Horse help

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by roorooyew, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. roorooyew

    roorooyew Out Of The Brooder

    27
    5
    29
    Sep 4, 2016
    North Carolina
    Deb, i know you know some of the story so glad i found this forum. I have a rescue thats never been worked with. Gelded at 4. Hes 5 now. Ive had him approx 6 months. Doesnt trust men and will come when he sees me, eat out of the bucket but will not let me get a halter on him. Just want to work on the basics. Ground manners and such. He has been terribly physically abused. He was tied to a tpost by his neck, barbed wire wrapped around his leggs one at a time for a person with zero qualifications but farrier tools and trimmed. His legs were sliced to pieces. He was a rack of bones. What can i do to help this horse trust me enough to put a halter on him? So i can then get a lead rope and start some kind of training?

    [​IMG]

    The halter he had on here was one he had had since he was a yearling. Cutting into his ears and nose. Somehow he got it off himself almost taking his ear off with it.
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    17,261
    2,306
    421
    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Goodness - 21 views in two days, but no replies?

    Probably because a horse with such severe problems scares people off. Though it's easy to say, "there are so many nice, well-broke horses out there just begging for a good home, why get into this mess?" when you are actually looking the animal in the eye, it's different, isn't it?

    I don't know if the person who had this horse before was a sadist, or just hideously incompetent at handling animals, but this animal's mind has been scarred, just as his body has been. You've said he's head-shy . . . can you touch him anywhere else?

    I make no claims about being a trainer; I just "calls 'em like I sees 'em," sometimes I may be way off the mark, but hey, when it comes to advice, you get what you pay for, right?

    It seems to me that, if ever there was a horse that needed a round pen, this guy is it. This horse doesn't make friends (the death of your Appy mare tells you that). This guy doesn't need a friend, he needs a leader, but the person working with him needs to gain his respect and trust at a safe distance - and that means a round pen.

    If you are an experienced horse handler, you know that round penning is much more than chasing a horse around in circles with a whip. At the moment, you are the "food lady;" I've been the feeder at a barn, so I know that in the horse's mind, that makes you basically his handmaiden. He may not threaten you, but he doesn't respect you. Trying to get your hands on his head can get you smacked in the face with that head. Putting this horse in a round pen and making him move around helps him to understand that you are the one who is in charge; you get to call the shots. You become the leader, and it is a horse's basic nature to follow a strong leader. I don't think you need to come on anywhere near as strong as Clinton Anderson does in his videos, but watching him can give you a good idea of the concept. The basics of round-penning is that you say, "go this way," and the horse goes this way, "now go that way," and the horse goes that way, "now stop and face me," and the horse does. It may take a while to get to that point, but keeping a careful eye out for the horse's cues and the well-timed use of pressure and the release of pressure can get the horse listening to and accepting your instructions. You need to fine-tune what you do to the needs of the animal - some don't use a whip, they use a rope. A really sensitive horse may respond just to body language (though frankly, I'd be afraid to go into a ring with this animal without something that would extend my reach beyond arm's length). You also need to break it down to small steps. Maybe the first day, you don't get anywhere near his head - just touching him on the shoulder becomes the goal. Maybe on day 2, you just get a lead rope around his neck. You can work on things like yielding, head down, etc, without actually having a halter on him, and each day's work builds the idea in this horse's mind that you are in charge, and you are a good leader, so he can trust you.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. naturalfeddogs

    naturalfeddogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    273
    8
    108
    Jan 8, 2011
    The OP is just going to have to build up trust by handing a little every day. Everything you do with a horse, regardless of how much or how often is a training session. It's going to take some time and patience it sounds like.
     
  4. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    17,261
    2,306
    421
    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    But if I've understood this and her other posts, she's been doing this for 6 months, and is not getting any further. "Handling" isn't happening - the horse refuses to allow that. She's recovering from the latest of several back surgeries; she really isn't in any shape to get jerked and/or knocked around by an over-reactive horse. The pain and fear that put this horse here is horrendous, but after 6 months, coddling isn't getting any further. The horse is still a nervous wreck; he's pretty much settled into a pattern of being untouchable. This horse needs someone who can take him in hand and basically say, 'OK, buddy, so far you've had it all your way, and that really isn't getting anywhere, is it? Let's try it my way; I think we'll both find it works better. You may think you can tell me 'no,' but guess what? I won't hear 'no;' tell me 'yes,' and I'll get off your case." This really is for the horse's own good - never mind riding, think about hoof care, worming, grooming etc; none of this happens if you can't get your hands on him. The horse has gone from starvation and abuse to a situation of plenty of food, but otherwise benign, well-intentioned non-care . . . . what some might still consider neglect, because the owner can't handle him. What if the horse gets injured, or gets out? At some point, you have to decide that you have waited long enough, and push the animal out of his comfort zone because it's not really all that comfortable for him or for you.[​IMG]
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    17,207
    5,120
    476
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Totally agree with Bunnylady, I have used the join up way of training that the horse whisper does, it actually works quite well. I have a donkey that was terrified of us for many years despite trying to be his friend, saw a show about this technique and tried it out in the pasture one day when trying to catch him, kept him running until I saw the lip licking, gave my back, he faced me, when I tried to approach he took off again, chased him around again needless to say that day I eventually walked up to him with my eyes averted and my shoulder to him and we joined up. Now he's no longer afraid of me. So I would seriously look into this technique or watch a few shows on it. They use it on wild horses. As Bunnylady says it's often about dominance not fear with horses. If you are the dominant member your horse will trust you.
     
  6. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,426
    299
    198
    Jul 4, 2014
    Maine
    I don't know the back story of this horse beyond what's been stated in this thread but I too have used the join up method. I believe Monty Roberts has a calmer, gentler approach with it than Clinton Andersen but the end results are the same.

    The closest I've been to dangerously untouchable horses were two Belgian colts my parents bought when I was in high school. They were half brothers and both born out in the pasture and never been handled until the day they were taken from their mothers and loaded into a trailer to be brought to our house and they were terrified. Their first evening, they broke the fencing and swam off our island and wandered nearly 10 miles before finding another horse. The town notified us and we had to go round them back up to get them home again. After that I remember spending at least an hour in the pasture every single day, rain, snow or shine and just sitting there, sometimes with a book and/or a cup of tea or hot chocolate. I never tried to approach them, I just sat on a stump in the pasture and after a couple of months as they grew bolder they would get closer and eventually they initiated contact with me. After that, it was small steps get them used to human touch, shoulders first, then neck and around the withers where that sweet spot is they like to scratch on each other and so on. They turned out to be very loveable and gentle but it took a long time and a lot of patience.

    To the OP, I commend you for taking on such a broken spirit and immense challenge. It's appalling that any creature would be treated the way this poor horse has been and I wish you the best in your efforts to help him through.
     
  7. naturalfeddogs

    naturalfeddogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    273
    8
    108
    Jan 8, 2011
    We've only had one horse in the past who had been mistreated pretty bad as well, and wouldn't let us touch him either. The way we finally got through to him, was at feeding time. We fed him in a bucket in the pasture. We would take his food to him, and before putting it down rub him on the face one time, put the food down and walk away. We did this every day, and we rubbed him on the face longer and longer as he would allow it, until we were able to stand beside him and rub him all over on both sides. It took time and patience, but we finally got there. I was several months pregnant myself at the time, so that's as far as it went until my son was born, and I was able to get back at it and do more. But, yes it took time and patience.
     
  8. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    17,261
    2,306
    421
    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Well, I am sure there are a variety of ways of getting there. The ultimate goal, after all, is that everybody stay safe and sane; there are no prizes for getting it done sooner.:confused:
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. roorooyew

    roorooyew Out Of The Brooder

    27
    5
    29
    Sep 4, 2016
    North Carolina
    Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. I just want him to have a good life. He finally let me rub his head while feeding out of the bucket. I scratched behimd is ears and all. He was snappy when we got him. Would try and bite when we walked by the fence. He isnt doimg that now. Hes takimg treats. He actually did get out recently. I moved my mare oit if site. He called for a day. I left the next morning and came home to him.in the yard beside her pasture. I got my whip, clicked at him but never touching him with it. He walked beautifully back to his pasture while i clicked and spoke to him. I think a roumd pen would be great. Unfortunately we just dont have the space. Bit soon..As fall gets here and we are able to clear more thats first ony list. I e been workimg with a yearling roumd penning and my mare always got a brush up in the roumd pen before my son got on her. Ive wormed him and luckily hes so food motivated i jist squirt it in his grain amd he eats it like a champ. He wants the companionshi of another horse he just needs to learn the rules. Ill continue to work to gain his trust. Im in no hurry and each day im a little stronger myself. Ill keep everyone posted.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,741
    77
    194
    Sep 19, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    Aww, this poor horse! So glad you decided to give him a chance. What a life he's had. There is a classical dressage master who wrote a book entitled "A Matter of Trust" and I think that was such a wonderful way to describe the relationship you need to have with horses. I think if you go slow, be firm but fair and always keep to the "rules", you'll do fine! Good luck to you.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by