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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so long story short I agreed to part boarding a 6 year old canadian sport horse (tb/percheron) last may and he was great! never had a problem with him even took him on hacks bareback. however as it got colder and I got busy with school I told the owner (who doesn't ride so I was the only one riding him) that I was no longer going to be part boarding so a month after that she asked me if I wanted to ride him no fee just ride him I of course said yes cause he was my baby. Turns out the owner had not been out to see him for about a month so without knowing this I got there and noticed that he was biting a lot not in a mean way but he'd just grab my sleeve pull a little then let go so I assumed it was playfulness. So turns out he's a complete mess, bites constantly tries to run through his bit (which he never did in the summer) bucking rearing and everything else so I let his owner know she assured me that she would be going out and working with him but that I was also more than welcome to ride whenever I please so I went out today and he's worse than ever. couldn't even mount him he will not stand will not do anything but bite constantly (doesn't actually bite my skin just my sleeves) so from this point I'm not sure how to move forward with him. I'm so frustrated that she has done this to such a beautiful horse and I am determined to work him through it I just need some advice on where to start.
 

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Honestly, since it's not your horse and he is now a risk to your safety, I'd stop riding him. It's not your responsibity to keep him in shape and trained, that's the owners responsibility. It's not worth your safety to ride him.

By part boarding did you mean half leasing? If so I'd get out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Um it's a hard thing to title I call it part boarding but I was the only one riding him. I don't want to give up on him, I know how good he can be and I know he will work out of this he just needs the attention he deserves.
 

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Like I said, it's not worth risking your safety. I've been in a very similar situation before and ended up hurt. This horse isn't your responsibility. Since it's not yours, you wouldn't be giving up on him.
 

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I appreciate that you want to stick with him but I think you really need to ask yourself this question; is it worth it to spend all that time working on his training and risking injury to yourself when you will likely never see the fruits of your labor? I mean, you can spend months and months working on getting him trained up really nice...for free...only to have the owner sell him out from under you and make money off the training you put on him.

If you consider the risk worth it for the experience alone, then that's your choice but you're basically being a volunteer horse trainer for her. Other folks who do what you are talking about doing get paid for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It is a friend that owns him and I know she has no intentions of selling anyway I like the experience with him. I do think about the fact that it may be dangerous but there are very few times I feel that he is actually at the level of being dangerous.
 

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^^ This, and CONSISTENT discipline. I would bet that the owner lets him get away with everything, so no matter what you do, she will send your efforts backward when she shows up. Unless the two of you are able to both work together on this it is an effort in futility for you I am afraid. You may not think she has intentions of selling, but stuff happens,
 

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If the weather is colder, that could be part of the problem.

And the fact that you are letting him bite at your sleeve, makes me wonder if your handling of him has not contributed to this.

Owner may be at fault to a degree but if you are not correcting what he is doing, part of this in on you then.

Leave horse alone would be the best thing.
 

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Whatever you allow is what you are 'training' him to do. You must be very strict 100% of the time. The worst behavior you allow is the very best behavior you can expect to get from any interaction with him. This is true of everything you do with or around any horse. Horses are creatures of habit. When bad behavior is accepted, it become the norm -- it becomes a habit and is repeated over and over. He is looking at you like a herd-mate on an equal with him. He is 'playing' with you like he would another young gelding in a herd. Just watch them play sometimes and you will see this behavior as well as pawing at each other and rearing up and 'boxing'. Then, they drop to their knees and keep biting at each other. If you do not straighten him out quickly, the 'play' will get a LOT rougher.

I disagree that he will be bad toward you if his owner keeps letting him act this way. I have been in several of these situations where I repeatedly had to 'straighten out' horses that owners kept allowing to go downhill. It was not very long until every time I got near them, they did absolutely nothing wrong. The second the owner handled them without me there, they just ran all over them. I could show up and say "Ah!" and they instantly straightened up.

This is a classic case of a 'pecking order'! Like I have said many times -- "Each horse/horse or horse/person pecking order is simply a pecking order between those two individuals and nothing more." You can be the herd leader and be well above him in the pecking order while the owner can be at the bottom of 'his' pecking order.
 

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Agree with what Cherie said above. I've had similar experiences, where horses who were being difficult for someone else got quiet the moment I was handed the lead rope even if I did nothing. Horses know the difference between people! It may be helpful to understand that there is no such thing as standing still when it comes to a horse's training or your own level of skill either for that matter! If you're not moving forward, you're moving backward. Maybe not always drastically, but often little-by-little. It's totally normal for any horse to get rusty when left alone for awhile. As for the biting, I'll just ask you is he ever fed by hand?
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I'm sorry but sleeve biting would warrant a good smack from me. I let my mare rub her mouth on me and MAYBE lip at me but the moment I even think I feel teeth all bets are off. And when I say stop she stops and that's the end of it. ANY other horse starts mouthing at me I have NO problem telling them its not OK. I don't care whose horse it is, it nips and it get whacked. I understand that their mouth is their hands but that dose not mean you let them be grabby. You would not let your child start grabbing at people and pulling on people's cloths, don't let a horse.

By letting him grab at you he thinks hes asserting his dominance over you. I would NOT let him get away with that, as ANY aggressive behavior is just asking for trouble if its not stopped.
 

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^^agree with above horse needs a good whack for bitting at sleeves. If you dont get him under control he will only get worse and the bitting will endup being your skin.

From the sounds of it he knows your not his leader and will continue to get more dominate over you. Mouthy horses in my barn yard learn real quick not to be mouthy.
 

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Be very careful!

I understand enjoying and learning from the experience, but it seems like an odd situation. Do you pay anything? You said "part board", I don't really know what that means. Like... a lease?
Basically, I'm wondering if you're paying anything to continue working with this horse. It doesn't seem worth it, if you are. Why pay to ride a problem horse (there are plenty of people who will let you do that for free!) when it's not even yours.
 

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I also wonder why you are working with this horse. If you get hurt what sort of legal coverage do you have? If the horse gets hurt while you are working with it (unlikely but stranger things have happened) who is responsible for the vet bill?
 
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