aggresive when getting in trouble,,,long...sorry

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aggresive when getting in trouble,,,long...sorry

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        08-18-2008, 05:46 PM
    aggresive when getting in trouble,,,long...sorry

    For those of you here who don't know I have an 8 year old wb whos a cranky so and so to say the least. I've had problems with him the whole time we have had him. Some times are worse than others though.

    It doesnt matter what you do with jarred he has his ears back. Whether he is being brushed or you are straightening his rugs or cleaning his feet or literally absolutely anything, his ears are back. The worst is when we are riding. His ears are almost constantly back and if they do go forward they wont stay there too long. I know with the riding thing that its not pain or poor fitting saddle etc as we have just got him all fixed up and doing well. He had baaaad back problems and couldnt be ridden. But we got all that sorted and he is pretty much a dream to ride apart from his normal attitude now :)

    When we first got him I put it down to attitude. We worked on a lot of respect things and he got better but he still has this ears back thing. And biting and kicking.

    This leads me to my main question. I have found of late that I am asking more of him in the saddle and he is responding well but he is getting worse on the ground which is hard to understand as we are also doing a lot of work on the ground which usually helps him heaps. The worst of it comes when I need to reprimand him. For example:

    - a few weeks ago I was adjusting jarreds rug while he was in his yard. Usually he would ears back at me but this time I was checking all his leg straps and he did a silly little kick at me. It wasnt a full on kick but it was one of those warning type ones. Anyways so cause it was a "warning" kick I gave him "warning" type punishment. So I growl at him and attempted to 'move' him away from me with my arms. Well...i ended up in the corner with jarred kicking lick crazy. Fortunately he was on the wrong angle to actually get me and I did an awkward little roll under the rail and was fine apart from suffering a huge adrenalin rush lol I can think of better ways to get the heart going

    - I was brushing his mane the other day. He had his ears back and started pawing the ground and being all cranky so I growled at him a little. That was enough to annoy him and he swung around and bit me quite hard and the arm. I was in the perfect position to give him a sturdy whack on his shoulder within about a second and a half of it happening. He didnt try and bite again but he kept his ears back and snorted at me :roll: I don't often use physical discipline because I am rarely in a good spot eg; shoulder or rump, to give him a quick slap straight away but if it involves biting or kicking if I can do it in time he will get a slap.

    There are many more instances but I wont name them all. But any time I try and reprimand him it gets nasty. This means that basically unless I want my head kicked in I can't discipline him. I don't like this. He's a huge horse and im small and I need him listening not challenging me back every time.

    Is this a domination thing? Jarred is leader of the pack and doesnt give up that position no matter how much he has to fight another horse off. Im thinking that either he has accepted me into his herd but not as his dominant or he hasnt accepted me. I don't know about this because for the most part we have a reasonable relationship on the ground as long as he isnt in trouble for something :) if we are doing things eg; lunging or anything involving him having to move forward we have issues. This can be in preparation for it as well. If im standing there hanging out he will come up and rest his head on me and have a sook and a cuddle. I think comes from the sugar cube or mint they all get when they finish their dinner lol but even through all this he has his stupid ears back :roll:

    I've started tying him up lately to do absolutely anything with him. This seems to be helping somewhat but its still not good. We do have a lot of good moments but id rather have more good ones and less bad ones. I've been battling his cranks for 10 months now and im tired of it lol

    I wonder if his ears thing isnt always crankiness. Since his back got fixed apart from him being so obviously green he has been great under saddle. We even went on a trail ride the other day which was unheard of on jarred a few months ago. Yet still everything he does is ears back unless we are looking at a jump and then his ears are forward :) he doesnt react in any other way apart from his ears going back. He can be standing there bottom lip hanging and his ears will still be pinned back lol

    So I guess there is a lot of questions in there really. Mainly, whats the deal with the ears and how can I get past this aggression when being disciplined. I've been doing a lot of bonding and respect work on the ground but he really is still a baby. Even though he's 8 he is a wb and wasnt broken in until a couple of years ago and then had no riding after breaking until me so he is more like a baby in mentality while being too smart for his own good. The groundwork seems to help our relationship a little but doesnt seem to do much else at the moment

    Any ideas/thoughts/suggestions??? Im sure I've forgotten to mention something but I have written a small novel here as it is ;)
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        08-18-2008, 06:04 PM
    Sounds to me like it's mostly dominance....try doing alot more groundwork teaching him to listen, to move over on command, and so on.

    As for the ears back...I've noticed that some horses do that. The one mare I used to ride would NEVER perk her ears up for anything while she was around humans...but she wasn't "pinning" them in a "just try me" was a habit.

    Just like if you constantly knock on EVERY door before walking into the room (whether the door was open or not) when you were would be hard to stop yourself from doing it, because it's kinda been drilled into's a muscle reflex so to speak.
    If you say there is no pain....but he did have problems before it could just be a habit of keeping his ears back.

    Sorry I"m not much help am I? never again will I wake up early lol
        08-19-2008, 12:20 AM
    I can go ahead and tell ya im not going to be much help either because I don't have that much experience. Im really concerned about your safety though!!! I have read lots and lots of information about horses. All the trainers have different ways of doing things...but the one thing they all agree on is that you are either the herd leader or the horse is. One of the things I did with my horse is controll his feet in the round pen until he became submissive. I went to and watch his free videos and a lot of them on youtube to learn how to do that and learn when to stop and all that stuff. I also work on controlling my horses head while leading him. My horse gave in very easily to my leadership. What scares me about your situation is that your horse isnt going to give over without a fight! Its very scary that your horse turned and was kicking at you like that I don't think I'd ever touch my horse again if he did that to me!! If I were have a proffessional get controll of him. If you do decide to get in the round pen with him...make sure you have something in your hand in case you need to defend yourself. Sorry I couldnt be more helpful. Please be careful whatever you decide to do
        08-19-2008, 02:44 AM
    This may seem unrelated, but how do you feed him?
    I found an interesting clip about feed-time rules made by an Aussie trainer, John O'Leary. Have you heard of him?
    Anyway the clip is about asserting dominance when you feed them as this is how they sort out their heirachy (sp?) in the wild. So if they crowd/boss you when you feed them they think they're the top dog (or horse in this case ), etc etc.

    And this is his site:
    He also has tons of articles about rules and dominance/respect and stuff. Hope it helps! :)
        08-19-2008, 12:22 PM
    Jazzy, I'm just going to throw this out there for what its worth. This is what I didi and it may not be proper or even right for that matter but here goes...

    Shortly after we got our 2 qh's we realized that we we not being the dominate party in the relationship. Dumas was. We were intimidated by the fact that we were told that he would rear if you pushed him too hard and we also kne whe was headshy.. I knew enough to realize that we had to get some dominance from the ground if we were ever going to have a respectful relationship.

    Long story shorter :P We had the horses in our smaller pen (about an acre) and I was trying to get the halters on them. Dumas would have none of it. He was pinning his ears and turning his rump to me everytime I got within an arm's reach of him. I was getting frustrated so I decided to take a step back and re-evaluate. What I decided is that if he didn't want to stand for me he would run. I spent a good 20 minutes making the horses move from side to side and corner to corner of that pen. I whooped and hollered and swung my arms in the air and clapped my hands... I was leader of that herd and I was going to tell them when they get to move and when they get to stand. Dumas couldn't rear if he was trotting...or kick or bite or anything else...I used his instincts to run away to actually help me train...make sence?

    After about 20 minutes the horses stood still and I walked up to them non-threatening like and was able to then get a lead rope over Dumas and get the halter on.

    Point being that once I took control of the situation they were happy to comply with the easier me do what I want (halter)

    I have done this a few times since owning them and everytime it was shorter and shorter. I can now walk out and they will let me halter with no issues.

    I still will move them just to let them know that I'm in charge. Even if I'm not going to work with them... I can just walk up and say Mooove...and they will trot off out of my way.

    Hope it helps some....
        08-19-2008, 12:29 PM
    Jazzy, is there anyway you could have a professional come in, maybe for a consultation to see how they would handle that situation?

    I would carry a crop, or something with you so when you do punish him, you could be further back and out of harms way.

    Do you have a rope halter? If you do, I would use that on him, rather than a nylon or leather halter.

    What I did with Vega that helped a bit, was I would have Tom come up there with me and video tape me working with her, and afterwards I was able to review it and see what things I did that either helped or didn't help whenever she acted up.

    I'm not really sure what else to tell you to do.
    Just be safe :)

    Have you thought about sending him off to a trainer for a month to work on groundwork and riding him?
        08-20-2008, 06:35 AM
    Originally Posted by SonnyWimps
    sounds to me like it's mostly dominance....try doing alot more groundwork teaching him to listen, to move over on command, and so on.
    lol we do so much groundwork its not even funny

    Sandy - thank you for your concern. Im on extra high alert now and am getting very good at dodging stuff :) the thing is I don't have a problem with what to do its more the fact that he just isnt listening. As you said, he isnt going to give up without a fight :roll:

    He doesnt scare me. Sometimes I am intimidated but I know the side of him that is sweet and loving. That's him in my avatar. At that moment he was standing there resting his head on me :) I don't really want to send him off to a trainer as I know we can get through this. We have already gotten past so much. He was neglected for a long time before I got him. I really don't think he had been handled a whole lot. He wasnt wild or anything but you could tell he hadnt done much of the basics like being led or tying up or listening to people in general. If anything I would go with him to a trainer if it came down to it. I am thinking of taking him to a natural horsemanship place. Its not like parelli or any of that stuff its more just one of those bonding, respect kinda things.

    Red hawk - he gets fed in his yard in a up feeder. We have taught him that he can't eat before we tell him to eg; by moving away from the feed bowl. Usually he just stands behind until we are done.

    There is no issue in the saddle in fact he is coming along really well which is surprising. Its like we only have a relationship in the saddle but to have a good thing going under saddle you need to have the ground respect happening which we don't so why are we getting on so well in the saddle?

    Thanks for the links. Ill have a look at them :)

    Dumas - jarred knicks off on me all the time when I go to catch him. I use the leadrope to make him run and considering he is a lazy so and so he stops in about half a dozen strides and doesnt move an inch when I walk up to him again we do play such a game of tug 'o' war over the dominant position but once he is haltered he is much better....mostly anyways

    Appy - as I mentioned a little up there ^^^^ I will go to a trainer if I need to but I never have before and its a last resort for me :) stubborn, maybe. Confident I can get through it, definitely but yeah, I will go if things get any worse. As long as things don't get worse I will plod along myself but if anything escalates ill get someone in. I am planning on getting some trainer help soon for under saddle so maybe I can do both at once.

    Yep he has a rope halter

    I get rich to video me every time I ride. Im fanatical about watching myself ride so I can see where im going wrong etc :)

    I do sometimes carry a whip but I don't want that to be what our relationship is all about. I want to get his respect and my dominance but I don't want to be seen as 'that human with a whip'. That's why I've always used my arms and my voice. Sometimes he actually moves away from me too...sometimes...ok, rarely

    I guess ill just continue with what I've been doing and organise a trainer for under saddle lessons and he/she may be able to give me some help while im there ;) we are buying a float in the next month or so so I will be able to haul him to a trainer for some lessons. It will be good to have some lessons and have someone push me to work him a little harder too. I tend to go soft and jarred needs softness yes but a certain amount if firmness as well.

    Anyways, I've rambled enough now lol
        08-20-2008, 06:54 AM
    Tie his ears forward problem solved :P
        08-20-2008, 08:05 AM
    He-he... Good idea (about the tie ears)...

    OK, I going to be yelled at, but... Did you try to give him treats? How does he behave when you suggest carrots (whatever) to him? Pin ears? Straight ears? Any positive interest?

    Also do you know anything about his past? When was he gelded? Was he abused?

    Groundwork teaches lots of things, but I do not believe groundwork will bring up --love-- relations between the person and the horse for some horses. Respect, yes. Probably trust. But not love to the handler. Well, it's hard for me to explain, but I'm sure you understand. :) Again, I'm not talking about EVERY horse, but some are indeed very different.

    Personally I'd just try to get those "trust and love" relations with him (since you do lots of groundwork anyway). Talk to him, try to find his "good spot" he loves to be rubbed and so on.
        08-20-2008, 04:11 PM
    Originally Posted by kitten_Val
    He-he... Good idea (about the tie ears)...

    OK, I going to be yelled at, but... Did you try to give him treats? How does he behave when you suggest carrots (whatever) to him? Pin ears? Straight ears? Any positive interest?

    Also do you know anything about his past? When was he gelded? Was he abused?

    Groundwork teaches lots of things, but I do not believe groundwork will bring up --love-- relations between the person and the horse for some horses. Respect, yes. Probably trust. But not love to the handler. Well, it's hard for me to explain, but I'm sure you understand. :) Again, I'm not talking about EVERY horse, but some are indeed very different.

    Personally I'd just try to get those "trust and love" relations with him (since you do lots of groundwork anyway). Talk to him, try to find his "good spot" he loves to be rubbed and so on.
    he gets treats every now and then. I have a box of sugar cubes in the tack shed and whenever any of my guys do something worthy they get a sugar cube. He has his ears forward until he goes to take it off of my hand and then they go back again.

    He was gelded when he was 6. He is 8 now. He often has very stallion like behaviour I've found. Especially when any of the mares are in season. He has a new girlfriend every week and then he goes back to possum when none of the other mares are in season.

    I don't think he was physically abused but he was neglected for a year and a half before I got him.

    I know what you mean about not loving me. I don't think jarred has it in him to love anything :) hence his ways with the ladies ;)

    jarred has a new sweet spot every day lol one day he loves a certain spot and the next day he will hate it. I spend half my time finding where the sweet spot is that day lol

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