Friday, April 12, 2013

Trying To Not Get Myself Killed

Sooo...I've got this big bay horse...


And he kind of had me stumped. By the time my mom thought he had enough bone under him to start under saddle, he was far too tall and getting too stout for me to do anything with. He's well over 16HH. So I sent him to an outside trainer. All went well for the first 30 days. Lots and lots of groundwork went into him and then he was riding...okay. I suspected the trainer wasn't real comfortable with the horse, but he didn't say much (at the time).

Believe me...You know when a horse is kind of just going along with what you are doing. Not really blowing up and yet not really relaxing into the program. :-/. I had to bring the horse home for a month due to the EHV-1 outbreak we had going on at the time and the trainer told me he wasn't real comfortable with me trying to ride the horse...just yet. When the all clear came, I took the horse back to the trainer for another 30 days and he picked up where he left off. I went over and watched him ride the horse one day and noticed that he looked like he was getting sore in his hocks. I mentioned this to the trainer and told him he really needed to get this horse out of the round-pen and doing some straight-line work. THAT'S when the trainer told me he was not comfortable trying to ride the horse in any place bigger than the round-pen. I offered to come over and pony him in the arena and then out into the desert.

One of the reasons I picked this trainer to ride this horse is because his mom raises race horses. Both TB and QH race horses. I got the impression that this guy understood how to work with a running horse mentality. Horses like this big bay are movers. Go Forward! They are not made to work endless circles and be pulled back over themselves...over their hocks...over and over and over. The trainer told me his girlfriend was around all of the time and he would get her to help him.

The next week, I got the call...The big bay blew up with the trainer in the round pen and hurt him...bad.  He wanted nothing more to do with this horse and from what I have heard since then...the trainer never really got over that wreck. The big bay horse not only hurt him...he scared him. While I felt bad about getting someone injured on one of my horses, I was also kinda pissed that I was left with a horse that was worse off than what I delivered. The big bay has turned from a timid, unsure horse into one bad cat.

Now, I am of the firm belief that in most cases, if you give a horse some time off and then come back with consistent handling, you can turn almost anything around. Horses are amazingly forgiving animals...and since this horse was never actually abused...just had a bad experience...he should have been easy enough to get back on the right track.

Uummm...No! That has not been the case with this horse. In fact, he has gotten worse. When this horse checked out mentally...He really checked out. I have not had a bit of success getting into his head and getting him to let down and relax...about anything. He's evasive and resistant to every.single.thing. I have tried to do with him...from catching, to leading, to saddling...even to me riding him. Oh yea...I've been riding him (while being ponied mind you!!)...And I get nothing but the feeling that he is just waiting for his opportunity to KILL me.

So it was time for some drastic measures!!...To be continued...

9 comments:

Karen Burch said...

Yeah, not really liking the whole "I Killz you!" thing. Hope you have some professional help to correct the issues the other trainer left you. Sounds to me like he taught the horse how to intimidate his rider. Some horses don't need a lot of coaxing where that is concerned.

Good luck.

Cindy D. said...

Interested in hearing how this one turns out.

Lauren said...

Choose life! That sounds like a frustrating creature at the moment.

C-ingspots said...

Hope you're being very careful, and above all else, trust your gut where this horse is concerned.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Sometimes it is a no win situation. You never relax and let your guard down because you are always waiting for something to happen. The horse feeds on your nerves and eventually they give you what you were waiting for all along... You never relaxed and they sensed fear.

Change it up.

Horses like that need a friend and you are it! Find some way of making it fun for them again. They need something to be happy about. That is what breaks through their self imposed barriers and mind blocks. Talk to them in a silly voice. Let them know things are ok. Give them a nickname with enthusiasm. Maybe pony him out saddled, but without a rider. Let him be with you and around you on another horse- relaxed and enjoying the ride, so he can get the idea of how it is supposed to be.

You'd be surprised how quick they can turn around. I always used to get the horses with not only a few loose screws, but several missing to boot.

Just be careful. One horse is not worth risking too much over.

Laura Crum said...

EEK. I have known a few that were just bad apples. Nobody could fix them. Be careful. (Love the cliffhanger, by the way.)

kestrel said...

I don't like the 'I kilz you attitude either!' Isolation just may help. i like to take a horse like that completely away from his buddies. A barn with a big arena, so they can run around and burn off some energy before going to work, but no play time unless I'm right there to let him know it's my treat. Yikes! So what did you do?!

SunnySD said...

The ones that check out mentally scare the heck out of me. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the story.... Keep safe!

kestrel said...

Okay, you're starting to worry me here...reassure me that the horse did not win!