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Hello. I've been working with horses my whole life, but I haven't trained. I was given a horse recently, a beautiful Arabian gelding name Locomotion, son of IXL Noble Express. He was trained very harshly when he was young and tore a suspensory. After this, he was sent to the slaughterhouse.

A friend rescued him and brought him to the ranch where I work. He will be turning 5 soon. While he allows people to brush him and whatnot, he doesn't seem to have any idea what it's like to be a horse. Even being groomed makes him really excited. (He lifts up one of his front legs when he's happy, a habit.) He should be able to be lightly ridden by Summer, but what's more important to me is getting him to like me and like being around me.

He is mistrustful of humans. While they can approach him, he is rebellious often and hates having humans control him, probably a result of the harsh treatment when he was young.

He is a beautiful, sweet horse and I really love him. I just don't know what to do. Are there any exercises I can do to bond with him?
 

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yeah it sounds like he definitely has trust issues. i have an arab myself so i know how sensitive they are. i would just spend lots of time grooming him and working on the ground, maybe some free lunging. that way he learns to trust you and listen on the ground. it'll make things so much easier when you go to ride him. is there a place on his body that he specifically likes to be groomed or scratched? oh and, at least for my horse, it helped a lot when i was trying to bond with him to talk to him alot. he got used to the sound of my voice and eventually learned that as long as i was talking to him everything was going to be okay.

good luck with him. he's very lucky to have been rescued.
 

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Those are both good ideas, I'll have to write the Parelli games down.

Thanks!
 

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It could be that he was treated harshly by previous owners. But if you don't know that for an absolute surety, you could consider that he is spoiled. Actually being mistrustful, rebellious and having control issues sounds more like he is untrained and has never accepted leadership from a human before. I'd start him like he was a young horse with no training. Take it slow and easy but have high expectations regarding his behavior. If he was abused or not- it does not give him an excuse to be a dink.
 

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He needs really to trust in one person before you have tons of people working with him. He him working, do Parelli's Seven Games, trail walks, heck even ring walks, grooming, and start introducing new things to him daily.

I have a gelding like that too. I do A LOT of new and different things with him every time I ride. I just bought him a Western saddle and pan on rebreaking him to rein, and he already knows how to neck rein :D

Lol sorry - I went off-topic, but just an example..:)
 

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I think if you work with him from the back of another horse it would go a long way to earn his trust. My horse trainer does this with every horse he starts. Give it a try, I think you'll be very happy with the results. It is a gentle method that works very quickly.
I think the Parelli games are ok, but I feel things are undone still. I bought a colt that they used the Parelli games on. I had to "play" the game for 30 minutes before I could catch him. He had absolutly no respect for anyone and would paw at you and kick at you. You couldn't touch his head with out him rearing up and bawking.
 

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I will never blame the games as much as I would blame the person who tried to 'play' them ;)

Parelli can be hard cause there is so many ways to do it wrong but thats why I love it cause its a challenge! :D
 

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if you have a round pen i would suggest some roundpenning with him. if not, you could do some ground work like yeilding the hindquarters & forequarters, & also backing & such.
 

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It could be that he was treated harshly by previous owners. But if you don't know that for an absolute surety, you could consider that he is spoiled. Actually being mistrustful, rebellious and having control issues sounds more like he is untrained and has never accepted leadership from a human before. I'd start him like he was a young horse with no training. Take it slow and easy but have high expectations regarding his behavior. If he was abused or not- it does not give him an excuse to be a dink.
I like this advice and would like to add that if you have never trained a horse you need help. Riding a gentle, well trained horse doesn't prepare you to train a horse. Get a proffesional to work with you or leave the horse alone.
 

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I agree with Rod and Kevinshorses. I'm interested about your timeline though. You say that you can start light riding in the beginning of summer, is that due to the suspensory? If so, then I would be very careful with Parelli games or any other training exercise until then. I am personally not a fan of Parelli, but to each his own there.

There are ways to achieve this with your horse without moving his feet. It sounds strange, but I would start by ignoring him. Your wanting him to like you will be interpreted by weakness through his eyes, what he needs is leadership. Another horse wouldn't feel pity on him because he was mistreated or injured in the past, a good lead horse would have the same expectations from him as they would any other horse. You have the knowledge to know that he has physical limitations, so you can alter the way you work with him. If it were me, I would just spend some time in his stall. Take a book, don't worry about him at all. Spend some time every day, don't give treats or try to bribe him to be your friend. If he is the type to barge right into your space, keep him out, if he stares in the corner, just leave him alone and eventually he will start letting down his defenses.

You can also use feeding time as a training opportunity. The lead horse controls the food. These are both ways that you can begin to work with his trust and attention issues without putting a lot of excess pressure on him physically.

I would probably do as others said and completely restart him as a young horse when the time comes for him to start undersaddle again. Good luck.
 

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I didn't mean to come across as I was blameing the games... What I was meaning is that I dont think it will solve everything.
Now, about my colt. He is wonderful now. He has so much respect. He does everything from yelding fore and hindquarters, to advanced leading( leading without halter or leadrope). I don't do the Parelli games, not saying they dont work.
Have you heard of Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance.. those are the methods I go by.
 
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