Do your horses have bratty days/times of day? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-17-2013, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Portland, OR
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Do your horses have bratty days/times of day?

I've had Sam for a month now, and it seems like about once a week there's a day when he's just acting like a brat when I'm riding. Nothing serious, just antsy or stubborn. A couple of times it was around feeding time, which I'm guessing is the reason he kept trying to go back toward the barn when we'd get to that side of the field, and the other time was just in the middle of the afternoon and he was being stubborn and acting distracted. Like I said, he doesn't act dangerous or anything, just annoying, and it makes it hard to really work on anything.

Do your horses ever act bratty around feeding time or seemingly at arbitrary times? If so, what do you do? So far, I've just corrected the individual behaviors (not letting him trot when I want him to walk, not letting him jerk me toward the barn) but in general just shrug my shoulders and call it a bad night. I'm firm in not letting him get away with those things (a smack with the crop for a shoulder dive, making him do circles, etc), but for just acting like a pest in general, I'm not sure what I could really do about it. Any advice?

"...and may your life be filled with good horses." Buck Brannaman

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post #2 of 7 Old 08-17-2013, 06:13 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
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What you are searching for is consistency and that can be one of the more difficult goals, some of which is beyond your control. In my experience, this comes from a combination of disposition, age, and work/experience.
Our lead mare, Angel, now 19 yrs, was shown a lot when she was young. She was ridden and groomed everyday, trailered everywhere and shown almost every weekend. That was her job and life. She has a very calm disposition and whether by genes or training (or both), when you are in the saddle, she is 100% focused on "work", every single time. I have never had a "bad" day riding her. I guess you would call her a "push button" horse.
Our boss mare, "Mandy", now 18 yrs, was shown a lot in halter, had a similar life and job, and shows the same consistency in hand in the ring.
Our two younger mares were always meant to be pleasure riding horses. I rode them consistently when they were 3-6 years to get a good start and foundation, but they never had the same number of "work" hours as the other two, and you can tell the difference. They're both good riding horses, but they just don't have that same day in, day out consistency in their performance.

Bottom can't control your horse's age or disposition, but consistency and lots of hours of work experience will take you a long way. Just keep riding....

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.

Last edited by PaintHorseMares; 08-17-2013 at 06:22 AM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-17-2013, 07:26 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Portland, OR
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Great, thank you! That helps a lot. I've only had him a very short while, and we're already improving on a lot of things, so I'm hoping we'll fall into some level of consistency with time.

"...and may your life be filled with good horses." Buck Brannaman

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post #4 of 7 Old 08-21-2013, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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Advice? Because it's official Sam is a terror around dinner time.

My boy Sammy is generally a very sweet, willing horse, and not very stubborn. But if it's after around 7 p.m., he is a huge BRAT.

I've had him for about a month and noticed the pre-dinner brattiness right off the bat, so I figured it was a "choose my battles" kind of situation and have been either riding earlier in the day or letting him eat early. But tonight I got there, gave him his dinner, waited a bit and then tacked him up and lunged him. When I went to get on, he pulled his old trick of swinging away from the mounting block.

I tried everything that has worked to get him to stand backing him up, sending him around me and repositioning him, lunging again, etc but he would not stand. Up until this point it has taken at worst 10 minutes for him to give in, and usually it only takes me moving him back into position once or twice before he stands. But tonight I tried for more than half an hour, and finally when it got too dark to do anything anymore, I had someone hold him while I mounted so I could "win." Of course as soon as I had someone stand at his head he didn't try it -_-

So the biggest issue I have with this (aside from being unable to get him to listen) is that I can't reasonably plan to only ride before 7 p.m. forever. There must be some way to get him over this, right? Do you think this will get better with time if I make sure not to let him get away with it (either by giving myself more time or, if I have to, riding inside where it's light and not giving up even if it takes all night)?

"...and may your life be filled with good horses." Buck Brannaman

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post #5 of 7 Old 08-21-2013, 08:01 AM
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I do NOT let my horses go crazy or disrespectful during feeding time. My qh tried it (she's an alpha and eats VERY fast), and learned it's a no-no. So now even she's unhappy she stands and waits till other mare is done with her bucket and moves away before coming and checking for left overs (none usually ).

She can be somewhat bratty during "in heat" periods, but I just correct when needed (by voice or smacking her neck with my hand).

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

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post #6 of 7 Old 08-21-2013, 10:01 AM
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My horse definitely is bratty right before feeding time. I have found that she is the most quiet when I ride her in the morning around 10:00. I also read somewhere in a magazine that 3:00 is the time of day when horses are most active
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-28-2013, 06:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NC
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Horses have thier bad days too, same as us. About 70% of the time mine is Great-wonderful, then the other 30% he is bratty. I just correct misbehavior immediatly and keep going, doing a regular ride. I don't shorten the ride becuase he is being bratty - He is smart enough to connect bratty behavior with shorter work/ride time. End on a good note though, always, even if its just doing something he knows how to do really well and is easy. You said he is new? He is probably testing you right now, see what he can get away with.
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