Aggressive lesson horses - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 26 Old 07-09-2018, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
You make mention of "camp" & "horses".
Then you make comment of other lesson horses and a boarding business...
So sounds to me like a summer camp for lesson riders is where these animals are found.
Are these the normal lesson horses or are these the "unknowns" the barn contracted with some sale barn to lease riding horses for summer months for the camp program?
Big difference in quality of horse and quality of manners you may encounter... saving the lesson horse string from over-use, abuse and becoming like these...<img style="max-width:100%;" src="" border="0" alt="" title="Neutral" class="inlineimg" />
Every encounter is a lesson for every horse...absolutely.
Teaching manners with authority, respect and tolerated/not-tolerated actions is going to be a needed work in progress.
Be safe and be careful as you now know several of these animals have very undesirable traits...wonder if acting this way got them out of work quickly.
They learned a new trick...<img style="max-width:100%;" src="" border="0" alt="" title="Icon Rolleyes" class="inlineimg" />
Is it just you working the summer camp horse section?
If not, then all counselors handling the horses need to work from the same page of tolerated/not-tolerated behaviors so consistency. Horses must learn from all, not just one handler their behaviors expected.
These traits can be turned around, but it is a every-single-time in contact with the animal you "teach & educate" what is expected and what is not allowed.
If these are part of the normal lesson horse string this barn has, I would be finding me a new barn...dangerous habits to have in animals handled by newbies is a accident waiting to happen.
Any camp that I observed had a large part of the work-force being teens...
That means limited abilities handling horses with personality traits undesirable...= someone is going to get hurt.
Make sure that someone is not you... <img style="max-width:100%;" src="" border="0" alt="" title="Neutral" class="inlineimg" />
<img style="max-width:100%;" src="" border="0" alt="" title="Runninghorse2" class="inlineimg" />...
The counselors are all teens and a few young adults such as myself. The older individuals are busy giving lessons to the ones who paid for it. And the lesson horses ARE the camp horses. When I am working with a few of these horses I cannot observe what other counselors are doing to correct bad behavior because we are with different groups of kids at different places. I understand that I might not be 'qualified' but I can have some impact as other posters said. I can advise others about how to handle the horse but I still wanted pointers hence the thread. The counselors who own their own horses might be a bit clueless as I am since for the most I've seen, their horses are push button and don't do these behaviors.

cantering on, into the familiar and unknown
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post #22 of 26 Old 07-09-2018, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Finalcanter View Post
The counselors are all teens and a few young adults such as myself.
I understand that I might not be 'qualified' but I can have some impact as other posters said. .
You are more "qualified" than you realize when you "see" and "say" something about a dangerous situation...
It isn't necessarily "age" but experience and that you were taught what is safe and what is not.

I've seen many camps use counselors who had minimal skills themselves for interacting with horses and the lesson program riders.
They were cheap summer help...bottom line, the place I observed this happening in is they got what they paid for...and yes, there were injuries and lawsuits!
As for some of the counselors having their own mounts and not dealing with this...
They started with a horse who was taught respectful manners, and are continuing to keep respectful manners....
The lesson horses at this place seem to have many handlers and ones that not know or don't enforce respect and proper manners given to the handler...they're animals and quickly learn to take advantage to benefit them!
Whether the "handlers" are lesson riders or the paid staff...well, they're handlers needing to be educated in how to do it right, do it correctly so all remain safer, or safer in this case of disrespectful and bad mannered horses.

Can you not take lunch together one day and discuss the situation so all can work on the problem together, consistent handling, so the lesson riders and all you counselors are safer when the horses are handled and behavior tolerated or corrected as needed...
This would be all the staff who work with the horses... a working lunch.
No students allowed at such a meeting...
It takes a "across-the-board" approach to make a impact.
You doing is great, but if not carried through the horses will just learn to either behave better in your presence or resent your authority and become more unpredictable in your handling of them.
The fact these are the farms "regular" lesson horses would concern me greatly...
To me it shows a serious issue with the running of the barn, animals chosen/schooled/used to make $$ for them. sorry, my opinion.
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post #23 of 26 Old 07-10-2018, 12:50 AM
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I am amazed that they selected those horses for camp. I'm sorry but horses that bite or kick should not be used around children. Period. Not all horses have the right personality for teaching children and those behaviors are dangerous.

I have a mare who would be ideal for children. She is calm, laid back and unflappable. She is one of the most submissive horses i have ever met. I have Never seen her pin her ears in aggression towards anyone. She is like a big puppy dog and super optimistic. She loves food, loves treats, and loves people. She is on the lazy side. Sometimes i think i should rehome her just because i do not need a horse as good (or as calm) as her. But she is too good to sell and i would miss her too much.

Could you turn out the horse who is aggressive in the stall? How often are they feeding these horses? If they do not have almost free choice hay, then they will be unhappy if stalled. Horses can still be happy if stalled, provided they get plenty of exercise and are managed well. Empty bellies and not enough exercise/boredom are the biggest factors in horse happiness.

If the horses are cinchy, tighten the girth slowly, and try treats. My mare does not like shots. The last time the vet came out, she was so busy eating and then kissing me afterwards she did not even notice that the vet drew her coggins. She was too busy happily kissing my arms. This was very amusing to me because she used to fight you on shots. That sweet feed must taste really good!

I think the more aggressive horses should be assigned to one person who has the most experience.
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post #24 of 26 Old 07-10-2018, 12:58 AM
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If the horses bite at others when you lead them by, i would shake a whip at them. A child could get runover if this continues. Just make sure the horse being led is okay with whips before you try it. I'm assuming they don't have stall windows you can close?
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post #25 of 26 Old 07-10-2018, 11:57 AM
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I worked as a summer camp instructor with a similar situation. The horses were leased from a huge barn for the summer. We had too many kids, not enough horses and not enough time and the bottom line was the almighty dollar. Do what you can within your means to make the horses safe for yourself and the kids.

You MUST DOCUMENT EVERY EVENT. I cannot stress this enough--cya. Every nip, bum turned aggressively your way, etc can lead to a serious injury and you do not want the blame pinned on you. If you have not already spoken to a superior about these issues, do so immediately, preferably in writing. I am giving this advice as a licensed attorney and you need to be looking out for yourself!
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post #26 of 26 Old 07-10-2018, 01:19 PM
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I'm extremely surprised they allow these horses to be the camp hope they take the time to work with them/train them or give them time away from the kiddos because that's pretty dangerous.

Ride more, worry less.
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