Lesson horse behaviour - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 11-26-2011, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Lesson horse behaviour

I ride once a week on a horse called Charlie, and he is lovely to ride. However, on the ground he is not so lovely. When I pick out his feet he is always trying to pull his foot away, and after about 10 seconds he slams his foot down. I'm not allowed to do his back legs because he tries to kick, so someone else does it. When I am untacking him, he wanders off when I take his bridle off (as in, motivated walk, not just a few steps). When I lead his too the field he drags me around and tries to eat the grass. He did not used to be like this when I first started riding him (about 4 months ago), and the last time he started to wander off when I was untacking him I got told off for letting him do it as I "have been riding long enough to know what do do". But I don't know what do do. Is this normal behavior and am I just being weak? what can I do to stop his acting this way?
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post #2 of 35 Old 11-26-2011, 02:50 PM
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This horse is just taking the p out of you...Your gona have to get tough! dont be afraid to give him a we thump in the rib if he starts pushing u around when picking his feet out, make sure someone holds him for you, if he has his head down all the weight will be piled onto you and if he trys to walk forward you get your toe squashed! and when untacking him, take him into a stall/stable first, so at least if he trys to make a getaway theres nowhere to go,if thats not possible get a head collar and rope and put it around his neck, with the nose strap under his chin, the second you slip the bit out of his mouth pull the head collar on.. anything else your just gona have to show him whos boss, if your nervous around him just tell your trainer, get them to show you ways to control him properly
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post #3 of 35 Old 11-26-2011, 03:00 PM
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I have had a similiar problem

I'm no expert but I experienced the same thing. I have a horse that did get the best of me, I was to easy on her, she figured it out and was not well behaved with anything. Leading her was a tug of war and picking her hooves was a challange. I had some one come over and take a look at her and was simply told that she knows she is in charge. I had to turn the corner with her and let her know that I was in charge. Unfortunately, this takes time, two years later after taking charge, she now walks well on a lead line, I can trim her hooves and she stands while tied. We are now on the next adventure and are riding now. She still thinks she is the boss sometimes but I don't waste any time letting her know she isn't. You don't need to be mean and hurtful, just firm and not letting her get away with anything. Even something as simple as rubbing her head against you, that's her way of being dominate and you need to let her know it not acceptable. It will take a lot of time and patience but it will be worth it. Both you and the horse will learn alot.
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post #4 of 35 Old 11-26-2011, 03:29 PM
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Don't be afraid to assert yourself with the horse, and don't worry about hurting his feelings by telling him who is boss. He can injure you a lot more easily than you can him, and I don't know why I see it coming that one of these days he'll get your foot when he stomps his hoof down.
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post #5 of 35 Old 11-26-2011, 03:35 PM
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It's really true that the horse will rise to the level of your expectation (the ones that you actaully expect hard enough to enforce). So, it took a few months but this horse figured out you were not expecting obedience, so you dont' get it.

Expecting obedience means that you have utter confidence that it WILL happen, just as you envision it will. You envision that when you say go, he will go. And if you need to get firm, you do so with total confidence that your firmness will make him change his mind.

So, for when leading this mare out to pasture and she goes for grass, instead of trying to pull against her, you throw the lead line at her head. I mean , you give the lead line a big "snap", which sends the wave down the line and makes the line smack her in her jaw. First, you say "Ah ah!" and then give her the biggest toss of the leadline up into her jaw. If she jumps, so be it. If she does nothing, continue to snap the line ujp and into her jaw so that eating is a miserable experience. When she stops, you stop. The second she starts to lower her head, use the scolding voice and if she keeps going, toss that line at her again. When she'll stand for a few secs without going to eat, start walking forward, but you keep your third eye on her and the second she starts to go down, you scold/snap her. The important thing is to catch it early, when she is still thinking about it and knock that though out of her head.

Same with the feet. When you feel her just begin to move her foot, scold her warningly and pick up the foot higher. Doing the feet is more of a challenge, and you might need a more experienced person to help you because of the danger of being kicked. But for now, try my suggestion for the leading issue.
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post #6 of 35 Old 11-26-2011, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advise. When I untack him, I do try to get the head collar on him as soon as I take the bridle off, but he is too quick to move away. I'll try to untack him in the stall next time.

Maybe because he is a lesson horse, he gets fed up of people picking his feet out? When I was watching someone else pick his feet out and he was trying to kick them, he didn't seem to notice that she gave him a wack every time he kicked out. I'll try to disipline him next time, but will he remember me in a weeks time and still respect me, or will he forget? I only see him once a week, and lots of people must ride him.
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post #7 of 35 Old 11-26-2011, 06:03 PM
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Buckle the halter on his neck while you take the bridle off, or rope around his neck so he can't wander off.. that's just plain rude and he can get into a lot of trouble. As for the feet, lean into him, he's probably slamming his foot down because
a) he's losing balance
b) being a silly goose and rather not stand on 3 legs.
Also, when he tries to go for grass, twirl that leadrope infront of his face (clockwise) until he stops. You aren't stronger that a horse so pulling will do no good except hurt your arm. You need to gain respect through correction not brute force.

Hope this helps.
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post #8 of 35 Old 11-26-2011, 06:06 PM
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It matters not if he remembers you in a week's time, just do what you have to do to discipline him. Because horses are brilliant at reading someone he'll soon figure out that you're not putting up with his shenanigans, as long as you maintain "I'm the boss" attitude.
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post #9 of 35 Old 11-27-2011, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advise Skyseternalangel, I will put the head collar onto him before I take the bridle off. I don't think it is him losing his balance, as he was ok with me picking his feet until about a month ago. My friend (who rides at the same stables) said that some people are saying that he is getting grumpy with his old age (but he is only 8!?). He also does huge kicks when people tighten his girth.
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post #10 of 35 Old 11-27-2011, 02:02 PM
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Yeah he sounds like he's in discomfort. Has he been checked for pain?

I don't think it is anything about his age.. just he's feeling worn out and doesn't view you guys as higher up in the chain of command than he is, so he's acting up a little.
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