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Re: RC: Horse Savaging (LONG)

>Jennifer Heim
>This is *totally* off subject, but I'm just so flummoxed by this event I
>need some help from you guys!
>I have been working a 4yo Arab gelding for a client for approx. 2 mos.
>He's excellent under saddle, sensitive, honest and tries very hard.
>Groundwork is responsive and brilliant.  The real problem (and the reason
>the owner sent him to me) is that he bites.  Badly.  After two or three
>sessions of *convincing* him that he's a goner if he tries that
>again, he stopped trying to bite me.  Still went after the owner cuz,
>well, she allows it ("but it was sooo cute when he started nibbling" ...
>god save me).  Lessons for her start next week.  I've seen this horse grab
>the owner by the arm and put her on the ground; pick her up by the hair
>and shake her like a rat.
>Last week I went out to the pasture to catch him.  Me, the sucker, thinks
>"what a nice horse, he's finally coming up to me in the pasture".  I
>stroke his face (he's standing directly in front of me) and move off to
>the side to put his halter on.  The very second I moved, I noticed his
>front legs folding up and heading my way.  Thinking he just got attacked
>from another horse and in panic mode (he's low man on the totem pole in
>the pasture) I tucked - started heading for Mother Earth.  I feel him grab
>my shoulder, very narrowly missing my neck and since it was so cold out
>and was wearing lots of layers, he got only clothing.  But the clothing he
>ripped clean from my back (t-shirt, sweatshirt and polarfleece).  All I
>can really remember is legs and hooves impacting all over my body (some
>lovely hoofprint bruises on my back, shoulders and legs - I look like a
>banner from Hee Haw) and my ear damn near got ripped from my head.
>Still thinking (somewhat foggily) that he was attacked, I staggered up to
>see.... no other horse around except him running away.  My head fogged up
>further, the world greyed and I planted my butt on the ground to see if I
>was really going to lose consciousness.  I didn't, but with me covered in
>mud, clothes literally hanging from my body and some lovely tuffs of grass
>sticking out all over my head, I'm sure I looked quite the picture.  All I
>could think was "You're Alpo."
>So now it comes to this.  I don't trust this animal (gee, ya think?).
>After this episode, the owner (an attorney) feels she cannot sell the
>animal without this ...detail... coming out.  Full disclosure in this
>state.  Yeah, right; who's going to buy a horse that has been known to
>attack?  Does anyone have a suggestion on what I can do?  He's a real nice
>riding horse, put together like a brick privvy and just about the smartest
>thing I've come across (too smart).  But I'm truly afraid that someone is
>going to go out to the pasture (it's a boarding barn) to feed the ponies
>(lots of strangers do just that) and get hurt or even killed.
>Part of me wants to buy this horse for the express purpose of sending him
>to the killers and saving another person from getting hurt, but in
>California, I'll have a hard time doing it.  Don't flame me too badly, one
>of my mantras is that there are too many nice horses around to put up with
>the bad ones.  And the really bad ones?  What gets done with them?
>I'm at my wits end.  After recovering I did go out to catch him with a
>halter, but also brought a large wooden lip twitch (hark to days of
>handling rank breeding stallions) and with downright predatory gleam in my
>eye, the horse must have known he was glue, cuz he was perfect.  I don't
>let my guard down with him for even a second, and I keep my eye on him
>100%.  I've worked him 3x since the incident with no problems.  Nothing to
>indicate what lurks in his goofy lil' heart.
>Thanks for any help, gang.  You're the best!  Oh, and I'm on digest, so it
>may take me a bit to get your responses.
>Thanks again,

The Wildlife Waystation in Sylmar, CA accepts donations of horses to
humanely butcher for meat on site for the big cats it rescues, and I
understand they provide the appropriate paperwork to document the horse
owner's charitable donation.  If the horse's owner is an attorney surely
she can appreciate that turning this beast into a tax deduction beats being
the defendant in a lawsuit. It's a shame that all his good qualities are
offset by him being a dangerous "psycho" -- but some behaviors can't be
tolerated and in his case sound unlikely to change.

Lynn Kinsky (Santa Ynez, CA)

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