOL, or not. Both Red and Shotgun love love food and they most certainly have not been abused (spoiled, maybe!). Most horses love food. Heck, most humans love food. (I do!!)



Quote:
Originally Posted by heather313233 View Post
If I knew she had been beaten by a human I could be sure to always make sure she knew I had a whip before moving towards her in any way. I hold the whip far out from my body directly vertical so she will realize I have it and will let her watch as I slowly walk towards her, as to not make her as nervous.

You should always been obvious with the whip anyway. Don't hide it. Let her see you have it. BUT also, do not sneak around her with it!! Don't walk on eggshells because that will actually make her more nervous if you act that way.



Just act NORMAL! Be normal with your movements and your body language. It about knowing how far to push her and when to hold and when to release.
loosie and AtokaGhosthorse like this.

∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
beau159 is offline  
post #29 of 31 Old 01-15-2019, 05:15 AM
Started
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Brunswick Canada
Posts: 2,205
• Horses: 1
Everyone else has said what I'd say, but I want to add a funny little thing..


I have a mare here who I know was abused before my father bought her 16 years ago. I witnessed it. That guys favorite thing to beat her with? A shovel.

When my father picked her up and hauled her home, he threw her right into a straight stall in the busiest part of the barn, and started shoveling. He ignored her melt downs, and kept on shoveling the barn. He did every stall except hers, and when hers was the last one, he walked up behind her and started shoveling. He kept out of range of her kicks and squeals and the urine flying, ignored her and kept shoveling. He spent an hour slowly shoveling until he was done. At this point she was drenched in sweat, trembling, and jacked up against the wall. THAT was a clearly abused horse. He put the shovel away, fed her, watered her and left her.

The next day, he came into the barn ( I witnessed this from my hiding place in the loft, quietly watching as any horse crazy kid with a horse trainer father would) picked up the shovel, and began his routine again. She kicked, urinated, growled and screamed, but this time it only took her about 45 minutes to settle. When he was done, he fed her, watered her, gave her a pat and left her. The next day? Again. Shoveled, fed, watered, brushed. He did this for a week. He let her settle in the barn, and treated her like a horse. When she threatened to strike him as he was tying her hay net, he struck her back in the nose with his fist and firmly told her "not today", and carried on like he would ANY other horse. Eventually, he could tap her leg with the shovel to move her over and she'd oblige. He had my mother and I in to shovel behind her, he used that shovel every day. He didn't hide it because she was scared, he didn't coddle her, he didn't do anything, because this was her new home and he wasn't the one beating her with the shovel anymore. Now, she's 28 and I peel mud off of her with the shovel loose in the pasture.

The point, is to work with the horse in front of you and completely forget about the past. To him, she was a mare who didn't like the shovel, with a spark of cold fire in her eye, a spitting temper, and loyalty that would put lassie to shame, not a sad abused, broken down nag who was underfed, under handled, aggressive, and roughed up. He saw her for the horse she could be and would become, not the horse she HAD become. And did she ever blossom in his care. She would lay down loose in the pasture for that man to get on her and they would chase bulls and jump fallen trees, power through the woods and across rivers, him whooping and hollering, her grunting and roaring like an animal. That man always had an eye for what a horse could be, not what a horse was. She lived for that man, and he lived for horses.
WhattaTroublemaker is offline  
post #30 of 31 Old 01-21-2019, 03:28 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 44
• Horses: 0
Rough Horsin' around

Quote:
Originally Posted by heather313233 View Post
My beautiful mare was cared for very well for many years. I know this because I am friends with the man that used to own her. She is now about 13 years old. I know horses rub up on things and can get scrapes and scars, but my new farrier said something to me that concerned me. He said those who train roping horses are known to be pretty rough on the horses. This wouldn't normally concern me, except my mare is absolutely terrified of any stick or whip I pick up anywhere near her, even though I have never touched her with one. I will never purposely hurt her. This is not the only concern. She also has a very large and deep scar on her face. Below I have attached multiple images. Could this be a sign that my horse was beaten or mistreated in another way?

https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...rP?usp=sharing

There are plenty of people who are rough on the horses even when they aren't ropers. Nearly everyone where I live is too rough on their horses and it's just a part of the way they learned to train a horse and behave around them.

I have seen plenty, I work with rehabilitating horses and problem horses. Horses give us clues as to what their past may have been and honestly I've found far more of their past was due to owners who simply didn't know much about horses or weren't trainers than people who abused them.

Horses that are skittish, sometimes it's because they've never been desensitized not to be so. Horses that are rearing and lunging and trying to bite people, have never learned any respect for their handlers or for that particular handler or could very well just be testing their pecking order with their new handler.

Horses with scarring are pretty normal whether raised in a stall or out in a pasture. They are curious by nature and by default learn not to do things the hard way when it comes to getting their legs, tails and mane caught up in stuff.

This is just a generalization.

Your farrier, having gotten around to many of the barns in the area probably knows what he's talking about. You see many things you can't unsee travelling from barn to barn, unfortunately. He may even know your horse from someone who owned him prior.

Usually, when a farrier or vet makes a comment to me like that, I wind up finding out a lot about their history. Though my farrier and vet know I would never repeat what they've said to me or they can lose work but they know what they've treated in an animal, what they've seen from people and who they are wary around. Most often, they are just trying to offer an animal a bit of peace from training extremes that aren't considered abusive to the point of having an animal taken away. Or they suspect things but can't prove what actually happened.

Maybe to ease your mind, ask the farrier next time or the vet seeing your horse if they know anything about the horse's history.

In any case, you now have to work with what you have to work with. As is the case for any animal sold to a new owner, period. Knowing his past and if it was abusive shouldn't change how you will train or what you will expect from your horse. Many people think, well I would go easier on them.

NO. You should train them exactly as you are doing. Your consistency and your expectations are what will strengthen the horse and teach them their new routine and what to expect from you. You wouldn't take it easier on a horse and let them do something bad just because they may have possibly been mistreated. You train them exactly the same way you train the rest minus the fact that you are unlearning & retraining them. So long as you are consistent in what you ask, clear in when you pressure on and off and make sure to reward them when they do right, it's really hard to go wrong with them.

Your expectation of them, makes them more confident. You being sure enough in yourself to get their feet moving when they are afraid and their focus back on you, makes them trust you as a leader. You being clear in your expectations builds a foundation of training for you to work with them and speak a language with them both of you understand.

PS

A horse will always remember a person who has wronged them. Any horse I've ever trained, when they see me after, they show excitement in seeing me and neigh to me, inevitably seeking out their apple treats. Horses that were abused by someone will react differently toward them. They tense up, ears speaks volumes or move their head away from the stall door, etc.

One horse I've been working with lately, the owner contacted me and said she just acquired a horse who wasn't head shy now all of a sudden is extremely head shy. I went over and set a camera up in her stall and disguised it well. It turned out not to be abuse at all. Their morning feeder didn't know her horse well enough yet and was trying to dump the bucket in the morning. Her horse tends to love to eat and lives, sleeps, breathes wanting to eat. So when the man would near the stall with her food, she would stretch her head over the stall door as far as she could to try to steal a bit of food. He thought she was trying to be bossy and bite him like some horses do. So he was waving his cap in her face to get her to back up. Never touched her with the cap, just waved it in front of her face so he could get inside of her stall to dump the food without becoming her morning snack. That's all it was. We introduced the morning feeder to her and her him and now she's no longer having this problem.

There is no such thing as an untraining animal. 60% of training/maintaining is training the owner first. 40% is the owner's consistency with what they've trained. The other 20% depends on the horse's history. Unfortunately, they're are untrainable people.
AndalusionTales is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My pony has been sexually abused I'm so hurt and confused I don't know what's next Keeley57 Horse Health 192 08-27-2012 12:57 AM
Is my Horse getting abused or What? chevy Horse Talk 2 06-23-2012 08:51 AM
My horse is getting abused! chevy Horse Health 16 06-23-2012 08:23 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome