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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I got my horse 4.5 months ago, a beginner dead broke 15 year old quarter horse. When I brought him home he started throwing his head a lot when riding. I had the vet come out and look at him, and she said he was stiff and seemed very unhappy about it. I had a chiropractor come and adjust him and from their I continued excersing him at a walk and slowly progressed to trotting him once he was more comfortable (plus joint supplements). When I tried lunging him, he would try to buck right near me, and didn't respect my space. He also became quite nippy. I had a trainer come out and we did a few lunging sessions, and then some riding sessions. Recently, he started his throwing head habit a bit worse, and even started rearing up. He will be fine for the first 10 minutes and then decide he doesn't want to work anymore. He gets very sour. My trainer gave him a training session today, and he kept rearing on her- same thing with me. I don't know what to do anymore, because she isn't comfortable riding his bucks out to get him out of this bad/disrespectful mood, so I would need to find someone else. Also, his environment has changed quite drastically since I bought him. Before he was in a pasture, and now he has to be in a outside stall for most of the day, unfortunately because we don't have pasture board in the desert and he can't live in a turn out. I think he is not liking this new enviroment. I'm not exactly sure what to do as all physical aliments have been looked at by the vet, and farrier said his hoofs are great. My trainer said since he use to be grazing all day in the pasture (and not the case anymore) he could have an upset stomach, so I'm going to start a new gastric supplement to help with that , if it is in fact part of the problem.
It's been 4.5 month and I've been trying everything I can to enjoy this horse but I'm just not sure what to do at this point...I'm a beginner rider and feel very nervous on him now. Do a hire a different trainer who can ride out his bucks and get his attitude in check? Or will this just not fix anything long term, will I always have these issues as he is 15years old? Or, do you think he is just not happy in my environment and needs a new home with a big pasture to be happy in? Thanks so much.
 

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I'm sorry you are having trouble! Yes, his environment could be affecting his behavior. With that said, that is still NEVER an excuse for a horse to act out like this. As owners, it is our job to do the best we can for our horses but they need to behave too.

It's possible that he could have ulcers from the environment change. His body is used to grazing all day and now that intake is limited. What is his feeding program like right now? Exactly what is he getting to eat, how much, and how often?

Can you get some sort of slow feeder or slow grazer to have in his outside stall, if he doesn't already have one?

What else did the vet check? A 15-yr-old horse could certainly have some ailments that are bothering him, especially if he is still. Standing in a stall all day is NOT good if he has any arthritis. He could be acting out b/c he is in pain after standing all day.

Did the vet flex your horse's legs? Watch him move? Take any x-rays?

Ultimately if you can get his physical issues figured out, you may still need someone to ride out his bucks anyway, so you most likely will need a different trainer. But I would guess there is some pain problems contributing to his behavior that needs to be figured out.
 

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I'm sorry you are having trouble! Yes, his environment could be affecting his behavior. With that said, that is still NEVER an excuse for a horse to act out like this. As owners, it is our job to do the best we can for our horses but they need to behave too.

It's possible that he could have ulcers from the environment change. His body is used to grazing all day and now that intake is limited. What is his feeding program like right now? Exactly what is he getting to eat, how much, and how often?

Can you get some sort of slow feeder or slow grazer to have in his outside stall, if he doesn't already have one?

What else did the vet check? A 15-yr-old horse could certainly have some ailments that are bothering him, especially if he is still. Standing in a stall all day is NOT good if he has any arthritis. He could be acting out b/c he is in pain after standing all day.

Did the vet flex your horse's legs? Watch him move? Take any x-rays?

Ultimately if you can get his physical issues figured out, you may still need someone to ride out his bucks anyway, so you most likely will need a different trainer. But I would guess there is some pain problems contributing to his behavior that needs to be figured out.
Yes I was using a slow feeder net, but since it broke I've been putting his hay in a tub. I can try the slow feeding net again and see if it helps. The vet told me to give him 2 flakes of Bermuda hay at night & 2 in the morning, so that's what I've been doing. About a 1.5 months ago I started the joint supplement as well, in the morning. My trainer advised giving him half a flake of alfalfa before riding him, to possibly help with the stomach acidity, so I can try that on a more consistent basis as well. However, vet told me not to feed him alfalfa because its a hot feed and he doesn't need it as I only plan to do light work in the arena, lessons, and trails.
The vet watched him walk, and just said he was very out of shape -stiff. But that has improved since. I asked her about arthritis and she said all horses have it to a degree but she didn't think my horse had it enough to affect him. I asked her about ulcers and she said he didn't have ulcer pain just uncomforbleness associated with bout being out of shape (at the time). I did not have x-rays done on him. She just seemed to think he seemed healthy so I didn't even inquire about them..but maybe it's a next step?
Saddle also fits well and has been checked. Also I want to add he does have "windpuffs" on his legs..ususally associated with being worked hard, so it makes me wonder if the vet may have overlooked something that could be bothering him.
I will be moving to another state within the next year into a more rural area, permenantly, and was planning on taking him with me - he would have access to big pastures there. But am so hesitant to spend all the money moving him only for the behavioral issues to still persist...
thank you for your response
 

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I had the vet come out and look at him, and she said he was stiff and seemed very unhappy about it. I had a chiropractor come and adjust him and from their I continued excersing him at a walk and slowly progressed to trotting him once he was more comfortable
Good-oh. What exactly did the chiro say was wrong? What treatment did he need? How many treatments, and is he still having them? Anything else?(Eg. acupuncture, remedial massage, etc often goes very well with chiro, to 'set' everything better). And I assume the exercises you're doing with him now are as per the instructions of this chiropractic vet? Does he still throw his head at all?

When I tried lunging him, he would try to buck right near me, and didn't respect my space.
'Didn't respect my space' sounds like he would actually run over you? It's entirely possible that this is purely 'behavioural', because if you don't know what you're doing, you may be inadvertently asking for the wrong things & confusing or frustrating him. Or he's 'got your number' so to speak - he knows what you don't know & so is 'taking the reins'. IF that's the case, can't blame him for not 'respecting' you, if you aren't savvy enough to earn his respect - and no knocking you for not being at that level yet BTW.

But lunging is hard on a horse physically too, so he could be 'acting up' to try to communicate to you that this is uncomfortable. Why are you lunging him? What do you hope to achieve with it? How long are you doing it for? Do you ask different things of him while you're circling?

He also became quite nippy. I had a trainer come out and we did a few lunging sessions, and then some riding sessions.
Great that you got a trainer involved. What did they have to say about everything? The nipping may be that your timing's wrong, that you're inadvertently reinforcing him, or he's telling you 'you & who's army??' But it could also be a behaviour he may be doing due to pain - trying to communicate to you, so be considerate of that possibility too, but as it's a behaviour that's dangerous, regardless of reason, that needs to be nipped in the bud ASAP! But I hesitate to tell you, being not that experienced, as well as being just over a forum, to punish him - punishment if it's not done appropriately & effectively can make matters a whole lot worse, fast! So I suggest you get the trainer to help you with those issues too.

Recently, he started his throwing head habit a bit worse, and even started rearing up. He will be fine for the first 10 minutes and then decide he doesn't want to work anymore.
When you initially said throwing his head, I thought 'yeah, beginner putting/keeping too much pressure on the reins'. But then you told that it was due to pain, and I assumed it had been resolved with the chiro(? Was that the case till recently?). So... it could well be that pain come back again. Throwing the head/mouth pain can be due to back/saddle pain, and/or in the hindquarters too(you wouldn't credit just how closely tied the hind end is with the tongue!). So, always, always try to rule out/treat physical possibilities first, before treating it as a training issue.

Assuming it is 'just' a training issue, I think this one is solely yours. If you're not giving enough release, or your releases are badly timed, then this is a common result. Essentially the horse tries to do the right thing, but the pressure continues, there is no reinforcement for it, so he quits trying that & does something else to see if that works. Usually, in frustration, head tossing is something they will try, and even if momentarily, it does usually afford them some relief from pressure. So they learn to do it more.

He gets very sour. My trainer gave him a training session today, and he kept rearing on her- same thing with me. I don't know what to do anymore, because she isn't comfortable riding his bucks out to get him out of this bad/disrespectful mood,
Not exactly what I'd call a beginner 'broke' horse at all. Bucking too! That can also be due to pain - I mean, if you're hurting & no one is listening to you(not blaming you, if you may not understand his bodylanguage to know what he's saying yet), then you would start to fight the things that cause pain however you can... So, saying all that by way of explaining it may well not be a reflection of his training or temperament. But also, regardless of how 'dead broke' or otherwise they are, they are still live animals with feelings, and a brain that responds to cause & effect around them. So if you continue to do stuff wrong, even a 'dead broke' horse might... wake up from his coma with new(in many cases inadvertent) 'lessons'.

He is not likely 'bad' and yes, he doesn't respect you, but that's just a 'stating the obvious' - I mean, what have you done to earn, to deserve his respect & prove you're worthy(If you're a beginner, that may be beyond you at present)? But 'respect' and 'disrespect' is synonymous for a lot of people just with obedience/disobedience. So it's a bit of a 'no brainer' comment and not very helpful.

Obviously I only have your words here to go on, so I appreciate I may not have understood, but from the idea you've given, for whatever reason, he is not a safe, beginner friendly horse. Maybe if you can get the physical probs ironed out. Maybe if you learn to do better yourself with stuff, that's all he needs to 'come good' too. But if he is rearing & bucking with your trainer too, that last sounds a bit unlikely. But perhaps she is just not very good... Whatever, I think it's time to - along with ruling out/treating any physical issues - quit while you're... not too far behind. You could send him to a trainer & see what they have to say, how he goes, before getting some lessons from them, before dealing with him yourself but under their guidance, if they think that's appropriate, or you could rehome him to an experienced rider & disclose his behaviour, and look for an easy horse, that you can learn & gain confidence with.

Also, his environment has changed quite drastically since I bought him. Before he was in a pasture, and now he has to be in a outside stall for most of the day,
That is sure to be a factor in his general temperament. Is he with other horses, or is he also kept solitary? All that can be very stressful for a horse mentally. Living in a stall will also mean he is under exercised, which is another factor, he may be jumping out of his skin. And then you've got possibly gut issues, especially if he went onto a very different diet, gets any grain, or if he doesn't get enough forage to last him. I'd consider all those factors, and ensure you give the horse(or the next one) as healthy a life, both physically and mentally.
 

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I agree. First make sure he is comfortable. This could turn into a habit. Does he do it at only curtain times, or all the time? For example only with posting trot or walk canter transitions. You could have him walk calmly a few strides then get a treat, he will learn that he has to be calm and not go bananas to get something. (I recommend using a clicker or something so he does not learn to stop randomly) At 15 he may have this problem the rest of his life, but every horse is different.
 

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I haven't read replies but what jumps out at me is non restricted movement to restricted. Older horse. Dead broke. Says to me arthritis is very likely and now not able to move at will means pain. Ulcers are a possibility with all the change, stress and pain. Another most new horse owners don't want to hear is that their handling skills are not up to par and/or the horse is giving out minor quizzes and you(g) have failed so horse is progressing to major tests.
 

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Get another vet out that will do a thorough exam, spending a little more for a specialist will go further in the long run. Just watching a horse walk who is exhibiting such an extreme reaction is not appropriate. He needs flexions, possibly joint blocks, xrays, at minimum. What you describe could be behavioural, but there's a good chance it's stemming from something physical. At one end of the spectrum, it could be hock arthritis just need injections. At the other end, it could be cervical arthritis or a low grade suspensory tear. You just don't know.
 

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When horses start acting up and showing aggressive or unwanted behavior, there's usually a reason for it. It sounds like your horse has gone through some major changes, and going from pasture to living in a stall for long periods of time could be causing your horse some pain and discomfort, as well as mentally upsetting him. You say he has arthritis as well, and standing in a stall without much movement for extended periods of time could be contributing to it. Try and clear out as many possible physical problems with your vet, and even try having another vet look at him as well. As for the chiropractor, what you do with your horse after he's been adjusted by the chiropractor can largely influence how long those adjustments hold. Unfortunately, being in a stall with little opportunity for movement can cause previous pain and stiffness to come back. Make sure you do any exercises your chiropractor recommended you do. If you have an arena, see if you could turn him out in there in for an hour or so when no one else is using it to give him some freedom to move around besides when being handled and ridden.
I don't know much about your riding, but his rearing under saddle could also be from rider error, such as using his mouth for balance, being grabby with the reins, or not releasing pressure.
I'm not a huge fan of the word "respect" since it is a human term and horses don't know what that means. Getting after your horse and smacking him for protesting from pain or not being sure what your asking of him, is not going to solve the root problem of his behavior or get him to respect you. If there really is a physical problem, that could scare him into hiding his pain since he knows that he will only get punished for trying to tell you that he is uncomfortable.
 

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I agree with what @ApuetsoT said about getting another vet out for an exam. You want a more thorough exam, done by more of a specialist type vet.

You also didn't mention anything about his teeth. I'm sure you've had them done, but that might need a specialist as well. My Teddy was a head-tosser when I got him, and he would rear at times also (although not under saddle). When he was given to me, he couldn't be ridden in any kind of bit. I had two vets look at him and do his teeth, and they were like, "Well, his teeth are not great but they are OK." But I just felt like something was wrong that they hadn't seen. He was really sensitive about being touched around his mouth as well. So I found a dental specialist. It turned out he had ALL KINDS of things wrong with his teeth. I can't credit that guy with fixing all of Teddy's problems -- it took a lot of time, patience, and understanding on my part as well. But it definitely helped. I'm just saying that teeth could be an issue here. Or at least part of the issue.
 

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To me, this sounds behavioral. I say this becuase you say he is fine for the first 10 minutes, then starts to act up. This , to me, means he is deciding when he wants to quit. One way to feel things out a bit would be to ride WITH another horse. If you can't ride out on some trails, with a buddy, ride together, side by side , in the arena. Do some tast trots or a canter, side by side, or allow your buddy to go ahead and see how happy your horse is to go when he has the draw of another horse. If he moves out without any sign of physcical distress, to me it means this is mostly behavioral.

Is he quite bonded to another horse stabled right next to him? Tell me what your rides are like. Do you ever let him really move out, like a hand gallop? are you riding on contact, or with a draping rein, and what kind of bit? How does he lead? when is he nipping at you, under what circumstance?
when you lunge, is this on a line or in a round pen, at ffreedom?
 

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To me, this sounds behavioral. I say this becuase you say he is fine for the first 10 minutes, then starts to act up. This , to me, means he is deciding when he wants to quit. One way to feel things out a bit would be to ride WITH another horse. If you can't ride out on some trails, with a buddy, ride together, side by side , in the arena. Do some tast trots or a canter, side by side, or allow your buddy to go ahead and see how happy your horse is to go when he has the draw of another horse. If he moves out without any sign of physcical distress, to me it means this is mostly behavioral.

Is he quite bonded to another horse stabled right next to him? Tell me what your rides are like. Do you ever let him really move out, like a hand gallop? are you riding on contact, or with a draping rein, and what kind of bit? How does he lead? when is he nipping at you, under what circumstance?
when you lunge, is this on a line or in a round pen, at ffreedom?
hello! Thanks I will try riding him right next to another horse and see how he does.Yes, he is quite bonded with the horse in the stall next to him. He has gotten upset when the horse gets taken out. He’s also quite attached to the arena that’s the side towards home, and most of this rearing is occurring in this area.
I was riding him in a Tom Thumb bit with a very loose rein, because that’s what the the trainer who sold him to me said to get for him. As a newby to western bits I didn’t realize it was a harsher bit, and used it for a while. After trying to figure out the head throwing initially, I tried a D ring snaffle and have been using it ever since (2.5months about). The lady I’m taking lessons with has me holding a tighter constant contact. He seemed to be doing okay with it, but it didn’t solve the head thing too much initially...then I saw it improving where it would only happen a few times a lesson. Until the last 2 weeks (along with the rearing).
No, I have not rode him at a gallop. When riding I’ve been doing circles, wtc, -but not much more as he usually gets fed up. Some days I just take him on a walk. But yes I am riding in a large arena typically by myself. I would say he really only has had 2 days a week of work that would get him really sweating, like 1 hour of hard riding each time.
When lunging him I’ve done both free & with a line. When I’m alone I can’t lunge him with out the line because he won’t move and acts very lazy. (Under saddle he is very forward).
theres usually 2-3 days per week that I don’t work with him, so He will just get his usually turn out For 30min in the morning when I’m mucking/feeding and 30min at night. He will stand in the turn out and barely move at all. I’m at a self care facility-so I just turn him out while doing chores- I wish it could be longer. Also, no one turns out there horses togeather for some reason...so he’s not getting the play time he was in previous home probably.

Nipping occurs when I do the girth (I do it gradually) but still he hates it with ears pinched back. Even brushing him he seems to hate it. He has tried to nip me when leading him, but now I stand further away from him-like 2feet in between us and his ears are forward happy.
 

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Nipping occurs when I do the girth (I do it gradually) but still he hates it with ears pinched back. Even brushing him he seems to hate it.
Ok, so these behaviors sound a lot like he could potentially have ulcers. Horses with ulcers often don't like being girthed up and often can have a sour disposition to being ridden as well, and your horse has also gone through a lot of big changes in the past few months. Horses with ulcers often also find it uncomfortable to be brushed, especially around their stomach and girth, and can have an overall crabbiness to exercise. I would get your horse looked at for ulcers by a vet.
 

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I have put this up several times, but will put it up again. This video helped me tremendously with a horse with behavioral issues. I do this technique on all 4 of my horses and it is clear which one might have an ulcer. I treat for the ulcer, and behavior issues improve dramatically.

 

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Thank you @Qhgirl23 That explains a lot. Everything, except the nipping at you while girthing and grooming, screams "buddy sour" to me. The not being able to move him by yourself in the round pen is likely because you are not aware of how your body language is not working correctly. Without someone in there, with you, showing you a better way , it's understandable that he can make it so that he doesn't have to move .

In this horse's former life, what kind of work was he doing? A horse that is used to doing a job will soon become irritated at being asked to do repeatedly that which has no real purpose to him. It can really sour a horse. Most horses are really happier if they are doing something that they see has some focus to it. Like cow work, or polo, or racing, or cross country, even dressage. I believe that when a horse feel that it is actually GOING SOMEWHERE, verse around in circles, it stimulates the brain and body. One of the simplest things an arena rider can do is to pick a point on the far side of the arena, and then see if you can get your horse to bust out and go as fast as he can toward that point. Of course, the horse doesn't know what your 'point' is, but your own focus will inspire him more than meandering or circling does. This sort of thing is to help the horse to be thinking 'forward'.

I know you said he is forward under saddle, but is this as a response to you, or is it him just racing off, perhaps when facing the side of the arena that he really wants to be on anyway?

Until this horse is forward off you leg, I wouldn't ride him on constant contact. I kind of think your instructor /trainer should have recognized that his behaviors are associated with buddy sourness, and work from there.
 

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Agree with Tiny that it sounds more likely behavioural to me too, but just because he 'puts up' for 10 mins before 'acting up' doesn't mean to say it's necessarily not physical. So I emphasise again, it's so important to rule out/treat physical issues first.

Yes, he is quite bonded with the horse in the stall next to him. He has gotten upset when the horse gets taken out. He’s also quite attached to the arena that’s the side towards home,
Yeah, I realise that in some situations, that's the best you can do, but the poor bloke, going to a locked up alone in a box life, of course this herd animal will be 'attached' to the horse next door - that's his one bit of security. And the arena - well, he knows where he feels most comfortable in this place. I'd focus on ensuring he is comfortable & happy in other areas too. Ensure the other end of the arena means Good Stuff for eg.

How many times a day do you get him out of the stall? How much exercise does he get? Does he get any/much time to be a horse, with other horses? And do you take him out & about? Or does he only get to be 'worked' in the arena?

lady I’m taking lessons with has me holding a tighter constant contact. He seemed to be doing okay with it, but it didn’t solve the head thing too much initially...then I saw it improving where it would only happen a few times a lesson. Until the last 2 weeks (along with the rearing).
Without knowing what the horse was trained for(but you said Western & mention loose rein, so guessing horse not trained for steady contact) & what exactly you mean by "tighter constant contact" & your skill level with that, the head tossing - & rearing - could be directly related to that.

When riding I’ve been doing circles, wtc, -but not much more as he usually gets fed up. Some days I just take him on a walk. But yes I am riding in a large arena typically by myself. I would say he really only has had 2 days a week of work that would get him really sweating, like 1 hour of hard riding each time.
Yeah, I'd get pretty 'fed up' with doing lots of circles, stuck in an arena, too. Circles can also be hard on joints, so shouldn't be overdone. An hour of hard work doing circles in an arena is not only seriously boring, but hard on his body, not just from a fitness perspective. If you're going to 'work' him hard, do it out on the trail or such. But I'd be wanting to 'work' on getting a good thing going with him first, before asking him to 'work' for you. Being alone is another issue - of course you want the horse to be able to work alone too, but...

just get his usually turn out For 30min in the morning when I’m mucking/feeding and 30min at night. He will stand in the turn out and barely move at all.
So sounds like that answers the earlier question. So he is locked up alone in a box for 23hrs a day, you take him out for only around an hour a day, to either stand around alone, or to make him 'work' for you alone in the arena. IMHO it is far from fair to keep him like that & you need to give this horse a much better life. It is not good for him physically or mentally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Agree with Tiny that it sounds more likely behavioural to me too, but just because he 'puts up' for 10 mins before 'acting up' doesn't mean to say it's necessarily not physical. So I emphasise again, it's so important to rule out/treat physical issues first.



Yeah, I realise that in some situations, that's the best you can do, but the poor bloke, going to a locked up alone in a box life, of course this herd animal will be 'attached' to the horse next door - that's his one bit of security. And the arena - well, he knows where he feels most comfortable in this place. I'd focus on ensuring he is comfortable & happy in other areas too. Ensure the other end of the arena means Good Stuff for eg.

How many times a day do you get him out of the stall? How much exercise does he get? Does he get any/much time to be a horse, with other horses? And do you take him out & about? Or does he only get to be 'worked' in the arena?



Without knowing what the horse was trained for(but you said Western & mention loose rein, so guessing horse not trained for steady contact) & what exactly you mean by "tighter constant contact" & your skill level with that, the head tossing - & rearing - could be directly related to that.



Yeah, I'd get pretty 'fed up' with doing lots of circles, stuck in an arena, too. Circles can also be hard on joints, so shouldn't be overdone. An hour of hard work doing circles in an arena is not only seriously boring, but hard on his body, not just from a fitness perspective. If you're going to 'work' him hard, do it out on the trail or such. But I'd be wanting to 'work' on getting a good thing going with him first, before asking him to 'work' for you. Being alone is another issue - of course you want the horse to be able to work alone too, but...



So sounds like that answers the earlier question. So he is locked up alone in a box for 23hrs a day, you take him out for only around an hour a day, to either stand around alone, or to make him 'work' for you alone in the arena. IMHO it is far from fair to keep him like that & you need to give this horse a much better life. It is not good for him physically or mentally.
So his stall his is 36 feet long. He’s not cooped up in a box by any means. I realize this is still a big difference from his pasture life, but it’s the best living situation for him right now. I’m moving in a year, where he will have a pasture life again. I work him 5 days a week- whether it’s lunging or riding and an hour of turn out. He has 2 days off with turn out, unfortunately the turn out is only an hour combined-wish it could be longer but it’s still better than his previous life where he didn’t get enough food.
I’ve been told not to ride him too strenoughsly while he’s still on his way to getting back in shape, which is why it is the way it is right now. A lot of walking and big circles to gain muscle back, that is his ‘work’ that gets him sweating. This is a horse I bought to take lessons on while getting back in to horses, neither me or him have the ability to change to go run barrels right now or change a fitness routine. I have tried to take him on trail rides, he did good the first few times and now he doesn’t want to leave the property. Trying everything I can right now, have trainer involved, spend hours with him. Sure, could be me with the rein situation - but he’s done it with trainer as well when she rides him. Same with the new rearing habit as mentioned.
I guess it is his environment is the why he’s rearing. /: wish I could so more for him.
 

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So his stall his is 36 feet long. He’s not cooped up in a box by any means. I realize this is still a big difference from his pasture life, but it’s the best living situation for him right now.
Yeah & as said, I appreciate fully it may be difficult/impossible for some to find a better situation for their horse, depending where they are in the world, but if he must be cooped up(OK so not in a small box, but still a small, lone containment), you really need to provide for him that which is lacking - get him out for way more than an hour a day, and if he's not got horses to play with or other reason for exercising when in turnout, that doesn't really count for anything. So the only time he gets exercised or any mental stimulation is when he's 'worked'. So, if I had to keep a horse in that sort of situation, I'd be taking him on at least a few walks a day(if you can't ride him out), of an hour or more. If you can't afford the time to do this, employ someone.

I’ve been told not to ride him too strenoughsly while he’s still on his way to getting back in shape, which is why it is the way it is right now. A lot of walking and big circles to gain muscle back, that is his ‘work’ that gets him sweating.
Oh, so if he's that seriously unfit, that may also be part of the prob. Or is it possible it's not lack of fitness, but nervousness that makes him sweat at this?

Not sure if I mentioned nutrition previously(I usually do) but that can have a big bearing on behaviour too, as well as physical issues. For eg. too high potassium can cause a horse to be a bit 'loopy', and too low magnesium is strongly associated with excessively nervy/sensitive behaviour(as well as eye sight, brain function, muscle function & a myriad of other things). In addition, horses don't have a 'set amount' of Mg they should have, but for eg. in times of stress & in times of high carb diet, they use/need a lot more. So thinking about times of stress, this can quickly become a 'vicious circle' where the horse gets anxious, gets deficient in Mg, which makes it more anxious... then it starts to have sore tight muscles, cramps, gut probs & other physical issues associated with lack of Mg, which makes it even more 'tight' in the head... Well worth doing some study into all that, so you can feed/supp appropriately.

have trainer involved, spend hours with him. Sure, could be me with the rein situation - but he’s done it with trainer as well when she rides him. Same with the new rearing habit as mentioned.
This bit makes me think that there is either a physical cause, &/or your trainer is not all that fantastic.
 
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