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Horse Care and Comfort

What to do with a rescued horse?


Hi -
My younger sister is trying out a pony that we got from a rescue center. he was abandoned by his previous owner for... no one knows how long. he's been at the shelter for about six months and hasn't ridden since been abandoned. My younger sister does not know much about horses and i am still learning from the Uni.
Does anyone have any ideas that can help me train him?

These are the issues i am dealing with right now:

*not being able to pick up his feet ( he pushes against me when i ask him and then when i finally get his foot up he just collapses )

*when i lead him on the halter he walks out ahead of me and i just cant get him to stay in the sweet spot (nose at my shoulder)

*he hates it when i spray the hosepipe on his rump. he is fine with brushing and patting etc. (i know this isn't a big issue but does anyone know how i could get him used to it?)

All in all he basically hasn't gotten any care or attention for at least six months and i would suppose i could call him 'heavy handed'.

i would really appreciate any ideas from anybody
Charlotte :)

Certified Instructor Ann Lindberg/Sweden
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Dear Charlotte, how old is your younger sister? I´m just asking if this is a perfect match? This little thing needs much more attention before even thinking about asking him to do things - I would like to advice you to get in contact with a good rescue center and ask for advice and help - and try to find within yourself to help him understand. It´s like a book with a cover but empty pages. Best of Luck and be safe Warmest Ann Lindberg

Mel - Ramsgate UK
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Hi Charlotte, our BamBam was a sort of rescue except we brought him to get him out tf the situation he was in, it's going to take time and patience, he needs to see that you are there for him. He is only just about fully trusting me with his back feet and still now some 5 months on he shows resistance. We've had the farrier out 3 times since we've had him and each time a farrier visits, we're back to square one.
For the hose where are you putting it first? It took several sessions for us to be able to out water competely over BamBam, we started with his legs, to show him what I was going to do though I'd stand and spray my legs first. When we first got him just holding the hose near him to fill his water would set him in panic. The first few times I'd get him to give me he feet so I could wash him and so he'd feel the water from his frog, he then knows it's not going to hurt. Next I did 2 wash times using a bucket and cup/beaker to pour water onto his back, this gave the trickling sensation and by the 3rd time we were able to put the hose on his back and over his rump. Ahe's still jot 100%sure, but is improving, as is he trust of us.
I was going to ask how old your sister was too,. My daughter is 12, and our BamBam responds differenlty to her than he does me, he's accepted that I am lead mare on 2 legs, but can take Darrells body language quite differently so if your sister is young remeber she might not see all the signs of Equus that you may do. She blew a rasberry at him when he snorted at her the other day, that was it... his head came forward, ears back and he went for her, I blocked him with stern eye contact and going inbetween him and Darrell, he listened and backed off, I didnt have to say a word, my body language did all the work. I'm still learning Equus too and know ther is so much to learn. Once you see that language barried come down between you and him you'll have a great relationship.
For his feet when he pushes against you, it sounds like he's not balanced or he's acting into pressure. BanBam acted the same at first, but with following the lessons of into pressure on the uni this has helped. Also on his front feet when he tries the collapsing we put our knee under his knee of the hoof we are doing and he regains his balance.
For the sweet spot, do you school him with the daully him when he over steps you?
Hope that helps a bit?

Kleinne - Utah, U.S.A.
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I would suggest besides watching all the lessons on the Uni, watch Monty Roberts video's on Horse and Country TV. You can watch for free on the internet, the "Horsemanship Essentials" with Kelly Marks will help you tremendously with problems with your new horse. They show how to deal with all kinds of problems and for me, I learn best when I can watch how to do something versus someone trying to tell me.
Let us know how it goes,

Charlotte - Gauteng, South Africa

Hi - thanks for the comments!
My sister is nine and ii am fourteen.
As for the match.... well she is quite scared of him at the moment.
he is not a skittish horse at all - in fact i have never seen such a curious horse! we have quad bikes that live next to the stables and when i lead him from the paddock and let him stand the bikes will come noisily past and he isn't scared at all.
he is quite willing to learn i am just not sure i know how to train him. i can touch him every where and as for bathing - i started by putting the water by his nose and he started playing with it with his tongue. i then put the water on very low pressure and went to his front legs, he was fine. the next day i did his back legs and he was a little unsure at first but the next day he was fine. the next day i bathed him and he stood still exsept when i did his rump.
yes, my sister does not know the language Equus but when he is trained he wil probably be a bombproof pony.
i dont have the dually as it is quite expensive for me but as soon as i can i will get one. do you think i could try the same techniques with a normal halter?
ill watch the lessons about going into pressure :)
and thanks kleinne - will watch the videos on Horse and Country TV :)
Thanks Mel for the story on Bambam :)
Thanks Ann

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If he is only funny with the water on his rump it could be that he has been smacked hard there at some time, maybe with a whip or something. You could try gently rubbing him there with your hand, or giving him a nice scratch, to reassure him that you won't hurt him, but please be safe and stand well to the side out of the kick zone just in case.

Charlotte - Gauteng, South Africa

Yes - perhaps he has been smacked there :( i am not sure i can reach if i stand out the kick zone and he does kick as soon as the water touches his rump. maybe its just a case of getting used to it?

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One other thing you could try is using the Monty style stick with some plastic bags on the end. If the stick is long enough you should be easily able to keep out of the kick zone and it will help to desensitise him - if he is kicking out when touched in that area it would be a good idea to get this sorted in case he does hurt somebody. There are plenty of videos here in the uni and also on H&C TV with Kelly mMarks and Monty which show you how to use one. You might also need to check that he isn't sore in that area which could also explain it.

Mel - Ramsgate UK
Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed 200 lessons completed 250 lessons completed 300 lessons completed 350 lessons completed 400 lessons completed

scratching his butt will help, we did that alot to BamBam to get him used to being touched at the rear, now when I give a hand signal, he'll come over and give his butt so he can have a good itch. lol we make it part of his grooming routine also which has helped alot.
just keep doing things so he trusts you Charlotte, you will have a bomb proof pony in the end. If he's not ready to take the water on the rump, I wouldnt force it, build the trust where you can go and if he's happy with you grooming the rump, then take a bit more time there so he gets used to the idea you arebsafe, eventually he will let you got there with the water.
I agree it sounds like he's had a big smack of some sort there. :(
You might get a Daully cheaper on ebay, but make sure you get one thats selling with the dvd.
Keep us posted, I'm still learning too :D

Charlotte - Gauteng, South Africa

Thank you Mel and Emlaw for the suggestions :) i tried to ride him the other day and he went very nicely with the walk and trot. I think I will wait a bit before i ask for the canter and to bring his head round :) he does sometimes like a scratch on the rump and we can groom him there - will try with water again asap. And with the sweet spot - my riding instructor saw that he was not pulling forward so i wasn't constantly pulling back so she said that it was OK if his head wasn't exactly behind. i will save up for the dually anyway since it seems like a very useful tool for teaching ground manners :) i tried picking up his feet the other day and he was much better although when i tried today he wouldn't budge, so he is quite on and off.
Thanks a lot for the comments -
a huge help :)
Charlotte <3

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Charlotte - it won't happen overnight, but just keep working on it consistently and you will soon find that he will pick up his feet and let you put the hose on his rump. Relax and don't put a timescale on it, before you know it he will be fine.

Please upload your photo

Charlotte you could also try a wand attachment for the hose. It will give you more distance from the kick zone and it has a really vice shower nozzle so the water isn't gushing even if it's on all the way. Ask any garden supply or farm supply they should carry them. Good Luck!

Charlotte - Gauteng, South Africa

Thanks Justbren - will try!! :D


Hi, I have just rescued a 2 year old paint horse, she has clearly been badly treated and handled poor thing but she has a wonderful nature.

My main worry is that her feet are in desperate need of a trim and although she is letting me pick her feet up she can't balance her weight properly due to her hooves being so long and pointed and she is worse when picking up her back feet.
Ideally I would like to spend more time with her as I've only had her a day! I'm just worried she'll get freaked out by the farrier and I don't have a dually in her size (it's been ordered) so I can't even work on leading or asking her to stand.
I'm hoping that if she is able to have her feet seen to then it will improve things and I can begin schooling knowing she is more balanced... I'm just at a crossroads and wondered what the best course of action would be..

Also on a separate note it took me over 15 mins for her to come out of the stable and then only did because I had a bucket of feed - I know it's not ideal but my gut feeling is that I should coax her out with the feed and then work on leading with the dually (when it arrives) in the school first and not just attempt to use the dually in the stable... hopefully with some schooling like this and trust building she will realise she has nothing to fear and I can stop using the feed...

I'm not new to horses but my Mom was the main trainer and it's very different when you are on your own.

Any advice would be greatly received.
Pippa x