PDA

View Full Version : horse throwing himself? - figured it out! pg 3



SleepyFox
Feb. 7, 2008, 02:35 PM
Need some ideas here, guys! I have a 3yo colt who just moved to a new barn and the new trainer called to say he's out of control - which represents a 180 degree change. This boy is the most mild mannered, quietest, bombproofest colt in the world. But, the new trainer couldn't get him on the track - he threw himself in the shedrow and then threw himself into a ditch with a rider up. He also has been attacking other horses in the barn. NONE of this is like this colt and both I the trainer that had him before are shocked and stumped.

This colt hasn't been stabled on this backside before, but he has been shipped in to breeze on this track and has been in the receiving barn stalls - and has been totally professional and a joy to handle (I've seen this first hand). He was previously at a private training center, but he has been hauled other places to just get bombproofed and has always been easy to handle. He was moved to the new trainer just to finish him prior to running. He was previously stalled in a barn with screens b/w the stalls so he had contact with the other horses, but was fine with colts and geldings.

This is a colt who everyone is shocked to find out is still intact and we left him intact specifically because he is so quiet. Gelding him is of course an option, but I'm not sure that's really the problem here. The trainer says he doesn't think he is in pain. I've ridden the horse and handle him regularly so I really know him and know this is new behavior.

The trainer is going to give him a couple of days but if he doesn't improve, he's not going to keep him. I'm going to watch him gallop (or attempt to gallop) Monday to see if I can get a better idea of what is going on. I was going to go tomorrow, but the trainer says he thinks he is going to be too banged up from his antics today to gallop tomorrow. I have not used this trainer before, so this is really awkward. I don't want to be stuck with a problem horse, so I want to nip this in the bud and I also don't want to get a reputation of having crazy horses.

My first thought was the horse was in pain, but the trainer says the colt just wants to be in charge and is throwing tantrums.

I'd appreciate any input if any of you have had a similar situation.

Barnfairy
Feb. 7, 2008, 04:05 PM
What's he eating? Has his diet been changed recently?

Is there something different in the way he's being handled now? Personality clash?

It sounds like the behavior has come about too suddenly to be a case of feeling his hormones, but that's always a possibility.

Dixon
Feb. 7, 2008, 04:14 PM
Ulcers.

LKF
Feb. 7, 2008, 04:22 PM
1) what's this trainer's reputation?
2) who does he have riding him?
3) check his mouth- he's at the right age where teeth are popping up all over the place
4) very well could be testing his new surroundings and new handlers
5) how long has he been at the new track? maybe he needs to settle.
6) is the feed the same? hay the same?
7) is he stressed out? In pain because of ulcers?
8) is he just being a sh**? after all he's 3 and a colt
9) if he's doing average on the track and you don't plan on breeding with him, maybe consider gelding? It would make life easier.

I hope you look into it further. You don't want him to get a bad reputation.

alexbrown4
Feb. 7, 2008, 04:23 PM
seems very odd. it might be that the horse is being handled differently and objects to that form of handling ... but without seeing the behavior its really hard to speculate. cheers, alex

Lora
Feb. 7, 2008, 04:52 PM
drugs?

SleepyFox
Feb. 7, 2008, 06:21 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the good suggestions!! Answers to questions are below..


1) what's this trainer's reputation? stellar
2) who does he have riding him? I don't know, former trainer's excercise rider has offered to go get on him to see if it's a rider problem, we'll see if that really happens
3) check his mouth- he's at the right age where teeth are popping up all over the place good idea, will do it when I go see him
4) very well could be testing his new surroundings and new handlers yes... during breaking, a friend wanted to try him, plopped a western saddle on him (instead of flat tack), and the sweet little colt turned into a bronc - bucking him off repeatedly. Could be going thru something similar now?
5) how long has he been at the new track? maybe he needs to settle. One and half days. I agree w/ the settling but trainer thinks he's way worse than he should be for being unsettled
6) is the feed the same? hay the same? I believe the feed is the same and hay is similar
7) is he stressed out? In pain because of ulcers? He shows no other signs of ulcers or stress
8) is he just being a sh**? after all he's 3 and a colt This is what the trainer thinks, but wow, it's a big change in a hurry
9) if he's doing average on the track and you don't plan on breeding with him, maybe consider gelding? It would make life easier. You'll laugh,but the concern has been that he'll be TOO quiet if we cut him. As of Tuesday, he was still quiet, so I dunno here. It's definitely a possibility, if need be.

I hope you look into it further. You don't want him to get a bad reputation. Yeah, me either!!



What's he eating? Has his diet been changed recently?

Is there something different in the way he's being handled now? Personality clash?

It sounds like the behavior has come about too suddenly to be a case of feeling his hormones, but that's always a possibility.

Diet is pretty much the same. I think it's the same feed and the hay is similar. It really may be a personality clash - he's in a big barn now and is just a number whereas he has always been in small barns where he's been the center of attention with everyone taking their time with him. I'm thinking the same thing regarding the hormones, Barnfairy.


seems very odd. it might be that the horse is being handled differently and objects to that form of handling ... but without seeing the behavior its really hard to speculate. cheers, alex
Thank you, Alex - your statement makes me feel better about wanting to go see this first hand. I'm sure the new trainer is less than thrilled about me wanting to witness this, but you're exactly right - it helps to see it.

Texarkana
Feb. 7, 2008, 06:56 PM
I woudn't feel bad for wanting to see him first hand! I'd definitely want to see for myself what he's doing. I'm not an expert, but my first guess would be a severe case of spoiled brat-itis. :winkgrin:

And I don't mean you spoiled him. I've had a few babies throw MAJOR hissy fits when they realize the good life is over and it's time to work. A lot of times it's the friendly, interactive ones that you'd never expect it from.

One of the first babies I ever broke I had with me from weaning until 2 year old. She was sweet as could be 90% of the time, but man oh man, the devil in her would come out every time she was presented with something new. She would also throw herself when at her worst. The owner ended up naming her after me... I wasn't sure if I should be flattered or offended by the gesture. :lol:

Acertainsmile
Feb. 8, 2008, 10:02 AM
I'm wondering if this horse is going out alone or in company? Also, what was he used to before? Maybe he needs a buddy to walk out with, if thats what he's been used to.

I'm sure you will have more answers when you go see him. I agree with having his teeth checked, and also check out the equipment they are training him in. Sometimes little changes will have big effects.

SleepyFox
Feb. 8, 2008, 11:58 AM
[QUOTE=Acertainsmile;2993398]I'm wondering if this horse is going out alone or in company? Also, what was he used to before? Maybe he needs a buddy to walk out with, if thats what he's been used to. QUOTE]
They took him out alone, but he's used to going both alone and in company and has done both at this track and is the same behavior-wise either way. I wonder if a pony would help.

I'm wondering about the equipment, too. He's never even used a cavesson, so if they cranked a noseband tight on him he might have been unhappy.

Acertainsmile
Feb. 8, 2008, 12:13 PM
I would think the trainer would automatically take him out with a pony after the 1st days episode...as things like this can quickly become a habit/game....

Also, it will be interesting to see what kind of pads they are using, some trainers use the big foam pads, compared to the contoured pad with a saddle towel.

Wondering how big the rider is, and how good an excersise rider this person getting on him is... Just because the trainer has a stellar reputation, doesnt mean he doesnt have a lousy or green excersise rider in his barn. (This very well may be the case, since your horse had a good reputation going into this barn)...I'm wondering if the trainer has tried a different rider?

These things still seem minor (except for the rider scenario) to create such a reaction, but I guess you never know...

I'm going to add one more thing, after reading your post again... on the aggresivness... any chance your former trainer gave him steroids? I would be calling the vet who worked on him just to ask that question... if not, you may seriously want to geld him ASAP.

SleepyFox
Feb. 8, 2008, 12:20 PM
and they didn't gallop him today since he'd banged himself up yesterday throwing himself. So they put him on the walking wheel with a saddle and he threw himself as soon as the wheel tugged on him. They took the saddle off and he was fine.

He tried to throw himself one other time when the rider was first legged up. But, we gave adjusted the girth and he was fine, so we assumed it was that he was pinched. Never really thought about it again. But maybe they are either tightening the girth too quickly or he's getting pinched somehow?

At least the trainer was more friendly today and said we'd work with it on Monday and even borrow a roundpen if need be. Now he's saying "we'll get it straightened out" instead of "you might have to come get him."

Acertainsmile
Feb. 8, 2008, 12:27 PM
Well, that is interesting...LOL...sounds like it could be a couple of things...my first pick would be that he's really girthy, and they are not giving him a chance to come out of it... alot of barns will tighten the girth, lead them out of the stall, and throw a rider up... Instead of giving them a turn around the barn...

I'm wondering if this is whats going on, if they are using a good girth cover, not those cheesy material ones.

I had a filly that was super girthy, and I had my chiro take a look at her... I believe it was her 5th vertabrae was out of whack, which apparently causes a horse to be girthy... she adjusted her and I could really see a difference.

SleepyFox
Feb. 8, 2008, 12:28 PM
I'm going to add one more thing, after reading your post again... on the aggresivness... any chance your former trainer gave him steroids? I would be calling the vet who worked on him just to ask that question... if not, you may seriously want to geld him ASAP.

I don't think so. We specifically talked about keeping him intact so we didn't have to give him steroids. But, I don't know for sure, of course. The horse has always been fine with the old trainer - I mean, I've seen him, handled him, etc - he's like a gelding. And it wouldn't make sense for the old trainer to spend the $$ to give him steroids just prior to him shipping out, would it?

I also thought maybe the old trainer had him sedated, but again, it wouldn't wear off over night.

I specifically told the new trainer to not give him steroids without talking to me first, but it is possible that the vet was there the day he shipped in and he was treated anyway. It's crossed my mind.

Barnfairy
Feb. 8, 2008, 12:29 PM
I'm wondering about the equipment, too. He's never even used a cavesson, so if they cranked a noseband tight on him he might have been unhappy....especially if he does have an ouchy molar situation going on.

For this behavior to have come about within 48 hours, I'm thinking it really leans towards equipment or handling (with the possibility of this being an underlying physical issue that manifests itself because of new equipment.)

I'd think if he were prone to babyhissyfititis, you'd have seen at least hints of it before now. Same with ulcers or environment (though I certainly have seen normally bombproof horses suddenly react outwardly when pushed beyond their limit, including one very sad case in which a horse that had just had enough of being in an overstimulating environment --he had been trailered to the beach for a local riding club's day-long outing-- reared, flipped, and died of his injuries. Tragic.)

While I totally understand it is important to allow a trainer to "do his thing" and not get in the way, on the other hand...if this were my horse you can bet I'd be there to see first hand exactly what is going on.

LKF, I love your check list, btw.

Acertainsmile
Feb. 8, 2008, 12:30 PM
I dont think your former trainer would pay for the drugs himself... that would just show up on next months vet bill...LOL...

It will be very interesting to see what you find when you get out there!

SleepyFox
Feb. 8, 2008, 12:31 PM
Well, that is interesting...LOL...sounds like it could be a couple of things...my first pick would be that he's really girthy, and they are not giving him a chance to come out of it... alot of barns will tighten the girth, lead them out of the stall, and throw a rider up... Instead of giving them a turn around the barn...

I'm wondering if this is whats going on, if they are using a good girth cover, not those cheesy material ones.

I had a filly that was super girthy, and I had my chiro take a look at her... I believe it was her 5th vertabrae was out of whack, which apparently causes a horse to be girthy... she adjusted her and I could really see a difference.

Good advice - I suggested back pain to the trainer this morning and he sort of snorted - chiro could be a hard sell. ;) But, yeah, I'm really getting curious about how they are saddling this guy. Why can't anything just be easy??

Calamber
Feb. 8, 2008, 12:33 PM
I would have his back gone over, since he threw the first hissy fit with a western saddle and you do know that he is girthy and went bonkers with the saddle on when he was put on the walker, it is possible that something is going on with neck or back.

SleepyFox
Feb. 8, 2008, 12:34 PM
I dont think your former trainer would pay for the drugs himself... that would just show up on next months vet bill...LOL...

It will be very interesting to see what you find when you get out there!

Well, that's just it - he'd have to pay it himself since he knows I would flip out if saw it on a bill - after we DIDN'T geld the horse. :mad: Or maybe I'd just get a "tack charge" or something. :lol:

Texarkana
Feb. 8, 2008, 12:46 PM
The more info you get, it definitely sounds physical...

Acertainsmile
Feb. 8, 2008, 01:02 PM
You know, this could be an entirely new thread...about Chiros and horse trainers...

I have worked for some excellent trainers over the years... some used them, some scoffed at them... I was really surprised at some of the big names that DO use them, they are "old timers" and I really woulnt have expected them to... but that is what made them such good horsemen... they were always open to something "new"...

Dont even get me started on what most of my vets thought about them... but, I was the rider/trainer (my husband trained also) and I could definetley tell a difference after they were adjusted!

As an owner, you absoloutly have a voice if you want to go this route!

jennywho
Feb. 8, 2008, 01:07 PM
One more thing to consider, and I wouldn't even think of it if I hadn't dealt with the same thing, but what is his stall like in comparison to other stalls he's been stabled in?

I had a wonderful, easy going filly that I broke. She did everything right never had a fit etc. I dropped her off at the track and the trainer called the next day asking me what the he** I had sent to him. They went in to saddle her and she went absolutely bonkers. I left her for a week to acclimate and the longer she was there, the worse she got. Took her to a nearby farm and she was an angel again. Took her back to the track and she was a complete monster.

Eventually (she's 6 now, never raced) we discovered that she was clausterphobic and the dark, confined stall freaked her out. I sold her as a show horse and the girl that has her still has problems at certain show grounds with dark stalls, she also freaks in trailers that have completely matted, black walls.

Flypony
Feb. 8, 2008, 02:56 PM
Is sending him back to the former trainer an option?I have an older horse that throws himself around, I figure he just doesnt want to be here , however his owners want to give him "one more chance"

LKF
Feb. 8, 2008, 03:56 PM
I've read through all the threads and thought of a few more ideas.
1) pull blood on him ASAP. Just for the heck of it see if there are any traces of drugs in him. If your previous trainer doped him, then it will probably still be in the blood stream. You can also test a hair folical, but I think testing the blood is easier.
2) why did you change trainers and tracks? Just curious.
3) please spend the day out there. Do not tell the trainer that you're coming. Just show up.
4) gelding (if an option) isn't a bad idea. Yes, you're right that it may quiet him down too much, but what do you plan on doing with him once he finishes racing? By then he may be too hard to handle (as a stud) and you're going to have a difficult time finding him new owners as long as he still has his 'doo-dads'. Is he worth keeping as a stud? The steroid stuff like Equipoise isn't that bad and it sure does work. The nice part about it is that it eventually runs out of their system in about 45 days.
5) someone mentioned claustophobia - and that is certainly a possibility. Another good reason to check out where he is being stabled
6) check for body soreness - you just don't know what may have happened since leaving the old trainer and going to the new one.
7) If he is costing you money, maybe consider selling as a show prospect?

I'll keep reading your threads - I really hope it all turns out for the best.

Barnfairy
Feb. 8, 2008, 04:45 PM
The steroid stuff like Equipoise isn't that bad and it sure does work. The nice part about it is that it eventually runs out of their system in about 45 days.
I'm sorry for sidetracking, and I like your other ideas LKF, but I just can't let this go.


Equine Drugs and Vaccines: A Guide for Owners and Trainers, Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD in consultation with Thomas Tobin, MVB, MRCVS, 1995

Equipoise – Side Effects/Toxicity

When used as indicated (i.e., for severely debilitated animals following a prolonged illness, severe injury or surgery, or following extreme abuse), and for short treatment periods, side effects/toxicity are short lived and self-limiting, usually disappearing in 6-8 weeks. When abused, as in the regular administration to young animals to enhance muscular development before sales or to performance animals to increase athletic ability, side effects are more serious, more long lasting, and possibly permanent. Side effects include:

1. Premature closure of growth plates

2. Impaired fertility in males and females.

3. Development of androgenic side effects of increased aggressiveness and uncontrollable behavior.

(emphasis mine)
Any abnormality in the natural process of closure in growth plates can result in pain, swelling, lameness, and possibly permanent deformity or shorter overall height.

Other side effects include inflammation of the liver, and sodium retention which in turn can lead to kidney problems.

Correct me if I'm wrong but trainers who are using equipoise to enhance performance at the track --not the indicated use of the drug-- administer it on a regular basis rather than as a one-time thing.

LKF
Feb. 8, 2008, 04:53 PM
I'm sorry for sidetracking, and I like your other ideas LKF, but I just can't let this go.


Other side effects include inflammation of the liver, and sodium retention which in turn can lead to kidney problems.

Correct me if I'm wrong but trainers who are using equipoise to enhance performance at the track --not the indicated use of the drug-- administer it on a regular basis rather than as a one-time thing.

Yes, yes, you're right about this. Good info that you found.

solargal
Feb. 8, 2008, 05:10 PM
You know, this could be an entirely new thread...about Chiros and horse trainers...

I have worked for some excellent trainers over the years... some used them, some scoffed at them... I was really surprised at some of the big names that DO use them, they are "old timers" and I really woulnt have expected them to... but that is what made them such good horsemen... they were always open to something "new"...

Dont even get me started on what most of my vets thought about them... but, I was the rider/trainer (my husband trained also) and I could definetley tell a difference after they were adjusted!

As an owner, you absoloutly have a voice if you want to go this route!


I just had a couple of fillies worked on with a chiropractor. Both went wonderful today. When the vet looked at them they scoffed at the idea and the trainer next to me doesn't believe it. Oh well, it is just money right?:lol:


Where is this horse located? Something is going on, especially if this horse has already gone to the track before. Some riders at the track put the saddle on really really tight before they get on and the horses can't take it. Although it doesn't make sense that he only threw a fit today after the walker pulled on his head.

PS. Some trainers have "stellar" reps, but aren't very good, or have bad help. Why did you leave the other trainer?

akor
Feb. 8, 2008, 05:19 PM
Hello! I have no business posting here as I know NOTHING of the track (dressage/jumper background), but I do know girthy and while it's not a good story I have to tell, the other posts prompted me to jump in. I used to work with a horse (gelding) that was apparently girthed up roughly once or twice and from then on, all I can say is, what a PITA. And, it never got better. Ground manners to die for other than at girthing. I would take 45 minutes to girth up if he had a break, but it always took 20 minutes, put saddle on, tighten a wee bit, shove treats in mouth, lunge, tighten, lunge, tighten, etc. If I rode him everyday, I could get it down to 15 minutes, but if you went a year of that and then one day cinched it tight, back to square one. The horse would flip out. How he was girth affected his whole ride. I mean, whole ride. I personally would never have gotten on him if someone had just girthed him normally, and I was pretty brazen back then. (added, and if someone did it rough again, yikes), He also HAD to have the saddle WAY far back. WAY far back. If you put it too far up, he flipped out).

Good luck.

SleepyFox
Feb. 8, 2008, 06:12 PM
akor, of course you have business posting here - your advice is very helpful, although I have to admit your story makes me nervous. I hope we don't get to that point!! :eek:

His current stall is the darkest stall he's ever been in. It's the first time he's had a horse behind him, too. He is great in the trailer, etc. though. A friend checked on him and said he was standing quietly in his stall, so he's not pacing or anything. I'm hoping the aggression toward other horses was just in response to a new environment and he'll calm down soon. No reports of more attacking today, so that's good!

He's switched trainers b/c he was at a private training center and we decided he'd get fit faster on the track. It was a mutually agreed-upon decision between me and the former trainer (who still trains for me). The former trainer is prepared to go get him, if need be. We'd been talking about bringing the horse back to the first trainer eventually, but 2 days is not exactly what I had in mind.:lol:

The former trainer, the former exercise rider and I are all going to the "parent-teacher conference" on Monday to try to get to the bottom of this. I'm very appreciative of the fact that I have a trainer willing to help out with a horse that is in another guy's barn. :yes:

Thanks for all the good suggestions!

Acertainsmile
Feb. 8, 2008, 06:32 PM
Just a thought, but could you arrange to have the former excersise rider go to the track to get on him for a few days?

doublete
Feb. 8, 2008, 08:22 PM
Ok, regarding Equipoise. I don't know where this horse is, but in the mid atlantic area they are trying to pass a ban on steroids, so since late '07 officials have been urging horsemen to back off, and give the horses time to get clean, as it may soon be illegal to run on.


I had a colt that was so sweet, quiet, turned out with other geldings at the farm in training. Then I took him to the track and he turned into a maniac. Charging the stall, trying to get all the mares, etc. TOTAL change. We had him gelded within the first two weeks.
Also have a horse that is so girthy that you WILL get dropped if you don't take your time tightening the girth. Sounds to me a combination of hormones kicking in at change in "stabling" for the colt, and possibly very girthy and someone (maybe inexperienced groom) cranked the girth, led the colt out and threw a rider up. Took the colt by surprise. I"ll tell you from experience it takes a while for the horse to get over this. A lot of patience and go back to square one. Put the saddle on loosely, lead around the shedrow a few times, tighten a bit, lead around, and slowly reintroduce the rider. But for some reason sometimes with horses like this "throwing the rider" up isn't going to work. I had one that I started having to get on by myself using a muck tub- otherwise he went ballistic. All because I let one "mistake" happen.

Seems to me this may be a trainer with a "stellar" race record, but maybe not the best with babies. Might have treated this one like a racing "machine" as so many of them do, and now needs to go back and realize it is a baby. Sorry to say, you might have some time fixing this ahead of you.

S.MacMillan
Feb. 8, 2008, 09:13 PM
Hi all,

I am also over from the dressage forum and would like to throw my 2 cents in.
We had a young gelding that all of a sudden started acting completely out of character overnight. the most laid back dead-head gelding, super quiet and easy and then started flipping out after being tacked up but not right away, it was not till we got outside and walking.
He was always great tacking up and going out to work and then one day we tacked up and went out of the barn as i turned him and pulled a little towrds the ring , he compeletly flipped out, pulled back practically sat down and would bolt and run like a bronc and then when "it " was over would come right back to you. it was very bizarre. He would always act toatlly normal and then it was like something grabbed him and he would have a panic/flight reaction. And this is the sweetest most laid back horse on the earth, so this was really baffling and the change was overnight.
Turned out (which was discovered by Chiro) that he has ultra sensitive nerves right behind the elbow (apparently there is a bundle of nevrevs there) and as he developed more muscles, the girth that i was using was pinching right there. you could barley brush your hand and there and he would twitcha nd hold his breath as you worked that area.
He would not react until he had to move a little, so he would walk out like all was well and then i would turn and pull on him and turn a little or walk more forawrd and the girth would shift and then bingo explosion,. But you could tell he was scared and not being ugly, this horse does not have a mean bone in his body and after it was over he'd come right over to you like "what happened?"

So we changed the girth and got a HUGE fleecy padded girth cover and a shaped girth that had a scoop for room at the elbow ( do they have those for racing?)and made sure that the girth did not slip forward. And we did a little routine. I tacked him in the stall and as soon as the girth was on (not tight but snug enough to keep in place) i turned him in circles right and left to let it pull and shift. the firts few times that i did this he would scoot a little when things shifted, but after the thrid time he never did it again. after the circles i stretched both front legs out, then tightened again and re-did the circles. also i would rub under the girth with my hand in the tickly area until he stood still.
I did that for a week, basically desensitizing him in the girth area, i also rubbed vigorously with my hand under the girth.
It has been 2 years since then and you can tack him up, tighten the girth and get on - never another problem.

sorry for the ramble but your situation sounded just like my horse and everyone just said - oh he's just an idiot or being stupid.
as soon as we figured out what the problem was, he went back to his old self.
susan

AmandaandTuff
Feb. 9, 2008, 02:34 PM
My four year old is very girthy, but I suppose that came from an injury leaving a huge 4 inch scar running right about where the girth lies.

I saw a kid at a schooling show toss a saddle on his horse, tighten it as fast and tight as he could get it, and hop on. As soon as his butt hit the seat that horse started freaking out, bucking, rearing, lunging in every direction, and just fell over on top of the kid. Ended up the saddle was pinching a nerve in the horses back, and I had to run over with a pair of scissors to cut the cinch so the horse could get back up. Not a happy day for the kid or horse.

SleepyFox
Feb. 9, 2008, 04:16 PM
[QUOTE=doublete;2994677]Ok, regarding Equipoise. I don't know where this horse is, but in the mid atlantic area they are trying to pass a ban on steroids, so since late '07 officials have been urging horsemen to back off, and give the horses time to get clean, as it may soon be illegal to run on. QUOTE]

He's in La. so the possible ban isn't a concern. I'm just a PITA owner who likes to be involved in veterinary decisions - like the administration of steroids. Well, at least with his current behavior the trainer won't be bugging me about it any time soon. :lol:

Wow, the more I hear from you guys and the more I think about it, the more I think he's girthy and had a bad experience. It's a little alarming that the trainer doesn't seem to think it's anything more than studly attitude, though. I'm thinking I'm going to be glad I'm a PITA owner in this case. :lol:

I'm taking my helmet and stick with me, so if need be Mom will get on him and we'll have a "discussion." Assuming, of course, the trainer is okay with either an owner or the former trainer (non employees) getting on a horse. I'm not even going to ask unless it's really necessary.

Should be a fun morning. If you hear of some idiots leading a horse down I-49 out of the window of a car - you'll know we managed to pi$$ off the new trainer enough he kicked us AND the horse out of the barn. Maybe I should ask the old trainer to bring his trailer just in case... :lol::lol:

Acertainsmile
Feb. 10, 2008, 11:16 AM
Since I dont know what track your going to, I'm not sure the outrider will even let you on the track without an excersise riders license... just something to think about...

By the way, my trainer husband saw this thread..his response was to send him back to the original trainer... thats a man for you, LOL...

luvmytbs
Feb. 10, 2008, 02:28 PM
At Churchill an owner/trainer can ride their own horses, as long as they have the proper equipment. I know a few who do just that. ;)

Can't wait for the update. And hope it's all good. :cool:

x
Feb. 10, 2008, 04:10 PM
I've had a horse that would go down when saddled...i.e., when girthed up. Again, had a Chiro go over the horse and the problem was solved. It was pinching in his back when saddled...

Acertainsmile
Feb. 10, 2008, 05:58 PM
At Churchill an owner/trainer can ride their own horses, as long as they have the proper equipment. I know a few who do just that. ;)

Can't wait for the update. And hope it's all good. :cool:


I know a trainer can get on their own horses... not sure how that would spill over to someone with just an owners license though... never had to deal with that one.... and that is probably a GOOD thing... even though we've had a few I would have liked to give a leg up to! :winkgrin:

luvmytbs
Feb. 10, 2008, 07:05 PM
I know a trainer can get on their own horses... not sure how that would spill over to someone with just an owners license though... never had to deal with that one.... and that is probably a GOOD thing... even though we've had a few I would have liked to give a leg up to! :winkgrin:

I'll have to recheck on the owner thing; a couple of years ago, I was told it was o.k.

An old timer told me, years and years ago, they'd write a race here and there for owners; I guess it made for good entertainment. :D

doublete
Feb. 10, 2008, 10:13 PM
Each track is different, and some it helps to "double check" with the outrider, remembering that even if you are out there legally that person is the one that will save your butt. So if you make nice to them and get taken off with and into trouble, they're more likely to save your hide than look the other way.

Flypony
Feb. 12, 2008, 05:00 PM
Get your horse outta that barn ....today. If a horse isn't liked in a barn, you will not approve of the treatment they get. I had to fire a groom because of the t only takes one bad person to destroy your horse. Go get him.

doublete
Feb. 12, 2008, 05:03 PM
Agreed- remove your horse.

If the horse isn't liked and has that bad of a reputation things will not get better for him. And your trainer didn't have the "time" to be there in person? Alarms should go off there- he doesn't care much then.

Just remove your horse, put him somewhere that someone will be willing to treat him like a "baby" and take their time. (whether he needs it or not, always the best step to regain his trust).

Barnfairy
Feb. 12, 2008, 05:15 PM
I'll third that; get your horse out of there asap.

It may feel uncomfortable & awkward to do so now, but it will be a nightmare if you wait.

You are not overstepping your boundaries by checking up on your horse. It is ultimately your job as the owner to make the decisions in the best interest of your horse.

luvmytbs
Feb. 12, 2008, 05:24 PM
Please, please get him outta there a.s.a.p.

We just got a horse in at the farm, who has been deemed mean and dangerous. Supposedly put three people into the hospital in the past and has a bad reputation in general. No-one wanted to mess with him anymore.

He came in skinny, and the handler at the last farm he was at, was so afraid of him they left a halter on him, which has made a complete mess of the bridge of his nose.

He has been with us for a little over a month and he still has his moments, but he clearly trusts us now and is the most affectionate horse you can find, as long as he doesn't feel "threatened".

Having to fix someone else's mess takes a long time and patience; but it sounds like your horse still remembers how good he was treated by you and his prior trainer.

moonriverfarm
Feb. 12, 2008, 06:06 PM
I got a super fancy OTTB because he acted like this at the track. It was a career ender for him, but lo and behold, after two weeks of turnout at my farm his whole personality changed. He is now the nicest dressage horse ever!

doublete
Feb. 12, 2008, 06:27 PM
Unfortunately in this business male trainers hate to be proven wrong even more so than the average "male" ;)

Pat Ness
Feb. 12, 2008, 07:04 PM
Wow Sleepy Fox, thank you for this thread. It has been an eye opener.

solargal
Feb. 12, 2008, 08:49 PM
Get him out of there ASAP like everyone else said. There are a lot of "leading trainers" that have bad help and could care less about the horse. It is either fits the mold or it leaves. The fact that the horse was already that sour is a bad sign. The problem most likely wasn't the girth as much as the figure eight. Some horses won't tolerate them and will throw themselves. This guy could care less about your horse. RUN!

Sandbarhorse
Feb. 15, 2008, 01:33 PM
Sleepy, I know nothing about training racehorses or woning one. I have on OTTB and she was loved by her trainer, as near as I can tell. But, I'm going to post because I've seen similar things happen with some reining horses. Not every trainer works for every horse. Doesn't mean it's a bad trainer, bad program or a bad horse, just that they aren't a fit. If this second trainer is as well respected as you say, I'm sure he knows that too.

I do agree that you should get your horse out of there asap and I think it's good that you are so hands on with your horses. Thanks for sharing an interesting story.

Lora
Mar. 5, 2008, 02:46 PM
Any updates?

hipsdontlie
Mar. 5, 2008, 03:53 PM
to be honest i am surprised that the horse is still there if this behavior has continued. i had one who displayed some really strange behavior last yr and the chiropractor said his "axis" was out of place. i know many already suggested chiropractic work so am sure this is old news. i cant not imagine him continuing this behavior without hurting himslef. take him home and give him a break.

SleepyFox
Mar. 5, 2008, 04:25 PM
Any updates?

Actually, there is. :) And, a surprising one, too! I left the horse with the new trainer. :eek:

This is really surprising b/c in addition to complaining about the horse's behavior and being irriated about former trainer coming to the barn (despite having invited him), the new trainer was complaining that my horse wasn't fit and was saying he was going to have to back up on him completely. So.... I went for another visit on a day when the new trainer was sure to be there so we could talk in person. But, I was pretty sure I wanted to move the horse, so I found another trainer and the former trainer had a stall open just in case I needed it.

Anyway, I went there almost 100% certain that the new trainer was going to ask me to move my horse and even if he didn't, I would do it anyway. And, the visit started out badly. It's a big barn and not very friendly and my horse has earned a less than flattering nickname. But, to be honest, I was impressed despite myself. The trainer made EVERY change we suggested and they really took their time with my horse and it was clear that is their regular routine now. The horse behaved well, except for when they put the rider up he tried to take off and when another horse went bonkers on the wheel he set back a little until they turned it on again and then he was fine.

The trainer said he wants to continue working with him to solve the problems and no longer wants to geld him (despite me offering to). He also no longer thinks he needs to back up on him much. I was impressed that the trainer listened to us and made changes in his routine for one horse. I know he should do that, but it is rare for these guys with huge stables to customize things like that.

The horse seemed a lot more relaxed when I was there and I also have a friend who is local and checks on him regularly. He's said the horse is relaxing well and is back to being snuggly. So, I guess he's not miserable and I'm not getting the sense they are being rough with him anymore. Of course, after seeing me handling him like a big dog a few times, it's hard to argue that he's a killer. :lol:

I'm not sure why the trainer's attitude changed so dramatically, but he's definitely big enough and successful enough he doesn't need my horse, so it's not just him trying to keep the day money coming in. So, since the horse is happy, he wants him, and he's getting the job done I'm going to stick with him, at least for now. The former trainer and I had discussed returning the horse to him once he gets a race or two under his belt and I'm keeping that option open since I think he'd be happier on the farm, but we'll see.

This has been a lot more trouble than it should have been, but maybe one day I'll look back and laugh! :lol:

SleepyFox
Apr. 3, 2008, 06:26 PM
Well, we figured it out and it's not good. It turns out the horse has three stress fractures. The first thing I asked when he started giving trouble was "is he in pain?" and the response was "we've been over him carefully and no, he is fine - he just has a bad attitude." I had him picked up by another trainer today and that guy had him in the vet clinic for xrays within an hour of getting him. I don't know if the other trainer knew there was a problem and just ignored it or if his barn is just so big he really was unaware, but either way it's a shame it was missed. The horse will be coming home for turnout next week and in 6 mos. we'll re-evaluate.

And, yes, I feel terrible I didn't realize what was wrong and it kills me that he was punished for trying to tell us idiots he was in pain. The last time I saw him gallop, he looked short strided and I SHOULD have known what was wrong, but the trainer insisted he is just a horse with a bad way of going and I hadn't noticed it before. Maybe next time, I'll be more on top of things. (Of course, if I'm not careful, I'm going to turn into the type of pesky owner that is every trainer's nightmare! :lol:)

Timex
Apr. 3, 2008, 06:44 PM
well, i'm glad to hear that you've got the issue figured out, even if it is stress fractures. Sending good wishes to your boy! and who cares what type of owner you turn into? ;)

SEPowell
Apr. 3, 2008, 06:55 PM
You're a great owner! Good luck with this guy.

Laurierace
Apr. 3, 2008, 11:04 PM
Best of luck to you, I hope he heals quickly. For what its worth, I don't mind owners hanging around and asking questions. What I do hate is owners who don't listen to those answers. It doesn't sound like that is an issue with you so hopefully your trainer won't mind.

DickHertz
Apr. 3, 2008, 11:37 PM
akor, of course you have business posting here - your advice is very helpful, although I have to admit your story makes me nervous. I hope we don't get to that point!! :eek:

His current stall is the darkest stall he's ever been in. It's the first time he's had a horse behind him, too. He is great in the trailer, etc. though. A friend checked on him and said he was standing quietly in his stall, so he's not pacing or anything. I'm hoping the aggression toward other horses was just in response to a new environment and he'll calm down soon. No reports of more attacking today, so that's good!

He's switched trainers b/c he was at a private training center and we decided he'd get fit faster on the track. It was a mutually agreed-upon decision between me and the former trainer (who still trains for me). The former trainer is prepared to go get him, if need be. We'd been talking about bringing the horse back to the first trainer eventually, but 2 days is not exactly what I had in mind.:lol:

The former trainer, the former exercise rider and I are all going to the "parent-teacher conference" on Monday to try to get to the bottom of this. I'm very appreciative of the fact that I have a trainer willing to help out with a horse that is in another guy's barn. :yes:

Thanks for all the good suggestions!

Kind of off topic, but if you can find a nice training center, if it takes 2 more weeks to get your horse fit, you are going to be better off in the long run by keeping your horse off the backside of a racetrack. Do yourself a favor, find a trainer (or take him back to where he was) who isn't stabled - and stuck in his stall for 23 1/2 hours a day - on a racetrack.

SleepyFox
Apr. 4, 2008, 11:45 AM
Kind of off topic, but if you can find a nice training center, if it takes 2 more weeks to get your horse fit, you are going to be better off in the long run by keeping your horse off the backside of a racetrack. Do yourself a favor, find a trainer (or take him back to where he was) who isn't stabled - and stuck in his stall for 23 1/2 hours a day - on a racetrack.

Dick, if we had a facility like Fair Hill here, I'd be there in a hearbeat. But here, "private training center" is a nice way of saying "the farm with a track around the hayfield." Good for a fit, experienced horse, but not so good for a young horse that hasn't started. I think they really benefit from going to the track every day and galloping and just getting used to the commotion. Plus, I think it's very hard to get one fit on the the little backyard track with tight turns.

If you know of any nice TCs in south LA, let me know! :)

albertcusson334@yahoo.com
Apr. 13, 2008, 07:54 PM
please understand because your a leading trainer means only you run alot of horses and win races it doesn't say nothing about educating mentally and physcially young horses many trainers on the track don't and do not know how to do the first stages in this industry when they get to the track they are already to a certain point.

albertcusson334@yahoo.com
Apr. 13, 2008, 08:02 PM
check his teeth

Blkarab
Apr. 15, 2008, 07:09 PM
Hi there---

another crossover from the dressage group! :winkgrin:

Sleepyfox, here are some things to consider with your guy:

He sounds like a wonderful horse, that will have a bright future for him post-racing career. In order for him to stay safe and sane, I would definitely move him asap. Your former trainer has already agreed to take him back. He knows how to work this guy, he knows the personality and it sounds like he likes him overall, otherwise, he wouldn't offer to have you bring him back.

I just have an awful feeling about his current situation. The vibes are not good. You have already witnessed rough handling and an uncooperative attitude. I also think your gut is telling you the same.

Let us know how it all ends up. Good luck!

Blkarab
Apr. 15, 2008, 07:17 PM
Well, we figured it out and it's not good. It turns out the horse has three stress fractures. The first thing I asked when he started giving trouble was "is he in pain?" and the response was "we've been over him carefully and no, he is fine - he just has a bad attitude." I had him picked up by another trainer today and that guy had him in the vet clinic for xrays within an hour of getting him. I don't know if the other trainer knew there was a problem and just ignored it or if his barn is just so big he really was unaware, but either way it's a shame it was missed. The horse will be coming home for turnout next week and in 6 mos. we'll re-evaluate.

And, yes, I feel terrible I didn't realize what was wrong and it kills me that he was punished for trying to tell us idiots he was in pain. The last time I saw him gallop, he looked short strided and I SHOULD have known what was wrong, but the trainer insisted he is just a horse with a bad way of going and I hadn't noticed it before. Maybe next time, I'll be more on top of things. (Of course, if I'm not careful, I'm going to turn into the type of pesky owner that is every trainer's nightmare! :lol:)

I posted before I read this post....:uhoh:

I'm so sorry to hear that he has stress fractures. Poor boy!

I would never feel bad for being the pesky owner that is every trainer's nightmare! It has saved my mare plenty of grief in the past, and I sleep a lot better at night knowing how well cared for she is!

VirginiaBred
Apr. 15, 2008, 07:50 PM
So, did you bring him home to heal???

SleepyFox
Apr. 16, 2008, 12:08 PM
So, did you bring him home to heal???

Yes, he's home - bouncing off the walls and trying to kill himself on stall rest. It's lucky I like him. :lol:

He'll be on stall rest for 30 days and turned out for an additional 2 to 5 months. We're hoping to get him back for the Delta Downs meet this fall. But, worst case scenario, he'll just be my pony.

He's already feeling better - his shins are tighter and you can touch them now. Unfortunately, this means he's bouncing around more, too.

He's scheduled for a little "elective surgery of the altering kind" on Friday, so it's going to be a big couple of weeks for the little guy. No sense keeping him intact if we're not even sure if he'll hold up to training and we're trying to beat bad fly season.

As a funny aside: Another trainer I employ I called today and I've been having such bad luck, I dreaded to answer the phone. I was like "Hey.... what's wrong? Should I sit down?" He said "Don't be nervous, be crrrrrkkkk (static)." I said "Be what? Sobbing? Suicidal? What???!" He replies "No! Be crrrkkkk." Gah! :lol: He acutally had good news and was trying to tell me to be excited!! (Another horse worked really well.) :lol:

Isn't this supposed to be stress reliever???

monicabee
Apr. 16, 2008, 12:37 PM
So glad you figured it out before a stress fracture turned into something more catastrophic. With respect to sending them to the track or keeping them at a training facility/racing off the farm, here is a recent article from The Horse about the racetrack and ulcers.

http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=11638

Interesting that the radio playing in the barn was such a big factor - I do know one trainer at Saratoga played soothing nature tapes in her barn to block out some of the constant racket - the white noise theory.

Of course we all have to deal with the reality of the options in our area. At Belmont, turnout even in a roundpen was rare - and social contact with other horses - Fugghetaboutit. Lucky horses got some handgrazing. A few people trailer in for races, but generally horses training at other tracks, like Delaware or Finger Lakes.

Your point about the tight turns on the training tracks could outweigh any ulcer concerns.

Flypony
Apr. 16, 2008, 02:34 PM
please understand because your a leading trainer means only you run alot of horses and win races it doesn't say nothing about educating mentally and physcially young horses many trainers on the track don't and do not know how to do the first stages in this industry when they get to the track they are already to a certain point.Your not exactly right I have a 21% win average I sit 4th in the standing. My horses have the right education to go over and win the first time, Don't paint everyone with the same brush, my horses win, because they are prepared and fit. They also come out of a large barn and I handle every one of them myself at sometime in the day. I run the barn , my help, although capable do not.