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Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by ACKA Mum, Feb 8, 2018.


  1. ACKA Mum

    ACKA Mum PetForums Newbie

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    hi, I have just got my first horse. He is a 13year old 16’2hh TB.
    He was a rescue from a family that could no longer keep him due to their daughters illness. He is lovely but has been left alone for long periods of time and also contracted stringhalt.
    I still took him and drive 6 hours to get him, and do not regret it one little bit.
    He needed a home, and deserves to be loved and ever one avoided him because of stringhalt.
    The reason I’m posting is I am very nervous around him, and I thinks it’s just his size. I have had him only 5 days and of course he senses my fear....but bless him, he still comes to me.
    He is starting to get pushy and sometimes won’t even move when I lead him...not his fault but mine.
    I am not interested in riding him, but want him to be comftsble with me and visa versa.
    I know I have to be the leader he can trust, but to do this, I have to get over my nerves.
    Any help will be appreciated.
    He is a good horse, only sometimes will refuse to move, it can be persuaded and as I said, not his fault it’s mine. He picks up on my nerves and is worried something bad is there.
     
    #1 ACKA Mum, Feb 8, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  2. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    You need to fake it unfortunately! It can take a while for horses to settle into a new home, especially sensitive types (which a lot of TBs are).

    How much experience have you got with training horses? If they've been left in a field for a long time then you need to get the basics established. No pushing or barging. Has the horse actually done anything for you to be nervous of? If not, then just be confident, think 'we're going this way' and go.. If you hesitate the horse will hesitate. If you're worried, they'll think there's something to worry about! If he won't move forward, get him to move in a circle, point is you're moving him. If he's getting in front of you make him stop and back up to an acceptable distance, he'll soon get the message that he can't step in front of you.
    I taught my boy the word 'back' and so I can back him up at any point if he's getting to close. He was never all that bad but he used to grab for his bucket when you put it in his stable on a night, I can now open his door tell him back and he'll back up and I can place it on the ground before he eats. I think it's really useful as I can move him away from the stable door so he can't push out or anything.

    Don't want to sound harsh - but he doesn't sound like the ideal first horse if you're not too confident. Why don't you look for a trainer to come out and help you with some groundwork exercises? Teach the horse to understand pressure and release. I'm not a fan of Parelli type trainers personally, so I'd steer away from that, but someone who is sympathetic to the horse and can help you with ground manners.
     
  3. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    Also, how much do you know about stringhalt? I'm not an expert myself, but I would do a good bit of research on it. It depends on how bad the horse is to what you can do with it, you can still ride if you wanted to (though if he hasn't been ridden in a while I wouldn't jump into this). You'll probably need to discuss with your farrier he issues as SH can make them more difficult with their feet.

    Has the horse seen a vet at all to assess it?
     
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  4. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Be confident and kind but firm. Use specific words for what you want (as he does it) so he gets to understand what you want by voice too.

    If he stops when being led, try changing direction slightly rather than trying to force him forward. Make sure you face the direction you want him to go and "lead" rather than face him and try to "pull". Use a hand laid gently on his shoulder, side or flank to encourage him to move away from the slight pressure using your voice too.

    I would also suggest getting some help from a good trainer to give you some tips and build your confidence. Ensure they do not use any aversive methods though.

    My horse was very flighty and stubborn when I first got her, but with a little time and patience and me getting to know her and her me, she was the most delightful mare.

    At first, like you, I lacked a bit of confidence and being unsure how she would behave was a bit namby pamby, but once I took control (in the nicest way ;)) we built a very strong bond :)

    Bear in mind too, that the Stringhalt (if memory serves me right) may well affect his mobility at times, so giving him time to sort himself out to move comfortably is important.
     
  5. ACKA Mum

    ACKA Mum PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for reply, and you didn’t sound to harsh. I have found most people with experience with horses to find us newbies pretty dumb. But I can say that I can lead him to follow me without a halter or lead and stop on my command.
    But that’s not my problem, my problem is I’m nervous around him as I stated. and yes.....I am babying him, I can’t help it, and he sees it as a weakness. I want to say NO , GET GOING, but then I worry how he will react. I was about to take in too back padock ( no lead or halter) and he went to run for gate, and told him STOP,and he did. So I know he’s a good boy, good ground manners, but I think he knows I’m a giant wuss! And started to try me.
     
    #5 ACKA Mum, Feb 8, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  6. ACKA Mum

    ACKA Mum PetForums Newbie

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    He had stringhalt badly in November, he was treated for it and it’s only been 3 months and only has slightest pull up in leg now. He is now having minerals to help with last signs.....was told he is amazing now considering how he was.
     
  7. ACKA Mum

    ACKA Mum PetForums Newbie

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    Stringhalt effects nervous system, really not nice, he was quite bad when his owners discovered it ( he was staying with friends) it’s been 3 months and he is near.y bacjk to himself , he has actually had a good recovery. Still has adjustments to diet, but doing very well. It also gives the trouble backing up, he can back up, so doing really well. He needs some muscle building, so we are moving to a closer distance to lake for swimming to help that.
    I wouldn’t say he’s flighty, only been with us 5 days, new area , new people. He is still a little unsure on us, but that’s understandable , he don’t know us. But defiantly comes to us for a kiss and pat, it’s me that’s the problem lol I was just hoping someone had a magical pill for me lol
     
    #7 ACKA Mum, Feb 8, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  8. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    The best way to gain your confidence is to handle him as much as you can.

    By that, I don't mean that you should never leave him alone, but, the more you do with him, the more confident you will become.

    I rescued a Thoroughbred 15 years ago and I was apprehensive, as I didn't know him and it had been a long time since I had owned a horse, but he's a darling and has never really put a foot wrong.

    I find the best way with TBs is to be very quiet around them, speak quietly, but be definite in your actions.

    This is him.


    13055442_1088034561256464_4851121657650094869_n.jpg
     
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  9. ACKA Mum

    ACKA Mum PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you Rafa, your feedback is so appreciated. I have not missed a day talking to him, he actually recognised my car today, so that was nice. Hubby called him other day and he did not come, so I used a soft voice and he came over, so I agree with speaking quietly 100%
    I have a very experienced friend who it helping me, she tells me to pull him up when being silly as he needs to know I’m not a pushover..... I am a pushover he’s not stupid.
    He was rescue also, his family could no longer keep him, and he needed a home. I drove 6 hours up and 6 hours back to bring him home. I was shown many healthy horses close to me, but I felt he needed me and I him,
    This is him. He hasn’t got a top line, but he’s not working, and we will work on that.
    Your boy is beatiful
     

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  10. ACKA Mum

    ACKA Mum PetForums Newbie

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    And the other part of his recovery....TLC lol
     

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  11. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    Gorgeous horse.

    He's not unlike my boy.
     
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  12. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    OMG! He is so like my mare (apart from the obvious ;)) - brought a tear to my eye :(

    She was Cleveland x Thoroughbred :)
     
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  13. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    No magic pill, I'm afraid. ;)

    By "flighty" I meant as you say, all new so unsure, etc. Once settled she was extremely calm and well mannered.

    I just pulled on my big girl pants and handled her with confidence and talked to her a lot to build the bond.

    He is lovely btw :)
     
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  14. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    @Rafa what a gorgeous boy! Before I bought mine, I had a lovely TB on loan and he taught me so much - looked a bit like yours :)

    @ACKA Mum I didn't mean that I found newbies 'dumb', I was a new horse owner myself 3 years ago, having loaned and ridden in a riding school previously. I just meant that you didn't sound very confident and you also said that your horse was becoming pushy, which is why I said maybe not the best for a first time owner. Pushy means different to different people so it could mean slightly pushy or a horse that will run you over!
    He's only been with you 5 days, so it'll take time. You just need to be around him and handle him to gain confidence, that's the only way really. I would perhaps not lead him about without a headcollar? I know you say he has great ground manners but it means that your have more control and if he runs you have a mechanism to perhaps 'stop' before he can get away, it might build your confidence as you know he can't go anywhere.

    He looks nice from your pictures :)
     
  15. ACKA Mum

    ACKA Mum PetForums Newbie

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    You are right I’m not confident, if he was only 14hh I would be fine. Hi, I have been practicing leading with head collar, and I do not fault him at all, I fault me, he picks up on my nerves. He is from a very experienced home, and she knows I am not experienced and she said she feels we will be fine and he will help me. I don’t know why I’m nervous he has never done anything to make me feel nervous. He always comes to me for pat, let’s me fumble around..,.does look at me like I’m a total ******** . But I know I have to stop worrying and get on with it.
     
  16. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    It is absolutely normal for you to feel apprehensive at this stage.

    He is a big horse and you don't really know him.

    Thoroughbreds can be sensitive but also extremely affectionate. Just keep handling him, getting to know him and confidence will come with time.
     
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  17. ACKA Mum

    ACKA Mum PetForums Newbie

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    Oh that’s is just what I said to hubby “ I need to put on big girl pants and pull them up high’
    Xx
     
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  18. Wiz201

    Wiz201 PetForums VIP

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    I once shared a cob who would try it on with me stopping when she wanted to and I wasn't nervous with her. I stuck with her though and just patiently kept turning her around in circles keeping her moving until we got to the yard from the field. I tried a bridle too as they can't ignore a pull on the reins from a bit in their mouth.
     
  19. Elles

    Elles PetForums VIP

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    You could look at clicker training, if you’re interested Peggy Hogan is pretty good. Reward based training is slowly becoming a little more popular in the horse world, though not as popular as in the dog world.
     
  20. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    I was going to suggest clicker training too. It really helps build a bond and you can focus on rewarding calm gentle behaviour and good manners.
     
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