Agressive horse in round pen!! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 19 Old 05-05-2012, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Agressive horse in round pen!!

I need some advice....my 3 year old horse is disrespectful and aggressive in the round pen when I make him do something he doesn't want to do, like go to the right or left around the round pen. I have done ground work with him....back up, move hip,move shoulders, load in trailer, lead, pick up feet etc. He follows me around the round pen like a puppy and is very laid back and calm. Then when I drive him with my body language and traning stick, he tries to move his hind quarters toward me, runs into the panels, rears, bucks and throws his head and acts like he could charge me. I am only 5'4 and 117 lbs. And don't want to get hurt. I am not afraid to let him know who is boss, but I'm just not sure what the best approach is. I don't want him to get away with disrespect towards me and want to become his strong leader. I'm new at horse training and have read and learned from alot of people, so if you have any resources that you think I would benefit from, I would be more than happy to hear some suggestions.
Please help me, I want to do the right thing with my horse and would greatly appreciate any helpful advice. Thank you!!
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-05-2012, 07:28 PM
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If he turns his butt towards you when you ask him to move, smack him hard on the rump and seem as big and intimidating as possible. Soon as he quits it, relax and be nice and soft and friendly again. Any aggression you want to nip in the butt. If you aren't up to smacking him as the herd mare would do (rather she'd kick him way harder than you could smack him) then find somebody that can because it'll only get more and more aggressive.
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-05-2012, 08:50 PM
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First relax and don't let him scare you. Second, anytime he swings his butt towards you, make sure you have something long in your hands and beat his butt HARD with it. Growl and scream angry at him, make him think that you have just turned into somesort of horrible lion who is going to eat him for dinner!

The second he swings his butt away from you and moves off, go back to being kindly you who loves the horse. Tell him he is a good boy and pretend it never happened.

If you do your attacks harsh enough, you may only have to do them two or three times. If you are iffy about it, he will continue to test you for dominance.

My daughter (20) was given a basiclly wild 2 1/2 year old who had a tendancy to kick with both back barrels. It took three sessions to get a join up and prove dominance. That was close to two months ago and she has not offered to kick since.

It can be done, you just have to be agressive and make him think he will die for his insubordination. Then, just as fast, you have to forgive him. I like treats to prove that I have forgiven. But many people don't.
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-05-2012, 10:16 PM
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Be very careful is you do smack him when he turns his butt to you that you are not close enought to be kicked.

Get rid of the "training stick" and get a dressage whip. When he complains aobut going forward by chucking his head or rearing or bucking, make the whip swing quickly through the air and make a good noise that will break him out of that state of mind. When he leaps forward, let him go anywhere except straight into you. Then once he slows a bit, start asking him to go forward more calmly. I personally find "training sticks" so heavy and awkward that they are useless in lunging.
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Last edited by tinyliny; 05-05-2012 at 10:18 PM.
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-05-2012, 10:28 PM
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That would be my advice as well, if you do get him moving forward, keep him moving forward and don't let him stop until his head is down and he's starting to "chew." Then at that sign of "okay, okay, I'm being good," stop him and let him stand but make him stand calmly. If he starts getting fussy again, get him moving again. I wouldn't worry about turning him until you've mastered keeping him moving, then letting him rest when he's being good.
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-05-2012, 10:30 PM
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It could be that your body language isn't conveying the messages you think it is. Try encouraging him to move forward even if for only a few steps and take the pressure off. Then ask again.
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-05-2012, 11:09 PM
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How much ground works have you done with him and how much time have you spent with him in the round pen.

I am seeing more and more horses that have been ground worked and round penned ad nauseam -- until they are so sick of it that they bang their shoulders into the pen, scrape along the side of it and sometime jump or climb out. This is made worse when a handler pulls on a longe line but only gets the horse to turn its head in but not to travel a few feet in from the edge of the pen.

If any of this sounds like it might 'fit' your situation, let me know and I will put you on a different course. I am seeing more of more of these horses since round pens and ground work have become a horsemanship goal and method of so many.

If not, use the recommendations by the above posters.

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post #8 of 19 Old 05-06-2012, 12:30 AM
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Nobody likes to be told to get a trainer, but it is almost impossible to critique what is going on without at least a video.

For example, if you are 'driving him forward' with a stick, but your bellybutton is out of position, then you would cause confusion and even anger in the horse. Also, how much pressure you apply and how quick you are to release it is critical in round pen work. I've probably got around 100 hours of either watching a pro do it, or doing it while she watched and commented. And after that, I feel confident to do the bare minimum of basic groundwork in a round pen. I don't mind doing the basics with a willing, largely submissive horse. If the horse is fearful or aggressive (and those often combine), then I'm just not good enough at reading their body language to make a round pen productive.

How well you read the horse's body language, and the signals you are sending with yours - intentionally or not - are the difference between the round pen work being very effective and counterproductive. Done wrong, a round pen can turn a good horse into a real problem.

If nothing else, you would learn more from a pro spending a couple of hours with you than you would from spending $300 on DVDs. The lady I've worked with charges $30/hour, so it would be a steal compared to buying a DVD series.
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-06-2012, 11:54 AM
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I agree with bsms. Round penning can be difficult with some horses and really dangerous with others. For example, I've been charged and then kicked at. It's worth it to have someone come get you started, and then give you advice for a specific horse. My guy is $30 an hour too and I only needed 2 sessions to get past a dangerous problem.
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-06-2012, 12:04 PM
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My only suggestion is to use something longer than a dressage whip. I longeing whip is more the length I would like to stay out of reach of those hind legs.
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