View Full Version : Hurt 're-habilitating' horse ???

01-06-07, 03:51 AM
How many people here have had experience 're-habilitating' traumatised horse .... and had to live with the consequences ???

Success stories are welcome too !!!

Guy I got my mare from has been around horses probably 35 years .... got 'problem' horse that he was gonna 're-habilitate' ??? Nothing seemed to go well & in the end ... it cost him a thumb to realise said horse was either beyond help or beyond him. Horse got on-sold to someone else ....

I wonder how many other people have been 'rewarded' in this manner for being ultruistic & wanting to help 'victim' of people ???

01-06-07, 04:08 AM
Hah -can we say equines?we had fun working with donkeys most of whom were just defensive beacuse they had never been taught anything.
The main problem is this,once you get them going well, people who might give a new home, often unwittingly undo all one has achieved.I went slow steady safe but expected progress(if not what was I doing wrong?).Got kicked two times /kept myself safe 1000 times.
As mentioned in other post had one donk coming charging with wide open mouth,big yellow teeth ready to take my face off..and when that was foiled(and it took more then a water pistol LOL)he came walking BACKWARDS kicking as he came.You had to have been there..
The people who gave him to me-knowing he was like that,and never explained..well they are lucky we had him put down,had he injured us or anyone,we would have been after them ,for sure-As it was we chalk it up to expereinces and realise how precious our own life and health is.

Lisa an Gypsie
01-06-07, 04:26 AM
Yep I have tried for abut 6 years with my mare and I finally gave up after manybad injuries last year when she threw me and I crushed two vertabre in my neck. Her issues are all relating to being ridden and are man made so she has returned to being a brood mare. Don't know if I would attempt it again with a horse that was like her, it wasn't worth it in the end.

I realised that it was a waste of time trying to over come her issues if after 6 years she was still unpredictable and dangerous to ride. I figured that seeing as I have three other safe horses to ride then their is no reason to risk my life onsomething which is perfectly happy in the paddock.


01-06-07, 10:36 AM
yes have worked with many from working with the RSPCA (opps said bad word ) , Had more success then failure , but most of the failures were horses abused so bad that it was beyond return .
what do i call no return mmmmm heres a few .... horses locked in stables and hit and had lighters flicked at them for what you may ask , so they will stand up in show ring and flare noses , horses having heads tied down for so long that they have problems with raising there heads why so they will go along long and low , horses that have beaten so bad they have brain damage why because horse didnt do what it was told first time.ok ill stop now cause i could go on for hours.
But each horse was given a chance unless it was found unsound by a vet ,
SO yep i've been there done that.
Palomino's make your day :)


02-06-07, 04:14 AM
My current riding horse is a rescue horse...I've had him almost 3 years now.

When he arrived he had a lot of physically, emotional and mental damage. The physical aspect took a long time to fix and the mental and emotional state is ongoing.

On top of this, when I finally sorted out the physical issues he arrived with, he then had two nasty accidents which laid him out for most of the next year.

I sought professional help, when I ran out of answers to help this horse become a confident individual, and we are now steadily moving forward and I'm having a wonderful time. :)

The horse has gone from a scared, introverted (sometimes catatonic) horse to a confident, curious and playful horse who is super talented and extremely smart.

He will always challenge me but I'm enjoying the horsemanship journey. :)

Edited to add: I originally saved this horse with the idea of finding him a good home once he recovered from his injuries. I soon realised that he's not suitable for many people so he has a home with me for life. :)

02-06-07, 05:00 AM
Been there, done that, never again. Have a metal plate, bolts and arthritis to proove it. There are too many good horses out there to bother with the bad ones.

02-06-07, 05:07 AM
Same applies with women too Nicko ??? :+ :+ :+

02-06-07, 05:34 AM
yep got one on the go at the moment, 6 weeks before I rescued her she broke a blokes ribs.

she is coming to hand nicely.

one that wasnt a sucess tho was a 9 month old filly, we had her for 3 months and I could stand in the stall relaxed eyes down and the whole time she would be climbing the wall there was just no one home.
she was put down


03-06-07, 11:13 AM
I would love to comment to that Sparrow, but seeing as we are out numbered 30 to 1 on here and my real name is in my profile I better not.

I should add, it would depend on the circumstances. A deeply emotionally traumatised horse I would never think about taking on. I found out the hard way, it doesn't matter how far you have progressed, you do something that triggers an old memory and you end up in hospital.

A horse that has been traumatised through starvation or neglect I would consider.

03-06-07, 11:20 AM
And the same applies to men too ay Sparrow?

This post just makes me sad for all the awful things we humans inflict on animals, so very sad.

04-06-07, 12:10 AM
No, so far, touch wood, I haven't been hurt rehabilitating a horse, but Ive been hurt plenty of times through stupid mistakes I've made with all kinds of horses.
I think as you get older you do appreciate the good ones. We have a 14hh appaloosa pony who is worth his weight in gold. I have never met such a horse and we will never part with him, well maybe for one million dollars I would, lol.

"To practise equestrian art is to establish a conversation on a higher level with the horse; a dialogue of courtesy and finesse." Nuno Oliveira

Suzie Q
04-06-07, 12:27 AM
I was very lucky the first time I rode Aztec by myself.

He was being so good, that I was daydreaming and looking up the mountain and I went to pat him on the neck to say, "Good Boy".

Well he spun underneath me and was gone. I managed to stop him and my head was down near my right foot. He stayed standing and I managed to get back into the saddle.

I didn't know that when sitting on him she used to pull his head around with the rein and punch him repeatedly in the face.

It took me 3 days before I could pat him on the neck without him flinching and with 3 weeks I could wave a dressage whip around his head without him taking any notice whatsoever.

Mr Mac
04-06-07, 12:41 AM
You've probably heard about Joe Janiak and Takeover Target. A truly amazing story.

I remember seeing Joe interviewed a year or so back about TT. He explained how dangerous the horse was when he got it. It caused him injuries which sent him to hospital. He was told that the horse had caused so much havoc that it was untrainable and should be put down for it's own sake.

It took a while to get through but when asked by the interviewer what his secret was, he simply said "I just killed him with kindness". Well, I think that's a bit of an understatement as Joe is an experienced trainer so had a lot of knowledge at his disposal, but the way he said it and as though it was so simple sent shivers down my spine at the time.

He came across as being so humble and caring. His dream at the time was to retire, keep Takover Target, move north and ride on the beach into the sunset. I suspect that, although they've had imeasurable success, that is still his dream.

Has anyone got any up to date info on the pair?

04-06-07, 02:52 AM
'Been there, done that, never again. Have a metal plate, bolts and arthritis to proove it. '
'Same applies with women too Nicko ???'
crikey Sparrow! You must like them pretty rough.

04-06-07, 03:30 AM
I'm the mad owner of two abused beasts and sadly lost my first slightly mad boy a few years ago.

I have a mare that aparently was abused as a yearling. Strange little girl, will let you climb all over her and will try everything for you under saddle, but when she is in the paddock especially with a rug she is unpredictable. Some days she will be normal other days she bolts around like something is chasing her. As yet she has only hurt herself after flipping over a fence. We have given up on the rugs and after injuring a leg leased her out as a broody. She seems to be a very happy mummy, what I will do with her next I do not know.

I have an absolutely gorgeous liver chestnut QH who I picked up from the sales, at 17 I really didnt know what I was getting myself into. He didnt lead and if you even poked him to get him to walk forward he would rear or reverse flat out. He is terribly head shy and the world is and will always be out to eat him. I have been belted in the head many times, having been thrown from a yard once, I was hit that hard. 6 months and wow he could be bridled, luckily he was quite to ride. He now twitches everytime something is done with his head and is VERY hard to float, as he reverts back to rearing, kicking and running away. I have all but given up on floating him as I have hit the deck, been reared over and pinned against fences. At this stage he is on lease as a trail horse on a farm, but what I will do with him in the long term I do not know.

As for the TB, one day you could ride him bareback in a halter the next he would only go sideways flat out. He tried to bolt everytime I put him back in the paddock, paced the fence and was too scared to go find the horses if they were more then 20mtrs from the gate. On occasions he would run fall get up run and fall again when put out. We thought he would eventually break something, he did everything but. He eventually got sick from an unknown illness and had to be put down. Worst day of my life, little bugger decided he was alright that afternoon, yet we got blood from him that morning without anything on him to restrain him. he was my best pal for the two years I had him, but he was every parents worst nightmare.

04-06-07, 12:34 PM
This is what we do. Not had one through with these sorts of serious issues yet - but I've privately worked with a couple that were considered dangerous and ought to be shot. All came through OK although there were some close shaves when a simple movement could trigger a terrifying response!

Gosh some people can be awful to animals!! Had one STB mare I worked with... she'd been trained for trotting and was running her heart out but was far too slow... not for lack of trying! She tried so hard but just didn't have speed. The trainer decided she was just lazy so brought her in, took her out of the sulky, tied her up in her harness and beat her and beat her and beat her with all his strength for a few min whilst she fought to get away.

Then he put her back in the sulky and took her out again. Again, she simply couldn't go quick enough. She was 'trained' in this manner for 3 months then she suddenly snapped and fought back - darn near killed the guy so he went to get a gun. When he came back with said gun, horse was gone. Stable hand did a moonlight flit with her then and there and took her to a paddock. Brought her gear back, gave the irate trainer $20 for her and got a receipt too.

Brought her to my place soon after and it was 3 years before she would trust people completely again. Now she's a super little riding horse, an absolute doll to work with - but she is always very nervy around men that smoke. (Her old trainer smoked like a chimney)

04-06-07, 12:42 PM
That story breaks my heart, second chance. So glad she has found a home with you.

God damn I hate the human race at times..

04-06-07, 11:46 PM
That story is terribly, terribly sad second chance. I'm surprised that she ever trusted humans again after being treated in that fashion.

Well done on rehabilitating her- I can only guess how much persistance and patience that it must have taken after how badly she was abused.

05-06-07, 02:07 AM
my latest theory is that a good horse with a sound mind and body will put up with a lot, and will come back and will come good.

if its unsound in mind and body - shoot it. Don't sell it, don't give it to someone as a grass eater, put the poor thing out of its misery.

I would not touch anything that had been significantly starved (ie body condition of 1 or less), especially something that has been starved as a youngster and has had no worming program - they NEVER do well, cost a lot of money, and drop dead at a drop of a hat, I'd put them down immediately.

Nothing frustrates me more than the wannabes who ignore the advice of vets - oh I've had three vets look at diddums and they've advised me to put diddums down, I've had four farriers and they've said the same thing but oh no, send me straight to heaven because I can save diddums - I've seen far to many of these poor sorry souls limping around paddocks in pain. I'm sorry, if I had a gun licence I'd shoot poor diddums to end his misery.

Yes there are success stories, but the horse can either do the job or it can't. And frankly, its not worth breaking verterbrae over if the horse simply cannot do the job.

So Sparrow, in answer to your breaker's problem, I would have shot the horse and told the owner that it colicked, so sorry. and yes, we buried diddums at our expense because I'm sorry for your loss and not told the owner that the horse had died alright, from lead poisoning. Better for the horse.

05-06-07, 03:05 AM
Good common horse sense LisaL.
Its very uncommon so congrats to you.
If i were looking,someone like you is who I would buy from.

05-06-07, 06:00 AM
having bought and owned the problem horse - I'd never wish that on anyone else. And there is nothing worse than seeing a horse go from breaker to breaker to buckjumping school and then to doggers - its not fair on the horses.

yes there are some idiots out there.

06-06-07, 04:04 AM
I agree with LisaL. There are too many good ones out there to bother getting hurt with the bad ones.

Some turn out to be downright dirty - who wants one like that?

I will admit , I like my reject racehorses... But they have a time span to prove themselves.. And if they dont come through then there is a truck that will take them to have them canned... I find this preferable - because they ARE canned, not sold on at a market, and you at least get something back for them, rather than having to dig a big hole yourself!

And at the end of the day, if it is so nutty that even a experienced person can only just handle it, what chance would you ever have of selling it? I think you would be a brave person to try! So I guess the decision comes down to $.. Do you have enough $ to have useless, nutty animal taking up paddock space & feed, a horse that will never gove you anything but headaches (at best) back?


06-06-07, 08:22 AM
Im with you too lisa, though had you said the same thing on Zzahara's thread about the pony she has, you would have been shot!


10-06-07, 01:52 PM
Its kind of a success story.. Bought her from a horrid trainer who couldnt handle her and was going to dog her.. he said the whole family was loopey.. the poor 2yo was just petrified. He wouldnt even tell me if she had ever been ridden before.

Took me 4 days to catch her..2 months to rug her.. was always weary of men so sent her away to be handled by a man and he didnt get very far (not his fault) .. was told she would prolly always be too scared and girthy to be ridden. But I handled her like a breaker and went through every step with her.. from mouthing to lunging to long reining..

6 months later.. rode her for the first time.. and she was an absolute angel.. next day she did her hock and is now retired. Once she understood what was wanted she handled every stage like a trooper. Even took her long reining in a forest (which she had never seen before) and not once did she ever put a foot wrong even alone.

The whole time she has amazed me time and time again with how accepting she has become.. she is still totally weary of strangers.. specially males... but will let me do just about anything to her.. and will now come up for a cuddle.

Never once has she ever done anything to hurt me.. even when petrified.. she is always so careful .. even when rearing she will take note to not come down on you and has never kicked out at a person or bit.