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When My horse (Cody) was 18 mo. He bit me and and almost took my breast off. I've been around horses all my life. Never been bit, kicked or even ribbed.

After Cody did this, I had him gelded because for a stallion he was way too head strong and seemed out of control. I couldn't get any where near this horse. After I was better I was not going to give up on this animal. However, I'm scared to death, yet very determined. I had one of our local trainers green break him and I was right there by his side and started doing the training myself.

Now Cody is home and I can't even get myself near him. He nips (yes, I go back after him) and is back to his old self again. I won't even go into his pen or fenced area. I'll communicate, feed, water, groom, and even love on him through the fence. I've tried to walk in his area, but as soon as I do he starts to come at me with ears pinned. This has got to stop!!!!!!!!!

How do I gain control over myself and confidence enough to not persay RUN??????? I used to want to become a trainer, and yes I still do. However, If I don't find a way to shake this I'll never get in a saddle again.

With deepest thanks,

- V.


I sincerely hope you'll still like me after you read this, because I have to say some things which you probably won't like... but which you probably already knew deep in your heart.

When I read your letter, my first thought was of how I would handle Cody if he were my horse. I'm fairly sure that I could keep him under control, and even train some of his meanness out of him. But I could never trust him. And I would certainly never want less experienced riders around him.

There are some folks who claim, "There are no problem horses, only problem riders." While that may hold as a general principle, it is not totally true. Just as with humans, there are some horses who have behavioral and personality disorders that make them unsafe around others. As much as you may love him, I strongly suspect that's the case with Cody.

Let's face it, you are in an abusive relationship -- and Cody is the abuser. What would you advise a woman who had an abusive husband or boyfriend?

1. Stay away from him, so he never is in a position to hurt you again.

2. Take whatever steps are necessary to keep him from hurting anyone else.

I know it's hard to detach from a horse (or any other pet) you've had for a long time, but sometimes it has to be done. And imagine how you would feel if Cody attacked a six-year-old kid the way he did you.

Perhaps the most humane solution would be for you to sell him to a rodeo stock supplier -- where Cody's viciousness would actually have some constructive value. Otherwise, he -- just like some humans -- needs to be securely isolated from those he might harm. And in some extreme cases, the death penalty is appropriate. Only you can be the judge in that case.

There's no need for you to keep on suffering such abuse. If you allow it to continue, it will even affect your ability to relate to the vast majority of horses who are truly nice to be around.

In short, get away from Cody and get on with your life.

And I hope you're still my friend.

May the Lord give you the wisdom to know what to do -- and the strength to do it.

Happy Renewed Horse Loving!

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