Abused horse can't get over her past - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-13-2008, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Abused horse can't get over her past

I bought a mare 3 years ago form one of my friends. She is an awsome mare but can be unpredictable. I should start with her history. She is an 11 year old Appendix QH. She was a race horse as a two year old and then was sold off to run barrels as a three year old. There is record of her running a 16.2 second barrel run. then she was sold off to God knows who. I do know a cutting trainer got her and re trained her. My friend bought her wanting to use her as heeler horse, but he couldnt get her back into the box.
She has overcome alot since i got her. when i first got her, she was so head and ear shy that she would rear up and skrike at you out of fear. she now will place her head on my shoulder and is very personable. she was also terrified to go through gates, stall door ways, barns ailes. i have gotten her over that as well. the problem that i am having with her is that she is extreemly unprdictable under saddle. for example, last time i roder her, she got a small weed caught in her tail and went nuts. or a bird will fly out of a tree and scare her terribly. she has spookedf rom her own shadow. Dont get me wrong, she is a wonderful horse but when something doesnt sit right with her, it takes a long time for her to settle down and get over it. its weird because we have a great relationship with each other.
Does anyone have any suggestions? [/b]

*Khlassi:1985 Arab Gelding*
*Emma:1998 Appendix QH Mare*
dimmers_double is offline  
post #2 of 12 Old 07-14-2008, 12:25 AM
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Basicly.....you have your work cut out for you.....as far as being paitent goes. It will take time...and ALOT of it, which im sure you already know.

For me when i was working with my troubled lad, try not reacting to her fears. Keep control of course, but say she spooks and trys to take off......dont make a big deal out of it. Ease her back as clamly as you can do, say maby one small phrase or word like ' easy now ' , dont worry at all about what spooked her or what ever shes upset about, infact try think about something else. Once shes calm walk on your way, and give her a pat once she completly past the scary bit.

A spook from something is all to natural for her, almost pretend she didnt even do it. If you dont react to it then your arnt ecnologing
( omg my spelling!) the behaviour and she will see there is nothing to get upset about buecause clearly you seem fine with it.

But again this will take alot of time to get through as she needs to learnt to trust you in the saddle to look after her.

:roll: hehe hoped that made sence.
Bitless is offline  
post #3 of 12 Old 07-14-2008, 02:31 AM
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We have a horse like her, but after moving her to where we live
and fencing her up behind the house and messing with her
everyday, we have seen a big improvement. This mare was
also abused almost everyday of her life. Just make sure
you work with her and spend time with her as often as you
can, hopefully she will come around and you will see an
improvement. :)

It's been awhile, but I'm back & back in the saddle!
Small_Town_Girl is offline  
post #4 of 12 Old 07-14-2008, 11:29 AM
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hay all... i want to tell you my sad story

i have a big 16h thoroughbred cross hackney i love her 2 death and when i changed stable yards something terrible happend

the first time i got on her at the new place she kinda dragged her right side

we got the vet out and he said its just a minor thing... she did hurt her back and lots of practice is needed if anybody could help plzzz i need 2 help my baby... she is a very good jumper and this might be the end if we dont train her right

plzz any help is needed
ToY.. is offline  
post #5 of 12 Old 07-14-2008, 11:36 AM
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Somebody has blown her mind. You can try giving her a break but it sounds like she's actually responding to you so I'd continue on with the patience and hard work.

Alot of times they come back to you, I am a big "abused and neglected" person. My walking horse only took a couple years to come around to me although he's still terrified of men. Both of my QH's still have quirks. One is terrified of a longue whip. You have to move very slowly when picking it up and let him see it and keep it level with the ground. I can't even move it when it's on the ground and he's in the ring because somebody whipped him really badly. Ohter than that he has not that many issues, he does have the spook issue that you mentioned, but now, he comes back to me pretty quickly, He was a freshly gelded 4 year old when I got him. I've had him for about 5 years now. My older QH, has no respect for men to this day, I got him at three and he's 24 years old now. He no longer fears people, but he had been pushed past the point of fear into starvation and anger. He took longer to come around and still carries anger towards men.

The thing with these horses is that if you can hold on to your patience and work through everything, they are really really good horses, once they realize that you are there for them. They try so hard to make you proud. But my personal experiences took me years to bring them past their issues... It's not like in the movies where it only takes a few months! But it really sounds like you have come really far. Keep on working at it!

Oh... and I just re-read and saw your gate/fence issue. My older QH, he was locked in a stall for weeks at a time w/out food or water, he has JUST gotten to where he doesn't run me over to get out of a stall (He used to knowck the door down). He still will force his way out if he thinks he can get away with it. But I let him out 24/7, he has a dutch door and does not get locked in except for specific reasons (terrible weather like ice storms or if he's sick or hurt). Somethings they just don't get over. But they learn to deal.... You know?
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-14-2008, 02:35 PM
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I would say just lots of positive reinforcement. I would never do punishment for spooking.
hotreddun is offline  
post #7 of 12 Old 07-15-2008, 01:06 AM
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A LOT of desensitising for starters, at all sorts of stuff. Use approach & retreat to very gradually(so as not to overface her) get her confident with things. Using lots of positive reinforcement will also help, but don't try to bribe or lure her with treats.

I would be working on her paying attention to you while stuff is happening elsewhere too. If you can enlist a helper, you can have them operate the 'scary' thing while you work to desensitise her & show her that you're in control. Don't try to force her to go touch the object, but ask her to keep going past it & stopping again - sort of half circle lunging. Starting at a distance where she doesn't have much problem and gradually progressing closer as she becomes confident will allow you to practice the 'right' behaviours and minimise practicing the wrong ones. If done right, this will give her more trust & respect in you as her leader too, which will rub off on everything else.
loosie is offline  
post #8 of 12 Old 07-15-2008, 12:55 PM
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I have gone thru my fair share of horses that have gone thru a lot of abuse etc. One reason why the only horses I have owned over the last few years have been foals. I no longer have to deal with this stuff and I know that if something does come up, it's my fault I can correct it quickly.
You sound like a very grounded person which is what this horse needs. You have already gone thru a lot of fears and problems she has had so there is no reason for you to not go thru it with these current ones. The main issue is that now it's more difficult because the problems are under saddle which makes it more prone for you to get hurt.
When she does spook, ignore her and work thru it. What I do with the babies is to always keep them busy under saddle. I am constantly asking them to do something like bending, lateral work, leg yield, circle. The more busy she is on what you ask her, the less you give the opportunity to think about spooking at something. With time she'll get used to the things that normally scare her.
my2geldings is offline  
post #9 of 12 Old 07-28-2008, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much every one. i really needed to hear all of that. what every one replied with is pretty much what i am doing with her. i just needed some rienforcment that what i was doing was right and that i was taking her in the right direction. i have never delt with a horse quite like her.
Thanks every one!!!

*Khlassi:1985 Arab Gelding*
*Emma:1998 Appendix QH Mare*
dimmers_double is offline  
post #10 of 12 Old 07-28-2008, 05:07 PM
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It can be hard to deal with those poor animals sometimes and it's easy to lose site of your ultimate goal and dream. It's true with even trained horses or as I say with babies. The scared and truely wild ones that take extra care to work with.

Keep up what you are doing. There is nothing that can stop you.
my2geldings is offline  

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