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Ground work for the "sporadic, reactive, should-know-better-at-this-age" horse?

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  • #21
    Before we get the bats and chains out, he's mostly been left to his own devices for the past six years if I read the OP right, if jay is as special as my tb I'd think some benefit of the doubt is in order. Mine would take the punishment stoically but he wouldn't have the first clue what he was supposed to be gaining from it.
    I've not tried clicker training on dumbo yet but intend to as I've had such a nice time using it on sensitive brain box, be interesting to see if it works as well

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Thank you guys so much for the feedback. I really appreciate people taking the time to read and understand my issues!

      Jay is a very "special" horse, and I mean that in the very best and very worse way!

      He hasn't been "deserted" for years, he's just in my back yard so he doesn't have to DO as much. He doesn't have to be led into a stall every night. He doesn't have to wait his turn for the water trough, he doesn't have to walk quietly to the field to be turned out, etc.

      He has always been cared for, always fed everyday, feet done every 6 weeks, etc.

      I have taken him off the farm in the last year. Once on a trail ride (he's fine as long as we're just walking and he's with his buddy), and once to my friends barn when Hurricane Sandy was coming!

      It's not really a matter of being intimidated by him, or not wanting to "show him who's boss". I completely agree with being the alpha, it's just hard to do that by force with him. He's VERY reactive and it's hard to tell when he needs to genuinely be calmed down and reassured, and when he needs a kick in the ribs.

      I also promise that I'm not some backyard hill billy that got an ex-race horse! He was my first, but I've had 5 since him that have all been sane!!! Juice, who is also in my backyard, is a SAINT and was not that way when I got him from the track.
      http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

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      • Original Poster

        #23
        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
        Was his name at the track also Jay, as in Jaybird?

        That is a nickname horses with the attention span of a gnat were called at times.
        Until they matured.
        Some never did.
        An older woman I worked with always called him that! I never understood why!
        http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          Thanks Laurie, depending on where you are in Baltimore I'm probably quite a drive for you. I'd love to have help though!

          I had a TON of work done on him last summer when he was loosing weight. Besides the scar tissue they didn't really find anything else conclusive. No ulcers, and his blood came back strange, but no lyme.

          That could obviously have changed since then, but honestly, his behavior has been this way since last summer. I've just been dealing with it since then (although the farrier thing was the worst this last time.)
          http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

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          • Original Poster

            #25
            I'm going to try to post a picture on the original post.. just so you can put a face to the legend that is Jay..
            http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post
              Thanks Laurie, depending on where you are in Baltimore I'm probably quite a drive for you. I'd love to have help though!

              I had a TON of work done on him last summer when he was loosing weight. Besides the scar tissue they didn't really find anything else conclusive. No ulcers, and his blood came back strange, but no lyme.

              That could obviously have changed since then, but honestly, his behavior has been this way since last summer. I've just been dealing with it since then (although the farrier thing was the worst this last time.)
              I am in Bel Air
              McDowell Racing Stables

              Home Away From Home

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              • #27
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1kl2iIpWqg

                Comment


                • #28
                  Meredith please be assured I did not think for a moment you had abandoned him, just that he'd been a pasture puff I think is the term used

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                  • #29
                    He has OTTB turned into wild mustang syndrome. I have one of those.

                    Pasture Puff since he was 9, just turned 20.

                    Mine isn't a worrier though- more just out to lunch a lot.

                    Chain over the nose works on mine. Just some basic groundwork- we're leading, we're stopping, no you cannot drag me across the lawn, no we are not eating grass right now, etc. works.

                    He rolls in the mud all the time and still goes on gallop/farting/bucking spurts. Takes a lot of naps in the sun.

                    Seriously, he thinks he is a wild mustang. I can kind of picture how it goes in his head "dun dun dun I am spirit, wild mustang stallion. do-de-do dun dun. I fear nothing- OMG HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT?"

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                    • #30
                      So much depends on the handler. If you are a high energy person you have to work at being quiet and calm when working with him
                      I would start from scratch. Start with things he can do correctly so you can be positive. Like tying him in the stall and grooming him there. Reward his standing calmly when he does, then unhook him and turn him out. If he won't tie to the wall then start with that. Then work on leading with him at your shoulder. A jerk on the line if he tries to be pushy. When you get a few yards of a nice walk, quit. Each day review and when he does each movement well, move on to the next simple step. It takes as long as it takes. 10 minutes a day of handling. Keep the lessons short and positive.
                      Think of him as a hyper active kid.
                      Plus, I would review his diet. Sounds like a lot of grain for a non-working horse. There are other ways to keep weight on.
                      As always JMHO
                      Last edited by CFFarm; May. 14, 2013, 08:56 AM. Reason: added a thought.
                      Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

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                      • #31
                        With my OTTB, it's obvious he's not happy when not in a routine, without a job.
                        If I've been away, and not given him something to do, he's more cantankerous next time. And don't forget - they really want to know what you're expecting of them. And they were so used to a routine at the track. Mine certainly thrives on one.

                        Your fellow went from eventing, to doing very little.

                        Just implement whatever routine you choose a bit at a time, on a regular basis, and then increase what you're asking of them as you go along. But give him something to look forward to. He may act crabby when you first introduce it. But I'll bet he'll be happy to see you at the next anticipated time.

                        I will also admit, that when mine still had his mind elsewhere, a carrot bribe was not a bad thing. He went from bouncing all around the mounting block, to standing stock still for a carrot. Tried longing just for communication purposes. Went from blowing up, to going by command. And would guess that could all be tied in with clicker training.

                        And don't forget, they love praise for every small accomplishment.
                        But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

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                        • #32
                          Oh, and by the way, mine has KS also. Doesn't seem to interfere with what I've been doing with him so far. Saddle fit made a huge difference. But if you watch the boards, there seem to be some successful interventions for KS these days. Maybe he can't do the level of eventing you're happy with, but bet he could have a decent job. I don't think it's necessarily a done deal with that diagnosis.
                          But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            Originally posted by CVPeg View Post
                            Oh, and by the way, mine has KS also. Doesn't seem to interfere with what I've been doing with him so far. Saddle fit made a huge difference. But if you watch the boards, there seem to be some successful interventions for KS these days. Maybe he can't do the level of eventing you're happy with, but bet he could have a decent job. I don't think it's necessarily a done deal with that diagnosis.
                            When Jay first started having issues I took him to Virgina Equine Imaging and he had a full body scan and work up. They diagnosed the kissing spine and SI problems. He actually tried to colic when he was there from stress (classic jay).

                            He was given Tildren treatment, shockwave (which I continued at home), SI injections, and steroids to help build his back strength. I did a lot of lunging and long and low work, but he never seemed to be comfortable.
                            http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Originally posted by CVPeg View Post
                              Oh, and by the way, mine has KS also. Doesn't seem to interfere with what I've been doing with him so far. Saddle fit made a huge difference. But if you watch the boards, there seem to be some successful interventions for KS these days. Maybe he can't do the level of eventing you're happy with, but bet he could have a decent job. I don't think it's necessarily a done deal with that diagnosis.
                              When Jay first started having issues I took him to Virgina Equine Imaging and he had a full body scan and work up. They diagnosed the kissing spine and SI problems. He actually tried to colic when he was there from stress (classic jay).

                              He was given Tildren treatment, shockwave (which I continued at home), SI injections, and steroids to help build his back strength. I did a lot of lunging and long and low work, but he never seemed to be comfortable.
                              http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

                              Comment

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