aggressive behaviour in the rain
 
 

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aggressive behaviour in the rain

This is a discussion on aggressive behaviour in the rain within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse walking sideways in rain
  • Mare aggressive when rugged

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  • 1 Post By Joe4d
  • 2 Post By Royal Pine Buck
  • 2 Post By desert winds

 
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    02-17-2012, 07:36 AM
  #1
Foal
aggressive behaviour in the rain

Hi everyone,
I am new to this forum. I bought my Arab about a months ago.He's a 9 year old gelding and a bit spooky. We really build a good bond in the last 4 weeks and he loves to come and greet me and come out for play sessions. Yesterday I came to my agistment and it had started to rain heavily. The owner of the agistment did not rug him and when I took him out he was nervous. We made it halfway to the arena when he started going sideways, ears a bit back, head lowered and sort of threatening me. Not sure how to explain it but we turned around and until I took the halter of in the paddock he was acting really weird. I backed him up every time he started being dominant but I've never seen him do anything like this.
Maybe anyone can give me an idea what to do next time?Is it possible he just hates the rain so much that he's refusing to work?
     
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    02-17-2012, 08:31 AM
  #2
Green Broke
I kind of doubt it was because he wasn't rugged unless that's the only way he's been out in the rain before.

Backing him up is good but I would also be getting him to yield his front and rear. Being that he's an Arab, a hot blooded horse, I wouldn't lunge him. That tends to increase their energy level. Just get his feet to move but in a controlled manner.

Were you walking past other horses? He could have been directing his attention at them and not you.

Was something moved from previous days like a garbage can or box? If something gets moved out of place, that can affect a horse even though we know it's fine. Many people don't realize this and think "You've walked past this a hundred times before. Why are you spooking at it because it's just on the other side?"
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    02-17-2012, 08:55 AM
  #3
Foal
Thanks for your input. I did make him yield his hindquarters as well and I play more challenging circling games with him because I don't believe in just lunging. Usually, he is very quick to respond and he only challenged my leadership once and that was on the second day together in his paddock. Nothing was changed as far as I can remember. He had finished his dinner and the horses around him don't interest him much in general. He wasn't attempting to hurt me but he was making clear that he wasn't happy with something. I don't know if he usually gets rugged in the rain and we had hardly any rain since I got him.
     
    02-17-2012, 09:32 AM
  #4
Banned
Horses, as with most animals, rely on hearing and smell as one of their primary defenses. It is instinctive for them to be cautious and a bit spooky in the wind or rain when those senses are less reliable. Most hunters know that deer, for example, do not move around much when it is raining or windy as they are deprived of the senses they use to detect danger.

As with any instinctive behavior, it can be overcome by building trust and instilling a sense of security...
     
    02-17-2012, 11:00 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Putting him back in the barn was the worse thing to do, never reward bad behavior.
Foxhunter likes this.
     
    02-17-2012, 04:55 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by desert winds    
Hi everyone,
I am new to this forum. I bought my Arab about a months ago.He's a 9 year old gelding and a bit spooky. We really build a good bond in the last 4 weeks and he loves to come and greet me and come out for play sessions. Yesterday I came to my agistment and it had started to rain heavily. The owner of the agistment did not rug him and when I took him out he was nervous. We made it halfway to the arena when he started going sideways, ears a bit back, head lowered and sort of threatening me. Not sure how to explain it but we turned around and until I took the halter of in the paddock he was acting really weird. I backed him up every time he started being dominant but I've never seen him do anything like this.
Maybe anyone can give me an idea what to do next time?Is it possible he just hates the rain so much that he's refusing to work?
is it possible that he was lowering his head and puting his head down to avoid walking straight into the rain? Were you walking in the direction the rain was coming from?

When I lead Dillon in the rain he will lower his head and bring it in toward his chest (like when I'm riding and his head is on the vertical.) He will also sometimes try to step sideways to try and avoid the rain/wind if it is really blowing or coming down hard . And when he does this. His ears will go back a bit (looks like he is pissed but he is not)

he is just trying to hide his sensitive face from the wind/rain. That is why they stand with their butts toward the storm when it is really bad .
Wallaby and Prinella like this.
     
    02-17-2012, 08:22 PM
  #7
Foal
I think royal pine buck could be right. We walked right into the rain when he started putting his head down and walking sideways a bit. I just never seen a horse do something like this and i'm used to riding in rain and snow in Germany usually. I might have interpreted his behaviour wrong. And I know that I probably shouldn't have put him back into the paddock right away but since I don't know him very well yet I didn't want to risk anything because I felt threatened in that moment.
Thank you guys I guess i'll find out with the next rain..haha
     
    02-17-2012, 08:33 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
I'm glad you probably got it figured out. :)
I just wanted to say that my mare does the exact same, like Pine Buck described, in the rain. She often looks angrier than heck walking into the rain (puts her ears down flat, lowers head, etc) but it's just her attempting to keep rain out of her eyes/ears/face. It's not aggressive at all, it just looks aggressive.

With light misty sorts of rain she doesn't seem to really care, but when it's driving rain, boy, she cares.

So no worries, avoiding the rain is probably all it was. Of course, if he repeats this behavior when it's dry out, it's not avoiding the rain anymore and you two need to have a more serious "talk". Haha!
     
    02-17-2012, 08:40 PM
  #9
Foal
You're probably right.he's normally so well behaved and always walks happily beside me that I got really shocked...i guess problem is solved.
Thank you guys
Wallaby and Royal Pine Buck like this.
     

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