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My sensitive horse hates my trainer...Conclusion/Update #64 & THANKS to all!

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  • #21
    Sounds like my mare. She gets bored, agitated. Most trainers would tell you push her out of her tantrum (and yes, there are some who would say whip her).
    Glad mine is NOT that way, knows my horse and how sensative she is.

    You need a differant trainer.


    • #22
      I feel that my Trainer pushes my horse when she is being bad, refusing to go foward etc. But I have never seen her hit, slap or kick my horse. This is uncalled for! New trainer ASAP and don't allow this trainer near your horse again!
      The Love for a Horse is just as Complicated as the Love for another Human being, If you have never Loved a Horse you will Never Understand!!!


      • #23
        I agree with the other posters, get a new trainer. Do not let this one touch your horse again.


        • #24
          At the risk of piling on, I want to add my voice to the general opinion. You need to get a new trainer, and you need to do it ASAP. Don't let this person ride your horse again. I wouldn't even want the trainer handling my horse if that trainer is that reactive. Most horses don't need to be bullied to get results. It works about as well with them as it does with kids. Get your horse away from this bully.
          If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
          Desmond Tutu


          • #25
            Yeah, find a new trainer.

            My mare was LEGENDARY at several barns in my area. Like nutcase legendary. I took her because her owner was at the end of her rope after trying many different situations.

            Long story short, the mare and I (and my management/horsekeeping styles) just really, really click. She is fabulous and quite possibly my favorite horse ever. Even my trainer loves her and she is NOT a mare person. She has never put a hoof out of place with me.

            She definitely has a finely tuned sense of justice and will freak out when she is feeling bullied. But if you give her a moment to think about something that has her tense, and gently ask her, she will do it, no question asked. I swear I could ride her through hot coals.

            Some horses and some people do not jive. Sounds like this is your situation and it will only end badly in some fashion.


            • #26
              Originally posted by Sfbayequine View Post
              I have a lovely appendix Paint who I got about two months ago. She is smart, curious, very sweet and tries to figure out what I am asking even though she is 7 and not totally finished.

              I was just out of town for work with my trainer watching her. I ride every day. There are no days off, but varied work. I was using the round pen to let her play and burn off energy, but had not required her to be a good girl and work a lunge line in about a week or so.

              My trainer takes her out to lunge and she goes bratty. Tries to reverse, ends up backing up, rearing and backs into another horse. She kept up her tantrum for 30 minutes.

              The next day a 14 year old I adore jumps her. No issues. She is happy, perfect and together. Great ride.

              The last day I was gone the trainer rode. My girl tossed her head and my trainer hits her in the shoulder. She rears. Today I hear from the trainer that she pony kicked her and then she bucked and threw a bigger tantrum after the rear. I guess her solution was to force her around the ring to submit with a very, very short rein.

              When I got her I knew she had some sensitivity issues from a western barn. We are trying to do hunters. My trainer knew about the sensitivity.

              I guess I am wondering - and I feel really dumb for even asking this - if hitting or slapping is a training must have. Maybe it is my trainers energy, but I really thing my horse over reacts to her and i am starting to think she hates her.

              On the one hand it could be because the trainer is pushing her or wants to be in control, but I ask her to do things all the time without a tantrum. Instead of hitting though, I back her down, go to something else and slip in the move I wanted in anther way. It's something I got really good at with my dog and works great with the horse... Small bursts to training, switch it up so she is not board, go back to something's she does well and I can control if she starts to lose it and then go back ton the move I want once she is calm.

              Basically, my horse reared and lost it when my trainer hit her. She has never reared for me and now I don't know what I want to do about it especially because I was not there and did not see it.

              I rode her today and she was excellent under saddle - except she is totally head shy now when I lunge, not relaxed and looking out the corner of her eye. It took me two hours to get my hands up by her face and she is totally twitchy.

              Does everyone pop their horse if they are really bad??? Given her reaction to a slap would it be unreasonable to tell the trainer no hitting? Something is not right. Anyone had any similar experience with a horse that reacts this way?
              Definitely find a new trainer. Some horses are sensitive, and it doesn't sound like your trainer is appropriate for your horse. Several things, like the horse backing up into another horse while lunging, etc. make me doubt your trainer's competence. The horse never should have been in a position to back into another horse.

              Without seeing what happens when your trainer lunges and rides her, it is hard to say for sure what is going on. But I think it is safe to say that it isn't working for your horse. That is reason enough for this trainer to not ride the horse.

              Rearing is tough to fix (and, arguably not 100% fixable once they learn it - ask me how I know!). My horse started rearing under saddle as a three year old for the first time the day after a training ride. Another young horse in the same program developed a rearing problem around the same time. For a long time, my horse would only rear the day after he was ridden by the trainer. Didn't take me long to put an end to that situation. I still have my horse, and consider him trustworthy *for ME* but the rearing is still in there and occasionally appears under certain circumstances.

              Get out now.


              • #27
                It's never a good sign when your horse goes better for you than for the expert trainer whom you're paying mucho $$ to for his/her superior skill and expertise. Why continue paying someone when you're clearly not getting the results you want?


                • #28
                  You already know the answer from the tone of your post. Very sensitive horses do not need to be punished or disciplined harshly, ever. It just makes them more reactive. If you click with your horse, find someone who is like-minded to you.
                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                  • #29
                    Pennywell Bay - I just have to comment that I liked your post...
                    and now I want cookies.
                    Only one cat - must not be totally crazy yet!


                    • #30
                      BTDT, thought it was the phase a youngster was going through. In fact, it was the objection of a lovely young horse to an incompatible ride. I didn't want to ride him if he was going to act like that, so I let trainer keep trying. Finally decided I needed to see what was going on. Felt pretty silly that he tried to tell me for so long and I did not listen. In hindsight, when he refused to be caught in turn-out, but only by one person, I should have known. Live and learn. They don't all get along with everyone.
                      Trinity Hill Farm


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post

                        To be devil's advocate and going soley off of your post, is it possible that this mare (who you have only had for 2 months) resents being disciplined? I am not advocating beating a horse etc. But, there are times to get to work and times to play. If the mare preceives that with you, it is always "play" and then is expected to "work" with the trainer, she "may" be having some hissy fits.

                        I have seen the horse reaction of "how dare you make me behave/reprimand me etc". Mommy/daddy/Person X lets me do as I wish. I am not saying that is what is happening, just asking to give some introspection.
                        This is something to consider. I'm not saying the trainer is right here, but there could be more to it. It's only in the last few months that I've gained a set of balls as a rider. Until that point, my gelding knew he could intimidate me, and if he fussed we'd move on to something else because I was not willing to push through the tantrum. If he didn't like something, he'd throw a fit and we'd move on, because I'd taught him that throwing a fit meant he didn't have to do something he didn't want to. When I stopped doing that, he started throwing some really ugly tantrums. Bucking, spinning, bolting, etc. Most of the tantrums were over something as simple as asking for straightness and not letting his hind end drift. We're finally getting past the worst of it, but it got REALLY ugly before he moved past it. He had to learn that no matter what he did, he wasn't going to intimidate me anymore.

                        There are plenty of other things that indicate the trainer is the wrong match for this horse, but keep in mind that the horse may still throw tantrums with another trainer. What you really want to look at is how the trainer handles that tantrum. The tantrum itself isn't necessarily a warning sign, as long as the trainer handles it correctly.
                        Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by MyssMyst View Post
                          There are plenty of other things that indicate the trainer is the wrong match for this horse, but keep in mind that the horse may still throw tantrums with another trainer. What you really want to look at is how the trainer handles that tantrum. The tantrum itself isn't necessarily a warning sign, as long as the trainer handles it correctly.
                          This. I was told in my prior training situation that my not pushing my horse versus the trainer pushing my horse was what caused some similar (though not as drastic as the OP's) behaviors with my former trainer versus me, but seeing my horse with a new trainer has proved that to be not the case. It's not that she's a different horse -- she still has her moments. The difference is in how the trainer handles her during those moments. Now, even on her crankiest days, the ride is still productive and better when it ends than when it begins. With the old trainer, there was no improvement over the course of the ride (and sometimes things went outright backward.) I could tell from Ride One with the new trainer that the two got along -- it didn't take more than 15 minutes for me to see the difference between how my mare responded to two different training styles. And on a related note, I'm MUCH more comfortable pushing the horse as needed myself now that I'm in the right situation for us. When you don't trust your trainer, you might also find yourself riding differently, and it becomes cyclical. At least that happened for me.

                          It doesn't necessarily make the old trainer a bad person, rider or trainer. She was fine with other horses, just not mine. Personality conflicts just *happen* sometimes. I wish I'd listened to my gut, and my horse, earlier.


                          • #33
                            RUN. Not 'later', but NOW.
                            If you are in the SF Bay Area, you should have many good options for trainers. Shop around, but first GET AWAY FROM THIS PERSON.


                            • #34
                              Often on public forums, you will find people writing a post like yours, and many people replying to find a new trainer. What is forgotten is that the relationship established is between you and your trainer. You picked this person for a reason. The most mature and professional thing you can do is talk to your trainer. Voice your concerns and ask questions about his/her methods and his/her plans for the horse. See what she/he says. If you do not hear answers that satisfy you, then by all means, hire someone else with whom you have a more cohesive relationship, someone you respect and feel confident trusting. However, there may be a misunderstanding between you and this professional, which can be ironed out and worked through. Don't run away without saying anything because a bunch of strangers on the internet told you to do so. None of us really know what is going on, and it sounds like you don't either, which is why you came here for advice.


                              • #35
                                Your horse is telling her something and she's NOT LISTENING. Sounds like she's either "my way or the highway" or too inexperienced to know any way but her way. EITHER WAY, her way is not your horse's way - and if your horse is well broke (sounds it) and a happy camper for you and the teen, then that woman needs to have as little to do with her as possible - and definitely NOTHING to do with 'training' or working her. My #1 choice would be to get the h--l out of Dodge. Your mare sounds too nice to be subjected to her.
                                Equine Photography in the Northeast


                                • #36
                                  Your horse is a good trainer!

                                  My horse can certainly have tantrums, but my trainer never reacts or would allow me to react to tantrums, only to good work. The trainer cheerfully rides right on through the tantrum without acknowledging it and moves on. There is no hitting, no yelling, no raised voice. My trainer simply continues giving (or telling me to give) the proper, clear, nonconfrontational cue until horse gets over herself and then horse is usually quite delighted with herself for getting past her own negativity. [What, I ask, is the purpose of very tight reins? What on earth would that give you from the horse, that you wanted? Then is she going to hit the horse for not being supple and engaging the hind end?]

                                  Horses are wonderful at teaching us what we're doing wrong. :-) I'm in the camp that says listening to what your horse does and doesn't like makes you a far better, more intuitive, rider.

                                  (My horse is reading this and shaking her head, and saying to her barnmates, "What a load of crap. I've been telling her what to do for five years, and she's still incredibly dense. You would not believe how obvious I had to make it for her today, in order to get her to freakin' quit fidgeting around like a sackful of puppies on caffeine whenever she asked for the canter.")


                                  • #37
                                    Curious, but who told you what happened?

                                    Was it the trainer or a bystander?
                                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                                    • #38
                                      "...force her around the ring to submit to a very, very short rein..."

                                      I can't tell you how much I hate these so-called training techniques. Anyone who "trains" like this should not be allowed around horses. I've seen it. Poor horses.
                                      Mon Ogon (Mo) and Those Wer the Days (Derby)


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by rmh_rider View Post
                                        Absolutely, get another trainer. Sad, it would seem the "trainer" would know a sensitive horse and act accordingly.
                                        Exactly, unfortunately, some trainers use the same cookie cutter methods on every horse.

                                        My sensitive mare was also a victim of an insensitive trainer. It took months of re-training to undo the psychological mess she created. OP, if you are in the Bay Area, feel free to PM me. I'm happy to discuss options with you.

                                        As others have written, get your mare out of this situation before any more damage is done.
                                        Last edited by jenm; Mar. 15, 2013, 09:53 PM. Reason: added info
                                        Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


                                        • #40
                                          I'd take it as a big red flag if a cheerful young horse that was behaving well for me started having tantrums and terrible behavior with a pro. There aren't too many good reasons to rile up or start fights with young horses. Trust your instincts.