~HORSE FOLKS~I Need Some Advice On A Yearling I Have

The Wolf Queen

10 Years
May 2, 2009
Albuquerque, NM
OK so for a little bit of background Ive decided that I would like to buy horses meant for slaughter (either from the feedlot or bidding against a KB), keep them for at least 1 month (quarantine period) & while I have them train them as necessary. Then when their ready I sell them under a strict contract. Those that are pro slaughter please keep your comments to yourself! Anyways Im buying one horse at a time so I can completely focus on them then the money from selling them goes into feed, buying another horse meant for slaughter, & into a new truck & trailer cus the ol 86 two horse straight doesnt work like it used to & I also need a bigger truck, but im more focusing on a new 16ft stock trailer because a lot of the horses I get will be mustangs right off the range, & theres no way they will load into such a small trailer easily (though I did take out the divider. Hopefully that will help.). Back in March I bought a yearling paint filly & she came off the range somewhere sorta halter broke & thats it. Since then she has been a fast learner & easy to work with...except when it comes to medical stuff xP. Anything vet related she immediately freaks out. Her one flaw is that even if she likes you she isnt a 100 trusting. The smallest thing tends to make her nervous. So shots forget it...even small cuts have been difficult to doctor. The moment she feels even a small amount of pain she refuses to cooperate. I get why, but its extremely frustrating. A few days ago she got a deep cut on her right should & even applying salve, well she tried to kick me once. Today I haltered her & got her in the round pen because the wound got covered in dirt & has a bunch of puss
. I used iodine diluted in water & the moment I touched her she reared. What I did was reward her when I got the sponge or syringe on the wound then after a couple of gos let her lunge a few circles to calm down & think so she would realize it wasnt that bad but after a couple of times she actually started trying to bite me. Of course each time I scolded her, & other than that I was saying "easy" "GOOD girl" etc. Eventually I decided to end on the best note possible so instead of completely disinfecting it & applying salve I cheated & used purple coat on the area that was somewhat clean, which she responded to a LITTLE better, & I put everything away then scratched her neck (She LOVES it), talked to her, & started massaging sorta close to the wound. Then I took the halter off & gave her some hay. Ive decided to leave her in the round pen for now. I know she was only acting out because she is not comfortable with even a little pain at all & was afraid cuz of it, but im frustrated because I dont know how to teach her that what I was doing is a 100% evil & neither are shots or any other vet stuff. Got any ideas guys?
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I know it sounds horrible and mean but I'm saying this from the heart because I don't want to see you get hurt or a horse get rank and wind up right back at the slaughter auction.

It just doesn't sound like you're up for doing this with unhandled range horses. There just isn't any website that can teach you how to do this by reading a few paragraphs, no matter what those paragraphs say, so that you can then go out there and be safe and effective.

There are so many older broke horses, younger handled horses and the like, that go to slaughter these days that you could stick 100% to horses that are already a little gentled and are ok with things like this.

Part of helping horses - heck, helping anyone or any creature, is having a 'sustainable ministry' - in other words, you're helping in the way that matches best with your abilities. Give what you can give.

It takes time to learn, and you are supposed to start learning this sort of thing gradually, on horses that are basically gentle, and well handled and trained, and just have a bit of a quirk that you learn to work through (generally with a more experienced person there telling you what to do each move), and only very gradually, work your way up to the more difficult or unhandled range horses. That's how you get the idea of how to move and how to react and what are your danger signals, and when to push and when to back off.

It's just...no one can simply and easily explain to you how to get medication on the back leg of a kicking unhandled range horse, it involves time and practice and supervision and guidance. It's abut where you move, how you set up the whole situation (outside? in the barn? where? how to position the horse? what equipment to use?)

Some people learn some on their own, but it takes a lot of time and a lot of mistakes are made (and a lot of horses and people are hurt), and very often, they start out with trying to do it by OVER-DOING, and that works til they run into a tougher horse, then they realize how much they don't know - but usually it's a little too late then and someone (or someones) have gotten hurt.

But now you're in a fix so what should you do the next time.

Well, fact is, as an old sick lady who's about five feet tall, I get an awful lot done by taking my time and not getting in a hurry and not getting upset. Horses can tell if you are getting frazzled or running out of time. If I had a kicking horse I might clean the wound by spraying it with the hose (not on a hard spray) and I would just sort of very quietly and gradually work my way around to getting the salve on.

I might wrap some cotton around a dowel stick, put the salve on it and just take my sweet old time, and the salve would wind up on the wound and the horse wouldn't even know it.

But the fact is, I can't tell you what I'd do, because it would be a little different with each and every horse. It's really like a conversation. The horse keeps 'talking' to you with its actions, body position, eyes, and you keep talking back with your actions and movements and behaviors.

You can:

1.) Get yourself some Acepromazine and have your vet explain to you how to use and how to give it. Give it to the horse and wait until he gets a little relaxed/sleepy looking, then work on the injury. You don't have to give him a lot, the right amount gives them that, 'Oh go right ahead, I don't care' feeling.

2.) Call your vet out and have him/her treat the horse, watch what s/he does and try to learn from that (I can bet you most vets will sedate the horse rather than have a total fight or meltdown or get himself hurt!)

3.) Get a more experienced person to help you and teach you what to do( in person, not from a bb)

4.) Have an experienced trainer out to show you how to restrain your horse safely for medical treatment

I have a horse that was unhandled, basically 'out on the range' and untouched for a very long time, probably about six years. He was as wild as a March hare.

I used all sorts of different techniques and methods. No one thing worked all the time, every day, in each situation.

It's all about reading the horse - being able to understand what level of anxiety he is at, how he is GOING to react, where he is GOING to move to, how fast he's GOING to move....those things just aren't easy to teach OR to learn.

Sometimes I'd be sweet talking, move very slowly and gently, stroking him very softly, sometimes I'd be firmer and insist he had to stand still, jerking on the lead shank and speaking very firmly to him('whoa'.) Sometimes I'd let him circle around me instead of insisting he had to stand still.

All I can really say is that you know what to do because you learn to just watch the horse, and you learn to 'read' your horse - WHAT actually is bothering him (people often will believe that A is bothering him when it's actually B, they'll change A, and be shocked when they get trampled)...how anxious is he, what is he about to do, where is he looking with his eyes (because if he makes a break for it that's where he's going to go), is it time to back off or push him a little, time to be soft or time to be firm. Sometimes I'd have him right up against what he was scared of and let him blow his nose and look real scared, and sometimes I knew the only way I was ever going him to be comfortable with something was to introduce it in very, very gradual slow steps.

People will tell you not to 'baby' him and act around him like any other horse. In some situations, that helps, in others, it will wind you up in the emergency room of a hospital.

People will tell you to just sweet talk him all the time and never correct him, and that doesn't do the job a lot of the time either - a horse that has no idea what you really want him to do is ALSO unsafe.

People will tell you to just be firm and insist. And in some situations, that'll land you in the emergency room at a hospital. And maybe hurt the horse pretty bad too.

You just cannot follow a recipe or a dvd, and there just is no one method you should use. You have to be able to read the horse, know what his anxiety level is, what he is going to do, where he is going to try to go. You just have to be ready to do as little as possible, as little as necessary, and still do what works.
What you're describing is NOT a one-month project, unfortunately, except for very rare people (for whom it isn't so much that they're *training* the horse to deal with getting shots etc, as they are simply getting so THEY can do it, which is different)

If you want to do serial rehabbing that is fine but you need to pick your prospects appropriately. By no means can all horses be fixed up and made saleable/useful in just a month. Some not even in six months or a year, for the typical recreational rider.

My suggestion for this mare is to either find someone who can mentor you in learning to deal with this type horse, with whom you are a bit out of your depth, and/or to send her onwards to a new owner as soon as possible even if it means freebie-to-right-home. (Both, unfortunately, are not always feasible; if you are really stuck, well, I don't even know where to start, other than to say it's better to err on the side of you being safe and the horse remaining unscared, even if it means some doctoring doesn't get done)

Good luck, have fun,

I have a saddlebred cross, when she was about 3 she got a fairly nasty cut on the front of her back leg opposite of her hock.. she WOULD not let me treat it..
BUT I did get her to let me hose it down, after several minutes of hosing I would inch it down on her leg and use wonder dust.. she had no idea that I had done it.

I work with a yearling half mustang, and a long yearling half draft... the half draft is a big baby and knows how to use his body...
He has mule/cow kicked me leaving me with an abcess next to my knee that had to be drained. He has tried to body slam me...
AND he WAS bad about picking up his back hooves...
When he was a weanling, I would take a soft cotton lead rope and run it from his halter, around his side and tie it to a post, creating a squeeze chute of sorts.
Otherwise he would swing his body back and forth and wouldn't let you near his back legs.

This year, it didn't work. So I tried to take his leg away, by using a soft cotton rope, and bringing his leg under him... didn't work...
SO then I got his other back leg, using the same soft rope, and pulled back on it a little...he was snubbed fairly close to a post, and if he
shifted his weight back, he could stand on that hoof/leg. But if he went up close to the post he was tied to he would have his hoof lifted off the ground...
He could't kick at me, nor use his body to try to slam me into the fences.
When I went to groom him a week or so later, he was a perfect gentleman. I did bribe him with grain, and when i have worked with him, I keep a pocket full of
treats, using praise and random treats, also when he would stand quietly he would get treats.

I have been around this horse since he was 5 months old, and I do this ALOT. I am not a professional BUT I have done it alot in the past, and
worked under those who taught what they knew to me.
I think you are being too kind to her, you are babying her a might too much. You don't need to be rough with her, but by backing away, and retreating from her instead of
correcting her when she rears, bites or kicks, you are telling her she is doing the RIGHT thing by doing that... that IF she does that, you stop what you doing.. you are rewarding her
behavior by doing that...

I hope this helps.
I have an older broodmare that, while she was handled some before she came here, was not handled correctly and has some serious "issues". I have had her for almost 5 years and it has been a real challenge. She is 17, so "training" in the sense of being a riding horse is really out of the question. She was barely halter broke and I had to keep a catch rope on her and use a bucket of feed and it still took me 30 + minutes to catch her. She has come to trust me, she knows I will not hurt her, BUT, still doing simple things is a real challenge, I have only been able to paste worm her 3 times ( I usually have to use a feed through) , farrier work still requires a little sedative and a lot of time.

My point is, I have worked and worked with this mare for a few years, I believe she would still be this way even if she was 10 or 12 years younger and was in the time frame for training as a using horse. I commend you in wanting to help these kind of horses, but the potential for you or them getting hurt is great.

As some have said, picking your prospects is something you need to do carefully. My heart has hurt when I have gone to auctions, but you have to understand that the horses end up in that situation, generally for a very good reason. Also, this is a lengthy process, you can't even really get to know a horse in a month.

Some horses are this way, because they are afraid, some horses may have been injured or ill and had to have treatment over and over and just become bad patients.

My stallion got injured badly as a 2 year old, he is 9 now. He became bad about them handling his leg so it is scarred badly. I have worked and worked with him and am finally able to run my hand lightly down his entire leg. What I am trying to accomplish is getting him ok with me handling it, then lifting it so that my farrier can actually trim it. I am fully aware I may still have to sedate him to some degree. But this is a horse that A) Is extremely laid back and B) Trusts me to no end.......
Just some things to think about...

These horses are definitely not one month projects. You have to do a minimum 30 days of quaratine if not more. Quarantine can be very tricky if you have visitors to your farm or animals, espically from your other post you have mentioned that you have a pregnant mare on your property. Realistically if you are quaranting a horse you cannot let your dog run in one paddock & out the other without risk of disease or even have a friend over who pets the quarantined horse & then pets your pregnant mare. They may seem healthy but you will never know untill they are out of the incubation period.

Also, after what you paid for the horse, plus cost of feed, farrier, shots, etc. you are not going to show much of a profit. People are going to want to pay less (adoption rates) if you require a return contract. It will take a very long time before you will be able to earn the money it costs to buy a new truck large enough to pull the type trailer your want safely.

As far as your filly is concerned, lots of patience & you have to be firm with her. A lot of times what some people may interpret as fear is really just that the horse has learned that "hey, if I act this way I can get what I want". Without knowing the horse, I can't say what would work best for her, but you have to make the decisions & have her trust you. She does not get to decide what is scary or not...you do. If you cannot figure this out or do not have the experiance & still need help with her wound then you should either consult the vet or have someone who is experienced - either a friend or trainer to help you work through her issues. Once you do that then you must remain consistant with her - especialy with the youngsters...consistancy is the key.

A good horseman/woman knows when they need to get help. This is not a knock on you...I will even admit that I have gone to other people for help when I have felt that I have done everything that I could have done. THis kind of help is hands on...it is not really the kind of help you can get from a barn board.
Oh & if she is bad with shots this trick always works. I had a colt who was got very sick at 3 weeks old & had to get antibiotic shots twice per day....I had to give the shots myself in his neck & he hated it. You had mentioned your mare likes her neck scratched.....if you just keep scratching gently the spot where you are about to give the shot, it desensitizes the area & the dont feel the shot. After I figured this out he did not even care about getting a needle.
Hi guys I havent read all the comments yet, but after glancing at them I believe there is a misunderstanding. I am experienced with horses but am simply looking for more advice in this matter. I know horses pick up emotions & all that, but the methods ive been taught for that kinda situation arent working. My farrier has given me a bunch of tips & advice & so far all have worked great with my filly except for this time. BTW Im willing to keep each horse as long as necessary for proper training & such. What I ment about the month thing was that that is the safest amount of quarantine & most horses I plan to rescue will take several months to work with. The only type of horse that I would sell after a single month would have to be extremely well trained already & just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Get what im saying? Please dont start telling me I dont have the experience to handle horses like this. Im well aware of the risk & am willing to take it. BTW who wouldnt get a little frustrated if they were having a similar problem? I started this thread so the horse folks on here could give advice on how to help Tsunami (the filly) get used to this type of thing & I know everyone has been taught a little different & I know that a method out there, that I havent heard of yet, will work for her. I hope this clears everything up!

ETA: Im also gonna try & answer a few comments from above.

1. I do not baby her. When she was dancing around I WAS saying easy & talking smoothly but I wasnt all baby voices & blah. When she tried to bite I did correct her, but mostly I was trying to calm her & get her to stand still.

2. Im pretty decent at reading horses & I know that she WAS afraid not to mention agitated. Trust me I can tell the difference.

3. I do have the property for proper quarantine. Yes I have a prego mare but my quarantine round pen is set up in another pasture far away. I used to rarely let some of my dogs follow me but they would eat manure no matter what
& my prego ended up kicking one of my dogs in the head charging another horse (small dog) & the poor dog almost died. Tige never even saw her & no one even my big dogs are allowed anywhere near the horses anymore & I dont have many guests let alone ones that arent dead afraid of horses.

4. Right now im playing musical vets because my main vet does horses but doesnt do home visits & he is some what limited in that area. Our old horse vet we only use for some emergencies because a few years ago Id started showing & Tige got caught up in some barb wire, long story, & he cleaned her leg, said to walk her a lot, & she would do great. A few hours later the leg ballooned up from the walking & my trainer ended up taking her to her barn & she was out for 3 months
. Its doesnt help that arent many horse vets in ABQ & the other recomended one has im not sure which discease, but he shakes really badly. Aparently he still does good work but it maked me nervous

Hope this answer some questions.
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