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Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by farmchick897, Dec 23, 2010.
You will have to excuse the mud. The horse is my 1/2 Friesian 1/2 draft, 20 months old.
What sort of a critique do you want? On the horse's gait, her conformation, her condition? Suitability to some purpose you have in mind, suggestions for what she might be suitable for?
All of the above.
She is very high strung, not at all like the father or mother. She has been with trainers since October and is doing great with him, but when I come out she is happy to run around the pen like I'm a big lion.
How long have you had her? Do you know her history? How is she around other people and horses? She does not look particularly high strung but needs more ground work. This is something you can and should do yourself. She needs to develop trust in you and look to you as the herd leader. In the video, she looks nervous because she feels she has no leader and is in there to fend for herself. It is up to you to step up to the plate and show her that she needs to be able to to trust you. Are you able to catch her or does she continue to run around? I think she is a really nice looking filly. She has the typical low-impact drafter trot which will be really comfortable to sit to and she moves nicely. What do you plan to do with her?
Quote:I own her mother, who was bottle raised by me from 2 days of age. She was born here, imprinted, she has always been standoffish and spooky. I've had trainers out twice and both times they told me to just give her time she will come around. Well, she just never did. She would let me approach her but never became comfortable with it. I didn't have a safe place to work her because my wood fences, if pushed, she would try and jump. My corral panels didn't connect in the corners and the trainers were very concerned that she was going to try and go over and get her leg caught up. The video.. is the trainers round pen which is higher and connected and made for training the wild mustangs that they mainly deal with. I sent her there to learn the basics, she works great for him. Follows him all around, picks up feet, stands tied, he has worked with paper bags, feed bags. When I go out to see her to acts like... the video... couldn't even touch her that day.
I'm looking for a good family horse to trail ride.. Guess this is a perfect example of why you should buy what you are looking for instead of breeding for it. huh? Well, I still think she is beautiful and perhaps she will come around with training..
I can't put together your description with what I see in the video, which looks like a very quiet pleasant horse. I'm not sure if you know, but you clucked to her, which is a signal to get moving and keep moving in the round pen. She trotted along just as you told her to.
That said, videos can be deceiving, but again...you said she works very well for the trainer. So it's a real puzzle. But neither do I see a ton of evidence that she really is afraid of you. I'd really need to see how she acts when you are handling her. Just because she doesn't run up to you and jump into your lap, that doesn't mean anything.
Is it possible that you're used to draft horses, and the little extra pizazz the Friesian adds seems a lot to you? Or that you haven't been around a lot of young horses?
Maybe you're doing something that scares her? In the case of trotting in the round pen, maybe you didn't realize that you told her to, and she was just doing what you told her to do.
Maybe something happened with you and her in the past? Young horses can be very impressionable, but they never just randomly take a disliking to someone 'just because'.
Too, if young horses are out a lot, and not worked with every single day, they can get skittish. Especially on some people's farms, there's not much noise or activity, just a quiet field. If not worked with every single day, basically, they get very herdbound and nervous when away from the herd. It takes so much work to 'make' a young horse. Some will tolerate less interaction than others - for some, it's really critical that they have tons of interaction of all kinds.
Maybe that's what's happened, because typically, a Friesian-Draft cross usually isn't a very nervous or tense animal. Quite the contrary. Even a purebred Friesian is not commonly a very shy or tense animal, again, quite the opposite.
As far as conformation, she has a type of conformation often seen in Friesian draft crosses - it often creates a heavier animal than the Friesian, with an overall sturdy build.
She would be particularly suitable for driving, if she can continue to do so well in training. As a riding horse, she might appeal to someone who wants a quiet, but pretty horse. I wouldn't think she would be a super jumper, but she might do well at lower levels of dressage, many horses do.
Simply because a horse bonds with and accepts one person, does not meant that it will accept ALL people, including you. Some would call it loyalty and some animals have that quality more than others do. There are one-person dogs, one-person cats and even one-person horses, too. The pony mare I had as a kid would only allow people she knew to mount her. If she saw a stranger raising a foot up to put it in the stirrup, she would wheel around and try to kick them! Your mare can learn to accept you but she may be the type of horse that will never warm up to strangers. Many abused horses behave this way though not all are. You should ask your trainer to have other people work with her so she gets exposed to a lot of different personalities.
The horse is UNDER 2 years old and is still a baby. Also Friesen and Draft breeds take longer to mature. Give the horse time, to grow up. Welsummer made some very good suggestions. I am a firm believer in taking your time not starting a horse for riding till they are at least three and their knees are closed.
She looks a little energetic and I see a bit of attitude a few times but not skittish or that high strung. I second that she may just need to mature some more. I also think that what you are seeing might be a horse not accepting you as the boss rather than one that is scared or nervous of you. The slant of the body and some slight attempts to cut the edge of the pen, with a bit of head tossing and ear flattening all look like subtle signs of not wanting to listen but not being certain she can get away with ignoring. I would get out there and work her more yourself. When I get in young horses who have never been handled or for my more energetic yearlings out of barrel racing horses I either toss a lariat around their necks or clip a line to a halter and then worked them in the round pen. The same as lunging on a long line but with the added backup of the pen. Then I could keep them from trying to jump out or do something stupid. What helps make this work is that I much prefer a horse to turn in rather than out when switching directions but I can't tell you all the reasons a trainer I worked with gave for it. There is more control to it and it takes more willingness from the horse which helps cut out some of that attitude. The easiest way to accomplish that if you've got a halter broke horse is to clip a lead rope or long line on to them and after you get them moving take up the slack at the same time you step in toward the hindquarters. Eventually you can cut out everything but a single step toward the hip and pivoting your body out of the way. My reining mare who is out of lines known for attitude will just sit down and spin now the instant I move a certain way and move off again the other direction smoothly with no show of attitude or cutting inward. On occasion I have actually had to get her to work with me with no halter, rope, etc... and it comes in very handy to have a horse who turns in and works off body language that well. One time I was able to get her to step past me back over a downed chunk of fence they'd escaped through while I stood on the fence to keep it flat. Something that never would have been accomplished without the ground work I learned from that trainer I mentioned earlier. You also need to mix that up with straight stops so you don't get a horse that turns in every time you stop asking for forward.
With a horse that is timid, I get real uncomfortable with this 'accepting you as the boss' type of thing or identifying 'attitude'. I feel like a timid horse needs a little bit different treatment than 'showing them who is boss' or 'correcting their attitude'.
I also see no 'attitude' or 'needing to learn who is boss'. The horse is just blowing and trotting around. It's not showing an attitude at all, it's just a little bit different type of horse than what you're used to.
I think the best thing one can do is find a good trainer, send the horse to the trainer, sure, but when that is finished, the owner work under the trainer's supervision, A LOT. The trainer has no problem with the horse, so he's the one to learn from, change your body language, change how you are interacting with the horse.