NEED TO FIX this pawing habit and other ground manners - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 10-07-2013, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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NEED TO FIX this pawing habit and other ground manners

My horse really enjoys a good paw to get my attention, and she is very patient and has generally good ground manners but some bad habits. I don't like to hit her ever but I do give her a good yank on the cross tie which she has started to tune out. She also tunes out my vocal cues. She's a little head shy (not in a way that she's super freaked out because sometimes she loves a good head rub). If she's super excited when I'm leading her she also enjoys to walk forward and circle around me.

I haven't been able to ride in the past week and I'm about to switch stables, and the last thing I need is to go into a new environment with iffy ground manners. How can I reinforce each individual thing... especially the pawing, which is my big issue?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-07-2013, 09:08 PM
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Tie her out and ignore her so she realizes that the pawing gets her no attention.
Also hobble training is handy.
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I DON'T LEAD 'EM AND FEED 'EM, I RIDE 'EM AND SLIDE 'EM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-07-2013, 09:56 PM
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would you recommend hobble training to any rider? Regardless of their level of experience in horse handling?

I have a feeling that you may be a bit of a softie to your horse. With the leading, she should not go ahead of you. Warwick Schiller has a good video on how to deal with that. Let me see if I can't find it for you.


Here:

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post #4 of 15 Old 10-07-2013, 10:03 PM
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For the leading issue, I use a dressage whip. Carry it passively in your left hand and the second she charges ahead, give her a good whack across the chest. It worked wonders with my best friend's pushy QH mare. Or, spin the excess lead rope in a circle in front of you so that if she surges forward, she gets bonked in the nose.
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-07-2013, 10:14 PM
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I fixed this once with a horse when I worked for a trainer. It took a while though. But what I did is took my homework to the barn and pulled out the horse and tied her to the hitching post and went off at a short distance, like 10-15 yards, where she was able to see me and sat down and started my homework. Didn't take long for her to start pawing and I just ignored her. As soon as she stopped I would go over and rub her for 30 seconds or so and go sit back down. If during the time I got up to go to her she started pawing again I just went and sat right back down until she stopped. After about an hour and a half or so she stopped pawing all together and could sit that distance away and work and she wouldn't paw. And of coarse I'd go over periodically and rub her and give her attention to reward the good behavior. So basically teaching her pawing drives me away, not pawing brings my attention. I repeated this everyday for a a little over a week and each day the time it took to get her to not paw at all got shorter and shorter until she stopped all together.
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-08-2013, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thank for your all the advice! I have some new things to try for sure. I'd appreciate if anyone still has more advice, the more the merrier :)

And yes, I can be a bit of a softie with my horse, and then when I am very firm and do three lead-yanks in a few seconds I feel like I was rude, but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-08-2013, 09:31 AM
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A friend of mine has a horse that paws on the picket line even after being ridden. She puts a horse shoe around each pastern, it works.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-08-2013, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Usually my girl gets much more relaxed AFTER dinner, or after a good workout... once she has her meal and knows it's time to relax.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-08-2013, 03:42 PM
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To fix the pawing tie her for a few hours and leave her alone, she will figure out it is doing her no good to paw. I have a few trees where mine learn to stand and gain patience. It works best if they are a bit tired from a good workout.

When your leading and she gets ahead of you turn quickly towards her hind end and use a training stick, or dressage crop and yield her hind quarters with energy for a few circles then walk off like nothing happened. If she gets ahead of you again do the same thing usually a few chase the HQ exercises fixes the problem very quickly. Don't be afraid to give her a good whack on the hind end to get her attention and let her know you mean business. The alpha mare in a herd has not problem biting, kicking or chasing the lower ranked animals, you are the herd leader show her you control her feet.
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-08-2013, 05:53 PM
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My mule has a habit of doing this also. I just tie him up, and go do something else. Leaving him there to paw for a couple hours till he realizes it does him no good.

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