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

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

    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?
    Last edited by Sfbayequine; Apr. 1, 2013, 01:11 PM. Reason: Wanted to update & say thank you.

  • #2
    Find a new trainer, quickly.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have heard a story or two like yours before.

      Don't have the trainer work your horse again. I don't mean, not for a little while, I mean ever. It's hard to know exactly what happened but there are times when I believe it's important to take the horse's word for it and this is one of them.

      It's hard to take advice like that from a net.stranger, I know. You shouldn't take it blindly. But I see (from my tiny, limited, keyhole vantage-point) no path for this getting better. Shocking things can happen when it is believed no one is watching.
      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Ohhhhhhhh.... That is what my gut is telling me. It always looks so clear when you type it out.... :-)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sfbayequine View Post
          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.
          This has nothing to do with sensitivity, this has everything to do with your trainer bullying your horse. Hitting her in the shoulder for tossing her head? Overreaction on the trainer's part. They're horses. They will shake their head once in a while.

          I hate reading stories like this. New trainer, ASAP. I would not let old "trainer" lay one finger on my horse from this point on.

          There are some horses you can force & they're OK with it, then there's other horses where you have to learn how to ask them to do what you want. Sounds like your present "trainer" isn't well versed at all in asking the horse.

          My 17 y/o OTTB - For the 13 years I've had him, if you tried to force him to do something, you would have a fight on your hands. If you changed your approach and asked, he'd be more than willing to do whatever you pleased.

          Your approach with your horse seems to be working well. That's what I do with my guy with excellent results. Asking rather than telling or forcing/bullying.

          Best of luck to you & your horse.

          Comment


          • #6
            You already know the answer. It's hard when you are dealing with someone who has a skill set you do not have. So your instinct is telling you something, but you also appreciate that you might be wrong since you don't know.

            In this case -get a new trainer. It is absolutely not necessary for you or your horse to put up with this. They don't sound compatible, and you don't sound comfortable with this trainer (heck, neither does your horse).

            Paula
            He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

            Comment


            • #7
              you are giving the horse conflecting instruction.

              Play in the round pen or Work in the round pen? Which is it?

              We had two sets of tack for our horse THIS set was Work/Show... THAT set is OK we are going to change things and just ride and we did not take them into the training areas...and believe me they new the difference.

              Comment


              • #8
                Change trainers. Otherwise current trainer is going to get hurt working with your horse and that's a bad outcome for both horse and trainer. I firmly believe that there are some horse/person combinations that don't work. My guess is that your trainer will be happy not to have to ride your horse.
                Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
                http://www.ironwood-farm.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tarynls View Post
                  There are some horses you can force & they're OK with it, then there's other horses where you have to learn how to ask them to do what you want. Sounds like your present "trainer" isn't well versed at all in asking the horse.

                  My 17 y/o OTTB - For the 13 years I've had him, if you tried to force him to do something, you would have a fight on your hands. If you changed your approach and asked, he'd be more than willing to do whatever you pleased.
                  I agree, and I also have a sensitive head-tossing paint mare who is just like the OPs (and this OTTB).

                  To be honest, I really don't know any horses that like to be *forced* but some might not be as reactive as mine. But kicking and slapping a horse seems a little unnecessary; certainly by the pro. The pro should be the one that makes you feel like you are overreacting, not the other way around. (At least that's how I feel when my trainer rides my sensitive mare.)...I think "oh, wow, ok, that was easy when YOU asked for it."
                  Last edited by S1969; Mar. 15, 2013, 09:00 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by S1969 View Post
                    I agree, and I also have a sensitive head-tossing paint mare who is just like the OPs (and this OTTB).

                    To be honest, I really don't know any horses that like to be *forced* but some might not be as reactive as mine. But kicking and slapping a horse seems a little unnecessary; certainly by the pro. The pro should be the one that makes you feel like you are overreacting, not the other way around. (At least that's how I feel when my trainer rides my sensitive mare....I think "oh, wow, ok, that was easy when YOU asked for it."
                    That.

                    Most horses have a deep sense of what is right and is not.
                    There are few horses that work better when you take the fight to them.
                    Your trainer seems to be the kind that fights a horse thru resistances, which some horses just won't put up with.

                    Now, maybe your mare is not only sensitive, but a bit spoiled/pushy/strong minded and used to get her way.
                    Even then, fighting her is really not a good way to get cooperation.

                    One proof of a good trainer is that it can make getting a horse to work with you easy and smooth, not strained and taking it down the fight path.

                    Slapping a horse in the shoulder for shaking it's head?
                    That is way out there as a training technique.
                    You can hear anything, can you, some a bit out there.
                    A normal horse now head shy?
                    I get that situation squared away right off and make it clear I was not happy and keep that trainer away from that horse.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Run screaming in the opposite direction.
                      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                      -Rudyard Kipling

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Keep the horse, get rid of the obviously incompetent so-called trainer.
                        Jeanie
                        RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Listen to your horse. People can say they like your horse, act nice seem professional, but if your normally sweet horse reacts around them stop letting that person be around your horse. This applies to grooms, trainers whomever.
                          Sometimes the human isn't even conscious of his dislike of the horse but it will come out when the two interact. When trainers make disparaging remarks about your horse or your horse breed/coloring/sex/whatever stop the relationship. The horse will pick up the underlying attitude and it will effect them.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by clanter View Post
                            you are giving the horse conflecting instruction.

                            Play in the round pen or Work in the round pen? Which is it?

                            We had two sets of tack for our horse THIS set was Work/Show... THAT set is OK we are going to change things and just ride and we did not take them into the training areas...and believe me they new the difference.

                            I like this post. First, to OP, I want to say I believe, generally speaking, you have to follow your gut.

                            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.

                            I'm just throwing out another perspective. I do not tolerate inappropriate reprimands to my horses. I fired a farrier because of it. I DO NOT tolerate my horses being rude, I expect them to get reprimanded appropriately if they misbehave, assuming they KNOW what the appropriate behavior that is expected.

                            On a side, years ago, a gelding I bred and showed was an ass with other people reprimanding him. This was in the in-hand at the time. If he got a shoulder slap for being naughty be anyone else but me, all hell broke loose. In retrospect, he WAS spoiled in some ways. My trainer used to joke with me he was "women broke". =) He grew out of it, I stopped babying him so much after a blow out at Warrenton between the braider, groom and handler. He grew up to be a solid citizen but man, he is still "famous" in our area for being a douche in his younger years.

                            Is there another nonaffiliated trainer you can take her to to have her evaluated, a training session, have a different trainer ride her?

                            I am just throwing out some things that pop into my head. I hope you and your mare find a satisfactory solution.
                            Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Listen. I had a similar situation in college and it took me a long time to undo that. Horses shake their heads, nothing IMO requiring a physical correction. Sounds like she was already pissed and picking fights.

                              As far as the riding around on a very short rein to make her submit? So stupid and again picking fights. Collection shouldn't be a punishment. That alone... get our. I think she will ruin your horse, not only is the mare already acting out for her she adds kerosene to fires. Yes I will keep a shorter rein if I don't trust the horse/need more control, but it is never punishment.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Listen to your horse.

                                Some trainer/horse combinations just don't work.

                                Many trainers are not able to admit that.
                                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Absolutely, get another trainer. Sad, it would seem the "trainer" would know a sensitive horse and act accordingly.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Also, does your trainer use a diferrent saddle and bridle on the mare?
                                    "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Get a new trainer. We leased our sensitive type out to a girl who rode like your trainer. When we pulled him back from his lease (long story), she said that every horse she rode reared. He had never reared under saddle while here. Rider error, not horse.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        My horses may get a p from time to time but never because they toss their head etc. It's more like they try to run me over coming out of the stall lol. But that is very very rare and it's just a pop and hey I'm here stop it. I've never hit my horse under saddle for any reason. You should have different tools to deal with things opposed to just smacking them. Even When ive been dumped in the past I've never got up and beat the horse, I just got back on.

                                        I'd say new trainer for sure. My horse hated 2 of my old trainers. Loves my new one. They will tell you, you just have to listen
                                        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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