Hadn't startted a new thread for a few days, so thought I'd start another one-LOL!!!
I have had several horses over the years (with none the last 30 or so-till now). Anyway, often they were afraid of men. I know this must be hard for guys who love horses, but it seems pretty common, as I've heard other people say that too.
One idea was that vets and farriers are usually men, so the horses tend to associate men with some discomfort.
And how do you men out there overcome it? I bring it up because my horse has had to be sedated to get vaccinated! Yet soon after foaling, she was fine with the female vet giving her oxytocin. Any ideas on this?
Jan Owen Senior Stallion or Mare Username: 1frosty1
Post Number: 1543 Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2008 - 01:04 pm:
I know with my foals I have 5 grown sons and I just have them handle them in a positive manner. Handle their feet. Walk them. Bath them. Feed them treats so that they have some positive experiences with the male sex
I think it is all "conditioning". I still think that horses hone in on the particular individual moreso than an overall gender. My husband spoils our horses rotten, and he isn't the one that rides them, etc. He just is around at feeding time and always has a pocket-full of treats. They adore him. However, they loathe the vet though, of course he is the one with the needles, etc. I don't think its so gender-specific as it is related to the particular individual.
Jan Owen Senior Stallion or Mare Username: 1frosty1
Post Number: 1546 Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, May 09, 2008 - 02:26 pm:
I also know that I have a dual vet partnership, one man one woman...my older horses love the gal...they tolerant the man..but my filly loves him because he always brings "horse cookies" to her even if he is on the property to see someone else...so she runs up to greet him too...maybe love is attached to their stomachs?
I hate to admit this, but a lot of men do not have the patients to work with horses. I was lucky that I was taught by a woman that is still one of my best friends. I see men all the time that want to force the horse to do what they want instead of teaching them. Our gender has trouble understanding that if you go in all mancho you are going to have trouble with the horse. Take some time give them a scratch on the neck or a peppermint. It saves a lot of time in the end.
CJ-I totally agree with Jon I think horses associate macho handling which is usually done by men. I have 2 Stallions that are really afraid of men. I also have a hunch if women are the only interaction they have the tendency to be more comfortable around female gender than male.
You all make alot of great observations and comments. My gelding was born and raised by my old male veterinarian. He was injured as a baby and so his only association was with a male and "doctoring". My vet soon got cancer and subsequently passed away. When I had purchased him as a three-year-old, he was not worked with nor handled in the manner in which my veterinarian was accustomed (he bred and raised champion cutting horses). So, the only association he had with men was "doctoring." I was lucky enough to obtain an incredibly wonderful big burly guy as a farrier who spent two hours buddying up and working with him the first time. This was the best thing I have ever done with regard to working with this animals fear factor. Although he is still a bit nervous and jumpy around men, he is a long ways from where he was.
Now, with that said, my stallion is a whole other ballgame. He has no respect for women and will herd, fight and generally give the female sex a rough time. All my husband has to do (and he has ZERO, ZILCH, NADA experience with equines nor does he want to..hehehe) is walk up to him and you can see the dominance back down from him. I think that stems from the fact that an 80 year old woman owned him and let him buffalo her over and over.
I think its all about exposure and handling. What makes them comfortable and what doesn't. They are all so different aren't they?? I have horses that bombs could explode around them and it wouldn't bother them then I also have horses that a butterfly could land on their forehead and they would sky rocket to the moon and back. It keeps our lives full and interesting!
Ok time for my story. I was sales preping a colt back 14 year ago that was giving everyone hell. When the van driver opened the ramp on the van he told us he had kicked 3 people getting him loaded.
Well the next morning he had his head over the gate and was trying to bite me. Every time I got near the latch he would try again. Finally I just smacked him on the muzzle as hard as I could. He backed up and threw his head a few times as I opened the gate. All day long he was the perfect gentleman. Well the next morning he was there again and I gave him a little smack. Apparently that wasn't enough because he was back to his old a-hole self. So from then on I smacked the hell out him every morning and apparently he liked it, because he behaved all the time. Well except on my days off when Aimee had to bring him in. She couldn't hit him hard enough and he ate her up. He is still one of the my favorite horses. I loved the fact that he had such an odd personality. That and the fact that he bit an annoying man that comes around and takes measurements all the yearlings.
I need to add before I get in trouble that I never hit a horse less than a year old. With foals you treat them like there mothers. If he bits me I bite him back. If they want to kick that is a good time to pick their feet. A foal never learns from punishment only training. Even older horses it should be kept to a minimum. All you will teach them is to fear you.
Sorry it is a little off topic, but I have thinking about it for a while now.
I take offense to that! That colt did NOT eat me up! That is an a-hole thing to say you jerk! He was big for a yearling and strong. I popped him but he LIKED it. I was there the day he bit the guy on top of the head and I laughed my ass off!
There is a difference in keeping them in line and being abusive. I prefer to keep them in line. I try hard not to punish unless I have to. I make sure that I am the alpha when it comes to our dogs and this translates to horses as well.
These are interesting observations. I know I DO NOT have the strength of most men. Sometimes it is needed-most of the time not-if one knows what they are doing! That is the difference I think. Even the most well trained horse will eventually push if they realize their human doesn't know how to set limits, I think. Could be exceptions, of course. Right now, I have my foal's respect. I HOPE to keep it that way-
I am going to switch to a female vet. I like the male vet who treated her once, but she had to be sedated to have vaccinations for gosh sake! But I'm keeping my male farrier who does a wonderful job with my mare. She needs exposure to men who treat her well.
When I was a young teen, I had no sense and would work with or ride anything anyone would let me near, as I didn't have a horse of my own. I thought I knew what to do. It was all just instinct though.
I was in a pasture with a stallion one day and he started charging toward me. The only thing I could think of to do, was charge right back at him with my arms out spread. So all 100 lbs. of me went for it and lucky me, the stallion veered off.
But I do believe they have a pretty good ability to size people up. I am going to expose my little guy to as many people as I can, inc. males, of course. I'm hoping he will grow up expecting to be treated well by both sexes. Idealistic? I suppose, but I'll do what I can. I think it takes effort though to take the time to do that. I'm trying not to be a couch potato foal owner.
Hahahahaha! Jon/Aimee: You guys crack me up!!! Tim: Nice job of just saying nothin'! Cj: Would you care to come to my house and do that with my stallion...ummmm...he won't veer...trust me on that one.
I agree that there is a HUGE difference between abuse and an occassional bop on the nose. My gelding, for whatever reason, has to go through a re-training process EVERY spring where he has forgotten all that he has learned over his 7 years. It usually take one good "working the sweat out of him" and a few leadrope pops on the halter and then we obtain what I call "attitude adjustment"...now mares...they're a different story. My favorite thing I tell my farrier is that "mares are a new experience every time you ride them, shoe them, work with them"...you never know what you're gonna get!
Shoot...Echo bit me last year when I was just leading her up from the pasture to feed her...she's NEVER bitten me, ever...just lolly gaggin beside me and then...WHAM...teeth into the forearm...she got her BOP that day as well!
No Bobbi, I don't care to do that with your stallion. Did I fail to mention it was a stupid thing to do? Not recommending it to any one! I was young and invinsible, but now I am older and not so invinsible! LOL
I have bopped a horse's nose before. I've swatted them with a rope. But never, ever beat them. Never even really hurt them, just got their attention. Not that I didn't want to hurt them once in a while-LOL! But not really.
I get over any anger pretty quick, by remembering I'm supposed to be in charge. That always helps me get my logic going so I can find a solution-or at the very least, a truce until I can get a better handle on things.
Once when I was working with a 2 year old, in my colt training class, who had been doing well, he bit me. It was a pretty good bite, but no stitches needed. Just hurt like hell. Well, I was mad. Couldn't believe my little darling bit me. I made him start backing up like he had never done before, with rope in hand, holding it toward his chest.
Suddenly I realized there was a stallion who was looking over the fence as if to say, "yea, bring that little whipper snapper into my territory." So of course I stopped and led him into the barn.
A moment later I realized he had bit me accidently. He liked chewing on the lead rope occassionally and my hand was too close to his halter. He wasn't yet 2 full years old.
Poor thing looked at me as though I had lost my mind and for a moment, I had. These lessons are hard to learn. I suppose he became more careful, maybe, of what he was biting, but I don't think he realized why he was in trouble. I've always regretted my impulsive reaction, but as I said, I learned from it. I'm not sure why I brought up that story. Maybe because it still bugs me and I want to get it off my chest-HaHa. He has gone on to be a very nice horse with a lot of potential for performance.
Oddly, there were no men in that class, until the second semester. We all did quite well. I got an 'A' in case anyone wondered. Have to brag a little!
By the way Bobbi, I read a post of your's about your foal-was it JJ or gimooseraff-who out ran his mama and her running companion. I think it was JJ. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that is pretty amazing. Maybe you have a future winner there! Huh?
Cj; Nooooo...it was my Gimooseraffe! See...dummy foals run really, really fast! Maybe a little of that great-great grandpa Seattle Slew will come out in him yet! I was beaming with pride...as I shouted, "He may a Goober but he's a fast Goober!"
OMG girl...don't apologize for impulsive reactions...lordy...I've done the same thing!
Funny but true story: So, as a mere youngster of 16, I couldn't afford to buy a horse trailer. So, I bought a 6 cylinder old Ford truck (for real, kid you not) and put stock racks on it. Now, understand that my parents knew NOTHING about horses. They just left all the worldly knowledge (that I thought I had) to me. I proceeded to teach my horse how to jump into the bed of the truck...not by backing up to ditches, oh no, that would have been easy, but how to jump into it from a flat standing position. He got really good at it. This is how the great and magnificent Bobbi got to the horse shows and rodeos. Yes, everyone laughed at the little girl who toted her horse all over the place in the back of a 6 cylinder Ford but that was until they competed against me. They didn't laugh so loud then...hehehe. (Who says you have to have class to own a good horse?!?!) I was always the last to leave the shows because I had to cool my horse down before I could put him in the truck and take off down the highway. It was funny, he used to rest his head on the top front of the windshield because he could stick his head all the way over the cab!
This worked well for me until I got horse #2. Now Annie was another fine horse and provided me with many 2nd place finishes, behind my horse #1. This created a bit of dilemma. I now how had to teach her how to jump in the truck. Now...I have TWO horses in the bed of a 6 cylinder Ford. (Have you got a visual yet??) Well, Annie being the cranky mare that she was, liked to LEAN on Bubbles when we took the curves rather than stand up on her own two feet. This, of course, would shift Bubbles and then Annie would shirt causing what would look to be a rocking motion to the moving truck heading down the highway towards some poor innocent soul. Understand that my stock rack was made out of like 1 X 6 lumber...NOT the sturdiest set of horse containment. I was so ticked off one night because I had been in Garden City, Kansas...a very far piece from my Kansas City, MO home...and Annie was working her best to shove Bubbles out with every bump and turn. I got home, got poor Bubbles out and put Annie back in the bed of the truck, not tied, just loose and I said, "I'll teach you to stand up in the truck!" (I was a bit angry) so I took that truck into the 60 acres field and proceeded to 4-wheel that puppy into figure eights, fast starts and fast stops, circles, and anything I could think of with her stumbling about in the back. When I took her out, she was trembling from head to toe, had worked up quite a sweat, and many days later, common sense finally reached my brain and I thought..."OMG, I could have killed her if I would have thrown her out of the truck or through the stock racks!" Never told my mom and dad about that...only my best friend knew it...and well, now all of you!
I later discovered that if I put Annie in first and then turned her around, facing the backwards and then put in Bubbles, facing forward...it solved the problem. And that folks...was another site to see traveling down the road!
There's a story from the life and times of Bobbi, The Goober Horse Trainer. Ha!
Jonathan/Aimee, The story of your black colt reminded me of when I was (much) younger and still learning a lot. I had a mare that was mean as the dickens. I mean she was an absolute witch. If she couldn't kick you, she would bite you, or paw you.... Whatever "weapon" at the time that was to her best advantage.
She was a stunningly beautiful mare and won a lot of halter classes and believe it or not rode pretty well as an older horse and got quite a few points.
I learned NOT to fight with her, because by gosh --- she LIKED to fight. She is the only horse to this day that I swear actually LIKED to fight you. She got off on it. If you smacked her, she would just come after you all that much harder. She was something else!
We sent her off to a trainer that was very well known and to this day I still think he is an outstanding guy. When he first got her into his barn, he told us she was "misunderstood". In about two weeks he called us and told us to "come get her the heck out of here". He had help threatening to quit, etc. This isn't good, but he said he literally "took her to her knees" one day and she came right back after him to kill him. The fellow is very well-known and a amazing horseman, he said he had never had a stallion act like her. She did not mess around.
We had her hormones checked, etc. Did everything we could to try and live with her. Finally ran her thru a sale and she brought a pretty good price. As a personal "farewell" to me, when I was leading her back to her stall, she decided to take a chunk out of my shoulder right in the aisle leading out of the sale ring. I had a down coat on and she picked me up by my shoulder and shook me like a rat! Down feathers were going everywhere, I had a fantastic bone bruise to remember her by. I slammed her into a stall and never looked back!
You may have had the wildest life of anyone I have ever talked to. Your story brought back memories of a family reunion a few years back. My cousin had a friend of his bring out a horse for everyone to ride. He showed up in a Ford pick-up without stock racks and an adult paint stallion in the bed. I forget the horses name, but he seemed to enjoy his ride. When it was time for him to leave he walked him up to the tailgate, threw the shank over his back, and told him to get up. He kind of sat down in the bed and off they went. Of course all me and Aimee could think was thats dangerous.
I have know a few of those over the years!!! Luckily he wasn't one. I loved working with him. He was really dark bay and had a shine you wouldn't believe. Easy money when you are doing sales prep.
We had a mare out here that sold last year that was like the one you described. She would charge the bars, grind her teeth and wait for a chance to get you. Actually I liked her too. She was a great mother! I guess I like a horse that keeps you on your toes.
Jonathan, Well you would have HATED this mare I had --- with a passion. I can honestly say I have NEVER in my life seen a horse that was so filled with HATE. We bought her when she was a two-year-old so I don't really know her history prior to that.
I have always been big on saying that bad horses aren't "born", they are "made". Whoever or whatever "made" this one must have been a real piece of work.
We stood two stallions at our farm (so far) and had them both for very long periods of time (one died of old age with us). We have had many stud colts sold as yearlings, etc. and of course lots of mares and geldings. I have NEVER in my life seen anything as bad as this mare was.
She was truly a killer. Absolutely gorgeous and totally deceiving. We put a lot of points on her in the three years we had her. And the people that bought her out of that sale (amazingly enough) put a lot of points on her afterward.
Then POOF! It was like she disappeared off the face of the earth. No doubt I think someone finally got their "fill" of her and she went "you know where".
I love horses, but have never shed a tear over that one.
I wouldn't bet on it. I am a little odd about horses. The meaner that they act the more of a challenge it is. Even with the mare that was out here was better with me than a lot of other people. If she tried something it was time for an itchy spot scratching. I am sure Aimee will add something to this.
Jon wrote: I wouldn't bet on it. I am a little odd about horses.
Gotta back Jon up on this one. He is REALLY good with the tough foaling mares, Joe too.
We've had some dangerous mares come through the foaling barn this year. Mares that have a history of sending people to the hospital. Firm persuasion, clear rules and boundries, expert handling and of course, empathy and compassion in the right amounts, can work wonders with even the most dangerous mares.
Tim/Jonathan, See my theory is that there are too many good horses out there that you don't have to deal with bad personalities. I too try to figure out what makes a horse "tick" and work around that. We tried for YEARS with this mare. And she was gorgeous mare and placed several years at the National and World shows. You just never knew when she was going to try and kill you. Life is too short. And there are too many gorgeous horses out there. We let this one become someone else's problem.
Jon: Your cousing and I may be related! Hahahaha! I swear, that's all I had to do, throw the lead rope over their back, say "get up in the truck" and that was that. Never did tie them in the truck. After a while, I never even put a lead rope on them, just lead them over by the halter. You know...its the no fear thing when you're young I think. My God but I wouldn't do that today. Shoot, I hate taking Blossom in a two horse trailer because it always ends of like a train wreck.
My kids tell me I need to go on Oprah! Hahaha! You can't possibly imagine the things in my life I've done. We used to "park" our horses under a the loft of one those really big ole farm barns, climb up the ladder, stand on the edge of the loft and jump down on their backs and go speeding off in a gallop pretending we were Jesse James and the gang. Jeeezzzz...those poor horses. Thank goodness at about 13/14 years old we didn't weigh much. I just remember when we'd hit their backs they would kind of move like a shock absorber. Could you imagine if we would have missed??? We rode out to the highway once (3 of us 15 year old girls) and sat on our horses with the butts facing the on coming traffic and moon the cars as they came by! What in the world was I thinking?!?! My friend Sandy and I used to be a member of The Rodeo Kids...a trick riding group that used to perform. Anyway...Sandy and I were practicing standing on her big ole palomino gelding, bareback as doubles at a gallop. She was in front, standing and holding the reins, I was behind her standing like in the kidney area of the back. Horse made a slight veer, we lost our balance, I immediately just flopped down on the horses back in a sitting position, she chose to jump off...hit the ground and shattered her ankle into a bazillion pieces. Took my Bubbles horse one day on a 15 mile trail ride from the boarding stable to my house (another not so hot idea). My friend (and vet tech co-worker) took her horse as well. We packed a nice lunch of vienna sausages (omg...like, yuck!), bread, some grapes and some soda and put them in her saddle bags. Now, half way there, we stopped along a creek bed to let the horses rest and get a drink. Her horse was pretty sweaty so we decided that we would switch the saddle bag for awhile and put it on my horse. I never thought about my horse never having one on before. So, we plopped it up there, tied it on and as I was ready to mount, he took a step...the soda can hit the other soda can in the bag, he freaked out, took off running bucking, we're chasing him through the woods, he is on his way to another state, my girlfriend swings me up behind her on the back of her horse, we go racing after him, can't find him among the acres and acres of woods. We hunted for hours, finally found him and needless to say, he had figured out that whatever was on his back, he couldn't get away from. So, now that were were relieved that I hadn't lost my horse forever, we decided to have lunch before going any further. Lets just say...the bread was soaked from the smashed grapes that had now turned to wine from the smashing effect of the soda cans. The only thing left that was salvageable was the can of vienna sausages...and quite frankly all it took was my friend saying..."you know what those remind me of?" and I was done! We were too far to turn back to the boarding stable and I must say that the remaing hours of that ride home was the most miserable in my life.
Just little snippets of horse humor!
Catherine: I had a mare just like that (she was a sorrel...her name wasn't Thru The Heather by any chance was it?!?!) She had some great babies and was a great mom. She is responsible for the shattered collar bone I now have since my twenties! There are some dandies out there, that's for sure!
Tim, I would hate that! I never thought about having to deal with nasty horses when I was kind of envying you and the gang who are working on a big foaling farm. I suppose you are involved in the breeding as well?
I just thought I'd share that my son in law has been over twice, two weeks apart, and has assisted my daughter and me in training the foal.
My mare, who is so afraid of men, was absolutely fine with him from the first second that he came in the corral! And that with a new baby! Go figure!
I view it as very good news. For all those out there with the same problem, it may not be universal. I couldn't believe it! Honestly, blew me away when she didn't react to him at all!
He has never been around horses and is very laid back. Perhaps that had something to do with it. Also, he didn't come with a truck parked next to the corral.
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