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Bonding With A Bad One

Hallo ,

I just came across your site.

Can I get a copy of your "bonder' ?

I have a horse with very serious respect problems .

I cannot leave him loose in a paddock or round pen and try to get him moving , because very soon he attacks me with his teeth and front legs, coming at me with a serious threatening speed .

I defend myself with a stick or whip or whatever , what I have to do immediately when he starts coming at me otherwise he sure will overrun me , he turns his hindquarters at me and starts kicking at me with both hind feet while still coming closer BACKWARDS to chase me away .

The first time he did that to me I escaped from serious injury or even death because I can run faster than he can move backwards .

Next time I got him on his hind with the whip when he did that and then he ran away from me to turn around and come up to me in a walk . I could catch him safely. On a lead rope he is relatively safe but cannot be left out of the eye for a second if you are too close because he bites , kicks his front or hind feet when he thinks it is appropriate .

I bought him knowing very little of him from a horse salesman .

He is relatively safe to ride but often refuses work or to go up in gait and is really barn sour .

I work with him on the ground on a 6 feet rope and a 3 feet stick and have him walking around me left and right all right , but I dare not leave him loose and try to get him moving . Even on the lead rope he is very difficult to get moving

I am quite confident that with time I can get him up in gait on a longer rope but it took me several weeks and a lot of friendly games to get him so far .

Any comments ?

Thank you .

Here's my first spur of the moment response after a long day and while dealing with a number of backed up emails...

My first question is, where are you? With a name like yours, I'm hoping you're in SW Michigan. If you are, wait until I get up there in a couple of weeks and we'll deal with him.

This is the type of horse that requires great caution and experience to work with. If he is not chemically unbalanced and I don't think he is based on a couple of things you say, he is also the type of horse that exhibits the most dramatic changes.

You can get a free copy of the Bonder by sending any email to my autoresponder, In a few moments you'll receive a response telling you some information I want you to have as well its location on the Net. Click here for a copy of the Bonder.

Read it thoroughly and get it down pat in your mind because if you decide to use it, you'll have to devote most of your attention to controlling him and you won't have time for indecision.


Now that I've had a moment to think...

There are clues all through the email that the gentlemen is not from SW Michigan. If he is, he hasn't been there very long. His English usage and language patterns are more European. But that is just an aside... Bottom line, I didn't answer his letter to the best of my ability.

With a horse like this, (and I want to stress and emphasize and leave no doubt here that I am referring to what *I* PERSONALLY would do and not what I think anyone else should or must do) I would put him in the round pen halter, leadline, etc... and leave him there for a few minutes alone. I would stand beside the pen and glare at him and send him mental messages that basically say, "I am not happy with the way you treat me and that will change or you will die. No ifs. No buts."

With a horse like this who has a finely developed procedure that has worked to his advantage before, you have to get outside of the procedure or derail it. You have to change what happens enough to get the horse off guard and into a procedure he is unsure about. He NOW knows, if he reacts a certain way, the human will react a certain way and usually, the human does. Change the human's reaction and the horse's reaction will quickly change too.

I'm all for easy going. If the horse is easy going. If the horse is at the point where my safety and his is in jeopardy, all bets are off...I DO WHAT IT TAKES TO RECOVER CONTROL.

In this case, I'd get a lunge whip that had a pretty good whip to it. When I decide to move that tip, I want it to whistle where I send it. I must be able to control it before I get in there with him.

Then I'd get in the pen and stake out a wedge of the pie for my very own. If he made one step toward my slice I'd grab the whip with both hands and yell at him at the top of my lungs, "You come here and I'll make you regret it!" The choice is his. If he advanced towards me I'd yell, "NO! NO! NO!" at the top of my lungs and begin swinging as I moved a little towards him. I'd make the air just smoke with a singing whip tip and my verbal warnings.

He shouldn't, and the key word is "shouldn't", come close enough for you to catch him because your actions will be so foreign to him, and catch him so off guard, his only sure defense is to stay away from you and your section of the pie. If he does come in, light him up with the whip the second you feel threatened. If you feel threatened the second he turns his head toward you from the opposite side of the pen, start swinging and yelling even if you can't reach him. Try to keep at an angle to his shoulder to lessen the chances of him rearing, striking and biting or kicking you. If he backs up to kick at you, angle around and keep lighting him up from the side.

Some will scream abusing or whipping the horse. Doing this to a horse that has no escape is indeed abuse or whipping. What you are doing is returning the horse's aggression back onto itself. It expects that to happen in the herd and it accepts and reacts accordingly. You MUST be more determined than he is to give it back. Victory in the herd goes to the most determined. When he leaves, act like nothing has happened until he threatens again then lose your cool all over him. In the meantime, enjoy your slice of the pen.

Once you have your section of the pie claimed and he honors your claim, you'll find that you can move your wedge around the pie at will and by moving your wedge around toward him, you can make him move in whatever direction you want. If you move your wedge to the right, he'll move to the left. If he doesn't, he'll soon meet Mr Angry up close and personal. My bet is he'll move away and keep as much distance between you and he as possible. Move your wedge to the left, he'll move to the right.

You now have movement, directional control and stopping. You can move him at will in either direction simply by moving your wedge. When you stop moving the wedge, he stops moving around the pen because to do so is going to put him where he doesn't want to be. You have control of him, but it is not efficient control. Controlling the horse by relocating the wedge will quickly wear you out.

If we can claim the center of the pen we can use the control we have gathered with the least amount of effort and movement on our part. Move gradually toward the center of the pen, reacting to his threats and bluffs in the same manner you did when you took your wedge. Advance and retreat gradually up and down the length of your wedge or slice until you have claimed the center.

Once the center is yours, if you move to the right to drive him, he'll move to the left. If you move to the left to drive him, he'll move to the right. If you want to stop him, move toward the front of him and he'll stop and go back, then you quickly move to the front again. Head him back and forth as quickly as you can a few times and he'll stop to figure out which is the best way to go.

When you are at this point, you are ready to do the bonder. Even though he will already have a new found respect for you, it is important that you do not trust him until he has obviously demonstrated a new attitude of willingness and compliance. When you have reached this point with him you may feel that you have gained enough with him and that is certainly for you to decide. Running him through the bonder should really polish him up.

But take your time trusting him.

Click here to check out my very reasonably priced DVD inventory covering many of the subjects featured on my site's pages in greater depth.

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