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View Full Version : BM is afraid of my horse. What to do?



DangerHorse
Apr. 26, 2011, 07:43 PM
I have been at my current barn for over a year now and BM is becoming more and more afraid of my horse...but ONLY the BM. When I moved to the barn I was VERY upfront about my mare having a history of rearing with new people. She does not strike or attack, just pops up on her hind legs. In almost 4 years she has only reared once with me while turning her out (and granted my dog had just run under her legs)...I put her in her place and that was that. She has never tried it since with me.

At the last barn I was at I gave the same warnings, told the BM they fully have my permission to do whatever they think necessary to reprimand this behavior. Horse would rear with a new handler, punishment followed, and mare never reared with that person again. Handlers had no problem handling horse knowing her behavior and had no problem issuing punishment.

At the current barn I have been very diligent about asking all the handlers regularly (there are 4 or 5) if they have had problems with her. Most say no problems, one said she reared one time but has not since (and I know this person is a confident handler and would have put her in her place). But the longer I am at this barn the more the BM complains about her being a safety risk. BM currently is hardly willing to turn my horse out (full care with daily turnout). She is only willing to turn my mare out in one of ten paddocks because it is the closest to her stall. Mare does not get to go out on grass because of how far away the grass paddocks are and BM says “she can’t be trusted” and she “can’t take the risk.” BUT…I hand walk this mare ALL over the farm, at all times of day, and NEVER have a problem. I come early in the morning, before they’ve been fed, take her out, no problem. I take her around when other horses are out and ripping around, no problem. I take her out of pasture and hand walk her while the other horses are coming in and being fed dinner (this is the when they usually get riled up the most) and NO problems. Yes, she a fit horse and bound to act like it, but I cannot get this horse to rear or even act up…The other night BM even asked the most timid boarder to bring my horse in (because I have been giving boarder lunge lessons on the mare) and boarder had NO reservations about it or problems with the mare.

The absolute LAST thing I want is for anyone to get hurt handling my horse and I have offered many times to handle the horse for the BM. I have even adjusted my schedule so I can “conveniently” be there to handle the mare….

So, I guess my question is: is this my problem and tough cookies? Do I say something to the BO about it? Is it the responsibility as the BM to learn to handle these horses? What is going on between BM and Mare??? :confused:

Alagirl
Apr. 26, 2011, 07:51 PM
the long and the short:

start looking for a new facility.

It is starting to look like the horse is slowly being set up to fail.

TheJenners
Apr. 26, 2011, 08:04 PM
I'm going take the other side and say that your horse is a huge liability risk.

mvp
Apr. 26, 2011, 08:26 PM
I think your BM is wrong.

You fixed the mare yourself. In fact, you can't get her to make the rearing mistake with you so that you can train her again.

You told everyone. You gave them permission to handle or train her as they saw fit so that she would be safe with them.

Other people have figured out this mare.

Your BM seems to be the one person unable or unwilling to do this with your mare.

Why do you think that is? Can you help the BM get over this? BM handles the horse with you there telling her how to make a correction that will stick?

I'd start with the BM-- on how to fix the problem with the mare first. No accusation, just "what's the solution? I'm sure we can find one."

I think people, especially pros, who feel challenged by horses eventually come to resent them. If your BM has already tipped over this threshold, you may have a problem. Do you get the sense that the BM takes orders from the BO? In so, you can try with the BM and then ask the same question about fixing the problem with the BO, too. Do your best to listen to what they say, not just defend your mare.

If this creates animosity, then I think you have your answer. It will continue as is until your mare gets an undeserved reputation.

manentail
Apr. 26, 2011, 08:48 PM
If the BM is allowing your horse to rear and not reprimanding her when she does it, than he/she is teaching the horse that rearing is the answer and therefore making her MORE dangerous. I'm on your side, they should be helping you fix the problem instead of making it worse, as well as neglecting to give your mare the turnout time she needs.

I would be outta there if you depend on full care. If you don't and everything else is good, stay and take care of her yourself.

Alagirl
Apr. 26, 2011, 08:48 PM
The other night BM even asked the most timid boarder to bring my horse in

somehow I missed that in the OP...

a special reason to get a timid boarder to bring in this horse?

kinnip
Apr. 26, 2011, 08:57 PM
You can go to the BO, but what is he/she supposed to do? If the BM is frightened, there's no amount of bossing that's going to change that. You have three options: do all the handling yourself, schedule handlers other than the BM, or move.

JackSprats Mom
Apr. 26, 2011, 10:03 PM
Sadly i would say the BM has 'the right' to not handle any horse she/he feels is dangerous. You've already asid your horse rears on occassion, while most horse savvy poeple won't have an issue with it, BM obviously does and doesn't want to risk being injured (which I can TOTALLY understand).

I would move.

JohnDeere
Apr. 26, 2011, 11:00 PM
Its her barn her rules. If she doesnt like your mare you need to either fix the mare or move. I love my BM but shes a chicken.

I live in 2 barns. I switched 2 of my horses because I needed an indoor for a few weeks last winter. "Roy" was taken to chicken BM.

"Roy" wasnt turned out by Chicken becuase the weather was nasty and the water would freeze. So Roy was energetic. OK more than that. He was nervous . He didnt like the dark barn where he was. He pawed and bucked and kicked, he went nuts when the horse next to him left to be worked. We came in and set him strait every time and let him loose to play. The BM wouldnt even go in to clean his stall. Was he a danger? Nope. But I know this horse and my kid rides him. So I know why he was acting up. But she was scared of him. Really scared he would kick or rear or hurt her. She swears he kicked at her with both feet I know this horse. My kid wouldnt be near him if he kicked. But she swears it.

mg
Apr. 27, 2011, 12:18 AM
While I think she sounds like a weenie, I can understand why she would want to be extra cautious with her job. You can't exactly work at a barn if you're busted up. However, the fact that she had a *timid* boarder bring in a horse that has a history of rearing with new handlers and who she herself is scared of? That is absolutely not okay and leads me to question her judgment.

mypaintwattie
Apr. 27, 2011, 12:50 AM
I would find a new barn if possible. If BM is that afraid of your horse what will happen if there is an emergency and your horse must be moved immediately?????

Rena
Apr. 27, 2011, 04:06 AM
Wouldn't it be best if he horse could be on 24/7 pasture/paddock and a BM would only have to feed and water through the fence? You could even offer to build a portable stall yourself.

Might even find another boarder willing to keep her horse with yours, out 24/7 with some kind of shelter.

partlycloudy
Apr. 27, 2011, 07:37 AM
In your BO's defense, it seems that a lot of owners have a sort of 'barn blindness' about their horses. For example, I board one mare who would viciously charge at the bars at the front of her stall whenever another horse went by...I mean barring teeth and slamming the bars. :eek: Most learned to ignore her, but the last straw was when I was leading a new timid mare by and the mare freaked (the one I was leading) and went down in the aisle, with legs flailing.

That was the last straw, and the witch was moved to a back corner where she can't scare anyone.

The owner, when informed, said 'really?''she does? as if she'd never witnessed this (yeah right, after a year?) the burn marks on the rubber mating kind of backed me up.

I don't think most owner's see their horses during times of stress (ie turnout in the morning, bringing in a night), when the horses are a little anxious....that's when the true colors come out. Or more often, live in denial....not saying this is the case with the OP, but I've seen it so many times.

Monica67
Apr. 27, 2011, 09:00 AM
I have to agree with the horse being a liability.

No, it is not the BM's responsibility to "learn" to handle your horse, especially with its past history of rearing on its handlers.

Your best bet is to move where hopefully you can find a barn where the BM doesn't have an issue with this.

Kate66
Apr. 27, 2011, 09:10 AM
Given the OP's name "Dangerhorse" it sounds like he/she is very aware of her horse's behaviour. The tough thing is that your horse is random, so your opportunities for teaching the horse are limited. I would say that if you are not worried about your horse being dangerous then you need to get a bunch of your friends (because your horse isn't dangerous - right?) and get them to lead the horse in and out and in and out, so lots of "new people" are handling the horse and hopefully providing learning opportunities.

If you weren't concerned about your horse's behaviour you would never have alerted the BM when you moved to this barn.

It is not her responsibility to take risks or teach your horse manners.

cyndi
Apr. 27, 2011, 09:22 AM
I can sympathize with the OP. It's really hard to 'discipline' your horse for behavior it never, ever displays with you. Honestly, the longer I am around horses, the more I realize there are an awful lot of people out there who "love" horses, but who are deep down (and sometimes, not so deep down), scared to death of them. They are fine with the super quiet, totally non-reactive animal, but cannot handle even the slightest 'deviation' from 'equine saint.'

morganpony86
Apr. 27, 2011, 09:23 AM
Find a new barn.
I have a perfect gentleman of a TB, but he was by far and away the biggest horse at my old barn at 17h. He was put in a stall with limited turnout (as opposed to field board) due to an injury, and naturally became agitated (pacing). The BM refused to touch him. I left shortly thereafter. What if she was the only one there and: he was cast in his stall?? Got loose and was running merrily around? Got caught somewhere and was panicked? I didn't want to wait to find out.

That being said, good manners on the horse's part are necessary if someone else is going to be handling them. My oldest Morgan was a jerk and would routinely throw his shoulder into the lead rope and take off. A few months of a chain fixed that, and until he learned how to walk like a gentleman, no one else touched him.

bluemooncowgirl
Apr. 27, 2011, 11:03 AM
It is not her responsibility to take risks or teach your horse manners.

Ditto this.

LauraKY
Apr. 27, 2011, 11:10 AM
If the BM feels he is dangerous, it sounds like time for a new barn.

I have one that goes up when he's afraid or very nervous (never under saddle). We don't let many people handle him because of it. Unfortunately, which I'm sure you know, OP, horses read people very well. If OP is afraid, it's probably upping the anti.

Right now, with AniMed VitaCalm, and as long as you stick to a fairly consistent routine, he's the calmest horse in the barn. Go figure.

equinelerium
Apr. 27, 2011, 11:14 AM
Something doesn't add up here. While I can understand BM being afraid of a horse that rears, it shocks me that BM would send a boarder to get a horse that BM considers dangerous. I'd want to have a serious convo with BM to see if there is any solution, and make clear that if the answer is no that you'll be looking elsewhere. Like others have said, if BM is letting the horse get away with bad behavior, its just creating more of a problem for OP in the long run. Maybe an offer to be there while BM handles the mare so you can assist if an issue comes up?

And I really sympathize with OP because my first horse would similarly test the waters with new people and rear on the lead. We were at a self care facility at the time though so pretty much only myself and my trainer handled my horse which made it easier to reprimand for bad behavior.

5
Apr. 27, 2011, 11:18 AM
Their safety is more important than your horses comfort.

Look for a new place with bolder staff.

ladybugred
Apr. 27, 2011, 11:35 AM
I would concider looking for a new barn, nothing you do or say is going to change BM's mind about the mare.

Basedd on the OP, I don't believe the mare is any more of a liability than any other horse. It sounds llike rearing is her way of testing boundaries, what would the BM have done if you didn't know/give a heads up?? Horses test their boundaries ALL the time, the handler has to correct them. Better to be told and given permission to fix any way seen fit, than to get a boarder turn hysterical because the BM had to give Dobbin a crack.

I think the BM is more of a liability, having a boarder bring the mare in, knowing of the possible issue.

LBR

hundredacres
Apr. 27, 2011, 12:11 PM
I think regular handlers almost become hyper-sensetive to other people's horses and the risk.
From another stand point: I had a boarder whose horse had EPM and I was NOT happy about her being in my barn because of the many times she'd slipped and fell and would lose her balance when I was near her. The owner took serious offense to my reluctance and I eventually asked her to leave. Maybe the horse has never posed a risk to the owner (in this case, this owner never came to see her horses anyway so she had no idea how hard it was for me), but she did pose a risk to me and the other horses. My perception, my barn, my rules. I was glad to have her leave.

DangerHorse
Apr. 27, 2011, 01:26 PM
Frist, thank you all for all the great suggestions/opinions!!! :yes:


Given the OP's name "Dangerhorse" it sounds like he/she is very aware of her horse's behaviour. My name actually has nothing to do with my horse. I was listening to Danger Mouse and Sparkle Horse when I created my account... :D

As for the timid boarder handling the mare, I have no problem with this boarder handling my horse, boarder knows horses history and her "relationship" with BM, and boarder and mare get along great. Boarder knows exactly why the BM does not want to handle the horse and has no reservations about leading the mare. Once mare has bonded she is great...but we can't seem to get to that point with BM.

I like the idea of watching the BM handling the mare. Usually when I show up at feeding/bring in/stressful times (on purpose) I just grab the mare myself, but I this could be the wrong approach. I really, REALLY LOVE this BM...not just as a BM but as a person. I consider us friends outside of the horse connection and talk to her almost daily even when it's not about horses. After thinking about it, I agree that going to the BO wont really help. I need to talk to and work with the BM if we want to make this work. AND I need to realize that if we cannot work through this I should look for another barn.

After reading these suggests I realized that I have been skirting the issue just as much as the BM. BM aviods conflict by limiting the distance she is handling the mare. I avoid the issue by just stepping in and handling the mare, when really we need to work together. Other horses at the barn have their own issues and BM is confident handling them, so I know she CAN be a confident handler, but the connection between her and my mare has become completely derailed.

One other piece I didn't mention earlier was that BM recently has been going through a divorce and her fear seems to have grown in conjunction with the stress from her personal life. She seems to have the most problems with my mare when she is the most stressed out (in my opinion).

Tomorrow I will go to the barn before dinner (bringing in in the evening seems to be when things go bad the most) and ask her if we can work together!! :yes:

CosMonster
Apr. 27, 2011, 01:41 PM
One other piece I didn't mention earlier was that BM recently has been going through a divorce and her fear seems to have grown in conjunction with the stress from her personal life. She seems to have the most problems with my mare when she is the most stressed out (in my opinion).


I think that will definitely affect it. Whether it's that your horse actually is picking up on her stress and acting up more, or that the stress in her life is making her more fearful of the same old behaviors, it can definitely make things worse.

I think your plan to talk to her and try to work with her on it is good, but ultimately if she is afraid you may have to either work it out so she doesn't have to handle your horse, or move. Most BMs won't handle horses they feel are dangerous. It may be that her tolerance for that is just lower.

You have a great attitude about the situation, though. It's so nice to see someone who actually works with their BM on issues. :)

spacytracy
Apr. 27, 2011, 08:56 PM
I think its extremely unprofessional, as a BM, to be scared of a horse but have a BOARDER bring the horse in???

If she is so concerned about liability and risk taking, why in the WORLD would she let a boarder handle the horse????

I'm sorry, but if the BM can't handle the horse, I'd move. Not because of your horse, but because if I can't trust my BM to handle my horse, to me, the BM has no business being a BM. Especially if she is letting boarders handle the horse but she won't do it herself.

The horse is only going to get worse if its not allowed out to get out energy during the day.

philosoraptor
Apr. 27, 2011, 11:13 PM
I am concerned about the liability aspect here. You have a barn owner who has made it clear that to her this horse's behavior is dangerous. You are aware of it, but the topic seems to be how to influence the BM not the horse. I know you may not want to hear this, but my thought is why not get the horse to a trainer before she hurts someone? At worst, you can be named in a lawsuit for knowingly having a "dangerous" horse that you were warned about (BM's point of view). At best, you may get her kicked out of the barn, and if other BOs know why your horse left, she may be unwelcome other places.

I also want to share the perspective of someone who working in a boarding barn for awhile. Let me tell you a story: There were two horses there who were, um, challenging. This is what I observed: Some barn workers avoided handling them at all, to the point the handler opened the stall door, open an exterior door, and let them find their own way into the stall - with human far out of reach of strikes or kicks. A few workers fancied themselves horse experts and took it upon themselves to teach the horse "who is boss" -- and I witnessed more than one horse cornered in his stall and beat over and over until the angry handler felt better. I went to the BO with polite concerns about the horse's behavior and because they were horses she liked to use for things, she said "oh he only does that for new people" or "oh it's not so bad - just be assertive." One of them kicked the BO's daughter, sending her to the ER for stitches on her skull. I got tired of watching people run from these two horses or beat them, so I resigned. The moral of my story is that horses who make people feel threatened are at high risk in a boarding situation for being neglected, mishandled, or even worse abusively beaten. Sadly I also noticed these horses' misbehavior escalated and outsiders could not figure out why such-and-such beautiful show horse was now a total mental patient.

To sum it up: you are LUCKY that staff is giving you feedback rather than just mishandling the horse out of fear or anger. Take that feedback and use it to develop a training plan. Hire a trainer or send her away, if need be. The mare has a brain. She can learn new behavioral patterns. It's just a matter of finding a training approach that's right for her.

Here is my argument for going to the trouble of training: The horse may not always have you there for her. What if she needs medical attention, you can't get to the barn, and nobody at the barn feels wants to deal with a rearer who is now injured and doesn't want to behave for a vet? What if something happens to you and you must sell her - but can't because buyers won't take her if she's known around to be "dangerous"?

Just my 2 cents worth. :D

shea'smom
Apr. 27, 2011, 11:25 PM
Well. I could label any horse in my barn dangerous, but it doesn't make them so, other than all horses are dangerous.
The OP has worked with the horse and has seen no bad behaviour. I would think it would be pointless to send it to another trainer.
If the BM doesn't like the horse, you probably have to move it , for it's sake and your liability.

Timex
Apr. 27, 2011, 11:38 PM
If the BM knew of the mare's tendencies before she moves into the barn, then I'd say she accepted the risk. Lord knows, with the crew we've got (bunch of fit, energetic youngsters headed to the track) it's not uncommon for one of them to be feeling a little too good and pop up. It is what it is, and we knew and accepted the liabilities before we allowed these horses on the farm. As a professional, it's my responsibility to either deal with the behavior or tell the owner to remove the horse. But to send a boarder out to deal with a horse I won't deal with myself? Bad call. If the BM has such an issue with the mare, if she's truly that dangerous, then she has an obligation to her staff and the rest of her clients to ask the OP to move the horse. Since that hasn't happened, I'm going to guess it's more an issue of the BM's than the mare's.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Apr. 28, 2011, 03:13 PM
In some states there are legal standards that define behavior that is "dangerous" and once it happens you have a "known" dangerous animal in some cases. I vaguely remember reading a case once, where a stallion bit some idiot who stuck his arm into his stall, and I'm 90% sure I recall the owner was liable, because the stallion had a sign on the door that said "Do not pet--Horse Bites." It is what it is--and without researching your state law, you need to be aware that you may indeed have extra liability issues.

Regardless of what the facts are, the BM has stated that she feels your horse is dangerous. My advice follows some of the others: either 1) arrange 24x7 turnout or 2) move her.

Yes, and God save that mare and you from some random barn-mate "trainer" that decides to "fix" her. Ugh.

cloudyandcallie
Apr. 28, 2011, 05:30 PM
Interestingly, at several barns I've boarded at, the vicious horses were owned by the BO. But rearing is dangerous. (As is the charging and biting I've seen at barns.) I've brought in dangerous horses with no problems and have seen other boarders do so when helping the BO, but there is great liability for the horse owner when she allows her horse to be handled by other boarders.

However, I've been at barns where BO for whatever reason, did not like certain horses and punished those horses for any small infraction. And this created horses that misbehaved.

I agree that the horse should be moved to a barn where the BO can and will handle a rearing horse. I'd also look into having someone work with the horse if it continues to rear at the new barn. And LauraKy is right, a little calming supplement might help.

mvp
Apr. 28, 2011, 07:20 PM
I can sympathize with the OP. It's really hard to 'discipline' your horse for behavior it never, ever displays with you. Honestly, the longer I am around horses, the more I realize there are an awful lot of people out there who "love" horses, but who are deep down (and sometimes, not so deep down), scared to death of them. They are fine with the super quiet, totally non-reactive animal, but cannot handle even the slightest 'deviation' from 'equine saint.'

Take this with a grain of salt because the horse in question is a gelding I bred and raised. The operative word is gelding. It may be a little different with a very savvy mare.

Anywho, this is broke within an inch of his life. But he was in exactly two situations where barn staff found him intimidating. One was with a noob horse owner trading some work for her board. Leading this horse in from TO, he'd raise his head to look at cattle in the distance. He also probably walked out anticipating grain waiting in his stall. The other was with a BO with a 0-60 temper who was a DQ who raised arabians. She wanted every horse in the barn to be led with a chain and she thought this 16.1 h wideload was *huge*.

In both cases, I did it this way.

1) I acknowledged that my horse should be attentive and well-mannered for anyone. I don't care who is leading him, he must deal.

2) They were welcome to let me know if he was a PITA and call me if they couldn't found a behavior problem.

3) I assured them that I would, by God, Fix It.

That did most of the work. The horse really was ok. They just wanted to know that I cared about their safety or work load as much as the horse.

After that, I did one thing that was helpful but a bit unfair to the horse. I set him up to fail and gave him a "tune up." What I regret is not doing this with the barn staff there and me seeing first hand just what he did that was so bad. They didn't see him say "Yes ma'am" and I didn't get the chance to help them figure out how to work with him.

If your BM is friendly with you and generally possessing of common-sense about handling horses/shares your basic standards, I think you guys can work on this together. Sometimes scared people get more out of seeing the correction and the horse submit than perfect behavior in other people's hands, day after day. The paranoid are sure that things will go wrong.... for them....someday.

The DQ was the BO of the place where this horse was in training with someone else while I was working out of town. Not optimal. After months of being there and never doing anything she grudgingly said "Well, at least that one listens." My point is that what kept this horse safe from her temper was him being really, really broke.

Cita
Apr. 28, 2011, 11:21 PM
If the BM is really that afraid of a horse you say behaves perfectly with proper handling, do you really trust this person as a BM? Do you trust this person's "horse sense"?

If the BM did indeed ask a boarder to bring in your horse, due to the BM's fears, do you trust this BM's judgment as someone who is in charge of the safety and well-being of the barn, its staff, and its horses?

starrunner
Apr. 28, 2011, 11:36 PM
Thanks for addressing an issue and hopefully you and the BM can find a resolution, especially if you can see her handling the horse in a high stress time and see it from her POV perhaps?

Better than horse owners who stick their head in the sand and won't drastically improve their horse's manners, find a trainer who will, or will allow someone to carry tools to keep him/herself safe (ie a whip, chain, etc).

After helping move a bunch of horses to new paddocks the other week, I can see how some timid BO or BM could not like handling horses that perhaps a novice could handle (ie I moved some big Saddlebreds that pulled and were just jerks, but to a big guy like my husband, he'd just treat them like an overgrown dog and ignore the pulling and giraffe head stance where a horse educated, shy BM might be uncomfortable.)

DangerHorse
Apr. 29, 2011, 11:49 AM
Thank you again everyone for all the perspectives and suggests!!! And please keep them coming!!

Unfortunately I didn’t make it out to the barn in time last night to catch the BM, BUT I talked with her and we are going to work together Monday. I’m going to come out before the horses go in for the evening so we can work together at what usually is a stressful time and hopefully have a chance to work through our issues…or, if nothing else, have an opportunity to really talk through it together.

Thanks and I'll be sure to let you all know how it goes!

Hampton Bay
Apr. 29, 2011, 11:10 PM
I think its extremely unprofessional, as a BM, to be scared of a horse but have a BOARDER bring the horse in???

If she is so concerned about liability and risk taking, why in the WORLD would she let a boarder handle the horse????

I'm sorry, but if the BM can't handle the horse, I'd move. Not because of your horse, but because if I can't trust my BM to handle my horse, to me, the BM has no business being a BM. Especially if she is letting boarders handle the horse but she won't do it herself.

The horse is only going to get worse if its not allowed out to get out energy during the day.

Those were my thoughts exactly. This might not be the best occupation, and I wonder if the BO knows she's setting him up for a potential lawsuit by letting boarders handle the horse she's afraid of.

But I can see the other side too. I had a boarder here for a while who got her horse very fit cantering tons of circles around the pasture (endurance-bred arab). Then life happened and she only came out on weekends. Very fit horse then decided that no one was going to catch her, so if I needed to, I couldn't without spending 30 minutes or so waiting her out. The final straw was when she tried to mow me over at a gallop to avoid being caught. I told the owner she either had to find someone to exercise the horse, or horse needed a new barn. Horse was gone within a week. Best thing ever for me and my horses, because that mare was terrorizing one of my horses. My farm was peaceful again immediately. It just wasn't worth it to me to have to train someone else's problem horse for free.

carp
May. 1, 2011, 12:59 AM
Not every horse gets along with every horse handler. My gelding didn't get along with one barn owner. Interestingly, his behavior at her place deteriorated to the point where I didn't feel comfortable working with him either. People who have known him at other barns can't imagine anyone being scared of him; he's usually a big good natured doofus. He just wasn't a good fit with that particular barn owner.

Erika
May. 1, 2011, 10:16 PM
Not every horse gets along with every horse handler.

Ditto this. If the problem can't be resolved with some basic work together then you need to find a new place to board IMHO.

Here is a little story:

When I was a working student at breeding farm, handling the 3 on-farm stallions was a regular occurrence - not for breeding, but turnout/turn in, grooming, lunging, etc. While I could handle all 3 stallions, I found recurring issues with one of the 3. Even when my boss tried assisting me with the issues (stallion would "talk" to the mares, and then bolt running backwards - a reaction ingrained into him from poor previous handling years prior to me being on that farm), it didn't resolve and the behaviour continued. I didn't feel safe handling him. I still handled him when it was essential, but passed it off if I could to another working-student who didn't have those issues with the stallion. Essentially, he and I didn't mix/get along. The working student who took over that chore didn't get along with one of the other stallions and thus we "traded" stallions - I handled one, she handled the other. All were happy.

SanJacMonument
May. 2, 2011, 05:22 PM
Rearing is a vice and liability but if the BO is asking a boarder to get the horse, instead of the barn workers - that kinda smells fishy...

I'd have a friendly talk with the BO and send a follow up email just to get it in writing to confirm the conversation.

Don't think moving to another barn will cure the mare of rearing as much as sound, thoughtful, and consistant training will. Everytime a person gets near the horse, she is being trained.

There will be timid people, handlers, etc at the next barn you go to as well. And vice versa, this BO will have more horses with special needs/considerations in the future so he/she just needs to deal with it and give your horse everything you are paying for - including grass if you think you & mare are being singled out.

BetterOffRed
May. 2, 2011, 05:50 PM
the long and the short:

start looking for a new facility.

It is starting to look like the horse is slowly being set up to fail.

dingdingdingdingding!!!!!!

DangerHorse
May. 5, 2011, 12:02 PM
Well, I spent the past few evenings at the barn during closing...

What I did not see was a horse that was acting dangerous...at all. What I did see was a pushy horse that knows her routine. Took horse out of the routine, said to give her one good “listen to me” and she was fine…..Stood and waited patiently.

But, I think I am seeing something else going on……

I know BM has had personal problems (going through a divorce) and has been adjusting to her new life (just started dating someone for the first time). Now, BM wants to go do new things. So, lately I’d noticed her Friend had been out at the barn a lot at closing times helping with the horses. Friend is VERY sweet, loves horses, but is not experienced in any way…but she’s learning and really wants to learn. Now I noticed Friend is closing the barn by herself. As far as cleaning and feeding, Friend is defiantly more then competent in this aspect. But as far as handling horses, Friend is timid and inexperienced. I’m starting to think that BM is labeling my horse so she can justify leaving my horse as close to the barn as possible and making it as easy as possibly for Friend…

It is BMs responsibility to keep the barn staffed and makes sure all shifts are covered. BUT should it also be BMs responsibility to make sure the staff is able to handle many unpredictable situations and not just do the job? I really like Friend and have no problem with her working when BM is there to help. But when she’s not there??...

I guess I’m not really sure what is proper and what I should expect the handler to do/be able to do with my horse or horses in general. I make a point to be around at “stressful” times to analyze my horse’s behavior and the situation. I make a point to handling my horse 5-6 days a week. I make a point to desensitize my horse to as many things as possible and make her as safe as I possiblty can. But if whoever is handling my mare lets her walk all over them, is this my fault/problem?? Is my issues with the help something I should bring up with the BO? What is the line between what I am expected to teach/reinforce with my horse and what is expected of the handlers giving my horse full care??

SMF11
May. 5, 2011, 01:23 PM
Look, the help isn't perfect. It often isn't. You have to decide what you can and can't live with. If the help isn't up to your standards, then you have to leave and find a barn where it is.

I don't think this is a complicated situation. Your horse sounds like it needs more skilled handling than is found at this barn, or, probably some other barns too. There may be more to it, but I'm guessing if the barn help is working for all the other horses, just not your horse, it is unlikely that the barn will change the barn help. More likely, they'll decide to change boarders, if it comes to that.

coloredcowhorse
May. 5, 2011, 05:01 PM
When I moved to the barn I was VERY upfront about my mare having a history of rearing with new people. She does not strike or attack, just pops up on her hind legs. Horse would rear with a new handler, punishment followed, and mare never reared with that person again.


Personally I have no problem putting a rearing horse on its butt and correcting strongly....it is very dangerous behavior and very frightening for many people. I wouldn't particularly care if your mare did it one time a year....that's one time too many....she isn't well mannered if this is her way of testing new people. She may not do it to you but the fact that she does it for others suggests a serious lack of respect for humans in general. Fortunately I don't board other people's horses except if they are here for breeding or training but this is one horse that wouldn't be staying here if I did do boarding.

mvp
May. 5, 2011, 08:58 PM
So, lately I’d noticed her Friend had been out at the barn a lot at closing times helping with the horses. Friend is VERY sweet, loves horses, but is not experienced in any way…but she’s learning and really wants to learn. Now I noticed Friend is closing the barn by herself. As far as cleaning and feeding, Friend is defiantly more then competent in this aspect. But as far as handling horses, Friend is timid and inexperienced. I’m starting to think that BM is labeling my horse so she can justify leaving my horse as close to the barn as possible and making it as easy as possibly for Friend…

It is BMs responsibility to keep the barn staffed and makes sure all shifts are covered. BUT should it also be BMs responsibility to make sure the staff is able to handle many unpredictable situations and not just do the job? I really like Friend and have no problem with her working when BM is there to help. But when she’s not there??...

I guess I’m not really sure what is proper and what I should expect the handler to do/be able to do with my horse or horses in general. I make a point to be around at “stressful” times to analyze my horse’s behavior and the situation. I make a point to handling my horse 5-6 days a week. I make a point to desensitize my horse to as many things as possible and make her as safe as I possiblty can. But if whoever is handling my mare lets her walk all over them, is this my fault/problem?? Is my issues with the help something I should bring up with the BO? What is the line between what I am expected to teach/reinforce with my horse and what is expected of the handlers giving my horse full care??

Sigh.

So you want to stay at this barn, right? Other than this, the good outweighs the bad?

If that's the case, you educate BM's Friend on horse handling and your mare. If the mare is that easy to correct, this shouldn't be a big deal. But you need to do the demo with the friend and be as observant with them together and as honest with yourself as you can. You need to be able to know they'll be ok together or not. Friend doesn't know enough to judge and BM is asleep at the wheel.

No, it's not your job (or your place) to teach Friend to deal. But you would be helping out both Friend and BM. You are meeting BM half way with something that's really her problem. If you can emphasize the "No problem with Friend, but we need to work this out so that mare gets her regular TO" and not the "You aren't doing your job" idea, it may be a solution that's good enough.

SMF11
May. 5, 2011, 11:50 PM
Personally I have no problem putting a rearing horse on its butt and correcting strongly....it is very dangerous behavior and very frightening for many people. I wouldn't particularly care if your mare did it one time a year....that's one time too many....she isn't well mannered if this is her way of testing new people. She may not do it to you but the fact that she does it for others suggests a serious lack of respect for humans in general. Fortunately I don't board other people's horses except if they are here for breeding or training but this is one horse that wouldn't be staying here if I did do boarding.

Thank you. I *do* board other peoples' horses, and if a horse's behavior is outside my comfort zone you better believe I'd ask them to leave. And my comfort zone is my comfort zone, which may be different than the OP's comfort zone, or coloredcowhorse's comfort zone -- and that doesn't matter. It's my barn, so my comfort zone rules!


Ssomething that's really her problem.

No, it is really not. It is up to *both* the owner and the BM to determine if they are comfortable with the situation. If *either* of them is not, then the horse needs to leave.

kinnip
May. 5, 2011, 11:59 PM
But if whoever is handling my mare lets her walk all over them, is this my fault/problem??

It isn't your fault, but it will certainly become your problem. Horses need consistency.

mvp
May. 6, 2011, 09:24 AM
Thank you. I *do* board other peoples' horses, and if a horse's behavior is outside my comfort zone you better believe I'd ask them to leave. And my comfort zone is my comfort zone, which may be different than the OP's comfort zone, or coloredcowhorse's comfort zone -- and that doesn't matter. It's my barn, so my comfort zone rules!



No, it is really not. It is up to *both* the owner and the BM to determine if they are comfortable with the situation. If *either* of them is not, then the horse needs to leave.

Take is easy. The "problem" in my quote (omitted here) was about finding a fill-in staff member/Friend who could lead this mare. The "problem" is not the BM's comfort level with a rearing horse.

OP made it sound as if BM could, in fact, deal with the mare and that the mare being TOed close to the barn actually had a different cause.


It isn't your fault, but it will certainly become your problem. Horses need consistency.

True. The buck stopper for the horse's bad behavior is the owner. At least that's how I roll. But I will say that I am a bit frustrated when barn staff-- professionals who are presumably better at this than I am-- won't work with me. "My barn, my rules" works fine for me 99% of the time because I have high standards for my horse's behavior. But the statement strikes me as unnecessarily imperious when both sides know that it actually takes coordination between HO and BO. I don't think I have *ever* said "My money, my horse, my rules," for example. I'd expect that to piss of a BO.

SMF11
May. 6, 2011, 09:57 AM
Take is easy. The "problem" in my quote (omitted here) was about finding a fill-in staff member/Friend who could lead this mare. The "problem" is not the BM's comfort level with a rearing horse.

OP made it sound as if BM could, in fact, deal with the mare and that the mare being TOed close to the barn actually had a different cause.


I thought the problem was that the BM was uncomfortable leading a horse who *might* rear, hence she was getting other people to do it.

I have no doubt there are barns with the expertise to deal with this horse (however bad, or not bad the problem is). I don't think, though, that this is something you can *talk* through -- of course you should talk, but I don't think all the talking in the world can make someone comfortable if they are not. If the BM is uncomfortable, then I think the boarder has to accept that, unfortunately.

LLDM
May. 6, 2011, 10:13 AM
Not every horse gets along with every horse handler. My gelding didn't get along with one barn owner. Interestingly, his behavior at her place deteriorated to the point where I didn't feel comfortable working with him either. People who have known him at other barns can't imagine anyone being scared of him; he's usually a big good natured doofus. He just wasn't a good fit with that particular barn owner.

This. it sounds to me like there is just a basic personality conflict between this horse and this BM. And IMHO, no amount of training is going to make them like each other. The best you're going to get is an uneasy truce - one easily broken at the least provocation. Not the ideal situation for said horse or said BM. I'd move.

I used to not believe such things happened until I ran into a similar situation personally. I've handled all sorts of horses my entire life, but this one draft/TB cross and I just. did. not. work. We annoyed the crap out of each other. I thought he was a (huge) spoiled brat, he must have thought I was some sort of horse eating monster. In short, my barn and life's too short. Owner was aghasted I asked them (very nicely) to find another situation. I gave them months to do so, and it took them that long. But in the end it was much nicer for both of us.

I wasn't afraid of this horse. He wasn't dangerous, he was a bolter. So every once in a while, while turning him out, he would just rip the lead out of your hand and run around the farm - getting everyone else worked up. It was dangerous for HIM and for the other horses, but not to me. Of course he never did it with the owner. And it isn't my place to train someone else's horse.

Bottom line is you either need a new place to board or a new BM. One you control, the other, not so much.

Save yourself some grief and quit trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Some people will just never get along, no matter how unreasonable you think that is. They just won't. And you can't MAKE them.

SCFarm

DangerHorse
May. 6, 2011, 01:56 PM
I thought the problem was that the BM was uncomfortable leading a horse who *might* rear, hence she was getting other people to do it.


At first this IS what I thought was going on, but after watching and seeing BM with mare and how much more Friend is working, I'm not so sure anymore. I believe BM is now fine with mare but is saying mare is a problem to justify making it as easy as possible for Friend, who might not be able to handle a fresh horse and seems to be working more and more for BM. I think BM's mind is somewhere else and she's not putting as much effort into the job as she once did.

One night last week when I showed up Friend was trying to close the barn by herself and she had to call BM because she was afraid to grab one of the horses...and it was NOT my horse. It was another mare that can be rather pushy and she was worked up because she was the last one out. Also, I would say out of all the horses at the barn, my mare and this other pushy mare are BY FAR the two most fit horses on the property. The rest of the horses are rather plump and lazy
:D


Sigh.

So you want to stay at this barn, right? Other than this, the good outweighs the bad?

If that's the case, you educate BM's Friend on horse handling and your mare. If the mare is that easy to correct, this shouldn't be a big deal. But you need to do the demo with the friend and be as observant with them together and as honest with yourself as you can. You need to be able to know they'll be ok together or not. Friend doesn't know enough to judge and BM is asleep at the wheel.


YES!! I LOVE this place. The good far outweighs the bad. At this point the only bad being mare doesn't get turned out in the larger pastures during the day. I turn her out on the large grass pastures almost daily, as I am there 5-6 days a week. As I said, mare is in good shape and the more she can get out, the easier she is going to be to handle. I really like the idea of working with Friend and am more then happy to help her become more confident. I am lucky that I can easily adjust my hours at work (go in earlier, leave earlier), and I think it is best for me to do this for a while (or at least until the spring springiness wears off) to make sure everyone is comfortable and succeeding.


It isn't your fault, but it will certainly become your problem. Horses need consistency.

I completely agree with this, and I guess the direction I've been trying to take this post is trying to figure out where the line between "full care" and "HO responsibility" falls.

Thank you everyone for the perspectives and ideas. I really appreciate everyone's input!! :yes:

SMF11
May. 6, 2011, 07:50 PM
Dangerhorse, with your attitude, you'd be welcome in my barn any time.:D Your horse, hmmm . . . . although the horses are out 24/7 here, so leading to turnout is not an issue at all. :lol:

Anyway, seriously, great attitude on your part, it is great to see.