Problem with 11 year old gelding! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Problem with 11 year old gelding!

I have an 11 year old gelding who I recently rescued. I got him from a home where he had been put out to pasture for the last three years with little work. I am pretty sure the man on the property beat on him due to how he acts around men. Well yesterday I had the ferrier come out to do his feet... Well that didn't happen. As soon as the ferrier started my horse just started to freak out. He tried to jump forward,strike out, rear up, and you could just yet he was nervous and agitated and scared. The ferrier told me to get rid of him because he was a dangerous horse and at 11 years old he isn't worth trying to fix. This is my first horse but I have been around horses and riding since I was 12 years old. I am not super experienced but I do have a good amount of experience. Please help I want to work with him but don't know the best way to go about it! He won't even let me pick up his back feet. I can pick up his fronts and pick them but when it comes time for the ferrier he freaks out. Is this a sign of disrespect or is he just scared? I am feel crushed because he is a sweet boy when I brush him and work him but his feet are the no go zone!
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post #2 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 03:44 AM
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This can be fixed but without knowing you, your horse's training in general handling, how well you read a horse or how fast your reflexes are I don't feel comfortable telling you steps to take. On that note I suggest you find a horse trainer, not a people trainer, & hire them to fix this for you. Find one who works with problem horses.

Maybe someone else will come on & offer more help than I did. Sorry.
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post #3 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 04:00 AM
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If his feet aren't in too bad of shape take your time and work with him picking them up everyday. Start by barely picking them up and immediately put them down (gently). Give him a "good boy" and move to another foot. Keep doing this at least daily, if not 2 or 3 times a day and ask for a couple of seconds more each time. Always try to set the foot down before he does it himself. Once you can hold each foot up for the approximate amount of time a farrier would take to trim ask your farrier if he has a worn out rasp that you can have to work on him with and lightly run the rasp around his hoof and across the bottom.

Your next step would be to enlist a horse savvy man with gentle ways to start doing the same as you were doing. Then you're ready for the farrier. Tell him how you've been handling the horse and ask him to move slow and gentle the first few trims.

If your horse has feet in bad need of attention then give him a dose of ace about 30 minutes before the farrier arrives.

Keep in mind there are some farriers who refuse to work with a problem horse and others who don't mind. You may have to find a new farrier, maybe a woman would be easier for your horse to accept.

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
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post #4 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 09:26 AM
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At 11 years old, this horse is in the prime of his life and definitely not a throw away. It sounds like your farrier tried to bully him and had no patience. While it is your job and your duty to work constantly and consistently with this horse to acclimate him to having his hooves handled and worked on, you should probably be looking for a calmer, less aggressive farrier with patience.

Before you even try lifting the feet, take your hands, gently wrap them around the legs one at a time and gently squeeze all the way down to the hoof. Do it so much that it actually becomes a boring routine for the horse. Then work slowly, calmly but firmly at lifting each leg and gently setting it back down again. When he can accept this, you can start holding each hoof up longer and mimicking what he will feel the farrier do.

If you find yourself getting nervous, breathe deep through your core/stomach, not your chest and consciously think about relaxing. This is going to take time so do it a lot and have patience. I know a lot of very good, knowledgeable farriers but there are quite a few out there who are terrible and abusive.
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post #5 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 09:37 AM
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The moment he started to freak out so would I have done the same.

I would have made him realise by arm waving, wacking him with the halter rope across his chest and chased him around until he thought I was the devil himself.

That would give him something to think about - who was the mad person? What were they going to do if he struck out, reared or misbehaved again?

He would have forgotten about the farrier and had his concentration on you.

Doesn't matter what has happened in the past, they live in the now.
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post #6 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasin Ponies View Post
At 11 years old, this horse is in the prime of his life and definitely not a throw away. It sounds like your farrier tried to bully him and had no patience. While it is your job and your duty to work constantly and consistently with this horse to acclimate him to having his hooves handled and worked on, you should probably be looking for a calmer, less aggressive farrier with patience.

Before you even try lifting the feet, take your hands, gently wrap them around the legs one at a time and gently squeeze all the way down to the hoof. Do it so much that it actually becomes a boring routine for the horse. Then work slowly, calmly but firmly at lifting each leg and gently setting it back down again. When he can accept this, you can start holding each hoof up longer and mimicking what he will feel the farrier do.

If you find yourself getting nervous, breathe deep through your core/stomach, not your chest and consciously think about relaxing. This is going to take time so do it a lot and have patience. I know a lot of very good, knowledgeable farriers but there are quite a few out there who are terrible and abusive.
Thank for your words of encouragement! Are any of these Ferreira you know in the Erie/ Mckean area?
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post #7 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
The moment he started to freak out so would I have done the same.

I would have made him realise by arm waving, wacking him with the halter rope across his chest and chased him around until he thought I was the devil himself.

That would give him something to think about - who was the mad person? What were they going to do if he struck out, reared or misbehaved again?

He would have forgotten about the farrier and had his concentration on you.

Doesn't matter what has happened in the past, they live in the now.
This horse was previously abused so being strong handed and hitting him isn't going to solve his issues. Part of the reason he acts this way is because of abuse and strong handed methods.
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post #8 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Spartan52004 View Post
This horse was previously abused so being strong handed and hitting him isn't going to solve his issues. Part of the reason he acts this way is because of abuse and strong handed methods.

This is not abuse, this is letting the horse know that you will not accept dangerous behaviour.

Making excuses such as 'he was abused' when you have no proof of this other than the horse has no respect for humans.

Excusing bad behaviour is the start of on a road to misery for both you and the horse.

Using the end of the halter rope on his chest is not going to hurt him, it just makes him realise that the behaviour is not acceptable.you can take all the time you like running your hands down his legs until he becomes bored, that is fine but when the farrier turns up you can bet your bottom dollar he is not going to behave if he doesn't want to because he hasn't learned respect.

Why, if a horse was left in a field for years, would the owner go out and beat it up? Odds on it doesn't like men because you think he doesn't so when one approaches you expect problems and he reads your mind.

As Cherie says, "the worse behaviour you allow is the best behaviour you can expect."
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post #9 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Can anyone point me in the direction of a natural horsemanship trainer or gentle trainer who can help me fix this problem. I am located in Erie/Mckean ,Pennsylvania area.
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post #10 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 12:45 PM
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Try to think like a horse, fight or flight. Behaviors are learned. It is people who teach them. Do not dwell on the past, today is the first day of the rest of this horses life.i would try to find expert help, if you are not experienced, but also keep safe. A vetinary check may be benificial, ie. Is this horse in pain? Good luck.
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