Grooming a horse who moves too much
 
 

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Grooming a horse who moves too much

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  • Should i lunge my horse before brushing him?
  • Horse moves when groomed

 
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    04-03-2011, 07:59 PM
  #1
Foal
Grooming a horse who moves too much

One of the horses at the farm I work with, Norman, makes a lot of noise when I put him on the cross ties to groom him. He doesn't move his body, but he will bob his head up and down the whole time, and make a lot of noise. He only does this as I am brushing him. I noticed how he likes to be brushed on his back cannon though, and he stops moving every time I brush his back leg. However, he continues when I groom the rest of him. I also tried brushing him slowly and carefully, but it didn't seem to do anything. Is there something I am doing wrong? Can I get some tips? He doesn't do it that bad every time though. Two times I got him to stay still or me.
     
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    04-06-2011, 11:19 AM
  #2
Weanling
Maybe try a softer brush? That could be the problem as it just feels weird to him so start softer and transition to a more bristley brush as you go.

Or he is just antsy when it is something that he doesn't really care about (minus the back cannon) in which case he probably needs a manner lesson (even the sweetest horses still don't know they hjave to behave if no one tells them). A horse at the barn was like that as she didn't really care for grooming and just wanted to get going. The owner spends as long as she needs giving her manner lessons.

My trainer said to me the other day that with horses, you spend your session doing whatever it is they need to do that day, so if it is teaching him to stand respectfully in the cross ties, then do it or to bend at the canter...if something pops up then just go with it. Some things you never have to teach again, my mare is 3 and I spent one session working with her to not freak when I left her in the cross ties for an length of time...she now stands placidly after one session. Meanwhile, she was a terror having her feet picked up, I spent a month working with that to get her to be really good about it.

Hope that helps some...
     
    04-06-2011, 04:48 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstinson    
maybe try a softer brush? That could be the problem as it just feels weird to him so start softer and transition to a more bristley brush as you go.

Or he is just antsy when it is something that he doesn't really care about (minus the back cannon) in which case he probably needs a manner lesson (even the sweetest horses still don't know they hjave to behave if no one tells them). A horse at the barn was like that as she didn't really care for grooming and just wanted to get going. The owner spends as long as she needs giving her manner lessons.

My trainer said to me the other day that with horses, you spend your session doing whatever it is they need to do that day, so if it is teaching him to stand respectfully in the cross ties, then do it or to bend at the canter...if something pops up then just go with it. Some things you never have to teach again, my mare is 3 and I spent one session working with her to not freak when I left her in the cross ties for an length of time...she now stands placidly after one session. Meanwhile, she was a terror having her feet picked up, I spent a month working with that to get her to be really good about it.

Hope that helps some...
Yeah, that's probably it. I know its not the brushes, because I use soft brushes on him. How would I teach him not to make so much noise though?
     
    04-06-2011, 05:09 PM
  #4
Weanling
What I did with my mare, was I put her in the cros ties, and stepped around the corner...when she made a fuss, I would use the whip, or a broom and give her a little knock on the knees (she often started pawing) in doing this she didn't think it was me that was telling her no, but tht there was some invisible foce causing her to be unable to do it...like a wall.

The same went with her moving around, I she went light on the front I'd pull her down with the halter.

If you can't hide, just stand in front of him, every time he starts fussing, pull down on his halter with the leadrope. This will cause him to think that it is easier to stand with his head still. The same goes with he is moving around...just pull on the lead and get his attention.

The mare that acts up has started from square one and the trainer actuall advised her to put a bridle on, take her in the arena and every time she decides to start moving, pull back on the reins (hold one in each hand and on either side, so one hand has to go under the neck) this also teaches them to give to the rein too so is useful both ways.

Once she was standing still, they'd walk around, stop, then if she didnt stop with her she'd pull on the reins (and you have to mean it, not just light pull)...another goo thing to do is bring him in while a lesson is going on, and make hiim stand there the whole time.

The biggest thing is LOTS of praise and reward when he is standing nice and calmly, so there is no question in his mind that he is behaving.


This could take more than one session, all horses are different, but you should see results.

Make the good things easy and the hard things difficult for them to do.
     
    04-06-2011, 05:19 PM
  #5
Started
Many horses have too much "go" to be groomed before they're exercised.

With that type of horse, I'd give them 20 minutes to get their ya-ya's out, making it a fun session of doing a variety of things, then bring them in for grooming.

Otherwise, although it's not your intent, they're rather being reprimanded just for having exuberance/'go", & all of the time & effort to make them still is thus not productively spent.
     
    04-06-2011, 05:31 PM
  #6
Weanling
If that works for the horse then go with it. The mare at our barn has tons of go, can have an entire training session and still be pracing around afterwards. She needs to have the time spent with teaching her to stand still.

It all depends on the horse, for me, I'm of the personal opinion (and everyone is different) that a horse needs to know that if they are in the barn they need to behave, so to me, time isn't wasted teaching the horse not to be exuberant in the tack area where someone can get hurt, but to behave. At then end of the day they're still an animal, 1200 lbs, and stronger than you...therefore can hurt you by not knowing manners. The same as a dog is taught not to jump up on people, not to pull on a leash or to sit calmly...if you're training them properly, you're not reprimanding them but rather teaching them and making it difficult to misbehave. I look at it as more of a safety issue, if you can say to yourself you will always be able to lunge the horse, take it back out, tack it and then go back in, look at spending the time now to teach him,. If a horse has go, you're not going to take it out of him through tie training.

Everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another, I personally can't guarauntee that I can lunge my horse before every lesson as there are often people booked before me in the barn and the trainer is ready to go as soon as someone comes out.
     
    04-06-2011, 05:39 PM
  #7
Yearling
Cant help you much but a temporary fix would be to put a haynet infront of them.
     
    04-06-2011, 05:40 PM
  #8
Foal
I think it would be a good idea to do something with him first and then groom him. That's probably why he always moves around so much.
Thank you guys for your help(:
I'll try some of these tips and see how it goes.
     
    04-06-2011, 06:39 PM
  #9
Foal
activities before grooming?

"they're rather being reprimanded just for having exuberance/'go", & all of the time & effort to make them still is thus not productively spent."

Do you saddle your horse while they are spinning around in a circle, because tying them would be reprimanding them?

This is the basics of good behaviour and RESPECT. I fully expect my horse to stand nicely single tied, or cross tied, and in no way is that connected with reprimanding them.

I ride with kstinson, she knows my mare very well. I do not "work" her to tire her, she is not that kind of horse. It is all about funneling her energy into a productive matter. Nonetheless, she must stand still in ties, for a farrier, for a bath, in the stall, in the trailer, etc.

Sorry OP, this may be a bit off track from what you are asking. I would do as kstinson suggests, instead of working your horse prior to grooming him. I don't know about you, but where we are, it would be ludicrous to saddle up a horse without grooming, or getting him sweating with all the mud crusted on them right now from spring. He just needs a few more manners.
     

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