serious dilema, can NH help??

rach4uk4

Colourful Comedian :)
Sep 9, 2005
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brentwood, essex. UK
horse almost killed me today. seriously, have just been discharged from hospital. this is the 3rd time now and he has done it with previous owners which is why he has had so many homes.
Tried a bit of parelli with him which seemed to settle him n he was an angel for that time.
but this week he has reverted to old ways and this time i was airlifted to hospital.
trouble is, when i contacted one of his first owners she said she was "surprised he was still around" that he had a "flip-switch" and "should have been shot". Now i am beginning to see her point.
I dont want to ever see him again atm, and when i do i certainly wont be wanting to ride.
So, can he ever change?? at the grand old age of 7 he has had 9 homes. he is a superbly talented horse but is so sharp and unpredicatable and there is no apparent reason, he just seems to flip to blind panic mode and nothing will switch him out of it. I love him to bits but right now i am contemplating selling or worse :( it would break my heart but today he almost broke me. :(
what do i do??
 

jinglejoys

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Sep 15, 2004
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Oow! That souds like a real sh** day but you haven't explained what led up to what happened.
What ground work have you done and presuming you were riding him what ground work did you do before getting on him today and looking back on it what feedback did you get.?:)
 

AengusOg

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Oct 11, 2008
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One would wonder why that particular previous owner didn't take responsibility for this poor horse and have him shot, then.

I'm not able to say whether anything will help this horse, or what may be causing his behaviour, but I think you should seek professional help in order to assess his potential for the future.

He may need a break, as a starter point, then a change of career.

Somewhere along the line, if he cannot be helped/changed, someone must take the decision to have him put down, as he may well cause death, or serious injury, from what you say.

It is totally irresponsible to sell such a horse on.

I hope you make a good recovery, and the right decision when you have to.
 
Last edited:

newforest

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
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The flip switch as you put is right brain fear and panic in the horse. So sideways game, back up anything bar circling. There is a reason you need to find it. You need to get them to a safe place before even think about getting on them, build up your confidence in each other. If been passed around they are unsettled with humans, why trust them they just shift horse around.
Unless your experienced in nh get trainer out.
 

rach4uk4

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Sep 9, 2005
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he was sharp wen i got him but we percievered and tried some parelli which helped, then he was like a lovely horse up until this week. we went to a show a week ago and he was a star, everything my dream horse would be. then i gave him the following day off as he'd done so well and the next day is when the sharpnedd returned. he dumped me in the school, which hurt but i got back on and he was like a coiled spring so the next couple of days i lunged him, once he buggered off on the lunge which is not like him either. i decided to hack yesterday with a friedn as he loves his hacking and lately had been super-good to hack. but he was tense from the moment i got on but not the worst he has been. anyway we were down a concrete/gravel track and he spooked at some people walking up ahead, he span on a sixpence (this is wat he does when he is sharp) this usually unseats me but i stayed on then he took off full speed and i mean full speed, not just a fast canter he was going hell for leather. couldnt pull him up and think he was panicking more cos he knew i was still on board and hadnt been dislodged on the spin :p he brushed me into a tree which knocked me sideways and i lost my stirrups, i was clinging onto his left side, somehow managed to get back on top but still had no stirrups, then he started broncing, there were a good few humps then i think the final thing that threw me was a couple of almighty bucks. whatever he did he wanted me off.
kept hold of rein as i landed (knew there was road up ahead) which spin him backwards and he circled me, think i got trodden on but the pain in my head was immense, actually created a dent and small hole in my skull cap. had to let go else would have been trampled and he galloped home. friends horse was distressed behind and i almost got trampled by him but she managed to jump off and hold onto him.
this is not his normal behavior, up until now he has been a steady eddie, could have done anything with him. but he has reverted to his sharp ways. he always has this side of him there. he had it when i got him and for some reason it has come back. he is a (very) good doer, could it just be the spring grass?? or the fact that we moved yard 2 months ago and he now only goes out for a couple of hours a day. although like i say he has been superstar up until this week.
sorry for long schpiel.
(oh and i kno people will be reading this and going "why did she get on if she knew he was tense" yes i know, but like i say he has been a diamond up until now, this is the worst he has ever been, normally i can stick).
obviously i dont know my horse.
 

sheltiegroomer

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Dec 30, 2007
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omg sounds awful! My little one spooked over the weekend and took off with me resulting in dumping me on the floor- no bucks or nothing he was just excited! I don't know if it would make a difference with your lad but when mine was stabled on limited turn out ( 3 hours per day) he was scatty as anything...used to be up on his toes as soon as I got on him. I have since got him out 24/7 and now unless I wind him right up he really is usually calm and chilled. I think there is a lot to be said about horses having pent up energy and feeling stressed about being stabled a lot.... might not work with your but perhaps worth a try? I would defo try a NH person too... Worth a try if he was as good as you said at the show then perhaps it is worth persisting. It doesn't sound to me like he wanted to hurt you..you know some horses are proper angry and set out basically to harm you...it sounds to me like he wanted you off so he could b*gger off home and get away from whatever scared him.... I would be inclined to see if a NH person could do some groundwork with you and him...
What is he like on the ground? When you lead him....how old is he and have you done loads of desensitization?? Perhaps in a safer environment do some work with people walking towards him,from all angles...in an array of different coloured clothing......popping up from behind fences even eventually so he isn't worried....????xxxx hope that gives you some ideas xx
 

rach4uk4

Colourful Comedian :)
Sep 9, 2005
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brentwood, essex. UK
really the people are not an issue, he is superb on the ground, to lead, lunge, will stand if i tell him without being tied up, walks when i walk stops when i stop he really is the easiest horse. he just has this sharpness when ridden. when he has this head on, any excuse to go, he will. its not the people that are an issue :p
he is 7 years old according to vet, but 9 according to his passport.
think a mix of spring grass and little turnout are to blame.
he is not a malicious horse in any way, everyone loves him, he is mr.softy.
but when he is feeling sharp, boy do you know about it. still the same to handle but to ride he is like a time-bomb.
 

Soot

Paranoid!
Aug 7, 2007
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When you say he is hugely talented, do you think he would be a serious contender for a higher level competition home? Some of these flip switch horses seem to thrive on being worked hard, hard, HARD! And then it becomes simply a question of finding the right rider with the right mix of guts & experience. Wasn't DavidH looking for a challenge? :D
 

team shane

r.i.p shane
Jan 13, 2009
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sounds like pain witch can be caused by a spook if the pain is started by server tensing of mussels has he been checked by a vet and i no it sounds silly but it can be some thing really small that is the trigger for the episode
 

rach4uk4

Colourful Comedian :)
Sep 9, 2005
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brentwood, essex. UK
yes he has masses of talent. the bigger the jump the better, he has a massive jump, he is mega supple, his flatwork is awesome. he is bred with pure stanhopes (odwig is his sire and diddicoy his grandsire). he would excell as a serious eventer.
in response to the pain theory ive had trouble finding a saddle to fit, and for the past week have been borrowing my y/o's saddle...
however the saddle i had him in orignially was worse and he was only sharp at the beginning then was fine. :confused:
 

lisa+pilgrim

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Feb 6, 2009
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do you know when he was broken and what experiances he had while it was being done, any chance you could find out who broke him and what there methods are, may be he was broken roughly and so any new experiance while being ridden just sets him off, maybe concider giving him a year off and restarting his whole education again.
it sounds like he got worse the longer you stayed on, so maybe this actually scared him, the fact that you were clinging on for dear life, obviously nothing else you could have done, but maybe this just added to his fear of what ever it was that spooked him in the first place.
i also agree that it could be the fresh grass coming through, how good is the grazing hes on, also is he out 24 7, and have you lunged him prior to hacking out when hes tense to help relaxe him before he goes out? also how did he winter, could it just be a case that hes feeling his toes now hes getting fitter.
if you can afford it id def get a trainer in before selling him or worse, it sounds like he hasnt had the best start, and if he was destined to be this amazing horse, and maybe he wasnt producing, is there a chance hes been mistreated because of it. please dont do anything to harsh yet, there are aot of trainers that will take on a horse like this rather than having it put down.
 

lisa+pilgrim

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Feb 6, 2009
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if i were u id get him checked and then get him a saddle fitted as this sounds to me to be the first place to look for that switch

id also get the dentist out, if he spooked and you picked up a tight contact maybe he could be in pain, could explane why he got worse the longer you stayed on, i know if that was me id have been pulling him up pritty tight if i knew there was a road at the end.
 

rach4uk4

Colourful Comedian :)
Sep 9, 2005
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brentwood, essex. UK
had his teeth done 3 months ago, due again in july, they were sharp but had been done before.
i also agree with how he was backed may have something to do with it. the person that backed him bought his dam whilst she was in foal with him. once she'd had my horse the woman backed the mare (as she was only 3 years old when she she was covered) but didnt get on with her so sold her on (apparently she was just as "screw loose" as my boy) she then decided to focus on him as he was superbly bred she left him entire and i think he sired 2 foals. she then backed him at 4 and showjumped him (this was her occupation) think she got pretty far with him but then soemthing happend at a show, think he threw her at the final fence or something and so she sold him (no doubt he got a good hiding) as from the sounds of it she sounds like a very angry person. she was the one who said shes surprised he is still around and that he should have been shot.
anyway, he was sold to a lady in cornwall who had him gelded and showed him in coloured classes, did very well, southern star, RIHS, CHAPs etc and her husband hunted him over the winter and they also team-chased him. for some reason didnt work and they sold him to a dresage rider, that didnt work either so he got sold to a complete beginner (only been riding 6 months) and thats who i bought him from. This is the history i know but there were a couple of other owners that i cant get in touch with.
so yes to say he has had a jumbled life is an understatement.
 

lisa+pilgrim

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Feb 6, 2009
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the poor fellow, i really feel for him. you said you went to a show the week before, maybe this has something to do with his behaviour changing, maybe he enjoyed it and its just got him excited or maybe it just brought back bad feelings for him.
sorry have you said how long youv owned him, has he had enough time to settle in to a routine yet before you start doing shows with him.
soot could be onto a point as well, maybe he thrives on the showing atmosphere and just hasnt calmed down, do you think he might be better suited to someone who can show him every week and keep him extreamly busy in his work load but also handle a very over excitable horse.
 

lisa+pilgrim

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Feb 6, 2009
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well i would see if you can get someone to look at him first if he means so much to you, but at the same time wouldnt it be nice to see him doing well at the hands of someone capable with this type of horse, and if he was fairly local you could keep in touch and even become his official groupie and follow him around the shows :D
if this is your first set back with him, maybe just take this as a good opportunity to go back to basics with him and a new trainer, and to start from the bottom with him and re train him under supervision.
 

wonkeywoody

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Jul 12, 2007
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Out of interest my fella had a "go off on one switch" too. (and was unrideable 2 years ago)

Thro LOTS of groundwork - I dont just mean making good to lead, tie up etc, but really getting his brain to work, I have learnt how to read him. I started riding fairly soon after starting the gw with him.

I learnt when there were days where I shouldn't ride him and just do a proper gw session. I learnt how to deal with the 'switch' flipping when out and about. Sometimes it was safer to jump off and lead him for a bit, sometimes I knew I could stay on and control it.

Spring grass, lack of turn out and the recent show are probably all factors to the above incident - I took mine to a dressage show last year - not a good day and it took a while to 'recover' him - he mentally wasnt ready. He too is very talented, and I am competitive but like others' on here I want to be safe.

Advise? Learn as much as you can re NH - whatever the "method/s", get a pro out to help/assess you and ALWAYS do a short session before getting on and dont get on if he looks unrideable in any way.

I follow P methods. I didnt really learn to read him until I was well into Level 2 stuff. Am now playing with Levels 3 and 4. I think you may need to, not start over, but really get to grips with him on the ground eg lots of desensitisation/precision foot falls/100% calm obedience to whatever you ask etc
 

rach4uk4

Colourful Comedian :)
Sep 9, 2005
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brentwood, essex. UK
not the first set back, he had me in tears everyday when i first got him but thought we'd overcome that. the last 4 months he just got better and better, my dream boy, even rode him bareback! :eek:
my only worry selling him is that he'll be treated harshly, beaten if he doesnt conform etc
why do i love him so much???:confused:
 

wonkeywoody

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Jul 12, 2007
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not the first set back, he had me in tears everyday when i first got him but thought we'd overcome that. the last 4 months he just got better and better, my dream boy,

The set backs are the signals from him that he is not ready! You unfortunately only learn by these!

Mine gave me a total 'out of the blue' a few weeks back - I ended up in tears too cos thought I'd got over those! But just reassessed where the holes were in my relationship, set about fixing them - came more quickly this time - and got well back on track.

Its difficult not to be a 'direct line' thinker but you have to put your goals/plans on hold and work at his pace to get him calm and confident.
 
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