Argh! What an annoying phase!
   

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Argh! What an annoying phase!

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    • 1 Post By DrumRunner

     
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        02-16-2012, 09:50 PM
      #1
    Yearling
    Argh! What an annoying phase!

    My boy, who ordinarily stands like a champ to halter up, has decided in the last week that he doesn't need to halter up, and that he can put his butt to me when I ask. This isn't in the least bit OK, of course, and he gets a good firm flick on the rump from the business end of the lead rope...but he is taking forever to get the point of understanding that the easy thing is standing to halter, and the hard thing is not standing to halter. The last couple of times I've gone to collect him from the paddock it has taken 30+ minutes to get from walking through the gate to walking back out of it again with a horse.

    Before anyone jumps me about this, my trainer is on it, and I'm doing what she says I need to, and she thinks that it's not something I'm doing to provoke this, but that it's a combination of spring, weather changes, a pack of mares in the adjacent paddock and some possible totally new herd-bound-ness, and she considers this to be a "phase". So I'm not at a loss about how to deal with it...I'm just...ARGH!! I don't lose my patience or temper at all in the paddock, I'm not really even tempted to...but geez. Why this? It's like he accelerated from being a sweet-tempered 10 yo kid to being a moody and hormonal teenager.

    I knew having horses was like having kids, but I didn't really expect this.

    Trainer has assured me that my current approach (sending him away as soon as he backs up or starts to turn away, keeping him moving, not letting him stop to hang out with the mares/eat/drink, engaging in some body language that I can only think of as "horse flirting" - passive, making him chase me, etc.) will work if I am 100% consistent with it. Says in her experience, if you're consistent, firm, and patient, the horse will just drop it eventually. I'm sure she's right, and I'm prepared to stick with it.

    But DARN IT. I can think of ten more interesting things to do with my horse than muck about in a muddy, icy, freezing paddock persuading him to go into the halter. Argh.

    Thanks for the vent. I know I am not alone in this, I know horses do wack stuff from time to time, I know they often test their owners. I just find this much less...interesting...and more...tedious...than other testing that he's done.
         
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        02-16-2012, 10:11 PM
      #2
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThursdayNext    

    I knew having horses was like having kids, but I didn't really expect this.
    Laugh! This is my favorite part in your post..I think that's the point when you inherit the lead rope with a horse on the other end..You never know what to expect, except the unexpected..Horses are strange animals, who knows why they do any of the funky things and quirks they do.

    If your trainer is helping you I would just stick to what your trainer is saying..S/he is there in person and can help more than we can and knows your whole situation better than we do. Just be patient and let him figure it out without getting yourself flustered..I know it's hard.. Our horses are on 18 acres of open field..If one (usually sister's gelding) decides to play hard to get, the whole group runs around like mad idiots...My usually easy to catch horses have lost their minds..I give them a few chances of me standing there to come in and be haltered but if they don't..I am not chasing them around an 18 acres pasture and wearing myself out..They think it's great fun..until I bring out the golf cart of fourwheeler...I usually have another person with me and I will stand in the pasture looking all sweet and "safe" and the horses get chased by the ATV until they decide "it's a good idea to go to Mom, I can stop working when I'm with her and she has cookies."...We rarely have to do that but it never fails to work.
         
        02-16-2012, 10:32 PM
      #3
    Yearling
    Hehehe...I'm seeing this with the ATV. Mastermind!

    I'm sure my trainer is right, I'm sure I'll do the right thing by Huey, but OY!! It's like dealing with a little kid having a melt-down, you know it's because the kid is overwhelmed by things, so it makes no sense to get ticked off, but it's still something I'd rather not have.

    At least it's a paddock of manageable size and he's in it by himself. This would be 1,000 more of a PITA if he were in with a herd or on a nice big expanse of pasture. At least I've figured out how to keep him moving yet also keep him out of the icy corner of the paddock.
         
        02-16-2012, 10:44 PM
      #4
    Green Broke
    Exactly..It's rather annoying and even thought it makes you want to pull your hair out, just remember to stay cool about it. My sister is hilarious when she's the "catcher"...She'll be talking to her horse in a super sweet voice "Ohh Tucker, I'm going to kill you when I catch you. I know who is not getting any treats..I am going to make you wish you had came to me. You are for sale."..and of course he doesn't know what the heck she's saying but it sounds nice to him...

    Lol Venting about it here is probably a good thing instead of dwelling on it and letting it ruffle your feathers..I can sympathize and know exactly how you feel! Hopefully this "stage" will pass quickly and he'll realize he's just being a nerd and making it take longer..
    ThursdayNext likes this.
         
        02-17-2012, 12:32 AM
      #5
    Super Moderator
    Your trainer has the right idea. HOwever, you might practice the "art of catching a horse" in a round pen or smaller paddock til you get good at it and to help him learn it better.
         

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