The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 38 of 38
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,127

    Default

    I don't think we can speak in general about horses that are "not quite right upstairs", as some say around here.
    Those come in all flavors of "different".
    I call those horses "quirky".

    You live with, manage, train and ride the horse in front of you and learn to deal with whatever that horse is.
    If some of those quirks makes a horse really dangerous, you can keep working to get them over it, or see where that horse would be a better fit.
    There are way too many reasons for those few really dangerous horses.

    A friend had one of those, wonderful ranch horse, that he bought as a four year old from a cowboy with a broken arm, courtesy of the horse.
    That friend did great with the horse, until one day, he doesn't know what happens, the horse bucked him off and ran thru three fences.
    They found him standing in a draw, addled looking.
    The friend doesn't remember because he ended up in the ER for a week.
    For what he said, he was just long trotting down the pasture from one windmill to the other, checking water holes, as he did regularly.

    Well, he kept riding the very nice horse, that didn't get hurt in that fracas and another year later, the same happened with the same results, friend in ER for a week being put back together.

    He kept riding the horse and a few years later, the same again and this time, he gave the horse to his nephew, that is much younger and he used the horse until he was retired, but said that he too had a few times some wild rides on that horse, that would, according to him, out of the blue, just lose it, without obvious rhyme or reason.
    He was eventually retired, no one else wanted to ride him and became a pretty pasture ornament.
    We wondered if he had a touch of loco weed when young, not enough to show, but maybe had enough brain damage to have short circuits at times and some of those ending up with those blow-outs.
    No one will ever know.

    Some times, you can find why a horse is quirky and fix it, or a way to manage it and some other times, you do the best you can, but the horse will always be a bit "special".

    As some say, with some horses, "when a horse tells you who they are, believe them".


    2 members found this post helpful.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,109

    Default

    Guess I should have been more specific, my looky young horses do settle down with time, desensitizing and work. They are NOT Nutty, just young and inexperienced.

    Nutty is NOT fixible, in my experience. Bluey's friend should have learned with the first incident, and the second one meant the horse was REALLY not dependable. In that situation, to keep using it is stupid, you have HAD your warning!! You make them pasture ornaments or put them down. I wouldn't give it away to hurt someone else when it lost his mind!

    If you can't find the reason horse goes stupid as his excuse, then he is unsafe. You can decide to put up with it, riding him alertly at ALL times. HOPE he doesn't surprise you and hurt you badly. The woman who has the 10yr old that has "moments" is WAY more accepting of his behaviour than I would ever be.

    I don't own horses like that, no fun waiting for "that moment" to happen. I want horses I can enjoy, pretty dependable in their actions and responses to new things, different situations. I am willing to pay for brains, horses who LIKE working with me, so we both have good times together.

    Nut cases go down the road to a place that would use them differently than me or would be put down if they are that dangerous, they are NEVER dependable. Total over-reaction to little things, throwing aside all training, willingness to pause in behaviour is unacceptable in my list of horse owning standards.

    Young and silly, inexperienced but with normal brain wiring, can all be dealt with using time and work. NOT WORTH owning a brainless horse, someone WILL get hurt by him.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2010
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    3,501

    Default

    My intent with this thread was to hear about the experiences of others, and not make this about my horse. I just posted some of her "quirks" as it seemed the thread was getting side tracked to discuss spooking.

    I want to hear about issues that don't have an obvious cause.

    My horse isn't actually that spooky. She wasn't that hard to train/start, and on good days we have fun. We even have fun on the bad days once I talk her down from the ledge. She was exposed to things when younger and was shown last year and survived, (although things such as boarding her at a pasture with older geldings that borders a training track did not go well, and they brought her back to me....). I have ponied her on trails and such too.

    She doesn't feed off other horses good or bad, but nor do they feed negatively off her. They seem to know she is wacked.

    Her reactions to change are so over the top in the paddock, and seeing the things she will do when upset, and seeing how they are now manifesting to when I am riding, is making me really have to think.

    Vet looked at her Feb. Vet Chiro March. More blood work and ultrasound being done Monday.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2012
    Posts
    84

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    I don't think we can speak in general about horses that are "not quite right upstairs", as some say around here.
    Those come in all flavors of "different".
    I call those horses "quirky".

    A friend had one of those, wonderful ranch horse, that he bought as a four year old from a cowboy with a broken arm, courtesy of the horse.
    That friend did great with the horse, until one day, he doesn't know what happens, the horse bucked him off and ran thru three fences.
    They found him standing in a draw, addled looking.
    The friend doesn't remember because he ended up in the ER for a week.
    For what he said, he was just long trotting down the pasture from one windmill to the other, checking water holes, as he did regularly.

    Well, he kept riding the very nice horse, that didn't get hurt in that fracas and another year later, the same happened with the same results, friend in ER for a week being put back together.

    He kept riding the horse and a few years later, the same again and this time, he gave the horse to his nephew, that is much younger and he used the horse until he was retired, but said that he too had a few times some wild rides on that horse, that would, according to him, out of the blue, just lose it, without obvious rhyme or reason.
    He was eventually retired, no one else wanted to ride him and became a pretty pasture ornament.
    We wondered if he had a touch of loco weed when young, not enough to show, but maybe had enough brain damage to have short circuits at times and some of those ending up with those blow-outs.
    No one will ever know.

    Some times, you can find why a horse is quirky and fix it, or a way to manage it and some other times, you do the best you can, but the horse will always be a bit "special".

    As some say, with some horses, "when a horse tells you who they are, believe them".
    I rode a horse that did EXACTLY the same thing. He was a nice PRE stallion, 6 or 7 years old, well-started under saddle and usually very nice to ride. He was easy-going, uncomplicated and pleasant -- until he wasn't. And when he wasn't he would buck like nothing I have ever seen. One minute you were on a pleasant, uneventful ride, and the next it was like he swallowed his head. He would only do this maybe once a year, but it was always out of the blue and always violent. The time I was riding him, we were finishing up a trail ride. I was with four other people and we were enjoying coming back from a leisurely hack out. We weren't far from the barn when he blew up. He went from completely relaxed to rodeo bronc in a split second complete with grunting and squealing. He ran into a chain link fence, bounced off, did a 180 and headed the other direction toward a barbed wire fence. I ended up on the ground still holding the reins with him still pitching a fit. He sent a double barrel my way, put a three inch gash in my head and knocked me out for a few minutes. One of the people I was riding with caught him and I rode him back to the barn. It was as if nothing had happened. He wasn't upset, or freaked out, or even the least bit different than just prior to him losing his mind. After that I found out this had happened to at least three other people who had ridden that horse. Similar circumstances (out hacking) and without warning he just came unglued. He was like that for years, and after a while I think his owner sold him.

    The other one was an Arabian mare. She once spooked at some chickens in her paddock, wheeled around and ran full speed straight into the doorway of her stall. She managed to knock herself out. One of the weirdest things I have ever seen. She had been living in that same barn, in that same paddock/stall, with those same chickens for years. She would freak out at nothing intermittently for no apparent reason. However, she was different that the other horse I rode because she was a retired show horse and was in training with some very big name Arabian trainers for several years. I think that had a lot to do with her transient freak outs. Her brain was pretty well fried to a crisp.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Yew-stuhn, Texas
    Posts
    2,472

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    Usually only with a drastic change of scenery. As in, stabled horse gets moved to where he can live out, outside horse gets taken to a place where he's stabled, all external parameters of living and work environment, including feeding, totally altered.

    If he's not working out in your situation, doesn't mean he won't work out elsewhere. I had a big WB who absolutely, positively, let me know his brain couldn't handle XC work--even for a hack!
    However, he was happy as a clam with a predictable routine in a dressage ring, and I sold him as a dressage horse. He wound up having a very long and happy life instead of driving me nuts.
    Same here with my current 10 y.o. OTTB... He knew *nothing* when I got him and has come along tremendously, but he's not ever going to be the "all-arounder" (be able to do some dressage, jumping, trail riding, etc.) that I'm really wanting at my age. He's happier having much more of a routine (i.e. mostly ride in the arena) than I can give him, so I'm looking to sell him. I'm disappointed it didn't work out after all the time I've put in him, but it'll be best for me and him.
    View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2010
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    Nutty...out of the blue crazies, I think you have a problem to find. And there might not be a solution to the problem.
    It may be that brain function is compromised, via toxins (locoweed, fungus in feed) or magnesium deficiencies, hormone imbalances (ovarian or testicular tumors), or a brain tumor.
    None of the above would be very common, though.

    You may be dealing with the horse equivalent of PTSD. A naturally high strung horse would probably be more prone to this. Even if we have a horse his whole life, we don't know what goes on sometimes.

    My friend has a horse that got pretty whack-a-doo about rockpiles with junipers in them. It was no stretch to figure out that he probably had an incident with a cougar. The horse got past most of it, but after a really frightening incident where the horse thinks he's going to be eaten, you've got some permanent memories.

    There are a few 'real thing' horsemen out there, along the lines of Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance, who can get a horse with PTSD to 'turn loose'. If you can find somebody like that, and not some TV-star wannabe, you have a chance at salvaging a horse with a fear problem unrelated to toxins, tumors, etc. But boy, if you don't know who to send the horse to, and you get the wrong 'cowboy', you're going to have a horse with some even more severe problems. And if YOU can't learn to help the horse 'turn loose', it won't be helpful in the long run.

    In any case, the danger posed to handlers and bystanders would really have to be taken into consideration. After an appropriate investigation into solvable veterinary situations, I would strongly consider euthanising a 'nutty' (not spooky) horse.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010
    Posts
    1,698

    Default

    The hard thing to figure out is....will they seriously hurt you or someone else before they outgrow the nuttiness? My horse was started by the best colt starter around - and he's also the last horse she started, as she got seriously seriously injured by the crazy horse she took from someone and was trying to straighten out.

    No crystal ball, and I admire people who will keep working with the truly nutty ones, but I would really have to think hard before I risked life and limb working with one.

    (And I have a very alert spook in place Arab, who has settled down tremendously in the 4 years I've owned him. But I have made a serious effort to understand him and what I was doing wrong at the beginning. But he was NOT dangerous nutty.)


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 1999
    Location
    Midland, NC, USA
    Posts
    7,227

    Default

    We have a horse we bred and raised..... Dam was super sensible, sire was gorgeous but a bit of a nut (super reactive and prone to explosive episodes with no sense of self-preservation). The youngster was always very reactive, prone to freaking out over stupid things (like, someone walking into his stall carrying a haynet). When he was five I was having a perfectly lovely lesson on him, he freaked out of nowhere, bucked me off (not the easiest thing to accomplish) and my very experienced trainer (who quite liked his movement and jump up until that moment) said SELL HIM. Unfortunately he's really my hubby's horse, and he is very fancy so hubby wanted a pretty hefty price for him. He pretty much sat around for two years, ridden occassionally but he was not trustworthy enough for any but the most advanced students and they have their own horses. I have too many other horses to ride. Then finally one day after chasing him around the pasture for WELL over an hour, hubby decided that we should send him to a cowboy to 'work the stupid out of him'.

    He spent 2 months over a year ago with a cowboy who anytime he started that spooky freaky nonsense would rope his feet (didn't they do that in Buck?) until he quit, would tie him to the fence and work cows around him, etc. When he came back one of my advanced students agreed to keep him working if we paid for shows and such. He is still very reactive but has only gone totally stupid once (student got off after a ride, bent down to tie the lace on her field boot and he freaked, took off bucking and went for a tour of the farm). Meanwhile they've been doing a bunch of shows and he has really cleaned up. He is still a twit (will stick his head out looking for attention but if you walk up to his stall and pat him he spooks and snorts) but he's deal able...... But he is always handled and ridden 'on alert'!

    Jennifer



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    505

    Default

    Mine did, after I switched his feed. He was on Safechoice and is now on Renew Gold and Biostar. The random spookiness is gone and he's much more focused in his work. My guess is he's sensitive to corn or some other high-sugar ingredient in his old feed.
    Savannah Custom Scrapbook Design. For horses...and people, too!
    www.savannahscrapbooks.com
    www.thislifeblog.com


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2000
    Posts
    3,118

    Default

    We've got one in the barn - purchased by my retired, for the most part not a rider, aged father. He wanted a young-ish, registered QH mare that was buckskin. So he bought one. It's a total nut job. She's dangerous & unpredictable. She's MOST predictable while you're riding her IF you throw the reins away, do your best not to touch her AT ALL, and don't ask her to go anywhere or do anything she doesn't want to do. Even when riding her with the Bumper Car, she does idiot stuff. I've been fooling with her in case my dad gets confused with the warm spring weather and decides to ride her (he REALLY sets her off - that's one of the few predictable issues). She's just irrationally cooky - there's no other way to qualify it. Hyper sensitive to EVERYTHING & stands with her lips pursed as tight as possible at all times. DD & our college kid boarder have only recently gotten to where they will even lead the mare or go into a paddock/pasture to catch the mare she's turned out with. Sometimes she'll walk up to you & then suddenly pin her ears and spin & kick out...with no warning, no nothing...CRAY CRAY.

    If I could convince Ben Cartwright to sell his pasture ornament, I'd be in high cotton. But I wouldn't feel good selling this mare b/c she's dangerous. And her brand of crazy wouldn't withstand the cowboy treatment - I swear she would just lay down and die if someone put the screws to her...which may not be such a bad thing.

    Good luck to you as you continue to dig for answers. As I'm fond of saying, the bad ones cost just as much to feed as the good ones. And the liability....Best wishes to you!



  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2010
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    My guess is he's sensitive to corn
    Or a toxic fungus on the corn. Fungi can cause some...uh...mental goofiness, if not outright kill you!

    As to finding someone who CAN work with a nutty, unpredictable horse...if they can figure the horse out, great. But it's hard to watch someone, who can really help out a lot of horses, get really hurt by a horse that isn't really right in the first place.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2007
    Posts
    2,133

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    I don't think we can speak in general about horses that are "not quite right upstairs", as some say around here.
    Those come in all flavors of "different".
    I call those horses "quirky".

    You live with, manage, train and ride the horse in front of you and learn to deal with whatever that horse is.
    If some of those quirks makes a horse really dangerous, you can keep working to get them over it, or see where that horse would be a better fit.
    There are way too many reasons for those few really dangerous horses.

    A friend had one of those, wonderful ranch horse, that he bought as a four year old from a cowboy with a broken arm, courtesy of the horse.
    That friend did great with the horse, until one day, he doesn't know what happens, the horse bucked him off and ran thru three fences.
    They found him standing in a draw, addled looking.
    The friend doesn't remember because he ended up in the ER for a week.
    For what he said, he was just long trotting down the pasture from one windmill to the other, checking water holes, as he did regularly.

    Well, he kept riding the very nice horse, that didn't get hurt in that fracas and another year later, the same happened with the same results, friend in ER for a week being put back together.

    He kept riding the horse and a few years later, the same again and this time, he gave the horse to his nephew, that is much younger and he used the horse until he was retired, but said that he too had a few times some wild rides on that horse, that would, according to him, out of the blue, just lose it, without obvious rhyme or reason.
    He was eventually retired, no one else wanted to ride him and became a pretty pasture ornament.
    We wondered if he had a touch of loco weed when young, not enough to show, but maybe had enough brain damage to have short circuits at times and some of those ending up with those blow-outs.
    No one will ever know.

    Some times, you can find why a horse is quirky and fix it, or a way to manage it and some other times, you do the best you can, but the horse will always be a bit "special".

    As some say, with some horses, "when a horse tells you who they are, believe them".
    I had one of these - most beautiful mare I had ever laid my eyes on - couldn't believe my good fortune when she fell into my hands. Purchased from BO, four years old, never been saddled. (She was a broodmare, purchased in foal at 2!) Appy/TB cross. Sent her to a trainer I knew and respected - took a month before he could sit on her without being tossed (first red flag). He kept her another 30 days, came home and would walk/trot. No canter yet. I was young, she was a challenge. I hit the ground every day for the first two weeks. It got better, but she was never really dependable and she, too, would explode for no reason. Buck, rear, spin - never any warning - sometimes months would go by, sometimes years, between episodes. Kept her 18 years, then had my daughter and just couldn't take the chance of getting hurt. She became a pasture companion. Funny you should mention loco weed - my BO purchased her and brought her up from TX.

    PS BO kept her two foals and they were stars - easy going, calm, very dependable. Go figure.
    "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2003
    Posts
    1,688

    Default

    It depends.

    The ones that are anxious and reactive BUT don't "check out" mentally and are aware of their own physical well being- yes. Those I've seen "fixed". And I don't mean fixed like the problem is cured. I mean "fixed" like they're just fine so long as they're in the hands of people who understand the issue and are capable of dealing with the issues. Not horses that become terribly tolerant of mistakes and they can still come unglued in the wrong hands.

    The ones that just flat out get stupid... flip over, run through fences... no. And every horse can do something terminally stupid once or twice, but if it's a repeat offender? One who "checks out" mentally and goes into flail mode? No. Never seen one of them get fixed. Once they are willing to go to that dark place mentally they never really leave.
    "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 2008
    Posts
    1,751

    Default

    You know all mine...

    Spook - high sense of self-preservation, while not immediately apparent during the blind-panic bolting, spinning, pulling back. Her key was "I do give reasonable warning for my silliness, but most people just don't look for it...be careful about backing me into corners, I need an escape route until I understand the job." The other (oft-neglected) key with Spook is "no grain, ever." Like a four-year old on Orange Crush.

    Warrior - once pain was no longer an issue, we had lack of fitness and "memory"/anticipation of pain. This delayed my reaching the final level of understanding, which is "I am kind of a jerk and a little too smart. Keep me fit, busy and ride me properly, or pay the price." Exposure fixed a lot of this horse's nuttiness on the ground, I plunked him into a busy barn and told all the moms and little girls that he was lonely because I had to work so much. Naturally, he received more cookies, fussing and nose scratches than any other horse there, and started to be less suspicious of humans in general. Getting him to the point of trusting me and only me did not fix his insanity...he needed to figure out that humans, generally, were more of a positive thing. How well this worked is a matter of interpretation...I can usually catch him, so can you...but for a variety of reasons, most other people can't. He's still pretty suspicious, and he'll never make a lesson horse. OTOH, I have him mostly figured out and he's my most consistent show horse (home vs. away.) Remember, this horse went SO "nutty" when he was hurt, that I seriously considered putting him down...and the vet agreed.

    Zora - like her mom, has moments of what appear to be blind panic. Tough-hided and strong, her body can take a lot more abuse than most farm infrastructure...so the destruction can be epic. Remember the great "slinky" incident of '10, where the BRIEFEST INSTANT that her eyes were covered resulted in two fence posts ripped out of the ground (sunk 3.5' down) and the horse upside down in the water trough. To her, this was worth it, she was not hurt. I think she was well aware of how to preserve herself. I spent the next 8 hours repairing fence. Can be tricky to figure out what she's going to feel is "new"...but like mom, her warnings are there. This horse's "resistance" is obvious, she fights, kicks, goes to strike, bucks, rears. Her "scared" is more subtle, because "scared" is "do nothing" until it turns into "panic, get me out of here." "Scared" means "break this down more, I don't get it. Prove it's safe." "Resistance" needs immediate, unambigous correction, usually physical (whip, chain, bucket, etc.) If you mix up the reactions, you're in for trouble, since unmet Resistance will immediately lead to more, better resistance, but scared met with correction will immediately escalate to panic.

    Hmm, the biggest thing these three have taught me is that you're sunk if it escalates to the "big show." You can't interrupt a bolting horse. All you can do is walk home, cool down, pat them on the head, and start over...watching for the signs of collapse more carefully...and interrupting the pre-eruption, immediately. These are all horses with reasonable work ethics and levels of training, but tendencies toward over-reactivity.

    I'm not sure I've succeeded yet with Warrior, although this recent clinic was a pleasant surprise, and seems to indicate that I'm most of the way there on the "crazy" part. Unfortunately, I often hold back with him, likely out of habit, because I don't want to push him into one of his rodeos. Now I have to work out of that.

    Spook is extremely reliable now, although she's 18 and kind of lacks the energy to be hyperactive...most of her nuttiness ceased to be an issue around 15. I also finally gave up on getting her to jump anything that she didn't personally feel was a good idea, and have settled on a fairly low level of training for her to be "finished." Lowered expectations, probably more in line with her conformation and breeding, and my own level.

    Zora is testing her professional trainer, but he hasn't given up, just accepted that he's got to move a bit slower in the early stages than he does with most. He's let her fight a lot of her own battles on the lunge line and in hobbles. This saves wear on the humans. She has also been dumped out three separate times into large herds where her butt was frequently kicked. Sure, I had to find a farmful of pulling Belgians to get her with some horses who wouldn't let her be in charge, but it was good for her. A horse this reactive might make a careful jumper, or she might be too much for me to deal with over fences. Either way, I'm ok. This horse doesn't owe me a career in any particular discipline, I'm confident that she'll make a lesson/trail horse for me, as-is. Anything else is a bonus.

    The other three, they all had/have high degrees of sensibility, responded well to training and had reasonable work ethics. Perry, Beamer and Wolfgang lack the hyper-reactivity of the other three. I also sold two and fully leased out one of those...so what does that tell you? Possibly just that it is impossible to sell/lease a really reactive horse (true) and maybe that I am kind of a glutton for punishment (likely) but also that those kind of problems are the ones I like to solve in the long run. My three reactive horses are the ones I find the most satisfying to work with, probably because they so dramatically reward my improved skills. Wolfgang doesn't really care how well I ride him. He'll work either way. Nice, in many ways. OTOH, Warrior's dramatic, day/night improvements when I figure something out are a nice reward for hard work.
    Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2007
    Location
    Andover, MA
    Posts
    5,348

    Default

    Completely different species here, and some of you may be squicked, but...

    Pet rats. I bred them for over a decade, had 4 to 14 litters each year, 1 to 18 babies per litter with an average litter size of 10. My rats were known for being sweethearts (they really are like friendly little dogs in temperament.) and I sold a lot to families with kids, older folks, etc. Good temperament was essential.

    And you know? Every once in a while, completely randomly, there was a baby who just wasn't right. It would scream if you tried to pick it up, or bite you, or would be in full threat mode, hair all on end and huffing and puffing, the moment I or anyone else came into the room. Maybe this happened in 1 out of every 50 babies; I rarely had more than one of these "evil rats" at a time.

    Obviously they stayed with me for life. I developed ways of dealing with them so I never had to touch them. In general, they got along fine with other rats and in fact I had a couple who'd try to block me from handling their friendly cagemates.

    So... maybe horses are the same way. A few are just "born that way" and not malleable enough to have it trained out of them.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2010
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,425

    Default

    Yes they can get better--most of them. As long as you make sure there is not a physical issue causing the behavior, that is the tough part. Some of them are just not right and never will be though.

    I rely on TTEAM and TTouch methods that are helpful for so many problems. Other methods too that I have learned along the way.

    Some horses, I swear, have something like PTSD from racing or whatever. They are tough but they can learn. You just have to know how to teach them.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    13,889

    Default

    When all said and done if a horse is dangerous it should not be in the way of humans ... pastured out, or whatever has to be done

    Horse ownership should be a pleasure, peaceful and fairly safe. There is no fun in riding/handling a likely bomb. I don't even know how someone could love a horse like that.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    5,784

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LookmaNohands View Post
    Yes they can get better--most of them. As long as you make sure there is not a physical issue causing the behavior, that is the tough part. Some of them are just not right and never will be though.

    I rely on TTEAM and TTouch methods that are helpful for so many problems. Other methods too that I have learned along the way.

    Some horses, I swear, have something like PTSD from racing or whatever. They are tough but they can learn. You just have to know how to teach them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fillabeana View Post
    Nutty...out of the blue crazies, I think you have a problem to find. And there might not be a solution to the problem.
    It may be that brain function is compromised, via toxins (locoweed, fungus in feed) or magnesium deficiencies, hormone imbalances (ovarian or testicular tumors), or a brain tumor.
    None of the above would be very common, though.

    You may be dealing with the horse equivalent of PTSD. A naturally high strung horse would probably be more prone to this. Even if we have a horse his whole life, we don't know what goes on sometimes.

    My friend has a horse that got pretty whack-a-doo about rockpiles with junipers in them. It was no stretch to figure out that he probably had an incident with a cougar. The horse got past most of it, but after a really frightening incident where the horse thinks he's going to be eaten, you've got some permanent memories.

    There are a few 'real thing' horsemen out there, along the lines of Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance, who can get a horse with PTSD to 'turn loose'. If you can find somebody like that, and not some TV-star wannabe, you have a chance at salvaging a horse with a fear problem unrelated to toxins, tumors, etc. But boy, if you don't know who to send the horse to, and you get the wrong 'cowboy', you're going to have a horse with some even more severe problems. And if YOU can't learn to help the horse 'turn loose', it won't be helpful in the long run.

    In any case, the danger posed to handlers and bystanders would really have to be taken into consideration. After an appropriate investigation into solvable veterinary situations, I would strongly consider euthanising a 'nutty' (not spooky) horse.

    My guy seems to have a horse equivalent to PTSD and there are a lot of people out there who think of him as super talented and a nutjob. Apparently he used to act worked up all the time, but with me his default temperament is very mellow, very hard working, and trying as hard as he can.

    He's not nutty where he runs into fences, but his brain definitely shuts down and it's as if he is in a different place - and in his case, it's definitely a very rare occasion that it happens. Apparently it used to be consistent if he was pushed to school the same cross country fence after he had already gone over it well when eventing (but he'd go over anything, including Advanced fences, once.) Now every time it has happened has either been a case where his new career as a dressage horse caused different expectations than his former race/eventing careers or because he smelled some kind of livestock of which he's afraid. But it happens far less often than either of those situations occur.
    I believe my horse had mild tying up issues, and magnesium supplementation has made a huge difference in how his body works. I suspect some aspect of his past before I got him is part of the problem, and physical discomfort related to muscle discomfort also had a role in the problem. Now he still has the mental "gotcha" moments - but with the newly found ability to use his body and muscles with more range of motion and comfort his explosions are larger with much bigger bucks. He's been at a trainer for this reason.

    The trainer and I have both had circumstances where in the past he would have melted down and instead he kept going despite the fact he was worked up and I assume had adrenaline rushing through his system, so while I don't think there's a way to know he's cured, we can at least tell there has been progress. This came from working with him in situations he found stressful and teaching him to relax through bending left (for some reason he bends right when he stresses and bending left creates a huge, noticeable difference in his body) and teaching him to move forward and let out energy that way instead of any kind of more dangerous behavior. He's a horse who would probably be extremely dangerous if trained in a program which in any way encouraged him coming back behind the vertical and curling up because of the ease with which he could then buck. He let out a pretty huge buck with me in a lesson last weekend in reaction to my goofing and hitting him harder than intended with the whip (it was supposed to go across my boot to slow it and I missed), but immediately settled down and went to work with me. Previously that would have been the end to productivity for the whole ride. He's definitely no typical amateur friendly horse who doesn't take diligence to ride - but doesn't have the blindly running into things and likely to kill you aspect of misbehavior either and never has, so at least his "nutty" behavior is something which can be managed if not cured. It's just hard to tell when you can't ask the horse what's wrong and send him to a psychologist!
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 42
    Last Post: Jan. 18, 2013, 08:31 AM
  2. Horses from your past
    By FlashGordon in forum Off Course
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: Feb. 18, 2011, 01:18 AM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: May. 6, 2010, 08:05 AM
  4. Water Troughs & Nutty Horses
    By Aggie4Bar in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: Nov. 15, 2009, 03:44 PM
  5. stars of the past vs today's top horses?
    By TeddyRocks in forum Dressage
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: Jun. 3, 2008, 08:11 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •