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When A Good Horse Goes Bad…

She writes...

Hi. You came up first when I typed in rearing horse so I am trying to see if your offer of info is legit. I read the page that came up on the matter. It sounds reasonable and sensible.

Well, I haven’t been tossed in jail yet. Came real close to it once about 40 years ago and it kinda changed my ways. ‘Nother story.

Glad I came up first. If you’re not the lead dog in the sled dog team the view never changes.

And, I do try to be reasonable and sensible.

I am upset over my one horse’s behavior. It’s a long story. I have two others I ride but this one was my first. About two years ago he took to bucking so that was that. Up till then he had been my lesson horse but I am in my fifties and new to riding as an adult and can’t be having a horse like that. So I got my others and decided He’d just be their pasture buddy. I did try to sell him but had no luck there and didn’t want to take him to an auction where he’d just end up being shuttled from owner to owner — or worse.

Yep, it’s hard to sell a bucking horse. Actually, it’s hard to sell a non-bucking horse.

I wish you’d have gotten with me when things started going West, the chances are pretty good you would have two less horses today. But, if you want more horses, far be it from me to get in your way.

Here you have a horse who for the most part was a good using horse. You were taking lessons on him for at least a year and then he started acting up.

Almost always, any time a horse who has been going along fine suddenly starts doing something it didn’t do willingly before, there is a reason. What is it? Not sure. Sometimes it’s easy to find, sometimes not so much.

The very first thing I would do is have the horse looked at by an equine chiropractor followed by a CESMT (Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist). The chiro checks out the skeletal, the CESMT checks out the muscular. The chiro may be able to point the CESMT in the right direction (the CESMT may be able to find trouble spots on his/her own) and the CESMT may be able to connect muscular issues with, oh, let’s see, the saddle, for instance.

After the chiro and the CESMT I’d bring in a good saddle fitter and have the saddle gone over. My personal preference for a saddle fitter is one who doesn't have saddles for sale. If the saddle fitter has saddles for sale it may slant his findings. Many horse problems are the result of saddle fit. Folks seem to think, if the horse doesn’t object and it fits their butt, it’s a good fit. Not necessarily.

It may take awhile for the horse to get to the point where the discomfort no longer needs relieving.

But now he’s taken to rearing fairly regularly just when I take him out to pasture or bring him in. He used to have excellent ground manners. He is 14. I got in Oct. 2008 just as he finished a few months of professional training. I got him just to learn on and he was boarded where I took lessons. I rode him a year, then his behavior devolved.

At this point, I’d be happy to just bond with him and have him be a non-riding horse but he has to at least let me handle him. He is actually too big for me anyway. to ride that is. If I knew more before I bought him I wouldn’t have picked him, I am sure. In any event, ironically, he is the one that cost so much. My other two were half and a fifth as much. My cheapest horse is my best! Getting depressed over this and hoping your advice will help.

If that is all you want that’s no problem. Click here to go to my Mentally Connecting With Adult Horses video. Then take him into an enclosure large enough to keep him away from yet small enough to control him until he is acting the way you want him to. Shouldn’t take much over half an hour. Don’t get either of you sweated or worked up. If you want to take a break at any time, there is always later or even tomorrow.

Get in your head you are in charge and you don’t accept any misbehaving around you. He’ll give you what your mind wants. You'll see it when you believe it.

If you hope to ride him again then have him looked at by the practitioners mentioned earlier (equine chiro, CESMT and saddle fitter) and get back to me with the results and we'll go from there.

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Feel free to call me if you have any thoughts or questions, 706 816-7190

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