Just an angry horse

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by leverage, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. leverage

    leverage Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    I ride a horse for lessons sometimes, I am trying very hard to switch off of him because I am not enjoying paying for something I do not like to ride everytime. I am 5,3 and am transitioning from ponies into horses, this large pony is 14.2, 13 or so year old gelding.

    Not just to me, he is very angry and plain out mean, you go to get him from his stall he tries to bite or turn his behind towards you to kick. Very food savvy so will drag you into stall when he knows he has food.

    Abroad his back he is a nice ride but he tends to take over and runs through jumps home, always for the long one, and once he takes over one jump he will take over them all.

    Pins his ears when he sees tack and when you ride he almost always has ears pinned unless jumping.


    I enjoy hacking him, I think he likes it too, but when we jump in lessons him and I share an equal amount of disliking for it.


    What do you think the problem is?
     
  2. DocsLglyBlonde

    DocsLglyBlonde Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    3,045
    Likes Received:
    3,454
    Probably pain or sour to the work he's been doing. Unfortunately either is not uncommon at many lesson barns in my experience. My gelding is one of those horses who is really p*ssy in his stall, never kicks but will pin his ears at you and threaten to bite (not me as mucj as people he doesn't know). I believe he was used for lessons at one point in his life, and he is just not the horse for it - he is a one person kind of horse and does not like a lot of commotion around the barn. He is always game to be ridden and paid attention to though, and you wouldn't know he's the same horse in and out of the stall.

    It sounds like he's quite unhappy, considering the behavior is nearly constant. Since he is not your horse, I don't know how much control you'll have over his well being, but you should not be paying for lessons that you do not enjoy.
     
    DunsNPallys, ginster, Sam C. and 2 others like this.
  3. palogal

    palogal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Messages:
    5,053
    Likes Received:
    1,908
    He's a lesson horse that is not properly schooled often enough. Horses that are used for teaching riders often have this problem and they really don't enjoy their job. The solution to your issues, not to be snotty, get your own horse if you're not enjoying your ride. You're using someone else's horse and he's probably good for you to learn on to become one of those people who can properly school him. I was that rider as a teen that would re-school horses like him who had picked up bad habits. Sounds like your barn needs a few riders that can really ride properly and correct him. The reality is, as long as you're using a lesson horse, you're going to have these kind of issues because we all learn at one point and we all, for lack of a better term, unintentionally abuse the horse that is teaching us at some level.
     
  4. Ms_Pigeon

    Ms_Pigeon Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    3,138
    I agree with this. I've also seen very, very well-schooled horses who are overused to the point they become sour.

    I've actually used the "good school horse conundrum" analogy in human workplaces: the steady, dependable team member who can always be counted on to come through gets overworked and loses their "happy thoughts."
     
  5. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    19,830
    Likes Received:
    11,997
    I think the horse MAY be in pain from some mild arthritis, or some other health issue. SOME lesson horses don't get the greatest of care. Oh, the management may 'hit all the high notes', in other words, really serious issues get care, but in SOME lesson strings, the horses's minor aches and pains don't get much attention.

    However, since the horse is in a lesson program, he is ridden and handled by a lot of people who aren't really experienced, and in that situation, he may simply have learned that he can act like a grump and get the students to leave him alone. It doesn't even have to add up to 'leave him alone' for a while, even getting a student to back away for a second, reinforces (encourages) the behavior.

    Nothing the horse is doing sounds like anything you should avoid, UNLESS it's due to actual pain. They are things you need to learn to deal with in any horse.

    And in this situation, the stable will probably just put someone else on him, rather than giving him a vacation or an extensive veterinary work up to find out what's up with him. So in SOME lesson barns, IF he's in pain, that's probably not going to get a lot of attention, until it becomes more serious.

    That said....MILD arthritis usually benefits from exercise, at least for a time(arthritis progresses relentlessly no matter what supplements or other therapy the horse gets, so the same horse may need to have his work level dropped down as he ages, and we have to remember that not ALL arthritis cases benefit from exercise, or some types of exercise....like jumping).

    The horse might be crabby about it, but he winds up more mobile and more comfortable overall, if he gets an APPROPRIATE level of work for the amount of arthritis he has.

    SO, bottom line: 1.) crabbiness MAY be due to arthritis or other health issues 2.) crabbiness MAY be due to the horse simply learning that crabbiness gets people to do what he wants 3.) You don't know whether this horse is hurting, or crabby. 4.) Everything you list are things you need to learn to deal with as a part of improving your riding.

    At some point, you have enough respect - AND TRUST - in a barn manager, or trainer, or instructor, to know that he or she is working this horse appropriately, caring appropriately for the horse, and putting you on the horse chosen for a darn good reason.....

    Or not. If you don't trust the people there, you go to another barn. If you don't ever trust anyone, it's time to sit down and think about that very seriously.


     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  6. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,257
    Likes Received:
    7,691
    Horses with bad manners are cheap, so they often end in lesson barns.

    Nothing you can do about it. This horse needs to be handled by only one person, who knows how to correct him. If he is dangerous on the ground, the barn owner has to get him ready for the lessons.

    Health problems that cause him discomfort or pain might also be an issue in cases like this. Some horses are disrespectful because they were spoiled as foals and never learned boundaries around humans, some because they weren not treated well by humans, some are generally not human friendly by nature (those cases are rare). Some horses need consistency and react badly to being constantly handled by different people, some of them clumsy. Some just NEED competent handling because they quickly find out that they get away with being a pest when they are handled by beginners.

    So, can have a ton of reasons.
     
    bsaz and Spoopy_Doopy_Potato like this.
  7. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Messages:
    10,790
    Likes Received:
    32,018
  8. bobo and horses

    bobo and horses Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,422
    Likes Received:
    3,370
    The above would seem logical.
     
    Spoopy_Doopy_Potato likes this.
  9. leverage

    leverage Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks everybody for the info back. I do lesson on my mare as well, but right now they are at different barns, and my mare cannot jump that high, we do a lot of flat. While with the other horse we do a lot more jumping. He isn’t a normal lesson horse though, I am one of the only two or so riders that rides him. He isn’t really one you can train out of this, he’s been this way since forever, I’ve talked to previous owners. He hasn’t always been a lesson horse either, he was personally owned and crabby as well. I know how to deal with him, I’ve been showing, riding, falling, for over a year now with him (I’ve been riding for 9 years), but I’m not progressing and he’s getting small for me.
     
    Spoopy_Doopy_Potato likes this.
  10. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Messages:
    10,790
    Likes Received:
    32,018
    Why on earth have you been paying to ride him for a year when you don't enjoy it...I'm not understanding...
     

Share This Page