Alone vs In a Herd - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Breezy2011
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-29-2012, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: St.Louis, MO
Posts: 77
• Horses: 1
Alone vs In a Herd

Recently we've been looking around for better facilities to board Scout, and a new situation arose and i was left wondering what would be best. So, where we board currently, there are 8 other horses and the new place that we were scoping had no other horses. i'm not sure why this is, but i was just wondering if Scout would be okay being the only horse in a paddock/field. Obviously, horses are herd animals, but i was wondering if we could get away with letting him hang out with the minis that are kept there or if we could get a goat or some other type of barn buddy. This place actuallly has a place to ride and a place to lunge! Much better stalls and it's 5 minutes walking distance from my school, so all around, it would be better for us to board here!
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-29-2012, 09:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
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If there are Minis and goats he should be fine :) Horses need companions, don't need to be other horses. Of course all horses are different but you won't know till you try.

How is scout doing?
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-29-2012, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: St.Louis, MO
Posts: 77
• Horses: 1
my parents have decided to send him off to a trainer in the spring:( i dont get how this is supposed to help with his herboundness, but hey, i'm just a kid! what do i know? i don't think he's bad enough to send off, but its cheaper to do that then to build a round pen and the possible medical bills that will probably follow :p Anyway, until then, im just trying to get him to want to be with me again. lot's of scatching, petting, and i'm sad to say, treats! I've tried a bit of clicker training, but i don't know how to transition that into the saddle! Anyhow, he trots on command now without a fight on the lead!!!
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-29-2012, 10:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Fantastic Sydda :) His herdboundness is something tough for a trainer to fix as I'm sure the minute he's back with you he'll go back to his old behaviors. He's acting rude with you alone, wanting to be back with his friends. Horses do this because other equines= safety, he doesn't yet see you as something to provide him safety.
A few ways to earn this is respect building exercises, particularly joining up. you don't need a round pen for this! It helps, but if you have a small pen, large enough for them to run around in but small enough for you to keep up, you can do it.

I think having a trainer would be great, but you might be better spending your money to have the trainer come and teach you how to work with your horse. If the trainer came in and worked with him once or twice at your property I'm sure he'd be fine for them, you need to learn how to handle the horse, the trainer already knows and the horse already knows, he's just taking advantage.
Ask your parents if you can have a trainer come help you instead. This way you and your horse both learn. It may also be cheaper.
This new location sounds perfect for you and your horse. I'd look into that.

As for CT, don't be ashamed to say you use treats, it's not bad so long as your ONLY reinforcing behavior you want to see more of. Him walking politely on lead, reinforce, him trotting when you ask, perfect time! Him invading your space or being rude = Big No No! Once he knows that click=treat (or whatever noise you use) you can transition it into riding.
Work on each skill on the ground, giving to leg pressure (on the ground using your hand where you leg would be) and giving to the bridle (on the ground use the reins like you would). Then transition it to mounted you use your click to mark the skill you want, stop him and treat him (by leaning forward and letting him get it out of your hand).
Here's a video of someone clicker training while mounted so you can kinda see how it works:

Again, please don't feel like you need to use it, you can train your horse however you like. But he sounds to me like a sour horse who needs some respect and something to make him want to be with you and want to work for you. He's not like many horses who are just 'happy to please' for a relief of pressure, he seems to need a little more 'motivation' than that.
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-29-2012, 10:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Saskatchewan Canada
Posts: 1,376
• Horses: 3
When I bought my horse, she was in with other horses but she also had a goat as a companion! When she came home with me, I put her by herself and she bonded to me and when I put her back in with the other horses, she was still bonded to me. It just shows you, you might not need to send a horse to a trainer to get his herdboundness healed, but rather, put him in a pen with no other horses, visit and spend time with him daily and it should help bond him to you. If you want more information on how I got my horse bonded to me, just pm me!
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