Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Whatever You Say Princess...

If I had a nickel for every horse owner who thought that their horse was a princess, I'd be not only a millionaire, but a billionaire. I understand that you really would like to think that you're horse walks on water and that it should be held up in an Ivory stall with jewels encrusted on every square in of it, but we are not in Rome, you are not Caligula and your horse is NOT Incitatus. Don't get it yet?? Here you go. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incitatus There, you get a history lesson today. Moving on now...

NOT your Horse--------------------->

I was asked by a lady to work with her 3 yr old BLM mustang... She was beyond pretty. Long mane, sweet face, grullo in color. Just WOW! So the owner wanted 60 days on her so when I went to go pick her up I sat down with the lady and we chatted about her horse. Nothing unusual about that right? Don't I wish.

She proceeds to tell me how "special" her horse is and how it's the MOST gorgeous thing that has ever graced this earth and what I a privilege I have to get to work with her (??????) OK, whatever, so that's all pretty normal, people love their horses and that is GREAT! But then she starts telling me that she has the mentality of a 1.5 yr old and that if she doesn't want to do something then she doesn't have too, she LOOOOOVES to snuggle (invade your space and knock you over) but it's soooooooo precious... OK, at this point I have made it my mission to just pack up this mare and get out of here. So the owner and I finish our conversation she signs the paper work. She wants 60 days on her and wants her to be able to clip, bathe, stand, get used to fly sprays, lead, pick up her feet and trailer. Wait. What?!?! Why is it that clients REFUSE or seem to FORGET to tell me this shit BEFORE I go out there to pick up the horse. She doesn't trailer??? Well jeepers had I known that BEFOREHAND I would have brought an extra person... *headdesk* Finally the owner tells me to be "oh so gentle" with her baby and that she's such a princess. Then the owner literally says "I can't watch you load her, I must go inside." WTF?!? WOW! OK, sure just go... Luckily I've learned that those mustangs are really not that stupid! I had grain, mare wants grain, grain goes in trailer, as does horse. *Phew*

Mare is safely at home, with me now. And let me tell you, she acts just like a prissy little princess. She doesn't want to get her hooves wet, she is ill mannered, she will strike and kick at you, but remember be oh so gentle for she may break. This particular mare happens to be made of glass you know.*Barf*

It takes me a mere half hour of watching her in the round pen that she has dominance issues. As in she's dominant and you're not. Oh My!! Well here is one of my theories when I work with ANY horse. Nothing that I do to a horse (within reason) will ever even come CLOSE to what alpha mare in the wild would do to them... What does this mean? Well if a horse kicks me and I haul off smacking it in the rump with a lead rope or the palm of my hand, that is NOTHING compared to what Alpha mare would do to a sassy horse. Now if I haul off on a horse with a chain or metal crowbar than yes I will do more damage, but that's not the point. NOW, how I train, I will NEVER get close to hurting a horse like Alpha mare will. Oh and here's a little secret to make your life easier. IF you happen to have an alpha mare sometimes turning out a sassy youngster who treats you like crap, will do eliminate some of the hard work for you. If Alpha mare teaches some discipline and respect and who's top bitch then the proverbial ice has now been cracked and YOU can now wedge your way in there...

So after working with this little precious for a few days we are stating to have some very, very good breakthroughs in our communication. Folks, I can not stress enough how great a round pen or small arena is for this!!! This little mare after round penning her, chasing her away, making her switch directions, working on ground work with her the whole 9 yards is really starting to come around and see that things WILL be done my way. She really was smart as a whip. Once I had her broke to ride and her ground training and respect issues were all squared away, she absorbed the lessons I taught her like a giant sponge! She made some amazing progress in 60 days!

OK, let's move on to the moral of this oh so interesting story. You do not own a god damn Princess My Little Pony. If you did want me to train a 5 inch plastic pony with glitter in her hair, then I would be much obliged. I wouldn't get the bloody noses, the fat lips, the pulled muscles and joints, the bumps or bruises. HOWEVER, since this is NOT the case, ever, please here me loud and clear. Your horse will NOT break. I and most GOOD trainers will never scar, hurt, mangle, or terrorize your little baby. I love my horses to DEATH, but they still know who reigns top bitch in that barn. If you have the desire to get trampled and walked all over by your horse than that's fine, just do not call us to come fix it and then tell us to be oh so sweet and gentle when you have an 800-1300 lb "Baby" trying to butcher me.

TRUST ME! You will not hurt your horse's feelings, or scar them for life, or ruin them forever, or ANYTHING BAD if you dish out a bit of discipline. As a matter of FACT, you receive the greatest reaction of all. RESPECT from your horse. Once you have gained/earned their respect, you will be PARTNERS for LIFE!!!!

33 comments:

Carin said...

OMG. THANK YOU!!!!! I have several clients with the princess/prince syndrome! OMG, can't stand it. I finally had it with a studdy weanling this month and turned him out with my very bossy broadmares. Needless to say, the barn is looking pretty darn good to him! And after being attacked by his half brother at our National show in the ring, they can wale on him for a little bit longer before he earns a stall back.

2toads2luv said...

I'm all for turning spoiled little shit out into a group with a very established pecking order and strong alpha horse. People just don't realize that "cute" behaviors you mentioned can get you seriously hurt, or killed.

I had a 3-4 week baby try to give me hugs once. This was at a high flauting TB broodmare farm. The colt's owners happened to be there, saw it, and thought it was so precious. I just pushed him down and stepped out of the stall.

The next time he did it, after said owners were long gone, he got a smart smack on the ass with a short crop. I don't see it as a little foal being cute, I look down the road and see a 2 or 3 year old that could kill you being "cute".

Trainer X said...

Yeah people don't quite seem to grasp the concept of newborn foal "hugging" you will turn into giant adult horse killing you...

kestrel said...

Went to look at a mare one time, had my small son with me. This idiot broad's yammering about her precious herd....who all come at us at a run and try to run us over! I grabbed my kid, put him behind me, and kicked the lead horse in the chest to turn it...
The idiot broad goes ballistic because I kicked one of her darlings, and didn't want me to have one of her horses because I was obviously abusive to animals!
As if I'd WANT one.....
Oh yeah, found out about a year later that she was selling all her horses because they ran her down and fractured her skull for her. Darn, I wish I could have helped the horses with that!

horsesandponies4ever said...

I can completely agree turning out a nasty horse with an even nastier Alpha.... It's like saying, "What would you rather have? Deal with me and the simple things I request of you? Or the field where you can get your ass kicked again?" After a week in the feild, they will be begging to come back in... It is amazing how idiotic some people are. People who treat their horses like princesses/princes, need to be honestly slapped, and or sent to an island far from us. If you want to treat your horse special, buy special treats to reward them for good behavior, buy something to put on them, but please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH MURDER!!!! I'm sick of having to deal with your brat, because your convinced he'll break. And than I'm the one that has to deal with your $50,000 menice to society! I don't care about pedigree, breed, age, height, what discipline he can do, he will lead nicely, he'll bathe nicely, and he will see this 5' 3" woman as the alpha! One time I was working with this shit of a horse, and people were asking my why I was chasing her around the pen. I had to explain that I was explaining to this horse, that I was alpha, and the alpha, in the wild, would chase the brat around. And that was what I was doing. Was I beating the horse? No. Was I livig marks on the horse? No. Was I using natural horsemanship, to get it through the shits head that I am boss, and there is nothing you can do about it? Oh yes. After a few sessions in the round pen, she learned that being good meant shorter lessons, being naughty, meant longer ones. So sorry if you think your horse will break, and if you think that one pop on the butt is abuse because he's being a brat. Than please take him else where so us stable hands can remain in one peice.

Trainer X said...

Kestrel said..Oh yeah, found out about a year later that she was selling all her horses because they ran her down and fractured her skull for her. Darn, I wish I could have helped the horses with that!
*Snork* LMAO!!! I"m sorry that really shouldn't be that funny.... But hey, you reap what you sow!!!

Trainer X said...

horsesandponies~ I totally agree, these damn dumbshits screw up their horses and of course want us to fix them... Ugh it's like nails on a chalkboard to me!!!!!

2toads2luv said...

I have seriously pissed off more than one person for commenting about the lack of respect from their horses, whether the person was experienced and should have known better, or green and thought the horse was being cute.

To the experienced ones, I say, If you didn't think I was right, your wouldn't be so fucking defensive.

To the green ones, Get a clue, or you'll get a hospital bill after you get a finger chomped on, get thrown into a wall, trampled, stepped on, ect ect.

Again, why do so many people miss the smart bus?

Trainer X said...

Because the smart bus is also the road of harder work... If you just let your horse rule the roost then it is of no physical exertion on your behalf. Until you get trampled, but really even then it's just pain, not physical work...

*tee hee*

kestrel said...

Ever notice that the same people have kids that are entitled brats? The world is what it is. A horse and a kid both need to have the concept of manners or NO ONE WILL LIKE THEM. It's just sad to see needy creatures driving off the thing they need most, which is approval, because some chickenshit in charge didn't do their job.

2toads2luv said...

What pisses me off isn't so much the repercussions to the owner/handler who lets the horse get away with it, it's the innocent bystander.

You and I have both seen people narrowly avoid getting hurt, or who HAVE been hurt, by someone's shithead horse.

I told you about my friend's horse that patiently stood and waited for me to be in range and cow kicked at me... Someone with less experience would have been seriously tagged by that puke of a horse. And why did he do it? Because he could, and didn't know better. Rider error, not horse.

The horse is still a puke, regardless.

2toads2luv said...

*BOWS* *BOWS* *BOWS*

To Kestrel! AMEN!!!

Long Island Five said...

Hey, I totally agree with getting control of the situation. After my OTTB walked ALL OVER ME, because I thought that I could turn the relationship around by being nice to him, I started getting with the program.

Now it's OPP (other people's ponies) that really bug the shit out of me. Most horses at my barn have figured out that they can remain totally spoiled by acting nice enough.

On the flip side, there are a couple horses at our facility who are totally nuts as a result of being subjected to ignorant badass trainers who put serious beatings on them. Now other trainers have to deal with the aftermath.

It's hard enough to get it right the first time, but decompressing the brain of a trauma victim takes even longer. It's amazing how forgiving most horses are.

I'm not totally against turning horses out for some herd discipline, but on a case-by-case basis. I just lost my mare to an open fracture on the second day at a layup facility this last October. My gut tells me that a younger cranky mare gave her the business and my one-eyed senior wasn't up to the challenge. I'd give anything to take any of that back (sigh).

Trainer X said...

kestrel~~ Amen WE all know how I feel about bratty kids!!


2Toads~~ By innocent bystander, let's include... The trainer the shoer, the vet, chiropracter, basically ANY person having to deal with someone's flaming, spoiled bitch of a horse!!!

Long Island~~ I'm very sorry for your loss, and I do agree that you should do it case by case... Generally speaking though, it's not a bad idea.

One of my geldings got into this crappy habit of dominating all the mares in and other geldings in the field and even started acting like freak towards me. So I pulled all of the mares out of the pasture which just left him and a bunch of geldings he was bullying and then I turned my stallion out there with them for a awhile. You'd be AMAZED how his attitide just did a 180! LMFAO!!! Hahahaha I'll never forget that day!!!

Lulu said...

I came over from fhotd... This post deserves a big AMEN! I use similar tactics with my horses and cringe every time I hear someone telling stories of their Princess that they never get after!!

Trickery said...

Could you come and speak to some of the agisters that I work with?
Their little princesses can be so hateful, and their owners can be just as bad with my favourtie comment:" But he/she/devil horse never does that to me!"

There's so much to be said about being able to put a narky horse in check by letting the alpha teach them some lessons, unfortunately you'd be surprised about how many people will not allow this to happen to their little cherubs as they might get a bite or a kick. The alternative is generally not in their care as it's normally me in the firing line rather than mummy dearest who comes up once a week to stuff them full of treats.

Trainer X said...

Welcome Lulu!!! And a Double AMEN!!

Trickery~~ Believe me if I could reach out and back hand the fools that truly believe their own bullshit I would!! Their lies are so stagnant I'm surprised they haven't choked on them yet...

Smurfette said...

(New poster here)
OMG!!! I thought you were talking about ME! I own the most-super-wonderful-beautiful-delicate-horse-in-the-world! (Actually, I DO believe this, but I understand that I am barn blind, and that others may not be able to see it.)HOWEVER, the reason he gets this title is partially because of his manners, he is a very well mannered gentleman, but on the ground and under saddle, and I won't stand for anything less. That said, I am still afraid to send him to a trainer (who WOULD be priviledged to work with him) to put a flying lead change on him, because I am afraid they will be too rough with my baby. I can whale on him when he needs it, in fact he got a spanking last night for refusing to obey a canter cue with my 8 year old daughter (afterwards, he managed to remember what the cue meant). I am just not sure that the big, mean old trainer will be fair to him, or might injure him (he is a coming 18 year old with a number of carefully managed lameness issues). Does that make me a victim of the prince syndrome?

TexasPaint said...

I have two horses for the dealing with the brats. One is my rescue ottb mare for the girls. Eleanor does great at teaching brats a lesson. The other is for geldings and that is my Ed. He does a great job of keeping those in line. For the record though if it's a girl Ed lets them walk on him. He loves the ladies.
My mantra is they are not dogs or cats, they are 1/2 a ton of muscle and spook. Respect is a must!

Nd_Appy said...

I think this goes doubly for the minis! I hear so many people saying how cute some of things they do are. Just doesn't register with them they can be just as much of a danger as a full sized horse.

I have one coming out to my place for fostering that needs a MAJOR attitude adjustment. Little brat thinks he runs the place. The rescue has him separated right now from the other because he wont let them be and he goes after some people. Little monster is getting stuck out with my mares. And then he is getting a 'tude adjustment from me.

Ruff Ranch

Carin said...

Nd_Appy,
I raise American Shetland Ponies and train minis professionally (I hear you all laughing....). Minis can be the utmost worst because MANY of the owners have very little equine experience (pardon the pun) AND treat them like very large dogs. And some big horse people as well are quilty of the same thing. But what people forget is that their striking zone is at our face level. You can't duck a mini!

www.ponderingoaksstables.com

horsesandponies4ever said...

This is also another thing that I really hate about people who think their horse will break.... They will correct you if the believe if you are handling their horse wrong *bangs head on desk*..... I wouldn't have to handle them the way I do and use my techniques I know of. If you would just get a damn clue, and learn how to handle the damn horse. I would prefer not dealing with a 1,000lb animal that wants to go anywhere but where I want to take him. And than you have the gall to tell me what to do, while I am being dragged, stamped on, reared on (oh so fun on the ground), smashed against the wall, etc. It's fine if you wanna die, but as for me, I would like to remain in one peice for as long as possible..... Oh I will try to help them if they ask for it, or if it's apparent they'll end up seriously hurt. But for the most part, I'll get the *look*, like I don't know any better. Yea, at least I have the horses respect, mean while he's dragging you down the isle..... A horse is a very interesting creature, they will show the utmost respect to the person who has made them selves alphas, and run all over the people who have yet to earn their respect. With me they act like perfect little angels, their owners, not so much. I'm glad I'm a stable hand, and not a trainer that had to redo the screw ups of someone did undersaddle. Which reminds me.... At the barn I used to work at there was this gray gelding, would be there for 30 days, be gone two weeks and would be back again. How someone can screw up a horse in such a short period of time has always been a mystery to me. And I heard that horse was there five other times on separate ocasions...... Please get on the clue bus before I have to hurt you...... All I have to say is this

person who thinks their horse will break/barn brat + horse that is equally bratty= one or the other (perhaps both) will be killed, mauled, or waiting for an ambulance to take them to the ER.

chickenrider said...

Gave my horse a treat once and he SNAPPED AT ME! Grr! I slapped him (open handed) across the nose! Other ladies at the barn "omg you're soooooo MEEEEEAAAAN to your BAAAAAAABY". Well you know what? He is my baby but if some little kid tries to give him a treat and he takes their hand off what will you be saying then?!

sterling said...

I like today's topic a lot. What so many people don't understand is that, if you don't discipline your horse, you will get hurt, maybe fatally. And you not only endanger yourself, but the trainer you are paying to fix the horse (and being "oh so gentle" with the horse won't get it fixed).

On the boss mare topic, yes, it works! Somewhat, anyways. I've found that it depends on the horse. We had a filly who really liked the 'poop rolls down hill' policy, and was a nipper, and our boss mare was quite severe. She and her daughter, the second-in-command, actually plan how to trap the offender in a corner to whale on it.... They're very respectful of us humans, though, possibly because we feed them....

Our boss mare's daughter is a very social horse. Average in the brains and beauty department, but she's quite social. Teaching the lazy lunk to pivot was real hard. I wore out my arm using the short crop to get her to step away from me (I was not hitting her hard, but the repetitions were killing me!), but she was never a danger, no matter how much we spoiled her. We have strict discipline around here, just like there is discipline in a herd. And, guess what, all you sunshine and butterflies people, horses are built to take the kind of bashing a boss mare could give them! Good trainers aren't going to hurt them nearly as much as that!

sterling said...

Sometimes horses will behave beautifully for the trainer, but for the owner, they're right back to their prince/princess behavior. This is because they know their owner will do NOTHING, and they can get away with all thie crap. Then, training of the owner is necessary, but often unsuccessful.

Serendipity said...

The biggest problem I have with the owners of these types of horses is that they put everyone else at risk. Not just the trainer, but the other boarders, the handlers, people who ride with them on the trail or in the ring. A horse that thinks they can bully people is dangerous.

We've got a couple of those in our barn. One is improving, the other is not, and recently announced to everyone that she was 'just going to let her do whatever she wants so she'll behave.' I'm usually the one who gets on the shitheads to school them back into society, and our trainer told me I was not to touch that mare. Sometimes you have to let them learn the hard way, but it's only going to be a matter of time till that bitch hurts someone.

kestrel said...

A good friend of mine is a judge, so I was ring steward at a small show. A teenage boy on an erratic, kicking, bitch of a spoiled mare was creating dangerous chaos. I pulled him to the center, and the silly little shit had the nerve to start arguing with me! I calmly explained that he had no right to ruin other people's rides, and other riders who had paid their dues by turning out trained horses were under no obligation to stay away from him or make his life easy in any way. I gave him the option of either hanging out in the center and watching to learn, or being publicly humiliated by having to leave the arena.
I had to give the kid credit. No one had bothered to explain the facts of life to him. He calmed down, asked some very intelligent questions, and went home to train. I saw him show later, and he was competent, and strangely enough, came up and thanked me.
I've seen far more people badly hurt by spoiled horses than by green or even outlaw horses.

Justaplainsam said...

Im new but I love your blog. I have a spoiled horse story. I was asked if I would take on a young horse do some riding and show him the next summer. Sounds good. A horse for me to ride and show, and they get there horse a bit more broke.

Well they said he was started... and he was by 12 year old kids. After trying to get him to lunge and having him almost kick my head off I declined to work with him again, I was doing this as a favor I didnt want to get kicked. I dont train full time anymore for a reason!

Anyways, this horse ends up at my former bosses place to fix his "bad habbits". He ended up attacking my former boss and draging the working student though the arena and barn. So I was there one day and asked how the colt was turning out, and got told "he would have killed you." Aparently only the boss handled him for a month (and he's a big stong man!) and had the bruses to prove it.

The colt did move onto differnt owners but will never make the show horse he could have been.

kestrel said...

The problem with having to deal with a horse like that is...you as a trainer wind up with a rep for being meeean...because you have to get the spoiled off that horse, and it usually involves a serious ass kicking to get the dangerous POS to back off.

kestrel said...

And don't get me started on the cheap bastards that have the nerve to ask me to risk my life training their POS for free, because "I know you love horses and I think you'd have fuuun riding the little bitty kinks out of Princess. Why you could ride for free!"
Did you not notice that I have perfectly trained horses of my own to ride?! *Snarl*

Mikolaj said...

LMAO!

I refer to my Arab mare as the "diva" and it's in the most teasing tone. She ACTS like a princess - she doesn't like getting her feet wet, she doesn't like walking through snow unless there is a well worn path, she dances and prances for both people and cars passing on the road. She's just a plain complete show off who is aware of how gorgeous she is and expects the world to notice it.

The difference? She WILL walk through water if I ask her to. She WILL walk through snow if I ask her to. She will pull her prissy Arab wrinkle face with ears back and a glare that would put a jezebal to shame when you don't feed her fast enough or pay enough attention to her - with a CLOSED mouth and her hind end nowhere near you. She knows better. I allow her to be her "prissy" self and in return, she'll play the tomboy when asked.

I don't deny she's spoiled rotton. But spoiled does NOT mean dangerous behavior. Then again, I count myself lucky, because she really is smart enough to "recognize" the line. I don't need to hold a firm hand and quench all her quirky personality traits, because she just doesn't take advantage of them. I rarely need to discipline her and if I do, a loud growling voice makes her smarten up and pay attention DARN fast.

Which makes me pose the question - ingrained personality, or doing it right from birth? (She's now 10 and I've had her since she was born).

Slinky said...

The best thing ever for a PITA horse is another PITA horse.

Sort of related story: I used to lease at a farm where all the mares were turned out in one very large pasture. The top mares were a pair of QHs, and they were both rougher than rough. When the Frieseron arrived, they ignored her since she was fairly easygoing. When the very old, submissive TWH arrived, the bitchy QHs just about laid into her--right up until her best buddy the Frieseron told them "hell no" in no uncertain terms and left the meaner of the two mares lame for a week.

Amazing how those two mares were *so much nicer* under saddle after that--and they were still top dogs in the pasture.

Rebecca said...

I have had more problems with idiots who think I'm mistreating a horse when I remind the horse who's boss.
A family friend who has racehorses had pulled one of her geldings off the track when the trainer wasn't giving proper care after he got his teeth bashed in (try filing a TB's teeth down so he can eat normally again...NOT FUN!)and a list of other problems.
This horse was sweet,but in the three to four years old range and could he be a bit of a brat.
So I go in to take him outside one day, and as I'm haltering him, he decides to chew on my shirt- thankfully he didn't catch any skin , but he definitely got a good smack on the head. A women, I think her daughter took lessons at barn, because she wasn't dressed to be around horse, starts lecturing me of how I'm mistreating the horse.
Really wanted to say "you want to take him out?" but managed to hold back the urge