Fear on the ground - Page 2

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Fear on the ground

This is a discussion on Fear on the ground within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    08-01-2009, 01:33 AM

Dancer's previous owner warned me that she didn't like to have anyone go behind her (translation: she kicks). She actually hadn't been messed with very much - mostly just a pasture ornament. I have discovered that she does not do well tied up - tends to explode. I don't have a patience post anymore, but I will get a new one built really soon. In the meantime, I've been gooming her while she eats. She didn't much like being handled at first - tended to try to bite (not sure how serious the effort was, though). She also lifted her leg like she was going to kick. I just leaned a bit on her when she did that - it put her off balance and ended the kicking attempt. Since we have started working on her ground manners, and she is learning a bit of respect, we haven't had nearly as much trouble. She sure learns quick! (I'm meaner and more stubborn than she ever could be - all she has on me is size, and we all know size doesn't matter!)
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    08-01-2009, 02:14 AM
Horses are all about body language, if you pretend to be confident the horse will be okay with you. They are also scared of most everything (if you've ever noticed on trail) so if you smack him/her for doing something bad (nipping/biting etc.) she'll respect you for taking control.
as for moving behind the horse- as long as you put your hand on him/her while your in the back he most likely wont kick you, they kick because they feel that something behind them is going to attack them, so if they know your back there they shouldnt feel threatened!
    08-01-2009, 02:38 AM
I get scared too sometimes. But I trust in my riding instructor. If she thought the horse would kick me on purpose, she wouldn't put me near them. My riding instructor taught us to be as close as possible to the horse, so you can feel the muscles in the leg if they move it. I find it very scary moving behind a 15hh horses bum, but I go as quickly as possible, as close as possible and keep contact with the horse at all times.
The horse I usually ride always tries to bite you when you do his girth up. I just raise my hand to hit him and he backs off. I have never had to hit him as he is scared of being hit, and maybe the fact I also growl at him. ^^
    08-01-2009, 01:44 PM
Where would you hit him if you had to? The belly? The shoulder?
    08-01-2009, 02:57 PM
Green Broke
I like to smack the chest. It's a good solid spot away from the face.
    08-01-2009, 06:45 PM
Lol okay.
I used the cross ties today, it was much better.
And for the first time my instructor came a bit early and helped me out with the grooming...
She was on much better behaviour...or maybe I was more relaxed. Either way, things are getting a little bit better at least.

I had to catch her in her paddock today.... which is fine.. she stands still.. but when I would go to put a halter on her she'd lift her head wayyy up high so I couldn't reach it. It took me a while to get that done. I always feel like an idiot being so incompetent at this stuff. Haha
    08-01-2009, 06:49 PM
Don't feel like an idiot. Everyone has to start somewhere, and it will only get easier with time, patience, and experience. Glad to hear you're doing better!
    08-01-2009, 07:29 PM
No don't brush a wet horse.
    08-01-2009, 07:40 PM
Yeah that's what I figured. I only tried once... and it really pissed Hailey off so I just stopped and let her be. Haha.
    08-01-2009, 08:03 PM
Originally Posted by cheply    
where would you hit him if you had to? The belly? The shoulder?
The shoulder is a good, safe place...but remember that your response must be immediate for them to associate it with their behavior, so if you ever were to get kicked or nipped, don't wait to get to the shoulder, react, even if it's just shouting QUIT. When you act the boss, you'll be surprised at how little effort it takes to control a 1000 lbs animal.

Finally, as you master your fear (and you will), don't ever get to the point where you become careless about your safety. I've seen enough people get over confident to the point that they start taking short cuts, hurrying, 'my horse would never kick me', etc...and that is the time that you are at most risk of being hurt.

fear, grooming, kicked, nervous

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