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Marsha Cassada

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I am the third owner of a 5 year old gelding. One of the things I liked about him was his reserved manner. My others are all "in your face" personalities and I was intrigued by his reserve. He is not scary, just reserved. I have been taking it rather slow with him, and feel encouraged that he already walks up to me in the pasture; but I can see by his eyes that I am still a stranger, and therefore someone to be wary of. We have been on walks, and I have taken him behind the cart when I take out my driving horse. He was touchy about his legs, so I have just lately felt he was comfortable with my rasping his feet. I try to groom every other day, and he seems more comfortable with that. I have had him about 3 weeks. Some horse people tell me it takes as much as 2 years to bond with a horse. I think about 2-3 months was what it took for my nosey ones, but I was only the second owner. If the seller says he will take him back in 30 days, how can you tell whether a horse will work for you in that space of time? He does not "horseplay"--I wonder if he will when he feels more at home? I intend to use him for driving, but we have a ways to go before getting between the shafts!

Marsha
 

MiniHoofBeats

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Marsha, I was also wondering about this question as I too have a gelding who is a little reserved/shy, and I can see in his eyes that he knows who I am but I am not yet his friend. To me though, I see a horse who has spent 3 years of his life with one family on one farm and now he's been tossed into new surroundings, and at 3 years a horse can be pretty set in their ways so new people and new sights can be scary! My advice, continue working slowly with your gelding. Put yourself in his hooves once in a while and imagine, what would be going through your mind right now if you were tossed into a new location with no friends or family? Scary huh =) But then you see there is a friendly face at your new home who feeds you and cares for you...there's the ticket in, now you just need to continue spending time around him and eventually he will warm up to you, but don't expect it to happen anytime soon! I've had my gelding since May and though we've come a long way he still shy's away once in a while, but what keeps me here are his cute little antics and the way he lips at my pants when i'm not looking...I can tell he's trying to come out to play! The super cutest is how the corners of his mouth curl up and reveal a toothy smile when I scratch his itches =) So yeah it might take a while, 30 days definately won't let you see your geldings full potential but remember...if you give up on him, he's just going to go to another home where they might give up on him, and he'll be on his way again...at 5, that's a lot of years left to go through a lot of un-knowing and non-patient families! Give him more time, he'll open up to you =)

Marsha Cassada said:
I am the third owner of a 5 year old gelding.  One of the things I liked about him was his reserved manner.  My others are all "in your face" personalities and I was intrigued by his reserve.  He is not scary, just reserved.  I have been taking it rather slow with him,  and feel encouraged that he already walks up to me in the pasture; but I can see by his eyes that I am still a stranger, and therefore someone to be wary of.  We have been on walks, and I have taken him behind the cart when I take out my driving horse. He was touchy about his legs, so I have just lately felt he was comfortable with my rasping his feet.  I try to groom every other day, and he seems more comfortable with that.  I have had him about 3 weeks.  Some horse people tell me it takes as much as 2 years  to bond with a horse.  I think about 2-3 months was what it took for my nosey ones, but I was only the second owner.  If the seller says he will take him back in 30 days, how can you tell whether a horse will work for you in that space of time? He does not "horseplay"--I wonder if he will when he feels more at home?  I intend to use him for driving, but we have a ways to go before getting between the shafts!Marsha

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ThreeCFarm

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Marsha, I don't think the problem is really his getting to know you, it is more that he is trying to figure out why all of a sudden he's getting so much attention. He has spent quite a while just being turned out in a huge pasture with a small herd of horses, with minimal handling. I know he had been moved closer to the seller's house, so was probably getting more attention at the time you bought him. I don't know how much he was messed with by his first owner, either. So, not only is he in a new home, with just one other horse, but he is being handled much more than he is used to. If he comes up to you, you are definitely getting through to him.
 

Marty

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I think they are all different Marsha.

I don't think you can put a time frame on any of it. I would not even try.

If the seller says he will take him back in 30 days, how can you tell whether a horse will work for you in that space of time?

Don't think you can tell anything for sure. No guarentees.

He does not "horseplay"--I wonder if he will when he feels more at home?

Eventually, most likely when he feels no longer that he is low man on the totem pole and finds his way and his confidence into the herd.

I have a shy one here. She's timid. She has been accepted into my little herd in about two weeks, but still, she prefers to be a loner of her own accord.

Silver Belle was my nervous wreck. Took her a good two years to really be able to come to me without any hesitation or reluctance.
 

Dee

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I find that a horse will show that they know you when they show that they trust you...greatest feeling ever!

I had a 2-year-old gelding that was a wreck when we first got him.

He was only 5 months old when we got him and he didn't come from a very good home.

Not only was he totally wild, but how he was delivered to us (handled by people [(first time)], haltered [(first time)], dragged into a trailer [(first time)], hauled to our house and taken away from his mom all in a matter of 1 hour!)
.

I really had no idea this was taking place. I was suppose to call them to make arrangement to bring him over, but they just showed up at my doorstep with him. I think they just wanted to get rid of him.

He was sweating, screaming and just a poor little wreck! They tried to drag him into the back yard to where the pens are, but I just signed the papers and told them I would take it from here.

It took about a year before he was normal enough for me to just walk up to him and give him a good scratch or put a halter on with out any fuss. If anyone else tried (I was his main caregiver) he would just go back to his old was and run. That is when I knew that he knew me, trusted me and knew I wouldn't hurt him.

He still has issues with the farrier and vets, but is getting better everyday.

Wow look at me blab on like a monkey in a tree.

My advice is to just spend time with him. Brush him, take him for walks, and I know this sounds funny, but talk to him. Horse are smart he will know you in time.

Dee
 

ChrystalPaths

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My greatest love is the reserved horse that come to truely love you. I got Halley from NancyG last summer. Now Nancy loves her babies so there was no real reason for Halley to be a brat but she was. I loved this horse when I saw her clipped and had to own her. Nancy made that heppen for me.

I was constant and soft with her. I never varied her routine. I would feed her, halter her, lead her, rub her, offer a treat, groom, she would tolerate it all but her ears would never be forward. She would never volunteer her affection or approach me.

I just kept talking to her. Explaining why she was here and how much I loved her and assured her I'd keep her. One day I went out to feed and she whinnied to me. When I went to halter her, she was very forward and slipped he nose right in, when I let her go after taking her out she circled back and nuzzled me. That was it, I gathered her in my arms and cried my eyes out. She's my sweet girl.

If you connect with him and love him, there is no limit on time. Halley took 3 mos.
 

Sanny

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I've had Bonnie Fogg do a reading for me on all of my new horses and since we just got into minis a little over a year ago we've bought several. I really felt like it opened up the line of communication between me and the horse and I got all sorts of good info and many questions answered in the process - you might want to consider doing the same.

We had one mini we got that I really didn't think he trusted me or even liked me. He came to us with us knowing he had a lot of little personality quirks and issues and he was totally impossible to catch in the pasture - we had to chase him in the barn and corner him to halter him. On a whim I decided to enter him in liberty and bribe a horse and was POSITIVE I would never catch him at the end and lo and behold he came right to me when I called his name. (still can't catch him at home, but when we are out at shows and such it is clear that he has trust and confidence in me and feels most secure right with me. I think it just developed over time with consistancy and patience.

Our newest gelding also seems sort of "reserved" in the way that you described but on the other hand has a quiet confidence in his manner and way of going and seems to be already on equal footing with the other boys and is friendly but I wouldn't say "affectionate" toward us. We've had him about a month now (my birthday present
) and I wouldn't expect him to have bonded with us in that amount of time and I handle him every day, he gets groomed and worked in some manner whether just in hand or under harness after having been out to pasture for nearly a year. He is still figuring me out and I am still figuring him out. He is 11, we bought him from his original owner who had sold him a year ago and THAT new owner didn't work out (nothing to do with the horse, they just decided minis were not their thing and got out of it) and the original owner took him back and we bought the horse from him.
 

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