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The impossible situation -- Dangerous Horse, and Humane Solution

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  • The impossible situation -- Dangerous Horse, and Humane Solution

    really really impossible

    I am looking for "head" responses not emotional babble heart responses because of the possible severity of this problem

    I have a 5yo wb. i have owned him for 3 years. He is aggressive-and I mean dangerous aggressive. I have had more than 5 different trainers help me with him-including great cowboys. He has moments of semi good and manageable behavior-but the moments are brief and fleeting.

    He won't jump and is not inclined for dressage...not a pasture ornament and not a pleasure or trail horse.

    He has attacked me, pinned me in a stall, picked me up by my coat and thrown me....he bites, rears, strikes.....

    Now he was manageable to ride-but again, would stop at jumps, poles, shut down and if pressed lay down. He has never learned to lunge-attacks, strikes, lays down.

    NOW to compound matters he is not sound on 3 legs-2 rear and 1 front....I can't do a lameness workup because he won't lunge or jog....trust me MANY professionals have tried unsuccesfully to get him to do this.

    I can pull blood for EPM, lymes,etc but at the end he is still a reall bugger....

    I have had him tested and he was gelded properly so not the issue.

    What in the WORLD do you do with this situation....he is a risk to have at my farm, a risk to sell, a risk to donate....and no volunteers have stepped up to the plate....

    what to do....

    Life is too short to dance with ugly men

    [Edited to make title more descriptive so those who need such a thread in the future may be able to find this one more easily]

    [This message was edited by Portia on Apr. 09, 2002 at 11:47 AM.]
  • Original Poster

    #2
    really really impossible

    I am looking for "head" responses not emotional babble heart responses because of the possible severity of this problem

    I have a 5yo wb. i have owned him for 3 years. He is aggressive-and I mean dangerous aggressive. I have had more than 5 different trainers help me with him-including great cowboys. He has moments of semi good and manageable behavior-but the moments are brief and fleeting.

    He won't jump and is not inclined for dressage...not a pasture ornament and not a pleasure or trail horse.

    He has attacked me, pinned me in a stall, picked me up by my coat and thrown me....he bites, rears, strikes.....

    Now he was manageable to ride-but again, would stop at jumps, poles, shut down and if pressed lay down. He has never learned to lunge-attacks, strikes, lays down.

    NOW to compound matters he is not sound on 3 legs-2 rear and 1 front....I can't do a lameness workup because he won't lunge or jog....trust me MANY professionals have tried unsuccesfully to get him to do this.

    I can pull blood for EPM, lymes,etc but at the end he is still a reall bugger....

    I have had him tested and he was gelded properly so not the issue.

    What in the WORLD do you do with this situation....he is a risk to have at my farm, a risk to sell, a risk to donate....and no volunteers have stepped up to the plate....

    what to do....

    Life is too short to dance with ugly men

    [Edited to make title more descriptive so those who need such a thread in the future may be able to find this one more easily]

    [This message was edited by Portia on Apr. 09, 2002 at 11:47 AM.]

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm very sorry, LMH, but if the situation is as bad as you say, there may be only one thing you can do. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]

      There's too much potential physical danger and financial liability involved in having a horse like that around, unless you can make him just a pasture ornament.

      I'm sorry. I hope it works out somehow.
      "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry

      Comment


      • #4
        LMH,

        At the risk of sounding heartless, if I had done my best to rule out possible medical causes (which it seems you have done - I am talking about for the behavioral issues, not the lameness) then frankly, I would have him put down.

        No horse is worth dealing with behavior that could potentially cripple or let's face it, kill you or someone working at your farm. People do put up with incredibly poor behavior on the ground in cases where there is equally incredible talent/ability/success under saddle... but here I don't see the point. (Nor would I *personally* be willing to keep one I thought was dangerous myself, even if they were World Cup material...)

        I am sorry that you are having to deal with this. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be -

        S.

        **********
        "It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that
        matters, in the end."
        -Ursula K. Le Guin
        **********
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
        -PaulaEdwina

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree with Portia. No horse is worth getting someone killed or injured. Who knows what is wrong with him - possibility of a brain tumor>

          Please do what is best for yourself. And, I add my deepest sympathy.

          ---------------------------
          "We ride and never worry about the fall.
          I guess that's just the cowboy in us all."
          Tim McGraw
          If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
          Desmond Tutu

          Comment


          • #6
            I hate it that you are having to deal with this. I think it is good, though, that you are able to think logically about it. Locally we have a university equine program which requires advanced students be assigned to a "special problems" horse. It is the student's job to work with that horse exclusively to retrain said horse. You might try such a program as a last resort. If that fails, I would probably choose to have him humanely put down. Even if he were not gelded, I would not want to breed a horse of his temperment. I know this must be a tough decision, and hope you all the best. I also know that it doesn't take long to get badly hurt trying to salvage a dangerous horse. Good luck.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              thanks for the quick responses so far---really unless someone has been in this situation you cannot begin to imagine the frustration and guilt involved.

              I would firesale him but he won't sell and I feel that could be a HORRIBLE disaster for him or the new owner....while he is difficult to say the least, I would hate for him to be subjected to a life of abuse or being passed around....

              Life is too short to dance with ugly men

              Comment


              • #8
                Unfortunately, you have two choices. IMO

                Put him down and have his carcass hauled off or buried.

                Sell him at auction, less coggins to ensure he goes to the "meat man"...or get him to the plant yourself if that is your choice.

                Then, do not post your choice to a public board, you will get flamed. You will get some support, but the flames will be there, telling you that you didn't try enough, or didn't do some alternative medicine, or this or that.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Clarice-that is an intersting option...which university is it??? are there others???

                  Life is too short to dance with ugly men

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    but have you tried chemical behavior modification--I mean Regumate?

                    He certainly sounds scarey & dangerous. A friend of mine who runs a boarding stable encountered a horse somewhat like you describe--the difference being that this horse, although dangerous to work around on the ground, was a total dream to ride.

                    The horse was purchased at New Holland (shades of recent rescue/horse slaughter threads!) by a local riding stable & leased to a 13 year old girl. According to my friend this horse was a known biter so they kept a muzzle on him but he was a total dream to ride--this rather inexperienced 13 year old could ride this horse bareback cross country, he was that bombproof.

                    However, the day came when he managed to grab my friend by the jacket (he slammed his muzzled muzzle against her chest hard enough to grab her through the small hole in the muzzle) & she was TOTALLY CONVINCED he tried to kill her. He was put down.

                    Your story & your horse certainly fit in with these recent threads & I hope some of the rescue people will give you some input because you have raised an important question:

                    Can every horse be saved?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My old trainer went through this with a horse. Like your horse he was handled by a small number of very competent and experienced horse people his whole life and was still an untrustworthy, and very dangerous horse.

                      She had tried everything with him, even an animal communicator (who said he was delusional and basically insane) but there is a point where there is nothing more you can do.

                      He is OK in pasture right now and reasonably ok as far as receiving maintenance care but, yes he would have been put down if that had not worked. He will be put down if it comes to him needing any major medical treatment as he will be impossible to treat.

                      It sounds like you have given this horse every chance and he is an accident waiting to happen.

                      It's a tough decision to make though

                      [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]

                      Just ot amend my post, the horse I describe was a stallion till he was three. He never showed any sexual interest in mares whatsoever and gelding him made little to no difference to his behaviour. I do believe he was truly insane.

                      If you had a dog that vicious you would have put it to sleep, you shouldn't feel any more guilty just because he's a horse.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am a true believer that euthanasia can be a very good thing. In fact, that's what it means "good death".
                        I was very grateful this past monday that we are able to do this for our friends, my beloved 17 year old kitty Niki was euthanized on Monday. If an animal is that aggressive it is really the only appropriate thing to do. And it also sounds like you've already made up your mind. Do not fell guilty, you would be doing the right thing, not only for yourself, but for him as well.
                        Grab mane and kick on!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I also need to add my two cents as an educator (school guidance counselor). Please, please do not call euthanasia "putting to sleep". It is very, very confusing for children and can do quite a bit of damage. Please call it what it is, euthanasia or put down, but not put to sleep. That is not what it is.
                          Grab mane and kick on!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            He may have some terrible problem, like a brain tumour - it is just not normal for horses to behave like this. But behave like this he does, and he is a danger to everyone around him. I think you have tried, and it is only a matter of time. I also think he cannot be very happy either if he acts like this -
                            but please don't send him to auction or to the slaughter house - call the vet.
                            It's not a happy situation, but it is a quick and humane death.
                            I'm sorry for you and sorry for him too.
                            A Fine Romance. April 1991 - June 2016. Loved forever.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I feel that your signature line sums it up best...only slightly alter it to "Life is too short to ride ugly horses."

                              This animal's ugly attitude is NOT getting better! As a person who has dealt with animals with problems, I urge you to GET RID OF HIM!!! If you ever feel uncomfortable with a situation, get out of it, FAST. Find another professional opinion, if you want. Personally, I agree with the rest...euthanasia is probably what it's going to take to end this problem.

                              Eventamy, you have a good point about the "going to sleep" issue...

                              "The frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives." ancient Aztec proverb.
                              ~This is *way* more fun than doing something productive~

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                This is such a hard thing to deal with...it is so incredibly hard to be the one to make a decision to put an animal down. But I do think that putting him down is probably the right choice to make unless he can be a pasture ornament like Portia suggested. I knew of a horse that was very aggressive and was sold to someone for cheap. He ended up pinning this woman in a roundpen and attacking her. Luckily she was okay, but had the horse put down. I think that was the best thing to do, since this horse could have killed her.

                                visit www.victorianfarms.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  LMH

                                  I love horses. There are many horses whom I think are far better than people whom I have the displeasure to have known. But the bottom line is that than no horse is worth more than a human life, and if a horse endangers a human life in spite of every advance of training philosophy and medical technology, then we may have to accept that this is our failure, but so be it...

                                  A University donation may be the best option available.


                                  "You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty. "
                                  - Sacha Guitry (1885-1957) *
                                  Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    This is an awful (although rather clear cut) situation, but now I'm wondering. Is there clinical evidence of mental illness in animals? Am I extremely dense and obviously not paying attention, or have there been cases or studies on psychosis in horses? Can a horse be 'insane'?


                                    www.foalcams.com
                                    "Wherever man has left his footprint in the long ascent from barbarism to civilization, we will find the hoofprint of the horse beside it." ~John Moore

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have to agree with those who have suggested euthanasia. I'm sorry to say that, but if he is dangerous even as a pasture ornament I think that's the only thing to do.

                                      He's an enormous liability to you, your family and anyone who may come in contact with him regardless of whether you keep him, sell, give him away, or donate him.

                                      The lack of trainability, talent and soundness are only more reasons to make that difficult decision. It sounds as if there is something REALLY wrong with this horse somewhere and the kindest thing to do would be to euthanize. How happy can he possibly be if he's acting like that?

                                      Maybe you can find a university doing post mortem studies on horses with behavioral problems and donate him. That way, some good may come of this unfortunate situation.

                                      www.meandercreekstable.com
                                      www.meandercreek.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I don't have any further suggestions but I just wanted to say 'Good Luck' with whatever you choose to do. I am sure you will make the right decision.

                                        Bowed tendon: 73 days down, minimum 17 days to go.
                                        www.clospepe.com

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