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Country Discussion Topics
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Horse thing...long
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Michael M    Posted 04-02-2004 at 17:24:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
Howdy all, I sort of got a horse issue. It has been a sort of ongoing thing since the holidays.
My 12 year old stepdaughter wanted a horse. She wanted the Appaloosa down the road, which happily enough,was for sale. I bought her, pregnant, and made a deal later on for the foal, as all horses involved are from a good bloodline, and I intend to raise the foal as my own horse, riding it in a few years. Breeding always being an option as well.
OK, I was told by my stepdaughter, and the mares previous owner, that the mare and my stepdaughter were a great pair, got along great, mare liked her and would behave for her.
We had to move the mare down here a lot earlier than originally planned. I had to make a temporary stall, at the house, where I am going to keep her now until the foal is born and the barn is built. No big thing. Turns out the mare had some health issues we were unaware of. Previous owner claims he didn't know about them either. Nothing major, and she is getting into great shape now.
Now, I went into this situation, letting most everyone involved know that I really didn't know much about horses or their care. I was and am more than willing to learn.
Now, here is what has come about. Sassy, the mare, seems to actually hate my stepdaughter. She will almost tolerate her in her stall to brush her and feed her, but that is about all.
Me on the other hand, she seems to be nearly in love with. I can walk outside in the dead of night with no horse in sight and whistle for her, and in moments she comes trotting up to me. I can treat her infected hoof, causing her a fair amount of pain, and she holds still and lets me, no problem. If my stepdaughter so much as tries to pick up one of her good hooves to clean it, she goes nuts, to the point of endangering herself, and my stepdaughter.
It happened today. She went nuts, Stepdaughter got clear of her. I released her rope so she wouldn't hurt herself, she ran amock for a few seconds in the yard, then came back to me when I whistled for her, nuzzled me, and glared at my stepdaughter. We gave her some time to calm down, being determined to show her that my stepdaughter was indeed in charge and going to be cleaning her hooves, and she repeated the performance, acting up worse this time. We did it again, same song and dance.
Now, I had to admit, it really didn't look as if the mare and my stepdaughter were the best of friends. Nor did it look as if the mare had any interest in getting that way.
Just to check my theory that she really does have something personal against the girl, I left her, untied, reached down and picked up the same hoof my stepduaghter had tried three times, unsuccessfully to clean, and Sass gave it to me no problem, and I swear she actually batted her eyes at me when she did.
My stepdaughter and I talked it over, and she seemed to have already come to the conclusion that Sassy wasn't going to let her do much, let alone ride her.
Now, after having the mare here for a while, and rememebring how much I enjoyed horses from my boyhood, I had decided to go ahead after the barn is built, and find myself another trail horse to ride while I am raising and training the foal. My stepdaughter and I discussed the very real possibility that I may already have my horse, and have to find one more suitable for her.
I realize that this isn't really a dilemna or anything, but something in this whole situation just doesn't seem right to me. I am thinking that the stepdaughter, who claims to love horses etc., may WANT to love horses, if that makes sense. I know from my previous experience that if you don't like them or are afraid of them, then they usually will not let you handle them. I guess I am looking for some words of wisdom or something from anyone here who has more experience with horses and kids than I do.


Linda in UT    Posted 04-03-2004 at 10:06:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
If your daughter was an experienced horsewoman, I would say work with the mare. If you are an experienced trainer, then spend a couple of weeks working this mare in a round pen and she will come to respect humans. However, I don't know if she would ever be trustworthy.

This isn't a matter of coaxing the mare to be nice by giving her treats. Her problem is (no matter how she responds to you) she does not respect humans. If she did, she would allow herself to be handled by anyone. A horse that doesn't respect humans is a dangerous horse. She will always test your daughter. Your daughter doesn't deserve that. Sell the mare and find a good kid horse. If there is a 4H horsemanship leader in your area, that person is probably a good resource for you. Check with your extension agent to find 4H leaders.

My stepson bought a "bargain" mare who lives with us. She did not respect humans at all. She would cock her right hind leg and kick. She wouldn't lead properly. She would buck because in her other life she was allowed to do so by kids who rode her. When she would buck, they would get off and walk home. She would run at fences and stop suddenly in an effort to unload the rider. I spent two weeks working her in the round pen until she would follow me anywhere. (Working a horse in a round pen does not mean running the horse to wear it down. It entails a complex series of exercises to teach the horse to respect humans and to give to humans. The horse is taught that ALL humans are their herd leader.) We have since spent countless hours riding her, teaching her not to buck and not to run at fences. She is far better with men because she was previously owned by a woman who would allow her to do anything.

She will never be a safe horse, but she is a far better horse than when she came to live here. I tell my stepson to breed her and, when time comes to wean the foal, keep it and sell the mare.


Linda in UT    Posted 04-03-2004 at 10:03:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
If your daughter was an experienced horsewoman, I would say work with the mare. If you are an experienced trainer, then spend a couple of weeks working this mare in a round pen and she will come to respect humans. However, I don't know if she would ever be trustworthy.

This isn't a matter of coaxing the mare to be nice by giving her treats. Her problem is (no matter how she responds to you) she does not respect humans. If she did, she would allow herself to be handled by anyone. A horse that doesn't respect humans is a dangerous horse. She will always test your daughter. Your daughter doesn't deserve that. Sell the mare and find a good kid horse. If there is a 4H horsemanship leader in your area, that person is probably a good resource for you. Check with your extension agent to find 4H leaders.

My stepson bought a "bargain" mare who lives with us. She did not respect humans at all. She would cock her right hind leg and kick. She wouldn't lead properly. She would buck because in her other life she was allowed to do so by kids who rode her. When she would buck, they would get off and walk home. She would run at fences and stop suddenly in an effort to unload the rider. I spent two weeks working her in the round pen until she would follow me anywhere. (Working a horse in a round pen does not mean running the horse to wear it down. It entails a complex series of exercises to teach the horse to respect humans and to give to humans.) We have since spent countless hours riding her, teaching her not to buck and not to run at fences. She is far better with men because she was previously owned by a woman who would allow her to do anything.

She will never be a safe horse, but she is a far better horse than when she came to live here. I tell my stepson to breed her and, when time comes to wean the foal, keep it and sell the mare.


Oops - sorry for the doub    Posted 04-03-2004 at 10:07:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
nm


cowgirlj    Posted 04-02-2004 at 19:37:18       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hey Michael, play it safe! If the mare doesn't like your step daughter, then leave it at that, but don't let the mare rule your step daughter. Teach your step daughter how to disipline and properly handle the horse and find her a different one to ride. My big fox trotter mare (16.2hh) doesn't like my husband for some reason. He has never given her any reason not to like him, but if he doesn't pay attention, she will bite him when he isn't looking. And yet, I can cuddle her and she will do anything for me.
We just bought him his own horse. I posted a picture in the gallery. I can handle the new boy but he is deffinatley a man's horse. I need to teach him some respect lessons so he knows he can't walk all over me. We just got him 2 days ago, so we are just letting him get used to the farm and other horses right now. This weekend I'll start working with him more as the hubs is out of town, but I will leave the bonding to the two of them.


toolman    Posted 04-02-2004 at 20:01:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
what you said about biting, i had this horse here , like to bite, one day he grabbed me good on the inside of my upper arm,hurt like he!!, well without even thinking i came up with a right haymaker wacked him right in the head, he let go stumbled back , i still had the lead on in my other hand, hurt my right hand so bad stuck it under my other arm where he bit, hopping around in pain, and the truck pulls up some guy opens the door nearly falls out laughing so hard, said he thought he was watching blazing saddles all over again, well i wasn,t all that thrilled and would of gave him one too but never had a hand left to swing, they can sure bite once they latch onto you.


Burrhead    Posted 04-02-2004 at 17:57:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
that Hoss is just like folks. If it don't like somebody for whatever reason it won't do good for them. You may very well have your hoss already.

If that mare has already bonded with you like that I never saw one that would switch loyalty to somebody else while yer still around.


KellyGa    Posted 04-02-2004 at 17:39:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have a comparison for you. The cockateil I got for my daughter, basically took to me. All the books say, they bond with one person, and they only tolerate others. I feel bad about this, because it's supposed to be Shelbys. The bird lets me scratch her neck, she coos to me, and willingly comes to me. It wasn't always this way. I had to show my authority to her, let her know I wasn't going to put up with the bad behavior.

I will let you in on a secret. Animals know who is boss. They also know who isn't. My advice to you , is to initiate hoof cleaning, brushing, etc. with your daughter by your side, and slowly slip her into the action until you are the one sitting by her while she does the hoof cleaning. Then, by herself. The horse isn't stupid. Animals will dowhat they are allowed to get away with. Let me assure you, all my animals know what side their bread is buttered on.:)


Michael M    Posted 04-02-2004 at 18:17:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep, I had sort of come to the conclusion that while my stepdaughter claimed to have been doing a lot of the caretaking through the winter, she hadn't really. I did have to exercise dominance over the mare, several times, and she submitted. I like your idea about me doing things with Ash, my stepdaughter there, and slowly putting her into my position. Not to be pessimistic, but from what I saw today, I have my doubts, and think Burrhead is right. The mare has made her choice.


KellyGa    Posted 04-02-2004 at 18:50:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh, they can make their choice, Sasha did, Tip did, but they still have to "tolerate" everybody else, and I expect them to. The dog loves everybody now, but the bird is still selective. I do feed her and pay attention to her more than anybody else, and that is part of it, so I suspect you are right, your daughter didn't spend the time with her, but hse will have to if she wants the horse to be with her. Good Luck, keep us posted. :)


ret    Posted 04-02-2004 at 19:04:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
trouble is Kelly, we are talking about an animal that can injure or kill a person. Given the chance, that horse might crowd her into a wall or fence, they are good at that. She needs a gentle horse, real gentle. By the way, been looking up south sea islands to go to
REt


toolman    Posted 04-02-2004 at 19:24:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
there are lots of reasons a horses will be like that, your daughter might just be picking up her feet differently than whats she used to from you, or your daughter may have lost intrest and doesn,t spend enough time with her, when you grain her let your daughter hold her grain dish and do this for a couple of weeks, stay close and watch both the daughter so she doesn,t get hurt and the horse see if things change,see how they interact together, they are creatures of habit and when they get set in their ways, they get comforable and don,t like change, cowgirl j is real good with horses , she will be the one you want to get advice from, she will be able to help if anybody can,best of luck.


KellyGa    Posted 04-02-2004 at 19:21:34       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yeah, I guess I didn't think of that, course I don't claim to know what the heck I am talking about, LOL! Nah, really, I only can go on what I have experienced. If it were my daughter, and the horse was not taking to her, I would have to sell the horse, and start fresh. If I put myself in his shoes, it makes the decision a lot clearer. A LOT clearer. The more I think about it, the more I see. You know, you always help me look at a broader picture, thanks ret :) Your smart like that. I am looking forward to those sandy, breezy beaches and that clear blue water. :)


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