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Savaging horse

Dear Jen,

Do you know his bloodlines? Back in my "Behaviorist" days in 
Colorado my mentor and I were called to an Arabian farm to see
a horse with exactly the same problem. It was a champion halter
horse that had nearly killed several people, doing the exact same
thing as you described. It had been sent to Walter Chapman, a reknowned
trainer in Arizona who got the same results as you did initially, 
after laying the horse down with a running W and whaling 
on him-the horse respected him and no longer tried to kill him ONLY
as long as Chappy was focussed on him. The owners took him back and he 
quickly reverted to his old ways. We were taken (proudly by the owners) 
to see the foals from this horse (supposedly a testimonial as to
why he was still alive and breeding) who all were, yes, very pretty,
but also all showed the same aggressive tendencies-biting, walking right
over you,
impervious to normal types of reprimands. Nature or nuture, I won't get
into that debate. 

Botttom Line: My mentor (and I to this day agree)
gave the owners two choices: an overdose of lead between the eyes or geld
him and put him in
with a group of large, aggressive mares who would teach him manners (he
savaged mares
too). I don't know what became of him. Since your horse is already a
gelding and "low
on the totem pole" in a group, the second option is obviously moot.

I know some will flame me on this one but horses are too large to accept that
type of behavior and in my experience it is NOT something that can be trained
out of them "with proper handling". There are numerous stories of vicious
race horses that were
kept intact and alive because they won races-ergo there are several
Thoroughbred and
Standardbred lines known to be "difficult", right Tom? Arabians got into
the same bind in the 70's
when they became expensive playthings for the rich to admire-several
popular stallions (including
this one) were bred despite rather severe personality defects just because
they were pretty 
and their babies brought big prices. In this case monetary reward is not an
issue and 
human limbs and lives are at stake.

Sarah and Fling (oops, Mom's on her soap box-watch out)

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