Agressive 4 yr old - Page 4 - The Horse Forum

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post #31 of 38 Old 03-11-2013, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by prairiewindlady View Post
I would look around for a more experienced horse person or trainer to help you...that way they can personally see what is going on and show you how to put a quick end to any unwanted behavior. Personally, I rarely ask for training advice on forums such as this - people who don't know you, your horse or your experience are quick to judge and can be pretty harsh.

Its not being quick to judge. If one has to ask how load a pistol, he/she shouldnt be attempting without experienced assistance. This 'pistol' is just as dangerous.
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post #32 of 38 Old 03-11-2013, 11:41 AM
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You need to get him to a trainer, from what I am reading here you do not have what it takes to handle the situation. It needs to be fixed now
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post #33 of 38 Old 03-11-2013, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by prairiewindlady View Post
I would look around for a more experienced horse person or trainer to help you...that way they can personally see what is going on and show you how to put a quick end to any unwanted behavior. Personally, I rarely ask for training advice on forums such as this - people who don't know you, your horse or your experience are quick to judge and can be pretty harsh.

Its not being quick to judge. If one has to ask how load a pistol, he/she shouldnt be attempting without experienced assistance. This 'pistol' is just as dangerous.
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post #34 of 38 Old 03-11-2013, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
...Oh & I agree with your first response too Palomine, but I think the 'strong' corrections are best if not physically punishing. A lot of 'aggressive' horses become that way due to heavy handed handling. I recently saw a vid of Klaus Hempfling dealing with aggressive horses & this is the way I tend to handle them - not confrontational, but quietly persistent... tho I tend to start out on the other side of a wall/fence to start a *mutually* respectful relationship with some 'aggressive' horses I've met, rather than online in the open, like Klaus demonstrated!

Out of my own curiosity and learning, what are some methods of non-physical methods of punishing/training a horse who's prone to aggression? Is it still the same pressure+release? How is it different and how does it help a horse become less reactive? What are some skills/steps that could be used that isn't confrontational?

Last edited by PunksTank; 03-11-2013 at 12:22 PM.
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post #35 of 38 Old 03-11-2013, 02:22 PM
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I do not know how many people have actually replied to this but, the greater majority agree that Pocket is in way over their head.

It is nigh impossible to judge something on a forum, many with problems just cannot read a horse's language.
Many times I have had to lead an over fresh TB colt from A to B and they have acted like they are totally unhandled! Rearing, waving front legs, coming down to then shove both back legs out, striking out, roaring trying to come across me, you name it and they have tried it.
Many would think that they are being nasty, they are not. They might be behaving dangerously to me and themselves, but it is only the joy of being out of a stable.

Some will need a good wallop, some will need just settling, but you can bet your bottom dollar that because I have the experience and know just how to read each individual horse, they soon stop behaving like idiots.
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post #36 of 38 Old 03-11-2013, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank View Post
Out of my own curiosity and learning, what are some methods of non-physical methods of punishing/training a horse who's prone to aggression? Is it still the same pressure+release? How is it different and how does it help a horse become less reactive? What are some skills/steps that could be used that isn't confrontational?
**General answer, not specifically what I'd do in any situation, but basically the usual - strong, quiet, clear focus & getting them moving their feet. For eg. You want to lead a horse in a certain direction & they rear/strike or such - just keep asking & effectively ignore their behaviour until they 'listen'. IOW, you don't get upset/angry & retaliative of their 'wrong' behaviour, but you don't quit until your request has been effective.

I might be using a lunge whip or such to ask for forward, I might even tap the horse with it - maybe even hard, but yes, it's a pressure-release thing, not actually getting stuck into the horse - if he moves, he stays out of the way.

I think this is understood quite differently by a horse than people getting confrontational. They certainly tend to behave differently. When people 'attack' a horse, even if it's in response to the horse's 'aggression', I've noticed they tend to get one of 3 outcomes - the horse becomes more fearful & reactive, the horse fights back, or will be quicker to get in first next time, or they think it's a game or a 'dominance challenge' & rise to the occasion with further aggression. **Not at all saying it's never understood/works, or even that I would never use heavy punishment(in an emergency type situation you can bet I'll use whatever force I felt necessary to keep safe) just that IME more often than not...

The way I go about it, horses that are 'aggressive' in 'dominance' tend to come quickly to the conclusion that that behaviour just doesn't cut it. Horses that are 'aggressive' due to fear or bad handling realise that they have nothing to fear & that following my lead is a Good Thing for them. It tends to encourage a horse to relax & follow my lead.

Strictly behaviourally, you could say that it's purely the negative reinforcement teaching the horse that that's just the easiest option. After watching Klaus Hempfling, he explains it in terms of becoming the lead mare to gain their respect & trust so they naturally want to follow you. So maybe it somehow leads to the horse instinctively seeing you as more worthy leadership material. Don't know whether that's just wishful thinking & whether horses would ever see us as anything like the lead mare... but whatever, it works for me!
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post #37 of 38 Old 03-11-2013, 09:12 PM
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Thank you Loosie! That answered my question exactly :)
I guess I've always heard the two extremes in fixing this sort of behavior - meeting it more aggressively, punishing the negative behavior or going to the opposite extreme of rewarding the positive behavior - but I haven't heard the neutral middle, which is what your explanation sounds like.
Kind of letting the horse come to the conclusion that being bad earns them nothing good (or bad, really).

Thinking on it, I think most horse-people use this 'style' or 'method', just never been explained or taught. It's hard to teach doing 'nothing' :P Even if nothing is everything.
When working with my reactive mare I found just being calm and carrying on what I was asking for each time she 'reacted' helped her realize 'oh that was silly, if you're not scared I must have over reacted'. I guess it's kind of a reach to assume that's what she thought - but it is the results I got, on top of the introduction of positive reinforcement I found our possibilities limitless.

Thanks Loosie, great explanation :)
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post #38 of 38 Old 03-12-2013, 12:01 AM
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Well yes, I think pure positive reinforcement does work, and reinforcing 'good' behaviour is also vital, but with some horses I've dealt with, using solely positive reinforcement would.... take you a veeerry loooong time! I think that depending on the reasons behind the aggression, it would also be conditional.

Forgot to say that it reminds me of a mother ignoring a toddler's 'tantie'(that I absolutely knew was irresponsible motherhood... before I had my own!) when I do this with a grumpy horse!
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