Imma bite you! (Behavior, lymes, uclers…?)

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by riding for Christ riding for Christ 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • TheyZMeRolln Original Poster
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 3

    I have a video on my Facebook, but can’t find how to post it…

    I have a random question …. Horse …” behavior” question … here’s my issue…this is long.

    Rusty’s behavior has relapsed since I came off recently. (He bolted, while trying to stop him, hackamore broke, I elected to “exited the vehicle”. Broke my helmet, out for 30 minutes. He was being a fruitloop before this happened, but wasn’t aggressive.)

    Who he is: Rusty, 9 yr old Off-Track Thoroughbred… I’ve had him for 5 years, got him right from the racing stable. Out 24/7 turnout, feed twice a day. Currently out of work because I’m “broken”. .. jumper, trail, and barrel horse. Rides in an AP English saddle and rope hackamore.

    What he’s doing:
    Biting, being mouthy, coltish – often immediately pulling back, eyes white, like he’s expecting to be hit. This is in reaction to being touched in the face, chest, moving his blanket, being in proximity at his fence line.

    What I do:
    Stay under his neck so he can’t bite me while adjusting his blanket. Use two-finger pressure on his neck to move his head away. If I can, put hand on bridge of his nose and gently push down. …. He seems to be doing well with this.
    **do not swat at or hit him in the face or mouth** … This makes him more aggressive.

    What he’s doing:
    Attempting to lead or catch, rears up over handler repeatedly.
    What I’m doing:
    If I can get a lead on him, he’s usually ok. It’s probably been a year since I’ve had to use a chain over his nose, really don’t want to go back to that. I take a lunge or dressage whip into his field to move him off if he gets agressive. I’m not hitting him with it.

    What he did (under saddle): Rear, buck, carry on – act “Fresh”… Worst was a rear ‘the whole way up’ then buck.

    What I did: If I felt it coming, I could pull his head around… Pushing him forward doesn’t always work. (He rears into a buck if I wack him with a crop on the butt. Not so bad with a tap on his shoulder.)

    ….He’s become the horse I got 5 years ago, but pretty sure not as bad. I have more knowledge to work with this time, but … Do horses just come like this? Is there an advised way of dealing with it?
    I am beginning to use his one kryptonite, a plastic bag as a defense.

    I do have him on an antacid which seemed to help, but he’s still bitting.

    (Cliffnotes: see “Why Rusty is not a rehomeable horse.”)

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    First, have your vet rule out any potential physical reasons for this behavior. If he is healthy and it is all behavior issues, do you have someone who can help you change his patterns? He sounds dangerous to me, and perhaps you cannot do it alone. I have had two horses who each bit me once (little nips) – I bit them back and it never happened again. To me, the rearing is the worst thing your boy is doing, as you could be killed if he goes over backwards. Perhaps SmartCalm might help while you work on getting him to behave. This is not normal behavior for any horse, and certainly not acceptable.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 10

    Seek a trainer and start from scratch. All this behavior is communication to you something is wrong. He is either in pain from ill fitting tack, something hurts he is telling you loud an d clear, or he has a serious behavior issue. If your having the vet come out run the lymes blood test as a precautionary it’s not expensive. If it’s ulcers you might need to treat with malox twice daily for a couple weeks to see if he seems more at ease. Thoroughbreds can be hard keepers but and most people don’t hear this enough. Horses don’t need grain. I would take him slowly off the grain and introduce a hay stretcher pellet. Then increase the amount of hay. he should be getting enough to keeps him busy and keep the weight on. If you rule out everything medical I would start with ground work with fear. buy a tarp they are CHEAP! He needs to accept it walk on it, wear it, be round penned daily to keep his energy at a reasonable level. You can’t give a kid candy and then be shocked when he doesn’t want to sit and learn his ABC’s. Become familiar with his personality on the ground and when he softens to a place where he is a good listener then ride him. I would also re-start with jointed loose ring snaffle the midest of bits. Train him from the ground to give to the bit. I don’t like hackamores they can be restrictive. You should never have to up bit. Instead train him to accept the mildest and be soft.

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    I’ve given myself 24 hours to stew over this one. I’ve tried to come up with training tips, but bottom line, this horse has dangerous vices that require professional help. You need a trainer to work with this horse. Coming in hostile before any tack is put on him is behavioral. There may be a dietary correction you can make to help you work with him – but that’s like putting a bandaid on a bullet wound. It may have started out with a medical issue or a dietary issue, but at this point, he needs correction for your safety.

    I know you love this horse, but you can’t help him if you get hurt.

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    Have you checked the horse for a magnesium deficiency? To me, your issues sound a lot like this could be the problem.

    Not all magnesium supplements are the same. One of the better magnesium supplement companies is:

    Their website has a long list of symptoms, which amazed me because this deficiency can cause so many various negative behaviors, which can be corrected with a good magnesium supplement. I tried this product out when one of the mares, who had a girl crush on another mare, became very hostile to the other mare’s foal. The magnesium supplement solved the problem – – the formally aggressive mare still had a girl crush on the mother, but she calmed down and left the foal alone.

    TheyZMeRolln Original Poster
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 3

    Update: going to see the vet today … Test for Lymes and “stuff”. It’s a vet I’ve worked with a good bit, so I trust him…. It could be anything for just behavior, to a foot issue, ulcers, imbalance …. Who knows, I just want him happy and comfortable. (I miss my horse.)

    We did some lunging, free lunging, side rein, tarp work. I can’t see movement issues, the tarp made him think. Yesterday he had off and this morning was very polite.

    My luck, he’ll be a complete peach for the vet. Lol

    TheyZMeRolln Original Poster
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 3

    Rusty update … Much thanks to Dr. King from Pine Meadow Equine for meeting with us yesterday. In a strange environment with bovine aroma aloft, Rusty was a great patient. Even met us at the fence with a nicker. (Miss that sound!) Towards the end of his session, he started getting a little impatient, nervous, frustrated … but nothing like he’s been recently.

    Given how well he responded to a test treatment of Ranitidine plus being a racehorse (by design) and how his attitude fluxuates so dramatically… Along with the bit of a long list of other things…. We’ll be treating for ulcers. … Very excited to see how he progresses. Would be great to have my sweet pony back more than just once in a while. 🙂

    Special thanks to Wayne and Carey of Webb’s Hobby Horse Farm for setting up our visit. Our hearts go out to your family… and lots of healing thoughts. For Nellie!!
    *everyone gets hugs!*

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    I hate to tell you this but you need a new horse. the horse being a Thoroughbred is definitely one of the problems. If you want to keep the horse send it to a trainer who trains like Moses woodson

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    “The horse being a Thoroughbred is definitely one of the problems”…I’m sorry can you explain this???

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    Your horse came off the track right?

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    I’m not the one who started this thread. But yes I have 2 off the track and they don’t have any issues because they were race horses. I’m not really sure what being a TB has to do with the behavior she is inquiring about.

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    the horse came off the track. Rearing, biting stuff like that, might be the reason why he is not on the track, Not saying that is the case. But a Thoroughbred can be sometimes be high strung, and maybe think to fast and not slow down and use their brain. It can happen to other horses too. If the horse was mine I wouldn’t put up with all that. But that is just me.

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    And who knows he may have ulcers. I don’t know though

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