Problem with 11 year old gelding! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 12:51 PM
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Does this horse hard tie well?
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post #12 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 01:57 PM
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Okay, so he sat in a pasture for three years with little to no work, and you're wondering why he's misbehaving for the farrier? Well, if I were to stick anyone in a room, away from human contact, for three years, chances are they aren't going to act 'normal' or 'socially acceptable' when I suddenly throw them back into the real world.

Also, correlation does not equal causation. Just because your farrier is a man doesn't mean THAT'S why you're horse is misbehaving with him. Does your horse have scars on him that would suggest he was abused? More than likely, your farrier was the first person to ask him to do something stressful since the time he sat in a pasture, so naturally, he freaked out.

All of this being said, you can't use the past to blame your horse's behavior now. A good horse trainer doesn't come up with excuses to explain the way the horse is acting - they evaluate the horse's actions and reactions, and respond accordingly, with no blame or grudges.

Is he being disrespectful or fearful? That's not something I can tell from an internet post. You must read his body language to make that determination. If you can't read a horse's body language, then I'd suggest finding a trainer to help you out. Or perhaps what your farrier was trying to say was that this horse's problems are beyond your expertise, and that you'd be better off finding a new gentle, broke horse to learn with.

Hope this post didn't sound too harsh, but it's something to chew on. A horse lives in the moment, and people dwell on the past. It can be hard, but you have to change your perspective to the 'now' if you even want to begin thinking of working with a problem horse.
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post #13 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 02:25 PM
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The replies you are getting might seem a little harsh, they are not.

There are several of us 'oldies' that have been around horses professionally all our lives. Several of us dealing with so called 'problem' horses that would, had they not been turned around with their behaviour, been hanging on a hook.

You want 'natural' horsemanship. Please realise that there is no such thing! the moment we handle a horse we are going against nature. What we hope to do is to make a horse realise that whatever we do, nothing is going to hurt them.

Look at a herd of horses in a field and their natural way of sorting out problms is not soft at all, it is heels and teeth.

This horse has been happy living in hos field, now you want to bring him into work so he is going to be testing you to see if you are a worthy leader, the more excuses you make for him and do not correct bad behaviour, the less respect he will give you.
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post #14 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 02:34 PM
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It sounds like this horse was not a rescue. He was a spoiled pasture pet who was purchased by a fairly naive owner and is objecting to being asked to do something he doesn't feel he should be bothered with. He doesn't sound fearful of men, he sounds like he knows then men will make him do as he's told and therefore tries to avoid that.

I agree that I think you misinterpreted what your farrier was saying. I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts that he meant that this horse is dangerous for you and that you should get rid of him.

I agree 100% with what Foxhunter said. If this had been my horse, he would have been made to think that his world was going to end.

You need to work long and hard on getting him to lift his feet and hold them without a fuss. If he tries to kick out, he either gets a hard smack or gets made to think he's gonna die because you're chasing him so hard. Then, you do it again. If he tries to pull away, you don't let go. He gets to put his foot down when YOU say so, not when he does.

You don't need a gentle trainer. You need a trainer who isn't going to take his guff and who is going to teach you to have a backbone.

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post #15 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 03:13 PM
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11 is not to old, but if you are uncertain of how to handle the horse then you may want to listen to your farrier and find a horse better suited for your abilities. To fix horse problems you must have enough experience to be able to identify the cause. If you cannot identify the cause of the behavior you cannot effectively fix the issue.

Most all horse problems can be fixed with enough time by experienced horseman. If you are set on keeping this horse then find a local trainer than can help you with this issue.

Best of luck,
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post #16 of 31 Old 12-04-2015, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you

Thank you for your advice and recommendations.
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post #17 of 31 Old 12-05-2015, 12:10 AM
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I think when you get a new horse, you are best to explore thoroughly what he will and will not do. where things are difficult and where they are impossible. before you ask a ferrier to work on your horse, you need to know that he is reasonably safe. now, I can understand that he acted worse for the man than for you, but having other people pick up his feet is a basic test of his readiness for a farrier, IMO.

I am not so sure I'd go ballistic on a horse that is reacting in a a genuienly fearful manner. it can be hard for a horse to allow his feet to be held up. it threatens their balance, and it's a behavior that makes them vulnerable to predators. all that has to be changed with training, and this horse has had little to none for years.

adding a lot of commotion and running him around and noise or spanking, when he is already feeling really bad about this experience , IMO will not help him become better at it. if he KNOWS well what is expected, and he strikes out at the farrier, then I would severly discipline that. but, in this case, start way back in the beginning and get him feeling ok about being touched, about being tied, about having you lift a foot.

you can start by putting a soft rope around his fetlock, and lift it with that. BUT, before you do THAT make sure he is ok with the rope on his back , over his back , over his tummy,. under it . . . etc.
set the groundwork; the foundation, and move on. his feet can go untrimmed for some time, but this work HAS to be done first.
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post #18 of 31 Old 12-05-2015, 12:57 AM
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I agree with tinyliny. Sounds like the horse has not been used to having his feet worked with. He needs to start at the beginning. You can't discipline fear. The horse will not understand what he is being disciplined for, and will only become more fearful about being handled.
If you're claustrophobic, it won't help to put you in a box and hit and yell at you every time you try to get out. You'll feel even worse about being in a box, not better.
My mare was similar, 12 years old and hadn't been handled in many years. She also would rear and pull her front feet out. pull the hinds away and kick. This is a common way horses deal with claustrophobia and feeling trapped, not wanting to give up their feet. They have to learn it is safe to give their feet to you.
If the horse is kicking at you, start with the rope and loop it around the pastern, but do not tie it. Start higher up the leg and gradually accustom the horse to having it lower. Once the horse accepts the rope, begin picking the hoof up with it. If he kicks, just ignore and keep lifting the foot until he accepts it. Progress to using your hand, and holding the foot for gradually longer periods of time. Use treats to make it positive experience.
If the horse isn't ready for trimming by the next time his hooves are long, use sedation instead of rushing him.
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post #19 of 31 Old 12-05-2015, 09:19 AM
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The fact that the horse went into attack mode - rearing and striking out, warrants correction. By going into 'attack' mode waving arms at him using the rope across hos cheat and making him move in a direction away from the handler, either backing or in a circle, makes them realise that the behaviour is unwarranted.

This new owner can fiddle and faff with his legs all they like but when the farrier arrives and goes to pick up the foot it will behave badly again because it got away with it last time.

I read it that the farrier made a start as in had a foot up when it started to misbehave.

It is not a matter of beating the animal up, just making it snap out of the bad behaviour whether it is because he just didn't want to or panic.

Today I saw a teen girl have a panic attack. In my day it was called hysterics, parents were all "There, there, breathe deeply, have you taken your meds?"

In my day an open handed slap across the face snapped them out of it. I didn't fancy being in court but couldn't help, as I walked past say directly to her, "Stop that stupid nonsense!" in my best 'she who must be obeyed voice.'

Funny thing was, she did stop until I walked past and then started again.
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Last edited by Foxhunter; 12-05-2015 at 09:26 AM.
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post #20 of 31 Old 12-05-2015, 11:10 AM
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What I gather from the original post is that the horse is basically cooperative except when it comes to his feet, so I am not thinking that he is a "disrespectful' horse in general, but one that has had bad experiences and is being defensive. That may be an assumption but if correct, going ballistic on him only reinforces that when someone works on his feet things will get unpleasant. I would be treating this horse as if he never learned to pick his feet up and work gradually. My own horse was turned out and not handled for a few years and was not good with her hind feet. She would kick at you and the only reprimand she got was a firm "NO". Initially my only goal was for her to pick her foot up and hold it still for a few seconds for which she was rewarded and she is much better now and no problem for the farrier. There certainly are horses that don't trust men and I have also encountered a few that did not like women and it takes these horses longer to realize that this particular person can be trusted. In this case a lady farrier might be helpful although I would not expect any farrier to train my horse. One that doesn't mind working on problem horses could however give you some good advice on training the horse yourself. The other thing to keep in mind is that when a horse has not been handled much in several years they are out of "working mode". The more contact you have in all areas will reinforce his understanding of what is expected of him.
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