PDA

View Full Version : Re-educating the 'bully'-ruined horse?



Eklecktika
Dec. 13, 2010, 12:14 PM
I have a 5 year old homebred Hann X. He's the last in a long line of colts that I have bred, broke, and ridden.

As a two year old, he was chased through a fence, and severed the auxiliary tendon in his hock-and was down for close to two years recuperating from that.

In the meantime, life happened, I got divorced, and so on, I was able to keep him through the generosity of a family member, and fast forward to last summer.

I didn't have time to break him-normally, I start my own horses, working under the premise of if you want it done right...that's what happens when you live in TMONW-there are few qualified trainers around.

Sent him off to a trainer that came highly recommended. I stayed in full contact-and was told Oh he's coming along wonderfully! I wasn't able to get up there to watch-his opening came at an unfortunate time for my work (mid harvest). I spoke to the trainer every three to four days (I'm the owner trainers hate, but THIS. IS. WHY!) Somewhere along the line, they got into a fight that caused the horse to pull back and charge into a panel gate, crushing a sinus. Needless to say, he came home immediately, and I found that he's been ruined. He bucks, rears, and generally bullies the rider. He isn't huge-but big enough-he's 16.3, but he's quite stout, and knows his strength.

He's got NO forward, NO turn, nothing. Normally, with a horse that wants to rear, I'd boot him forward when he stops, as they can't go UP when they're going forward, but he doesn't have ANY idea that leg pressure = forward. At this point, leg pressure = UP. He flexes nicely w/ long reins; gives to pressure on the ribs laterally.

He has a solid FORWARD in the round pen/on the lunge line via voice cue-he's respectful and responsive. Lovely transitions, and he's quite athletic. But, that knowledge doesn't transfer to u/s-he has no work ethic, and frankly, I'm at a loss.

I've tried to restart him from the ground up, and he'll let you mount with no problem. Ask him to walk off, and UP. Anytime he gets unsure, or unwilling, it's up, and as often as not, he comes down and with the added momentum, goes straight into a bucking spree. Anything that isn't his idea, turns into a blowup. And he can really buck.

When he blows up, I have, so far, been able to ride him through it, but its can't even find a good spot to quit-it continues to escalate and usually, I end up settling for two or three steps of forward on my terms without upward or something equally simple as a 'good time to quit'. It's not improved after a month of work, so I've quit riding him until I can find a better solution. I guess maybe I'm hoping for some been there-done that, advice or some suggestions of something else to try. I can handle a buck, but he's SO damn strong, it's just a matter of time before I have an off day, and can't stick him.

He's been adjusted chiropractically, he's holding, and Kim is of the opinion that not the issue.

Saddle fit is good. Fits him very well. He's on 24 hour turnout, and only grass hay.

There HAS to be a way around this. I refuse to believe that a horse can be too tough to break. But, I'm unsure which direction to go. Do I keep on 'keeping on', and hope that we'll have a breakthrough? I've not had a horse that was this tough, ever, and I'm second guessing myself a little bit. I have HAD buckers before, and they've always 'grown out of it', but Max-I just don't know.

Any thoughts, suggestions, advice? He's out of a good mare who has never, ever bucked under saddle, and I've never seen her rear, or even threaten, in the 16 years I've owner her, by a W line Hann son (http://www.onthebitfarm.com/windsor.htm) of Wendland.

goeslikestink
Dec. 13, 2010, 12:44 PM
I have a 5 year old homebred Hann X. He's the last in a long line of colts that I have bred, broke, and ridden.

As a two year old, he was chased through a fence, and severed the auxiliary tendon in his hock-and was down for close to two years recuperating from that.

In the meantime, life happened, I got divorced, and so on, I was able to keep him through the generosity of a family member, and fast forward to last summer.

I didn't have time to break him-normally, I start my own horses, working under the premise of if you want it done right...that's what happens when you live in TMONW-there are few qualified trainers around.

Sent him off to a trainer that came highly recommended. I stayed in full contact-and was told Oh he's coming along wonderfully! I wasn't able to get up there to watch-his opening came at an unfortunate time for my work (mid harvest). I spoke to the trainer every three to four days (I'm the owner trainers hate, but THIS. IS. WHY!) Somewhere along the line, they got into a fight that caused the horse to pull back and charge into a panel gate, crushing a sinus. Needless to say, he came home immediately, and I found that he's been ruined. He bucks, rears, and generally bullies the rider. He isn't huge-but big enough-he's 16.3, but he's quite stout, and knows his strength.

He's got NO forward, NO turn, nothing. Normally, with a horse that wants to rear, I'd boot him forward when he stops, as they can't go UP when they're going forward, but he doesn't have ANY idea that leg pressure = forward. At this point, leg pressure = UP. He flexes nicely w/ long reins; gives to pressure on the ribs laterally.

He has a solid FORWARD in the round pen/on the lunge line via voice cue-he's respectful and responsive. Lovely transitions, and he's quite athletic. But, that knowledge doesn't transfer to u/s-he has no work ethic, and frankly, I'm at a loss.

I've tried to restart him from the ground up, and he'll let you mount with no problem. Ask him to walk off, and UP. Anytime he gets unsure, or unwilling, it's up, and as often as not, he comes down and with the added momentum, goes straight into a bucking spree. Anything that isn't his idea, turns into a blowup. And he can really buck.

When he blows up, I have, so far, been able to ride him through it, but its can't even find a good spot to quit-it continues to escalate and usually, I end up settling for two or three steps of forward on my terms without upward or something equally simple as a 'good time to quit'. It's not improved after a month of work, so I've quit riding him until I can find a better solution. I guess maybe I'm hoping for some been there-done that, advice or some suggestions of something else to try. I can handle a buck, but he's SO damn strong, it's just a matter of time before I have an off day, and can't stick him.

He's been adjusted chiropractically, he's holding, and Kim is of the opinion that not the issue.

Saddle fit is good. Fits him very well. He's on 24 hour turnout, and only grass hay.

There HAS to be a way around this. I refuse to believe that a horse can be too tough to break. But, I'm unsure which direction to go. Do I keep on 'keeping on', and hope that we'll have a breakthrough? I've not had a horse that was this tough, ever, and I'm second guessing myself a little bit. I have HAD buckers before, and they've always 'grown out of it', but Max-I just don't know.

Any thoughts, suggestions, advice? He's out of a good mare who has never, ever bucked under saddle, and I've never seen her rear, or even threaten, in the 16 years I've owner her, by a W line Hann son (http://www.onthebitfarm.com/windsor.htm) of Wendland.

done plenty like him, obviously check the norm thats hes not in pain anywhere
ie teeth bridle saddle bit and no apparant injuries any soundness issues

then go back to basics
1st long rein him to death pardon the pun also re bit him
also before you do an work with him give time out to settle back into home life so he can re asscoaite the trust issue as sometimes its dwon to how they was treated so iam thinking go back a few steps as in
let him come to terms that hes safe again as often issues happen whereby the horse is on auto defensive peoeple often take it as agression but if hes been treated roughly and handled roughly then that the last thing that was planted in his mind so hes fearful of doing anything so you have re establish
that as mental abuse as that what i think has happened here takes longer to deal wit than any pysical abuseand hes had both so try and look at it diffrent way
you know the cuase of the problems so you sort it it takes time and patince but dont rush him and i will say this i have horses like this that have taken years to come round after a huge mistake such as his as all they remeber is pain
be firm and not nampy pamby to his problems and give him his set boundaries back in other words re start him as you would ababy that doesnt know anything at all

katarine
Dec. 13, 2010, 01:02 PM
I wonder what he'd think of just being started over, no rush, no pressure, such as just being ponied for a while, then being ponied with a rider on board, getting out into the world- reassociating 'ridden' with fun...and forward. Not up. Is that at all a possibility?

don't bypass GLS' statement here....i will say this i have horses like this that have taken years to come round after a huge mistake such as his as all they remeber is pain

There's many a horse out there who is brilliant but a bad start means when pressured and told they WILL do XYZ or they don't know what XYZ even means- they will go up, and they wil go over. All you can do is throw them away and ride it out, you can't even think about getting tight in your own mind. These are the horses that get 'disappeared' out of barns big and small. They couldn't take the program, they got fried, fried, fried.

baby baby tiny steps. Very best wishes with him. Is there anyone you trust to sit up there and not be bothered by the bucking?

Gads, what a sad mess. I'm very sorry.

coloredcowhorse
Dec. 13, 2010, 01:04 PM
Any possible way the crushed sinus is still bothering him in some way? Dental issues after having this injury? If that isn't a problem then I'd go back to simple basic stuff as if he were a new youngster with no real training/handling. Maybe a long period of not working at all but going for walks with him. Pony from another horse?

I've got a mare here that the previous owner couldn't catch (and I wouldn't have stood still for her to catch me either if I were the horse) so her SO roped her and choked her down. Little trust issue here....she's very slowly coming around (blatant bribery with carrots has helped but I also don't allow anyone else to work with her at this point). Second mare that came with her was the same way but was sick on arrival (nearly died on me!) so got more confinement, handling, treatment and has pretty much come along nicely....will be starting ground work with tack by mid summer on her. On first mare, building more pens so she's more confined instead of being on 20 acre field...once caught she's not bad so this is the goal for spring with her.

ACP
Dec. 13, 2010, 01:14 PM
Oh boy. I assume that you feel responsible for him, and that he is nice enough you want to save him, so I won't tell you to get rid of him. Which would be safer.

I second or third the idea of a rest period, then a restart that goes slowly. Lots of pats and back scratches and hand grazing type things.

If he is good on the lunge line, add some weight to the saddle so he can become accustomed to carrying weight. Then, after he's adjusted to that, maybe have someone lunge you on him? You would just sit and be a total passenger, let the person who is lunging get him to move. No leg on him at all. You use a voice command just before the lunger (Is that a word?) does. Then, once he is okay with that, a tiny little bit of a suggestion of a hint of a leg. And once he is okay with that, a bit more.

I wish you luck.

Nojacketrequired
Dec. 13, 2010, 01:25 PM
I recall a few horses coming in to my trainers like this.
They re-did all the ground work and when all that was going well, they re-did all the pre-mounting work. The owner of one kept telling them that he "knew" all this and that this part wasn't the problem, but my trainer just said he'd do this training at his own pace or not at all, and the owner pretty much shut up for the duration.
Eventually, it got to where the rider was mounted and asked for forward and the horse started what yours seems to do. He had no forward. Everything but.
At that point the trainer told the owner that the horse was giving them grief because he no longer knew the right answer to the question being asked.

Whether he had GIVEN the right answer with the earlier trainer (Go forward) and been somehow punished for it or had just never made the connection between "I ask for you to go forward and things are pleasant..", the horse just didn't know the answer yet. He said some horses just don't KNOW there even IS another answer until you practically hit them over the head with it. (Figuratively speaking, of course.)
He thought that ALL these other things he pulled out of his bag of tricks MIGHT be the answer, and if they weren't he just became more and more frustrated and shut down.
If memory serves, as I wasn't there for every lesson, there was always someone on the ground with a longe whip to re-inforce the riders request IMMEDIATELY for forward, for the first little while. Keeping in mind the riders and trainers are professionals who know what they are doing with this and have the timing down to a science. The longe whip never becomes a punishment, but only re-inforces the riders aids (legs, weight, voice, whip), for forward. Eventually, replaced by just a grounds person nearby, eventually replaced by just the rider able to keep the horse forward because that is the easiest thing to do for the horse and becomes the "right" answer.

I also recall my trainer cautioning the owner when she began to ride him under his supervision that she woud likely have a few very good "honeymoon" rides on him and then he would try the "You and what army" approach on her just to see if she really was with the programme, so she had to always be ready. That gave me the impression that while a good trainer can fix it, the average Ammy may have to be on their toes most of the time, with that horse.

NJR

PS..editted to add that any difficult horse comng in HAS to be seen by trainers vet at owners expense, even if owner has already done the same tests etc. They've uncovered somethings that were the root of the problem right off the bat that way.

Eklecktika
Dec. 13, 2010, 01:55 PM
Ugh. Thanks for the help.

Unfortunately, I'm really the only one I trust-I don't know anyone that's a)willing or b)capable of climbing on him.

Ponying him is a good idea...my biggest concern is having him blow up WHILE being ponied...lack of good control...but doable, I think. I don't dare ride him on a lunge-yet-maybe eventually.

I've considered ponying him until he's pooped-maybe down into the canyon and back, and THEN getting on him-not entirely unlike making the runaway keep going? I hate to do that, it feels like cheating, but on the other hand, he's big and strong, and knows it, and I have to stack the deck in my favor.

I can't get rid of him, short of euth or slaughter (which I won't do, he's too tall to ride a cattle truck) as he's a grade gelding with a bad scar and an unrideable attitude-who'd want him? Putting him down is an option but I want to be sure I've exhausted my capability before going that route.

This (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=202747&l=fe7c245c7c&id=1500101509) is Max-two years ago. He's filled out since then. Maybe I'll kick him out and leave him over the winter and try again come spring. :-/ He really does have a nice neck, though in that pic, it looks about this -> <- long.

Katarine-that's probably the best idea, if I can find someone to pony him-I'll have to be the one on him, in the event he goes bananas.

GLS-he's awesome one the ground-long reins, longe, round pen, you name it. He's soft, responsive, etc. But once you're on his back, it's a bloody fistfight.

CCH-he was this way before the crushed sinus, even. Trainer told me oh, things are great, he's coming along, once in a while he'd say oh, we had a tough day, blahblahblah; BUT Mrs. Trainer told me when I picked him up-He's crazy. He's bucked and reared and J can't do ANYTHING with him. She sent me some pics of him later...he was mostly bucking. In ONE he was standing still. Trainer was gone when I picked him up.

[whine]It's so disappointing. I researched studs for upwards of 5 years to find what I thought was the best match for the mare...AQHA, TB, every variety of sporthorse, you name it. I wanted to replace her with my 'dreamhorse' and now he's a certifiable Alpo case and It. Just. Sucks.
[\end whine.]

Here's a question: He was carried 370 days (IOW mare ovulated 6/2/04, foaled 6/5/05) and was considered dysmature by the vet-he was tiny-maybe 40 pounds?, velvety coat, weak and impacted. I had to nurse him along for the first 5-7 days-milk and tube, etc. Could that have affected his mental state? I know nothing about dysmature horses, can't find any real info on dysmature foals and later use.

I dunno.

Eklecktika
Dec. 13, 2010, 02:06 PM
Eventually, it got to where the rider was mounted and asked for forward and the horse started what yours seems to do. He had no forward. Everything but.
At that point the trainer told the owner that the horse was giving them grief because he no longer knew the right answer to the question being asked.
Sounds like Max. The 'You and What Army?" is EXACTLY it. Exactly.

This
there was always someone on the ground with a longe whip to re-inforce the riders request IMMEDIATELY for forward, is a gem. This may be the key-maybe combining the longe idea with this is the key.

Would you PM me with your trainers name? It might be worth looking into sending him off if he's willing, or if he knows someone better - I have NO problem identifying when I'm out of my league-and this is knocking on the top rung my ability. I can ride problem horses-IF the basics are there, and I've had horses that would give you six months of honeymoon and then KAPOW!-so that part doesn't worry me, assuming he's going to have the talent.

There's some good suggestions here...thank you.

ACMEeventing
Dec. 13, 2010, 02:31 PM
No suggestion, just encouragement. So sorry for what you're going through, seen it once and it wasn't pretty. Unfortunate too, because the colt in question was FANCY with a capital F.

Don't know you, don't know your horse, but remember that your safety is top priority. Fingers crossed for you, keep us posted.

narcisco
Dec. 13, 2010, 02:34 PM
I've seen this happen a few times, and it's pretty aberrant and really scary.

Sometimes the horse will go through the whole pre-mounting stage quite well, the longeing, sacking out, etc. And sometimes they'll even get to the adding weight scenario, when you lay over his back.

But it is the first step they take with the rider's weight that is the most important step of their lives. Sometimes, feeling that extra weight on their back and taking that first step forward throws them so far out of balance, mentally and physically, that they explode. It is the most dangerous moment starting young horses. If they explode and the rider comes off, they've learned a very dangerous lesson.

It sounds like he got his rider off when he was asked to move with a rider. He learned he does not have to move forward with the weight on his back.

So, yes, ruling out physical issues is key. Desensitizing him, starting him over, sacking him out, long lining, trying to find out the point where his button is pushed, all key. If you can translate his longeing skills to longeing with a rider, having someone there to back you up with a whip might help, or might escalate the procedure. It will take a year. I'm worried that it hasn't improved in a month.

There are, very rarely, horses of indomitable will who have chosen never to be ridden. They are called rogues. Keep in mind the trainer did not totally cause all of this. The horse made some bad choices on his own. Does that make sense? I once started a horse, did every step of the training from weanling to three myself, the way I'd done hundreds. There was no trauma, no major mistakes. The fourth time carrying a rider, he decided he had enough. He exploded. I was leading him, he ran me over, and ditched the rider. We started him over and he was good, up until the point someone thought about putting weight on him again. He will buck until he falls down. He does not want to be ridden.

Be very careful, evaluate every reaction, and look for signs of progress. If there is progress, go slowly forward from there.

mzm farm
Dec. 13, 2010, 02:47 PM
The term of pregnancy is not a problem. If there was hypoxia, that may have affected him, but I seriously doubt it in this case.

He may be a sensitive, smart horse that was started in a bad way.

Here is what would make sense to me as far as re-starting him.

First establish trust, respect, and obedience on the ground in hand. Walk, stop, turn, walk over stuff, have stuff on him ( like a blanket on his rump that is long and drags on the ground behind him), you drag stuff - barrel, noisy chair, etc. You want him to know that scary stuff is controlled by you, his job is to listen to you and you will take care of the rest. The in-hand work is not sloppy, but NOT tense-military style. He makes a mistake - put him where he belongs, with as much force as you need and not a half-ounce more then that. If you need to use a chain over his nose to make things clear and doable, then do so, but use more of the pressure and slow tugging vs. the snapping prolonged "correction". If he is an obedient guy, take him with you if you can while doing chores - horses get bored even when turned out in groups with food and plenty of space. Hanging out with you and doing different things may be a good way to bond him to you, establish trust and obedience.

One horse of mine that had a bad start in life and was jittery got to go with me as I cleaned stalls - she had to stand outside the stall while I cleaned, get out of the way as I turned the wheelbarrow around, proceed to the next one, repeat. Somehow, that made her more confident and I think she figured out I was predictable, not extreme in my reactions, and there was a different but comforting routine to the exercise.

Then teach him to be quiet and confident in lunging and ponying. Lunging is not to exhaustion, but watch him for subtle signs of paying attention to you and listening, not tuning out - one thing you can watch for is the ears - are they on you or anywhere, but you? Head/body carriage - should be relaxed and natural, whatever he is built for. Voice commands and body cues - he needs to LISTEN to you, most horses are very sensitive and can pick up on body position meaning something easily, I can not explain what they are here. Introduce bit and bit pressure slowly - first just the bridle on, then LOOSE side reins, shortening them only slightly when the horse tells you he has accepted, relaxed, and figured out how to move in the previous level of "confinement".

Ponying- YOU on another horse, NO one on him at first. He should get used to the human being "above" him (literally, your head higher then his) and moving while you are up there. Keep using the voice commands you established on the lungline/in-hand work. It should give him confidence and teach him to move.

Of course all work it to be accomplished without then with tack until he says he get it and RELAXES, ie is confident in what he is doing.

Then you teach him to stand next to mounting block, get on and make it nice - if he is good with treats, give him some earned treats/pats whatever he likes. DO NOT use your legs to ask for forward. Use your voice and pull him slowly to the side until he is unbalanced and takes a step - if it is peaceful and he then stops on his own, praise him. Get off, repeat.
Some horses are very unsure/afraid to move with a person on them.

Hopefully you have someone that can help you - lunge you while you are up there and have reins or pony you. Ask for forward in a way he has been trained by YOU, if he has a very bad association with use of leg, perhaps you will have to teach him to go off whip cues. Quit before he is mentally or physically tired out. Use of leg - when you proceed to use of leg - do not escalate your cues rapidly. NO squeeze, thump, wallop with your legs. Instead, use mild vibration/tickle with your legs along with voice cue and hopefully back up on the ground.

I generally find that if a horse LIKES being around humans (well, me in this case) and has a good level of trust, respect and confidence, they are in less of a hurry to unload me when in doubt.

Oh, not sure if this can be of use to you, but I had ridden a very balky horse as a teenager and if urged forward in ANY way she would plant herself and not move - no matter what, whips, spurs, lunge whips, pulling on her head. I ended up sitting on her for 4hrs one day before completing a 1/2 loop of trail. Anytime she planted herself, I asked with my voice for her to go on, then I just sat there until she decided to go on - asked again as I felt her move off and on we went. I made it clear that going or not was her deal, but we were only going my direction. In a course of a few weeks she got the point and would move willingly on the trail, she learned to listen to voice and even a gentle squeeze with legs, however if her rider got too strong with the legs she would just stop and plant herself - did not matter if she was alone or in a group and everyone else left.

Perhaps if you get on your horse and just sit there, he would figure to move without bucking? I am guessing you have tried that and it did not work? He really sounds like he is scared and unwilling to have you up there, whether it is pain or behavior is hard to tell on the screen.

He does not sound evil or hopeless from your post.
As much as I understand your attachment to this horse, they are not all worth it. No horse is worth your life, IMO.

There, now that you read my novel, I hope whatever you decide goes well. Keep us posted.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 13, 2010, 02:54 PM
Started a youngster that did the buck/ rear combination. Very athletic maneuver! His middle name was 'NO." Just his temperament, I think because the dam was skittish and he dominated her from the start. Became quite a brat.

In any event, I won over his heart and mind (to a degree) with very well timed food rewards. Took forever to get him to look forward to his schooling sessions. On his days off, I would ignore him, so he got to craving the attention and being a good boy to get it.

The buck/rear combination could not be stopped by asking for forward. Energy in resulted in double energy right back at you (like judo.) What I had to do was learn to read him so that when he was going to go up, I cranked his head to one side slightly tipping him off balance and turning him in a tight circle. After I did that a few times, the rear was gone, except in a situation where there was genuine fear, and he went up so quickly he caught me off guard.

If you are dealing with genuine fear situations, the horse may not get over this. I have re-trained some racehorses with starting gate injuries and they seemed to have PTSD or flashbacks that were triggered in certain circumstances, and I could not desensitize them. (one mare it was "wheels" believe it or not, anything with wheels, like a bicycle, would send her into a panic attack.) I did not understand this reaction, until I read Temple Grandin and she describes this phenomenon well in her first book.

Good luck!

buck22
Dec. 13, 2010, 02:58 PM
when I first got my younger gelding, he had been completely and thoroughly mishandled in every possible way by his previous owners. Though not as quite violent as you describe yours, he had a 100% buckoff rate in his former life, and was a feral beast on the ground. If asked to walk with a rider he would/could buck from a standstill, or just take off bucking if that suited him, throw himself into in to the closest fence or tree, and even once in a spectacular fit threw himself down to the ground thrashing, with me in the saddle:lol:.

He had zero, zero "try", absolutely no desire to do anything asked of him. None. When I first got him he just wanted to be left alone. And fed. :lol:

I tried a lot of things, including getting very firm which just made things worse. What worked in the end (sort of, and I'll explain why at the end) was first getting a really good rapport on the ground.... I hate to say the P word, and not his actual methods (I despise P Inc.!), but having "fun" like that, free longing over things, working in hand, taking long walks together in the woods, doing chores together like moving logs, etc, etc. I set up a situation where we were not so much schooling but working together towards small unique creative goals, where we had to be partners to accomplish the task. There was never any punishment, never any need to fear, no harsh words or harsh handling. I then slowly worked riding in.

My horse is quite clever, and learned with his previous owners the fine art of balking. After I had established with him how we were to work together, what he could expect of me, and I was consistent for him, he stopped reacting so violently (fearfully, self preservation), but he still didn't trust to bear a rider, so he would balk.

That was supremely frustrating for me, so again I got creative. He was very barn sour, so I would hand walk him a few paces away from the barn, mount, then ride him the few paces back in the direction he wanted to go anyhow, dismount and praise. Short n sweet. Little by little that turned into 50' down the driveway, or 100 yards down the trail. With in a few months we could take short (nailbiting though, he was a spook and a half!) trail rides together on familiar trails we'd walked before.

He was completely ring sour, and though kind enough not to take off bucking anymore, he would kick or threaten to buck if I used my legs at his sides to ask him to walk off. He would just stand and pout and refuse to move. Lunge like a dream, but plant his feet with a rider aboard.

Frustrated but summoning all of my patience, I decided to wait him out calmly and supportively, for him to decide when it was ok. I waited nearly 45 min the first time, literally read a magazine and drank coffee while I sat on his back before he was convinced I wasn't going to spank him or kick him. Once we got a few steps, we built from there, and a few weeks later I was jumping small courses with him.

Now, having said all of this, my horse never became trustworthy under saddle, the 3.5 years I've owned him now. Though finally good natured not to bronc all the time, it was always lurking. I had him vetted six way to tuesday, never found anything. Anecdotally, he had ulcers, and treating them went a long way to having a happier camper, but he never was consistently joyful about being ridden or asked to work. Finally, I had his back xrayed and we found fractures in his withers. He had flipped more than once with his previous owners, so I'm assuming he's been in pain for most of his life.

If your horse is happy and agreeable on the ground, willing and confident, I would seriously rule out pain because its entirely possible. My horse appears sound as a dollar, and I had to beg my vet to xray him, she thought I was insane claiming there was something wrong with him.

If he's not happy and agreeable and entirely willing and confident on the ground, I would get him so in whatever manner serves you both best before attempting ridden work. Perhaps clicker training might be a real option. And once he is going nicely and starts to show an interest and desire to please - just a hint of ethic - I would begin with just mounting, sitting, dismounting, and then progressing, likely leadline to start, and build from there.

Because of my horse's back problems, he's now retired from riding permanently and I'm working on driving him. Which (touch wood) he is taking too like a duck to water and is proving to have a tremendous amount of try and desire to work and please. Though I would not call him a generous horse, its far beyond my wildest dreams for 'him'.

The trick with my boy is always being supportive, never punishing, never angry.... firm if needed, but always soothing, no harsh words or raised voice, and no punishment for doing wrong, just "thats not what I asked for, take a fresh start and try again". And being consistent and predictable, its very important to my horse that he knows precisely where the boundary lines are.

just my 2¢, hope there is something in there that sparks an idea for you. good luck, its not easy.

and please, don't get hurt.

dalpal
Dec. 13, 2010, 03:21 PM
I had this horse (well, his mare twin) about 3 or 4 years ago.

I bought her as an "advertised" unbroke/untouched four year old.

She was fine as long as you had loose contact, but at times she would just stop and rear.

Thinking it was simply a training issue (her past started leaking out through the grapevine...she wasn't untouched, she had apparently flipped while the previous owner was indeed trying to break her to saddle...gotta love people's honesty). Sent her to the man in the area that everyone sent their tough cases to.....he got her going and when I went down to ride her at his place, she was as good as gold.

I thought the problem was solved. After three months, I brought her back home. First night I rode her, all was going great, went into the corner and bam, she stood straight up with me..I popped her to go forward and she went up even higher. I got off....I am by no means a professional and this was beyond my level. My husband was frustrated because now I had just rewarded the bad behavior, but she was not going forward and that was that.

That's when I met Eqtrainer on the board, who came out and looked at her for me. She felt like there was so major physical issues going on..especially in her neck...which made sense, as long as you rode her with very little contact, she was fine....take up on the reins and she was ready to duke it out with you.

I ended up giving her away to a member on this board, who did get her going..but I think they treated her for many things including Lymes disease. You can PM me if you want to know who I gave her to...because that person could probably give you even more insite to what they did to restart this horse...

Last I heard she was off in the Jumper ring. She was also a W line horse crossed with a Quarter Horse...nicest damn horse I had ever had the pleasure of owning....she was built for dressage, but something just was not right.

I would want a full check up done on your boy, not just a chiro, just to rule things out physically. I would want a blood panel pulled, eyesight checked, xrays of the neck/spine and have the crushed sinus evaluated.

goeslikestink
Dec. 13, 2010, 03:28 PM
Ugh. Thanks for the help.

Unfortunately, I'm really the only one I trust-I don't know anyone that's a)willing or b)capable of climbing on him.

Ponying him is a good idea...my biggest concern is having him blow up WHILE being ponied...lack of good control...but doable, I think. I don't dare ride him on a lunge-yet-maybe eventually.

I've considered ponying him until he's pooped-maybe down into the canyon and back, and THEN getting on him-not entirely unlike making the runaway keep going? I hate to do that, it feels like cheating, but on the other hand, he's big and strong, and knows it, and I have to stack the deck in my favor.

I can't get rid of him, short of euth or slaughter (which I won't do, he's too tall to ride a cattle truck) as he's a grade gelding with a bad scar and an unrideable attitude-who'd want him? Putting him down is an option but I want to be sure I've exhausted my capability before going that route.

This (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=202747&l=fe7c245c7c&id=1500101509) is Max-two years ago. He's filled out since then. Maybe I'll kick him out and leave him over the winter and try again come spring. :-/ He really does have a nice neck, though in that pic, it looks about this -> <- long.

Katarine-that's probably the best idea, if I can find someone to pony him-I'll have to be the one on him, in the event he goes bananas.

GLS-he's awesome one the ground-long reins, longe, round pen, you name it. He's soft, responsive, etc. But once you're on his back, it's a bloody fistfight.

CCH-he was this way before the crushed sinus, even. Trainer told me oh, things are great, he's coming along, once in a while he'd say oh, we had a tough day, blahblahblah; BUT Mrs. Trainer told me when I picked him up-He's crazy. He's bucked and reared and J can't do ANYTHING with him. She sent me some pics of him later...he was mostly bucking. In ONE he was standing still. Trainer was gone when I picked him up.

[whine]It's so disappointing. I researched studs for upwards of 5 years to find what I thought was the best match for the mare...AQHA, TB, every variety of sporthorse, you name it. I wanted to replace her with my 'dreamhorse' and now he's a certifiable Alpo case and It. Just. Sucks.
[\end whine.]

Here's a question: He was carried 370 days (IOW mare ovulated 6/2/04, foaled 6/5/05) and was considered dysmature by the vet-he was tiny-maybe 40 pounds?, velvety coat, weak and impacted. I had to nurse him along for the first 5-7 days-milk and tube, etc. Could that have affected his mental state? I know nothing about dysmature horses, can't find any real info on dysmature foals and later use.

I dunno.

this is good, re read the above ok, and pin point what hes good at like long reining

why- its work and ita place to start him with something he knows well
and long rein him for yonks, and phrase him well, then start of with say 20mins building up to an hour

then put him to bed meaning either put him in his stable with hay as reward or put him out in the field with hay as a reward and let him sleep on it, next time out he will be better, also if your leading him outside or even long rein him outside it keeps mind focused and more relaxed so less likely to throw a fit

but gain bring him back to his bed , and let him sleep on it , its going to take time and ahuge amount of patience but he will come right the other thing is always go out with some one or when your trianing him dont do it all on your own, be safe and be in control

the thing that hasnt change is your rountine - meaning use that as a tool as horses love rountines

Eklecktika
Dec. 13, 2010, 03:35 PM
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1079986288784&set=a.1128947912794.19545.1500101509 This is what we're dealing with-and this pic is two years old. He's filled out since.

Since I KNOW I'm barnblind when it comes to him-Honest opinions, for whatever you can give me without seeing him move. Is he worth fighting for?

Or, should I call it a game and save my $$$ to buy a replacement? I have an OTTB that I'm schooling for resale as well to 'move up' my game.

He takes contact fine-from the ground, side reins, you name it, and we've done the full meal deal at the vets-lyme isn't really around here, sinus has been checked out, teeth, back.

What should I check bloodwise, besides Lyme?

dalpal
Dec. 13, 2010, 03:41 PM
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1079986288784&set=a.1128947912794.19545.1500101509 This is what we're dealing with-and this pic is two years old. He's filled out since.

Since I KNOW I'm barnblind when it comes to him-Honest opinions, for whatever you can give me without seeing him move. Is he worth fighting for?

Or, should I call it a game and save my $$$ to buy a replacement? I have an OTTB that I'm schooling for resale as well to 'move up' my game.

He takes contact fine-from the ground, side reins, you name it, and we've done the full meal deal at the vets-lyme isn't really around here, sinus has been checked out, teeth, back.

What should I check bloodwise, besides Lyme?
any xray work? I would want to rule out things like kissing spine.

Eklecktika
Dec. 13, 2010, 03:59 PM
any xray work? I would want to rule out things like kissing spine. Nope...might have to grit my teeth and do it, though.

Found this (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=133139&page=2) after searching COTH for KS;

He palpates negative for back pain from withers to SI-moves evenly L/R, but it could still be an issue. I'll call Dr R and see what we can do as soon as the roads clear enough to be able to haul.

Anyone know if W-line has a propensity towards KS? Google hasn't really revealed much.

dalpal
Dec. 13, 2010, 04:08 PM
Nope...might have to grit my teeth and do it, though.

Found this (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=133139&page=2) after searching COTH for KS;

He palpates negative for back pain from withers to SI-moves evenly L/R, but it could still be an issue. I'll call Dr R and see what we can do as soon as the roads clear enough to be able to haul.

Anyone know if W-line has a propensity towards KS? Google hasn't really revealed much.

I dunno....but the fact that he only resents contact when you are on his back does makes me at least suspicious of it or something in his back.

We had a Dutch Stallion at a barn I was at.....he had mysteriously lameness issues with his back....I can't remember exactly what it was, but it was one of the big vets out of KY that finally fixed the horse.....it was some sort of deep seated tissue knotting that no one else could find. Once this vet worked on the horse for a few weeks...horse went sound.

ACP
Dec. 13, 2010, 04:39 PM
It could also be innate to his personality. I don't want to sound negative, but he could just be a sh!t. What sort of disposition did the sire and dam have?

goeslikestink
Dec. 13, 2010, 04:41 PM
I dunno....but the fact that he only resents contact when you are on his back does makes me at least suspicious of it or something in his back.

We had a Dutch Stallion at a barn I was at.....he had mysteriously lameness issues with his back....I can't remember exactly what it was, but it was one of the big vets out of KY that finally fixed the horse.....it was some sort of deep seated tissue knotting that no one else could find. Once this vet worked on the horse for a few weeks...horse went sound.

can be but also if the horse was ridden in any old tack it will have the same effect likewise with a bit and bridle that isnt fitted properly
a horse should hvae a made to masured saddle which fits the rider and the horse or they get the saddle fitter in with a vareity of saddles and designs then fit the horse and rider to them so it cna be adjusted if nessacary but if a horse was ridden in bad tack or broken tack then it will have back pain issues and some are permenant and therfore cannot be fixed

the other weird thing which if all else has ben covered is abrian tumour
as i have had a horse with one of those and they act in the same manner as op said the attiuttude changes from day to day and inst consitent as the horse doesnt think or know what hes doing, they also stare gate and most bods cant afford to have the whole examined to find out what wrong but pulling a blood test will answer some quiries as a brian tumour the blod cells change that i do know as i did that and they came back very abnormal and

since i also bred this horse like the woner op i knew him well, and his mother died of a rare cancer which attacked her body it didnt show up on him till he 17 and altho the same rare cancer didnt attack him in the same way as his mum, but attacked him in his head so altho i had both horses with his actions were far worse than hers she was never naughty but he was and to be honest i tought he was being a plum until that is i realsied he wasnt
and i was in complete denignal and kept hiding the fact that there was something wrong and he would be alright in the end i didnt have a choice

off the matter as he went down in stable and couldnt get agian wasnt alying down but sitting up and just didnt have energy to get up and neighed softly
to me as his stable manners were execellent it was ridden manners that were awful , so i had him put sleep after the vet had been and confirmed the blood test results - and i had a pm done and it confirmed it all

at the time i rung my best mate for support and asked her if iwas doing the right thing by having put to sleep as shes knows how knowledgeable iam she said if its in your gut then do it, let him go with dignity i did
he like said had a rare cancer and both him and his mother are in the royal vets college for research into finding a cure for the dreded decease and like the vets said find it comforting to know that your horses might help find the way his mum died at 22 he died at 17

i dont want to scare you but sometimes we have to really look at whats going on with the horse and do right by him and that is what both my old horses did for me the thing i learnt via them is pain cant be measured in a tea cup, and animals have a way of hiding it well, so can come as behavour issues which can range from anything to nothing

some times we have to look further than our noses

Alinera2
Dec. 13, 2010, 04:41 PM
Pretty much what Dalpal said. Had a trainer friend start a mutual friend's horse. Horse was lovely loose, longed & long-lined like a dream, but was politely stated uncooperative when ridden at more than a loose reined walk. They tried a million different things all with the same result until the horse bolted out of the arena & slipped on the concrete aisle winding up half in my mares stall (with me & the mare just walking into it so the door was open -- not a particularly safe moment I can assure you). Anyway long story short the owner went to a lameness vet (not the local GP-type vet) & either got back x-rays or did a scintigraphy & there was something significant in the back that caused significant pain when weight was in the saddle. Poor horse became a pasture ornament at 3+ years old. The good news is that no one tried to ride him again.

Hopefully your story will end up much happier but it might be wise to rule out back issues.

Ramener77
Dec. 13, 2010, 04:44 PM
Have you heard about the dummy rider Monty Roberts made to work horses like yours in the round pen ? Very cool idea...look it up on youtube...if I find it I will post for you.It just may work for you.:yes:

Eklecktika
Dec. 13, 2010, 05:13 PM
It could also be innate to his personality. I don't want to sound negative, but he could just be a sh!t. What sort of disposition did the sire and dam have?

Mare is good: Excitable, and CAN be difficult to manage because of that, BUT-she is always willing and has never bucked under saddle, and NEVER reared. Ever. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body, though she WILL dance around and ignore you unless you establish yourself as Boss Horse. She's athletic as hell, and when you get her focused, she's a gem. Her worst misbehavior-and we've had some GOOD excuses in our time-is to swing back and forth and whinny-pretty darned minor. Twice she cantered sideways, but that was extreme circumstances-parades with a steam tractor behind and a marching band in front, downtown.

Stud: Reputed to be well mannered by all references-owner, vet, farrier. Sire is a son of Wendland.

I'm skeptical that there is a pathological issue-outside of perhaps the KS-as he is sound in the pasture, and displays an impressive range of athletic, gymnastic, aerial movements. Bucks/rears, jumps (voluntarily down a bank that is taller than I am, and I'm 5' 6"!), runs up and down hills (and these are steeeeep hills-outside of Peck on the side of a river canyon) and is/has always been stable mentally. He's a puppy dog on the ground-loose lead, not spooky, interested, but not flighty/nervous. Has never needed a chain, even as a snotnosed kid, has always been respectful of body space, good with feet/teeth, loads easily, hauls well, good with dogs, a spooky object will make him drop and start, but not bolt.

BUT, come spring, we'll haul him down off the hill and do a thorough workup on him. :confused:

Thanks for all the help/suggestions/ideas/sympathy.

sadlmakr
Dec. 13, 2010, 06:25 PM
It sounds like he figured out that he has the upper hand and there is nothing you can do about it.
He is the boss and he will do what ever he wants to and if you get in the way he will rear, buck and do what ever he has to, to get you off.
He is a bully. He needs a "cowboy trainer who will clean his clock.
I had a Quarter Horse mare like this and we had several battles for dominance. She cut loose bucking one day and I lost balance and came down hard on the left stirrup. She lost balance and went down on her side.
I was lots younger then and was very agile and just stepped aside. I put my foot on her neck and held her neck down. She could not get up because she could not lift her head. I told her what happens to horses that buck and if she did this again I would make sure her new home would be an Alpo can. She began to get frantic and I let her up. I took her to the barn and unsaddled her and turned her out. The next day she had a different attitude.
I saddled her and walked her quietly around the arena. No rebellion. No bucking. No backing. We had a good 15 minutes at a walk and I put her up.
This horse sounds like he has it all figured out. He needs a man who will not take this kind of krap off him.
He obviously has no respect for you.
The horse has to have respect for his rider. I do not advocate abuse. But the best way to demand that respect is to put them down on their side and hold them there. They are vulnerable on their side on the ground. It does a psycological job on their mind when they realize you have the power to lay them out on the ground and not let them up until you want them up.
I have seen some really bold and brazen horses come down to nice pets after having their feet taken away from them and end up on the ground.
It is something that needs to be done by a qualified trainer who understands when it is enough and when to let them up.
I am too old for this kind of work now but I have seen it work.
I am sorry to hear about you having this happen, but it sounds like a spoiled teenager who needs some tough love.
I wish you the best with this situation.
Kindest regards, sadlmakr

carolprudm
Dec. 13, 2010, 06:30 PM
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1079986288784&set=a.1128947912794.19545.1500101509 This is what we're dealing with-and this pic is two years old. He's filled out since.

Since I KNOW I'm barnblind when it comes to him-Honest opinions, for whatever you can give me without seeing him move. Is he worth fighting for?


Honestly, I would unload him.

Can you handle a serious injury to yourself?

And yes, I know injuries can happen anywhere. My worst one happened in the GARAGE. But there are risks, RISKS being around horses and really BIG RISKS

Eklecktika
Dec. 13, 2010, 07:20 PM
Honestly, I would unload him.

Can you handle a serious injury to yourself?

And yes, I know injuries can happen anywhere. My worst one happened in the GARAGE. But there are risks, RISKS being around horses and really BIG RISKS

Honest opinions are good.

That's the opinion of my mom, and my ex husband. That said, mom's a bit of a chicken when it comes to dealing with horses, and XH is NOT a horseman. He'd freak out at XC.

And for my part, I don't always know when to quit. :)

mbm
Dec. 13, 2010, 07:27 PM
me? i'd give him the winter off and try again in the spring . sometimes time is the best healer.

good luck with him.

carolprudm
Dec. 13, 2010, 08:00 PM
Honest opinions are good.

That's the opinion of my mom, and my ex husband. That said, mom's a bit of a chicken when it comes to dealing with horses, and XH is NOT a horseman. He'd freak out at XC.

And for my part, I don't always know when to quit. :)

Horseman for almost 50 years and yes I did event.

I have also been injured though my worst was non horse related. Shower with a friend sounds great, until that's the ONLY way you can take a shower.

stoicfish
Dec. 13, 2010, 09:08 PM
I did not read everything so excuse me if I missed this but have you tried to have someone lead him while you are in the saddle? No aids, just sit quietly and let someone lead him forward slowly. Go 20 feet, and if he is good, get off and reward. Add voice commands to go forward after he is comfortable with this. See if you can make him forget.
Some are just really sensitive and have long memories. It is hard to tell what happened at the trainers but if the trainer was not being honest with you, he probably wasn't being honest with the horse either.
I am very sorry this happened to your boy and you. I had a trainer mistreat one of my horses once, it is a really bad feeling. I keep that mare for the rest of her life as a pasture ornament but that is what I felt I owed her. You have to do what lets you sleep at night.

EqTrainer
Dec. 13, 2010, 09:28 PM
You have gotten a lot of good advice. The hard part now is sorting thru it all.

I think your horse should be seen by someone who can explain why a horse his age shows, in his pictures, an atrophied top line before ever having been ridden. He also shows compensatory muscle development along his withers and shoulder. Quite frankly he looks like an OTTB and not a young WB in your picture. I can only see one so take this FWIW to you, pictures can be very deceiving.

If you put your fingers underneath him and tickle/poke where the girth goes, will he lift his back easily without a negative reaction?

If you to wait until spring for a good vet check I would focus on his diet first, and do a EPSM trial - high fat, high protein, low starch and sugar. Second, his feet. Be 100% sure his feet are perfect.

If you get thru all this and want to try again, I would restart him all over again with a helper. You really need someone on the ground with one of these. We had one last year and sent him to a cowboy, as I knew his first true ride would be a rodeo and it was. Good cowboys are more sticky than good dressage riders :lol: this was a horse who would have learned to throw people in a hot minute. Let's hope your boy is not the same horse as it sounds like he has been successful.

Now, having said all that... I believe that the first steps a horse takes under saddle are crucial. At that point they are a blank slate and you are writing their book. You cannot erase the slate. In other words, no matter what you accomplish retraining this horse, it is likely he will remain dangerous under certain circumstances and in this case, most likely when being mounted/asked to walk off. This happens to be the most dangerous time when you are riding - when you get on, followed by getting off. So. Can you live with that?

The other problem is that all the myriad of ways to get around a horse going properly forward are only bandaids and not reliable. Once a horse learns they do not have to go... The go button is never 100% IMO.

I personally could never sell a horse who had done anything like what you describe. Depending on your ethics, you may have to provide him a home for life. Or euthanize him. Or maybe you are ok with selling him, I don't know and I am not here to judge you. I would hope you would not attempt to sell him without full disclosure. I cannot imagine watching someone else get on this horse, I would need a stiff cocktail or six first.

Sorry to give you more to consider but the training issues have been covered. What has not been covered is what happens after that? I hope it all works out safely for you.

Nojacketrequired
Dec. 13, 2010, 10:29 PM
Can't see the pictures for some reason....

I had another thought.
There was a horse at a stable I boarded at long ago that sounds like this guy. Everything was fine as long as no one was on his back. (So they thought.) They eventually sold him for next to nothing because they couldn't get him broke.

The woman who bought him did all sorts of tests including allergy tests and discovered that he had allergies that made him hyper-sensitive to touch, and when the weight of the rider went on, he just couldn't stand it. The rest of it, long lining, longeing etc he could put up with.

After adjusting his diet she did get him broke just fine and I heard how this story turned out because I saw them together at a show a couple of years later and the lady told me about the allergies. Unfortunately, I can't recall what it was, but it rings a bell that it was an allergy to some type of forage...

Anyway, more food for thought...

NJR

Kyzteke
Dec. 14, 2010, 12:19 AM
Sounds like pain to me. And with all the wrecks he's had he has plenty of reasons to hurt in LOTS of difference places.

So what happeds if you mount and let HIM choose when to walk off? Inother words, put him in a smaller enclosure and take what some folks call a "passenger ride," where you are just sitting on the horse and he is deciding where to go when and at what speed. What happends then? Or if someone leads you? What is his reaction then?

Funny this topic should come up - I am now re-reading "My Horses, My Teachers," and it's been along time since I've read it. Last night I was reading this and Podhajsky said the same thing -- most of the time when a horse revolts when asked to move forward it's a pain issue.

And my personal experience has shown me this is often the case. It's also shown me that it can be very difficult to track down the source of the pain, since most exams are done with a horse standing still, or at best, trotting at lib or in hand. Naturally when you put a rider/saddle on their back everything changes.

katarine
Dec. 14, 2010, 08:37 AM
If he did get flipped, or flip...he'd hurt. Might as well get him looked over.

Eklecktika
Dec. 14, 2010, 11:43 AM
You have gotten a lot of good advice. The hard part now is sorting thru it all.

I think your horse should be seen by someone who can explain why a horse his age shows, in his pictures, an atrophied top line before ever having been ridden. He also shows compensatory muscle development along his withers and shoulder. Quite frankly he looks like an OTTB and not a young WB in your picture. I can only see one so take this FWIW to you, pictures can be very deceiving.
Could the muscling of the withers/shoulder be from hiking around on steep ground? He was pastured in a steep pasture-some level ground but 40 acres of river canyon hillside, basically.

I'll have to get some current pics of him-I don't see the wasting, etc currently, but will look at him with a more critical eye. The mare he's out of is reasonably high percentage TB, if that's of any use. EPSM is something I'm just learning about (my OTTB appears to have it as well) so quite honestly, I never even considered the possibility. Worth looking into, however; I'll see if I can get a current set of confo pics taken, if you don't mind taking another peek at them.



If you put your fingers underneath him and tickle/poke where the girth goes, will he lift his back easily without a negative reaction?He lifts through the withers/back easily, no pinning, no glaring, no fidgeting.




If you to wait until spring for a good vet check I would focus on his diet first, and do a EPSM trial - high fat, high protein, low starch and sugar. Second, his feet. Be 100% sure his feet are perfect.

If you get thru all this and want to try again, I would restart him all over again with a helper. You really need someone on the ground with one of these. We had one last year and sent him to a cowboy, as I knew his first true ride would be a rodeo and it was. Good cowboys are more sticky than good dressage riders :lol: this was a horse who would have learned to throw people in a hot minute. Let's hope your boy is not the same horse as it sounds like he has been successful. This is the really disheartening part-he WAS at a cowboy trainer, this kid was a HS rodeo saddle bronc champ, and now starts high-end ranch horses. He's started colts for several people I know, and he is NOT rough. He's very thorough with groundwork, sacking out, etc. Cowboy trainers have a bit of a rep on this board, but they're not all crank'n'yank types. He has finesse, and can flat stick a broncy horse.




Now, having said all that... I believe that the first steps a horse takes under saddle are crucial. At that point they are a blank slate and you are writing their book. You cannot erase the slate. In other words, no matter what you accomplish retraining this horse, it is likely he will remain dangerous under certain circumstances and in this case, most likely when being mounted/asked to walk off. This happens to be the most dangerous time when you are riding - when you get on, followed by getting off. So. Can you live with that? To be frank, there are a lot of horses in the world. I've given this colt everything I had, the best I knew/could afford, and if it IS an attitude problem, I'm done. I'm sure I'll be criticized for this, but if I am going to make and haul hay, feed, and support a horse, I expect him to be willing to work when required. No free lunches. I need a horse I can trust-I do enough riding in steep country that one that can't be trusted is extremely dangerous.

IF, however, it's a pain issue/EPSM, that's a completely different ballgame.



The other problem is that all the myriad of ways to get around a horse going properly forward are only bandaids and not reliable. Once a horse learns they do not have to go... The go button is never 100% IMO.

I personally could never sell a horse who had done anything like what you describe. Depending on your ethics, you may have to provide him a home for life. Or euthanize him. Or maybe you are ok with selling him, I don't know and I am not here to judge you. I would hope you would not attempt to sell him without full disclosure. I cannot imagine watching someone else get on this horse, I would need a stiff cocktail or six first.

Sorry to give you more to consider but the training issues have been covered. What has not been covered is what happens after that? I hope it all works out safely for you. If he can't be fixed, he'll be put down. Ethically, I won't sell him to someone. I bred him, it's my responsibility AS the breeder to 'take him out' if he's dangerous. Keeping him around when he is unrideable is asking for injury, IMO, because someone, at some point, WILL decide to climb on again. And it will probably be me.:rolleyes::)

I'm curious, though. As I said, my experience with EPSM is very limited. IF it turns out EPSM is the issue-does the 'go' button tend to be a little more reliable?



Sounds like pain to me. And with all the wrecks he's had he has plenty of reasons to hurt in LOTS of difference places. Here's the thing though-there are

No hot spots
No tender spots-between me, my vet, and my chiro, you'd think we'd find SOMETHING that was tender, somewhere!
No knots
No stringy or scar-ish muscles
No uneven striding
No uneven flexibility-neck, ribs, shoulders, hips, tail
No uneven hoof wear
No defensive body language - ears, mouth, eyes when palpating or saddling-or bucking. He's soft, relaxed, floppy ears-he just Wants. You. Off.

And he's only ever had one wreck-per Mrs. Trainer, the last 'crash' that crushed the sinus was the only real fit he threw, the rest were just bucks and rears; The bucking and rearing started right off the bat.



I really do appreciate the help-I have really mixed feelings about him, and have a hard time being objective. This has helped, and given me some things to consider.

Valentina_32926
Dec. 14, 2010, 12:02 PM
For rears as soon as you feel he is thinking about going up ask for a leg yield. Hard to go up when he's crossing his hind legs. Since he probably doesn't know LY you should start him learning it from the ground then move to person on his back and person on the ground ysing indications for LY.

I'd also have vet look for something like kissing spines - all that going through solid objects could have caused major issues that don't show up til you get weight on his back and he's asked to move.

Best of luck, I feel for you.

belleellis
Dec. 14, 2010, 01:42 PM
Just another thought.
I had a great sweet kind mare who when broke out became a rearer. Never took a bad step that I or anyone else could see. Went to several vets, was told it was attitude. Finally got to the master lameness/sport horse vet, she had hind end lameness - OCD in her stiffles. Xray'd clean but did not flouroscope clean. After having her injected it did take almost a year for the "rear" to go away. She was young so if scared or stubborn would resort to popping up, the mean nasty rear went away as soon as she felt better. The popping up went away and never came back after the first year. Even when she got sore again she would never offer rear but would get bulky that is how I always knew.
My now horse had started a few strange for him things - bulky, a little cross canter in the roundpen, didnt feel himself at a trot, was not trying to work with me. Now this horse can be a jerk but he was being a whiner more so. Hind end up high lameness. Maybe a 1. I could not see it but the sport horse vet could.
Neither of these horses ever had heat, swelling or shown sensitivity that I could find.
Hind end lameness is a funny thing. It is something that seems to go unnoticed by a lot of horse folks and vets. I wish you the best for you and the horse. Stay safe.

carolprudm
Dec. 14, 2010, 01:50 PM
How about giving him bute for a few days to see if his attitude improves?

2tempe
Dec. 14, 2010, 02:07 PM
I had - briefly - a horse with similar issues; he would spin for no reason, bolt on the lunge line, pitch a fit periodically and was terrified of stuff like blankets hung up on the high hook on his stall door, broke crossties, etc. I tried for a year, got dumped, had a cowboy work him, had a gutsy friend work him, gave up and got him sold thru original owner. Several years later I ran into the woman who owned the sire; she told me that she had heard about my (ex) horse, who started as a jumper and at 6 was sent to a dressage barn. Apparently he was overfaced possibly to the point of abuse, got the attitude and thus the change of career. He was a BEAUTIFUL mover and when I tried him at the beginning, he seemed fine; spooked once during the ride, no big deal.
Now the reality is: I'm an amateur. I'm older than I would like to be. The risk was way higher than the reward, and it did cost me a chunk of change. But I'm still around to talk about it!

stryder
Dec. 14, 2010, 02:11 PM
Have you checked into wobbler syndrome? Could be trauma-induced from flipping.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 14, 2010, 02:21 PM
One last thought. Even if it IS pain, it is not always fixable. We do not have easy access to the same diagnostic tools in veterinary medicine as we do in human medicine, and even in humans, stuff like pinched nerves and brain lesions are really difficult to diagnose even when you have MRIs, cat scans, etc.

Regarding hopeless cases, I always tell the story of my sister's horse who she purchased at 3-4 years old and out of the blue started having random, unpredicatable bucking fits. She went through saddle fit (ended up buying a treeless), chiropractic, acupunture, special shoeing, supplements, feed changes--- the whole 9 yards. Then she discovered him in his paddock one day with blood pouring out of his mouth. When they took him to the veterinary hospital to treat him for what they thought was an abcessed tooth, they discovered that he was riddled with bone cancer. So you just never know. :cry:

Eklecktika
Dec. 14, 2010, 02:49 PM
Have you checked into wobbler syndrome? Could be trauma-induced from flipping.

He's never flipped...attitude/bucking/rearing started long before the accident. He pulled back, and launched forward into a pipe panel, and dented his face.

He's great on the ground-easy to handle, though if you are uncertain, he'll push you around. I have my bluff in on the ground-he doesn't breathe without permission(!), but in the saddle, all bets are off.

At this point, safety is my primary concern. I am a single parent, and I've had one serious wreck already. I don't have the funds to spend on indepth obscure-lameness exams. I have to weigh risk v benefit here, and frankly, he's NOT a valuable horse. If he were, it would be a little different story.

BE-what was injected in the stifles? Steroid? HA? He

katarine
Dec. 14, 2010, 02:56 PM
Any other cowboys about for a second opinion? Fair warning and disclosure to them and all that, but maybe a bit of a second opinion?

dalpal
Dec. 14, 2010, 02:59 PM
One last thought. Even if it IS pain, it is not always fixable. We do not have easy access to the same diagnostic tools in veterinary medicine as we do in human medicine, and even in humans, stuff like pinched nerves and brain lesions are really difficult to diagnose even when you have MRIs, cat scans, etc.

Regarding hopeless cases, I always tell the story of my sister's horse who she purchased at 3-4 years old and out of the blue started having random, unpredicatable bucking fits. She went through saddle fit (ended up buying a treeless), chiropractic, acupunture, special shoeing, supplements, feed changes--- the whole 9 yards. Then she discovered him in his paddock one day with blood pouring out of his mouth. When they took him to the veterinary hospital to treat him for what they thought was an abcessed tooth, they discovered that he was riddled with bone cancer. So you just never know. :cry:


This is very true.

OP....I just wanted to say that you sound like a very level headed person. I agree that horses need to earn their keep...and applaud you for not considering reselling him to someone else.

mzm farm
Dec. 14, 2010, 03:22 PM
Alternative to euthanasia.

If he is not particularly in pain and LIKES bucking and is good at it, why not consider selling him as a bucking bronc for rodeos?
Those horses are actually worth a lot of money. From what I have seen they are not treated too roughly and are not scarred or scraped up, they do not look malnourished, usually in good flesh super athletic looking horses. They just have a very different job - they buck.

As far as medical things to consider - ulcers. Although it is a long shot with him. You can easily get over the counter stuff and give it a try.

If he makes the cut as a bronc, you may be able to afford a different, more compliant horse for yourself.

ACMEeventing
Dec. 14, 2010, 03:30 PM
This is very true.

OP....I just wanted to say that you sound like a very level headed person. I agree that horses need to earn their keep...and applaud you for not considering reselling him to someone else.

Amen to this. There are some shady folks out there, glad you're not one of them.

Horses do need to "pay the rent" so to speak. They do whatever they want 23 hours a day, are fed, sheltered, cared for and loved. In return we demand 1 hour of solid work. It's really not too much to ask.

Agree that the cowboys might be able to help, or that this colt will be best employed on the bronco circuit. It's not a bad life, and they get to buck their little hearts out.

dalpal
Dec. 14, 2010, 03:34 PM
Amen to this. There are some shady folks out there, glad you're not one of them.

Horses do need to "pay the rent" so to speak. They do whatever they want 23 hours a day, are fed, sheltered, cared for and loved. In return we demand 1 hour of solid work. It's really not too much to ask.

Agree that the cowboys might be able to help, or that this colt will be best employed on the bronco circuit. It's not a bad life, and they get to buck their little hearts out.

We had one at a trainer's years ago.....Trainer did EVERYTHING, and I mean everything to find out why this horse would go into bucking fits when you went to mount him.

He gave him the winter off.......when they tried to restart him in the spring, they started with ACE and he always had his ground assistant (damn fine trainer). After a week of good progress. He took the horse off of ACE. Had one good day without ACE.....next ride, he went to mount, horse went into bucking fit, threw trainer across arena.

Assistant said that the trainer never said a word, got up dusted himself off, went in the office, pulled out his directory and called a person who dealt with broncs. Horse left with a "AS IS/FREE" contract and left the next week.

Kyzteke
Dec. 14, 2010, 03:46 PM
One last thought. Even if it IS pain, it is not always fixable. We do not have easy access to the same diagnostic tools in veterinary medicine as we do in human medicine, and even in humans, stuff like pinched nerves and brain lesions are really difficult to diagnose even when you have MRIs, cat scans, etc.

Regarding hopeless cases, I always tell the story of my sister's horse who she purchased at 3-4 years old and out of the blue started having random, unpredicatable bucking fits. She went through saddle fit (ended up buying a treeless), chiropractic, acupunture, special shoeing, supplements, feed changes--- the whole 9 yards. Then she discovered him in his paddock one day with blood pouring out of his mouth. When they took him to the veterinary hospital to treat him for what they thought was an abcessed tooth, they discovered that he was riddled with bone cancer. So you just never know. :cry:

Yeah, this is the tough part. I have a friend of mine in another state who bought an unbroke horse. He would bolt like a wild rocket when someone climbed on him...sometimes. OTher times, no.

I don't know all she did in terms of diagnostics because we only talk every few months, but I know she took him to 2 different vets, including the ones at Cal Davis, a chiropractor and FOUR different trainers. All thought it was "attitude."

But see, a chiropracter or vet pressing down on the spine does not exert anywhere NEAR the pressure on that area as a 160lb person + saddle does...and again, the horse & rider are MOVING when the problem occurs, not just standing still.

The last trainer, a highly regarded, gentle "cowboy" had him for 6 months. He got alittle better, but he never stopped completely. One day the guy was riding him and the horse's hind legs when out from under him and he fell -- couldn't get up.

Turned out there was some sort of degenerative bone issue in his spine...he was put down that day, since he was unable to rise.

The poster who recommended selling him to a bucking string has a good idea IF the horse is truly a bucker. A real honest-to-goodness bucker is so hard to find these days the rodeo contractors are breeding them and they are treated like gold. At an annual rodeo stock auction a good bucking horse will sell for $5-10K! They work a total of about 8 minutes A YEAR :eek: and the rest of the time are cared for really, really well.

Of course, once they stop bucking (and the good ones never do) I doubt the geldings are kept.

Might be worth checking out if you are near any rodeo contractors.

It's a tough situation to be in, and I applaud you for sticking with it. I think at this point, if you truly want to give the horse a chance, is to break down the episode in little steps to try to discover what it is EXACTLY that sets the horse off. Get one of your cowboy trainers who can ride a buck and have him go step by step -- does the horse buck when a (western) saddle is put on him? When the rider just SITS on him? If the horse walks by himself (no leg from the rider)? If the rider puts the leg on him?

Maybe then you can find out what it is. And I agree it might not hurt to bute him up for afew days and then try him. But have a rider who can ride a buck AND LIKES IT do the riding -- you stay on the ground and watch -- maybe even video tape it for review later.

Too bad you are so far away, my farrier's son is on the saddle bronc rodeo team at OK State (full scholarship no less!) and he'd LOVE to do this.

Good luck -- I wish you & your horse the best.

Eklecktika
Dec. 14, 2010, 04:31 PM
Any other cowboys about for a second opinion? Fair warning and disclosure to them and all that, but maybe a bit of a second opinion? Heh....I AM the local 'other cowboy' that gets called for tough horses...have a bit of a rep as being good with problem horses, have since high school. Not really even sure how it got started...maybe because I was the only one dumb enough to climb on some of them? But, it did land me a job riding for a guy in college, so it's all fair. I might call around a little bit and see what some folks know-but I really, REALLY have dyspepsia asking someone else to climb on a horse I'm reluctant to-and it isn't pride, it's ethics. KWIM?


Alternative to euthanasia.

If he is not particularly in pain and LIKES bucking and is good at it, why not consider selling him as a bucking bronc for rodeos?
As far as medical things to consider - ulcers. Although it is a long shot with him. You can easily get over the counter stuff and give it a try.

If he makes the cut as a bronc, you may be able to afford a different, more compliant horse for yourself.
If I thought he was consistent enough, I would sell him to a bronc string in a heartbeat. They DO get treated really well-for VERY little effort. LOL...I always said raising bucking horses would be my dream job...I guess I spoke too soon. He's definitely athletic enough for it-my only concern is that as a gelding, WHEN he broke down/quit, which is inevitable, given enough time, he'd likely be slaughtered...and at 16.3, he's just too big to ride a cattle truck. It's a rough way to end your life, and I'm just not sure he's good enough for that. I could call around, though, and see-maybe he is and I'm not giving him fair credit.

Are ulcers a possibility, even though he's been pastured his whole life? He's NEVER lived in a stall. Always had company, always had plenty of grass hay to eat-my ulcer experience is limited to stalled horses and a foundered gelding getting bute...:confused:


Yeah, this is the tough part. I have a friend of mine in another state who bought an unbroke horse. He would bolt like a wild rocket when someone climbed on him...sometimes. OTher times, no.
...
It's a tough situation to be in, and I applaud you for sticking with it. I think at this point, if you truly want to give the horse a chance, is to break down the episode in little steps to try to discover what it is EXACTLY that sets the horse off. Get one of your cowboy trainers who can ride a buck and have him go step by step -- does the horse buck when a (western) saddle is put on him? When the rider just SITS on him? If the horse walks by himself (no leg from the rider)? If the rider puts the leg on him?


Good luck -- I wish you & your horse the best.

Here's the thing-when you're sitting on him, he's fine. When it's HIS idea to move, he's fine. He'll give to the bit left, right, whatever. It's when the plan changes and it's not his idea that the fireworks start. That's why I'm skeptical-although willing to do a little looking-at pathological causation. Sometimes, he's fine and will walk around, but as soon as you ask him to work, up he goes. It strikes me as being entirely as saddlemaker put it-he's a bully.



I need the equine equivalent of Valium or something-Make him Not. Care but still have his coordination. I'm halfway joking, but is there something of the sort? We had a cat on valium once (he was a high strung little thing...terrible), and he would routinely crawl into the shower to be closer to you.

Eklecktika
Dec. 14, 2010, 04:50 PM
Gosh, the more I look at things, the more I suspect EPSM MIGHT be the key.

Good Lord, I almost hope it isn't. I dont' know how I'm going to manage TWO horses with EPSM-one I can stall, but two? If it is, this is going to suck. Granted, it's a better option than euth, but...

:confused:

If it IS EPSM, what are the odds of his behavior improving?

Kyzteke
Dec. 14, 2010, 06:23 PM
If I thought he was consistent enough, I would sell him to a bronc string in a heartbeat. They DO get treated really well-for VERY little effort. LOL...I always said raising bucking horses would be my dream job...I guess I spoke too soon. He's definitely athletic enough for it-my only concern is that as a gelding, WHEN he broke down/quit, which is inevitable, given enough time, he'd likely be slaughtered...and at 16.3, he's just too big to ride a cattle truck.

Are ulcers a possibility, even though he's been pastured his whole life?

Here's the thing-when you're sitting on him, he's fine. When it's HIS idea to move, he's fine. He'll give to the bit left, right, whatever. It's when the plan changes and it's not his idea that the fireworks start.

I need the equine equivalent of Valium or something-Make him Not.

Well, if he can really buck well enough for a rodeo string, perhaps you can put a condition where he is humanely put down at the end of his career and require a vet's certificate of such. There ARE much worse ways to spend your life IMHO for a horse. And if he stops bucking (consistantly) maybe he could come back to you? Because if it IS just plain attitude, the quickest way to shut it down is to have a real bronc rider buck him out afew times.

Yes, I have a horse who is prone to ulcers -- she's never been stalled, but she gets anxious very easily. I leased her out and they kept her penned separate from all the other horses and they flared up again.

And, while she would never buck, her reaction is to go backwards or resist forward.

Trying a month of Ulcerguard is a fairly cheap "try". You should see a BIG difference fairly quickly.

I'm curious as well -- what makes you think it might be EPSM? I don't have much knowledge of this condition.

And yes, there are some drugs you could use....for the life of me I can't remember the name of it, but there is a human anti-psychotic drug (injectable) that some vets will use on horses. It lasts for several weeks. A friend of mine used it on her horse and it didnt' do much, but one of the gals who worked at the vet's office used if for her uber-spooky horse and loved it. Name starts with an "R", as I recall.... maybe risperadone?

But you & I both know drugs aren't a long-term solution...:(

Eklecktika
Dec. 14, 2010, 06:36 PM
Well, if he can really buck well enough for a rodeo string, perhaps you can put a condition where he is humanely put down at the end of his career and require a vet's certificate of such. There ARE much worse ways to spend your life IMHO for a horse. And if he stops bucking (consistantly) maybe he could come back to you? Because if it IS just plain attitude, the quickest way to shut it down is to have a real bronc rider buck him out afew times.

Yes, I have a horse who is prone to ulcers -- she's never been stalled, but she gets anxious very easily. I leased her out and they kept her penned separate from all the other horses and they flared up again.

And, while she would never buck, her reaction is to go backwards or resist forward.

Trying a month of Ulcerguard is a fairly cheap "try". You should see a BIG difference fairly quickly.

I'm curious as well -- what makes you think it might be EPSM? I don't have much knowledge of this condition.

And yes, there are some drugs you could use....for the life of me I can't remember the name of it, but there is a human anti-psychotic drug (injectable) that some vets will use on horses. It lasts for several weeks. A friend of mine used it on her horse and it didnt' do much, but one of the gals who worked at the vet's office used if for her uber-spooky horse and loved it. Name starts with an "R", as I recall.... maybe risperadone?

But you & I both know drugs aren't a long-term solution...:(

Yep, I know. :D It was a joke....mostly.

ok, maybe I was hoping there really WAS a anxiolytic for horses that would let us get past the initial ButIdon'tWANTto's and then wean off. Yeah, it's cheating...but I'm okay with that!

EqTrainer suggested EPSM, she (He? I'm sorry, EqT, I don't know you well enough yet!!) saw muscle wasting over the topline in the pic, in addition to compensatory muscle growth-I won't say I see it, because I don't, but that doesn't mean it's not there. He's a Han x AQHA, and whilst the mare doesn't have it (I assume, she's never been symptomatic anyway) its possible. Coldbacked, won't stand for the farrier, <---I was just reminded of this when I saw it-he's fine if your picking, but if you'e slow, he fights. That's a new development as well. I assumed it was lack of handling, but maybe not.

Maybe the ulcergard is something to try. I'll get ahold of that and see.

SonnysMom
Dec. 14, 2010, 07:43 PM
A friend of mine had a horse that was anxious that they put on flufenizine for a few months. It made a huge difference in him. But he was a fence walker and was spooky in the boogey man corner of the ring. He would spin and scoot hard. After a few months they were able to wean him off. He hasn't been on it for a few years and seems to be much happier both under saddle and in turn-out.
But he was a worrier not a bully.

RLF
Dec. 14, 2010, 07:45 PM
Here's the thing-when you're sitting on him, he's fine. When it's HIS idea to move, he's fine. He'll give to the bit left, right, whatever. It's when the plan changes and it's not his idea that the fireworks start. That's why I'm skeptical-although willing to do a little looking-at pathological causation. Sometimes, he's fine and will walk around, but as soon as you ask him to work, up he goes. It strikes me as being entirely as saddlemaker put it-he's a bully.


I'm going to put my two cents in-

I know everyone wants to make sure the horse isn't in pain, etc, etc. And I agree with that for the most part. BUT- my thing is even pain can only excuse so much. Anyway- I don't want to get into that debate- my point is that if you know this horse better than anyone- TRUST YOUR INSTINCT!

I once was asked to train a horse that was imprinted improperly. She was the same. She'd follow her buddy on a trail for 3 hours if it was her idea. If I asked her to trot a circle, up she went. Then she took herself to throwing herself on her side. All in a plain old fashioned temper tantrum.

I don't know much about imprinting, but it took certain things, certain instincts away from her. Pressure didn't move her. It was weird.

My saving grace is that a dressage whip on her hind end would move her forward. I had to 're-teach' her forward cues, with the use of the whip. If it weren't for that I don't know where I would have started! We had many many blow ups and though she was rideable when she left me, I wouldn't have deemed her a safe mount for most riders.

Bottom line is that you need to draw a line between 'stubborn' and dangerous. Then you need to decide what the best solution is- because in these scenarios even the best solution still isn't ideal.

Good luck!

EqTrainer
Dec. 14, 2010, 07:49 PM
Can you make the other pictures accessible without facebook? I don't FB.

Nojacketrequired
Dec. 14, 2010, 08:23 PM
I think the other poster means Reserpine?
http://www.wedgewoodpetrx.com/learning-center/professional-monographs/reserpine-for-veterinary-use.html (http://www.wedgewoodpetrx.com/learning-center/professional-monographs/reserpine-for-veterinary-use.html)

Don't have any experience with it myself.

How far from OK are you?

NJR

mzm farm
Dec. 14, 2010, 09:52 PM
Ulcers can happen SUPER fast - just get your field horse onto a trailer for a short ride to a show or even another field, and voila, ulcers. It is truly ridiculous how easily some horses can get ulcers. Some horses can have explosive reactions, one mare I know used to panic/run/rear when girthed, when mounted she was just fine, she was on hay 24/7. Other horses have reactions when being ridden.

You can try some inexpensive supplements for ulcers and see if there is an improvement. There are many remedies/supplements on the market to address the issue. Your veterinarian should have some suggestions as well.

IF you chose to sell him to a rodeo, why would they not sell him back to you for slightly over meat price when they are done with him? If he is broken down, you can have the option to euthanize him, if he had just decided to quit bucking - well maybe you have a nice horse for yourself then.

Eklecktika
Dec. 14, 2010, 10:51 PM
Can you make the other pictures accessible without facebook? I don't FB.

I have to go take some, and won't be able to until at least this weekend.

But as soon as I can possibly get to S & L's, I will!

Kyzteke
Dec. 14, 2010, 11:46 PM
I think the other poster means Reserpine?
http://www.wedgewoodpetrx.com/learning-center/professional-monographs/reserpine-for-veterinary-use.html (http://www.wedgewoodpetrx.com/learning-center/professional-monographs/reserpine-for-veterinary-use.html)

Don't have any experience with it myself.

How far from OK are you?

NJR

Thank YOU!! That's it! (I hate getting old....:no:)

Eklecktika
Dec. 15, 2010, 12:02 AM
I think the other poster means Reserpine?
http://www.wedgewoodpetrx.com/learning-center/professional-monographs/reserpine-for-veterinary-use.html (http://www.wedgewoodpetrx.com/learning-center/professional-monographs/reserpine-for-veterinary-use.html)

Don't have any experience with it myself.

How far from OK are you?

NJR
I would never actually USE it...but I KNEW I'd heard of something....although....it is tempting...:lol:

North Idaho-as in two hours south of Spokane and four hours north of Boise-so....aways.

Why? Pm? Thanks NJR

alg0181
Dec. 15, 2010, 12:14 AM
What a frustrating situation for you. I used to "cowboy train" the unrideables in high school, and if I had a bucker, I just stuck it out. Western saddle, dressage whip. Buck, buck, buck--I'm leaning back like a bronc rider--pop with the whip. Rinse and repeat sometimes a bazillion times. But, eventually, they gave up and realized bucking didn't work. I rewarded them for just one step forward at first, then increased how far they had to walk. Baby steps.

I get the feeling, though, that your horse is beyond the average bucking attitude. I had one mare that my "ride it out" technique didn't work on. She's the only horse I've ever had actually chase me down to try to hurt me (and I still carry the scar). When she stopped bucking, she started rearing. Totally sound and healthy, just a b!tch. Was mishandled, like yours.

I started all over like she was a greenie (she was 11). Lots of ground driving and longeing and such. Eventually she got with the program but gentleness was the only way for her. Try to cowboy that one or even hold a whip and she got you off in an instant. She ended up perfectly rideable BUT never quite as sane as a "normal" horse. I think sometimes they just have a screw loose or their brains get fried by confusing trainers.

Though I was 17 at the time and a lot gutsier. I probably would turn that mare around and ship her home today. So I totally sympathize if you cut your boy loose.

Kyzteke
Dec. 15, 2010, 12:21 AM
I would never actually USE it...but I KNEW I'd heard of something....although....it is tempting...:lol:

North Idaho-as in two hours south of Spokane and four hours north of Boise-so....aways.

Why? Pm? Thanks NJR

Are you kidding?!?

I'm in North Idaho, near Sandpoint. Are you near Lewiston or there abouts?

If you really wanted to try it, I could ask my farrier if his son was coming home for the holidays and wanted to try riding your guy...

I kind of hate to do that to your horse till you are SURE it's not physical, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask.

Eklecktika
Dec. 15, 2010, 12:40 AM
Are you kidding?!?

I'm in North Idaho, near Sandpoint. Are you near Lewiston or there abouts?

If you really wanted to try it, I could ask my farrier if his son was coming home for the holidays and wanted to try riding your guy...

I kind of hate to do that to your horse till you are SURE it's not physical, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask.

:D maaaaaaaaybe! Actually, technically, I'm across the river, but I don't claim WA as my home. It's an ID thing.

If I knew without a doubt that there wasn't EPSM binding things up, I'd jump on it-but I'd really, REALLY hate to see him get hurt...and if it IS EPSM no point torturing the horse.

Unless, of course, he's cute, single, and stands calmly to be doctored! :winkgrin::lol: :D Kidding. Mostly.

BUT-and here's something I'll need to dig into more, I haven't done it yet as it's not been relevant-He's been on straight grass hay, and I don't think there's any grass around that hasn't been dessicated by the temp/wind. So barring the fat, I think that would be okay for an EPSM horse-someone better versed in it than I will know, and I'll need to eventually, I just don't, right now. Let me dig a little bit. I DO have access to a covered roundpen-roughly 20 meters? Maybe?-with good footing (sand) and an indoor arena that's maybe 45x90? (I'm awful with guesstimating distances indoors.)

Heh. Small world, eh?
Where's he coming from?

goneriding24
Dec. 15, 2010, 12:59 AM
Sorry, I didn't read every comment but I'm pretty sure, what I'd suggest has been suggested.

However, here is one that I did with a snotty colt once upon a time. I turned him out with some battle-axe brood mares. I mean mares that don't brook any sort of snottiness from ANYone. Overnight, said young master Knothead is turned into a nice guy. Well, not overnight but pretty damn short. If he pushed his dam around, maybe a reminder from a matron is just what he needs.

I thought of the pain thing too. Maybe he physically flipped at the trainers and they don't want to tell you.

Maybe he's just hard-wired wrong in the brain. There are those out there, you know...

belleellis
Dec. 15, 2010, 09:38 AM
He's never flipped...attitude/bucking/rearing started long before the accident. He pulled back, and launched forward into a pipe panel, and dented his face.

He's great on the ground-easy to handle, though if you are uncertain, he'll push you around. I have my bluff in on the ground-he doesn't breathe without permission(!), but in the saddle, all bets are off.

At this point, safety is my primary concern. I am a single parent, and I've had one serious wreck already. I don't have the funds to spend on indepth obscure-lameness exams. I have to weigh risk v benefit here, and frankly, he's NOT a valuable horse. If he were, it would be a little different story.

BE-what was injected in the stifles? Steroid? HA? He

Dont hold me to it as I lost this mare to a pasture accident 5 years ago but I am almost certain it was straight HA. I can go and see if I still have the vet records. I had to get her done about every 10 months. She had small leasions (sp) non surgical candidate. I think she had a very low pain threshold.
Dont you wish they could talk....at least then they would say **** you and we would know it was bad attitude. I do agree some are just mean and you can not do a thing about that.
Again wishing you and the horse the best. Stay safe!

Eklecktika
Dec. 15, 2010, 11:05 AM
Dont hold me to it as I lost this mare to a pasture accident 5 years ago but I am almost certain it was straight HA. I can go and see if I still have the vet records. I had to get her done about every 10 months. She had small leasions (sp) non surgical candidate. I think she had a very low pain threshold.
Dont you wish they could talk....at least then they would say **** you and we would know it was bad attitude. I do agree some are just mean and you can not do a thing about that.
Again wishing you and the horse the best. Stay safe!
Hmm...I have a scrip for Pentosan for my ringbone boy-I wonder if that would do anything. Can't hurt, I guess!

If they could talk, oh my. The stories they'd tell-and the problems we'd avoid.

Nojacketrequired
Dec. 15, 2010, 01:32 PM
If I knew without a doubt that there wasn't EPSM binding things up,

I may be mistaken but can't they do a biopsy for this?

Still working on the other....

NJR

Eklecktika
Dec. 15, 2010, 02:18 PM
They can, but it isn't always 100%, as I understood it. And I believe the variety that affects TB's is especially prone to false negatives. Rather than drop the several hundred on the test to know for my OTTB, I just put him on the diet, and within 24 hours, I had a new horse.

If the diet doesn't help Max as dramatically, I'll spring for the biopsy, but for the TB, the diet is what I would have done anyway had it been positive. He's 1/2 AQHA, out of a very TB-ish mare, so there's every reason to suspect that it's an issue.

At least, that's what I'm telling myself.

If he's been on the diet for a month and still wants to make me into a lawn dart, I'll probably hawk him to the nearest bucking stock pen.

Kyzteke
Dec. 15, 2010, 02:24 PM
:D I DO have access to a covered roundpen-roughly 20 meters? Maybe?-with good footing (sand) and an indoor arena that's maybe 45x90? (I'm awful with guesstimating distances indoors.)

Heh. Small world, eh?
Where's he coming from?

They live in Priest River, but the bronc rider (my farrier's son) is going to college in OK -- like I said, he's on their rodeo team and has a full scholarship because of his talent as a saddle bronc rider.

Again, since the kid's college education rides on this, he may not be interested, but PM me if you decide you want to give it a try and I will ask.

However, I'm guessing they prefer a big arena to ride in -- NOT a small area like a round pen. The fences could get ya in that situation.

But I DO encourage you to keep digging....summer isn't that far away, and maybe by then you'll have some answers and the kid will be home for afew months.

My farrier also use to be a pretty handy saddle bronc rider, so I'd offer him, but he's 43 yrs old and I don't want to get him hurt -- he's a GREAT farrier!:D

Catsdorule-sigh
Dec. 15, 2010, 04:48 PM
Two hours south of Spokane? You ought to be close enough to WSU- and their veterinary school. Wonder if you could haul him in for a consultation?

beckzert
Dec. 17, 2010, 04:14 PM
I had this horse also, except she was a chestnut filly. She was started by someone who used draw reins on her from day 1, which had wayyyy too much stop for her. She reared really high and ran and bucked usually several times per ride. I sent her to an Amish guy in mid Wisconsin who taught her to drive and rode her around in a western saddle. She came back amazing! Part of the problem was that the people who had started her would send her forward with the crop when she reared, so she became afraid of the crop, unresponsive or explosive to the leg, and difficult to handle even on the ground. He was very patient and quiet, and when she had tantrums he would just give her a time out for a while and let her start again. I would like to say that she never reared again, though I'm not sure that's true. The tendency was always there, but could have been avoided by me being more patient, not the "terrible 4.5's" that many young horses get. I ended up selling her as a jumper which was much more suitable for her than dressage. But the Amish training was very good!

happyhaffiehaley
Dec. 18, 2010, 09:06 AM
Looking over this thread, I've seen lots of good ideas, so I won't go over what everyone else said again. I saw this mentioned briefly, but something that may be worth looking into is a career in carriage driving for this guy. You said he long reins beautifully, and if the riding thing just isn't his cup of tea (for whatever reason), perhaps he would do well in another career. Depending on what you learn from a veterinary standpoint, maybe you could find a very knowledgeable, good driving trainer to take him for a month or two and see if he has the brain for that. Some horses really prefer driving to riding (and vice versa).

Good luck!

Haley

journey5956
Dec. 19, 2010, 01:51 PM
Not sure if you are familiar with Clinton Anderson - I have watched his shows on RFD-TV and am impressed with his method and logical approach to training - essentially his method is a step by step approach to develop respect and leadership with your horse - might be worth looking into - he also is looking for problem horses for his shows (it does say Nov 1 deadline, but might be worth pursuing) - see info below

Good luck

Calling All Problem Horses
Are you fed up, frustrated or even frightened of your misbehaving horse? We're looking for horses with serious problems – the worse your horse is the better! Clinton is up for a challenge and wants to work with horses that buck, rear, bolt, bite, kick and refuse to get on the trailer for an upcoming TV series. If you have a disrespectful horse with a serious problem, visit the Downunder Horsemanship website www.downunderhorsemanship.com to hear Clinton explain what he's looking for. Then click on the Problem Horse Application directly underneath our video and send us a video of your horse behaving badly. If he fits what we're looking for, Clinton will work with him for free using the Method. We may even decide to come to you for filming! Applications and videos will be accepted now until November 1st. No phone calls please. Only applicants chosen will be contacted.