Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Teal, Jun 24, 2011.
Oh good lord. Here we go.
Ok I haven't read the entire thread so apologies in advance.
Regardless of reasons as to why the horse is shod or not and whether it would be better bare foot the fact of the matter is the OP wants to have her horse shod, her horse, her choice, end of story.
Right onto business.
This is a completely different approach but has worked brilliantly at home on numerous mongrel horses who just want to snatch that foot away and stuff around when having their feet handled.
First of all, all horses at home get 'Join Up' established and this becomes the basis for a lot of the work we do with them as it is allows us to give the horse a choice and work on the 'that will profit you' and 'that will profit you not' idea of Tom Roberts (Horse Control series of 4 yellow books he wrote, brilliant books, well worth adding to the library!)
So a bit of a run down of the process we used is this.
Having established Join Up (a whole nother post in itself, let google be your friend) we simply take the horse in question into the round yard, remove all restraints ie halter and lead rope so that the horse is at liberty. Go to pick up the foot, if the horse mucks around, fine, send them to work. Get them moving around the yard until they show with a lowering of the head, lick of the lips, inside ear locked onto you that they are ready to come back and discuss the matter. Invite horsey back in and repeat the process.
What this method does is give them options. Sure, they can stuff around but stuffing around equals going to work and pretty soon the horse figures out that stuffing around will not profit them.
Hope it makes sense.
I second the leg restraint training- whether you DIY or pay some one to do it- get it DONE!
I do all my horses and clients horses
Yep, the way the herd behaves is to boot the offender out and wait for the signals that the offender is wanting to come back to the herd ie lowering the head, licking the lips.
Exactly GR, then the herd allows the offender to return, exactly what we do with horses - horse is disciplined for bad behaviour (eg smacked bottom) horse then ceases the behaviour, human then strokes horse and allows him to be quiet and well mannered. Unless the behaviour presents itself again. And so it goes on.
Horses are bloody hard on each other and keep a tight rein on all herd members!! No botty smack and growl that I dish out can compete with a double barrel or a bite that takes a chunk of meat out.
Yes agree with you but the alpha horse only allows the offender to come back in once those signals are shown. You know when your discipline has been successful if the horse drops his head slightly and licks his lips.
You also have to remember that the horse is a prey animal and we are the predator, the more we belt a horse (for want of a better terminology) the more we instill in the horse that we are indeed a predator and something to be feared.
I will never strike or chastise a horse that acts out in pain, absolutely not. They cannot speak our language and tell us where they are hurting so it is up to us to interpret their behaviour in a way that makes sense to us. If the behaviour is out of character then fair chance something hurts.
There can be a difference in how a herd is kept in line by a leader, and how humans interact with horses.
A herd leader will usually not meet out justice for anything other than survival, using a common horse language and natural instincts to do so. If everyone doesn't toe the line, the herd won't work properly, and needs like breeding rights, water, food, shelter and social structure are threatened. And only those who are most fit to lead earn the right to boss the others.
Humans on the other hand... We ask horses to do some pointless, energy sapping, inconsistent, uncomfortable, scary sometimes painful things which make no sense to the horse, and usually go against their instincts. We don't earn the right (the way horses do) to do this, we just assume it. So if they have trouble with some daft thing we ask of them, isnt it really up to us to work out a solution, rather than expect a horse to do all the adjusting? If a horse can't cope with having it's hooves shod after years of being cool with trimming, well... Don't put all the onus on the horse here to magically make itself alright with shoeing without some help from us. We caused the problem, we have to be the ones to fix it.
I compare them to humans simply because that is easier to make comparisons to - for the sake of other humans *#)
I would never discipline a GENUINELY frightened horsse - what would that achieve?
However this thread is about a horse who IMO is not frightened and is being a mole. From what I have to go on from what the OP has written, and says herself that she thinks the horse is being a madam.
I don't do NH stuff either. My horse is pretty smart, he knows I'm not another horse or something trying to eat him. Trust me.
Who says the horse has an underlying issue? Sometimes things are simple - as I already posted - discipline the behaviour, if that doesn't fix the problem, then look deeper. Start with the most likely then work back to physical issues.
whoops I have missed so many replies, thank you everyone for their input.
A few points that were brought up I would like to comment on (not sure how to do the multiple quote so please bear with me)
First of all Hen she is not a TB, she is an Arabian Warmblood and has NOT been shod before me, ever. I have had her shod three times now, each time six weeks apart. I know her full history and she had only ever been trimmed as she had never been in work (extended spell then broodmare).
Also, I would prefer to have her barefoot, but ONLY if her feet are 100%. I kept her barefoot for nine months and struggled with cracks etc, although she was never unsound due to this. She was ok on hard ground, only once a bit tender when I took her for a trail ride up the hills at brigadoon and I'm sure everyone knows the ground up there is not at all forgiving. I stuggled with her dry cracking feet all through summer, which was also the same time her workload increased and she began jumping etc. I tried oiling her feet which had little effect but perhaps I was not using a good one. My instructor suggested putting front shoes on to give her hoof more stability. I did post about this decision at the time and am still really undecided about what is BEST for her. I don't know very much compared to many other people about hoofcare so have stuggled with this a bit as it seems everyone is either very pro or very anti barefoot vs shoeing. Try to look up information and can't really get a proper answer. I have no opinion one way or the other, I just want to do what is best for my particular horse...I am trying to figure out what this is! Barefoot wins slightly for me (all things considered even) because it is cheaper (but obviously I am not going to keep a horse barefoot just because of this) and no possible damage to hoof from shoes.
I will definitely look into leg restraint training to solve this issue with the farrier, as regardless if I have her shod or not she cannot carry on with this behaviour.
Over the weekend she threw a shoe, so I have the farrier coming out again this week to sort this out. I have to decide if I want to persevere with the shoeing or just have the other shoe off as well and go back to barefoot (may not have any choice as farrier has said if she behaves badly again he won't shoe her - but assuming I do have a choice). I can't decide what I want to do. Obviously the cracking is now a non-issue as it's not possible with the shoes on so in that sense her feet have been better shod. I am not sure if it's worth persevering with shoes if she is going to behave like this, perhaps I should go back to barefoot and try a few different things (more frequent trims, different products, invest in boots for work on hard ground) to manage her feet, and do (professionally) the leg restraint training in the future - not just giving up. I am leaning towards this, I think.
Since she has not been shod long, am I going to have issues going back to barefoot if I do this?
Should I persevere with the shoes, as since having them on I have had the results I wanted?
My mistake, I thought I read that your horse was an OTTB, apologies! *
Re shoes, it depends on your horse's feet and what you do with the horse. Shoes stop your horse's foot wearing out. If you do alot of roadwork or work on hard ground you will need shoes. Or if your horse needs corrective shoeing or has flat, soft, shelly crappy feet.
If you are on decent ground and aren't working the horse very hard I wouldn't bother. Stick her on a calcium and biotin supp and ensure she is getting enough protein.
If the horse has never had shoes on (I did not read this part obviously) then your horse needs training! Keep the shoes off for your farrier's sake until that time! I wouldn't want to be under her atm carrying on like that either lol.
So yes to the pro training and boots if needed **)
You shouldnt have a prob however you will see the hooves more than likely get a bit chipped and possibly crack up to where the nail holes were. My boy is ott and when i had his shoes taken off after about 2 - 3 weeks they started to crack as the wall was a bit weaker up to where the holes were for the nails. It has now been 12 weeks and they have grown out and his feet are perfect.
Goodluck with whatever decision you make
I had an Arabian Warmblood. She needed to have shoes on. She was an absolute maggot with her feet. She would be fine and as soon as she decided she had had enough she would slam her foot to the ground. Patient farrier or not she was downright arrogant about having her feet handled. And big and strong enough to use it against you. And smart enough to know that no-one could stop her. The solution was to have a patient farrier and give her a small amount of tranquilizer. After three shoeings on this, she was good enough to shoe that my farrier was happy enough to do her feet. Might be worth a go with your horse as a last resort. Especially if she seemed better to ride with shoes on.
After reading post after post of leg restraints and re training i was relieved to read you are looking at barefoot/boots ect before going down that road! I have a gelding who has always been naughty to trim. It is due to discomfort in his case and it breaks my heart to think people dont rule out pain 100% BEFORE retraining and getting angry please get her looked at to find out she is not in pain!! if she is sore she has every right to pull away and she will be wishing you could understand what she is trying to tell you I hope you get to the bottom of it really soon**)
i haven't read all this thread guys but i can tell you right now that after some wrenching from a farrier my mare is really hesitant about her hinds being extended. she won't pull 'em back from me, but i have to be very slow & kind. & this is after 3 yrs of being a dream to lift hinds & trim. & there is no other explanation i can tell you. some farriers, they are just so impatient & rough. & NO my mare was great beforehand, this fella was just having a bad run
Well she now has her shoes off, after pulling one and being on the fence a out what to do I decided to just get them taken off. I was expecting lots of cracks while the nail holes grew out but her feet have been perfect (thanks to all the rain, so it definitely is a case of dryness not her increased workload from winter to summer last year) which is good, she has been out on the road without soreness and hopefully I can maintain it when summer comes around.
When having her shoes removed she behaved like an angel! This is why I can't think it would be pain, as she is only naughty with the actual shoeing, not the lifting and holding of her feet in any position or for any length of time.
She has had a small cut to one of her heel bulbs (the previously most 'difficult' to handle foot, since being shod she would refuse to pick it up then snatch away) so I have had to pick up and hold this foot a lot more/longer than usual to clean it out, which has made a huge difference! She will now pick it up nicely the first time I ask and hold it up without a struggle due to the extra handling .
I have some feedback for you. I have recently had a 2 yr old RP come into my stables for some training, he was great to start with got him leading, lunging, tie up, float training etc. I wanted to start to bridle him up to get him ready for the shows, i had the dentist come out to do his teeth before i started with any bridles.
What a drama!!! in all my years i havent had something so piggy, dirty and downright difficult. We had it all rearing, striking, barging, roaring backwards, and this was all while we were trying to get the gag in the mouth! eventually dentist and i got it in, we were still presented with this behaviour while he was filing the teeth and he did the best he could in this situation.
We used a twitch also, which didnt seem to do much once we eventually got it on.
This same pony has been a delight and has shown a lovely nature in all other aspects - apart from the mouth. He has never been bitted up prior to coming to me, i then attempted to worm him - well what another load of dangerous behaviour i was on my own and couldnt even get a twitch on a 12.2h pony!!! Forget the wormer that just didnt happen.
Frustrated - i decided i had to take a different approach to this pony and i just knew something wasnt right about his mouth. Over the past week i have been spending alot of time just touching his muzzle, we have gone from rearing and barging over me to being able to handle the muzzle better.
Today i noticed there was a small cut/split on his top lip, i decided to turn his upper lip up to investigate how big and how far this cut/split went - it was a minor thing and is not an issue. Then i noticed on the inside of his upper lip there was a HUGE big red infested with barley grass thing up there, it has been there a while as the skin has grown over most of the barley grass, i pulled out what i could and heaps of blood oosed out.
The vet is coming to sedate him and we are going to give the whole thing a major clean out. Interestingly - there is no major smell about it, so im not sure if it is a full blown abses we are dealing with or not. I just knew something was not right as he is so good and really tries his heart out with everything else i do with him.
There were times when i thought to myself - is this one of those dirty mongruel horses? How bad of me to think like a human! i should have thought like him weeks ago and i would have figured this out.
Anyway, so glad i have found the source of the problem and can now work to recovery and improving his tolerance of handling and dealing with his mouth...............*
great story scorpio- 99% of the time i reckon they have underlying issues