2 year old dangerous in the roundpen.
 
 

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2 year old dangerous in the roundpen.

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  • Two year old dangerous horse
  • Round pen training 2 year old colt

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    08-31-2012, 01:41 AM
  #1
Started
2 year old dangerous in the roundpen.

I have this 2 year old bay mare, June-Bug, who I bought last fall.


I work with my colts in the roundpen or corral just in case runaway's or blow-ups happen.

It all started when I caught her the other day, and she was being really pushy and rammy on the ground just leading from the corral to the barn and in the barn as well. She would not let me physically push her or move her, so I dragged her to the roundpen and started roundpenning her to teach her that I can make her move and that she has to pay attention to me.

It was a failed attempt.

She pushed on the gate, she bucked, she ran, the turned around whenever she wanted, I couldn't stop her or make her turn, or get her moving in the direction I wanted her to move.

I started getting a lot meaner with the lunge whip as her behaviour got worse, I gave her several cracks across the butt, and snapped the tail to make noise to try and get her to MOVE. She wouldn't. She actually started acting like a bull or cow that was thinking about chasing. I gave up at that point because of my knee that I recently had surgery on. I didn't want to get hit or kicked. And so, I waited for my dad to get home. Needless to say, she got left in the round pen alone for a few hours.

When my dad got home, I explained to him my issues and asked him to try. He had the same problems, except he pushed her a bit harder than I did.
And then she JUMPED out of the round-pen (roughly 5 feet). We caught her and he put a lead on her halter just in case she would try again. He quit about 5 minutes later when she kind of payed attention to him instead of finding a way out.

I left her in the roundpen for the remainder of the day and led her to drink and hand-grazed her that evening. She got put in the corral with 2 other horses after that, because she obviously needed more work.

Today, 2 days after that ordeal, my dad goes to try to roundpen her a bit again.
If he did have my long home-made lunge line (It's a long soft rope) on her halter, she would have tried jumping out a couple more times. She started backing up towards him, rearing ect ect. And this all is not without punishment, let me tell you. But she doesn't get the hint. She doesn't understand that she has to respect the human working with her.

I believe she was spoiled as a yearling before I bought her and it's showing up now.

I'm at a loss of what to try.
     
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    08-31-2012, 01:56 AM
  #2
Showing
Lunging

You know what, I have dealt with horses like that both young and old, and my technic is this. If you have a horse who has the energy to be a disrespectful(to type it nicely), then it's the right time to get them to free lunge until they are ready to listen.
Start off on a good note and see if you can achieve what it is you need to achieve, but it comes down to a horse who is bullying you around, free lunge that horse until it is so tired out that it will realize there is no other option but to start being respectful.

Now having said that, I assume that this misbehaving is a new thing? Im only saying this because it sounds like this horse knows better. This is not something I recommend with a horse whos never been worked with.

Years ago I owned a huge gelding who was used by the police, 16'2hh and a good 1500lbs. He was a huge horse and a TB which didnt help. I had issues with him not wanting to load in the trailer and he kept bullying me, and he knew better. The trailer was not an issue. I got the lunge line out, and I would ask him nicely to load. If he said no and tried to be rude, off on the lunge line he went for 10 mins-and HARD do not let him/her leisurely trot around, they have to WORK. I did this for 2 hours until he was so tired he gave in and loaded. That was the only and last time I ever had issues with him loading.

It sounds like you have a smart cookie of a horse, don't let it intimidate you.
stormylass, Boo Walker and Ponies like this.
     
    08-31-2012, 02:00 AM
  #3
Started
This... "misbehaving" is new, I've worked with her quite a few times before this, and she showed a little pushy-ness, but nothing out of the ordinary for a sassy 2 year old.

My first attempt was exactly what you said, My2Geldings, started on a good note and free lunge until she listens. We obviously havent gotten there yet. I did want to free lunge her hard until she gave up, but she acted as if she wanted to fight, and I didnt want to mess with a horse like that with my healing knee. My father also tried the same approach as mentioned, and he hasn't gotten it either. And it's not like either of us was being tender and nice with the whip when she got... bad. She just stood there and tried to kick at it and such.

I'm thinking solitary confinement in the roundpen for a week getting led to water getting forked feed in the morning and evening is in order.
     
    08-31-2012, 02:03 AM
  #4
Super Moderator
I think the OP was saying that she cannot get the horse to lunge, as you are advising her too. Pressure with a whip has lead to her jumping out of the round pen.

OP, have you tried lungin her in an arena? I mean on a line? Does she lead reasonably well? How are her ground manners when not fighting in a round pen?
     
    08-31-2012, 02:05 AM
  #5
Started
I don't have an arena available! :(

She leads really well, I've taken her for "walks" around the yard without any problems. Her ground manners are pretty good, she's a little pushy and impatient though.

The pressure from the whip has led to more than jumping out of the roundpen, she doesn't even react to it sometimes, or tries to go on the fight.
     
    08-31-2012, 02:37 AM
  #6
Trained
Hi,

So is this sort of behaviour normal for her, has been gradually getting worse, or was the other day a big change? If it's a sudden change, what's been happening recently?

Whatever, I first strongly advise you forget 'roundpenning' for now at least & as it sounds that you & your dad are not experienced with training, I'd strongly advise you find someone that is, to teach you all. Perservering is only likely to make this horse far more dangerous & harder for even a good trainer to work with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QHriderKE    
I started getting a lot meaner with the lunge whip as her behaviour got worse, I gave her several cracks across the butt, and snapped the tail to make noise to try and get her to MOVE. She wouldn't. She actually started acting like a bull or cow that was thinking about chasing.
While punishment can sometimes be warranted & helpful IMO, it sounds like you were probably being unclear(how did you attempt to *teach* her the 'right' responses?) & too confrontational, so adding further punishment to that mix only made matters worse.

Quote:
Needless to say, she got left in the round pen alone for a few hours.
I will assume that was due to your knee & concerns about safety. I hope if she were left there for a few hours she at least got some hay? It is bad for their health to go hungry for periods of time. If it was because you were hoping to further punish her, you need to understand that horses only learn by *instant* association and don't understand abstract concepts, so if it was bad for her, the association will only be with the roundpen if anything, not her 'wrong' behaviour. So whether you punish or reward, it needs to happen *at the time of* the behaviour you want to influence.

Quote:
And then she JUMPED out of the round-pen (roughly 5 feet).
Sounds like she's been pushed way too hard & is confused & frightened of the whole experience.

Quote:
And this all is not without punishment, let me tell you. But she doesn't get the hint. She doesn't understand that she has to respect the human working with her.
You're right, she doesn't get it. Of course she doesn't have to respect 'the human', although I think it's definitely desireable if you can *earn* her respect.

Quote:
I believe she was spoiled as a yearling before I bought her and it's showing up now.
While you don't tell how you handle/train her, except that you're not shy of dishing out 'punishment', I believe that regardless of her previous experiences, you are making matters worse. Without more info, there is nothing here to suggest it was prior experiences & everything to suggest that it is your/your dad's approach. **Sorry to be blunt. I don't mean to offend, trying not to assume, but this is the way it honestly sounds to me.
     
    08-31-2012, 03:03 AM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
I've worked with her quite a few times before this, and she showed a little pushy-ness, but nothing out of the ordinary for a sassy 2 year old.
What does this mean to you? What's 'a little pushy' & what's 'sassy'? How have you worked with her?

Quote:
Originally Posted by My2Geldings    
achieve, but it comes down to a horse who is bullying you around, free lunge that horse until it is so tired out that it will realize there is no other option but to start being respectful.
I personally disagree strongly with chasing a horse around until it gives up. It will not teach them respect either, although I appreciate this is an ambiguous term & depends what you mean by it.

But that's largely beside the point, as OP cannot get the horse to free lunge anyway by the sound of things & far from the horse 'bullying' her, it sounds very much like the horse is feeling very bullied herself & has been inadvertently taught that fight or flight is her only hope. It is dangerous advice to tell her to keep perservering.

Quote:
I'm thinking solitary confinement in the roundpen for a week getting led to water getting forked feed in the morning and evening is in order.
PLEASE FORGET THAT IDEA & LEARN HOW HORSES LEARN, for a start!!!
     
    08-31-2012, 03:15 AM
  #8
Started
Neither of me or my dad are new to training. My dads been breaking horses since he was 13 and we've tamed and broke a few wild/untouched horses together. I'm pretty sure we have some decent experience in training.

Before this, I had done some simple groundwork like backing up and giving to pressure on the ground and getting her used to potentially scary things around the yard and she did just fine. No big issues that were a red flag to this behaviour. This behaviour just seemed to pop up when I tried to get her to move for me in the roundpen.

Really, I only got after her with the whip when she froze and wouldn't move. I tried to get forward movement out of her, and when I did, I let off and let her move. The only response we really want from her is movement that doesn't result in freezing at the gate and hitting it, or trying to crawl over the fence.

And about leaving her in the pen for a few hours without hay, well... every other horse on the property comes up to the corral and parks itself by the waterer where there is no grass, just sand, and stand there out of their own free will from 11am to about 6pm, and then they wander back out to the pasture to graze. IMO, her standing in the pen alone without food wasn't much different than her standing in a different pen with a bunch of other horses without food.

The time she jumped out of the pen was when she tried to push through the gate and my dad whacked her on the chest to try and get her to move away from the gate. She then ran across the pen and jumped out.

I am just at a loss of what to try. I think I might try really small circles at a walk around me on a lead line so that she HAS to pay attention to me, and that's all I could think of so far...

And where I get the leading to water and such idea from is from when we were "taming" those wild horses, we'd catch them every day and lead them to water, it's simple but it seemed to help a lot of things.
     
    08-31-2012, 04:02 AM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by QHriderKE    
Really, I only got after her with the whip when she froze and wouldn't move. ....result in freezing at the gate and hitting it, or trying to crawl over the fence.
'Freezing' is a fear/mental shut down type response. Instead of just trying to force her, I'd be endevouring to get her thinking of you as a Good Thing to be with, rather than something frightening that she wants to escape from, and make it easy for her to understand what you want. Eg. If you've only done some basic groundwork with her before, perhaps she hasn't learned yet to follow your bodylanguage, only direct pressure from the lead. Perhaps she hasn't learned how to yield(respond softly with understanding & without fear) to a whip. Perhaps she hasn't learned to respond to you at a distance, only up close, or only in a particular environment - horses don't generalise well. Find ways of making the 'right' things easier for her to work out. Also try to ensure her 'right' answers cause *good* consequences, not just lack of bad.

Quote:
own free will from 11am to about 6pm, and then they wander back out to the pasture to graze.
OK, that sounds unusually long IME & from what I understand about their digestion, but in case you didn't realise, just wanted to explain that it's not good for them health-wise to be left hungry for long. Unlike us, they're designed to have small amounts going through their system near constantly & as such, there is a constant trickle of stomach acid, so empty stomachs are at risk of ulcers & such.

Quote:
The time she jumped out of the pen was when she tried to push through the gate and my dad whacked her on the chest to try and get her to move away from the gate. She then ran across the pen and jumped out.
I'd be working on getting her motivated & willing to be with you & pay attention before I'd attempt to make her 'do stuff'. Then start teaching the 'stuff' very simply.

Quote:
I am just at a loss of what to try. I think I might try really small circles at a walk around me on a lead line so that she HAS to pay attention to me,
I would suggest studying the 'laws of learning' and equine psychology/behaviour, so you understand how horses learn & how reinforcement/punishment works & when/why/why not punish or use other tactics. Regarding the small circles online, by the sound of things, I wouldn't start there, but go right back to the basics first, but yes, that is one thing I generally consider a good preparation for lunging at a bigger distance.

Quote:
And where I get the leading to water and such idea from is from when we were "taming" those wild horses, we'd catch them every day and lead them to water, it's simple but it seemed to help a lot of things.
Yes, that is helpful to establish that it's a good thing to allow yourself to be caught & be with people, because you're only doing something desirable with them. I think you need to work out other ways of showing her that 'working' with you is desirable for her & not unpleasant.

Oh & regardless of how 'experienced' we may be, there are often better or at least alternate ways of doing things & you can always learn from other trainers.
     
    08-31-2012, 06:59 AM
  #10
Yearling
Can you get her to move her hip away from your in a small circle on a lead rope? I'd start there. Can you get a video?
     

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