My next equine project horse

AdorableAlice

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Day 5 for Ted and he has decided he likes me.

The little paddock he is in looks into the yard and he now stands at the gate watching me and he had a little call to me this morning.

I can catch him and I can touch everywhere in the front of the wither and above the knee, we have progress.
 

AdorableAlice

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Giant steps forward for Ted this morning.

Still fast asleep at 6am, he did not leap to his feet when I opened the door, just got onto his chest and watched me remove the water bucket before getting up fully.

Skipped round him, he was a little uncomfortable but not climbing the walls.

The hands on training was just fabulous, he stood quietly and allowed me to rub in front of the wither as we did yesterday, and then allowed behind the wither, along his spine and both hips. He is more anxious if I am on his offside, so I make sure I do things equally and then finish on his offside.

He has realised that an ear rub is nice. I am hoping if he continues to progress at this speed, I will be able to pick his feet up by the end of the month and maybe with a little sedation his feet can be trimmed, they are dreadful having never been touched.

He has found his appetite, my goodness shires have a good appetite !
 

Maesfen

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That's how I had to tackle Bear when he came here at 8 months old; he was terrified, but like you, patience and consistency paid off and he turned into a smashing chap just like Ted is doing. It won't be long now, he's turned a huge corner already in those few days.
 

AdorableAlice

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That's how I had to tackle Bear when he came here at 8 months old; he was terrified, but like you, patience and consistency paid off and he turned into a smashing chap just like Ted is doing. It won't be long now, he's turned a huge corner already in those few days.
Just as we turned the huge corner, I have managed to ruin all the work that got us there in the first place. Ted panicked this morning as I was turning him out, the gate stay rattled just as I was unthreading the rope from his headcollar, I couldn't hold him and off he went with some of the rope still attached.

The paddock is tiny but he lost the plot totally, the rope (soft one) was touching all his legs. After what seemed an eternity, probably 5 minutes, he stopped and allowed me to get it off, but he is a wreck. If the wind rattles the dock leaves he is jumping and running. I doubt very much if he will be caught this evening.

Apart from having a good cry out of pure frustration, I really don't know what to do now. Do I leave him be for a couple of days and hope he settles down, do I try to catch him and risk him breaking away again on way to yard. If he get loose in yard he will be in trouble, there are obstacles like tractors etc,
do I put a short piece of soft rope on the headcollar and leave him to de-sensitise himself. (this thought comes from watching him panicking, he did stop and graze before the rope moved and set him off again).

I was doing so well, managed to touch quite a lot of him, even down his forelegs and ears. He has led in and out nicely and even had a little walk in the yard.

Flipping horses, what with feral Ted, the big horse came out lame this morning, thankfully the ligament is intact, lame in foot, and the yearling filly in a cast, I am beginning to wonder why I bother.

All ideas on handling traumatised Ted very much welcomed, over to you ....
 

Queenbee

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I'd go with the short rope, I'd probably keep the routine of bringing him in, but just that for a couple of days, then once hes back to being a bit calmer crack on. If at all possible, or as soon as he can handle it pop a lw rug on him, great for desensitising, does he have company in his field? An older hat who can take him under his/her wing and show him the boogie man isn't going to get him?
 

hayinamanger

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Bad luck, but it's just the sort of thing that happens, don't worry too much that you have lost all that you have gained. If he runs in tonight, it's not the end of the world, just go back to the beginning with him and start again. I reckon you will find that he may be a bit jumpy for a few days, but he will come quickly back to where you were. He trusts you already, you're all he's got at the moment so he won't hold it against you.
 

AdorableAlice

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I'd go with the short rope, I'd probably keep the routine of bringing him in, but just that for a couple of days, then once hes back to being a bit calmer crack on. If at all possible, or as soon as he can handle it pop a lw rug on him, great for desensitising, does he have company in his field? An older hat who can take him under his/her wing and show him the boogie man isn't going to get him?
Thank you Queenbee, My thoughts are to try to catch him and keep the routine, he has a 30 year old pony mare next to him with post and rail fence, who comes in and out with him. He is very insular in his outlook and hasn't taken much notice of the pony.

My aim as soon as he is reasonably biddable is for him to go out in the big paddocks with another yearling and 2 moody old mares to keep the youngsters in their place.

The rug is interesting, at the moment I cannot get my hand further than his hips. He is not aggressive, although I do wear a hat and gloves, he is just frightened. Sadly he is a classic example of a owner not handling their youngstock at all and then giving them a hardtime when they have to handle them.

He certainly wants to be onside but his natural instincts are taking over, I had made such progress up to this morning !
 

Maesfen

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I'd go with the short rope, I'd probably keep the routine of bringing him in, but just that for a couple of days, then once hes back to being a bit calmer crack on. If at all possible, or as soon as he can handle it pop a lw rug on him, great for desensitising, does he have company in his field? An older hat who can take him under his/her wing and show him the boogie man isn't going to get him?
Echo this and also just take it for granted that he'll do what you want, kidology goes a long way! If you expect him to baulk then he will, always be positive but never ask too much that he can't cope with.

With Bear he only had a headcollar on in the wagon for the first time (thought it was going to rock over, he didn't like it!) when he was dropped off with his dam; as soon as he was in the stable then she was taken out loaded up and away; not the way I like to do my weaning but needs must at that time. When I first went into the box he'd make himself as small as he could in the corner so I refused to look at him, just took the feed in and came out; because we have full width grills between boxes he could see me making a fuss of the other weanlings which helped. The next morning I took a great breath and let him out with the others (I herd mine in and out) so he slotted in with them and followed them everywhere (they of course had been here from day one so easily handled and used to my mad ways.
I just left it like that for a few days, didn't attempt to do anything to him and he got better at watching me put his feed in then one day he was on the outside as they came in so I put my hand on his rump (he was used to me doing it to the others every day) he jumped a mile but didn't run off. From that day I made a point of touching him whenever he came past me, not pushing it but being there and one day he let me follow him in with my hand on him the whole way a great step forward; from there I made a point of standing in the centre of his box and he had to walk around me to get away; in the end he didn't bother and I could run my hand up his neck and he just got better each day; it took about a fortnight for him to be happy with me holding or leading him. TBH, if he had been a smaller type I would have cracked on a lot quicker and had hold of him from the first day but he was a big boy, already 14.3 (he's finished a smidgeon under 18 hands!) so I didn't see the point of starting something I couldn't finish if he was too strong for me before he had learnt how to be caught and led etc. He was one of the most rewarding to have though, he soaked up affection and attention like a sponge and never had a 'bad' moment after that first month; he was a doddle to break and is now hunting all season plus successfully WH too.

Be patient, it'll come.
 

Queenbee

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I also always use a rug with a fillet string for youngsters... Saves so much agro around the back end, when you do get around to rugging. I was really lucky with Ben, he had been well handled from birth. I also love lots of in hand walking and grazing for bonding... You'll always have setbacks, but they'll become less severe and take less and less time to readjust, I'd say, pretty much keep doing what your doing and deffo, approach every task with positivity, visualise ted being good and calm, and carrying out these tasks without flapping, you can do this whilst still being aware of what might happen and being safety conscious, but approaching a task like it won't be a problem is a huge help, if your confident... Ted will be confident :D
P.S. I love ted x
 

AdorableAlice

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After my tribulations with Ted yesterday I was pleasantly surprised when he did allow me to catch him in the evening, even though I did lean on the fence with my back to him for a good while, curiosity took over and I got a hand on him.

He was a nervous wreck but went into his box, he which he seems to consider his safe space. My OH then spent an hour whisperings sweet nothings into his ear and stroking his neck. (must be 10 years since he did that for me ! and he doesn't even like horses).

I went with your advice and attached approx 2' foot of rope. I cut up an old lunge line into a few pieces of differing lengths. Tied it to the headcollar and poor Ted lost the plot again and crashed to floor at one point. He does have a thick straw bed on top of rubber so he was fine. OH spends another hour, this time over the door as too dangerous to go in, comforting Ted and eventually Ted settled. I hand fed him his tea and left him with his rope overnight. Don't laugh but I left the light on so he could see what was frightening him rather than being in the dark with a frightening object that he couldn't see. Human reasoning being put into a horse I think !

This morning Ted was a different horse, much calmer, he hadn't eaten much hay but had been to bed. I have been able to get my hands nearly all over him including on his thigh. I found a soft brush and he absolutely adored being brushed, his knees trembled and he was leaning towards me. He also went to groom me with his teeth, that was tricky because the last thing I want to do is push him away, so the for moment I am just stepping out of reach.

I am undecided now, do I leave him in and do more handling or do I turn him out and try to catch him tomorrow evening ?

Thank you for all the tips, certainly couldn't do without you.
 

Maesfen

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Turn him out, let him see a bit more of life would be my input. You've proved how he's come around again and things will only get better; he's also worked out for himself his rope follower isn't going to kill him so he's getting more receptive each day. Worth remembering that if you kept him in he might just be a bit too fresh when you go to take him out again which could put you back to square one as well.
 

Queenbee

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Op that's fantastic news! Well done you, oh and ted! Love the bit about the light... It's just the kind of thing I'd do, although turning the light out for ebony immediately stops her tantrums lol! I'd keep to a routine, your going to have more chance of problems catching him without it, the most clockwork routine you can keep, out at day, in at night, and a bit of grazing in hand everyday to help that bond and of course the grooming. I know you worry about him taking backward steps, but this is inevitable with any youngster, you will have to just roll with the punches and carry on unflustered as and when this happens, routine and turn out are the best things to guard against ted losing it x your doing really well. I wouldn't ask for anymore, just establish normalcy and routine once teds completely happy with what you are doing now, I'd carry on for a few days like that and then look to add some extras. So, where to go from here, is continue doing the same things around him until he is completely calm and unphases by them, you don't want to over load his senses,
 

AdorableAlice

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I was hoping that would be the advice. I go back to work tomorrow so he will see no one from 7am to 7pm.

I will give him another brush and put him out later on.
 

mulledwhine

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Sorry did not read all posts :eek:

Sounds like you are doing everything right. Never had a nervous youngster, but when I got my boy back from loan he was a wreck, so dd exactly what you have been doing.. It took several months, and after that we were closer than ever.

Good luck, Rome was not built in a day :)

Ps the offer still stands :D
 

AdorableAlice

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Sorry did not read all posts :eek:

Sounds like you are doing everything right. Never had a nervous youngster, but when I got my boy back from loan he was a wreck, so dd exactly what you have been doing.. It took several months, and after that we were closer than ever.

Good luck, Rome was not built in a day :)

Ps the offer still stands :D
Tehe, It's only a deal if the OH comes with Ted and you do all the washing !!

OH now likes Ted, was heard to whisper 'you are a beautiful boy'. I think he's gone soft in his old age. He has also been found giving Alice, my Amorous Archie filly, more attention since she has been in her cast. Plus, to my utter amazement he bought Alice a toy this morning whilst we were in Countrywide Farmers.

So, for the time being, all three can stay put. The next challenge is getting Ted to the paddock without parting company this evening.

Have fed OH extra large sunday lunch, (after removing spiders from saucepan to give you a clue how long it is since I did a Sunday lunch), he is now snoring.

It is interesting that you say once you had gained the confidence your nervous horse became very close to you. Ted definetely wants the closeness, he does not take his eyes off me when I am doing everything else and if I stay still in his company he is almost in my pocket. I will get there eventually, but I have a feeling that my comment to the OH of 'I will sell him when he's ready' has already bitten the dust. I knew there was a reason I carefully put all my extra large gear in box when my 18hh Irish Draught horse passed away a few years ago, despite everyone telling me I would never find a big horse again. That 7'9" rug has Ted's name on it.
 

Brigadoon

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He is gorgeous.
I have loved reading your post and how far he has come in a little time.
1 criticism tho.......I was hoping for more pics.
Good luck with him.
xx
 

AdorableAlice

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He is gorgeous.
I have loved reading your post and how far he has come in a little time.
1 criticism tho.......I was hoping for more pics.
Good luck with him.
xx
Thank you.

After his huge upset yesterday he has run up very light and tight, and being so big and angular its not a pretty picture, I really wouldn't want anyone to see him like that, but he is out on nice grazing now, and I did make it to the field without mishap this evening. He had a little tizzy over his dangling bit of rope but soon settled down and scoffed his baby grow and linseed little meal.

I managed to brush all of him before going out, with the exception of his hindlegs hock down. Even got my hands into the top of his tail, I think he has visitors ! Dog flea powder had to do for now, but at least he let me rub it in.

He will look better by the weekend and I will take some more pictures for you.
Thank you for all the encouragement, certainly needed it yesterday.
 

AdorableAlice

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Bump...

OP how's he doing?
Morning and thank you for asking, it's lovely to have people interested.

Ted made it to the paddock on Sunday evening without mishap, I had friends opening the gates to save any repeat performance of Saturday's disaster. I did leave the short rope on and he did have a little run round but soon settled.

Monday morning (me back to work so dare not start something I couldn't finish) I left him in paddock, but was able to catch him easily, he came to me as long as I kept my back to him, and he put his head over my shoulder. He had a cuddle and I fed him by hand. He did follow me for a few steps when I left him and then watched me go out of sight before grazing again.

Monday evening he was soaked through and cold. I am sure he would be more relaxed with some sun on his back. Happy to be caught again, no food, just a rub on his neck, he led in nicely and this time I opened one of the gates with him at my side, I did have friends in position just in case though ! I was really pleased with him, he halted and although his eyes were anxious when the gate made a noise he didn't panic and he turned well to face the gate again to close it. He is also walking across the gravel really well now and isn't bothered by the crunchy sound.

He enjoyed a groom and to my amazement enjoys his ears being stroked, he also likes to be rubbed between his eyes, I always thought a nervous horse would not allow ears and face to be touched. The horrible gulping is getting less frequent. After his tea he went straight to bed before the yard was finished. He is a seriously tired out baby horse.

This morning I was greeted with a little whinney, his breakfast went down quickly and I decided to turn him out before doing the rest of the work. I propped the gates open because I am always alone on the morning yard session. He was perfect, even when the cat came hurtling up behind him. I walked a big circle with him bringing him back to the gate that needed shutting and he stood nicely whilst I closed it. I then did a circle in the other direction and included 2 halts. He was perfect so I just quietly slipped the rope off, he just dropped his head and grazed at my feet, still allowing me to fiddle with his mane.

I don't care what the day throws at me today, I am a happy bunny, little Ted is making progress.
 

Maesfen

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You've got a star of a horse there, he's soaking it all up like a sponge!
Just keep doing what you're doing, it's obviously working well but come on, the public need more pictures of the gorgeous Ted please.
 

SophieLouBee

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He looks just like a Ted! Suits him :) I have a shireX, mine is eternally suspicious (and thick, but we shan't go there), but if there's any food, he's there.

I've done 3 unhandled ones, but raging from 2-4. 2yo was easy, took about an hour to get a headcollar on, then withing 2 days I was grooming him all over, he just wanted to be my best friend. The 2 4yos were hard work, they had obviously been unhandled, then manhandled, then come to us, so it wasn't even fear of the unknown, it was fear of people already. One was always a jumpy beast, and you had a right royal game to touch his one ear (went on to do western, on eared bridle!). The other took a while, but came really good, kiddies pony on a livery yard now.
I'd have much preferred it if they were foalies!
 

LauraWheeler

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Just seen this now. What a cute horse sounds like he's landed on his feet with you. Thankyou for the update sounds like he's doing well :D
we need more updates and lots more photos ;) :D :D :D :D :D
 

tiga71

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Just looked at this.

He is gorgeous and he sounds like a lovely boy and that you are doing brilliantly with him.

Am looking forward to following how you get on with him. I would love to be able to do this one day - although I think I would be like you and not wanting him to go anywhere!
 

AdorableAlice

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Thank you, I will take camera later. He is a bit poor mind.

For the poster who did unhandled 4 year olds, just imagining that makes me sweat. Ted is only 10 months old and already 15.2h, he doesn't know how to be naughty - yet ! Just imagine a 17.2h 4 year old unhandled Ted, I better get it right while he is little -ish. !

These were taken on day 4.

 
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