Ok, I Need Some Serious Advice Here

fairlady

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Ok, I Need Some Serious Advice Here -UPDATE !!!

Hi to all reading this. I have now owned Morse for coming up to 6 months this month. As some of you are aware we have already had a few up and downs along the way. All the time I have had Morse there has just been something I could not quite put my finger on, and if I have I have told myself I am being totally ridiculous.......bear with me its difficult for me to put a feeling into words....

We seem to take three steps forward, 4 back, 3 steps forward, 2 back.....I just know he is not the easiest of horses even at 2 1/2, I HAVE taken into consideration that he had had next to no handling. However, its also tooo easy to put it all down to youngster behaviour and I honestly have this nagging doubt in the back of my mind. God forbid I am putting myself up for horsewoman of the year or full of experience, I am not, however, I do have to listen to my inner instinct, experience etc., and something does not add up.....On one hand we have achieved a fair amount, nowhere near to what I had hoped to achieve by this time, but I can live with that, I honestly hoped with extra handling through the Winter, morning and night with being stabled we would see an improvement, but we are not. I am very careful of who else handles him and at this time it is only myself and my YO/friend, I would not put anyone else at risk. Now here is the crunch......

When out in the day he shares with a gelding called Bailey who is a 6 year old and herd leader. When first in with Bailey he, Morse, submitted so much you could hear and see his little mouth going nine to the dozen. In the last few weeks I have noticed Bailey letting Morse out of the field first and Morse pushing his way through. He is as Bolshy as ever, having to be twitched to do his feet still, well behaved in stable, but suddenly all poo is neatly in one or two places and he is actually pooing against the wall to get it in the exact spot......

He will still lash out with his front foot if he really is upset about something, apparently he has taken to 'marking' his hay in the field on being turned out in the morning........ I cannot ignore my inner doubts anymore, he was alledgedly cut as a 1 year old.........I KNOW he is a youngster, I KNOW they try it on, however, he is being dealt with by people who are experienced, yes I have made some mistakes, I am human, but I actually voiced my fears tonight to my friend as I cannot ignore this innersense any longer and she said she was coming to the same conclusion.........I MAY WELL HAVE A RIG,
I am sooo disheartened tonight. Vet will be contacted tomorrow to come and do the blood test asap.
 
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sancho

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dangling on the fringes of insanity!
Firstly, it sounds as tho you are doing a brilliant and patient job!

Im certainly no expert in youngsters but it doesnt surprise me that he is ascerting his presence on the herd, its natural. Ive also heard that geldings in particular often mark their hay and my friends horse certainly does in his stable!

It will be interesting to know what the blood tests show up.

What will you do if he is a rig?

Good luck.
 
P

Pink's lady

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It is possibly he is a rig. It's also equally possible that he's not and this is just his behaviour becoming more dominate as he gets older. Rigs aren't that common.

If this is just him becoming more dominate you need to start doing some serious thinking about his future with you. It sounds (and apologies if I'm wrong) like you're only just managing to cope with his behaviour as it is now - are you going to cope with him as he becomes more bulshy. You say you're not getting anywhere nearly as fast as you expected or want - are you sure you are able to deal with him? Maybe you would be happier with something that requires less work, as he might be with someone a bit more experinced and naturally dominate?
 

jesshorsesoul3

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Good luck, i feel really sorry for you, my friends horse can be a bit like that and we think he's a rig. Hope it all works out well, your doing a great job with him! It could just be him being a typical youngster so dont get too upset about it. Good luck again xx
 

Emma_H

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aww! please dont be disheartened!

You've done so well so far, and dont loose that positive train of thought.

Wait and see what the blood test says, either way it'll put your mind at rest and then you can deal with the situation accordingly.

If it came to it nobody would ever think the worse of you if you decided to sell him and get another.

You certainly have more guts than me for taking a youngster on.
 
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fairlady

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Yeah PL I hear what you are saying, and to be honest if I was 'on my own' with this maybe I would be thinking twice, however I am far from alone on this and have people with a lot of experience to call on, one of which is my YO/mate, she has had and dealt with horses all her life, she too has been having a few problems in her dealings with Morse. To be honest its not just the bolshy behaviour, its numerous things, but this 'nagging doubt' in my mind can not be ignored any longer and at least I will know one way or another and can then decide how to deal with it. I cannot 'clamp' down on him any more than I am at the moment, believe me, I take NO crap and people who know me would laugh to hear you say about being naturally dominant:D I really have no fear about showing him who is BOSS, but its difficult to write or voice HOW I am coming to this conclusion....... I am not getting anywhere near as far along as I hoped I would be, but its certainly not from backing down to his behaviour, but I also appreciate that he is a youngster and its a thin line between dominance and cruelty!!! I quite admire the fact that he is no push over and is in fact very brave, but again his bravery shows arrogant stallion tendancies, perhaps I am not explaining this very well, you would have to see him to see what I mean to be honest....

I admit, I haven't ever had a youngster as young of my own, youngest I owned was a four year old already backed but I also stand by the fact that I have dealt with plenty, been around plenty of horses, as well as owned my own, several of which have not been easy, I have good and honest friends who would tell me if they thought I was out of my depth........and believe me I would admit it myself.....
but even a couple of the girls with plenty of experience on my little yard all have had their own youngsters, are very wary of handling him and to be honest I don't want people who are 'nervous' of him dealing with him, he would totally take the p*** and I am totally not prepared to put them at risk, therefore it is only myself and YO/Mate handling him, both strong willed and up for a battle should the need arise:D;) I give him 'every chance' but am quite willing to do it all the 'hard way' if needs must, and thats the way he seems to lean towards....everything being a bit of a battle. My mate actually said to me tonight that he was one of the bolshiest she had ever come across......

I hope honestly that I am wrong, but I really cannot ignore this little seed in my mind any longer, it has been there for a while and I have just kept pushing it to the back of my head telling myself not to be so ridiculous..... If he turns out to be a 'gelding' fair enough, then we may have to try different tactics, BUT I need to know for sure, at the end of the day what have I got to lose, money.....but at least that seed of doubt can be locked up and put away.
 
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eml

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I too would be worried that at his age he is becoming a herd leader, even if he is not a rig it suggests he is not going to be easy to train.

Would it be possible to turn him out with a larger herd? My youngster was a bit bolshy when he first came but a year of being out in a mixed herd of a dozen older horses has really brought him on and he is now much more respectful, still tries it on with the older ones with silly 'I am important' games but you can see him visibly backing down as if to say 'oops I forgot myself'.

It has certainly made him much more socialised and much easier to handle in all ways by people as well.
 

MelanieD

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Blood test should give you a good idea of if he's a rig or not. Its totally possible that he isn't and just far too full of opinions or was gelded late enough that he already thought he was a little stallion and remembers some of that behaviour, i know more than one that could be mistaken for a rig if someone hadn't actually seen those bits being removed..
 

angelfben

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When I first brought Mav home he was very submissive to Rusty but as time went on and he started to 'grow into himself' he became more and more dominant over Rusty. He also behaved increasingly rig like to the point I wondered if he had actually every been cut :eek: He was very nippy and mouthy, would rear and lash out with his front feet. He grew out of it though with firm and consistant handling and is the soppiest sod imaginable now. Don't worry yourself overly, could just be growing pains (pain in the a*se for you that is ;) ) :)
 

fairlady

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I would quite honestly lay money on the fact that if he is NOT a rig he WILL be herd leader, no doubt of that whatsoever.

He is only turned out with Bailey at the moment either in a small paddock or the 3 acre field, each on alternate days, there is only one other gelding there on our yard and he usually goes out with the very dominant Mare cos she actually tolerates him;) Perhaps Staffy (the mare) would like a little taste of Morse, I have no doubt she would well and truly SORT him, but at what cost, cos boy if she goes, she really goes:D and the decision was to put Morse with Bailey as opposed to Coco because Bailey was the more dominant of the two.

However, I do have to say that Bailey is no pushover, he is quite a dominant gelding and WAS well and truly putting Morse in his place, but just this last week I have noticed that Morse will not 'get out of his way' although neither has any marks on them, kicks or bites.

and yeah angelfben, you hear what I am saying, its all there, but MORE as well.... He is getting VERY FIRM and VERY CONSISTENT handling, we do not 'give up' easily, his feet are done the easy way, or the hard way, however, surely after consistantly the 'hard way' he should be looking for the 'easy way' for a bit of relief by now, lol. However, if he is not a RIG, great, I will stick with it, but at least I know and if he is, well I guess I cross that bridge as and when....
 
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Pink's lady

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Glad you've got his dominance under control a little. I just got the impression, from your previous posts, that he's been allowed to walk all over you in the past and you aren't/haven't been particularly assertive with him. Apologies if not.

It would probably be easiest if he does turn out to be a rig and his behviour can be sorted. But it's quite likely he's not I'm afraid. He sounds like Brodie, who was very definitly not a rig - I had him tested.

He also sounds like Kalli. She is now almost 7 (ye gods, already:eek: ) and has pushed her way up the herd. I would have loved her to have stayed at the bottom of the pecking order but she is very, very dominate with other horses (sadly she's lived on her own in the past and still doesn't socialise quite right with other horses). Recently that started to run through into her human interaction - she thought she could see how far she could push me (and Ali). Unfortunatly for her I spent 8yrs with the most dominate and grumpy horse I've ever known (yes, you Brodie) and she was put back into her place pronto:eek:
 

wonkeywoody

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Shove him out with Coco and let her sort him out. It'll give him a big shake up but that sounds just the ticket. (I wish I'd had a dominant mare option a year ago!)
Are you doing any ground games with him?
as far as feet are concerned, yes I see where you are coming from re 'he should have chosen the easier option by now', but does he REALLY know WHAT that is yet? You may have to look more laterally at the problem.....
 

fairlady

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Well perhaps although I am always 'honest' on here I maybe withhold some of the more important stuff.....:D and put it in a way that makes me sound like a nicer and kinder person than I probably actually am in real life:D
I have no problems getting dominant AND MEAN if needs be, but would always try the pleasant but firmer way FIRST:D:D

If I did not have the tendancy to be 'dominant' BUT FAIR, I certainly could not do the job I do which lets just say makes ME the law abiding citizen surrounded by others who are, what shall we say, not so law abiding;):D

As I said to my mate tonight, 'if it turns out he DOES have one, and his behaviour does not improve soon, I am gonna put my hand down his throat, find it and personally rip it out anyway':D:D;)

But first I will see what the blood test says:D The one thing this thread has done is 'put a grin back on my face' TOMORROW is another day, ring the vet, different outlook, lol.
 
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angelfben

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and yeah angelfben, you hear what I am saying, its all there, but MORE as well.... He is getting VERY FIRM and VERY CONSISTENT handling, we do not 'give up' easily, his feet are done the easy way, or the hard way, however, surely after consistantly the 'hard way' he should be looking for the 'easy way' for a bit of relief by now, lol. However, if he is not a RIG, great, I will stick with it, but at least I know and if he is, well I guess I cross that bridge as and when....

He could of course be like Alps, he never really 'got it'. A guy I know who takes on problem/project horses and works with them for a living and knew Alps since foaling described him as a feral horse... not dangerous or especially problematic but he will just never truly depend on you or be fully domestic, it's just the way his brain is wired. I love Alps to bits but you will never really 'win' with him, it's just about working through every day and situation as it comes to you. He doesn't have any major issues but just his attitude in general, he will argue with you about everything and no matter if you win that argument 10 times a day for 10 years he will still question you the next time. On the other hand though he is the most rewarding horse I've ever had and has more personality than you can throw a stick at, he has me in fits with his antics and there is never a dull moment! You have the patience and tolerance to just calmly and persistantly work through things with Morse (you must have since you haven't killed him or yourself yet :D ) so don't worry yourself overly about his behaviour, it's all about baby steps and dealing with each situation as you come across it.
 

fairlady

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HAVE YOU MET MY HORSE:D

You have just described him to a T.

He is not nasty in any way, not out to 'get' you, n'or is he stupid, far from it, but he will argue the toss all the way, daily, again and again, over the same thing you 'won' yesterday:D He just likes to 'test you' again and again, even though I am sure he knows he is gonna be the loser, he just wants to try, just in case he 'gets lucky':D

I have a degree of admiration for him for that to be honest, cos I am a bit 'sick' like that, but I also some times think he must absolutely hate me cos I am always 'dominating' him, I don't nag or ask anymore, I insist:D I am beginning to feel we have a 'its you or me situation, and it ain't gonna be ME':D

I AM going to have the blood test, then if he is NOT a Rig, I am gonna beat the sh** out of him:D JOKING:D
 

angelfben

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Oh dear it sounds like you have an Alpi on your hands... you have my deepest sympathies :p

They are definitely not stupid, in fact usually far too clever for their own good. I always liken them to a cocky child, they know they're going to get in trouble for it, they know they won't get away with it.. but they just can't help themselves trying it on anyway :rolleyes: It doesn't matter if they got the beating of their life the day before for doing something, they'd still try their luck the very next day :rolleyes:
 

fairlady

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OK, You obviously HAVE met my horse:D

and YES, he is like the naughty cheeky child that everyone BUT the Mother loves:D and although everyone else 'loves' them for their tenacity, they would not want to necessarily take them home...... To be fair he does have a few redeeming features as well, he would follow you to the ends of the earth, however, he would attempt the odd nip or grab at your jacket en-route, despite knowing he is gonna get a slap:D
 
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Emma_H

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Is there a way to try reverse psychology then?

Make Morse think everything is his idea ;)

"yes Morse, that idea you just had of coming in from the field and having some tea was a great one"
 
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