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Leo flipped and smashed a carriage to pieces tonight

YasandCrystal

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I have a friend who has 2 cobs given to her by gypsies. They were both petrified, one would drop to the ground in his stable when she approached and the other was shut down completely. It took her years to gain their confidence and trust and she found out that they had been beaten and abused with an electric cattle prod. Can you just imagine the fear, just wicked.
 

Nasicus

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Another one with a cob from a gypsy background, driven at some point in her life and often expects me to smack her around the head. Eyes rolling in their sockets, head up to the heavens, staggering backwards to get away. It doesn't happen as often now, but it's really sad to see when she does do it, especially if all I did was move my hand a bit too quickly near her head. Like YAC said, just wicked!
 

mule

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I have a friend who has 2 cobs given to her by gypsies. They were both petrified, one would drop to the ground in his stable when she approached and the other was shut down completely. It took her years to gain their confidence and trust and she found out that they had been beaten and abused with an electric cattle prod. Can you just imagine the fear, just wicked.
Humans can be so evil.
 

pennyturner

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Just as a counter to the 'beaten cob' stereotype, I will mention that I went to view a 3yo cob, not yet broken, but started by a gipsy chap. His manners were out of this world. He'd been led and long-reined all over town, and taught to stop at the road marking at a 'give-way' junction as a default without a word or sign. Horsemanship as good as I've seen anywhere.
 

moleskinsmum

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Having had my horse of unknown origin for six years, I decided to ride with a stick last night for the first time, simply because we'd had an incident with a "log of doom" at the weekend when I couldn't get him to go forward off my leg.

It's safe to say he was petrified of it, even though it was a short stick and I held it halfway down so it was nowhere near him. He continually pulled and jogged and rolled his eyes. I ended up giving it to my riding mate and he immediately settled. Whatever happened to him in the past, he let me know he didn't want it to happen again.

I think we don't always realise how long bad experiences can stay with animals. I am luckier than you, LW, as he wasn't dangerous just really upset by it but I could envisage him flipping his lid under the pressure if I'd waved it around. Poor horses - it is rotten that humans can mess them up so much.
 

Dave's Mam

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Just as a counter to the 'beaten cob' stereotype, I will mention that I went to view a 3yo cob, not yet broken, but started by a gipsy chap. His manners were out of this world. He'd been led and long-reined all over town, and taught to stop at the road marking at a 'give-way' junction as a default without a word or sign. Horsemanship as good as I've seen anywhere.
I have seen the same.
 

Snowfilly

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I have seen the same.
There's quite a few gypsy and traveller families around here. Some produce nervy frightened horses which flinch far too much. Some have bog standard horses with not much schooling but who don't damage the horses they produce. Others have properly mannered horses which are a joy to be around - all taught old fashioned respect and manners, excellent to lead and handle from the ground, and willing to stand tied up when you tell them. I've seen the stop at give way markings taught, and also cobs taught to lower their head and help with putting their collar on, as well as walking over and standing in front of the wagon shafts when told.

I think, like all groups of people, there are good bad and average. It sounds like your poor Leo has experienced the bad.
 

shergar

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I wish! He spooked, then out of nowhere blind bolted while spinning. I pulled him off balance enough that he only went 90 instead of 180. He went over the road, up a drive and tried to go through a hedge/5 bar gate fence. It was a blind bolt. If I hadnt pulled him off balance he'd have gone.

He got the shaft stuck on one side of 2 massive fence posts which held him. He went beserk but couldnt break free. I managed to get him out, thanks to quick release, and he span a few times and then flinched when I went to him like he thought I was going to beat him. As soon as I touched him it was like the switch flipped back and he was instantly calm and back to normal..

I am as sure as I can be that hes had an accident previously and they've tried to beat it out of him. Theres been 3 other incidents of weird behaviour including jumping through a hedge and freaking out. He flips then instantly calms down. I've made excuses for him but its escalated and its a miracle hes not hurt himself or someone else.

He smashed the carriage up and bent the shafts, and when I checked the second gate post is 5 foot high and 2 foot wide solid wood and hes cracked the whole length of it so he did nearly get free which would have been catastrophic.
So sorry to read about your accident thank god you suffered no injuries .
These are the things that stand out Michen said if a horse has so little awareness it is willing to go through a fence , you said its in his head,and blind bolt .
I would say your horse is possibly having seizures ,which are an electrical discharge in the brain ,when this is happening the horse has a loss of vision ,some horses.
when this happens will walk in circles some will trot and some will blind bolt till something makes them stop .Ask your vet ,though some seem to know more about it than others ,you can also do research on the net.
My main concern would be to keep you safe ,so please do not let any one ride the horse until this possibility is ruled out .How I know about it is because two of my friends had horses that suffered seizures .
 

Leo Walker

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Thats scary! My vet is a livery on the yard so I will talk to her about it tomorrow. Some of that does fit. It would be awful if its that, but easier for me to accept. How where they diagnosed?

I've got my instructor coming to see him on Saturday. She did all the schooling work with him when I got him so knows him better than anyone else ridden wise. She knows whats happened and is fine getting on.

And no, I wont ride him. I'm fat, he is small and short coupled so can only take a 16.5" saddle absolute max but ideally 16". Hes also very bouncy and I suspect I would just fall off not having ridden in ages now :lol:
 

Leo Walker

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I've also had lovely horses from travellers, so I am definitely not saying they are all bad at all. But Leo was found in a hell of a state as a 10yr old. I've never really asked for the details as its sometimes better not to know. But something happened and I'm suffering the fall out now.
 

shergar

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Thats scary! My vet is a livery on the yard so I will talk to her about it tomorrow. Some of that does fit. It would be awful if its that, but easier for me to accept. How where they diagnosed?

I've got my instructor coming to see him on Saturday. She did all the schooling work with him when I got him so knows him better than anyone else ridden wise. She knows whats happened and is fine getting on.

And no, I wont ride him. I'm fat, he is small and short coupled so can only take a 16.5" saddle absolute max but ideally 16". Hes also very bouncy and I suspect I would just fall off not having ridden in ages now :lol:
Answer to where the horses was diagnosed ,the first horse was a very beautiful show horse that bolted in a ridden class at the Cheshire show ,the rider was terrified she said the horse put its self on a circle and she managed to stay on till the horse stopped ,the horse was retired ,it was then turned away with a settled herd as they were not taking a chance riding it again.
The owners said it had a mental problem ,it had very vacant look in its eyes is how I would describe it .
The herd of horses would come up to the yard each day and walk into the stables ,each horse knew its own stable ,as the mare went in she went berserk as if galloping round and battering her self on the walls till she fell to the floor still in full gallop ,this lasted for a couple of minutes ,as we thought the horse was calming down she died .The horses owner had a P M done as she thought the horse had a brain tumour, it did not .
It was only when another friends horse did odd things ,reported to her by a livery as running head on into the stable door ,she arrived at the stable one morning to find the stable door burst open and the door frame on the other side of yard ,the horse was on a small grass area eating like nothing had happened ,owner thinks may be a rat or some thing in the stable .
The owner was bringing, the horse in one day and screamed at me to get off the path as the horse was taking her ,the horse was a very gentle sort and all the odd things it did was so out of character.
I was on the yard with my daughter one morning just brushing up no noise going on and the horse did the same thing the first horse had done battered its self on the walls ,the door came off the front of the stable left the brick base ,like some one flicked a switch it went back to eating a hay net , the vet came and told the owner the horse had suffered a massive seizure that it was a danger to its self and every one else ,the other concern the vet said the stone wall and gates would not have stopped it getting into the road ,that was such a sad day in our yard as the only thing the owner could do was have the horse put to sleep.
Is it possible to test a horse to see if a seizure has occurred ,or is diagnosis based on the behaviour I am not sure .
 

Pearlsasinger

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Oh god, thats awful :(
It is awful, LW and a dreadful thing for the previous posters, their friends and their horses to have to deal with but in many ways that is better for Leo than his behaviour being a result of earlier abuse. Sadly it does sound as if for such horses there is only one realistic answer.
 

EventingMum

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So sorry you're having to go through this. I once had a livery pony which the vet thought was taking seizures. She would start charging blindly round the field to the point of running into other horses and then stop and stand looking vacant before starting to graze again as if nothing had happened. Unlike you, the owner didn't seem to think there was an issue and even continued to ride - needless to say they didn't stay here very long.
 

shergar

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Oh god, thats awful :(
It was very scary and sad ,I felt like I was shaking inside for days ,some kind of delayed shock may be .
Did you speak with your vet ? if so did she have any ideas or some one she can refer to for more information to help you .
 

Leo Walker

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I missed her, I'll catch her tomorrow. I was going to have him scoped and worked up but decided against it as it would then make me feel ok to drive him again and its not. I honestly think its in his head, but there is now a question mark for me as to whether its something like a seizure thats causing it.
 

Dave's Mam

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I missed her, I'll catch her tomorrow. I was going to have him scoped and worked up but decided against it as it would then make me feel ok to drive him again and its not. I honestly think its in his head, but there is now a question mark for me as to whether its something like a seizure thats causing it.
But surely if you are considering him going to be a riding pony, you should get to the bottom of it? Sorry, but I had to ask.
 

Pearlsasinger

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So sorry you're having to go through this. I once had a livery pony which the vet thought was taking seizures. She would start charging blindly round the field to the point of running into other horses and then stop and stand looking vacant before starting to graze again as if nothing had happened. Unlike you, the owner didn't seem to think there was an issue and even continued to ride - needless to say they didn't stay here very long.
Epilepsy can sometimes take a similar form in people. I once taught a child who would get up from his seat, run round the room, knocking things over and then sit back down in his place, as if nothing had happened. The school nurse told me that it is a recognised form of seizure. It can be diagnosed in people through a brain scan.
 

Dave's Mam

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I had a dog with Epilepsy, she would not go running, but would just lose control of her legs & be sick, then just stare for a while. She'd suddenly click back in but was always absolutely exhausted after a fit. I cannot imagine a horse doing the same being in any way safe.
 

Goldenstar

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I had a dog with Epilepsy, she would not go running, but would just lose control of her legs & be sick, then just stare for a while. She'd suddenly click back in but was always absolutely exhausted after a fit. I cannot imagine a horse doing the same being in any way safe.
I don’t think Horses fit during exercise if they are epileptic
 

Pearlsasinger

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I don’t think Horses fit during exercise if they are epileptic
Why wouldn't they?
I have known people be walking down the street and suddenly drop in a seizure. I had a dog who would have seizures any time, at home, out for a walk in the woods, on the beach, in the car. I was told to be careful with her around steps and water, in case she suddenly had a seizure, although she usually knew when she was going to have one and came to me. people are usually told to avoid being near water if they are on their own.
 

Leo Walker

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I viewed a pony yesterday that did almost exactly the same as him, but this one got away, tipped the carriage, jumped a fence, and went beserk. How the driver walked away with only minor injuries I will never know. Turns out there has been a prior accident and something happened which set him off again. Very, very similar and very weird and actually much more scary to be a bystander.

Hes definitely not showing any signs of having a seizure or fit. It was panic in a specific set of circumstances, but I def want to talk to my vet to either rule it out or to find out if a seizure could cause a panic like that and if she thinks its a possibility worth pursuing or not. Gut instinct says not, but I'm not a vet.

Hes being assessed tomorrow by a pro rider who knows him really well so we shall see what she thinks.

The little sod jumped out of his stable today and spent the day roaming the yard. I put him out and he then spent 10mins cantering round his field with his tail in the air, before casually popping the 5 bar gate and taking himself back to his stable. Hes a nightmare when hes not kept occupied and its starting to look like retirement might not be a viable option :(
 

ycbm

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LW, if retirement is not an option, please remember that the only person it will matter to that he didn't get to stand in a field for fifteen or twenty years is you. He won't care, and he'll never have the slow decline into an arthritic old horse that is the fate of so many. He doesn't sound like a happy horse right now. Whatever you decide, I hope it goes well.
 

Pearlsasinger

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LW, if retirement is not an option, please remember that the only person it will matter to that he didn't get to stand in a field for fifteen or twenty years is you. He won't care, and he'll never have the slow decline into an arthritic old horse that is the fate of so many. He doesn't sound like a happy horse right now. Whatever you decide, I hope it goes well.
Wise words.

LW, in people epileptic seizures take many different forms, they may do so in horses.

I do know of a case where 2 experienced driving horses took fright at a quad bike rattling over gravel and stones behind them and bolted through/over a wall with a 12ft drop at the other side. Obviously that didn't end well, fortunately the elderly lady driver survived. You certainly have made the right decision to never drive him again.
 
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JJS

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It's a horrible and hard decision to have to make, but if it's any consolation, I think you've done the right thing. I had to make the same call with Tudor when his headshaking began to manifest in some very dangerous ways. At that point, I vowed never to ride him again, and whilst I know there are others in the same boat as me who have tried a thousand different ways to fix the problem - a minute number with success, the majority without - I think there are two important things to take into account. Firstly, that it's not worth risking anybody's life for the sake of keeping them in work (in T's case, mine), and secondly, that it's not fair on the animal themselves when they're screaming so loudly that they're in pain and/or unhappy. Even if some magical cure manifested itself tomorrow, I would never trust T to be ridden again - his reactions were just too extreme. It seems to me that you're in the same boat, and whether you're fortunate enough to be able to retire Leo as I have Tudor, or have to make a different sort of decision, you haven't failed him in any way, shape or form: you've done what no one else has up to this point and listened.
 

Leo Walker

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LW, if retirement is not an option, please remember that the only person it will matter to that he didn't get to stand in a field for fifteen or twenty years is you. He won't care, and he'll never have the slow decline into an arthritic old horse that is the fate of so many. He doesn't sound like a happy horse right now. Whatever you decide, I hope it goes well.
I know. I am very firmly of the opinion that PTS is an option. He is so happy at the minute though. As soon as it was over he was back to normal. The problem is he is a sod if hes not worked or I would just keep him where he is.

I'm definitely not leaving him miserable in a field so I dont have to face up to it. He did live out for a short while and was fine, it was in a big field with young geldings. He spent all day playing and was fine. If I could find him a home nannying youngstock he would love it, but not sure that will happen! He just needs to be keep occupied or he makes his own fun.

Almost all failed driving horses who have had an accident go on to riding homes and never have an issue. An accident driving is very different to being ridden.

He was ridden and was fine, but I was too fat to ride a 14.2hh pony in a 16" saddle and I loved driving and so did he so we never bothered with it after the inital schooling. I'll see how the riding goes later today. Its not really the riding bit that bothers me, its finding the right person for him. He is incredibly important to me and he will only go to someone if its right.
 
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