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ex racehorse's studly behavior


A year ago I rescued a 9 year off the track thoroughbred with a suspensor injury. I am a new horse owner. At the first boarding facility he had a lot of stud like behavior which we figured was from supplements he was on at the track. I moved him in July to a quiet farm and he turned into the horse I had hoped he would be. Started riding him and he has spent allot of time turned out with two other geldings and he has been great. The farm owner has sold her place and I had to move him last weekend. I have back the horse I had a year ago. He is now next to a mare and acting like a stud, he tried to run off with me, he's being pushy and acting like a jerk and all he cares about is this mare. I have put allot of time into this horse and am quite disappointed in him behavior.

Help! Cassie

Hi Cassie,

Well, I would cut the horse more slack and understand he is just being a horse and not really a "jerk". He needs a strong confident leader and with no one around who can really fill the bill (so to speak) he is merely 'doing his thing' as a normal horse. Perhaps he was late gelded or has been around breeding stallions and learned this behavior from earlier days. Stallion like behavior is normal in many geldings. You will need to handle him more like the stallion he is behaving like.

This does not mean being abusive or dominating him, it means 'leading' him through precise and skillful action and activities to settle him and get him to trust you as his leader. As a new horse owner, you have not developed these skills as yet. To be an affective leader for your horse requires knowledge, skill, confidence and practice. You seem to be over matched with this horse, which is not a good situation. This is unfortunate but extremely common. A wonderful person, such as yourself, rescues a horse that needs rehabilitation or more training (appropriate handling) than they can give it and bad things begin to happen, the horse or human gets hurt and /or frustrated, then the horse is sold and the human stops being with horses because of this one negative experience. Your intention at rescuing the horse was wonderful, but getting overmatched early on really works against you having a life with horses. It is not the horse to be dissappointed in (he is just being a horse), it is an unfortunate decision and due to your lack of experience, understanding and skill, things are getting worse. I cannot give you the experience you need in an email. Little tips will not work for you because of your newness to horses. You can get hurt easily by tring to do something you do not have the experience to try. Please tell me more about yourself (your horse experience) and perhaps I can offer some suggestions that will really help your situation. I offer coaching in horsemanship via various mediums, some training tapes and more if you are interested. But being over-matched with a horse is a tough situation. The horse gets blaimed and labled as 'bad' which is very unfair to the horse. Please understand it is more about the human and their attitude, agenda, experience and skill level than it is about the horse. Good Luck and I hope to hear back from you.

Sincerely, Franklin

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