Horse gone wild! Help!!! - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-08-2010, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Horse gone wild! Help!!!

Hey everyone! I have been going nuts trying to figure out what is going on with my horse right now. I have been asking trainers that I work with and friends of mine who own horses on what I should do about this recently gone psycho horse and no one could really give me much help so I thought it was about time I came to this site to ask all of you what I should do.

Okay, so here is the deal.

I own a four year old Paint mare, who was bought for me as a birthday present (she was my first horse) when she was only four months old. I treated that horse like she was my child. She tore her leg when she was eight months old and I did not leave her side for the entire time she was injured. Literally. When I first got her, I started immediately on ground work and halter work (because her father is a really nice halter horse), so I figured she would have potential. She had a bridle in her mouth and was saddled and girthed countless amounts of times so when she was old enough to be ridden, she would already have the experience of having been tacked up. She learned to lunge, square, pivit, and back up beautifully. She was just an all around amazing little horse. The first time I got on her, she had her ears to me the whole time and was so kind and gentle. Throughout the years, we have really grown a great bond together.

Okay! So on to the problem.

On April 22nd she turned four, and like every winter, I ride and work with her her until it is about December, give her a few months of snow play time with her buddies, and then do some light ground work with her around Febuary to remind her of what she learned the past years. This has been going on since she was three. Well, last year, she did great re-adjusting. I didn't push her hard because she was still a baby (in my eyes anyway) and it only took about four-six days before she was back in the loop of things and ready to be shown again in halter classes in the summer.
This year however, did not go so well. I have come to the conclusion that my baby horse is no longer a baby and she needs to be treated more like a horse. Mind you, I NEVER hit my horse, or anything of the sort. I just felt it was time to stop coddling her when she did something wrong, and now fix the minor problems she was having instead of just letting it go because of her age. I also felt it was time to push the training longer than what I had it by a good twenty minutes a session (I was only working her for about 30 minutes at a time.)
Well, she has gone bizerk on me. I feel she isn't respecting me anymore and is trying to test me more and more now. She even bit me a few days ago which is UNHEARD of from her. When I try to lunge her, she rears straight up in the air and then comes down and comes close to me when I try to push her out to begin to lunge. When I ask her more forcefully to move out, up in the air she goes again. When riding her, she bucks and would buck repeatidly if I didn't stop her immediately after the first buck. I work with her until she finally stops bucking and can do whatever gait she was bucking at a full lap around the arena at that gait, before I end on a good note. With groundwork and halter work, she will not stand still, she tries to bite and turn her butt to me to kick me. She is really girthy and when I try to girth her, no matter how slow I go with it, she still pins her ears and tries to bite me. I am simply in shock here. I even tried to switch things up for her and do different things to keep her from getting bored. She is just being completely wacky here! This has been going on for the past month or so now and I have been working with her a lot to get her out of it (I still give her days to just hang out so I don't overwork her), but I just don't get it!!!

I have not changed her feed, and the saddle is not pinching her, and I stretch her out every time before and after I ride her. She has plenty of time to run around and act like a horse, so why is she now trying to do this to me?

Thankfully, because I know her so well, I am not afraid of her. Cautious yes. Afraid no. I know (well atleast hope) she will not get to the point where she tries to out right attack me. Then there will be a serious SERIOUS problem.

So...can anyone help me?!?!?!?!?!?!
Rowkay422 is offline  
post #2 of 10 Old 05-09-2010, 07:15 AM
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When I ask her more forcefully to move out, up in the air she goes again. When riding her, she bucks and would buck repeatidly if I didn't stop her immediately after the first buck. I work with her until she finally stops bucking and can do whatever gait she was bucking at a full lap around the arena at that gait, before I end on a good note. With groundwork and halter work, she will not stand still, she tries to bite and turn her butt to me to kick me. She is really girthy and when I try to girth her, no matter how slow I go with it, she still pins her ears and tries to bite me. I am simply in shock here. I even tried to switch things up for her and do different things to keep her from getting bored. She is just being completely wacky here! This has been going on for the past month or so now and I have been working with her a lot to get her out of it (I still give her days to just hang out so I don't overwork her), but I just don't get it!!!

I have not changed her feed, and the saddle is not pinching her, and I stretch her out every time before and after I ride her. She has plenty of time to run around and act like a horse, so why is she now trying to do this to me?

Thankfully, because I know her so well, I am not afraid of her. Cautious yes. Afraid no. I know (well atleast hope) she will not get to the point where she tries to out right attack me. Then there will be a serious SERIOUS problem.
Have you had the vet out for a check?
From what little I've read it sounds as if she's taking full advantage of you.

Your up-ing her work load, so she's probably trying to fight it. Don't lunge to lunge, do it for respect. When she turns her butt to you it's because she thinks she's the one in charge, as she is.

Maybe your "cautiousness" is being translated to the horse as fear? You can be too cautious, hell if you were around me I would take advantage of you. You have a three second window to correct the situation, if she bites you, you smack her. It's not being mean, it's respect.

Don't let her get away with the buck, if she bucks on you, you push her through it. Don't get off until you have her so relaxed you could sleep on her. That's ending on a good note. If you stop after one buck what is that teaching her? I wouldn't even ride her until you have her full respect on the ground.

Do you have a trainer around where you live? I would ask her/him to show you how to gain respect. Horses aren't your kids, sadly. They need to be treated like the powerful animals they are.


White Foot is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 05-09-2010, 08:36 AM
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One other thought (in keeping with White Foot's asking about getting the vet out): Has she been "girthy" all along, or did this just start this year? If it did start recently, perhaps she has an ulcer or something that is causing her pain. That is quite a change in what seemed to be a well-mannered and -behaving horse.
MuleWrangler is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 05-09-2010, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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She just started being girthy and I have had the vet come out and check her just a few weeks ago because I was really confused about what is going on. The vet said that nothing was wrong with her and nothing was wrong with the saddle when I put it on her.

I don't stop her after her first buck. I do make sure she stops after it, because if I try to push her through it, the bucks getting bigger and more forceful. So I stop her and make her stand for a few seconds, and then ask her to move again and just continue doing what ever we were doing right before the buck. I don't end on a good note until she has went one full time around the arena without bucking or misbehaving what so ever. It takes a while, but she eventually gets the hang of it. And then the next time I ride her, it is back to the same thing it was before.

I am not afraid of her because I know her and when I say I am being cautious I mean that like I get out of the way if she bucks at me so I don't get kicked, but then I immediately start back to where we were and be more forceful.

I really think she is going into her teenage years (in person age) and is trying to be rebellious, but I don't really know how to stop her from it!!
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-10-2010, 06:06 AM
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Don't let her head get high or straight, once you feel her head raise up and both her ears ***** forward then you bend her. Keep doing circles, small ones and big ones. You're asking for trouble by letting her have her whole head. But then again, you don't want it to get too low.


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post #6 of 10 Old 05-10-2010, 07:52 AM
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I believe this girl is taking full advantage of you. Some helpful facts to remember here:

A horse determines who is in charge by who can move the others feet. Don't give her the chance to kick at you because that will give her a chance to move you around. Obviously, I'm not going to say sit there and take the kick, but you can think ahead. When I'm working with a horse like this, I would never describe myself as cautious, I would describe myself as extreme offensive. As I always tell people I'm working with, don't wait for the crime to be commited, do something when you see someone walking into the store with their gun drawn.

Next, it doesn't sound like there are any consequences for her actions. You keep doing it again, but there is nothing there to make her think "holy sh*t! don't want to do that again!". Remember, stock type horses lean towards fight tendences. My 4 yr old QH is completely respectful to me, but has a great time with my barn help, who has even said they give her complete respect even though she's never done anything to them. Its almost like you can see the horse sitting there and going "boo" to have the person run out of the way.

Next, remember that in order to make progress, you have to match and slightly exceed the intensity that she is giving you. You have to look for the opposite of what she is doing and there has to be a consequence for any negative action on her part. Consistency is key, you have to be on the ball and the more dangerous a horse is, the bigger your personal space should be. She needs to earn her way into your space. Think of it this way, if I were to turn your horse out in my herd and she tried rearing up at or kicking my lead horse, she would lose a chunk of hide. She would proceed to follow him like a puppy dog.

There is no magic solution to get respect other than to be someone worth respecting in their eyes. You can always do whatever is necessary to protect your personal space, which remember should be quite large with a horse like what you are describing.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-10-2010, 08:38 AM
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I agree with everyone here. You lost her respect. You need to show her you are in charge. Spanking or not. A lead horse (dominant) would never put up with this from another horse. The dominant horse would bite. Just like taking a whip and popping her a good one, the first indication of turning her butt to you. She will protest, but if you stay consistent she will eventually get the idea you wont put up with what she's doing. Let her protest, but keep up what you want her to do. Rearing, bucking, biting is her way of saying she is in charge. You show her any fear or you backing up away from her says " you are not in charge". Get after her. NO Matter what!
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-10-2010, 10:33 AM
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Since this is your first horse and I assume you have done all her training yourself perhaps she is not as well educated as you think. None of these problems just popped up overnight they have been developing for a while and they have just now gotten bad enough that they are bothering you. That's the problem with novice riders training thier own horses. Eventually they will have problems that are compounded by the steps missed during the training. I think you should hire a good, reputable trainer to go back and fill in the foundational holes that have been left.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-10-2010, 10:55 AM
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I do agree with kevin. Yet, in the same respect...if you did indeed train her yourself...I give you props because you now know first hand how hard it is. Whether or not she's sour because of it, I still give someone like you a thumbs up because now you know, and if you get a trainer out there to fill in those "holes" you willl gain even MORE knowledge!

- If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday?
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-10-2010, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I completely agree with you guys on the fact that she is trying to take charge here. However, she was not the first horse i've trained. I've been riding for close to 12 years and have worked with other people's horses and they have turned out great! I think my biggest issue was that she was my own, and she was just a baby and I was walking on egg shells around her because I wanted her to be happy and blah blah blah.

The funny thing is, last year I bought a thoroughbred who I treat completely different when she acts like that. My TB respects me because I make her. With Sparrow (my paint) I just let her get away with so much.

However!!!!!

Yesterday, I took some of your advice from all of you and just took her out into the arena and worked on ground work. She fought me and fought me but I finally took a stand and by the end of the hour she was doing so much better for me. Thank you guys so much. I now realize that I have to have a strict time setting for work time and play time and in both times...I still need respect from her!!!




By the way, this is a picture of my Paint about two years ago at a halter show.
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