Horse with too much attitude? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 07-07-2011, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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Horse with too much attitude?

My horse Cooper just about kicked me in the face today while lunging in a small arena. I know he doesnt mean any harm but he can have a snotty attitude sometime. Should I leave him be or resort to another method of training?
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post #2 of 29 Old 07-07-2011, 01:17 AM
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My first question for you would be what type of training you are currently using?

Horses that are used to being let get by with stuff, can often lash out when they are suddenly expected to behave accordingly. I'm not saying that you have allowed him to get by with undesirable behavior, but I would take a chance and say that someone has. It's not a snotty attitude as much as him trying to re-establish his dominance over you. And by you working him and making his feet move, you are trying to establish your dominance over him. By dominance, I'm talking about the pecking order in which horses are accustomed to establishing, not dominating him just because you can or want to. What all was he doing just prior to the kicking incident?
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post #3 of 29 Old 07-07-2011, 01:40 AM
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It's always a risk when you lunge at close quarters. Thank God you were not hurt or killed, it certainly has happended before.
My guess, like Fury, is that you applied just a bit more pressure than he was willing to take lightly, so he expressed his irritation about it. Just the time when you need to push him out , not ease off. But not too close.

I take this as a reminder, as I have a tendency to work too close with my horse in the round pen and I should learn from your experience.
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post #4 of 29 Old 07-07-2011, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy

I was working with him to strengthen trust. I was trying a new tactic where I take a large stance and use a whip to create noise while he goes around the pen. I will stop and adopt a passive stance and gentle voice until he comes to me for affection. Ill run my hands over his head, neck, stomach, and legs because he used to be very head shy then step back and try to get him to go around again with my large stance. He was trying to follow me as i was getting him to move and he got cocky and kicked out toward me. I felt the air from his hooves go by my face and arm as i ducked. I nearly fell to the ground and kissed the dirt i was sooo lucky. Should I tolerate that? how do i prevent it again?
Ive noticed that he tries to dominate me on the ground. When Im riding, he obeys like an angel except for an occasional "this is fun" buck, but he crowds while im in his stall and nibbles your belt when you pick out his front feet. Cant be too fun for the farrier either.
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post #5 of 29 Old 07-07-2011, 02:31 AM
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I'd look at a new method of lunging.

When I lunge my colt this is how i do it -
They must walk, trot, canter (only ever so lightly), calmly go around and have constant ear on me and be listening, I should be able to send them away and hold say the left arm up and point the lunge whip/end of rope/hand towards their inside shoulder to push them out onto the circle. When i asked for 'woah' I should be able to just bend over and put my right foot forward, my head looking at their bum and they'll turn in and stop but NOT coming into the circle, never want them coming at you! LOL.

- Can see an example of the stopping in this video, This is my partner lunging my colt, my partner is still learning but is doing a brilliant job of it!

The only time i ever use a whip is to push him out of the circle (most times i just use my hand).. I use pressure (I don't touch them, of course)!

If my horse kicked me in the face (or got close) He'd have another thing coming, no i wouldn't beat him or anything but I'd correct the problem, regardless if it was making him irritated! He does it, quietly and calmly!! Not that big of a deal :P
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post #6 of 29 Old 07-07-2011, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saveahorserideacowboy View Post
I was working with him to strengthen trust. I was trying a new tactic where I take a large stance and use a whip to create noise while he goes around the pen. I will stop and adopt a passive stance and gentle voice until he comes to me for affection. Ill run my hands over his head, neck, stomach, and legs because he used to be very head shy then step back and try to get him to go around again with my large stance. He was trying to follow me as i was getting him to move and he got cocky and kicked out toward me. I felt the air from his hooves go by my face and arm as i ducked. I nearly fell to the ground and kissed the dirt i was sooo lucky. Should I tolerate that? how do i prevent it again?
Ive noticed that he tries to dominate me on the ground. When Im riding, he obeys like an angel except for an occasional "this is fun" buck, but he crowds while im in his stall and nibbles your belt when you pick out his front feet. Cant be too fun for the farrier either.

It sounds from your comment that you are using Natural Horsemanship techniques. This is not my thing, and I will likely not give you advise that you will connect with. I would suggest that you repost in the NH section of the training board.
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post #7 of 29 Old 07-07-2011, 02:40 AM
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I thought the same when i read it, I am far from a NH or parelli (I cant even spell it, most probably) person! I have my own methods that work for me and my horse!
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post #8 of 29 Old 07-07-2011, 02:46 AM
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Yup I do too, and there is no point in sharing with the OP if that is not her thing. If it is, I am happy to share my opinions. If not, I am not about to spend 20 mins typing out a response.
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-07-2011, 02:54 AM
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Hello, I do practice NH and am not familiar with what you have described.

Quote:
I was working with him to strengthen trust. I was trying a new tactic where I take a large stance and use a whip to create noise while he goes around the pen.
When reading it it brought to mind what I saw while boarding at a Morgan show barn (old school harsh techniques) whips snapping and sometimes firecrackers. etc...

Where did you learn of this new tactic?
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post #10 of 29 Old 07-07-2011, 07:09 AM
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When I started working my qh in round pen she had a nasty habit to kick out. Towards me. Well... When she tried this practice on me couple times she got smack on butt hard every time she turned it towards me. She got a point across VERY quickly.

So to answer your question, no, it's NOT acceptable. You can be hurt. First, you may consider a bigger area to work with the horse (even on lunge in big arena, for example), and second, you have to discipline it.

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

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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