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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Well I am always interested in learning new horsemanship skills. And now getting back into horses, I am quickly finding my hands full....

I have ended up with two 7yrs old paint geldings with a bad histories... some problems I am facing...
Head shy, pushy, herd bound, kicking, wont let you touch there rear, wont pick up feet.. and they are both said to be broke :shock:j I dont believe on mounting a horse you cant control on the ground.. so have not even placed a saddle on them yet. I have beed working with one for a couple days (and can now pick up front feet, and rear with a little extra work) and plan to move the other one in a week of so after a vet check.

Anyways, they both have been abused, one even had a broken jaw a few years back. I need a gentle approach with then, and would like to learn more on building trust and desensitization. I would like fresh eyes on this, so any advice is welcome.

And what are your thoughts on Monty Roberts? Is it a structured program? or more take what you want form it?
 

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I find Monty Roberts training ways very beneficial to me, in that you can just take from it what you feel is useful. It's always important to have tools from more than one trainer in your repertoire though, and never more so than with a horse with an uncertain past. You never know what they will throw at you and you have to do your best to be as prepared as you can be.

So basically, my advice would be, don't get set in to just using Monty, or any other trainer for that matter. Give yourself a nice full tool belt! :D
 

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First thank you for trying to help them.

When I get a rescue horse in that has been misused, I will turn them out with my herd and just let them be horses. They soon learn that I provide food, affection, and discipline. If they want food, they need to come to me for it. It starts them accepting humans as good.

You can go set up a lawn chair and read a book with a bag of carrots on your lap. If the come close, toss a bit of carrot. Soon you'll have their trust.

Once you have them following you, start working them in the round pen.

The thing with these horses is that if they have been misused or abused, you have to be careful to push them far enough each day that they are learning and coming around, but not so hard that they slip back into the "abused" mindset. It is a delicate balancing act.

Good luck.
 

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Sorry im not sure i understood did you say you thought him to rear??
 

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No. She said she can pick up the front feet and the rear (feet) with a little extra work.
 

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Don't get set on particular trainer. They all have good suggestions and some work for some horses, some for other. I used CA techniques and they worked great on my dominant alpha mare, and caused issues with my very sensitive paint. So you just never know. Just use your common sense (I assume you have horsey experience), spend lots of time with them, and try to make their interaction with you as pleasant as possible (without them running over you of course, but it doesn't sound like a case here). Wish you best luck!
 

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Tanya, That's a pretty broad question you have asked bearing in mind you have not told us much about yourself and even less about the horses.

And Monty won't even give training advice over the Internet so there is no use in asking him.

If you can ask a specific question then maybe the gurus amongst us can help you find an answer to the problem.

My two cents worth says - give yourself a bit more time to get to know the horses and for them to know you. First establish a daily handling routine.
 

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Any form of good horsemanship will work - If you pick a program and do it properly, with feel and common sense, and aren't afraid to branch out if it isn't working, then you will have success no matter which program you use.

One thing - Don't be afraid to discipline just because they have been abused - Horses can very easily distinguish a disciplinary action (As long as it is delivered quickly, fairly, and then forgotten) from untoward aggression. Many people make themistake of never using force with abused horses, and end up with problems worse than they started out with.

You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders - So go in with an open mind, listen to what the horses are telling you, and be adjustable, and you should be fine no matter what path you take :]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the advice, always love to learn something new..

Ya I am not the kind of horse person who just follows one program, but with these boys being problem horses I am looking to learn more. I grew up with rough cowboys and have worked breaking wild horses for trail rides, and when you have dead lines, you tend to rush... I have now expanded my mind towards natural horsemanship, and with my horses never rush.

I have my own way of doing things, but just want to expand my skills, I have never had formal training, and dont understand the finer side of ridding and I am sure my seat is not pretty (but it keeps me in the saddle, and my knees hurt less), I am come more from the working side of horsemanship.

If anyone has ideas on ways to sack them out, and how to pick up there feet, maybe someone knows something I have not tried before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don't get set on particular trainer. They all have good suggestions and some work for some horses, some for other. I used CA techniques and they worked great on my dominant alpha mare, and caused issues with my very sensitive paint. So you just never know. Just use your common sense (I assume you have horsey experience), spend lots of time with them, and try to make their interaction with you as pleasant as possible (without them running over you of course, but it doesn't sound like a case here). Wish you best luck!
CA what is that?
 

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Using a rope is a tried and tested way of getting them better at picking up feet. Just loop it around, put a bit of pressure on, hold it up till they stop struggling, then release. If you can't get the rope around, then throw a loop on the ground and move their hind over until they step into it. It keeps you out of danger while they kick and fidget, and once they are doing it solidly, you can move in. It is also good preliminary work for hobble training.

CA = Clinton Anderson.
 

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I love monty's training techniques and I really find them beneficial to our rescue horses. He has tons of video clips on his website and on youtube for free which comes in handy for those who cant afford a clinic. His method always revolves around trust and I really like that. Cuz if you cant trust a thousand pound animal who could kill you with the same strength it takes to kill a fly...who can you trust? LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would have to say the same thing, I cant trust a horse who does not trust me...

Just spent a few hours tonight with both boys... And to my shock and the ex owners shock Tushi trotted up to us, and after a little work let us halter him:p These boys are going to be just amazing horses!!!! Ill keep you all posted, and post up any questions that might come up with these boys...

Thanks and Cheers to all your help !
 

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I believe that there is no tried and tested way to make great horses. What works for one is different for another. What you need to keep is an open mind and be ready to try a different approach if things don't work out. So although some people will parade his techniques and clinics, just be aware that every horse will respond differently.
 

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Tanya
All horses need security, feed, shelter, routine, safety, freedom from fear. If they have been mistreated in the past, then they need some kindness from a human. The first thing you need is to get them to trust you - that comes through routine and gentle but firm handling. No loud voices. No whips. It is all hands and fingers.

Monty's system is more a way of handling horses and a philosophy. If you watch his demonstrations, then you will see that the underlying principles are all the same - positive, patient, persistence. He is also very careful not to get himself hurt yet mostly he demonstrates on damaged horses. He sets himself an achievable target with each individual horse but he tackles the problems in that horse according to the individual needs of that horse.

He'll tell you to set up a round pen as a schooling 'room'. He does lots of groundwork and his first aim is usually join up ie get the horse to follow you at the shoulder off the lead rope. He sends the horse away and then calls it back. He promoted the use of a 'Dually' a form of head collar. Get one of his books. His video tapes are important too because he himself does things by instinct following a lifetime spent with horses. He is a great showman and he knows all the tricks - new fangled and old fashioned. He has a web site - look it up. He doesn't give advice over the internet.

First ask the horse, then insist, then demand but always take the time needed for that particular horse. The horse recognises you by smell, body language, touch and finally by sight. You'll know when you are getting through the horse will snigger on your arrival on the yard. Routine is absolutely everything so give the horse something to look forward to every day at the same time. Wear the same hat or jacket each time - the horse will come to recognise it

Once you get into training proper, then always start with what the horse knows then introduce something new. It will usually take three attempts for the horse to learn - either the correct way or the wrong way. So be careful you get the correct response from the beginning.

You'll have to make a decision early on - do you believe in treats or not? Either way works. But when the horse does something correctly then you always reward it either with a carrot or a stroke. The reward is important.

And don't let any loud fractious person near your horse. With a damaged horse
you have to be careful not to arouse any of the bad memories.

One last thing - not every damaged horse will respond. If either of yours are aggressive towards humans, then ask yourself, upfront after a few weeks, if the effort will all be worthwhile. Striking, kicking, biting and coming at you with ears down and teeth bared are traits of character which may be deeply ingrained in the horse. These traits can be difficult to erase. Avoid such horses - there are plenty of other kindly creatures out there, each of which deserve a good home.
Eventually you are going to mount up and ask this creature to carry you safely and at that point you'll need to know that it will want to look after you.

Best of luck with your new dependants.

B G
 

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You've got a lot of good advice already =)

As to getting them used to being handled better without hurting yourself, I've always used a lunge whip/dressage whip for that purpose. We halter-broke a bunch of horses that had been living out on a farm and never had human contact. Needless to say, they were difficult to handle and kicked and bit anyone if you unluckily cornered one.

We then worked on them individually, giving them a carrot/treat in the beginning when they approached us, then when we could stand reasonable close to them, we began touching/lightly brushing them all over with the whip. Most of them would kick a bit, especially if we got to a sensitive spot or one they didnt like being touched but after a bit of perseverance, they learnt that nothing bad happened to them when they were being touched. Eventually we were able to move on to touching them with our hands and then could groom them etc. which was the basic requirement we'd been giving for them.

Hope this helps =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey all.

Yes I do use treats, but I try not to over do it. Treats can be a fast way to teach a horse to walk all over you, they tend to look for treats and get in you space and follow your hand around.. thus not having a good stop or stand.

I have worked with many wild or abused horses, I am just hoping to learn something new... My bf has only been around horses a few times, so I am teaching him about horses and to retrain "Tushi" (he had a broken jaw), who is a sweet guy who is scared of his own shadow. He also have major problems with his feet being held, you cant pick up his rear feet. But he just need to learn to trust, then Brendan and him could go anywhere.

They dont hate people, they just dont trust them. And after two nights for a hour or so we are all ready seeing changes in both these boys. It just shocks me that horses like these get bad labels. They just need someone to love them, to be a friend and leader. With any horse you need to have understanding, allow them to make mistakes, and give them a job to do.
 
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