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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So last may I purchased a 10hh pony stallion (the sweetest little guy) and a Paint Clydesdale gelding from a guy with kidney failure who couldn't take care of his horses anymore. The horses didn't seem to have any vices, and my mom rode the Clydesdale while I was at my dad's and he did fine, except when my mom went to pick up Sundance, the Paint Clydesdale,'s back foot, he kicked at her. It wasn't a mean or aggressive kick, it just let her know he didn't want her back there. She got him to give her both his back feet anyway, and we brought both horses home to our Paso Fino gelding and mini mare. Soon after, Sundance started developing problems. Aggression problems....he kicked our farrier who we've been with for 20 years (hard) and then ran him over to get to the stall door, and my farrier swore he would never trim his feet again. He also kicked the next farrier we hired to work on him....he was an overconfident schmuk. And the next, who got three feet done, but at the fourth, got kicked, and we ran out of options: we had a trainer come. The guy was also a farrier, and he told us he wouldn't and had never left a house until the horse's problem was corrected. He stayed for a few hours here, becoming part of the herd, becoming the lead mare, etcetera, until he, and then we, were able to pick up his feet. He loved the trainer. This is the two of them:


(he looks so sweet and docile there.....)
We did the routine we were told to do with Sunny every night, like the trainer told us to, for a while until my mom snapped her Achilles Tendon in half and couldn't pick his feet anymore. I wasn't allowed to do it then because he was still "dangerous" and had started nipping at people. When we stopped picking his feet every day, he stopped being a good boy about it. When a different farrier came, he kicked him. And bit him. And now he bites whenever you're within biting range, runs you over when you go in the pasture with him, and makes you feel terrified when he bullies you around. I need to sell this horse.....he's not safe, especially with my 9-yr old sister playing in the yard by the pasture and getting too close and being bitten! I can't afford another $1000 to get him retrained, either, (that's the quote I was given by the Amish for full training on him) so I'm resorting to trying to sort him out myself. What do I do here? I'm at a loss and completely overwhelmed. I can't ride him now because of his behavior, so now he's a worthless eating machine in my barn. Can someone please tell me what to do? Any and all help appreciated. Thanks
 

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He sounds pretty dangerous..

I would be considering euthanasier at this stage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm not putting him down. It's weird. At times he's the sweetest horse, lets you groom him over the stall door, my mom kisses him on his nose no matter how many times I tell her not to....But if you turn your back to him, he'll bite you. When we were grooming him in the pasture last year, he also leaned into us because he liked the grooming so much.....he was trying to get us to support his weight for him or something.

About the trainer.....we actually asked him if he would take Sundance home. He really wanted to, too, except his wife butted in that they had too many horses already and wouldn't let him.....lol.

Any ideas on why he's like this? Do you think he was like this at his breeder's home, too, or do you suspect he is just bad now? My reasoning is that since he's on the bottom of the totem pole for dominance here with my other horses (below my dominant Paso, below the pony stallion, even below the mini mare) he's feeling the need to make us feel inferior so he can make an illusion of dominance over himself. It's ridiculous that he lets the mini mare kick him out of her stall and corner of the pasture (we have one pasture with free access to their stalls, so they go in whichever stalls they choose), when he's 10 times bigger than her! He's huge!
 

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Have you tried bullying him back? I'm assuming you have, since you already had horses (and know how to deal with them), and it was to the point where you needed a trainer. If, after [trying to] show him that he can't touch you, and he STILL does that, I would probably sell him..
 

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Hmmmmmm. What are you feeding him? Could he be hot from his feed? Could he have some sort of nitritional imbalance?

Heck, as I've mentioned in a lot of threads recently.... Have you considered something like mare magic or easy mare (safe for geldings)? I have seen it work famously with several horses to loosen them up, calm them down, etc. Mare magic is made if raspberry leaves, which has a high concentration of magnesium. Helps take the edge off, and most animals and humans are deficient. Worth a shot.

Another option is to section him off from everyone else. Ideally give him a paddock that is not connecting to the main area, but within eyeshot. With him separated, he'll come to learn really quick that he absolutely depends on you for everything.

Also... Work him. I don't know what your setup is, but you need to have some one on one time. If he's a bad biter, stick a muzzle or a grazing muzzle on him when you are close.. .

When he goes to bite, let him run directly into your elbow or knuckle. Get BIG, yell NO, back him up. I'd probably carry a dressage whip around him at all times.

Obviously if you are in danger get out if the way, but you need to stand up to him and let him know you are in charge.

Good luck. I hope you can figure something out. Reward the **** out of him when he does something right, and let him know when he's in the wrong.
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I have tried bullying him back. I have punched him after he bites, my dad has gone after him with a rake, and my mom screams at him, but when he gets threatened he pins his ears and threatens to bite again if you don't get out of the way. With the elbow thing....I've read that before, but you can't really do that and be consistent with it if you have your back to his stall on accident when he bites, which is usually the case.

We don't have a saddle big enough for him, we were planning on barebacking until we could buy a draft saddle, but then he got like this....I personally want to stick a bridle on him and ride him out bareback to show him what work is, but my mom won't let me. (overprotective mothers....she won't even let me ride the back 1000 if she's not with me lol) She doesn't have health insurance right now so she won't get up on him, but I do have it through my dad (divorced parents, dad's law firm provides health insurance for the family) and really want to ride him out. I have a draft bridle that's one of those halter/bridle combo things, and I have a one-eared show bridle from my MFT who was HUGE and had a huge head so that might fit him. No throatlatch, but I think that would be okay. If I did convince my mom to let me ride him, (and she has ridden him before--when we bought him. she said he was rusty but willing to learn) would I use a snaffle or a curb? I have a ton of excess bits. I'll try to post pics of my Western ones so HF can determine which one would work best for him.

With regard to the mare PMS supplements....Yes, I have tried that. I tried Mare Magic, and it worked to an extent, but it got really expencive so I had to drop it. I feed good quality hay and grain....he's fat so I don't give him that much grain and only 2-3 flakes of hay twice a day, but I feed Grow 'n Win (description on feed) grain to all my horses except my senior gelding who has Nutrena Equine Senior to help keep stress-induced weight on (he lost a lot of weight trying to keep the mare away from the other horses last year).

Anyway, do you think I'm right to push me riding him? I think it would do him some good. My bareback pad might fit him, but he's such a fatty from being idle that I doubt it would go around his girth.

If I section him off from everyone, that's not really possible with our pasture setup. Plus he neighs and paces the fence whenever I take Arthur for a ride....hates to be alone.

I really think he hates the cold weather, as silly as that sounds. His mood always downright sucks in winter, which is usually when I pull out the Mare Magic out and give him supplements of that at every feeding.

I can't lead him to the back pastures, he stays in the front pasture because he has NO ground manners and crowds you and bites and dances on the end of the lead and speeds up when you want him to walk with you, and ugh it's a nightmare. When we do take the horses to the back grassy pastures in summer (they have access from the stalls to the main dirt pasture, but in summer we take them all to the back pasture which is only like 200 meter away to graze every day), I have to bring the mare and the stallion to the pasture first (everyone gets along, surprisingly. The stallion knows his place and doesn't go near the mare or the other geldings because he knows he'll lose in a dominance battle against my gelding) and lock them in. Then I mount Arthur, my gelding, and set Sunny free. I herd him to the back pasture since he won't be ponied and lock them all in. But if I were to work with him, I would have to work with him in that pasture, and I'll have to work on ground manners with him so I can actually lead him back there.

When I get him back there, I think I'll try a join-up from Monty Roberts....I'm kind of worried to have him follow me, though, because he has a habit of walking on your heels and trust me, it hurts SO bad to have a 2,000 pound giant of a horse step on your toes lol! Then maybe I'll try lungeing him to get him to work a little. Any tips on lungeing, as I've never lunged before besides my mini mare, which doesn't really count since I can never get her lazy butt to lunge anyway?

Maybe I'll try sacking him out. That might help with the problem he has with his feet being touched. What the trainer did was use John Lyons techniques and take a long pole with a glove on the end and touch his feet with it so Sunny could kick the crap out of it and the "arm" wouldn't give up. I'm definitely getting him used to plastic and stuff on his back before I get on....if I ever get on.

Would it benefit him to be ponied? My gelding is a handful in himself because of his separation anxiety with the mini mare, so it would be difficult to pony him and control two misbehaving horses. I could do it though, and Arthur's separation anxiety might be partially cured for the time being if he had a buddy on the trails with him. You think? I think I'll try it.

I think the Amish could really get some use out of him as a plow horse in the fields. He's strong, and huge, and needs to learn the meaning of working for his feed.
 

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Holy crap. How much GrowNWin do you feed him per feeding? That stuff is 32% protein.... WAY too much for most horses to eat as their primary source of nutrition. That totally explains his picture. I'd bet my left foot that he has hyperthyroidism. What kind of hay do you feed? Is it partially or straight alfalfa??? I've used GrowNWin as a topper for some growing horses, usually just a cup or so of it on top of oats or something. Too much protien can turn a normal horse into a totally different animal. The extreme cresty neck, the grumpy/mean attitude..... definitely signs of hormonal issues from far too much protein.

I would completely eliminate the grain all together. You should see rapid changes in his body mass as he loses all of the water he's retaining right now. The extra protien is also directly related to thyroid, kidney, and liver function. Too much of it can put those organs into over drive, which could make just moving around painful. I wouldn't want to lift my feet if my kidneys hurt. 12% at most, really, is all a horse needs in protien daily.


Also, most of those ideas sound like things you could/should do with him. Work with him as much as you can. And for gosh sakes, don't stand in his stall with your back to him! You need to keep an eye on this horse every minute you are near him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow that totally explains it! I was so caught up worrying about my senior gelding getting the perfect amount of protein and amino acids and and omega three fatty acids and stuff that I wasn't paying attention to the feed I'm giving my other horses! No wonder he's so fat! I only feed him about a cup at night, and no one gets grain in the morning--just hay. When I'm out of the Grow 'n Win and the Farmer's Exchange doesn't have any in stock for delivery back-ups or whatever, I feed them all the Nutrena Equine Senior feed. That's what they're getting right now....all of them.....and Sunny's still his usual bad self. 32% protein though?! I never knew that! What feed do you reccomend instead? It has to be versatile for my stally, my prego mare, and Sunny though. Any suggestions? My mare gets supplements too for mare and foal stuff so she doesn't need mare and foal feed. With regard to elimination....he gets really ****ed when he doesn't get fed his grain. I eliminated morning grain for everyone because it's not doing anything for them; they're content to snack on hay throughout the day and have their hay and grain at night. Our hay is definitely not straight alfalfa....it's either Timothy or a mix, I can't remember. Wow, am I changing grain, if not eliminating it for Sunny....
 

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Hello everybody,

I'm new to the forum and am a horse lover since my very first breath.

I have a bay, 8 yr old, croatian warmblood mare that I bought 10 months ago which I adore.

I just wanted to say that the first time I tried to put cold ice on my mare's swollen hock she lashed at me and almost hit me across the face. This was 10 months ago. Today she is a calm, beautiful sweety that will not hit nor bite and will follow me anywhere I go. The bottom line is, with compassion, patience and hard work your kicking horse can become the same. It takes time.
 

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Ok a few things.

Part of his dominance issues are probably due to the fact that you've got a stallion running with your herd, stallion + pregnant mare is a lot of hormones and phermones playing off of eachother constantly. Here's a question... What ate you going to do when the mare foals? Do you have a separate area for them? A dialing stall? I think something that will really help is separating your herd. There is nothing wrong with geldings being with a stallion, but throw in a mare and you've got herd dynamics that just aren't ideal unless you have 50acre pastures. Can you put the pony and sonny together? Can you separate the mare or stallion? I think it has to be done, and will have to be done eventually anyways.

As for feed... You won't find one feed that will be ideal for all of your horses.

Keep the old guy on senior, if he's having a hard time with weight add in some soaked hay cubes or pellets fir extra nutrition. Try making his feed into a mash so it's easier to eat and digest. Euine senior by nutrena is the best senior feed so that's good. If you must feed fatty something, try just a handful of hay pellets. Looks like grain, will quench the need, but it won't make him high or give him too much extra protien or fat. Make it a grass or mix pellet, not alfalfa. The pony could probably just doa hay pellet. The mare, in her later term she would benefit from high protien. Otherwise something simple like safe choice grain would be fine.

As for the beast, be consistent. Demand he respect you. Practice leading from a safe arms length away. Carry a whip or crop. If he comes at you, pop him with it, make your voice deep and yell NO. Do the same every time he acts aggressive. Ge can't get the last bite in. Not allowed. I definitely suggest a grazing muzzle for your safety while you ate working with him. Put him on a lunge line and send his fat butt out of your space. Make him move those feet.

If you can't do any of those things, put him in a paddock by himself, and free lunge him in there. Get him moving his feet and away from you. Ask him to whoa, walk, trot, canter just Luke any other horse. When he complies, reward him. I would certainly do join up.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
When the mare foals, I will have the ability to separate them during weaning. My mom wants a riding horse so the stally might be going to make room.

I asked my mom to let me lunge Sunny in the back, but she blew up at me and said he was too dangerous for me to be near, but I don't see her doing anything about him! He's more dangerous just being in the barn than he would be if I lunged him and worked with him to get his behavior somewhat under control
 

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On the feed. I'm pretty sure that Grow N Win is a ration balancer so you're only supposed to feed 1-2 pounds per day. It's balancing vitamins/minerals and is providing really minimal protien (1 pound x 32% = .32 pounds), so unless you are feeding a crap load of Grow N Win that isn't your problem.

About Sunny, you aren't going to like this, but I'm with your mom. You have no business screwing around with this horse. He is huge and you are a fairly small teenage girl that has NO idea where to start with him. That right there shows me you don't have the experience to deal with his problems.

Either sell him to an experienced person who can deal with his problems and take a loss on the money or maybe see if the trainer guy would trade for him. That way he doesn't have too many horses and you guys can hopefully get a rideable horse out of the deal.
 

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What you need to do is gain his respect. Put him in a roundpen/small arena. Free lunge him. I suggest you have a whip on you. Make him gallop around and around until he begins the chewing motion with his mouth. (like foals do) It may take awhile to wear him down, but eventually he will begin the chewing motion, which shows his submission to you. Wants he begins the chewing motion, drop the whip and turn your back to him. He should walk up to you, and after forcing him to gallop for that long, he should realize you are the boss. I've tried this with multiple horses and have gotten fantastic results. Good luck!
 

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I agree that you will get hurt before he gets trained. Green = Green = Black and Blue. Find someone to trade him for a riding horse or sell him outright for cheap to someone that can make something of him. Even if you have to give him away you will be saving money on feed and hospital bills and you can find a horse that you can ride and enjoy. He is not worth getting hurt over.
 

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I agree that you will get hurt before he gets trained. Green = Green = Black and Blue. Find someone to trade him for a riding horse or sell him outright for cheap to someone that can make something of him. Even if you have to give him away you will be saving money on feed and hospital bills and you can find a horse that you can ride and enjoy. He is not worth getting hurt over.
^This. From what you're describing, you're in over your head with this guy, and he has your number. Changing his feed might go a long way to sorting his marbles out and bringing him back to some level of sanity, but if it doesn't he's going to be at best a headache if not an outright danger to you. Sometimes the worst ones to fix are the ones that have had it proven to them that they can throw their weight around.

Whatever you decide, be careful.
 

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Don't waste all your money on a trainer for him.
 

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Sorry for typos. I wrote the last post on my phone, the auto correction is funny sometimes
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I dunno, she said she was using grownwin as the feed for everything but the old dude
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