Horse pulling back and Barn Freakouts. - Page 11 - The Horse Forum
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post #101 of 119 Old 05-07-2019, 03:25 PM
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I quite like the horse. He's a good sort, but he's very anxious and irritated by something. I don't think he's a bad horse at all, but he's certainly not a good fit for this young lady. Now we have a nervous, possibly painful horse and someone tiptoeing around him, so he now thinks there's REALLY something to worry about because 'my person is nervous, too!' So he dances around and his anxiety builds and builds until, as Warwick Schiller puts it, 'his worry cup overflows'. Does it mean that whatever the trigger was was the worst thing? No. But that was the final straw that he couldn't deal with anymore, so all of those other worries and irritations were the cause and just built up and built up. That's what this horse is doing. He's telling you he's unhappy. It's your job to figure out why and address it. Keep doing what you're doing and he's going to reach his overflow point and explode again.

If this type of horse came to me, this is what I would do:
- complete physical exam and chiropractor visit to rule out pain. Pulling back can cause a lot of issues with the spine, poll, and neck. It's possible a lot of his issues are due to the apprehension of pain again.
- lots of time in turnout with being caught only for good things--- feed, grooming, treats, scritches, etc. for a week or two
- tying with a blocker tie ring or similar to gauge how he is with tying. Is his anxiousness and pulling back due to a tying issue, or does it just manifest during tying because he can't express himself any other way? Does this horse really know how to tie? Is he pulling back from fear or just plain orneriness? How I deal with it is contingent upon the cause. Lots of horses never really learned how to give to pressure. Fix that, and suddenly the 'horse that cannot be tied' is cured.
- lots of time just working around him. Tie him and muck his stall or pen. Drag the water tub around. Crinkle water bottles. Hang a tarp from one corner of his fence so it blows in the wind. Mow alongside his fence. Have the neighbor kids come ride bikes around his pen. Get him in a round pen and see how he responds to pressure and the release of that pressure. Is he respectful and trying, or is he anxious and afraid? Does he worry more about what I'm doing or what the horse in the next field is doing? Can I touch him all over and pick up his feet without him moving away or becoming worried? If not, that gets fixed before we go any farther. How is he when you approach with a halter and lead? Does he lower his head for the halter, or does he tense up and raise his head? Can I cue him to lower his head and flex softly left and right with the lead rope? How is he with having the rope tossed around his legs, barrel, neck, and belly? How does he react when tied next to a broke, calm horse when that horse is tacked up? How does he pony off that horse? Is he worried about a saddle pad or blanket tossed over his back? If so, get him over that before a saddle. Start from the bottom like he's an unhandled colt. When you find the holes, fix them. If he's good with something, then move on. Is he standing still because he's really ok with whatever is presented, or is he shut down or afraid to move, and really not ok with it at all?

I think this is a sensitive, kind, worried horse with a LOT of holes in how he's been handled and trained. I think he's fixable, but not by someone who is afraid of him. I have a horse like this; it's been nearly two years getting his confidence built up and fixing the damage caused by previous 'trainers' and getting him trusting and comfortable again, physically and mentally. It can be done, but it's a long process, and sometimes you take big leaps forward only to find yourself even farther back the next time. It's not for the faint of heart or the novice. I don't think the OP's horse is on the 'euthanization option' yet, but his current situation is not working for him or his owner. It's nobody's fault, it's just a poor combination in terms of temperament, experience, skill, and personality. This horse will thrive with the right person. You just have to either get a mentor and become that person, or find that person for him.

Last edited by SilverMaple; 05-07-2019 at 03:32 PM.
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post #102 of 119 Old 05-07-2019, 04:15 PM
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the kind of skills that @SilverMaple has just described are what he needs from a hired trainer. Not how to jump, or take the correct lead, or do a dressage test.

I dont' see a horse that anxious about tying, but the whole kicking out of anxiety indicates issues greater than just tying, and I personally would never mount up a horse that behaved like that.

Lastly, saying that you need to just hurry up and get the whole tacking up thing over with is just a bandaid. If your horse can't stand and tolerate being tacked up at a leisurely pace, then you have no business putting your butt in that saddle. Rushing is NOT the answer.
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post #103 of 119 Old 05-07-2019, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post

Lastly, saying that you need to just hurry up and get the whole tacking up thing over with is just a bandaid. If your horse can't stand and tolerate being tacked up at a leisurely pace, then you have no business putting your butt in that saddle. Rushing is NOT the answer.

I disagree, we are not talking bandaid at all, but doing what is right by the horse. That horse, right now, cannot deal with someone faffing around, taking for ever, and being scared. RIGHT NOW he needs a matter of fact approach, which would include having everything to hand, so you just tack him up and go. When he can do that, then you build in leisurely time, but you donít start there.

Lol, if you had seen Chuck sulking in the barn today, you might of decided not to ride him, but he rode perfectly well.
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post #104 of 119 Old 05-07-2019, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamerR View Post

The reason the girth saddle was on and the girth was attached for so long without me finishing it was because the way he was standing was sideways, and if he went off again then he would've straightened out and ran me over. Which is what I was explaining to my dad in the video, you can hear me say, "I don't want to do this because he could run me over.... But I have to do it anyways." Or something along those lines.
How is your dad with horses? Could you tack up Bee more away from the barn with your dad holding him, so he could maybe give (a little) if Bee tries to pull away? Or is there someone else who could help like that? If Bee were OK with that, then you could slowly move him back toward the barn and then eventually get to where you could loop the rope around that pole with the same person holding it.

I also agree that it would be nice, if possible, for you to have all of your tack right there so you could get him tacked up before he has a chance to get (too) nervous.

And, yes, there were a couple of times where he relaxed. If you had someone there holding him, that person could reward him by letting out the rope a little or even, as suggested, letting him graze a bit. Or give him a cookie. Even you, if you're right there and he's not double haltered, could do that. You'd have to be quick for him to associate the reward with the behavior though.

My Teddy was anxious about everything when I got him, and what I did was just ask him to do, like 30 seconds of the thing he didn't like, then, reward and end session. Next time, one minute, ditto. Then two minutes. That's what I would try here also. Also if Bee likes food, maybe you could put a hay net over there so he could eat? I have read that chewing is calming for horses, and certainly a horse that isn't TOO stressed out (by the end of the video he IS too stressed out) would probably find that it makes the whole experience more enjoyable.
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post #105 of 119 Old 05-07-2019, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
NaÔve is thinking that this horse would have much chance of being sold at all - very few people will take on a horse that's got issues if they have to pay for it.
He was given away because he had problems and if he's given away again then there's a very high chance that the next person would also give him away
Well for a start, almost all horses have 'issues' of some kind & people don't always have the $$$ for a perfect, perfectly trained horse, so yes, people DO spend money on them.

And maybe he has 'issues' aside from just an inexperienced, unconfident owner - who knows. I certainly don't see 'problem horse' in the vid posted, as explained well by Kalraii & Gotta. Maybe his only 'issues' are due to his situation though. Her just keeping on keeping on, doing the wrong things, will likely cause him to have bigger 'issues' though.

So, I dont know what would cause you to say the horse couldn't be sold, as in for good money - perhaps there was something in other posts I have missed. But that is beside the point anyway & would not be my focus anyway, but to find him a good, appropriate home - and I don't understand your attitude that once given away he would continue to be passed from person to person.... that doesn't seem a very rational conclusion to draw without any reason.

IF this horse had serious, dangerous 'issues' however, that he is dangerous for everyone, not just an inexperienced timid girl, then I'd consider that putting him down may be the best option rather than trying to find a good home.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]
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post #106 of 119 Old 05-08-2019, 11:37 AM
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@loosie This is a nice looking horse that's supposed to have a solid history of 'doing stuff' and based on the one video we've seen of him jumping, he moves well and looks like he'd have potential in hunters and yet he was given away.
People don't give horses like that away if there isn't some other underlying problem that will put people off 'big style'
Look at the prices they're asking for hunters/jumpers on this site
But if you go to a low level auction you'll see dozens of lovely looking horses for sale and a huge number of them will end up in Mexico for slaughter because they've got issues, like this horse, that put people off.

I don't think he looks scary in that video but I'm someone with years of experience of young horses and 'dealer horses' who long ago figured out that its usually a lot safer and faster in the long run to try to meet horses half way. If the horse was a top level performer then a good experienced person might take him and compromise or sort out his issues but he isn't. He'd most likely just end up with another novice who wants to stuff a square peg into a round hole

I've merged the OP's first thread about tying to this one and having read through it, it seems clear that the tying up isn't the real problem. I would imagine that that the horse tied up fine before he got shoved too far out of his comfort zone, he got stressed, had a panic attack and ran back and broke free.
Now he knows he can break free so he's doing it because he can.
For whatever reason the horse has gotten overly attached to another horse and gets stressed out and panics when he thinks he's being taken away from it.
Moving barns has probably made things worse.
Jazzy was like this when we first bought her. The seller had told us that she was 100% OK on her own. Her first day here she had a massive meltdown as soon as the other horses were being turned out for the day but because she was in a stable that she couldn't jump out of she couldn't go anywhere.
If she'd been tied up she'd have broken free and learnt that 'she could'
Instead of forcing her to deal with it we turned her out first with another horse every day while she settled in with us and her new home
Within a week she was back to her normal self. She couldn't care less if she's on her own or where the others are. She was just insecure.

In that video - the horse is clearly unhappy about something. I don't know if the flies aren't helping but if he's just stressed about being away from sight of the other horse then forcing him to deal with it won't improve his mental attitude or help him to learn to cope and feel safe. All that's going to happen is that he's going to create more and more of a bad association with being tied up.

Tinyliny - I'm not suggesting to rush things, in fact what I'm suggesting is the very opposite.
This horse is well used to being tacked up, what he isn't used too is being taken away from the other horses to be tacked up and the longer he's forced to stand there the more anxious he's getting.
The equipment should all be right there to hand - she put the saddle on and then went off to get the girth. I'm just amazed it didn't get thrown on to the ground and wrecked.
The horse isn't kicking out at the handler, he doesn't want to be dangerous or difficult, he's silently calling out for some understanding.

As Cherie once said - you won't make a horse less reactive by making it more reactive.
I didn't always agree with her but she was totally right about that.

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #107 of 119 Old 05-08-2019, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
@loosie This is a nice looking horse that's supposed to have a solid history of 'doing stuff' and based on the one video we've seen of him jumping, he moves well and looks like he'd have potential in hunters and yet he was given away.
People don't give horses like that away if there isn't some other underlying problem that will put people off 'big style'
So @jaydee it seems to me you're basing your assumption about the doggers on an assumption about not being able to sell the horse because there is something wrong with him that we have no idea about, because you assume no one would give away a horse you guess is 'like that'.

That seems pretty sturdy reasoning, to put the fear of death into the poor girl who is overhorsed, in danger because of this(think we all agree not horses fault), but couldn't possibly consider rehoming him because it's 'naive' of anyone to believe he wont end up anywhere but the doggers in Mexico.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]

Last edited by horselovinguy; 05-10-2019 at 05:00 PM.
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post #108 of 119 Old 05-08-2019, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry this response has taken so long. I’ve had testing all week and I’ve been in a schedule of getting home and just falling asleep.

I have more studying to do so I’m going to try and remember all the questions y’all have asked.

First off he was not separated from Chase, Chase was literally 10 feet away from him. He is easy to catch and puts his head down when I approach with the halter. He is not going to be put down.... why? Because that’s ridiculous. He was only on the crossties one time and after that we switched him to tying. Undersaddle he is a DREAM to ride, unless he’s unridden for >2 weeks. He is in fact a hunter and has been shown all around the state.

I also believe something in the barn must be scaring him because today I gave him a bath with medicated shampoo because he had rainrot. We were in their pasture and I just draped the lead rope over the fence and he was fine. Stood completely still and Chase even went out of site and he was still fine.

Also, yes, he is sweet. Very sweet. He has a pure heart of gold.

Attached is a picture of him. A month before we got him. At a show he had never been to before. Tied up while a 8 year old girl who just got grand champion showing him 2 foot, washed him off. He is the sweetest horse around.
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post #109 of 119 Old 05-08-2019, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamerR View Post
I also believe something in the barn must be scaring him...
What made you think of this?

If that is true, then you need identify what is scaring him and help him. Do not tie him in the barn until he ties well elsewhere and is over his fear.

Originally Posted by DreamerR View Post
We were in their pasture and I just draped the lead rope over the fence and he was fine. Stood completely still and Chase even went out of site and he was still fine.
It's good that you didn't tie him to then fence. Fence boards pop right off and fence stakes can be pulled out or broken.

While it is ideal for a horse to know how to be tied, some just can't; I believe @SilverMaple had a horse like that. Although he may not always stand like a statue, I don't believe he is one of those horses. However, based on your posts, I don't think you alone should be tying him (even though I think he can be taught), especially if he doesn't need to be tied. It is better for a horse to stand with the lead draped than it is to constantly pull, fight like mad, and learn bad lessons.
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Last edited by LoonWatcher; 05-08-2019 at 06:08 PM. Reason: Added the word "alone."
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post #110 of 119 Old 05-08-2019, 09:59 PM
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I've had pullers over the years, all but one were rehabbed--- I use a combination of teaching the horse to give to pressure (because even some high-end athletes never learned this properly) and hobbles where the horse can move if he wants---just not real fast, then working with a blocker ring-- first thing, though, was to make sure the horse wasn't sore-- a lot of pullers hurt, then pull, then it hurts worse, and you set up a cycle. Pullers get a chiro visit first thing, and about half of them have it solved from that alone. There's a pressure point on the poll that sends a shooting pain to the horse when he moves his head a certain way and the halter tightens up there-- so a horse that has pulled back often has that out of place. Even if the horse spooked and pulled back, I have that checked.

The only horse I wasn't ever able to eventually tie had been through a myriad of bad trainers, but the stickler was that he'd been hot-shotted over and over for HOURS while standing on wet ground as a form of 'desensitization' ... he'd get shocked then pull until he fell, then they'd shock him again; get him up and repeat. That one I never did teach not to pull back, but I don't blame him. He would stand all day hobbled or with the rope draped over a fence or through the trailer ring, but tie it and he'd start shaking and sweating and his eyes would glaze over and he'd fight until he passed out--- so I didn't worry too much about it. It wasn't a big deal and he was otherwise a wonderful horse.
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