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4 years old, and never been touched

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  • 4 years old, and never been touched

    How would you halter train a horse that is 4 years old and has never seen a farrier or a vet, or been outside of a small shared pen? I would like to help her but I'm afraid to make her move around too much with those weak ligaments/tendons and broken, overgrown feet.

    To make things a little more complicated, this is not my horse. The owner, who doesn't know anything much about horses, has asked me to work with her in the past but I have declined, as I am not a trainer. I have suggested several qualified trainers. Nothing ever happens except that the horse gets a little older every year.

    I halter broke my own horses without any problems. Should I try to take this on for the horse's sake, or just walk away?

  • #2
    It doesn't hurt to spend a little time evaluating the horse. I wouldn't do it if the horse was very spooky and I thought I was going to get hurt - after all, it doesn't sound like the owner is offering to pay!

    If she is friendly and likes people, you're a lot further along than if she's scared of people. See what you can do and what you can't. If she likes having her face rubbed, you may not have much of an issue getting her haltered. But if someone's tried to train her in the past, badly, and she's scared and defensive, that might be a bigger project than you are willing to take on.

    Will AC in your area do anything about a situation like this, or are they the kind of AC where something has to be dead before you'll get any action?

    Comment


    • #3
      [QUOTE]
      Originally posted by blazn View Post
      How would you halter train a horse that is 4 years old and has never seen a farrier or a vet, or been outside of a small shared pen?
      carefully



      I would like to help her but I'm afraid to make her move around too much with those weak ligaments/tendons and broken, overgrown feet.
      well she's moving around fair enough now right ??

      I halter broke my own horses without any problems. Should I try to take this on for the horse's sake, or just walk away?
      well, to use a favorite southern term "that's all on you" to decide....no one knows what you can or cannot do for this horse but you
      Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
      I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

      Comment


      • #4
        Until you sort out exactly what the owner is willing to pay for/expectations, don't set yourself up for heartbreak.

        Go, evaluate and and have a coming to Jezus meeting with the owner. If the owner isn't willing, can't/won't pay for farrier, etc, walk away. If that happens, consider calling the state animal welfare and reporting. If she won't pay/do anything, first also try hard to get her to turn the animal over to an animal rescue or take the animal off her hands. I have privately "rescued" a number of horses and ponies, fixed them up and re-homed them. It is a labor of love and costs real bucks but it is so worth it. I have lost money all but once (where the horse was gorgeous but beyond bad mannered -striking, rearing, bully to people, etc).

        The owner has to be willing before you can do any good.
        Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thank you all for the suggestions; you're pretty much saying what I had already thought myself. "Carefully" is good advice for this entire situation!

          Comment


          • #6
            I would have the owner pay for the vet to come out and heavily sedate the horse and put a halter on him/her and have the feet done - for starters.

            Comment


            • #7
              And might I add that I am incredibly impressed by your restraint. I'd like to have the owner placed in a holding pen and left alone with little care and attention for a few years.
              www.specialhorses.org
              a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

              Comment


              • #8
                There is nothing inherently wrong with not starting a horse until they are four... it's the conditions under which they are kept...

                We routinely turned out the weanlings with the juvenile herd (and a couple old retirees) and didn't touch them except to move pastures seasonally, until they were 3 or 4. Brought them in, and though they had worn halters and learned to lead/do feet etc. as foals, basically started them again from scratch. We usually had 2-3 weeks to make them responsible working citizens, and each year it worked. Anywhere from four to almost a dozen... <shrugs>

                The care is obviously a concern. But the late start... isn't unheard of.
                InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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                • #9
                  never seen a farrier or a vet, or been outside of a small shared pen?.......... weak ligaments/tendons and broken, overgrown feet.

                  The owner is negligent and causing suffering and doesn't have the wit and wherewithall to own the horse.

                  Why would you want to be complicit in this?

                  I entirely understand why you feel sorry for the horse because it's done nothing wrong other than be in the wrong place with some puke.

                  I'd be making every attempt at having an assertive and firm go at educating the ignorant, but if there was no improvement I'd be telling her straight that what she's doing is causing suffering and it's cruelty out of ignorance and stupidity and neglect and to pull her finger out and do the right thing.

                  If there was no response there, then I'd be on to the welfare authorities.

                  You'd be stark staring bonkers to think of training a neglected horse for free unless it was your own and especially when the owner doesn't give a damn!

                  The fact that you're even here asking about how to put a halter on a horse that has basically been abandoned is further indication to me that you absolutely would be mad to even consider it.

                  I get paid for training horses. If she asked me to train it, I'd be doubling my costs, checking my insurance policy and charging her till she got sensible!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Unless you're an experienced trainer, I wouldn't get involved. Owner needs to step up and pay for pro to start this horse.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thomas, you have given me just the firm, common sense talking-to I needed. And even made me smile. (I always try to avoid making the short trip from merely bonkers to stark staring bonkers.) Thank you all for not enabling me.

                      I will be more assertive in my efforts to educate the ignorant owner, for which I am forced to rely on persuasion and not threats. There are no welfare authorities here - animal control is even worse than Catknsn suggests - and doubling your charges is no threat if the owner won't pay anything to begin with!

                      This is one of those situations that remind me why my mother taught me to mind my own business.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by blazn View Post
                        Thomas, you have given me just the firm, common sense talking-to I needed. And even made me smile. (I always try to avoid making the short trip from merely bonkers to stark staring bonkers.) Thank you all for not enabling me.

                        I will be more assertive in my efforts to educate the ignorant owner, for which I am forced to rely on persuasion and not threats. There are no welfare authorities here - animal control is even worse than Catknsn suggests - and doubling your charges is no threat if the owner won't pay anything to begin with!

                        This is one of those situations that remind me why my mother taught me to mind my own business.
                        You're very welcome and remember that when you're dealing with the terminally stupid that sometimes you need to be VERY blunt and VERY assertive. Speak the language she understands! And if a threat of reporting might help her to decide to do the right thing, then threaten it. She's not to know you're not likely to follow through.

                        You only get to charge double when she's decided she wants to pay for the job doing. Truth is though that it's likely to take 4 times as long as it should because of the horse's age and condition.

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