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This is a discussion on Eeek! within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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  • 7 Post By Kayty
  • 1 Post By busysmurf

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    03-08-2012, 11:57 PM

Okay, time to confess...

Um... Well, even though Mudpie is amazing and perfect and I love him more than anything else in the world... he can sometimes, kind of, a little bit, be a punk. There, I said it.

So I have this dilemma... now, Penny has been complaining about how I "***** foot" around him, blah blah blah, and that he needs to behave better. I am... aware of this. He's usually a gentleman, but sometimes he's not, to put it simply. Especially since he's been recovering... he's been so full of energy that he's been a straight up d***wad! Now, after our little come-to-Jesus meeting, I've been way more firm, and I've really made him be respectful. But I feel so bad! I love him so much, you know?! I don't want to be mean to him...

Gah, I sound like a whiney little girl who just got her first pony.

With all other horses, I'm hardcore about making them behave. They don't put a hoof out of place, and I don't take any crap. At all. Like... I'm a manners-Nazi. Ve vill make you behave! (bad joke, sorry)

But with Mudpie... I just...

There was a time, right after he got out of the pack station, that everyone had to be really careful about handling him. You didn't swing ropes around his face, you didn't make him back up quickly, you didn't jerk on him hardly at all, and you were just making sure that he knew that he was safe and loved and all was well. That's why I'm always so freaky about who I let handle him. (by the way, we're talking ground manners right now)

So blah!

I don't want to be that horseperson who never does anything about their ill-mannered horse. He's not ill-mannered... He's just a little bit of a jerk sometimes.

You know? :P

Molly doesn't know what to do. :\
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    03-09-2012, 12:37 AM
If he's a bit of a jerk sometimes, he's ill-mannered. Same thing.
This will be blunt - but, Mudpie does not love you. Horses, do not love you, they respect the person that provides them with leadership.
They do not care for the person that tip toes around them. I love my horses, and I feel that I have a good relationship with them. My yearling comes galloping up to me from across the paddock when he sees me. His eyes are always on me, he follows me around like a puppy. I pat him, I rub his ears, I sit against a fence post in his paddock reading a book and he stands beside me resting his nose on my lap, while I stroke his face.
He doesn't even consider biting anymore, I can crawl underneath him if I wish, I can touch him anywhere, move his anywhere, yield any part of his body.
How did I develop that relationship with a young horse? Through being the leader, and not giving him an inch. The first time he tried to put his teeth on me, he thought I was going to kill him. He has never tried it again. He will rest his nose on me, and if his teeth touch me, he very quickly snaps out of his doze and closes his lips again. He wouldn't dare kick me. I can wave a lazy hand at his shoulders and he steps over.
All from being touch in the initial stages of my owning him. I do a lot of groundwork with him, a lot of work on getting him yielding and accepting my touch.

When you set down the ground rules through being demanding but fair, you set yourself up for a good relationship with your horse. I would never put up with a horse being 'a bit of a jerk'. Would you remain friends with someone that turned on you all the time? Probably not. So why put up with that from a horse? He's not a cute, fluffy little doggy - he is a 500kg+ ball of muscle with hard hooves and teeth that can do a hell of a lot of damage to you. Why compromise your safety when you can get on top of it and reduce that risk?

Treat Mudpie like you do other horses, and your relationship will improve - I promise
    03-09-2012, 01:41 AM
It sounds like to me that you know that there is a problem and know what you need to do about it. Suck it up and do what needs doing. You owe it to your horse.
    03-09-2012, 06:00 AM
    03-09-2012, 05:37 PM
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I have dealt with a lot of abused/nervous horses and they are the ones that benefit the most from firm fair corrections and positive leadership.
    03-09-2012, 05:41 PM
Originally Posted by Foxhunter    
I have dealt with a lot of abused/nervous horses and they are the ones that benefit the most from firm fair corrections and positive leadership.
Oh, it doesn't have to do with being corrected... it's just the way you do it. He will shut down and relapse if he's treated harshly, or in certain ways. Luckily, I know how he was treated and what was done to him and even a few specific events that really messed him up.

Yep, y'all are right. Starting Sunday!
    03-09-2012, 05:54 PM
I'm going to be the usual oddball and say something different. So here it goes...
At least you got enough brains and boobs to admit it, recognize it, and work on it. A few ppl around here won't even do THAT!! I have more respect for ppl that realize they are doing something wrong and as bad as it may be, are willing to admit it and possibly be judged for it, AND THEN ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!

Oh, and just for the record. Yes you did mess up and let him get away with stuff you shouldn't have
Kayty likes this.
    03-15-2012, 09:30 PM
Okay so starting on Sunday, I've been handwalking Mudpie for 20 minutes! The first time, he tried to be a bit of a brat, but I sort of overcorrected him and he didn't do anything else bad! On Monday, he was better, and despite a few moments of head-tossing, he didn't do anything wrong(: And on Tuesday, I was able to make the walk more vigorous, and he was perfect. I was so proud of him! On Wednesday, he spooked when something (still unidentified xD) went crashing through the trees, but he came back super easily. The only thing this told me was that he was spookier than usual at this point, and that it was something we'd have to work through.

Yesterday (Wednesday), after our 20 minutes of speed walking (doing this because we want his cardio to get a bit conditioned before we start working), we worked on space. I'd walk a little bit, and then stop, and he learned not to go ahead of my shoulder, and to be alert to when I was going to stop. He was so good, even when we were walking up the hill! I was so proud!

And today (Thursday) I will be lounging him! I'll be using a surcingle and side reins for support. Super excited! This marks the beginning of... work! Yaaay! Penny will be there to watch and assist me if I need help! (:

And soon, I will ride him! We're working up to this to see if it's just spaztic energy or a real attitude problem. He's not a mischievous guy, or a mean guy at all. He tries hard, he's smart, and he's a big sweetheart. I'm pretty sure it was just him filled with energy after being cooped up for 4 months. We will see!


Here are some pictures. These three are from Sunday:

And this one is from Tuesday!

    03-16-2012, 02:19 AM
It was a good lounging round! He was a defiant a – *ahem* donkey, but MAN we made some headway! We worked on leading afterwards and he was freaking awesome!

Here are some really bad pictures... I couldn't get any of how dead sexy he looked in his bridle! Gosh, he's beautiful!

So proud! :')

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