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Dangerous buddy sour issue!

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  • Dangerous buddy sour issue!

    I made an account here simply to make this post. It is very important! I saw a few posts but nothings helped enough for me to make a big enough move.

    I have an Arabian, about 19 or so, I'm not positive. I just moved him to a new barn a couple weeks ago. He has finally gotten comfortable and is no longer getting bitten or pushed around. Although, he got too comfortable. Another horse there called Charlie, who is about 32, always has a best friend. His bff left him around the time we arrived at the barn. My horse suddenly moves in and they are best friends (after biting each other a bit of course.) I don't ride very often since I am a bit large for such a small horse, but I was hoping with a new barn with an arena and everything I need, I could finally ride and make my horse strong and healthy again. (he may be a bit older but he does not show it!)

    So, I rode a bit in the arena (the stalls surround the arena, it's unique and so cool!) (also the horses are almost always outside unless eating or waiting for a rider/owner) and he was fine, no problems besides the normal "I haven't been ridden in so long, what is this, whaT IS THIS????" wariness. I didn't go to the barn for a few days after that, then I got in touch with the trainer and started taking lessons (just getting back into riding for now, nothing specific) and had a session on her horse. It was late so I went home without seeing my horse. It was just a few days Ince I've seen him, but today I went out and it was TERRIBLE! I walked far to the end of the field to get home and he was getting jumpy and walking in front of me and trying to go back more and more as we walked to the barn. It started getting dangerous halfway to the barn. He has bolted before, when I used to ride him away from the barn at the old place. But I never went far so I never knew how bad it could be, I didn't think it could be so bad.

    Anyway, I knew he could bolt back to them so I kept a tight grip but still, he is a horse; a large, nearly 1000 pound animal that could kill me in a second. I was worried but I still didn't know how bad it was. I took him into the barn and just walked him around since a guy with his horse was in my area in front of my stall, and there was a whole barn so I didn't want to be right there if I had a whole barn but I didn't want to use someone else's area and- okay, I have a social anxiety issue and over think things, anyway;

    My horse, Maverick, would keep neighing loudly and keep trying to walk out the door to his buddy Charlie. I had a thought, so, whenever he neighed I would make him spin on a front leg. He never stopped neighing by the way. I just kept lunging him, but he would stay as close to the door as possible so it was for like figure eights in front of me rather than circles around me. It was not really getting better and I didn't want to associate him being away from his buddy, and with me, bad. I eventually let him back out (but he had trouble as he tried going straight to Charlie but there are two fields and he was just standing at a fence looking sad) after about 40-50 minutes.

    But!!! Charlie is an old horse and his only buddy is my horse. I believe he is the barn owner's horse. I just moved there and don't want to be rude to anyone by putting my horse in a much smaller field, a paddock really, with other horses. I don't want to hurt Charlie, or his feelings, or metal stability or whatever by separating him from his friend (even though, from what I've seen, he doesn't really care, he doesn't neigh or move when Maverick is away.) He's older and can't walk well, so I can't work with them together, which was what I wanted to do.

    Sorry about the whole back story! I go in depth with things, sorry! What I am asking is; What should I do with my horse? Should I separate him in another paddock with a few other horses? I don't have time to work with him in the field or with other horses. The inside (barn and turnout) field is completely separate from outside (24/7 turnout) field, but the paddock is right next to the indoor field. Ugh, I can't keep him in the barn all the time, nobody keeps their horse in and it's not natural for horses and my horse doesn't like barns unless other horses are there as well.

    I don't show, and I don't plan on showing; with Maverick at least. Please help me! What do I do???

  • #2
    Talk to your trainer and get lessons on EVERYTHING. You need to learn how to handle him on the ground when he has other ideas. You need to learn how to keep his attention. This is not to do with the other horse. This is lack of respect for you.

    Keep having lessons on the other horse. A world of wonder waits for you. Open your heart and mind and learn.
    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

    Comment


    • #3
      Buddy sour problems can be complex. IMO you definitely need some assistance from a trainer (and a chain shank), but I also think that this turnout situation may not work for your horse if you intend to ride him. Your horse may either need a boarding situation where he is inside and separated from the other horses for part of the day, or he may need a different turnout group. It is very hard to break up a buddy sour situation just by separating the horse from the friend for one hour a few times per week when you want to ride. Your horse is almost assuredly capably of carrying on like a nincompoop every single time you try to ride him. The other alternative is to get a different horse. Some horses are prone to buddy sour issues, others less so.

      Comment


      • #4
        I had a barn manager that called that behavior barn sweet, trail/work sour. She is right. It's very hard to overcome. I second any suggestion for lessons or a trainer. Your horse needs to know that when you ask, he must. Plus, he has all 22 - 23 hrs of the day to himself, you pay the bills and he can give you one or two hours. Try to find a trainer that will give you the tools to enforce your wishes.

        I don't recommend this unless as a last resort: I had a horse that decided to run home with me. No amount of my work or effort would stop her, so I made her go faster and then when she got home, she got tied out, fully tacked, and left for some hours. We would surreptitiously check on her to make sure she was okay, but the idea was: you wanna run home? Well, then see what it gets you. Not fun, that's for sure. She never did it again.
        "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
        - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

        Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes, you need to make a plan with your trainer and stick with it. That will probably involve a different turnout arrangement, a set schedule for you working the horse, and lessons in ground work and handling.

          If you feel his behavior is dangerous wear a helmet and cross country protector vest, and of course gloves, when you handle him.

          Arabians certainly like to prance and dance. They can bounce around to an extent that would get you killed with a TB or WB. And they are smart and also get a bit disgusted with people who can't handled them properly. Handling them takes skill and tact, calm and confidence.

          You also need to get over your social anxiety and ask for help when you need it, or if ssomeone is blocking your stall or paddock, ask then to move.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by shiloh View Post
            I had a barn manager that called that behavior barn sweet, trail/work sour. She is right. It's very hard to overcome. I second any suggestion for lessons or a trainer. Your horse needs to know that when you ask, he must. Plus, he has all 22 - 23 hrs of the day to himself, you pay the bills and he can give you one or two hours. Try to find a trainer that will give you the tools to enforce your wishes.

            I don't recommend this unless as a last resort: I had a horse that decided to run home with me. No amount of my work or effort would stop her, so I made her go faster and then when she got home, she got tied out, fully tacked, and left for some hours. We would surreptitiously check on her to make sure she was okay, but the idea was: you wanna run home? Well, then see what it gets you. Not fun, that's for sure. She never did it again.
            I always say the horses need to get over this 1 hour of work out of the rest of their day that they spend sleeping or stuffing their faces.
            ​​​​​​
            "Back in the day" when I worked at a sales stable, we used the approach you stated above once or twice. I somewhat use that logic still in the fact that the horses feet are mine. He does not say when he goes faster. I leave them room to make judgments, but I move their feet. If they take off, they better hope they like to run because we'll be at it for awhile. Or if they're prancing and tense, I'll use lateral work.

            The same goes for ground work. Horse fidgets? Back him up, move him sideways, walk, halt, turn, abruptly at your command. You move his feet. You are the dominant one.

            Comment


            • #7
              Wow scribbler, you nailed it those few short sentences, without being derogatory. It's a generalization about Arabs, but fit my experience.
              Have you owned one, several or just observed them?

              Comment


              • #8
                First of all relax. It will help you and your horse so much. Horses are a mirror of you, so if you are a bundle of nerves, your horse will be too. Watch a nervous person handle a horse and then watch the same horse handled by a calm person. It seems like magic has been performed.

                Yes, a 1000 'b animal could kill you. He doesn't want to. Really. Now there are some that might, not many though. For the most part horses want to do what we ask of them, they just don't always know what we are asking.

                Listen to your horse. He is telling you so much. Learn how to listen to what he is telling you. He has a mind of his own, opinions, likes and dislikes. Learn to listen to him and it will make it much easier to get him to listen to you. Try Horse Speak

                Work on ground work. Get comfortable handling your horse from the ground. If you can't control his feet on the ground, you shouldn't be trying to do it from his back. You mentioned that you want to get it better shape, well if you are on the ground you are going to be getting more exercise also. Win- win. Don't know what to do? Here are 101 things you can do. First thing to teach your horse is to stand.

                I have social anxiety also. So I get that you can't just get over it. I tend to go to the barn when there are not many people there, keep to myself and find quiet places to work by myself. That means that I might clicker train in the ally, work on ground work next to the pastures, do western lunging in the indoor when most people are in the outdoor, or lunge in the outdoor when everyone else is indoors, or even spend an extending time grooming in some out of the way place.


                https://fearlessriderreturns.blogspot.com/

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks for all the tips, but I won't be using a chain shank, or protective gear on the ground. He is an amazing horse, I've kind of stopped riding so I've been teaching liberty work to him. He enjoys it because he gets treats! I guess the new barn just threw him off a bit, maybe it's just stress; I took him away from his old barn so quickly, now he doesn't trust me and wants to stay with other horses because he might be taken away from them? I really do appreciate everyone's advice but he does respect me, he actually would keep looking to me and then try getting away, like he was asking to go. I'm going to give it some time for now. The barn is large but the turnout is limited. All the fields are close together so my horse can never be truly separated from buddy. I am more worried about his condition, both physically and mentally. I don't want him hurting himself or others and I don't want him to lose trust in me, or people in general. I was overly worried yesterday, I've got a clearer head now and I'll try talking to the owner, barn manager, and trainer to see what I should do.

                  I appreciate all the help, but again; this isn't a horse that is pushy or dominant at all. He lets you do whatever really, he loves playing around and getting fed treats and getting attention. I, now that I have a clear head, believe it's almost like trauma from being separated from his last herd, which he was with for I believe four years. Before that, he was in a bare filed with a dirty creek as a water source for a year. I am not sure where he was before that. Long story short, I learned and grew with him. I untrained him, because I had no horse owning experience, and retrained him my way. Aka; listening to voice commands for everything (when riding, if he's focused, he will go the way you say and how fast or slow,) he walks the way you look when riding, no hands or legs needed. He is a really good horse, I think moving him so fast is just bringing out untrustworthiness and separation issues. He would never try to hurt me, he was head butting me yesterday, like he was trying to push me out of the barn. He really did try to be gentle with me. I think he's more of a danger to himself really.

                  Thanks everyone! I'll talk to my trainer (she hasn't been involved in my horse yet though, I've been riding hers.)

                  V

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Hopeless View Post
                    First of all relax. It will help you and your horse so much. Horses are a mirror of you, so if you are a bundle of nerves, your horse will be too. Watch a nervous person handle a horse and then watch the same horse handled by a calm person. It seems like magic has been performed.

                    Yes, a 1000 'b animal could kill you. He doesn't want to. Really. Now there are some that might, not many though. For the most part horses want to do what we ask of them, they just don't always know what we are asking.

                    Listen to your horse. He is telling you so much. Learn how to listen to what he is telling you. He has a mind of his own, opinions, likes and dislikes. Learn to listen to him and it will make it much easier to get him to listen to you. Try Horse Speak

                    Work on ground work. Get comfortable handling your horse from the ground. If you can't control his feet on the ground, you shouldn't be trying to do it from his back. You mentioned that you want to get it better shape, well if you are on the ground you are going to be getting more exercise also. Win- win. Don't know what to do? Here are 101 things you can do. First thing to teach your horse is to stand.

                    I have social anxiety also. So I get that you can't just get over it. I tend to go to the barn when there are not many people there, keep to myself and find quiet places to work by myself. That means that I might clicker train in the ally, work on ground work next to the pastures, do western lunging in the indoor when most people are in the outdoor, or lunge in the outdoor when everyone else is indoors, or even spend an extending time grooming in some out of the way place.

                    That helped a lot, I try teaching him things like that often. I taught him to paw and it was a terrible idea! My last barn was just horses, no people. All the borders were older and never came out so it felt like I had 11 horses instead of one since I treated them all like mine. My social anxiety went through the roof at the new barn! I've been working on it though. If this happened last year or the year before? No way man, I would be sitting in the stall with Maverick.

                    Thanks for the help!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by vulture View Post
                      Thanks for all the tips, but I won't be using a chain shank, or protective gear on the ground. He is an amazing horse
                      I just wanted to chime in on this regarding wearing protective tack. I don't doubt your boy is a lovely, amazing horse who wouldn't want to harm you intentionally. However, horses will be horses, and an emotional, nervous, buddy sour horse can sometimes unpredictably act out of character. If a human gets caught up in it, it's not because the horse WANTED to harm him. Stuff like that just happens. For example, I'm working currently with a green mare. Her character is wonderful, she's very willing to work and wouldn't hurt a fly! However, she's also very hot tempered, quick on her feet and emotional - so I wear gloves and a hard hat when working with her, because I've seen what she can do when she explodes due to some kind of overwhelming emotions.

                      In short, there's no shame in protecting yourself and it does not affect your relationship with the horse in any way - if anything, it helps with your relaxation and confidence. It also helps with having many, many more happy years to spend with said horse. Good luck!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        On the slim chance that this isn't a troll post:
                        OP you are a novice horseperson who is making several important mistakes, the most important one is that you are assigning human motivations / emotions to your horse (anthropomorphizing). Head butting you is a very clear and very obnoxious form of disrespect. 100% of the time. There is not a single occasion or reason that head butting is ok. His behavior on the ground is disrespectful. Attributing bad behavior to emotional trauma is another major mistake. No, it's not his "fault" but that makes no difference, the behavior must change or someone will be hurt. May not be you, may not be imminent. But horses that don't respect humans as the boss generally end up hurting someone.

                        Hopefully the trainer there actually knows something, and hopefully you'll actually listen to them.

                        Best of luck.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                          On the slim chance that this isn't a troll post:
                          OP you are a novice horseperson who is making several important mistakes, the most important one is that you are assigning human motivations / emotions to your horse (anthropomorphizing). Head butting you is a very clear and very obnoxious form of disrespect. 100% of the time. There is not a single occasion or reason that head butting is ok. His behavior on the ground is disrespectful. Attributing bad behavior to emotional trauma is another major mistake. No, it's not his "fault" but that makes no difference, the behavior must change or someone will be hurt. May not be you, may not be imminent. But horses that don't respect humans as the boss generally end up hurting someone.

                          Hopefully the trainer there actually knows something, and hopefully you'll actually listen to them.

                          Best of luck.
                          This really isn't a troll post, I have no experience with a real barn with my horse. I am looking for advice and help. He never head butts me, and this time it was more like he leaned his head on me, he didn't throw his head up and force me away at all. He doesn't disrespect me normally, I think he doesn't trust me because anytime I'm with him, he's away from his friends and herd. I don't believe that a relationship with a horse should be seen as a boss and a submissive horse, I believe it should be a team, or like you are both one. I do liberty work with him and we have a great, sturdy relationship. I think the new barn and buddy threw him off of his old mindset.

                          I am not a troll or lying about any of this. I am thinking and going though ideas of why he's like this and what I can do without making him upset. I do not see my horse as a tool, machine, money maker or anything else besides a ten mate and friend. I don't do shows or have my horse as a job. I don't want to sound rude, but I don't want my horse looking to me like I'm the boss and being scared if he does something wrong. We are a team.

                          V

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Sleipnir View Post

                            I just wanted to chime in on this regarding wearing protective tack. I don't doubt your boy is a lovely, amazing horse who wouldn't want to harm you intentionally. However, horses will be horses, and an emotional, nervous, buddy sour horse can sometimes unpredictably act out of character. If a human gets caught up in it, it's not because the horse WANTED to harm him. Stuff like that just happens. For example, I'm working currently with a green mare. Her character is wonderful, she's very willing to work and wouldn't hurt a fly! However, she's also very hot tempered, quick on her feet and emotional - so I wear gloves and a hard hat when working with her, because I've seen what she can do when she explodes due to some kind of overwhelming emotions.

                            In short, there's no shame in protecting yourself and it does not affect your relationship with the horse in any way - if anything, it helps with your relaxation and confidence. It also helps with having many, many more happy years to spend with said horse. Good luck!
                            Thank you for the advice! Good luck with the mare, she sounds lovely! I also love norse mythology and love the backstory to Sleipnir, love the name!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chall View Post
                              Wow scribbler, you nailed it those few short sentences, without being derogatory. It's a generalization about Arabs, but fit my experience.
                              Have you owned one, several or just observed them?
                              My good barn friend in the next stall got a fallen through the cracks Arab that the show world gave up on. She's done really well with him so I've seen the attitude it takes!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by vulture View Post

                                This really isn't a troll post, I have no experience with a real barn with my horse. I am looking for advice and help. He never head butts me, and this time it was more like he leaned his head on me, he didn't throw his head up and force me away at all. He doesn't disrespect me normally, I think he doesn't trust me because anytime I'm with him, he's away from his friends and herd. I don't believe that a relationship with a horse should be seen as a boss and a submissive horse, I believe it should be a team, or like you are both one. I do liberty work with him and we have a great, sturdy relationship. I think the new barn and buddy threw him off of his old mindset.

                                I am not a troll or lying about any of this. I am thinking and going though ideas of why he's like this and what I can do without making him upset. I do not see my horse as a tool, machine, money maker or anything else besides a ten mate and friend. I don't do shows or have my horse as a job. I don't want to sound rude, but I don't want my horse looking to me like I'm the boss and being scared if he does something wrong. We are a team.

                                V
                                OP, you write that you have a dangerous situation. That's your word for it, not mine. And I believe you. You represent yourself as new to horses, very unskilled, and as having made some big mistakes already.

                                You get some very good advice from experienced horsepeople, but then you reject most of it. That is a mistake.

                                When you see horsepeople with calm, friendly, bonded horses, that's because the horse respects the owner and looks to the owner for guidance, like they might to their own herd boss horse. The relationship that can then develop can be amazing. But you do not get there by thinking your horse is your best friend, pal, equal, etc. Because if you think that, your horse will decide that *they* are the boss of you. Horses don't have "equality" as a concept.

                                If your horse is the boss, you will not be a team. He will be doing his own thing and you will be constantly screaming at him.

                                A good trainer can establish this respect in the normal course of things. An inexperienced handler can undo it all. The horse will still be good for an experienced person but walking all over the inexperienced one.

                                Getting the respect of the horse does not need to be cruel or harsh. It requires consistent skilled handling and appropriate reprimands for behavior that signals horse is trying to push you around like he would another horse. As a newbie it can be hard to know what is OK, hard to have the timing to reprimand quietly, hard indeed to be safe.

                                The best progression is to learn handling and riding skills in lessons, then transition to lease and ownership.

                                However I do see a certain number of adults beginners in your position, that is newbies with no horse skills taking on a horse that is challenging to them (and maybe to other people) and no support system.

                                Often these newbies took on a "rescue" or "upgrade" horse that already had bad habits. I suspect that is the case here?

                                The ones who were successful in being able to eventually ride or just handle their horses developed strong relationships with helpful trainers who walked them through all the needed skills. This isn't something an adult beginner learns just by having a horse in a field.

                                You need to also read up on horse psychology and training.

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                                • #17
                                  I had to look up “Liberty work” and yeah, I think you abd your horse need structure and boundaries, not treats and games.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by SnortyPants View Post
                                    I had to look up “Liberty work” and yeah, I think you abd your horse need structure and boundaries, not treats and games.
                                    I do trick training and liberty work. You can't do it until the basics are in place. It's a fun add on. It's not the core of a training program. Clicker training cab be useful but again, you need basic handling and timing skills for that.

                                    If someone is doing liberty work because they can't longe or do in hand work safely and effectively, the liberty work wont work and won't be safe.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                                      I do trick training and liberty work. You can't do it until the basics are in place. It's a fun add on. It's not the core of a training program. Clicker training cab be useful but again, you need basic handling and timing skills for that.

                                      If someone is doing liberty work because they can't longe or do in hand work safely and effectively, the liberty work wont work and won't be safe.
                                      Yep. Also amusing that someone has (again) branded and monetized stuff that I always just assumed people did with their horses for fun!

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                                      • #20
                                        This sounds like the stereotypical kid with a horse that's too much for her to handle that's suffering from Black Beauty/Black Stallion Syndrome-- she retrained him "her way", she loves him so much that she doesn't want to lose his trust in her, all that rot.

                                        OP, please listen to the above posters. There are some of the best horse people in the world on this board! No one here wants to see you or your horse get hurt. Please, please listen to them and get your trainer on board. You AND your horse will be so much happier and safer.
                                        I loff my Quarter horse clique

                                        I kill threads dead!

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