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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    Default Horse Flipping Over Backwards Under Saddle *Update p2*

    First let me start by saying i am so upset over this i am shaking!

    Okay, I started this nice little 14.3h grade mare under saddle for a friend for free. She's awesome! Smart, willing, uncomplicated. Never gave me an ounce of issue. I started her slow with round pen work first, got her going at all 3 gaites on voice command, then moved on to long lining. got her stopping and turning on the line at the walk and trot fine before even sitting on her. Her first backing was perfect, and she left with a big smile on her face. When i stopped working with her (moved, she was in my yard basically) I had ridden her 5 times and she was walking, trotting and steering fine under saddle. Never an issue. The only thing that she was doing that a person not familiar with greenies would notice was that she was still mouthy with the bit like *La, la la, rolling it in her mouth* and you would some times have to ask for a circle or a yield to the leg to get her to focus back on the ride and not her bit.
    Oh did i mention i did all this work with her FOR FREE?
    so I get a call about a week ago asking what bit I had been using on her because she is "fighting the bit" I explained that she is still VERY green and finds the bit as a fun new toy. The (green riding) owner was using a 5.5" happy mouth eggbutt (way too big for her) and said she was having trouble stopping and turning. I gave Owner the crash course on how to help with the behavior (told owner to let her wear it in her stall or RP for an hour and just play it out, or that owner could put a nose band on <adjusted to 2 fingers> to give her some stability, how to use a leading rein, etc ) I told Owner to try a 5" full cheek to see if that helped with her steering. I offered to go to the tack store and help pick out the right tack, AND I offered to come help work with both of them together.
    Owner didnt take me up on either.
    So I get a phone call now asking about hackamores. Says the mare is still fighting the bit. Says "she's fighting so bad that she's flipped over on me twice" WHAT?!?!?? Said she came in from the pasture in a bad mood and Owner had to fight with her for 45 minutes to get her to listen. She flipped over in the beginning but "after I got back on and ran her for 20 minutes she was great for the whole next hour"
    I explained that this is a serious behavior that is only caused when the horse feels they are in an extreme situation, and that it can turn into a dangerous habit. I suggested that it could be pain related seeing as how she's never had her teeth floated (she's 6), and that a floating and perhaps a hackamore may be the solution, but that I needed to come see her to be sure it was a pain issue and not a communication issue.
    I also explained that when a horse is 'in a bad mood' you have to change your goals for the day to meet their capacity for learning, and that it may be enough to ask her to stand politely while being groomed and never ride. (that sounded like it didnt register) Owner said "but we are focusing on simple things, it's just stopping and turning" and I want her to stand still after I loosen the reins.
    I've albeit politely said that i am intervening. I am going to come out, inspect her mouth, and bring a bag o' bitless types, and see if I can figure out what the heck is happening with this poor mare. I cant allow abuse to happen even if it is out of ignorance. I've also offered to keep her at my place for only the cost of food and finish her training.

    Uggh! I am so frustrated, i feel like I am doing all i can for this little mare, but it still feels like not enough. Suggestions?
    Trainers: How would you handle this situation?
    Last edited by Petstorejunkie; Apr. 17, 2009 at 09:33 PM.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
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    MI
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    Default

    They're trapping her and she's going up. What can you do about it? Nothing short of buying the horse.

    And if the horse has done it enough now? Horse has a new tool in her tool box.

    Nearly 5 years later, I still have *this* horse. And she still has the propensity to go up if trapped or otherwise unhappy as this became a learned behavior.

    You really have only three options:

    1) MYOB (which I think is irresponsible and I couldn't do it)
    2) buy horse (which sucks because it costs money and then you're stuck with said horse)
    3) convince owners that they have no business riding horse and it needs training--but still, now the horse knows up.

    Horse is kind of screwed unless she can find a rider who knows what in the hell they're doing.

    I wish it were better than that...but IME, that's kind of it.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Suffolk, VA
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    Default

    Saddle fit could also be a major issue. Are they using a different saddle?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2006
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    7,401

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    They're trapping her and she's going up. What can you do about it? Nothing short of buying the horse.

    And if the horse has done it enough now? Horse has a new tool in her tool box.

    Nearly 5 years later, I still have *this* horse. And she still has the propensity to go up if trapped or otherwise unhappy as this became a learned behavior.

    You really have only three options:

    1) MYOB (which I think is irresponsible and I couldn't do it)
    2) buy horse (which sucks because it costs money and then you're stuck with said horse)
    3) convince owners that they have no business riding horse and it needs training--but still, now the horse knows up.

    Horse is kind of screwed unless she can find a rider who knows what in the hell they're doing.

    I wish it were better than that...but IME, that's kind of it.
    BR said it perfectly. I agree on all accounts.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2007
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    4,227

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    They're trapping her and she's going up. What can you do about it? Nothing short of buying the horse.

    And if the horse has done it enough now? Horse has a new tool in her tool box.

    Nearly 5 years later, I still have *this* horse. And she still has the propensity to go up if trapped or otherwise unhappy as this became a learned behavior.

    You really have only three options:

    1) MYOB (which I think is irresponsible and I couldn't do it)
    2) buy horse (which sucks because it costs money and then you're stuck with said horse)
    3) convince owners that they have no business riding horse and it needs training--but still, now the horse knows up.

    Horse is kind of screwed unless she can find a rider who knows what in the hell they're doing.

    I wish it were better than that...but IME, that's kind of it.
    Ditto - owner is f'ing up the horse via incompetence.
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    17,028

    Default Fix it or walk

    Those are your only two options.

    It sounds like you have done a very good job for the horse. She's now getting screwed by her owner who just doesn't know any better. Either both need to take lessons from you (or some other competent trainer) or you need to extricate yourself from the situation. It will only get worse, with you watching.

    I'm sorry you did this for free. Been there, done that, seen the experience you describe and got the T-shirt. Part of the problem may be that the people don't want to spend money to learn how to ride and train their horse. If so, you really can't fix that, nor can you expect it to change.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    1) MYOB (which I think is irresponsible and I couldn't do it)
    2) buy horse (which sucks because it costs money and then you're stuck with said horse)
    3) convince owners that they have no business riding horse and it needs training--but still, now the horse knows up.
    1) I can't really. Owner calls me for advice (which i am thankful for, it at least gives me an avenue to help and gives hope that Owner does actually want to learn). I cannot consciously allow abuse to happen
    2) While she would cost nothing more than $50 a month for me to keep, i have no use for her (and the market sux for resale right now) and Owner has actually given her to a child (yes, you heard correctly)
    3)I'm going to try my best psychology skillz to implement this gently... and try to meet the new owners and hopefully intervene, and talk some sense into SOMEBODY.

    Do I have the option to contact aspca type places over something like this if i am able to get nowhere... or is that overstepping myself? Just preparing for worst case senario type thing
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  8. #8
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    May. 28, 2006
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    Florida
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
    and Owner has actually given her to a child (yes, you heard correctly)
    Oh geez...
    Do you know if the Kid has a trainer, or at least any experience riding greenies/problem types? Good luck, tough sitch. :/



  9. #9
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    Default

    i'd be willing to put fifty cents on that this kid has never ridden before... i havent met the kid, but i do think that if i can arrange it i can get kid + mare going nicely together in no time. This mare has/had the babysitter bombproof packer type brain when i was working with her.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2003
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    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!
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    Default

    There are some serious issues of liability here..."previous knowledge" of a dagerous behavior....yikes
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  11. #11
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Default New owners. Yay!

    Seriously, kid or not, a change may be good. Give these people a chance. Tell them what you know about the horse. If you don't mind continuing to share your knowledge, perhaps the kid (and parents) would be willing to learn, even grateful for your help. If nothing else, the horse gets another chance.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
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    Default

    No...this doesn't constitute abuse or neglect per any statute I've ever seen.

    So you can't call someone and just report them for being an idiot with a green reactive horse.

    And if they've sold it to a minor child? Wowza. Do you have insurance? Your name is now attached to this.

    I would be very vocal about this....

    1) Folks, I think this mare is a bit of a handful and needs more professional training.....

    2) Folks, selling this horse to a minor child is a tremendous liability.

    3) Folks, waiting til your horse is SIX YEARS OLD to get her teeth looked at is bad horsemanship. HELLO?

    I don't know what you should do. Truly. Aside from getting the horse yourself, what can you MAKE them do? NOTHING.

    Another one bites the dust.

    I am not a hateful person. But given what I've gone through in the last few years with my little "rescue" at 3500...let me tell you....once they learn this it's hard. And if they find a person willing to deal? Great. If not? This is what slaughter is for. Horses turned crazy dangerous by idiot owners. I hate them. The owners/riders. Not the horses.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodland View Post
    owner is f'ing up the horse via incompetence.
    Ooooooh this needs to be a big ass bumper sticker! hand them out like candy

    Sorry I have no advice..



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
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    11,327

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    Don't walk away; run.

    So the kid gets on the horse, mishandles the mouth, the horse goes over backwards fracturing the kid's sternum (shades of Malcom Baldridge), and the kid dies. In the ensuing investigation the attorney for estate learns that you've been training the horse and giving advice. Guess who's gonna get an invite to a party?

    There's no way you can win in this one, OP. All you can do is lose. Either by getting sued or watching a tragedy unfold before you that you can't control.

    It's tough walking away, but sometimes it's the only way.

    G.



  15. #15
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    May. 27, 2008
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    East Jesus No-Where
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    Default

    I've been in 2 similar situations. However both were paying clients who only want 30 days training (cause as we all know that is the magic number).

    Client one returned to me telling me it was my fault and wanted me to fix the problem, I did. However they refused to use the bit I instructed them to (full cheek snaffle) and proceeded to put the filly in a Kimberwick and hang on her face. Their lack of leg and inability to ride and lack of desire to learn destroyed a very nice little paint mare. They came back to me again and I turned them away. I would not have my name attatched to the disaster or the impending legal action.

    Client two had me get the horse under saddle as their trainer didn't feel comfortable doing so. After leaving me said trainer changed up all the tack and tactics claiming I let the mare just run around (I tend to like forward in a hunter myself...) and bitted her up and added a martingale. Trainer never sat on her, just the teenage client. After several incidents they returned to me asking my take on it, I told them cut and dry the problem and they came to be a good client/student. Big problem is the mare ALWAYS after that had the potetial to do so. So FORWARD FORWARD FORWARD had to be instilled in the rider. It was difficult for her at first to understand FORWARD IS OUR FRIEND. But with time rider came to understand the potetial for danger the horse had and learned to ride her safely. they are still a good pair.

    Sadly, version two is a rare happening I belive. My advice is to talk to and come clean to the new owners; if nothing else to clear yourself of liability. If you talk turkey with them you are less likely to be held liable than if you name comes up later and it seems you were in on the secret. JMO. Regardless, always a sticky deal. Good luck.



  16. #16
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    Mar. 12, 2006
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    Don't even speak to this perosn again until you have something in writing from the kids parents. Even then I probably wouldn't do it. That pony is going to hurt that kid and you don't want to be blamed for it. They sound like idiots and idiots will blame everyone around them including the federal government and God. And you.

    Some people are just Darwin awards waiting to happen.



  17. #17
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    Jul. 22, 2007
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    Actually the kid might do all right with the horse. He/she won't be demanding much except stop and go. God does protect children and fools. Stupid is on their own though.

    I stopped giving advice and helping after a newbie came to me and told me they wanted to get into horses and what should they get. I told them to take some lessions and when they were ready to get a gelding, between 8-10....you know the drill, and I also advised they count on spending in the neighborhood of $3K. I've found in this price range most sellers care about where their horses are going and have put a little time into their pleasure horses.

    So I get a phone call....."I bought a horse! He's 5! And we can grow together!" Where did you get him? I asked. "From a trader!" (I don't have anything against traders, but they are in the business of selling horses and can't be particularly choosy in order to make a living). "Did you listen to anything I said?" I did ask her.


    Head banging on desk. Horse started to bite, she didn't like him anymore, so she sold that one, and the next, and the next. She went through about 5 horses in six months before I left that job, and I know she spent well in excess of the $3K I originally advised.

    Some people just don't listen and you can't save them from themselves.



  18. #18
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    Feb. 6, 2003
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    Default

    Do I have the option to contact aspca type places over something like this if i am able to get nowhere... or is that overstepping myself?
    Unfortunately, no. If stupid riding were illegal...well let's just say they'd need to build about 40,000 new jails and hire about 1/2 million more SPCA officers.

    Good luck whatever happens.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  19. #19
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    Default

    You are right. I didnt think about how trying to help could come back to bite me in the ass in court as someone who caused this. I yet do not know who the new owners are, so that's step #1 i need to meet them. Step #2 is explain to new owners that horse has now learned a deadly habit and that like alcoholism its never truly gone, and there will always be a higher probability this pony will hurt their child over one that has not learned this. Step #3 (if needed) is inform previous owner that they have given a dangerous horse to a minor, and that this could come back to bite them in the ass hard later, and it's best to bow out of the mare's training. That gives me the opportunity for step #4 prepare a written contract for training of the mare with hold harmless clause regarding horses' previous dangerous habit. or reccomend new owners send her to a qualified trainer and get their kid some lessons. I'm thinking pass to a new trainer is my safest legal bet.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  20. #20
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    BTDT - WALK AWAY. Don't take one more call except to say "I'm sorry but this is out of my barn and out of my hands. The new owners should hire a professional trainer to evaluate the situation. Best wishes. '

    DONE.

    Get this mess of eejits OUT of your life. You can't fix stupid.

    PS- Don't Train for Free. To the owners your experience, time, and energy is worth what they paid for it. In other words, NOTHING. You aren't worth anything b/c you didn't value your own services enough to bill them for them. Learn from this, please!!!



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