Aggressive yearling
 
 

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Aggressive yearling

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  • My yearling is showing aggressive behaviour
  • Yearling refuses to be haltered

 
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    01-03-2010, 05:48 PM
  #1
Foal
Angry Aggressive yearling

My incredibly well mannered, calm yearling (19 months now) has recently started in with an attidude problem. He started with simply stopping and refusing to be led until he decided to, nothing I or anyone else at the barn did could get him to move. Now however, he has taken to refusing his halter and biting. When I change my tone to correct him, he pinns his ears and comes at me. He broke out the other day and reared at me, bit me and actually managed to knock me down in the process. I know this is totally unacceptable, and he's now grounded to his stall until I can handle him safely. I know he's healthy, and I know he's bored being inside in the winter. I believe that he's angre at me for this, but I really need some suggestions on how to work him out of this dangerous behavior without getting hurt. I'm not physically big enough to wrestle him around, which has been the only way to make him give recently.
Please, any help is really apprieciated
     
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    01-03-2010, 06:37 PM
  #2
Yearling
Horses do not hold grudges, first off, so he is most likely not angry at you. Is this a gelding or a stud colt? As young as he is, I would put him on 24/7 turnout if possible, if not, as much turnout as possible. A little bit of cold or snow isn't going to kill him. Also, when he stops and refuses to lead, flick the end of your rope at him and get his feet moving. Not necesarrily forward, but moving. Or make him back up at a very fast pace. And either handle him with a rope halter only or a stud chain only.
     
    01-03-2010, 06:53 PM
  #3
Yearling
^ Agree with the above poster.
Also you need to keep in mind, that when you back away from his bad behaviour, you are giving him what he wants. You need to be firm and confident, if you get angry he will get angry.. they feed off you're 'emotional state', they can tell how you are feeling..
Anyway's when you get a halter on him, and he doesnt listen, as mentioned.. keep his feet moving, such as making him back up, he will soon realize there will be less work if he just listens to you.
     
    01-03-2010, 06:59 PM
  #4
Yearling
A horse that suddenly acts 'aggressive' is a horse that senses a weakness and is doing what nature tells him to--take control of the leadership position. This yearling has no respect for you, plain and simple.

Unless, that is, you still have a colt. If that is the case, it is clear you must either send him to a trainer or geld him--stud colts are no joke.
     
    01-03-2010, 07:04 PM
  #5
Weanling
Young horses go through "phases" just like children. It may not have been anything you did, just his hormones changing or kicking in. Is he gelded? Regardless, you need to reassert yourself as the dominant one in the relationship.

He's definitely not angry at you, most likely needs much more turn out. Do you have an indoor arena? Run him around it. Giving him a "time-out" is not a solution. While I agree, handling him when you don't feel confident or capable is not a good idea, here's what he probably just associated with you actions: "I was a brat, and she left me alone. Therefore acting bad = not being messed with." Time-out doesn't quite work as well for horses as it does for children in most cases.

Make sure your body language is "big" when you correct him. Don't just change your tone of voice, draw yourself up as large as you can and get in his space. If he doesn't respond appropriately, make him back up. When he rears or kicks out at your I would beat his butt. Although, those are the only two behaviors that I think hitting him really hard is appropriate for because they can be SO dangerous if he keeps those habits as an adult horse. The longer you wait to seriously correct them, the harder it's going to be to show him who is boss.

I agree with the above poster that when they said to tap him on the butt if he doesn't want to walk forward, though any sort of movement is better than no movement. I would start carrying a dressage whip whenever you lead him until this problem goes away. Though, make sure it's that he's being obstinant and not "getting stuck" like a lot of yearlings do when they lead. Basically, how you can tell the difference is if they get stuck and stop, when you ask them to move forward again with a little encouragement, they just hesitate. If they're being stubborn, they lean back against your lead rope pressure and plant their feet.
     
    01-04-2010, 10:30 AM
  #6
Foal
Thank you all so much for the advice. He is a stud colt still, something I am definitely looking to change. The only reason I have not so far is that I have seen and been told of a number of geldings that it didn't help, their behavior continued after the gelding.
I would like to ask for some further advice about the suggestions to get him moving. He won't. At one point he backed up as soon as I said the word. He balks now though, and any effort to ask him to back, or even pick up a foot gets his teeth coming at me.
His behavior has gotten worse in general since he has been denied pasture turn out. This was done, originally, becuase he blew through the electricc fence 3-4 times a day and took off. Or jumped it. Or pushed me aside when he was being led out. I had to promise the State Troopers I'd make sure he didn't get into town again.
I realize that he will not respect me until I demonstrate that I actually am in charge, and that I have to be to continue owning him. I'm just not sure how to train myself into that mentality.
     
    01-04-2010, 11:05 AM
  #7
Yearling
First off, geld him.

Secondly now that I know he has no turn out, that's where most of your problems are coming from. He has WAY too much energy!!!!

Part of his breaking out may be from his hormones kicking in. I would start with gelding and getting him back on turn out and see if his behavior improves before sending him off to a trainer.

Some horses can be studs all their lives and never act this way... other just can't handle their balls!!
     
    01-04-2010, 11:07 AM
  #8
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by summer09    
Thank you all so much for the advice. He is a stud colt still, something I am definitely looking to change.

For heaven's sake, do it now!


The only reason I have not so far is that I have seen and been told of a number of geldings that it didn't help, their behavior continued after the gelding.

Whoever told you that has never been around a breeding operation. It will make all the difference in the world, but it takes time for the hormones to leave his system. He is going through his first bursts of testosterone and is letting you know it by challenging your leadership. In a wild herd, when youngsters do this, the lead MARE (not stallion) puts the bugger in his place and teaches the manners.

I would like to ask for some further advice about the suggestions to get him moving. He won't. At one point he backed up as soon as I said the word. He balks now though, and any effort to ask him to back, or even pick up a foot gets his teeth coming at me.

If he wants to back up, I would MAKE him do it for a long distance. Then stop and let him settle. Then ask for a step, just one. If he does it, I would praise him and ask for another. Keep praising and ask again. If he balks, send him backwards for a ways and start over. Carry a dressage whip and lightly tap him on the haunch, if he won't move forward. Just tap, not hit. NEVER hit, especially in anger. For every step, remember to praise. Then ask four steps, stop and praise.....etc...

His behavior has gotten worse in general since he has been denied pasture turn out.

Of course it has. He has tremendous childhood energy and needs to get it out of his system. By putting him in "timeout" (a concept horses CANNOT ever understand, BTW) you have increased the problem.

This was done, originally, becuase he blew through the electricc fence 3-4 times a day and took off. Or jumped it. Or pushed me aside when he was being led out. I had to promise the State Troopers I'd make sure he didn't get into town again.

I would also use a stud chain across the nose. If he crowds you or runs over you, I would give a good yank on the chain. I rarely use pain compliance in my training, as it rarely gets to the point where I need it. However, you circumstance has gone to the point where it is definitely needed. He will only get more dangerous until you learn to stand your ground.

I realize that he will not respect me until I demonstrate that I actually am in charge, and that I have to be to continue owning him. I'm just not sure how to train myself into that mentality.

You do it by simply letting him know you are the boss.
I have handled a lot of stallions. You must be fair and consistent when dealing with them. Once you establish a rule, you must ALWAYS make that rule something he is held accountable for.

If you are anywhere near me, I would be happy to come over and teach you how to handle him. I use more praise than correction, but correction is needed now. You must be firm before you are loving, IMO.



Edited: I just saw that you are in NY. Sorry, unless you buy the airline ticket, you are on your own ;>)
     
    01-04-2010, 11:53 AM
  #9
Yearling
If he isnt intended to be bred, and of good breeding quality she should really geld him. Especailly if he's breaking out of a paddock.... its only going to cause more unwanted foals....

ETA: I've delt with many stallions as well... some just don't need to be stallions
     
    01-04-2010, 12:23 PM
  #10
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmagroN    
some just don't need to be stallions
Most.

I think you've gotten some very good advise. A stalled stud at that age is really asking for problems. I have to agree with getting him gelded ASAP - before attitude becomes habit.
     

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