Feeling like I may have bought the wrong horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 42 Old 12-13-2015, 08:22 PM
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Yes, the Amish use horses as commodities and she probably feels that what is expected of her is push-button responsiveness and nothing more. Give her some time to see if you can build a connection.
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post #12 of 42 Old 12-13-2015, 09:20 PM
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I used to work with the local Amish/Mennonite community when I was in college - horses are work animals, they're not pets like they are in our culture. To most Amish people, horses are like cars or tractors. Some people take great care of their cars, some people just want something to get them from Point A to Point B and don't really give a hoot otherwise.

Give her some time. Some horses are just never fully all about people, especially ones that have lived their lives as 100% work animals. She may always be a little aloof, or she may come around eventually.

As long as she's willing and works well for what you want, you may just have to accept that you won't have the same relationship with her as you do with another horse. And that's fine - not all horses are the same, and some just don't "click" with the people who own them the same as others. I've ridden horses that I got along well with, but didn't really have a tight bond with.
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post #13 of 42 Old 12-13-2015, 09:23 PM
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Oh, I have a fantastic idea... I think I sort of know what you're experiencing.

My reining horse was like that when I got her. She had never seen a trail, only knew a stall and an arena. She wasn't into loving humans, I think actually hated them. And on a side note was crazy hard to catch.

I tried this for one summer, and it broke through so many barriers between us. I simply cut up an apple, and went into her pasture, and sat. (The neighbors thought I had lost my mind!) As the months went by she gradually became more interested in me. One day I also sat on a bale of straw in her barn and had a little heart to heart talk. I let her know her days of being just a work horse for money were over, and that I would take care of her for the rest of her life, and she could trust that. She wasn't one to make eye contact, but did that day.

Now when I walk through the gate, no matter how far she is in the pasture (5 acres) she comes running in to me!

I love this horse whole heartedly, and will sell my house and sleep in her stall before I would ever sell her. (meaning if finances got tough)

I will send lots of love and prayers your way!!
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post #14 of 42 Old 12-13-2015, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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I always try to just spend time with her while she grazes and such and she actually won't take apples or teats.. Its pretty strange. I wish I knew her background. I'll try a similar approach because I would love to have a relationship like that
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post #15 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by SerafinaC View Post
I always try to just spend time with her while she grazes and such and she actually won't take apples or teats.. Its pretty strange. I wish I knew her background. I'll try a similar approach because I would love to have a relationship like that
I have found that with horses who haven't learned to take a treat, if you'll let her smell it and then put it in her feeder bucket and let her eat it that way, she'll eventually learn to take it from your hand if that's what you want her to do.
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post #16 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
I have found that with horses who haven't learned to take a treat, if you'll let her smell it and then put it in her feeder bucket and let her eat it that way, she'll eventually learn to take it from your hand if that's what you want her to do.
..and if that doesn't work try pushing a sugar cube into her mouth - from the side, where the bit sits. Sugar will dissolve and they get the taste, so then they will give it a try. Things like carrot and apple have little flavour till they bite it and at this point they don't really know what you are trying to do!! You could try bread as well.
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post #17 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 01:36 AM
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give her some time. brush and talk to her. it may take a while for you to find the good scratchy spot, give her a horsey scratch at her withers, and then scratch behind her elbow, on her chest, her belly button, one thing most of my horses like, is when is scratch up and down their throat, start at the chest and scratch up. They are gaga over it. lol
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post #18 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 09:39 AM
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Hmmm... I also went a long time without horses so I kind of know just how much you anticipated the excitement of having a horse again. Is it possible your expectations were too high? Sometimes we romanticize our relationships with animals and people from our past, but then the day-to-day routine sets in and it's a little disappointing.

Did you connect to other horses before buying this one? Like lesson horses, for example? It does sound like she is standoffish, but even my horse Harley, who is a sucker for a treat and is more sociable with people than he is other horses, isn't like coming home to my dogs at the end of the day. He'd rather eat grass than hang with me. And I just take that as normal horse behavior. He does like being around us because that's his comfort zone (he is submissive so other horses make him insecure sometimes), but in a big field, he'll tolerate us but will not walk over to me unless I have a treat. And that's ok. I still give him lots of scratches and hugs, which he seems to enjoy (but not as much as treats, LOL).

So be honest with yourself and your expectations. If you connected to another horse recently and are missing that connection with this horse, then maybe you'd be better off with a horse that's been handled more. Or you can wait to see if the "connection" you're expecting will come eventually. Like with a rescue dog - it takes time, but once they trust you, it is a deep and everlasting trust. But she may not ever be "that" kind of horse so be realistic in your expectations of her.

And yes, putting apples or carrots in her manger or even on the ground in the pasture so she doesn't have to take them from your hand is a good start. Once she realizes how good those treats are, she will be willing to take them from you.
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post #19 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! She has actually bit into an apple slice I've given her and then spit it out.. Maybe I just have a picky horse! I do think I had a picture in my head of what I wanted but I knew I wasn't gonna have a magic Disney relationship.. I really just was looking for a laid back trail horse with slow gaits and ended up with this anxious fast paced sassy girl! I think the woman I bought her from told me what I wanted yo hear and I guess I should have realized that when they were shocked I got her to canter so easily. Another thing is she'll give me issues riding near the entrance of the pasture. I can't avoid it because the only area I have to ride is around a pond next to the pasture. I don't have a ton of money to sink into her at this point. I was just trusting that she had formal training since she was rideable. Rookie mistake :/
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post #20 of 42 Old 12-14-2015, 11:28 AM
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I only use a bucket to feed treats (sliced carrots) as many horses develop a nipping habit if fed by hand (mine did).

I really didn't feel much of a connection with my mare for the entire first year I owned her. It has taken a lot of ground work, followed by saddle work along with everyday grooming and general "just being there" work for us to feel comfortable and relaxed around each other. Most days she is really good, even friendly, but she still has some days when she is not.

I saved myself a lot of disappointment by realizing that having her obedient and relaxed and being able to work through any issues that occur and able tor ride the way I like to ride are really what is best. In the end, a horse is not a dog. If you like the way she rides (and you need more riding time together to "know" each other) and you like the way she looks, chances are that you will grow on each other. If not, there is noting wrong with trying again.
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