Horse that mimics other horses? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 07-02-2012, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Horse that mimics other horses?

So you guys know my three year old Ruger. I have noticed he mimics his herdnates. Whenever I ride Rebel or Selena, I will hose them off and pu them away and of course they roll...And without fail, every time, Ruger will roll right when they do.

When tied to the trailer, if Selena starts pawing, he will start pawing too.

If Selena bites on the trailer, he starts biting the trailer too.

If Rebel sticks his nose out the trailer window, he sticks his nose out the window too.

I think it's funny, because he won't do any of these things unless either of those two do it first. Anyone else have a horse that does that?
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-02-2012, 07:41 PM
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Yes, my little gelding likes to mimick others. Unfortunately, that included chewing fences and pawing. He never did those things before meeting these other horses who did. Young and impressionable...Sigh!

Proud owner of ~Mana: 6yo Arabian gelding~Pearl 13yo Arabian~Danzer 14yo Arabian mare~ Tiny mini filly
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-02-2012, 08:33 PM
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My mare does the same thing, sometimes to an extreme, a point where I have to turn her away from watching.

She's 14 and super seasoned to jumping, but my coach was jumping this new-to-jumping QH in our lesson, and he did the obvious little green horse stop and deer-hop over the fence...well well well guess what my mare does, the exact same thing. This QH also paws, excessively so at shows, and my mare picked up on that too, not permanently, just as a ' Hey I can do that too! '

Sometimes its a blessing though, she really lengthens her stride nicely when she wants to catch up to her buddy!
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-02-2012, 09:03 PM
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Every horse I have owned does that. It's called "Monkey see, Monkey do". Quite common, however they only mimic the bad habits, rats.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-02-2012, 09:22 PM
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No, they just mimic what you see as bad habits, and what they see as communication and entertainment. Oh look, something to do other than stand here and wait on the human! Woot! Even better if it centers your attention on them.

Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-02-2012, 09:24 PM
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Same as for us too my MIL mimics other residents and me as well

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post #7 of 11 Old 07-02-2012, 09:38 PM
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I guess that would include eating my petunias?????
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-03-2012, 12:19 AM
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Really tasty clover?

Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

Don't look in a horses mouth for a gift.
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-03-2012, 01:21 AM
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Is is normal behavior for horses and training can be based on it, too, for example, using an older, experienced horse to show a youngster how to drive, to jump, etc., by doing it with him or before his eyes. I have also used it in trick training - Snickers learned the Spanish walk much faster, when a mare that has mastered the SW, did it in front of him after my cues.

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-03-2012, 02:36 AM
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What you don't know is that they're playing Simon says...and Ruger's never Simon
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