Antsy two year old, advice? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-06-2012, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Antsy two year old, advice?

So my two year old back home has done it all except have me on her back. I have a question, and I really enjoy different ideas and input :) She will stand quietly tied for hours, no issue there. Problem is, she gets antsy when I groom her. She's the kind of filly who's constantly doing something, never likes being bored. I think partially because she's too smart for her own good, and she might be a little ADD ;) Also, she's a pro at all of her ground work, but also doesn't like to stand still for too long. I know this is a common baby thing. So my question is, how would you deal with it, cause it drives me bananas! I guess I could try walking away and leaving her every time she starts fussin. Or just make her stand more in hand. Also, she's a BIG BIG time people horse. She loves people and always wants to know what your doing. So what would you guys do? She's not pushy or disrespectful, just is constantly moving unless your gone.
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-07-2012, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone? lol Come on, I know there are a lot of talented ppl on this forum. Someone has to have some idea on how to help. I love picking brains!!!
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-07-2012, 06:55 PM
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well i have many horses come through the gates of my pature. some i have had to deal with when they are ancy. i just work through it and when they start to move to much i just say i a slow but low tone "staaaannd" i talk to horses all the tim and honestly some people think im crazy cause i will ask my horse "do u really need to do that?" as if its a child or such. eventually ur horse will hear the calm ness and relaxation in your voice and will then relax. but insure you do use a calm and relazed voice casue any other tone will throw them off. hope i helped :)
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-07-2012, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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That does help. Well, i already do that. She knows stand. But she doesn't fidget cause she's nervous, more like boredom...
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-07-2012, 10:11 PM
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You could just keep brushing and move with her until she stops and stands still.

OR when she starts shifting around and being fussy feet, just start moving those feet; ie, make her work. Turning the idea of, if she wants to be antsy, then make it 'hard' for her.

In either case, I have the horse in hand, not tied. I usually never have a horse tied fast, I usually always have them ground tied, or have the lead over my arm, so I am always ready to do what is necessary to teach them to behave. I don't like to smack, or continually tell them 'whoa' or "stand"...if they want to move their feet, then either move with them until they get the idea that you aren't going to stop what you are doing, OR turn it into your idea, and make them work harder. Always do this on both sides.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-07-2012, 10:15 PM
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Maybe when you groom, you could do it in the middle of your arena or round pen with a lunge line. That would get annoying to constantly hold that, but once she starts getting antsy, lunge her and make her work. Once you feel she'll listen, pull her back in and just keep grooming. Maybe she'll learn its easier to stand still than move around and then work harder than necessary. I don't know, whatever you're comfortable with (:
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-07-2012, 10:42 PM
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As you said, you know babies are, by nature, "antsy". She stands tied w/o trouble, but gets antsy when you groom her - so I would bet it is just a matter of her not yet "knowing" the grooming "routine", what to expect, and what is expected. Most young horses don't like "unknowns". Work will take the edge off so they can stand calmy so she can get a clear picture of what is expected w/o angst. I "hang out" w babes as much as possible which makes you just part of the "same old same old". I don't make a big deal out of them not standing super calmly (e.g., I never snap the lead to get their attention), I just keep on doing w what I am doing (brushing, what not). If they turn into me, I calmly straighten them out (i.e., I don't let them run over me, but I don't over react to their "expected" movements, either). It shouldn't take her long to "know" the grooming routine as well as she knows the "tie routine".
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-08-2012, 03:53 AM
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Why not just put a hay bag in front of her while you groom her. It will help keep her occupied.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-12-2012, 10:26 PM
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I definitely agree with OnTarget324, I worked with some mustangs right off the range, young/green horses Always want to know whats going on. When my mare was a filly, she had ADD thru her ears and out her ass. Though now, she stands like an angel when I'm around.

Here's a few techniques to try (I saw you were eager to get a reply, and It's a shame when only a few suggestions don't always help.)

1) Have your horse ground tying on a long rope/lunge line. Try to be in an open area, where if she decides to move around and it's too much to follow, keep her moving in little circles while brushing her. Keep your body square with hers still and a safe distance apart. Now, when she begins to find something to do, have her walk a small circle around you. Soon after maybe 5 whole minutes, she's gonna stop and think "why am I walking so much?" And keep her going forward. Then stop and praise her.
2) Continue brushing, though next time she begins to walk, walk a few circles, then have her stop- continue brushing her and enforce her to stand. Which means, after she stands for you to brush her even 1 whole minute, praise her.
3) Slowly enable her to make the mistake, though quickly discipline her after she realizes what she really gets disciplined for.
4) Enforce her to stand there by brushing her in long, nonchalant strokes. Pause. She will soon forget that you're even there. She'll no longer want to randomly walk for hours, and it will help her with future team communication :)

If you need any other advice I'll write again!
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-12-2012, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much! I love bouncing ideas off others to see what else is out there. There's always more to learn with horses!
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