jchitw00

Dangerous Horse?

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My horse and I need help.

I have a nine year old buckskin quarter horse gelding whom I have owned for six years. In that time, we have done so many different disciplines and he did so well, maybe not excelling at all of them, but he certainly tried. However, once in a while, some dark side comes out and he freaks, throwing a bucking fit, bellowing and snorting like a rough stock horse. It wasn't that big a deal because he never did it with me on him until last year. Then he did it again this June. Both times I was hospitalized, the first time with a skull fracture, concussion, dislocated shoulder; the second time with two broken vertebrae and 3 broken spinal transverse processes (the bones that stick out side of vertebrae and connect to ribs). So here's the background on him.

We got him as a three year old wild child; the lady we bought him from was afraid to ride him because every trainer (he'd been to three) said he was unridable, he bucked, she should get rid of him any way she could. We bought him anyway (I was 13) and I rode him that first night and everyday for the whole summer. He didn't offer to buck with me even once. I was into barrel racing at that point and he was big and fast so I started trying to teach him barrels, and speed and poles and anything fast. We goofed off and did crazy things and even went swimming on our horses, just being kids, and he only bucked once with a friend of mine.

After that, I met some horse show people and got into western pleasure. I couldn't afford a different horse, and my horse was pretty, so why not? It took me about a year (mainly because I never had a trainer, just tried to watch and imitate) but I got him slowed way down and started local shows. But we never could go as slow in the jog as most of the champs, we competed and even placed, but didn't win that much. Then somebody told me, gee that horse would make an awesome English horse, you should try it. I though that sounded like a great time, and way less expensive, so we got in touch with a lady that rode hunters a while back and she gave me some advice and got me on the right path. We really did wonderfully in that, he has a huge extended trot. I started learning a lot about lifting his shoulders and how to engage his hindquarters, and lots of yielding and flexing. It was like I went out to ride one day and found a very responsive, willing, knowledgable partner in a stall where the night before a goofy, uncooridinated colt had been.

However, no one but me ever rode him. When someone tried, he swiftly bucked them off, never hurt anybody, but didn't behave at all. I was silly and even secretly pleased, thinking I had myself a "Black" and just like the fictional Alec, no one could handle him but me.

Then June 8, 2008 I had been watching horse racing and decided to take off in the pasture. We ran every now and then, not that often since starting all the pleasure stuff, but still we both enjoyed a quick spurt now and again. I don't remember what happened, but this is what I'm told by my mother who watched it: We were running up the pasture and he just suddenly moved sharply, could have been a buck, she wasn't sure, but next thing anyone knew, I was on the ground. I woke up in the hospital 2 days later.

After I got better, I went right back to riding like before, working the same stuff, but once again, we changed what we did. I fell in love once again with rodeo, and wanted to queen. My horse, the do-it-all-but-not-to-win wonder, was suddenly the best thing on earth. We excelled at the patterns, doing flying lead changes, side-passing, perfect circles, fast and pretty queen runs, and riding at the rodeos. He wasn't spooky or dumb, had to work on carryin flags, but he mastered that too. Parades were even a breeze. I won the second pageant I did and was so proud of him.

Then June 20, 2009 we were representing at rodeo when it happened again. In the middle of our queen run, half way down the arena, he threw me over his head. I was totally conscious this time so I know exactly what happened. There was no warning at all. We'd ridden in the grand entry already, been runnin all over the rodeo grounds since we got there and he never even bowed up. I broke my back this time.

Several people are telling me that he's unsafe, that he's just a renegade, devil horse and I need to get rid of him. My mom doesn't think so, but almost everybody else thinks I'm stupid for even considering keeping him.

Could it be a physical thing? He's had a chiropractor look at him but he doesn't think there's a problem. Could it be behavioral? Is there something I've done that's makin him this way? Or is it just him? Unpredictable, high strung, or whatever and I really would be better off without him?

Can anyone help me?

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Let me get this right-this horse has put you in the hospital two times with serious injuries, others think you should get rid of him, but not your mom????

Surely I mis read that !!

Yes, he is a dangerous and spoiled horse.., that is also unpredictable. Bucking and exploding without warning

The legend of the one person horse, mainly protrayed by a child, either gender, riding that unmanageable stallion, has done harm way beyond just being inaccurate -it has caused people like you to get hurt

I think your mom needs to give her head a shake. What parent in the first place buys a horse for their child that has bucked off other riders??

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I have a horse who is much the same, except that he is now 23. I bought him 8 years ago knowing that he had a bucking problem and it would often just come out of the blue. Anyone that had ever ridden him had landed on the ground at one time or another.

In the beginning, I thought it was a behavioral problem. But as we got to know each other, I figured out that it often happened during the trot to canter transition. My vet and I decided that we needed to look for a physical trigger. It ended up that he had huge bone spurs on both of his hocks.

I opted to have the spurs removed and had hock fusion surgery done on him. He lost a small bit of range of movement in his hocks but not enough to effect his performance. I have been using him successfully as a CTR horse.

He does still have moments where he will get frustrated and revert to the behavior that has worked before...bucking, but I can feel it coming and can usually stop it before it happens. That being said, he is not what I would call an "honest ride". I will not ever put other people on him, no matter how long he has been good.

Just a thought but it sounds to me like you have been dumped when speed is involved. Perhaps have a vet look at his hocks.

Good Luck.

Here is a link to an article with a simple technique to check and see if he has a hock problem

http://www.novickdvm.com/spavin.htm

Edited by LongingtoRun

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I have a problem with the "he is just in pain" excuse. I don't care if my horse's HEAD falls off, throwing a rider because it is in pain is rank behavior. Where does it end? from a little discomfort to major pain, the problem is you will never know.

This horse is unpredictable, and honestly very dangerous. I had a horse like that, we xrayed his entire body and guess what, he was just a rank a-hole. he bronced me because I asked him to pivot, and that was the last straw.

A true "partner" doesn't go and punch you in the face because they are in pain, they are either tough enough to work through it or they are darn lame and you know it.

Get rid of this horse, 2x is 2x too many, you were SERIOUSLY hurt, not just a few bruises. there are A LOT of nice horses out there that would never do that no matter how much pain they are in.

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I'd be afraid of selling this horse. You could potentially be sued if you misrepresent this animal in any way, shape, or form.

Put him down if this dangerous behavior continues. Or keep him as a pasture pet.

Life is to short to own rank horses.

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I had a horse like that.. Out of the middle of nowhere... She left me bedridden more than once... (I should have gone to the hospital on at least two of them, but I don't like doctors).. After spending over $1,000 at the chiropractor, my back still isnt completely back to normal--3 years later.

We would be on a nice trail ride, all day long... Once was for like 5 hours... The last 20 minutes of the ride, completely out of nowhere.. Like--We were walking nicely, she had her head down, ears forward, totally content... Into a complete rodeo-style buck. However, she never ONCE even thought about bucking in the arena. She would go all day for two and three day shows and be totally happy with it. Needless to say, I sold her to someone that uses her strictly as an arena/show horse.

As far as the bucking out of pain... I totally agree with that.

I have a APHA mare that has Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy--Ain't THAT a mouthful?!-- And before we really figured out what was wrong with her, she would have these massive bucking fits in the round pen with the saddle on.. But she never did it with me on her.. She is like a big puppy dog, and I don't think would ever want to hurt a person on purpose.. Until one day! She was acting slightly off, and I shouldn't have taken her out, but I rode her in the round pen and she was ok, so we decided to go out on a trail ride. She couldn't take it anymore! She was in so much pain and that was the only way she could tell me. She reared first, and I stayed on, and as I was trying to evacuate her back (lol) she started bucking like crazy!! So I fell (she is 17hh) and landed on my shoulder, and compressed my neck.. Chiropractor said if i had just landed super slightly different, I would have snapped my neck and become paralized... Since then, we had found out what is wrong with her, switched her to an EPSM diet, and haven't had a problem with her since! Even in the round pen she doesn't buck anymore.. So I totally think it is possible that it is a pain issue.

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This horse hurt you BAD 2 times. Either could have killed you. Your mom doesn't have a problem with this. Wow.

This horse has a level of unpredictable behavior that I wouldn't even want in a pasture. You are the one who's life is at risk.

If this horse were my daughter's and she had been injured as bad as you say you were...this horse would have been on a double decker south to speak spanish! I would have been perfectly OK with whatever conditions he ran into because he hurt my daughter. I'd have hung him on a hook faster than you can say, "load 'em up boys". That's a canner horse for sure. Hopefully, he wouldn't give somebody's good dog indigestion.

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Hmmm.. Just a couple of things that popped into my head.

So the first time you came off him, your mom wasn't sure if he bucked or just moved sharply. Could he have simply fallen in a hole or stumbled and you came off?

The second serious time you came off you said that "he threw you over his head", again did he buck? Or perhaps a stumble/trip?

It kinda sounds like to me that both times you came off and got hurt you were going at high speeds. Perhaps regulate a speed a bit and don't let him go full out?

Perhaps get him checked out for pain issues (although it doesn't really sound too much like he's uncomfortable).

Perhaps take a few riding lessons when you're able to again to really make sure you've got a solid & secure position.

I'm really sorry that this happened to you though, how scary! Hopefully you heal quickly!

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This horse hurt you BAD 2 times. Either could have killed you. Your mom doesn't have a problem with this. Wow.

This horse has a level of unpredictable behavior that I wouldn't even want in a pasture. You are the one who's life is at risk.

If this horse were my daughter's and she had been injured as bad as you say you were...this horse would have been on a double decker south to speak spanish! I would have been perfectly OK with whatever conditions he ran into because he hurt my daughter. I'd have hung him on a hook faster than you can say, "load 'em up boys". That's a canner horse for sure. Hopefully, he wouldn't give somebody's good dog indigestion.

Definitely what she said!!!^^^^^^

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I often think of owning horses in terms of relationships.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people stay in abusive relationships because "I LOOOOVE him!"

You are in an abusive relationship with this horse.

For some reason your mother! doesn't have a problem with this. Does she have a life insurance policy on you?

Love is too much and not enough. He put you in the hospital. You had broken bones and missing days. How much abuse are you going to tolerate before you get out of this situation?

When a horse displays erratic behavior like this, you will never know for certain that he won't do it again. There are so many good, sound, well-broke honest horses out there that need homes...why is he still there, eating your food?

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What if the horse DID stumble both those times, which resulted in the OP falling off? Would you guys be so quick to say get rid of the horse then?

I'm guessing the OP's mother is taking the view of they were freak accidents. Because in 6 years she's only gotten hurt twice.

Just taking devil's advocate here...

Edited by Snapshot

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What if the horse DID stumble both those times, which resulted in the OP falling off? Would you guys be so quick to say get rid of the horse then?

I'm guessing the OP's mother is taking the view of they were freak accidents. Because in 6 years she's only gotten hurt twice.

Just taking devil's advocate here...

I understand that, but the OP does NOT think it is a stumble, or she would have said so. Besides, it doesn't make this horse any less dangerous, remember, this is the horse that broncs off anyone else that rides it.

When someone tried, he swiftly bucked them off, never hurt anybody, but didn't behave at all. I was silly and even secretly pleased, thinking I had myself a "Black" and just like the fictional Alec, no one could handle him but me.

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You've had an interesting life with this horse JCsmiles. I honestly can't imagine how this began for you as a 13 year old girl. Let's buy the "wild child" that has dumped 3 trainers and the owner is afraid to ride her. I think the word "lucky" might be an understatement but now that you've had two major wrecks that came out of the blue and really hurt you, I think you've noticed that you have paid back for the luck you were initially afforded. For some reason, your horse has a problem with control at high speed or under high pressure. It might be phycological or physical but there is a problem here. The hard part about trying to work with or through this problem is that you have to push him to the edge of his comfort zone toward his "snapping" point to help him learn to deal with it. This would be a very challenging task for any trainer. If I was faced with working with your horse I would go way back and start training him like a colt. I would hunt dilegently for holes that he might have missed in his foundation training but just finding them isn't going to fix them. You now have an older, seasoned horse that has brought these troubles with him for years. Once you find a problem, it won't be so easy to change his way of thinking but that is still the best course of action. I don't know you or your horse so this is just conversation between us. There are a lot of nice horses out there that would like an easy job and a good home. I know your horse is not old or chronologically ready for retirement but can you just allow yourself to keep riding him like a ticking time bomb until he hurts you again?

I don't envy you with this dilema and I really think you and this horse were a bad match from the start. You have a good deal to consider no matter what your next step is going to be.

William (historyrider)

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What if the horse DID stumble both those times, which resulted in the OP falling off? Would you guys be so quick to say get rid of the horse then?

I'm guessing the OP's mother is taking the view of they were freak accidents. Because in 6 years she's only gotten hurt twice.

Just taking devil's advocate here...

Let's (for the sake of argument) say this horse stumbled or ducked. That doesn't really make him any safer to be ridden, especially in light of the fact that he promptly bucked off other riders. He hasn't earned the right to have money spent on him. If someone (the canners) can make a few bucks off that horse? I'm all good with that.

There's no sort of pretty that can pay off emergency room bills or a funeral.

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Even if the horse "only" stumbled...the girl has been seriously hurt TWICE. Hospitalized.

So, I would be taking that very seriously. If it were only stumbling, I would have the vet out, and that horse would have to pass a clean vet exam. If he didn't, we'd treat accordingly.

However, I'm pretty sure that I'd trust that this horse is doing more than Stumbling. Especially since the injured party describes how it happens.

No need to be the devil's advocate. We've got plenty of evidence. She's had her BACK BROKEN! Missing days spent the hospital.

I'd be holding a grudge at this point. But that's just me, and I'm not perfect, nor willing to be the devil's advocate on this one.

maybe in a better world, I would give him the benefit of the doubt, the first time he did it...but its starting to look like a pattern of behavior, that is alarming to me.

To the OP, please, please don't ride this horse. Stay safe.

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Even if the horse "only" stumbled...the girl has been seriously hurt TWICE. Hospitalized.

However, I'm pretty sure that I'd trust that this horse is doing more than Stumbling. Especially since the injured party describes how it happens.

No need to be the devil's advocate. We've got plenty of evidence. She's had her BACK BROKEN! Missing days spent the hospital.

I see what you're saying, but she did ask for an opinion and it is a possibility that the horse isn't malicious, we're just covering all the bases. Would I be leery to ride the horse again? You bet I would be.

When I talk to someone about their problem horse I assess it by asking myself several questions and I talk to them.

- Does this horse have a history of being a problem? (yes)

- How much time in between the horse's incidents has there been?

- Does the rider/observers know exactly what happened (not really, she didn't 100% state that it bucked her off either time, it is a possibility though)

- Was the horse acting unusually before the incident or was the rider doing something different that day? (doesn't sound like it)

- Could it be a possibility that it's a rider error or due to lack of skill/solid equitation? (We can't tell over the internet)

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I see what you're saying, but she did ask for an opinion and it is a possibility that the horse isn't malicious, we're just covering all the bases. Would I be leery to ride the horse again? You bet I would be.

When I talk to someone about their problem horse I assess it by asking myself several questions and I talk to them.

- Does this horse have a history of being a problem? (yes)

- How much time in between the horse's incidents has there been?

- Does the rider/observers know exactly what happened (not really, she didn't 100% state that it bucked her off either time, it is a possibility though)

- Was the horse acting unusually before the incident or was the rider doing something different that day? (doesn't sound like it)

- Could it be a possibility that it's a rider error or due to lack of skill/solid equitation? (We can't tell over the internet)

QUOTE (Snapshot @ Jul 16 2009, 04:00 PM)

What if the horse DID stumble both those times, which resulted in the OP falling off? Would you guys be so quick to say get rid of the horse then?

I'm guessing the OP's mother is taking the view of they were freak accidents. Because in 6 years she's only gotten hurt twice.

Just taking devil's advocate here...

I understand that, but the OP does NOT think it is a stumble, or she would have said so. Besides, it doesn't make this horse any less dangerous, remember, this is the horse that broncs off anyone else that rides it.

QUOTE

When someone tried, he swiftly bucked them off, never hurt anybody, but didn't behave at all. I was silly and even secretly pleased, thinking I had myself a "Black" and just like the fictional Alec, no one could handle him but me.

I think there is enough evidence to suggest that this horse didn't exactly have human's best interests at heart when being ridden. You are right that we have no idea what kind of rider the OP is, but at best this horse has a history of being unsafe to ride, whether he's a criminal or has a health issue, really it doesn't make much difference to me as a parent. She could have been DEAD from either of those accidents. Kinda permanent, ya know? She used up more luck than most people even need in their life time. At the very least, this is not a horse that should be ridden. For once, I agree with Exes. I don't care if his head falls off, he should not be bucking people off. True, it's not exactly clear that is what happend to the OP, but he has a history of bucking other riders off. This really doesn't look good on his resume, and when there are so many other honest good and cheap horses out ther, there's no reason to kill yourself to save a horse that hurts people.

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I have to agree with Bay, Exes, and QF. From what you've said, this horse has a past history of bucking and unpredictibility. I would consider him dangerous.

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The horse wouldn't even make it off my property before getting a bullet in its head and buried. This horse sounds quiet dangerous and unpredictible. But something I didn't read you mention was that you had checked out by the vet or chiro to see if he was in pain in any way. Eitherway, the horse would have been toast AFTER the fractured skull.

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This is obviously a case of uneducated, irresponsible parents buying a youngster an extremely dangerous horse. Without ANY proper training or guidance. She said she spoke with people and watched others and tried to imitate what they do to get her horse to do things. If he bucked off 3 trainers, how in the h*%$ did you think at 13, you could train/control this horse??

Seriously put a bullet in his head before someone esle gets hurt or you (even could die!)

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Ditto. Of to France we go, in a dog food can looking out!

Sometimes luck just gives fools a break. Still shaking my head over a parent that bought a horse for their child that bucked trainers off

Are children that expendable today?

By the way, whenever I see a horse described as 'sweet', I'm not really surprised by a post like yours. Sweet often equals 'pet'

Horses can be our friends, but they are never a sweet big ole dog.

Edited by Smilie

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Since everyone else has already covered the details, I advocate the .11 cent solution.

BANG!

Only costs .11 cents to reload.

Bumper

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Since everyone else has already covered the details, I advocate the .11 cent solution.

BANG!

Only costs .11 cents to reload.

Bumper

^^^^^ what she said!

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OK, I see the OP hasn't returned. Probably won't because we didn't tell her what she wanted to here. Bummer. Hopefully she's not injured again.

I had one of those unpredictable types. My husband said "Just ride her! She's not going to do anything!"

So I did. No one was home. She bucked just as I was swinging a leg over. No idea how long I was out for. I had to crawl to the fence to get up. I lost several days due to a severe concussion but worse yet was my confidence was shattered.

My husband said "I can fix her! We don't need to sell her!"

I said fine ... she is YOUR horse now because I will NOT get on her again. Period.

So he rode her in the round pen. She was fine ... asked for a walk ... she bucked all the way across the round pen.

We sold her. FULL disclosure. An idiot bought her. She put her 3 year old child on her and led her around. Thought it was funny when Sugar bucked with him on her. [shocked]

Maybe she has a good life insurance policy on her kid too?

The horse in question in this post is canner material, plain and simple. There are waaaaay too many GOOD horses out there.

And the whole "Black Stallion" syndrome? That's scary. We've all known horses, I think, who behave differently with different people but they should NEVER be dangerous with ANYONE.

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I own a horse who was unpredictable. I wasn't hurt as badly as the OP, but did end up with a broken arm and a mild concussion. She didn't have pain issues, although I agree with the earlier posts....your horse's pain is NO EXCUSE for them hurting you.

When I acquired this horse, she was already 22 years old. I knew I couldn't sell her, in good conscience, without full disclosure of her attitude problem. I also knew that at her advanced age, any rider good enough to handle her wouldn't want her. I considered putting her down, but in the end, simply retired her. She can still be a handful. She's 26 now, and the barn manager won't allow anyone but the staff or me to move her around, just in case. But she simply wanted to do what she wanted to do, when she wanted to do it...and she ended up lucky enough to have an owner who would allow her to live out her retirement years doing just that.

The only thing I'm not clear about from the original post....it sounds as though the OP had no problems when riding English...but the next paragraph says that no one else could ride the horse. Did the horse have no issues when ridden English? If that's true, and the OP insists on keeping the horse, perhaps she could ride English only.

But really, if you are in love with your horse and want to keep him, you'll need to retire him.

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i agree woth everyone wlse when saying this needs to be put down. I have broke a horse like this and when the horse flipped on me that was it i said i have done all that i can do and he will never be trusted he will always rear. the owner said i can handle him i checked back a month later and the horse went to auction cause he flipped and broke the owners ankle. Once a horse learns tricks like bucking and rearing the horse is no longer usable in my book. I also had a horse i got in a trade when i tried him out he was everything i wanted got him home went to get on him and got thrown in a tree and now i have a confidence issue i am having trouble getting over while mounting any horse.

i would have never bought him knowing that three trainers got thrown and wouldnt get back on him, that tell you right there he should have been destroyed along time ago.

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