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I feel like screaming

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  • I feel like screaming

    My 8 year old thoroughbred has gone insane....again.

    In the last 2 months he has lost all patience and now tonight he blew up. After about 20 minutes tied up he looses it. He will start randomly rearing and pawing and rearing and pawing and tonight he broke my boarding barns rolling down door with his head...after hitting it 3 times in a row. (I have to replace of course which is only fair) It took me/the barn manager/ and another boarder helping me (cause I was to upset at that point to deal with him without yelling and I Refuse to take my anger out on a horse) 2 1/2 hours to calm him down enough to stop on a good note and turn him out again.

    So far the consensus is to go back to square one. Tomorrow I go out with a book and a you will be good attitude and we stand tied for a LONG time. But since it has been 3 years since he has done this (I've had him 3 years) I am going to ask all of you...is there a physical reason for this I need to rule out? Or is he just regressing and needs a lesson in manners? It has been building..it just hit a head tonight. But since he has been good for the last couple years and now go bonkers randomly with no change to his routine is there anything I need to check out?

    (Yelling on the inside at myself and my horse still)

    Rescue Pony

  • #2
    I am probably not going to have any good advice for other than possibly before you had him something bad happened while tied. It sounds more like that to me more than pain, but I wouldn't rule it out. That is a toughie. I don't actually ask mine to stand for any certain time, just when I'm doing things with them and I don't tie mine to the trailer at shows - inside only.

    I'm sure more experienced tie people will help you better than myself, but just wanted to offer my support. That can't be easy.

    Terri
    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

    "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

    Comment


    • #3
      discouraging

      Hi,

      I know you must be very discouraged after all that work. Here is a question for you...

      Does he tie all right for periods of up to 10 minutes? Or did he? Does he break ties or just freak out? will he stand in a trailer tied?

      I'm not asking b/c I have training suggestions, but I'm wondering if it would be terrible to suggest that maybe this might be one of his quirks. Is standing tied 20 minutes something that you routinely need him to do?


      I've head a TB that would not stand in a trailer more than a few minutes w/o being a jackass, but once we started moving he was fine. He was such a good horse otherwise I just got in the habit of accommodating that quirk.

      Good luck!

      Comment


      • #4
        Unless you really need him to stand for that long, I'd let it go--at least for now.

        In my (limited) experience staging a confrontation over something where the horse has already shown himself to be almost irrationally violent is a good way to either hurt yourself or the horse.

        If this were an issue, like being ridden, where the horse simply had to comply with your wishes or else be worthless, then a confrontation might be in order, although probably a trainer would be the one to do it. But over standing in cross-ties for 20 minutes? Nah.

        I'd work around it for now.

        Teach him to ground tie. Be positive with him. Gradually re-introduce the cross-ties, initially without pushing him even to the limit. You just have to assume that the horse doesn't trust you enough yet to listen to you about staying on the cross-ties for that long.

        JMHO and good luck.
        "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree that maybe forcing him to toe the line on this one particular issue is unlikely to be terribly productive. Unless he absolutely needs to stand tied for that long at this stage of the game, why pick a battle?

          By all means keep up with teaching him good manners, and if/when the time comes and he begins to act out when tied, have a means to reinforce that standing still is the right decision on his part. Don't, however, untie him when he starts acting up--that reinforces his bad behavior. Redirect, put him to work, reward moments of calm, and start over.
          Click here before you buy.

          Comment


          • #6
            After the last incident you may indeed have a pain issue if he hit the door that hard. And certainly if he pulls back hard enough to break a halter or a lead rope, then there's a good chance he needs chiropractic help.

            I have a horse who can't be left in crossties in an aisle. If you stay with him he's fine. If you crosstie him in a wash rack where there's a wall behind him, he's fine. In a stall, again fine. We decided years ago that he had a bad experience with something running up on him from behind or something and either hurt him or scared him. I just work around his quirk...most likely not going to change at age 17.

            If there are certain situations that set your guy off, I'd avoid them or at least not leave him alone in those situations. And I'd have a chiro look at him.
            www.debracysporthorses.com
            Home of Sea Accounts xx
            AHS/HV, ATA, GOV, RPSI, JC, AQHA, APHA, APtHA
            "LIKE" www.facebook.com/SeaAccounts

            Comment


            • #7
              What's changed in the last 2 months? Is he getting regular exercise? What does he have to stand tied for longer than 20 minutes?

              Comment


              • #8
                First thing I would do is take a long hard look at his diet. What are you feeding this horse? Did his diet chnage the last two months or was he getting less exercise which could have burnt it off?

                Sure TBs are often hotter and more sensitive but that's also often made worse by the wrong diet, as in too much grain and not enough forage. he could have ulcers too.......

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Nothing has changed in diet or exercise. He gets ridden about 3-4 times a week for about an hour and it is pretty much like clockwork. My understanding of TB's is that they do best on routine. I do need him to tie quietly for more that 20 minutes due to trail riding and even just tacking up and grooming. Goodness knows that braiding for a show takes more time than that.... He has NO problem tieing in trailers and somehow we have avoided breaking leadropes though he did bust a cheap leather halter about 3 years ago.

                  Here is more of a summary of what he is doing since I was more ranting last night:

                  Three years ago when I first got Beau he had no ground manners and it took 2 months to get him to lead and lung without a chain. We have had small steps backwards in the last 3 years but nothing I can't handle. Now in the last 3 months, 3 years later we are back to that point. Nothing has really changed in his routines except that he has finally put on weight and thinks he can be a butthead. He also will not tie for any length of time over 20ish minutes and paws horribly...so bad that his shoes are starting to wear out. He will not respect your space and recently he will not let the farrier put shoes on him quietly. Last time it took twitching him because he wouldn't stand and let her put the back ones on at all. I would say his main problems are respect and patience. Respect cause he likes to walk all over you and he is way to big for me to fight him all the time...I'll lose. Patience cause he will not tie quietly, will pull back and rear, and will not stand in one place under saddle. He just wants to move all the time even when he is exhausted. I'm at my wits end and tonight we had a huge blowout and it took 2 and a half hours before I felt that he was calm enough to put him back in pasture and I realized that if something doesn't change...well I have to do something. I have tried to tie him in a stall where he can't rear as much and he turns into a pinball. Rears and hits his butt and then spooks forwards and hits his nose and then rears again...back and forth.

                  Under saddle he is for the most part ok except for a couple of things. He likes to go go go. Brakes have been an issue in the past and can still be an issue on his bad days. He will not stand quietly undersaddle especially if there are things going on in the arena. I have tired spinning him everytime that he moves and it works till he gets upset and then tries to rear. His main problem under saddle is that he likes to pull your reins out of your hands and toss his head up and down in short bursts in order to get more rein. He will do this even when I am riding him on the buckle of the reins. I have had his teeth done multiple times and have changed bits a couple times. I even went in a halter once and he still does this.


                  (I filled out an application for Clinton Anderson who is coming in my area)

                  I just wanna know if I should start treating for ulcers or get the chiro before I blame bad attitude.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    With the information you've given, there may well be some pain issues going on. Ulcers are a possibility, but I'd also look at arthritis. His issues with the farrier in particular would suggest arthritis. Could be arthritis in any or all leg joints or in the back/spine. Standing still for long periods can be difficult for those with arthritis--they become painful and stiff afer a while.

                    I'd definitely have the vet out first to give the horse a very thorough check-up. Don't let the vet just shrug off the symptoms as training issues. These might be training issues, but you should still do a work-up.

                    You might also ask the vet to pull some blood for a lyme test.

                    What's his turnout like?

                    good luck.
                    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      24/7 huge pasture. I had him in a stall for 2 years and never put on weight so he became a pasture pony. He has put a TON of weight on out there. Still needs another 100=150 to be up to weight but is no longer a "3".

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Honestly, it sounds like you're in quite over your head. If it were my horse I would do two things.

                        1. Get a full workup from the vet, make sure the horse is pain-free and physically sound.

                        2. After a clean bill of health from the vet.. send the horse to a trainer. I'd suggest a "cowboy" type trainer.. BUT NOT the crazy, good ol boy, abusive type. Simply the type that will not take any crap from a horse, and will not feel badly about setting a horse on its a$$ for being a jerk.
                        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          3 to 4 times a week riding/working is not enough for some TB's. And most people don't truely "work" a horse.

                          I'd stop tying him for 20 min at a time. There comes a point where a bored, smart horse will find ways to amuse themselves. I'd bet he is better for longer periods of time, when you are doing something with him, like braiding.

                          How is he if you hang a hay net for him while tied?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Usually I say behavior in these instances, however.

                            Something is triggering here, that may not just be that.
                            I second/third? the full workup.
                            If it comes back clean, then the next thing I would do, is see if his behavior is different somewhere else on the barn grounds.
                            ie- don't tie him in the same place where he's 'fought' time and time again.
                            if it's the same, I would agree he probably needs to get seen to by someone who has a lot of tricks up their sleeve for dealing with horses that have behavior problems.
                            Originally posted by ExJumper
                            Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Have you ever tried him on a calming supplement with magnesium in it? My mare never really refused to stand tied, but under saddle she was exactly what you have described in your boy. I put her on epsom salts and she is now a different horse.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Just sympathy here...perhaps the horse is just too much for what you're willing to take--that's ok to admit, but very hard to swallow, so I wish you the best.

                                In my experience, when you have the right horse, you 100% know it...not that things are always 100% right, but you don't doubt that you're with the right horse. I'm an ammy and this is supposed to be fun, so I can't/won't tolerate/keep a horse I can't trust. In a similar situation, I found the talented horse a GREAT home (despite losing $6000++ in training, med, board, etc and having to admit he was too much) and moved on to a horse whose personality fit me better. I just adopted the calmest rescue ottb you'll ever meet...so they're out there!!

                                I had the best luck with ThiaCal (mg supplement) for the price and ingredients...I also tried SmartCalm and LinPro. Finish Line will probably send you a free sample if you call. But I don't think those supplements change personality.

                                You could totally CUT his grain...I gave him vitamens/mineral supplement only--that helped my guy more than anything else I did.

                                I wish you all the best.
                                Last edited by HollysHobbies; Jul. 7, 2009, 09:50 AM.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Rescue Pony View Post
                                  24/7 huge pasture. I had him in a stall for 2 years and never put on weight so he became a pasture pony. He has put a TON of weight on out there. Still needs another 100=150 to be up to weight but is no longer a "3".
                                  it sounds like the resurgence of nutty behavior is coinciding with the recent and rapid weight gain. If so, perhaps 24/7 on pasture is too much richness for him. He might be on a perpetual sugar high. If I put my horses on rich grazing they turn into sugared up jerks within 20 minutes, like bratty little children bouncing off the walls.

                                  I don't advocate starving a horse into submission, and from your description he does need the weight, but perhaps he can be dry-lotted 12h per day w/ free choice hay, and maybe find a cooler source of calories for him?

                                  just my 2¢
                                  Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Rescue Pony View Post

                                    He also will not tie for any length of time over 20ish minutes and paws horribly...so bad that his shoes are starting to wear out. He will not respect your space and recently he will not let the farrier put shoes on him quietly. Last time it took twitching him because he wouldn't stand and let her put the back ones on at all. I would say his main problems are respect and patience. Respect cause he likes to walk all over you and he is way to big for me to fight him all the time...I'll lose. Patience cause he will not tie quietly, will pull back and rear, and will not stand in one place under saddle. He just wants to move all the time even when he is exhausted. I'm at my wits end and tonight we had a huge blowout and it took 2 and a half hours before I felt that he was calm enough to put him back in pasture and I realized that if something doesn't change...well I have to do something. I have tried to tie him in a stall where he can't rear as much and he turns into a pinball. Rears and hits his butt and then spooks forwards and hits his nose and then rears again...back and forth.

                                    Under saddle he is for the most part ok except for a couple of things. He likes to go go go. Brakes have been an issue in the past and can still be an issue on his bad days. He will not stand quietly undersaddle especially if there are things going on in the arena. I have tired spinning him everytime that he moves and it works till he gets upset and then tries to rear. His main problem under saddle is that he likes to pull your reins out of your hands and toss his head up and down in short bursts in order to get more rein. He will do this even when I am riding him on the buckle of the reins. I have had his teeth done multiple times and have changed bits a couple times. I even went in a halter once and he still does this.
                                    This so sounds like a horse running on a sugar high - they just cannot contain themselves....humor me and only feed him good quality forage (ideally free choice) for a week or two, just to see if it makes a difference. You might be really surprised what you get. Also read this (and no, not only young horses are affected by this because I know this from experience) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0815170625.htm

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      My mare started with some therapeutic shoes. She was a pill for the vet to shoe her when she was barefoot behind. We had to drug her so she wouldn't keep pulling back. Plunked back shoes on her, and she'll stand quietly. Our assessment was that it was hard for her to support her weight on her hips standing there for a period of time. The shoes help to support her back end so she can rest easier on her hips.

                                      Check out his hoof angles and make sure they're right. Some TB's have a way of growing a ton of toe and no heel very quickly. Then have a chiropractor/body worker look at him. And I'd lay off the tying for awhile and work on teaching him to come off the pressure instead of pulling into it even more.

                                      Find a round pen and teach him to respect you, your commands and your aids. I would definitely get some extra expert eyes to help you out with this one's ground manners.

                                      Good luck. Be safe.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I sent you a P.M.

                                        Comment

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