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Notched ear - Savaging

Annette Jacobs
Hi Guys!
I am a big time Lurker, & now I need some help.  In my search 
for an endurance mount, I came across a 10yr old Arab gelding 
that I really like build & movement wise.  The owner has had him
for 10 months & this is her first horse.  Prior to that he was on
a lesson string, where she fell in love with him.  Shortly after
bringing him home, he started to be "too much" horse for her.  

I have had horses for over 20 years, & have broke about 10,
including Arabs & Mustangs, so I was not too put off by this 
behavior, as she described it.

When I went to look at him, he had not been out of his 24x24 pen
for 3 weeks.  The owner refused to lead or groom the horse. The 
first thing I did was turn him out to see his movement.  When I 
tried to send him away.... he kicked at me.  Not an OH BOY I GET
TO PLAY KICK.....  but a skr*w you kick.  I yelled at him & 
waved my arms & off he went.  After a couple of laps he came 
into the middle of the ring to me, or I should say on top of me.

Again I waved my arms & backed him off.  Startled the heck out 
of him.  I hit him in the chest a couple of times (with an open
hand) & made him back up away from me. Later, as I was leading 
him up to get saddled, he shouldered me & almost knocked me down.
I yelled again & hit his chest & he backed right off.

Groomed & saddled him & he was skitish, but fine.  Very mouthy,
but he didn't bite. 

He rode like a dream.

To make a long story short (too late) I now have the horse on a 
30 trial.  I brought him home yesterday.  Today he bit me.  Not a
"nuzzle for a treat-oops nip"  but a straight out chomp on my
wrist as I was leading him.

Originally, I thought most of his problem was poor handling & 
lack of work. I figured I would work with him for a month & see
what I get.  Now with all the posts on the horse savaging....
Am I crazy? Any guesses on my odds of making him a sweet boy? To 
his credit, he has not re-tried any bad boy behavior, once I have
disciplined him for it, but I can tell the wheels are turning & 
I am very careful.

Did I mention this horse has a notched ear? Actually, it looks
like a split, about 3/4 of an inch on the right ear, at the very
top.  Is this where/how hostile horses are marked?  I have never 
heard of this.  I figured he had gotten in a tussle with another horse.

Thanks for any advice....

Annette  (75 LD miles over 20 years)

PS. he is very sweet to my gelding in the pen next door. 

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