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wildoak

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Friends of mine bought their first big horses, sold as broke quiet trail horses. They are very beginner riders, just learning from scratch. He has been thrown from his gelding and she has trouble controlling her mare, both are now intimidated. After digging up history on both horses, they discovered that both had been in a situation a few years ago where they were starved and neglected. The gelding at some point was also with a couple of trainers, one who seriously abused him, and he has serious issues now. He was not to be resold to anyone but an experienced rider, but gee, the things horse traders do.....

They are in a bind now, wanting to take care of the horses and already loving them but certainly not wanting to get hurt. The mare they think will be okay with some trainer time, she's just been out to pasture for awhile and needs retraining. The gelding is the issue. He was also a stallion until a year or so ago (he is 8). Any experience with this kind of situation? What are the odds of him ever being a safe mount? I rode him once, he's a nice ride and well mannered....until something sets him off and he panics. When he bucked he also kicked out as the rider came off, and grazed his face with a hoof.


Jan
 

Miniv

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I just posted something to Mini Horse Lover about something similar. However, it sounds as if your situation is much more serious. Horses with ISSUES are a whole different ball game. The owners need to locate very carefully a very special trainer -- a very gentle one -- a horse whisperer (?) to tell them whether or not the horse is rideable/trainable........ Hopefully the trainer can establish what things "set him off" and can desensitize. The problem is finding just the right person........
 

wildoak

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Horses with ISSUES are a whole different ball game
That's what concerns me. I know they lack the experience to deal with him - not sure I'd want to do it either even after spending much of my life horseback. My gut feeling is that he may never be safe, at least for a novice. He has decided to keep him - at least for now - and try to work with him. He's got lots of patience and realizes that he has a long road ahead, much ground work before he ever gets back in the saddle. Yes, I agree he sure needs to find the right person to help him. Linda Tellington-Jones is doing another 3 or 4 day clinic here in the fall, would be absolutely fantastic if he'd take him there, assuming he's still game by then.

Jan
 

Marty

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Hey there is always hope and plenty of success stories out there. They will just have to be completely reprogrammed. It's going to take a long time. Besides being whoopped up on , remember the better they feel getting their strengh back the goofier they can get. They need to be riding only in a container and not out in the open whatsoever.

Jan, I'd start them from scratch under saddle and back in the round pen and let them carry an egg butt snaffle. They probably have plenty of live tissue left in their mouths to use. Treat them like a two year old who knows nothing and go slow back to basics. I'd let them be schooled with the horses in the round pen with helmet of course and teach them just walk jog stop back two handed; you know, school style. The problem is that for a newbie, this may not be feasible without a trainer right there for every ride. It will be a commitment but so what's the hurry?. Do it Jan. School those people. You know exactly what you are doing. Show'em.
 

Minimor

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The first thing I would do is identify those things that set him off into a panic. Is it specific things, or can it be anything and everything, to the point where something he ignored yesterday will suddenly put him into a panic today?

I once had a horse that was something like that. He'd been neglected/abused the first 18 months of his life, and was so run down when we got him. With good care he put on weight and looked good, but at 3 he had no life to him. He was just there. We gave him a "tonic" (Vit. B12 based) that winter, and it worked. As a 4 year old he had much more life. Unfortunately he also became very nervous. He was scared of all sorts of things. Fortunately he wouldn't buck/kick, but he'd spook and run. He ditched my mom a couple times so then I took over working with him...I could stick on pretty good and at 15 I figured if I did come off I'd bounce better than Mom did! I just took it real slow, riding him in the barn yard, walking around, stopping, turning. Any noise & I'd "spook" even if he didn't, just because I expected him to jump at every unexpected sound! I also practiced falling off of him. Since a person tipping off him was something he found very scary, if he were to spook and the rider tipped off to one side, he'd spook worse & run away--which would probably tip the rider right off. So, I'd ride him bareback and walk him around, and then suddenly fling myself right off of him. It spooked him at first, but after we did it enough he got so when I tipped over he would stop--didn't matter if I just tipped over, or if I actually went off of him--he'd stop & stand there. The more we did the more things he came to accept and the better he got to handling--and the more confidence I got in him. He became a wonderful horse to ride--he'd do anything for me, and pretty much never spooked at anything. The horse that would be terrorized by a squeaking saddle or the rustle of tree branches got so that he could be galloping across a field & have prairie chickens fly right up under his nose, and he wouldn't even flinch. I could ride him with no tack at all, even over jumps, and he always "handled" perfectly for me.

That is the kind of thing I would do with this horse if I had him to work with. Just lots of slow, relaxed work, not really going anywhere or doing anything, not asking anything of him, but just confidence building stuff (for both horse & rider) and desensitizing him to the things that are likely to set him off.
 

Fred

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Maybe I'm the odd one out but green rider x horse with issues = not good combination. Yes, sometimes things work out but I see too many times when they don't. I'm glad they have you to help them but this horse needs an experienced rider that can handle the situation. If they are the least intimidated it will not work. If your gut feeling is the horse wouldn't be safe for them then there are plenty of good well broke horses out there that need a home too and that he can enjoy. This horse needs someone with confidence. I see dealers who do this all the time. I have a friend that bought a horse that was so bad her trainer took him and sold him for her. He tried [yes really tried] to kill her and she is an experienced rider. The horse was fine when she picked him up and she was so excited as he had great bloodlines and seemed really great but he had hidden major issues. The horse was lucky as the trainer knew just where the horse should be placed so no one could get hurt but the horse could still have a good useful life.
 

wildoak

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I pretty much agree with the last post, this is a horse they really don't need to have. I can help them with ground work, but I don't bounce like I used to either
and have no desire to hit the ground. Shocks me to realize how little I have ridden in the last 10 years.

Problem is first of all, the seller won't do anything to help him, and he now feels so bad for the gelding he is determined to see it through. Sad thing is by the time these horses are safe & ridable, they could have bought truly broke horses for what they will have invested. Can't tell people that going in though.

Jan
 

JourneysEnd

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Horses with ISSUES are a whole different ball game
That's what concerns me. I know they lack the experience to deal with him - not sure I'd want to do it either even after spending much of my life horseback. My gut feeling is that he may never be safe, at least for a novice. He has decided to keep him - at least for now - and try to work with him. He's got lots of patience and realizes that he has a long road ahead, much ground work before he ever gets back in the saddle. Yes, I agree he sure needs to find the right person to help him. Linda Tellington-Jones is doing another 3 or 4 day clinic here in the fall, would be absolutely fantastic if he'd take him there, assuming he's still game by then.

Jan
Your gut is right. Linda T-J is wonderful and I bet she'll tell you the same thing. At this point he may need to be a pasture companion for another horse. It is NOT worth anybody getting hurt. It could have been bad treatment and it could have been a horse that was never going to be a good riding horse. Sometimes the bad treatment comes from dealing with a very difficult horse. I realize it doesn't made it right, but that's just a fact. If they can't keep him as pasture art, maybe they can find somebody who needs a pasture companion for another horse. Don't let compassion get you seriously hurt.

Good luck.
 

Marty

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Maybe I'm the odd one out but green rider x horse with issues = not good combination.

I totally agree. But they are already riding them correct? If they insist on riding them, they need to be in a container with a trainer and no place else. It's better they ride under supervision then out there alone.

this is a horse they really don't need to have

Well Jan, if the horses are that bad then no way. You are there and you see things they can't, you know things they don't, plus they won't listen, oh that's just terrific. Somebody is not going to listen until they are face down in the dirt. It's not worth it then.
 

Margo_C-T

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Agree completely w/ Fred and Journey's End. Especially in these times, there ARE horses available 'out there' that would be what they need and want--number one requirement? SAFE and RELIABLE! Because there ARE people who will sell them something else, they need to take a VERY knowledgable horseman with them when they 'shop', at the very least!

Some of you won't like my saying this, but I believe that there are too many 'good' horses 'out there' to spend precious time and resources trying to reclaim a horse w/ serious issues, ESPECIALLY for use by newbies, no matter how dedicated and compassionate they may be....If you have plenty of financial and other resources, and are willing and able to provide all care and maintenance for such a horse for the rest of its life, that's all well and good. However, if choices have to be made, I surely favor 'spending' such resources on horses that fully deserve the effort....I say,"thank goodness" for the OPTION of humane euthanasia, for I would PERSONALLY choose that over 'sending a horse on' when you cannot be SURE of whether its future would be better than its tortured past....JMHO, after 64 years of passion for, and 57 continuous years of daily caring for, training, using of, horses.

Margo
 

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