Saving Trigger - With a Side Order of: And then there's Everyone Else - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 227 Old 04-29-2017, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE Oklahoma
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Saving Trigger - With a Side Order of: And then there's Everyone Else

I'm 44 and live an hour from Texas in SE Oklahoma. My husband and I own 110 acres and a couple of dozen cow/calf pairs. I'm a mom and work full time for an attorney - I have a desk job. I'm overweight, I'm out of shape (seasonal).

Last March, I wanted my own horse.

And...

This wasn't how it was supposed to go, you know? We started by buying a very short, fat paint pony (Possibly a mix with Welsh in her) for our 17 year old daughter.

She wasn't fat, she was bred. The foal is named Oops. She's turned a year old in February.

All that led to ME wanting my own horse to ride. It was a chance, as an adult with the land and the money (my parents never had) to afford one, to fulfill a childhood dream - having my own horse. A friend, the same guy that sold us Nope (Is that horse bred? Nope!) called us one day and sent some pictures of a high-stepping, long-maned, long-tailed seal brown and white paint. He'd picked him up at the auction in Cleburn, Texas, along with an older well used, fully rigged Ammerman roping saddle. Both were for sale, cheap.

Because that's what he does. He runs a rodeo company and buys and sells horses and other livestock every single day.

In love with the idea of having my own horse, I didn't think twice, even when we were first 'meeting' him to pay for him... and he wouldn't let anyone touch his ears without having a horrible reaction.

We brought him, and the saddle, home the next day.

He didn't have a name, we just knew he was 7 years old and had his Coggins papers. We still don't know what breed of horse he is, not for certain. One thing I do know: He is no quarter horse. Absolutely NOT a quarter horse, which is the common breed in this area.

The first sign of trouble was that he would. NOT. allow my daughter to get his headstall on him. Every time she or I reached for his ears, he lost his mind. Convinced it was seed ticks deep in his ears, our friend gave him a shot of Ivomec and in a few days, he would let us touch his ears, but he wasn't comfortable with it.

In fact, he was down right distrusting. And then if my daughter tried bullying or bulldogging him into letting her get the bit in his mouth and his headstall over his ears, he would get so stressed and upset it wasn't worth fighting him.

Once you did get him saddled up and in the saddle yourself, he didn't want to hold still. If you let him have a tiny bit of slack in the reins, he would take off like a shot. He apparently had two speeds... fast and really scorching fast.

I still wasn't confident enough to mess with him by myself.

A few weeks later, with the help of a teenaged boy who lives with us (A friend of my son's) and my son, I decided to saddle and bridle him up myself and ride him. While the boys were getting the other two horses caught (We don't have stalls, or a barn, or a lot. We let them have 40 acres of the 110 in a 24/7 turn out. They have a horse shed to get out of the weather, but that's it), I decided to take a stab at it myself. Not being sure of the horse and him not being sure of me, I let him see The Scary Thing (Saddle pad, then the saddle, etc) and smell them, see them, smell them. By the time the boys were back, I had him saddled and bridled up. But it took a lot of low talk, a lot of seeing, smelling, looking, touching, looking, smelling, rise repeat.

I thought he was high strung.

A year later....

We've named him Trigger... and aptly so. But.

Trigger is not high strung.

He is fearful. He is a nervous wreck, suspicious, and untrusting. He is not terribly forgiving if you betray any trust he places in you. It takes a long time for him to 'get over it'.

Let me say this: I realize now that yes, some horses are just introverted nervous wrecks by their nature alone, and that may be part of his problem, but he's afraid of sunglasses. I don't mean just sitting on the hood of the tractor or laying around on the ground sunglasses. I mean on your face. He gets stressed just looking at them on your face. I always take mine off and let him examine The Scary Thing or don't wear them at all around him. My husband thought I was crazy, then he walked up to Trigger with his huge Oakleys on. Trigger was scared to death of him... until he took them off. And as he did, the horse tracked them with his eyes until they were put away.

He is terrified of ropes. I don't mean a lariat, laid out on the ground or coiled up and tied to the saddle horn. I don't mean a scrap of rope that could look like snake laying the grass.

I mean if you pick up a lariat and start twirling it and throwing it at imaginary cattle, another person, the dog, or a barrel or a bucket, or don't throw it all... he starts to shake. He has tremors. He will turn away and hide his face in my chest while shaking uncontrollably.

Men and older teenaged boys make him nervous. He tenses up, gets fidgety when he's tied up and I'm grooming him if my husband or daughter's boyfriend, or any grown men come around, but especially if they have a loud tone of voice, no matter how good natured the talk is. Men talking loud worry him.

He will not defend himself when squabbles for a place at the troughs occur, which is each and every day. Its been like that since he came here. I have to pour up his own tub of feed, place it well away from the other horses, and stand guard while he eats and make myself look big and run the other horses off just so he can eat in peace. They don't want his feed. They just don't want him to eat or be anywhere near him.

If our horses were a wild herd, Trigger would be the one driven from the herd and fed to wolves, I've decided. I don't know why, except that he will not take up for himself, so they bully him.

He's bolted on me once, a year ago, and I bailed out of the saddle (I wasn't skilled enough to know the one-rein, pull the head around to disengage the rear end maneuver yet), and after that, my husband wanted to sell him to someone else. Anyone else.

I don't have the heart to do that to him.

I am convinced he's intelligent and there's not a mean bone in him.

He's fearful.

I am also convinced someone has been brutal with him. I suspect someone that roped him to catch him and then beat him with the loose end of the rope. I say this because once you lose his trust, you are NOT catching him, huh uh. He can run all day btw and once you've pushed him into running from you, he is 'blown up' for the day. You might as well forget it because if you do wear him down, he'll be so stressed he's hell to deal with. His reaction to the lariats speak volumes. Just seeing one in your hands will make him shake if you don't let him look at it and talk him through it soothingly.

I am convinced that someone was a man, and a man that wore sunglasses.

I am convinced someone grabbed his ears and twisted them often and hard.

I could be totally wrong, but of the 9 horses we've owned in the past two years now, even the most battered ones, Sarge and Leroy, were not fearful, suspicious, or untrusting. They'd been beat down by other horses, not people.

I don't want to give up on Trigger. Rather than sell him, I want to get to know him. He doesn't buck, and the only time he's reared is when we tried a Tom Thumb bit on him (Boy, what a useless piece of work those are in the wrong hands, or on the wrong horse...) or when he's building nervous energy and we try to make him stand still (that energy has to go somewhere, and if a horse can't go forward, I've learned, he'll go up).

So, I think the better idea is that I learn to ride better, and in the meantime, work on building his trust and confidence.

I hope I can use this forum to show some progress, both for him... and me.

Wish me luck.

This is Trigger:

Trigger's Barn at horseforum.com

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #2 of 227 Old 04-29-2017, 10:20 PM
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Poor guy really sounds like he's been man-handled!

I once had a Paint that came with the reputation for not liking men. I'm a woman, so I didn't worry about it. But what I found out over the years is that he wasn't afraid of men so much as being "corrected" or "cowboyed." I let a friend's boyfriend ride him and also my Dad and he did great for both of them. Both of them were quiet men and beginners so they took instruction and didn't try to overpower the horse.

One time I let a man who was a roper ride him (much more experienced rider) and the horse was visibly nervous and worried.

Your guy sounds like he was badly abused though. He may never get to the point he trusts men. But if he can get comfortable around you that would be a worthy goal to achieve.

He may be part Arabian. I can't get your photos to enlarge to really see him (other than to see he is pretty!) but Arabians are known for being sensitive and unable to take abuse. But they can be great horses. My first and second horses were purebred Arabians.

Best of luck!
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post #3 of 227 Old 04-29-2017, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Part II:

When I first tried saddling him up by myself while the boys were catching the other two geldings, I had no idea I SHOULD let him see the Scary Thing. It just seemed the right thing to do - to let him see what I had in my hands (the saddle pad) and let him smell it, examine it, and touch it if he wanted to. Once he'd settled down and wasn't too interested in it. I put it on his back with no problems. Same thing with the saddle... which... is a heavy roping saddle and I wasn't at the time quite strong enough to hold it a long time. But I did for his sake that day.

I did the same with the headstall and reins. I had to start by scrubbing his forehead between the eyes and working my way up to his ears - because even if I got the bit in his mouth, I knew if I couldn't get the headstall over his ears, there was going to be a problem. It took a LOT of talking, looking, and smelling and patience on my end, and even so, he still hauled his head up high to try to avoid it, but he didn't lose is mind by any means.

Each time, through each piece of tack, I let him calm down and kept my tone low and my movements calm. I kept reminding myself horses can smell it when we're afraid of them, or angry, or irritated, or just plain mean, imo. I had to work to keep my heart rate down since I was nervous too. I didn't want the cycle of me being nervous to wind him up and make me more nervous and... well. You know what happens when that starts. Its bad juju.

I had no idea if I was doing it right. I actually catch some scorn from lifelong cowboys for babying him. Which frustrates me. He's not spoiled. I've been around spoiled horses lately and they are a massive PITA, but in a very different way.

Trigger is fearful.

I don't even bother trying to explain it to most people anymore. He is what he is.

What else he is, is beautiful. A young, very calm natured young man who teaches horses for a living worked with Trigger all last summer. What we learned is:

He will pick up his feet for you if you just tap him on the ankle and say, Pick it up.

He has a beautiful and fluid handle. He moves elegantly. He holds his head high, neck arched. He neck reins with the lightest touch.

He isn't the fastest horse we own - that honor goes to Gina, our leggy sorrel 4 year old mare. But Trigger has endurance and he runs for the joy of running. His tail is always flagging, his feet are always picked up high when he runs for joy or fun. He will run until he's ready to drop, just to keep from losing a heads-up race. A lot of the time, if he's running from you when you want to catch him to ride, he's playing. You can see it in his body language. Its a game to him, and he's running because that's what he loves to do.

His scratchy spot (I just found it yesterday) is... well. When he stands behind me with his head draped over my right shoulder, and I put my right arm under his neck and curl it around him just behind his head, its right where my fingers fall, on a knobby spot near his poll, but only on the right side. He will curl his neck around me and his nose squeezes out and up when I scratch it.

He's a very verbal horse. He makes sounds ranging from a rattling buck snort to an excited happy to see you neigh. He stomps his foot when he's bored, and when I stomp mine back, he always looks surprised.

He doesn't trust easily. In fact, it takes daily work. He's emotionally damaged and high maintenance.

If you earn his trust and betray him, it will be a month before he lets you touch him again. I learned that the hard way by catching him, and saddling him up for my daughter's boyfriend to ride. He and the BF get along like fire and gasoline. BF is not a mean person but he's young, loud, a male, and high strung. He turns Trigger into quivering puddle of unreasonable horse flesh. BF can ride one of the other 4 adult horses we have. I've come to the conclusion that through no intent of his, all the trust building I've done dissolves when he's rode Trigs for even an hour.

He's no quarter horse.

I don't know what the heck he is, but I've learned over the last year of saddling a half dozen different quarter horses, that each one is built differently, but still basically... y'know. A quarter horse.

Trigger has a short back, high withers, sloping shoulders. He's fine-boned, light weight - he only clocks in at about 700-750 lbs at full weight. He's built for speed and judging by how large his nostrils are, for running. He has the ears and a scooped out face like an Arabian, but his face is also very long, and very rectangular shaped if you look at him head-on. I mean his muzzle is almost shaped like a box.

His jaws are so narrow a standard width low-port curb bit looks absurd on him. It pokes out nearly a quarter inch on each side and slops around in his mouth.

He's narrow through the ribs... a standard length western roping girth is just too darn long. By the time you cinch it to fit, you've still got a LOT of latigo left to do something with... and the girth is TOUCHING THE SADDLE and the D-RING. Conversely, the same saddle on Sarge? I can only make two passes with the same latigo and girth and he's ready to roll out.

Everyone says he's not gaited.

Well okay, but... the first time I rode him, when I was holding his speed down so he didn't try to bolt ahead, he hit a gear that wasn't a trot, it wasn't a walk. It almost looked like a presage, but not as exaggerated and with more forward motion. It looks amazing when he does it, but it feels like your spine is being driven into your skull.

He has a lope that's smooth as glass.

He's a hairy sucker in the winter. He looks like a shag rug.

I learned yesterday he has no problem letting me spray him with fly spray - so long as we talk about The Scary Thing beforehand. In fact, he let me spray his belly and fetlocks all the way around yesterday. The only other horse we have that will let me do that, without the sound of the bottle hissing scaring them, is Sarge, our new bay gelding.

The most unstrusting, fearful horse we have, trusted me yesterday, more than any of our other horses, including our 20 year old Superman, to spray him with poison....

I'd say that means something. I'm not sure what, but that I'm the only one he'll let bridle him, saddle him up, and spray him with fly spray has me convinced there's hope. He's just going to be a one-person horse.

That one person is, apparently, me. The one person that doesn't have enough skill to stay in the saddle... yet.

There's another reason why I think there was a break through yesterday. More on that next.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."

Last edited by AtokaGhosthorse; 04-29-2017 at 10:40 PM.
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post #4 of 227 Old 04-29-2017, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SE Oklahoma
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So, I was off work yesterday. I get every other Friday off, but get paid for a full 40 hours every week. Since a lot of rain was expected to come in today, I had a truck bed full of flowers and garden veggies to get planted. Expecting the bad storms that have hit Texas and Oklahoma TODAY, yesterday I opened the gate that separates a small, 5 acre horse pasture, and the 35 acre pasture. The horse shed is in the 5 acre pasture, but so is Trigger and Oops. They are best buddies, and both are bullied by the older, bigger horses, especially by Sarge and Jackie - both are new and I guess they think they need to establish their place in the herd right off.

Anyway. I opened the gate and left it open.

Trigger bolted through it, neighing and running for fun. He bucked and played, and then went about his business of eating and being a horse. I went back to work planting trees and flowers and tomatoes.

I heard a commotion in the pasture - it is separated from our back yard by a five-strand horse wire and t-post fence. I looked up, Sage is hauling butt, chasing Trigger. He came no where near catching Trigger, but it wasn't play. Sarge was pushing him out of the 'herd'. I sighed, went back to work.

Two hours later, I heard the same commotion, looked up and Jackie, our huge mare, is chasing Trigger, only this time Trigger was running toward the house... and me. Aggravated they were terrorizing him, and honestly I have no idea what I thought I was going to do, I bowed up and stalked across the yard and dipped through the fence. Trigger headed right for ME... after not letting me touch him for over a month... and came to a hopping stop, buried his face in my chest as though asking me to save him.

Jackie stopped about 15 yards away, and gave him the hard-stare but didn't try to challenge me. Trigger let me lead him around to the gate, through it, back through the second gate and to the shop building (seen in most of the pictures where we have the horses tied up for grooming). I tied him up, got him a tub of feed and peppermint snacks, and spent the next two hours grooming him, picking his feet, spraying him for flies, and listening to Waylon Jennings, Cody Jinx, and Hank Williams Jr. or Willie Nelson with him (he HAD TO SEE WHAT WAS IN MY POCKET MAKING THOSE SOUNDS! WHAT IS IT!?) It was my cell phone, I was running my spotify playlists through it. He had to examine it while the music was playing through the speaker.

Once he was tired of being pampered and ready to go on about his day, I turned him out. But I didn't shut the gate between the two pastures. Trigger stayed in his 5 acre pasture, Sarge and Jackie stayed in their 35.

TWO MORE HOURS LATER... rinse and repeat. Sarge is chasing Trigger all over the pasture. Trigger runs for me, Sarge doesn't back off, so Trigger blows past me (I'm still 10 yards or more away) and heads for the open gate. He has such a lead on Sarge, that Sarge doesn't realize the gate is still open after Trigger rounds the corner. Trigger stood there, shaking, ears up, watching Sarge pace back and forth. I walked that way. Trigger came over, stood behind me, head draped over my shoulder, my arm under his neck and wrapped around him.

I can only assume all the long evenings of standing there, guarding him while he eats, have him convinced I'm the person he can trust.

I even took him for a walk, and wondering what he'd do if I jogged while holding his lead, I tried it. He trotted right along beside me at a respectful distance and didn't outpace me or pull on the lead. When I stopped, he stopped.

I think there's hope. I don't think its going to be all warm and fuzzies, but if he trusts me to protect him, maybe he'll trust me to ride him without his constant nervous shaking, attempts to bolt, or getting upset and unreasonable.

I've about decided our standard fit roping saddles just don't fit him, and may be causing discomfort, hence some of the acting up when ride him. I haven't found a bit he doesn't have major problems with yet. Snaffles = no brakes, a Tom Thumb = Rearing and really bad behavior. A solid curb bit with a low port and average shanks is the best option, but they're just so dang wide in his mouth. He does recognize cues to stop with a low port curb bit, but they're delayed. I've ordered a medium port, narrower bit, with a copper cricket/ball. I've switched his headstall to a single ear slip type and keep the loop on his right ear - his left ear causes him a lot of stress when you try to handle it too much... and he doesn't have a thing wrong with his ears that we can tell, that anyone else can tell.

We have noticed in goofing around, he has no problem with being ridden bareback, and he will do anything you ask of him (except stop) with just a halter and a lead. We're starting to wonder if he's like our Jackie - a bitless horse. We have a simple Abetta hackamore that Jackie 'came with' and we're considering trying it on Trigger, but only once we get our round pen (We have the panels, we need to get the time to mess with it) set up.

I am also in the market for a decent Australian trail/ranch saddle. I've seen them regularly on Craigslist for $100-$175 bucks, fully rigged. I'm kicking myself for not moving fast enough on a very nice Kimberley that sold a week ago. I was literally an hour late on my inquiry. Anyway... I think it would be a better fit for him given his light build and cause fewer pressure points and therefore, not cause bad behavior.

Sadly, since he can't talk and tell me what's happened to him before coming to us, and what's causing the problems now, its trial and error, but also, requiring a lot of quiet time, just spent in his presence to build trust. I've even learned he thinks you're terribly rude if you just walk up and start trying to touch his face (most of our horses just kinda YES PLEASE! LOVINGS! THANK YOU!). I have to treat him like a dog I've just met... I hold my arm out, hand is palm down, fingers relaxed, at nose level, about a foot away from him. I don't stare him down. I just stand there, passive and quiet, and wait on him to come to me. Once he's smelled my hand, I can ease around to his side and scratch his neck, then work into a more thorough scratching and handling, THEN I can get him by the halter and lead him anywhere, and he'll go calmly.

Unlike my daughter's approach... which is to march up to him, immediately try to grab the halter or touch his face, and then if he runs keep putting pressure on him until he's 'blown up' and falling to pieces, nervous and fearful all over again. Which really, really sends me into orbit. Its undoing all the work I've done.

Trigger is not for the impatient or the faint of heart.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #5 of 227 Old 04-29-2017, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Before I'm done for the day and head for bed...

I know the largest part of people reading this and maybe commenting will say: Get a trainer. Get a competent trainer.

That's not going to happen here.

We live in SE Oklahoma. Horses are usually broke cowboy style... bucked out. I mentioned a high school kid that helped me with him last summer... he knows what he's doing but he's very unreliable. So much so that he finally stopped showing up and I refused to chase him down.

There is no 'riding school' here, there are no instructors.

We don't board our horses out, we don't lease them out. In fact, I understand now why people generally won't let anyone else ride their horses. Its not so much because they could get hurt or get the horse hurt. Its because someone can ruin a horse either by simply not knowing the animal, by being hot tempered, or just by being a novice and not understanding you don't have to plow-rein a well trained horse... they neck rein.

We don't get horses fitted for saddles. That gets you laughed at, but also... there's no where anywhere near here that does that. Standard issue saddles are barrel saddles, roping saddles, and sometimes a ranch saddle or a trail saddle. But usually a roping saddle, which are heavy and the seat size is the only options on sizing... how big your butt is, not how wide, how short, or how tall the horse's back and withers are. (This is why I'm so interested in an Aussie saddle - I think it would be more comfortable for Trigger and fit him better than our heavy one-size-fits-all roping saddles.)

I realize ideally, getting actual lessons would be the way to go, and having a reliable, regular trainer work with me AND the horse is what needs to happen.

That is not available here. I'm learning by trial and error. Our older gelding, Superman, is my beginner teacher for riding, Sarge and Gina are my intermediate teachers. That's the best I can do here. So rather than sell Trigger to anyone silly enough to buy him, and maybe really set him back in terms of trusting anyone ever again, its going to be me that helps him get better, and to do that, I have to get better. He absolutely does not scare me on the ground. He's never misbehaved, not once, when I'm with him and I'm on the ground. I just suck at riding, but I'm working on it.

I am hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."

Last edited by AtokaGhosthorse; 04-29-2017 at 11:32 PM.
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post #6 of 227 Old 04-29-2017, 11:36 PM
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Loving your journal!
Sounds like in these last few recent days you've made real progress, or just been able to really SEE the progress you have made!
It's so easy to doubt ourselves. It definitely sounds like you're 'his person' while I know a lot people don't like/agree that only 'one' person can work with a horse etc. I see it similar to us having a 'heart horse' they may not be the only horse you love, but it's different with them.

Anyway, I totally understand your situation in not having access to trainers/riding schools/and the many many other horsey fields that other states/cities have in abundance. I'm in a similar situation, I'm in a part of Aus where it's majority camp draft/rodeo style, where most people to it all themselves. Lessons/trainers aren't plentiful, and hard to even find!

Keep doing what you're doing, follow your instinct, and we are in a great position that we have google/youtube available, so you can just do your own research and try different things! I've found it's helped me, just soaking up knowledge online!
Good luck!
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post #7 of 227 Old 04-29-2017, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
He may be part Arabian. I can't get your photos to enlarge to really see him (other than to see he is pretty!) but Arabians are known for being sensitive and unable to take abuse. But they can be great horses. My first and second horses were purebred Arabians.

Best of luck!
Here's a picture from yesterday, before the fly spraying and after the copious brushing and loving:



Here's his rear end - the hips, compared to our quarter horses, are very narrow:



And the best all around picture we have of him:



Some folks here in a thread from October or so thought he might be a National Show Horse, but that's a breed no one around here has ever heard of. The part of Texas he came from though? Quarabs are fairly common and are often used for barrel racing. We're thinking given how great his handle is, and how he thinks go means GO HARD NOW, that maybe someone tried to train him to run barrels and failed miserably, and then sold him at auction. We have a neighbor who's land adjoins ours and who has a very nice roping arena. His wife runs barrels. They said we can bring him over any time and see what he thinks of running a pattern. We have two high school girls my daughter is friends with and are barrel racers who have volunteered to try him out, but I think it would be nothing but another huge set back if we're not real careful. I'm not saying no, just... not right now. Not yet.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #8 of 227 Old 04-29-2017, 11:55 PM
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Wow, I'm so glad Trigger came to you!

It sounds like someone put a lot of time into this horse before whoever abused him got their hands on him. It makes me extremely sad that any animal is ever abused. But in the case of horses, it is especially sad when someone put a lot of time turning that horse into a nice horse, only for someone else to come along and mess up their hard work and many hours.

He is definitely heavily arab influenced. No doubt about it. If you got some really good detailed pictures and posted in the horse breeds or conformation critique area, you might get some interesting info from some of our arab experts on here.

As far as the trainer comments, don't worry about getting too many of those. Generally, unless the situation being described is a 'RED FLAG SUPER DANGEROUS' situation, journals are usually a very safe place where you won't suffer much critique from others. You definitely won't find too many instances of members going into someone's journal and demanding that they get a trainer.

My mother's awesome QH mare is an ex ranch horse. She takes great care of my mother. When she first got her, the mare was a bit of a nervous wreck. I definitely think that she had been cowboyed.
It has taken a lot of slow work over the last several years, but now she lunges beautifully at all gaits (before would only run like mad) and has made a lot of improvements in under saddle movements such as 'turns on the hindquarter' aka rollbacks. She does them nice and slow now without becoming extremely anxious and out of control.

Just give Trigger time. You're doing great with him, and it can only get better from here!

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #9 of 227 Old 04-30-2017, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabiscuit91 View Post
Loving your journal!
Sounds like in these last few recent days you've made real progress, or just been able to really SEE the progress you have made!
It's so easy to doubt ourselves. It definitely sounds like you're 'his person' while I know a lot people don't like/agree that only 'one' person can work with a horse etc. I see it similar to us having a 'heart horse' they may not be the only horse you love, but it's different with them.

Anyway, I totally understand your situation in not having access to trainers/riding schools/and the many many other horsey fields that other states/cities have in abundance. I'm in a similar situation, I'm in a part of Aus where it's majority camp draft/rodeo style, where most people to it all themselves. Lessons/trainers aren't plentiful, and hard to even find!

Keep doing what you're doing, follow your instinct, and we are in a great position that we have google/youtube available, so you can just do your own research and try different things! I've found it's helped me, just soaking up knowledge online!
Good luck!
Thank you!

I suspect where you live and where I live... is quite similar on our horse culture. Very... almost old west. We still use horses to work cattle (though the atvs are awful handy), most people are very practical about their horses and don't get as attached (but there's always that one) and if you don't have the land to turn one out 24/7, you just don't get one. And no, there's no trainers, no instructors, no riding schools, no indoor heated arenas for winter riding. You ride in the 'wild' here, with a pack of dogs accompanying you (if you're us LOL) and hope someone doesn't speed by on the road and lay down on the horn and rack off their pipes to be funny.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
AtokaGhosthorse is online now  
post #10 of 227 Old 04-30-2017, 01:17 AM
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Location: Wilson, N C
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Your journal is very good reading. I'm gonna say that Trigger looks to be half Arabian. I don't see NSH in him...he really doesn't show any Saddlebred influence to me. From you description of some of his fear triggers (pardon the pun) I'm wondering if he was used for horse tripping. That would explain his fear of ropes. All that being said, you could have a real jewel of a horse if you can overcome his fears and teach him to trust you.

Arabians will do anything for you if they are treated with patience and kindness. I would suggest you go back to basics with him...basic groundwork and work at his level of acceptance. Work on building his trust in you. It will take time. You can't take shortcuts with Arabians and it sounds like someone did All the wrong things with him in his past. If you work with him and not force him, you may be pleasantly surprised at how nice he will turn out to be.
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