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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
Just some thoughts...after i visited a stable were i saw some poor horses.

Does any of the AND members own horses who have some "unwanted" behavior.
I mean for example box cribbing, weaving, agression to othere horses especialy when new horses being introduced.
or some other stereotypic behaviors?

Why i wanna know, if there is maybe some relation in how we are connected to our horses, the way of training, being with them,
pet them, or what more....
Or is it the pasture were the horses are? Most of the AND horses as i can read in the diary's have nice green fields. Lots of other challenges in the paddocks such as trees, blocks, barrels etc.

Or maybe you have bought such a horse and this 'unwanted behavior" dissapeared after a while. And do you know why? What was the stimulance for the horse to change his behavior?

I read today also in the horse health newsletter. That there is made a electric box which a human can manage at a distance to a horse who give signs of unwanted behavior such as agression to (new) horse. Each time the horse did something the human did not wanted the horse get a shock by the electric band he had around his neck.
They give also some results. i dont know what to think about it at this time....if it is good or bad.
You get a quick result, but what does it do to the horse?

I know they have also such things for dogs against barking. Each time the dog barks the box give a electric signal. And the dog doesn't bark after awhile.
But what does the dog think? What kind of mental difference you get? fear? fight? or.....???

Does it works the same as an electrical fence?? the same effect?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:53 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
It's an interesting question and I would be keen to see what others have experienced.
I have come across a couple of chronic windsuckers who although have stopped to a degree due to better feed management and room always to roam, once long established has not been broken completely. The pay off they get when they do it is just too great an addiction. Another windsucker (that had just started), the owners took my advice, turned him out 24/7, gave him roughage 24/7 and treated him for a month with ulcer drugs, stopped and has not done it since. So I guess it would depend how long the habit has been there and whether an existing medical problem had caused it in the first place.
Zena the almost 2 year old filly was brought up in a stable with minimum turnout. When my friend got her as a yearling she let her run free as she was too timid to go too far from the other horses who are in paddocks. This has lead to her breaking in and out of camps at will, depending on where she wants to be at that time. The only camp she can not get out of is my horse's camp and when she is left there for the night she literally eats through anything she can. Poles, shelter walls, and she will demolish rubber goods too in sheer frustration that she can't get out. She will canter up and down until she is exhausted. The other horses ignore her, knowing that they can't get out but she hasn't accepted this yet. My friend seems to think it's okay to leave her running around and I on the other hand think she should be put away at night with the others. She has company and free access good quality hay, she just doesn't want to be penned in. I am hoping in time she will learn some respect for the fences as at the moment she can squeeze under the wooden poles but I fear for her safety in another environment where she might just try to push through a wire fence. The only option for her in such a place would be electric but do think that her owner has caused this by not setting the bounderies to begin with.
As for the electric collars, here we have quite a few wide open spaces and properties are often not fenced. Especially on farms they are used to stop dogs going off the property and worrying neighbours sheep. I personally think it's a lazy answer. Dogs as well as horses can be trained to stay in an open area by setting the bounderies and "herding or chasing" them back inside that area every time they stray over the imaginary line. They learn very quickly to stay in a certain area, but lazy owners zap! The current can be set at differing strengths which some dogs don't seem to mind while others get the fright of their lives. I would rather train my dog or horse by making the desirable area comfortable and the undesirable area not so comfortable but shocking them is a bit radical in my book!!!!!!!!

Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
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Location: New York
Oh, Inge, I'm so glad you posted this!

I read the same article, I think:

The vet did research using an equine shock collar (NOT, BTW, a dog version -- this apparently has a much lighter charge) to negatively reinforce aggressive behavior. (The article describes the shock they get as "stimulation" -- how's that for a euphemism? I'm sure that it can work...but... :ieks: )

The article came in an edition of the Horse Health Newsletter that described this, and other stall behaviors, as vices, which I've always thought was very telling.

We put horses in incredibly unnatural settings and when they get pingy about it, we describe their behavior as "vices."

I certainly don't have the full answer to your question, Inge, but here's what I see with my guys:

Stardust is pretty passive, so he tends to just hang out when he's bored -- he's learned to cope by checking out. Circe, on the other hand, does get herself into trouble when she's standing in her little paddock without enough stimulation. She doesn't crib, but she does run her teeth along the rail sometimes, she play kicks out at the gelding next to her (until she was moved because she capped a hock doing it -- still not completely unswollen :sad: ), and pulls everything that's not nailed down into her stall to play with.

I think she does this because she is bored, and I think being in a little paddock without great toys adds to that boredom. If she was out grazing all day, I think she'd do less of this.

BUT -- I think any of these could develop into obsessive behavior (which a lot of what we describe as vices are, I think -- it's horsey versions of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I think, brought on by boredom and stress and not enough hours spent eating) if she wasn't as well adjusted as she is.

Am intrigued to hear what other people think!


PS: Annette was writing as I was writing -- great point about feed and ulcers, Annette!

And after losing a beloved cat hit by a neighbor's car, I used the same herding technique that you describe with my cats to keep them from wandering into the street in front of our house. As you suggest, it takes some tenacity, but it does work.

"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:03 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
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Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Thanks for posting the link Leigh, interesting reading. Of course the horse obviously thinks the shock has something to do directly with him coming at the new horse because as soon as another new horse arrives, the process starts again. So in effect you are only dealing with the interaction betwen those two horses at a given time, not the behaviour itself. This would make sense to me as it's a natural response from the horse depending on it's temperament and past experience. I have never had a bad injury from horses being put together when there is enough space and no corners to get trapped in. The introductory period has to be at least a few hours when introducing a new horse to an established herd over a fence line where intentions can be seen by both parties before they can physically get at each other.
So I guess what I am saying is this is just another way of dealing with a problem us as humans in our ignorance or domestication in unnatural surroundings has created.
I think if I had to resort to using an electric collar to avoid injuries, then I woud stop keeping horses, there are far more humane ways.......

Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:27 pm
Posts: 483
Location: Corneto di Toano, Italy
Our adopted dog, Xinshu, used to bark terribly, it annoyed me and everyone around us.
We tried everything, but even though it sometimes got better, he would always start again after a while.
Then we got a puppy in the house and I did not want her to copy his behaviour!

So one day I really got upset and bought him a collar which sprays some citronella aroma when he barks.
I am sure one with electric shocks, how little possible, would probably have given him a heart attack...
But this one works wonders! :cheers:

We only had to use it a few times and after barking two or tree times, he stopped.
What made me sad at that point, was the fact that he would go on his carpet and moan, thinking he was punished.
He clearly realises that it is ME who puts the collar on.
I left him without collar every morning until he would start to be too noisy again.
I than showed him the collar and if he continued I put it on again.

After a while it was enough to just show the collar to stop his bad behaviour.

Now, going to the horses was a bit more difficult story, since he was never used to big animals before he came with us.
He would always run around their legs, barking his head off! :rambo: It made me worried he would get a reaction of Billy, our grey horse, who would dare to kick him.
So up came the collar again and it worked even there. It took him only a couple of times to teach him there are other ways than barking to show you're scared. He now stays more at a distance, which suits me fine.

After a while I would put the collar on but since the battery was flat it would not react anymore.
It still did the job for Xinshu for quite a while.
I must say he is not the cleverest of all :blonde: so it took him some time to realise that there was no punishment when he barked.

After I changed the battery, he very quickly responded to it again and remained quiet.
By now we can go to the prairie, the collar just lying next to him in the car, and he will still be a very good boy with the horses. He may bark a couple of times but it is no longer this constant noise while sort of attacking them.
(He is a Pyrenean shepherd, so it might also be some of his herding instinct which has never be trained properly?)

So I can only say that for our dog this system worked magic.
Luckily we did not need a severe system with electrical shocks and I hope I will never get any animal in my zoo which would make something like that necessary. :pray:
My horses are very nice souls, just like my dogs and my cat, not to talk about my husby ;)

But there are other creatures around, often spoiled by human interference or bad keeping.
I am glad I am not the one who has to decide for those... :roll:

Kind regards,


You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make'em drink...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:07 pm 
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yes leigh i have read it too, after i had visited the stable with some poor horses.
And make me think about all this...and wondering what the AND people had for experiences.
i am lucky my horses are fine, no unwanted behavior. Tho....almost :blush: both chew on everything they can get.
The leadrope, halter, feet bucket, name it, they chew.
i dont punish them, i ignore it. And play sometimes the bring up games because they take everthing in their mouth it is an easy game for them. And give lots of funn

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:36 am 
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Location: Marlborough, New Zealand
I am only learning but I have read that both crib biting and wind sucking is due to a bad diet, stress,lack of vitamins/minerals and stomach alcers. I have also been told from our vet that when a horse wind sucks it is actually expelling air (not sucking)to relieve pressure, as they can't vomit.

I had a 3 yr TB mare that was out 24/7 on 10 acres with 5 other paddock mates that started to eat the fence posts at the end of summer. It only lasted a week until I put them onto the lucerne paddock and has never done it again. Guess she got what she needed and healed herself.

Live, Love, Dream

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:56 am 
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dee wrote:
I am only learning but I have read that both crib biting and wind sucking is due to a bad diet, stress,lack of vitamins/minerals and stomach alcers. I have also been told from our vet that when a horse wind sucks it is actually expelling air (not sucking)to relieve pressure, as they can't vomit.

I had a 3 yr TB mare that was out 24/7 on 10 acres with 5 other paddock mates that started to eat the fence posts at the end of summer. It only lasted a week until I put them onto the lucerne paddock and has never done it again. Guess she got what she needed and healed herself.

i know...but i mean if you have good feed, so there is no problem, mean no healthy problems as ulchers etc.
just mental problems. There are people who have horses and they have to be stabled for long times because very wet fields during the winter or whatever. Do AND horses have less metal problems because their people watch them better? listen more to their horses.
Let them free during games, training etc? So they have less stress and won't show this either when they are stabled.
And when stabled they have toys or things to do, which keep them bussy for longer times.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:30 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:45 pm
Posts: 108
Location: UK
Hi Inge,

I have an ex-racehorse who has a stereotypical behaviour where he sort of tucks his chin in towards his neck/chest repeatedly, sort of like nodding. Sometimes he also makes a grunting noise while he's doing it, so it may be related to windsucking. He doesn't do it whist biting on anything though. He's done it since he came to me about 6 years ago, at times when (I think) he is frustrated. I probably used to see it a few times a week, but very rarely now. He has a diet and lifestyle (lots of fibre/forage, no concentrates, good vitamin/mineral supplements, 24/7 turnout in summer with other horses) which should minimise the risk of stress and ulcers. I don't believe he has ulcers, but I haven't had him scoped so can't be 100% sure. My vet said she doesn't believe he has, but I tried him on several ulcer treatements anyway - none of them made any difference to his behaviour. My theory is that he developed the behaviour when he was in racing (when he was most likely stabled most of the time and fed lots of concentrates and very little forage, along with doing hard, stressful work) and that it has remained as a habit that pops up from time to time.

Let them free during games, training etc?
When I read your topic a few days ago I thought, hey, I haven't seen him do that for ages........ :) then this morning when we were in the school, he did it several times :ieks:! The difference with today's session was that I had him in a headcollar and leadrope because there was someone else in the school having a lesson, whereas recently I have been working him with nothing on (him, not me :D). I was also less relaxed today because I didn't want to disturb the people having/giving/watching the lesson. So I think your point is well made :yes:. I am pretty new to the AND philosophy, so it will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months...... particularly in winter when he has to be stabled at night. Will keep you posted.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:32 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
Posts: 1072
Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
Ulcers are very common in horses. predicts my 24/7 outdoor with access to barn for shelter, high fibre, hay, soaked beet pulp, mineral and salts, are still at risk of EGUS.
Especially if there is a change, higher training demand, travel, drought, flood, herd alteration etc.etc.
"At these events, veterinarians evaluated horses' stomachs using gastroscopy, the only definitive way to determine if a horse has ulcers," said April Knudson,DVM, manager of Veterinary Services at Merial. "I traveled the country to attend many of these events myself, and one thing is for certain--stomach ulcers can occur in horses of all breeds and disciplines."

Throughout the year, 658 horses in 25 states participated in the scoping events. Overall, 60%--397 horses--had some ulceration as identified by gastroscopy.

Horses of varying breeds, ages and previous ulcer histories were found to have stomach ulcers, including:

•Horses from 1 to 41 years old
•Breeds from ponies to Percherons
•Horses kept in box stalls and in pastures
•Those in training and horses rarely ridden

For more information on ulcers
Ulcers Webinar Now Archived on
by: The Horse Staff
April 21 2009, Article # 14019
Print Email Add to Favorites RSS ShareThis
The free Webinar "Equine Ulcers: Your Horse At Risk" is now available for on-demand viewing at The videotaped Webinar and the transcript of the Question and Answer session can be viewed courtesy of sponsor Merial.
The Webinar on Equine Ulcers: Your Horse At Risk was presented by Frank Andrews, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, the director of Louisiana State University's Equine Health Studies Program. Andrews formerly was a professor and section chief in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Tennessee's veterinary school. He earned his DVM and MS degrees from Washington State University and completed his residency at The Ohio State University. Andrews is boarded as a specialist in internal medicine.

Why Should I Care About Ulcers?

Studies have shown that the prevalence of gastric ulcers in foals ranges from 25-51%; 67-76% of mares at pasture (66.6% pregnant mares and 75.9% non pregnant mares); and 11-93% of performance horses.

The risk factors for ulcers are exercise, feeding management, stress (physical and behavioral), and use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Research has shown something as simple as hauling your horse to a show or trail ride can incite equine gastric ulcer syndrome.

Any questions about the Webinar can be directed to

My feeling, yes omerparazole can be helpful, but is there a natural remedy as well as diet, keeping stress mimimal, if a horse has EGUS what grazing plants that may not be available in his pasture should be added? xx

Susie xx

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:15 am 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
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Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Piepony (sorry don't know your real name or if you have given it on here or not :blush: ) that is an interesting question. I had never considered ulcers before but now that i read about it, it is very likely that Jelli has some...however I don't feel right about giving her drugs without getting her tested just in case...but if there was a herbal remedy...some plants missing from
the pasture or even perhaps they are in the pasture and she is self medicating it would be interesting to know what they were...

Back to Inge's original question...

Before I bacome familiar with AND and the natural lifestyle for my horses they were stabled 12 to 14 hours a day (overnight) and had access to only a small pasture during the day. As it was winter there was no grazing and I fed them hay twice a day in the pasture and again at night, they were also fed grain and minerals twice a day with salt blocks in their stables.

Jelli used to chew her stable walls, Sanni didn't as far as i know (the walls had been chewed up pretty badly by another horse previous to her arriving so it was kind of hard to tell). Jelli didn't windsuck but she did eat the wood, all the horses also ate the wooden fence poles in the pasture, to the point where the poles broken in half and looked like a beaver had been at them. Then when I learnt that horses need food all the time i thought it was down to them being hungry and needing to eat.

However, when implemanting the paddock paradise system I have had reason to rethink this, sure i think it was a little to do with food but also about being enclosed in a small area and even though there were other horses (4 in all) they were bored and restless and needed something to focus their attention on.

Sometimes now, Sanni and Jelli will get sort of stuck in one area of the paddock paradise system and instead of moving around to find more food when it runs out in that area, they will start displaying signs of being enclosed in a small barren paddock once again.

They will start pacing around the area, chewing on inedible things (fence poles or the shelter wall if they get stuck in the shelter) and Sanni will start displaying more signs of aggression to Jelli than she normally does. I have tried going to them and showing them the way out but it doesn't seem to work, they will follow me to boundary of the area (where there would probably be a fence or gate if it really was a small paddock) and then turn back and the pacing and wood chewing begins again.

It has gotten less and less as they have got used to to the system more but occasionaly it still happens, more to Sanni than Jelli. Jelli will sometimes wander off and leave Sanni behind and then Sanni will get stressed and start calling and it takes her a while to remember that she can just go there, there is no gate or fence stopping her. It happened a lot when i used to feed them in the shelter in the evenings, purely because it was right next to the barn, they would come in and wait for me and then i would feed them and after that Jelli would leave but Sanni would stay there, pacing, as though she was trapped and stabled for the night. A couple of nights (i had a small baby and so was up a lot at nights at this point) she would be in there all night until around 6am effectively stabling herself at nights but pacing and calling to Jelli causing panic and stress in Jelli as well as herself. Now i just take the feed to them wherever they are on the paddock at feed times. they are much calmer these days but do sometimes get stuck in certain areas and then spend hours there looking sad and uncared for as i must be starving them...there is no food in their immediate area.

I do wonder at what it could be. Is it feelings of safety by staying in a small familiar area? Is it some sort of psycological damage at being kept in small paddocks and stables for much of their lives? Is it just that they forget sometimes that they can move around as much as they like and find their own food - they are no longer dependant on me to bring it to them at certain of the day? Do they sometimes feel a little lost without the regular feeding times and have yet to develop their own feeding and daily rythm and possibly crave a little more imposed structure in their lives similar to that which the lead horse would give them? I wonder this last one a lot because Sanni, whilst being the dominant one, is not a leader, she can't make Jelli do anything unless fear is involved and has to tell her over and over again to do things and perhaps she feels lost at times without having a leader herself telling her where to go and when and taking over the responsibility, as she has had this her whole life with humans. It could be a period of growth for her as she learns that she needs to change to become the leader and keep them moving to food or she has to let Jelli take over as Jelli has no problem moving around and finding food if Sanni just leaves her alone.

I know this isn't quite the "unwanted behaviour" you were taking about Inge but it is interesting behvaiour that has come about from years of being stabled and not given 24/7 hay access I believe. And yes, I do see it deminishing and improving now that they are out 24/7 with free choice hay and lots of grazing, browsing, exploring and walking to do and their own free choice of when to do it. Very occasionly they will have a little chew on a fence post these days but mostly not, they use them as scratch posts these days :funny:

Jelli has another sign of stress that she used to do all the time. i guess it is an "unwanted behaviour" in that i didn't like it happening but because it showed signs of stress and i didn't want her stressed, not because it was "naughty". she stretches her neck out, tilts her head to one side so that one eye is pointing up and one down and then sticks her tongue out and sort of "gurns". She used to do this all the time: if she was in her stable for a long time, if other horses were being moved around outside her stable, if humans were in the stable block for too long a period of time, if you wanted to put her halter on and take her out of her stable, if you wanted to move her from the paddock, if she was cross tied, during grooming, during tacking up (putting saddle and bridle on), especially when girth was being tightened and sometimes i have seen her doing it on her own just standing around in the pasture. I hadn't noticed her doing this for a long time until a couple of days ago. We had a training session involving putting the halter on. As soon as she saw me putting a halter on Sanni, it started, before i had even approached her. whether this was because she was worried I was going to take Sanni away or she didn't want me to do it to her or she just didn't like that i was doing it to Sanni, i'm not sure. I think she just looked at the situation and saw stress. Interestingly, when it was her turn she did the same head stretching thing until I knelt on the floor to do it and let her come to me and didn't follow her with the halter when she pulled away. then she felt less stress and pressure and it stopped.

So again yes she used to do it all the time back in the old way of doing things but I see it less and less now and when I do I know it is a sign that i am putting too much pressure on her and she needs me to back off. So yes, the AND is deffinitely helping reduce the "unwanted behaviour" as the stress in the horse goes down.

I believe that these unwanted behaviours we talk about in horses are actually very useful to us, and should be looked upon as a sign of the horses feelings and emtional state and not punnished. i find the idea of putting an electric collar around a horses neck deeply disturbing. How is this different to whipping or beating a horse?

It causes fear and panick but worse, it causes fear and panic that a horse can not escape from, the thing is attached to them. Perhaps people use them thinking that as they are not touching the horse the horse will not understand that a human is punnishing them and only that the thing the are doing is punnishing them but horses are not stupid, they will know that it is a human putting this collar around their necks, just as AMA's dog knew that it was the human putting this thing around their neck. AMA, i am not trying to say that the sitronella collar was in anyway like the electric one or that it was a bad thing. please don't take my comment as such.

People want a quick fix to everything and there are no quick fixes to pyscoloigal problems and sometimes there are no fixes at all. we have to deal with them like we would if it was happening in humans, with understanding and empathy and try to find the root of the problem not zap them with electric or fill them with drugs to stop the symtoms showing. but then i guess i am preaching to the choir here :D :blush: and we all at AND understand this.

i don't believe these collars are the same as electric fences if the fence is used responsibly, of course there are ways of abusing everything. But a horse CAN escape from the electric fence, it can simply move away, it does not feel chased or hunted by the fence, the fence does not move with it threatening always to attack again. Imagine as a prey animal having something attached to you that was causing you fear... :ieks: And no matter what you did you couldn't eacape it, it was always there, pressuring you, you were always aware of its pressence sitting there manovolently, just waiting for you to put a foot wrong and then - zap! It makes me shudder just to think about it and i am a hunter not a prey animal.

It also makes me wonder what sort of riding issues people will have if they use this system. After the horse has developed a fear of one thing put there by humans that it can not escape and that "gets" it if it does wrong, when you then put an actual human on its can imagine the potential for damage there. Does the horse just switch off or go crazy, bucking and rearing at the slightest sign of pressure? Maybe some horses will be outwardly Ok but surely they will be suffering huge internal and emotional problems and probably more "unwanted behaviours" would manifest themselves in other areas. No good can come of it, that is my opinion on the matter.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm
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Location: UK Worcester/Hereford border
My Thoroughbred was happy stabled and brought himself in. However, if his door was closed and his friends went out and he was the only horse in the barn, he would show signs of weaving. He settled when I went to brush and tack up for him to come out with me, but he was a horse and did not like to be alone.
When Romany was stabled and poulticed with abcess in his feet, Roger the TB would not go out and graze, the door was open but he had his hay and feeds and preferred to keep his little friend company.
This "Summer" (feels like Autumn here), the horses have stood inside all day, avoided the biting flies and choose to take themselves out after 6pm. If I cannot sleep and call in very early, before 5am they are lying down inside their stables when I think they should be grazing in the bottom pasture. They all get too fat but spend very little time out in their field eating, but it is their choice.
Susie xx

Susie xx

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:17 pm 
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very interesting reactions

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:35 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:19 am
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Location: Rhode Island
Hello Inge, It's been a very long time that I've posted here and yours is the first I've read in just as long. I do have a reply for you...

My TB was a show horse before coming to me about 10 yrs ago. He had been stalled when not being ridden and developed cribbing behavior. Once I took him, the vet recommended a cribbing strap/collar. Torture device is more like it but I was told he could colic and die if not for the collar. Then one day, we just decided to take it off. He is only stalled at night now (because he is not totally sound and seems to benefit from the stall rest - he is 28 now!) He no longer wears the cribbing strap, ever and he has never coliced in all the time I've had him. :applause: After he eats his oats he cribs when no one is paying him attention but must not continue when we leave because he hasn't coliced and I don't seem further wood damage. He never cribs outside and his paddock is not huge.
I also have a pony with other behavioral issues which led me to this group. He is a fighter and I have considered the shock collar but instead (at the advice of a teenager) I use a spray bottle filled w/ water which he fears/respects? Now, I can just make a spt. noise w/ my mouth and he'll back up. I only use such a tool because this pony is quite dangerous. He kicks at people, bites, lunges and strikes w/ his forehand. When I bought him the previous owner recommended that I beat him "he likes it" she said. So, I took him away as fast I could get the trailer there and I'm trying to find a way through to his behaviors - this site has helped.

I hope the poor horses you saw have some peace someday. It breaks my heart to know they are not kept well.


PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:29 am 
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:ieks: The pony LIKES getting a beating ??? Really ??? You're kidding - she actually said that ??? Wow :ieks:

When I got Laska he had a LOT of "unwanted" behaviors. He was aggressive, explosive and dangerous; as well as hiding in the back of his stall, "lunging" himself around his stall when a person entered to avoid contact, fighting every "feel" of a line or halter or anything, just every "go away" behavior you could imagine.

After I dealt with his pain medically (which took nearly a whole year) and C&T took away his stress about being handled he is a sweet and affectionate horse ho occasionally "checks out" - his eyes go blank for a few seconds and he is just "not in his body". I don't know where he goes. If I demand his attention while he is gone he gets explosive. This is the only "bad" behavior left.

I think being turned out is important, and also correct diet, but I think the most important thing is allowing horses to be in charge of their own life - to feel that they can agree or disagree about what happens to them without getting "punished" or rejected for having an opinion and expressing it.

Glen Grobler

Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. Anon

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