Hi everyone. I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars trying to figure out what is wrong with my pony. He has been seen by vet hospitals and everyone else in between. I've tested him for everything possible and I'm completely out of options. We can't find anything wrong with him physically and I need to cut my losses before I'm broke. However, I am very concerned about his aggression towards people which makes finding a new home for him very difficult. We only had him for a year and he was always very easygoing (ridden and handled by an 8 year old). His aggression didn't appear until 9 months after we bought him. Now he is a ticking time bomb and he can't be around kids. Can I donate him to a vet hospital or an equine behaviorist/rehab farm? I'm in NC and he is only 11 years old. He is also sound. His issues are apparently neurological and behavior related. What might some of my options be? I want to unload him fast because I can't handle the stress/financial pressure anymore. This is a sad ending for a first time horse owner.
How bad is the aggression? Would an experienced person be able to handle the pony? Or is this pony downright dangerous no matter who handles him? Does he give any warning before attacking? Is it biting, kicking, striking or ????
A vet hospital will take him but considering his issue, I'd guess he'd be a candidate for the kind of study where the euthanize & necropsy the horse when they're done.
A rescue/shelter *might* take him. However, we're coming into fall and many areas of the east coast are short on hay. They might be more interested if you can wait until spring.
A really experienced horse person might take him as a project. I'm going to pass on this link to a few people I know who like challenges, and perhaps one of them will contact you.
This is a sad ending for a first time horse owner.
Sorry to hear of your troubles. Ponies can be and often are tough cookies who are not easily intimidated as most horses are. They will take complete advantage of you if they think they can get away with it. If he senses your fear, the battle is lost.
You've ruled out medical problems but you've made no mention of having a professional trainer or even an experienced horse owner try to work with him. Give that a try before giving up. The trainer should also be able to teach you how to properly handle a pony.
Round pen candidate.... Get with a good trainer who understands round penning principles and you will have a better shot a rehabbing this guy. I have seen some amazing results with some really messed up horses.
If you want/need a referral, email me and I'll see what I can do.
Hi all. He hates people more than he hates other horses. When he is turned out with other geldings he will just leave them alone and keeps to himself. He will not play with them and will not fight back if they bite him etc. However with people he will bite you any chance he gets. He kicks on the cross ties if he even thinks you are going to touch him. While I am not that experienced, I can handle him fine (I used to ride him) if I tune into his warning signs before he strikes. You can't let your guard down with this one. He attacked a friend of mine while she was tying him on the trailer at a show about a year ago. And he bit me about a week ago on the back as I was trying to pick his hoof! It's random attacks not a constant aggressive behavior. He was a hunter pony ridden by an 8 year old! Hard to imagine he is like this now.
um- if he was handled by an eight year old sounds to me no offence that you a novice in your approach to handling of horses--
see the thing if they get your no they will advade you at all costs doesnt matter what you do to the pony
if you had him a year and this started 9mths ago then its not a doped pony or a vicious pony its your own handlling thats done it sorry but a horses and ponies only learn from the human hand- how you act the horse or pony will re- act
so - have you been doing any of pareill for instance -- as that doesnt work at home
so what to do - it doesnt have to cost you a thing -
change your attitude and get tough- horses and ponies dont like namby pamby people
with treats -- and stuff as this only rewards a negattive or bad behaviour and will only encourage the horse to play up more and more and more
for exsapmle say we cant catch our horse--- um lookey here there comes a treat
ok says horse i take that pi off and then come back for another-- you dive into oh my god mode-- now what so give another-- horse say i like this game so i think i will turn , my bum and theathen--- oh look anther treat horse thinks ummmm - next time i will rear and so the it goes on and you dive into a shell becuase you cant get said pony
when say you finally get pony - you enter stable it pins it ears back
you are then weary of entering said stable so horse gets a treats oh deaer horse has your no again and then turns his bum and so it goes on
and continues to such an extent you cant do anything so look to vet and anyone else
these sernerios are just exsamples and when i say you i mean in general
so-- doubt - hesitate - by you means in a horses or ponies mind you have created fear factor--- so horse will advade you - period
so- change your tune be assertive , be direct no nampby pamby stuff
and handle the horse with out hestation and mean what you intend to do
no treats but pats and scratches and use your voice as in tones of voice so when it good you praze it well when it bad you scold it
cant help unless we know exactly what your problems are as you dont state enough
but i can imagine-- i have seen tons of it in my lifetime
a horse loves good management a good routine
a horse loves to be groomed and his pick out as both of these are bonding and create trust factor
if you cant catch said horse leave his halter on with a bit of bailing twine an inch longer than yur hand and plait it so when you grab hold it isnt going to slcie your fingers
when you have him hold of tie him up and groom him . re start and lead him in hand
with a show cane-- show cane to be held in the same hand you hold under his chin with on the lead rope if he misbehaviors you jab him one in the neck and tell him to walk on
and lead from the schoulder not from his chin - you walk next to his schoulder so you have the power of control behind his eye once he learnt that and you mean bisness
he start to realise no more games
from there if he doesnt stand still when grooming and hes tied put a long line
on him -- thread it through the hitch ring -- and then groom him and treat him like a new greenie-- if he pulls that fine and you have the lenght
so hold the line in one hand and brush with the other if he moves back go with him
then when he stops take up the line and re position keep doing it till he gives up
it not hard and it easy fro him to realise you mean bisness and tell him no if he does back up or try to pull away
if he doesnt stand when feet are done - tie him up on a lead line
go to pick up said feet if he strikes with either front or back then
out comes your friend the water pistol--- if front strke out squirk him and say no
and ask again keep doing it he will give up
can do hinds the same way but if it doesnt work on the hinds
then your water pistol got to be bigger so go get your freind the hose pipe and stand there till he summits--- and keep doing till he does if its me with your horse i dont give in i would stand there all poxey day --- its a battle of wills and you wont beat me
in the stable -- every time he has his his pinned back or goes to have a go-- the water pistol comes out--
move everything to the front of the stall-- water hay and feed bowl
put a bar nose hieght above the door way-- why
its an illusion makes the door look bigger wont charge at it - cant lunge to bite people
and stops him being an arse
it also teaches them not to hang on door or crib it
so horse doesnt behave in stable - so you get your freind the broom
turn it upside down -- if the horse doesnt back away from door when you enter
tap floor with handle of broom and say back--- if horse still does go back stretrch your arm out with the broom another illusion to make you look ten times bigger than you are
this tells said horse you mean bisness - tap floor and ask again
horse will back off and it only needs to be done a couple times
my point little tips-- of assertiveness at no time have i ask you to hit the horse
but at the same time-- i have created an illusion that i am the alpha mare and iam not to be played with
and the horse will responsed becuase i have been quiet un intrusive in his space
but gain control each one-- and when hes mine he will behave
so when i have him out in the field he know i want to catch him iam alpha so he will come to me becuase he wants me -- and i have his no--- and i have used no treats other
things are a reward
his bed his food his exercise plan his water his vet care his farrier care etc
a pat a scartch and a cuddle
horse will drop the bitting if no treats he will drop attitudde with no treats if you treat then put it in his dinner where it belongs
there lots of thing you can do to make this pony a better one its not his fault
but 1st you have to be honest with yourself,
horses minds- you have to get into the horses mind so it see its a good idea with anything you do to it --
As the owner of a 'formerly' aggressive horse, I feel your pain (no pun intended). You are on a slippery slope as there are huge liabilities on your shoulders if this pony hurts someone.
My horse can no longer be in a boarding situation. He was aggressive and dangerous. He is in a backyard barn now, with limited human contact and he has turned around 100%. I am pretty convinced he had ulcers and that was just causing him more pain, hence the acting out toward humans. I just recently discovered an serious injury to his leg, and prior to that, he had started acting up and going back to a few of his old tricks. He was trying to let me know he hurt, I just did not listen.
It sound like this pony knows your number and it is only a matter of time before he hurts you. Get a professional involved before this happens. I also saw your post on donating him to a vet school and to be honest, although this is your first horse, you might be better at putting him down then subjecting him to any further opportunity of hurting someone. Not to sound horrible but this was a decision that I had to consider when my guy was at his worst. I was able to give him time and his space, which has worked for him. He is pleasant to deal with, easy to handle and respectiful of my space now that he feels better.
He also went from 23 hours in a stall to 24/7 turn out with a buddy. Most of his life was spent alone and he had never been out with another horse until now. I would evaluate his enviroment, his feed, his turnout, not just the medical aspects of his case.
I can't imagine euthanizing the pony without having a professional trainer that specializes in behavior issues try to work with him first. If you are a first time horse owner, maybe something you have unknowingly done has really bothered this pony. I have seen this happen more than once. Good luck to you and the pony.
I agree with the professional. If you can't afford to send him to a trainer than euthanize him. There are worse fates than death out there for horses and no horse's life is worth a person's. I hate to be so blunt but you must consider your own safety and that of other people first.
I know plenty a 15 year old girl with guts that would kill for a meany pony like that. honestly, he sounds like his ground manners ran away from a lack of reinforcement... i dont think he's psycho and euthanasia worthy (i dont think ANY are for mental reasons....)
he, he.... is it bad that he actually sounds like FUN to me believe me if i had the room/funds/time, i'd have you putting him on a trailer this instant.
Lemme talk to my BM at my teaching barn and see if she wants a project to play with.
Sorry for your troubles. It sounds like you've done everything you know to do to figure this pony's problem out. There may be some folks with more resources to devote to solving the mystery of his behavior change that monitor these forums. I believe that there is a giveaway forum here further down on the list that seems to get a lot of attention from experienced horse people. Maybe you could place him out through that into a home that can devote additional time to problem solving this case with no children that would be in harm's way. It's good of you to consider alternatives to euthanasia as you certainly seem to have endured much emotional stress and financial trauma over this. Good luck to you.
You say the pony has been checked over and there are no physical reasons for his behaviour. You say that it appears that he has neurological problems.
I had a client who had a pony just like this. She did treat him for EPM and Lyme but he still had neuro things going on. Odd shying (previously bombproof pony) etc. She did look into giving him away.. when she was honest w/people as to what he did, NO ONE would take him. Thank God. Because he really was dangerous.
He finally chased her out of the pasture one day. She told me that she finally saw what I had seen in him when he stayed at my place (he was turned out for 6 months to see if that would help).
She euthanized him the next week. She says in retrospect that she just feels so lucky that no one got hurt and that no one took him, because it was a matter of time before someone DID get hurt. Or killed.
"Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
--- The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.
I'm sorry to hear of your troubles with your pony.
Have you had a professional trainer work with him? (And not just someone who happens to take money to work with horses, but someone with a good track record with plenty of references.)
If you've tried that route, then you really can't pass along a genuinely dangerous and unpredictable horse. Rather than risk his hurting someone, or ending up with a fate worse than death (abused, neglected, etc.) please do the difficult but right thing an euthanize him.
But please work with a trainer first, if you haven't already.