The Horse Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 82 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, here I go.
I have a quarter-horse named Red, he was in professional training for 6 months or so before I got him. After that he was a show horse for me, and we brought him home. He was fine the first couple years then this past year he has been horrible, to the point where I'm scared he will do serious damage to me. I can't ride him because he takes off and the bit doesn't have any factor with it. I cannot take him out of the pasture because if I do and I try to take him back in he rears and strikes at my face. He does the same thing when hes nibbling on grass and I go to lift his head. He recently did this to my mom and the black smith while I was at school and I've had enough.
Today I tried to lunge him in the pasture and It was a whole new ball park. Yes, I use a whip but before I picked it up i make a clucking noise to try to get him to go and he refused so I walked him in circles and nothing happened. I lightly pushed him out and he reared so high I thought he was going to flip over. I'm scared for my safety and his, and I'm in desperate need of help.
Can anyone help me!? Or tell me where to begin on where to solve these issues because for the life of me I cannot tell anyone why he is doing this other than he is lazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,473 Posts
I'd have him checked everywhere you can, if it's become so extreme- have the vet check him for pain, get his teeth floated, maybe get a chiropractor out to re-align everything, get lots of second opinions and get your saddle fit checked out and then turn to a professional trainer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,030 Posts
Check him out for pain or soundness issues, but I suspect he has gone downhill because a good trainer / rider has not kept him 'tuned up' and obedient.

Horses may be trained by a professional to a World Championship level. When an amateur or youth starts showing them, they start to go downhill -- gradually at first and go off the cliff shortly after that. That is what your situation sounds like.

Amateurs and youth exhibitors may be excellent riders, but most of them are not trainers. [A few are and just don;t want to become professional trainers and give up their amateur status by going public.] So, their horses gradually lose their sharpness and finally lose respect and may get dangerous when they found no meaningful consequences for the small infractions. That is where I think you are.

Most amateurs or youth exhibitors are well-served if they:

1) leave their horse at a trainer's barn so the trainer can keep the horse sharp and work with the exhibitor; or

2) Take the horse for a 30 day tune up a couple times a year or leave the horse there for a week before a big show.

Most trainers, like myself, think that most horses have just so many tune-up in them. Then, they get smart enough to learn what person is at the controls. At that point, the exhibitor either needs a new horse or needs to learn how to ride better and needs to learn how to keep a horse sharp.

If you want to try to 'salvage' this horse, you need to take it to the trainer that trained him in the beginning or find a comparable trainer and level with them and let them know exactly what this horse is doing. He may be able to come back or he may be too smart and will just run over you when you get him back. You will need to take a bunch of lessons on this horse if a trainer does get him back to good form.

I have seen this happen so many times I cannot count them. People pay a lot of money to buy a well-trained horse and then expect them to just stay that way without a good professional hand getting on them from time to time.

Horses just do not work that way. They will always go down to the level of the worst riding they are getting. Like I have said so many times here:
The poorest performance or behavior you allow is the best performance or behavior you have any right to expect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My mom said she 100% agrees with your first sentence.
"Horses may be trained by a professional to a World Championship level. When an amateur or youth starts showing them, they start to go downhill -- gradually at first and go off the cliff shortly after that. That is what your situation sounds like."

She also agrees with this as well: "Amateurs and youth exhibitors may be excellent riders, but most of them are not trainers. [A few are and just don;t want to become professional trainers and give up their amateur status by going public.] So, their horses gradually lose their sharpness and finally lose respect and may get dangerous when they found no meaningful consequences for the small infractions. That is where I think you are."

As for me, I agree as well. Being in school still has taken away a lot of my time and since I no longer show him my ambition to keep up on his training. He's very smart, and that is the problem. It is a good and bad thing, right now it seems to be going in a downward spiral! He has always had problems with his back because he was dangerously malnourished before we bought him but hes on supplements for and personally I see improvement.
I really don't want to say names to whose barn we left because in case someone knows her I wouldn't want to offend anyone but it was more about the, and I wasn't in a comfortable environment and neither was my horse. My lessons would be spent walking in a circle because she was on the phone, so there's wasted money and were paying her phone bill. Yay! Either way it's scary for me and I don't have the patience to deal with it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cowgirlup07

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,976 Posts
I hope that you see, from Cherie's explanation, that it's rather unfair to the horse if you don't want to get your savvy up! It paints a sad picture: "oh, he's bagging out & getting dangerous again; time to ship him off to trainer for a tune-up". Your horse needs you to savvy up & be there for him, & if you don't have the interest, please let him go, to someone who does!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I hope that you see, from Cherie's explanation, that it's rather unfair to the horse if you don't want to get your savvy up! It paints a sad picture: "oh, he's bagging out & getting dangerous again; time to ship him off to trainer for a tune-up". Your horse needs you to savvy up & be there for him, & if you don't have the interest, please let him go, to someone who does!

A sad picture? Okay, I take blame for him being like this, I haven't put my foot down, my fault completely. It's rather rude to insinuate that I'm neglecting my horse. I love him and he will be going no where. I cannot apologize for having a separate life that needs attending to as well. I understood Cherie's post, and that is not what it meant. That horse is 17 years old and happy being a complete goofball to me when hes under control or else I wouldn't have bought him. It's like a child/mother relationship. The child may be bad and act up but its the mothers job to realize its a mistake that needs to be fixed.

So yes, he's going to a trainer. ASAP. It's just very hard with me in school etc. Is there any natural remedies I can give him to calm him down? He lets me handle him I just can't ride, lead out of the pasture or lunge him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
I hope that you see, from Cherie's explanation, that it's rather unfair to the horse if you don't want to get your savvy up! It paints a sad picture: "oh, he's bagging out & getting dangerous again; time to ship him off to trainer for a tune-up". Your horse needs you to savvy up & be there for him, & if you don't have the interest, please let him go, to someone who does!
this is very rude. I was in school once with horses and yes mine went downhill too in riding, does this mean I also was neglecting my horses??? (BTW at that time I ran a rescue and also trained outside horses to pay for the rescues feed hay etc.) when you are limited for time its very hard to keep up with everyone and everything every single day. There were a couple of my personal horses I was riding every day and they even slacked until breaks off school.

This is not like one horse I trained, a paint gelding 4-6 years old according to the owner 3-4 according to his teeth. I spent 1/2 the time feeding him up because he was thin then started training, the owner knew. At the 30 day mark he came to ride his horse, the horse did great for me and then continued so for his owner. Keep in mind I had told this man that the horse bucked so hard his rear came up and over ON TOP OF ME 2 days before, he said "oh he's fine, you've done a wonderful job!" I recommended another 30 days but he said no and took his horse home, left him sitting for nearly 30 more days got on him and got thrown. He shot the horse on the spot because his own stupidity. This would be the kind of thing to be rude to the owner about NOT being in school and the horse slacking due to it. After reading what is going on, this was not done purposely and the horses owner IS trying to fix it and CARES enough about the animal to go about things CORRECTLY. Ok I think I'm done with my rant now.

Sparkyintention: Your doing the right thing by agreeing and sending him to a trainer, it will save on hospital and vet bills as both of you are in danger. It may not mean much coming from a stranger, but, I'm proud of you for doing the right thing for your horse! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for seeing that post as I did! I obviously care about our safety as I'm on here talking to professionals. I love Red to pieces and I'm in a bad spot right now so he is in a bad spot right now and I've let him go because of the time I have.
You know I love him when I spend more time with him than my boyfriend! lol :p

I really just wanted some personal perspectives on it because something so obvious could be wrong and it just slipped my mind!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
very understandable and no problem. I've came here and to a couple other sites too looking for help. I'm the same way with my horse, Chief, as you are with Red. I spend way more time with Chief than my boyfriend too, lol. To me your keeping yourself and Red on a good path, without an education nobody can ever improve ya know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
as rude as it maybe perceived, northern is right. for this reason:regardless of whether or not (or how many times) you send him to trainers.
Christopher: in a way yes your right but in others no your really not. Northern was very rude and disrespectful. What you have quoted is true BUT at least she's doing right by her horse by seeking professional help which is more than most people do in this day and age.

If you can't see it from both sides, at least attempt to even if you've not been in this situation because if you've not been there, you don't know how hard it is. All I'm saying is try to understand and help rather than criticise. Its better for everyone to try and be understanding to others points of view.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,141 Posts
OP-Good on you for recognizing this and doing the right thing. I totally agree with Cherie, and remember well that when I was still in school my horse went to be tuned up every spring. It was hard, and I missed him, but he came back like a new horse, and after all he was gone when I was busy with school, etc....so it works well this time of year. I also hate the cold, so riding in the winter was never my favorite. Only thing I would not totally agree with-would be that the horse only has so many tune ups. That may be true sometimes, but I think that many riders are also constantly improving and maturing so they are better able to make sure the horse "tows the line". Send the horse now, then when spring comes and prime ride time, you both will be ready!:wink:

Northern and Christopher-just an observation here. THis is MY opinion and observation (perception, if you will) and only mine, and I will say this in the nicest way possible. I find it interesting that the people who I perceive to be champions for NH/PP on this forum can be amongst the most rude to the HUMANS here. Just food for thought. YOu might be great in bonding with your horses, but perhaps social skills have suffered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
OP-Good on you for recognizing this and doing the right thing. I totally agree with Cherie, and remember well that when I was still in school my horse went to be tuned up every spring. It was hard, and I missed him, but he came back like a new horse, and after all he was gone when I was busy with school, etc....so it works well this time of year. I also hate the cold, so riding in the winter was never my favorite. Only thing I would not totally agree with-would be that the horse only has so many tune ups. That may be true sometimes, but I think that many riders are also constantly improving and maturing so they are better able to make sure the horse "tows the line". Send the horse now, then when spring comes and prime ride time, you both will be ready!:wink:

Northern and Christopher-just an observation here. THis is MY opinion and observation (perception, if you will) and only mine, and I will say this in the nicest way possible. I find it interesting that the people who I perceive to be champions for NH/PP on this forum can be amongst the most rude to the HUMANS here. Just food for thought. YOu might be great in bonding with your horses, but perhaps social skills have suffered.
you are so right franknbeans! You said it way nicer than I did, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
how old is your horse? many, manyy, many time before i have seen horses trained at too young an age. Usually a few years later the horse will decide 'its had enough' and turn sour. I would do some serious free lunging, keep him away from you, and always make sure he's going in the direction you want him to go. This will teach him to listen to you, and respect you. Then work with the halter, approach him at the should and just pet him, rub the halter on him, take it on and off again and again until her relaxes and realizes the halter doesnt mean 'work'. It sounds like he just thinks anything involving people means work. Play some games with him, play with balls and tarps, do something different everyday to keep it interesting, and always end on a good note. Do NOT expect anything from him and praise the simplest accomplishements. Eventually, he will soften up and you should be able to start riding again. When you do begin riding, avoid anything that makes him frusturated, but dont hesitate to GENTLY remind him of manners. This is NOT the kinda situation where you can just show him who's boss, it would only create a worse relationship. Keep riding sessions simple and relaxing, and praise everything he does!
Hope this helps!!

Edit: I really do not think sending him to the trainers will help. He may be well behaved when he comes back, but I do think he'll eventually just fall into his old habits again. This is your horse, you need to try and fix the problem and have a relationship, not the trainer. I know it's frusturating, but with time and effort i'm sure he'll be fine in a few months or so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
Getting him to a trainer you can work with is what I'd recomend. The trainer should be able to get the horse doing what they want, then teach you how to get this good behaivoir as well. Theres no point in the horse learning to respect the trainer's wishes and then still thinking the can do whatever the hell he want with everyone else. Also, you'd be amazed at how much you can pick up just from watching an experienced horseperson- how they hold them selves around horses, how they handle them, how they approach different tasks etc.

Make sure you find a trainer who is willing to work with you as well as your horse, and make sure they use methods you agree with and understand. Bear in mind a good horseperson can react on impulse and instinct to anything a horse does, and get it right nearly all the time. They don't have to think their reaction through because often the moment for correction/reprimand/appropriate action is gone when the handler needs to think about how to deal with the situation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: franknbeans

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,141 Posts
how old is your horse? many, manyy, many time before i have seen horses trained at too young an age. Usually a few years later the horse will decide 'its had enough' and turn sour. I would do some serious free lunging, keep him away from you, and always make sure he's going in the direction you want him to go. This will teach him to listen to you, and respect you. Then work with the halter, approach him at the should and just pet him, rub the halter on him, take it on and off again and again until her relaxes and realizes the halter doesnt mean 'work'. It sounds like he just thinks anything involving people means work. Play some games with him, play with balls and tarps, do something different everyday to keep it interesting, and always end on a good note. Do NOT expect anything from him and praise the simplest accomplishements. Eventually, he will soften up and you should be able to start riding again. When you do begin riding, avoid anything that makes him frusturated, but dont hesitate to GENTLY remind him of manners. This is NOT the kinda situation where you can just show him who's boss, it would only create a worse relationship. Keep riding sessions simple and relaxing, and praise everything he does!
Hope this helps!!

Edit: I really do not think sending him to the trainers will help. He may be well behaved when he comes back, but I do think he'll eventually just fall into his old habits again. This is your horse, you need to try and fix the problem and have a relationship, not the trainer. I know it's frusturating, but with time and effort i'm sure he'll be fine in a few months or so.
She said the horse is 17 yrs old. She has also stated that she has been busy with life, as happens with all of us from time to time. THe trainer can devote the time needed to correct the horse, and, it sounds like she will work with the trainer a bit also, so she will learn how to better handle the horse. It sounds like she is a minor, and I would not recommend that a minor try and deal with a dangerous horse. SHe can build her relationship once the horse is safe again.

You nor I know this horse so we cannot say whether "showing the horse whose boss" will escalate the issue or not. It could well be that this horse needs a good old fashioned reminder of his job BY A PROFESSIONAL, not a minor. At this point the horse is scaring her, and nothing will be accomplished.

I am appalled that you would recommend a minor put herself in a dangerous situation.:evil:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,030 Posts
OK! I will give my take on some of the answers after mine:

I have to totally disagree with Sunshine here. I have known so many reiners and cutters that were shown in the 3 year old futurities and were still happily showing at a high level 20 years later. Training a horse at a young age has no lasting problems as long as the horse stays sound. 'Sourness' comes from poor riding habits and skills or poor ground handling. Doing things like letting a horse hurry out of an arena, riding straight back to a stall or trailer after showing, letting a horse take 'voice' ques from an announcer, and on and on and on. These poor riding habits will make any horse show-ring sour. Poor ground handling will make a horse ill-tempered and aggressive. These are horses with people problems -- not people with horse problems.

I do not know how long it has been since this horse has had GOOD professional training. I don't know if the trainer he was purchased from was his original trainer. I do not know if this owner ever showed him at the level he was once trained for or if she is capable of showing him at that level.

I do know that it is unfair to blame her for letting things happen if she does not know the difference. She knows now. But, I am only trying to explain horse behavior to her. I am trying to explain how and why horses go downhill.

Back to horse behavior:

Horses can go a long time without being ridden and their performance will not deteriorate much if they are not getting ridden poorly. I have brought broodmares back into performance ready, high level showing when they had not been ridden in as long as 10 years. BUT, they were not ridden poorly during that time -- they were raising babies. They took conditioning, legging up and only a few weeks of riding before they were ready to show.

A lot of horses get pretty lack-luster in their performance and a 30 or 60 days turn-out helps them. They come back fresh and working better than ever.

There is also a huge difference between a horse going downhill in its under saddle performance and getting ill-mannered and aggressive. These are two different things entirely and need to be addressed differently.

This horse owner needs to be taught what good manners are and how to establish them in her now, ill-mannered horse. Whether one is dealing with a yearling or an old show horse, there are just rules that every horse owner has to know about horse behavior to establish and keep good manners.

This horse owner came here for help -- not to be eaten alive. I think she knows she has a problem. Now, she wants to know what to do with it.

I think she should take this horse to a GOOD trainer and then needs to spend time with the trainer to learn how to effectively interact with this horse. How to set boundaries and how to make him respect those boundaries.

She does not need to play games with him and she does not need to do endless groundwork. One or two training sessions of 'effective' groundwork should put the respect he knows back in force. One or two days of 'bitting up' and long-lining should get him to a point where he can be safely ridden. Then, after he has a trainer camping on him under saddle for 1-2 hours a day she should have a different horse in 30 days and a pretty solid one in 60.

Back to the 'tune-up' part of this. Really smart horses will go down-hill the fastest. They are better at figuring our how skilled their handlers / riders are. Horses that have gotten really bad in both performance and manners go back to poor behavior the quickest if their owners do not learn with the horses. Some horse are more forgiving than others. Some horses 'jump' on every opportunity they are given to do the wrong thing. Others are more 'honest' and put up with a lot of mis-handling before their performance or manners deteriorate.

When I help a novice buy a horse to show, I look for 'honesty' before I look for anything else. Some horses are 'high maintenance' and HAVE to live at a trainer's house to stay solid. Others are so forgiving that people can keep them home and show them all season before you start to see them perform at a lower level. Then, a 30 day tune-up can get them back into good form. These horses tune up time after time -- especially if their owner works at learning what it take to keep a horse solid.

So, there are many variables in every situation. They are all different. One thing stays the same;

The poorest performance or behavior you allow is the best performance or behavior you have any right to expect. You have to be 100% consistent!
 
1 - 20 of 82 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top