View Full Version : Impossibe???
23rd Mar 2002, 11:11 PM
i have NEVER believed ANY horse to be bad...their behavior is mearly a reflection of the training and care it has received! i work with some horses at a rescue barn and there is a mare there whome just seems revengful...its like she doesn't know how to trust yet once in a while she is very sweet but than all of a sudden she will turn on you and bit/kick...something! I have ALLWAYS believed that ALL horses can be re-trained and can be turned into a trustworthy and sweet horse! The thing i do most is trust the horse fully weather they lay their ears back i stand my ground and trust the horse...i may back off but basically i fully believe this horse wont hurt me. i take it very slow sitting out in a pasture watch the horse, if the horse comes over i pat it if it turns aggresive i will stop but will NOT leave. anyway even my instructer does NOT trust this horse, she is 76 has worked with horses for basically 76years and believes what i believe yet she says this horse cannot be re-trained and she has never seen a horse like this before! I don't know why maybe its the way she acts but i very much want to try to teach her to trust again and when she is sweet she is just the most luvable but 1minutes latter she is a 'terror'!
do you think that there are horse that cannot be retrained? thanks
23rd Mar 2002, 11:21 PM
Does the mare ever ACTUALLY bite or kick anyone. If not, then it might not be agression that she is showing but her way of defending herself. She does not want to hurt anyone but wants to make sure that she is not harmed by the human. What is her history as a rescue horse? Was she cruelly treated by humans, ie beaten or hit? If you think that this could be worth persuing then I recommend you get hold of Mark Rashid's "Horses Never Lie" asap. There is a case exactly the same as this. Good luck and trust your instincts.
23rd Mar 2002, 11:25 PM
thanks...yes she has bit never kicked but has almost run over a couple people. she was beating and not fed properly...and ridden in a "wierd" fashion which didn't help...by wierd i mean the rider was STRONG with hands and really beat her up under saddle trying to "train" her.
the fact that she is so loving every so often gives me hope though
23rd Mar 2002, 11:46 PM
I believe every horse can be trained, yes. I find it hard to believe that she is loving from what you say she has gone through, perhaps she is accepting.
I imagine the reason why your instructor says she cannot be trained is perhaps that it might be a very traumatic experience for her. It would be best in my opinion to care for her and make her as comfortable as possible rather than put further pressure on her.
Just one other point, I would not be inclined to push her to the point where she wants to bite/kick/trample you as this is obviously past her threshold. Even if this is just going into her paddock, if she wants to bite or kick she is showing you she is not comfortable with it. You are much better trying stuff like that under controlled situations, for her sake and yours...I would hate for you to be hurt.
24th Mar 2002, 12:55 AM
good luck jumpingisforlife, lets us know how you get on, and yes i do believe there is hope, just dont push her to far to soon, if she continually sees that you dont pressure her at all and only give her love and affection i am sure you will gain her trust,and she will come around to you in her own time. i really admire you for taking her on and caring enough to do so, there really should be more people like you in this world and then it would be a better place for us all.....lots of luck and love
25th Mar 2002, 10:49 AM
There is a horse at our barn that was starved and mistreated. A beautiful saddlebred! He cannot be riden or handled. It's not because he is bad but because he is afraid. It's really sad. He belongs to the horse protection society and will always have a home there but he has no human to love him. At first I thought he could be retrained but now I don't think so at all. There is something so deep in that horse that I'm afraid will never be gone. I'm wondering if starvation can damage the brain. I know it damages other organs so I think maybe it can damage the brain as well. I think that's what happened to him. I think horses are like people, some cannot be changed only helped to live a life as comfortable as possible.
25th Mar 2002, 06:19 PM
I knew a horse that had never been mistreated (same owner all his life) but who would try to attack people. Our best guess was that he was neurotic--chemical imbalance of some sort. He would charge, then swing around and try to double kick your head.
The only way to go out into the pasture where he was was to get the head gelding ( a teeny pony, by the by) and walk around with him by your side. The pony didn't tolerate any sort of misbehavior, and would attack the neurotic one if he tried to pull anything.
I am pretty sure that he was not trainable, due to the fact that his behavior had no basis in mishandling. Perhaps if we had been able to correct the imbalance, whatever it was....
25th Mar 2002, 06:50 PM
i think all horse can be retrained but could just take a long long time, and maybe try out some different apporaches!!!
but i think she will always have some faults, some things that can't be changed!!
25th Mar 2002, 08:55 PM
I knew one vicious stallion, never been mistreated, we bred him, never a harsh word, but he was vicious with a capital V.
To cut a long story short he died from a brain tumour, which accounted for his behaviour, these horses cannot be trained, re-trained or trusted.
My other little horse, who was a "problem" horse has taken me 3 years to get him to trust me, and then sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to catch him once in a while....it used to be hours! With horses there are no quick fixes. Once they have a reason not to trust why should they ignore their instincts? that's what keeps a horse alive in the wild. I do not let anyone else ride him, he is such a nervy soul, I feel that one incident could take us back months. His father was shot in another country due to being "un-handleable"! I wish I could have owned him, the only thing wrong with his son is he is mega sensetive, he even has ticklish feet, he picks up on body language and reads every move you make. He is too willing to please and reacts so quickly to aids. He panics with a coarse rider on his back.
You don't have to be cruel or harsh to make a horse nasty, by being too soft some will take advantage, not all, but some aggressive characters will.
26th Mar 2002, 12:08 AM
There was a stallion round here some time ago - not sure if he's still going, and can't remember his name - who was very popular, but his offspring were renowned for being difficult, nervy and unpredictable. One of our local vets bought a daughter of his, and discovered that the family had some genetic problem which meant that they had a natural deficiency of a particular mineral, and I'm blowed if I can remember which one it was too. But by supplementing her diet they solved the problem and her behaviour reverted to normal.
I guess horses are just like people really - some are dominant, some are nervy, some are sensitive, some are laid-back. As Wally says, there are different ways of spoiling a horse; the difficult bit is sussing out what makes each one tick, and handling him accordingly.
On the subject of Alpha/lead horses, it was positively amusing when Merlin first arrived on the farm. He was turned out with Midnight, who had only been here about a month at the time and was separated from Frank and Swallow (long-term friends) by double electric fence.
Midnight fancied the pants off Swallow and spent most of his time mooning at her over the fence. Swallow hated Midnight's guts and spent most of HER time trotting up and down the fence with her ears back, telling him exactly what she'd do to him when the fence came down. Merlin arrived. Swallow took one look at him and fell for him hook, line and sinker. Merlin quite liked her too. The pair of them would just stand head to head all day long.
Midnight was livid! He spent most of HIS day racing backwards and forwards behind Merlin, trying to get him out of the way. The air was blue! Merlin just completely ignored his shennanigans. He may as well not have been there. Despite the fact that Merlin was only a baby of four, he just marched in and took over, and no-one messed with him. He didn't actually DO anything - it was all a matter of "aura".
I think some people naturally have this same aura, and I think most animals recognise it immediately. Some of us less fortunate animal lovers have to learn it, which is what all this is about. But it can be done, I'm sure. It certainly isn't about chasing horses around or beating them up. As for humans trying to be horses, no, we don't have to. Animals are very generous, horses more so than most, and you only have to demonstrate to them that you're trying to understand, and they'll try their damndest to understand you back.
Mind you, having said that, I think my cat Gregory sometimes treats me like another cat. He's deduced all by himself that because we make frantic scrabbling efforts to catch the odd mouse or rabbit when he manages to lose one in the house alive, therefore we must enjoy chasing small game; so now he's started bringing them into the living room while we're watching telly, and dumping them at our feet. Then he sits back and watches us in a somewhat fatherly way while we rush for the fishing net, the wellies, the torch and the woolly blanket. Last time the mouse got behind the piano. We were there for hours.
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