Any Advice on How to Gain Respect?

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Any Advice on How to Gain Respect?

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  • My quarter horse is lazy,dominant and pushy
  • pushy horse; personal space

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    09-24-2010, 10:19 PM
Question Any Advice on How to Gain Respect?

Any advice on how to gain respect from a dominate horse? I've had my 2 year old Quarter Horse filly for about a month now. She was well behaved for a while. She let me put a halter on her, lead her a bit and put a saddle blanket on her. When she started getting a bit pushy, I just thought that she was getting used to me and was not as nervous. The bad behavior persisted, little by little and I realized what was going on. She was pushing for dominance and thinks that she has it. She has gone from being fairly easy to handle to not even letting me touch her halter. When I try to snap the lead rope to it, she jerks away and runs off. She has done this 3 times. The first time, I just left her to calm down ( I see now that, that was a major mistake.) The last 2 times I went after her. This pretty much ended with me chasing her around the pen. Any advice?
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    09-25-2010, 12:30 AM
As far as catching her goes - if she runs away, make it your idea and chase her off, repeat doing this until you can walk up to her and put the lead on the halter. The idea being it is much more work NOT to be caught then TO be caught. As for the dominant thing you could do round penning (if you have one), making her move the direction you want and turn when you want her to (I don't recomend running her around a whole lot with her being so young). Another thing to try is make her move different body parts when you ask eg: turn on the haunches and the front end, baking up, lowering her head with slight pressure on her pole (or whatever part you choose), put your hand on the bridge of her nose and ask her to move her nose to you (even slightly).
Good luck
    09-25-2010, 12:37 AM
Thanks! I don't have a round pen, but they are inside of a small field.
    09-25-2010, 12:48 AM
I don't have a round pen either, so I use a paddock (you can put a metal gate or something in the corners so the she doesn't get 'stuck' in a corner). Or even a lunge line to get her to move the way you want her to.
    09-25-2010, 12:55 AM
So sorry in advance but I think this might be a long reply lol

There are still heaps of things you can do without and round yard.

FIRST things I do with any unhandled or pushy horses is establish the fact that if I say something they must listen. It starts with the basics of leading. Lead your filly along beside you. When I say beside I mean at your shoulder, not in front and not behind but WITH you. A second or so before you want to stop say 'whoah' and apply a little pressure to bring her to stop. If she keeps walking pull her back and back her up a few steps and try again. Repeat until as soon as you stop, she does.

Always make sure when you are doing this though that you are in total control and get on top of any 'wrong' behaviour immediately. If you whoah and she doesnt don't take a few seconds to gather yourself together and then back her up. If she doesnt stop you straight away want to start backing her up. I usually add a growl to it if I have to back them up and a little of girly voice praise when they get it right.

Its a tiny start but I've found it a valuable tool in starting to teach the process to a young, stubborn mind. Keep at it. She might not do it straight away, in fact she is quite likely to fight the backing up as to them backing up in itself is accepting the humans dominance but she WILL do it eventually.

Another thing I do first is teach them to give at the poll. Do this while she has a halter on. Apply small downward pressure on the halter and say 'head down' at the same time. Reward the tiniest movement downwards of the head with instant release of pressure. Once she has the idea of 'head down' by applying pressure to the halter, start to get her used to putting her head down by adding a tiny bit of pressure to her poll. Eventually you can just touch the poll and her head will go down. I've found teaching a horse to relax and bring its head down can be useful I many young horse type situations. Nearly all my horses will drop their head if you apply even one fingers worth of pressure on the poll. This is great for horses who like to put their head in the air when bridling ;)

And the final part of the first stage is teaching them about personal space. Im very particular about my horses understanding that there is a bubble around me and unless I invite them in they stay out of my bubble. There is nothing worse than a pushy, in your face horse who doesnt understand that its ok to have some distance between the two of you. I do this in two parts: a) teach the horse even when standing on a lead line with you that he must stay a certain distance from you. If she encroaches on your space push her back to where you want her to be. Do it over and over and eventually she will get bored and stay where you put her and b) similar to teaching her to give to the pressure with the 'head down' command, you also want to be able to guide any part of her body away from you by giving to any pressure you put on. For example, when teaching a young horse about coming through a gate and then turning while I do the gate back up, I apply an on and off pressure to the hip are and say 'bum round' until they move away, then release the pressure and so on. Do this with the shoulder, the hip and even the sides where you would apply pressure via leg aids (this helps further down the track as well.)

Eventually you want her so that wherever you apply pressure AND add a command, she will move away. Once she has all these things figured out she will be a much better mannered horse.

Spending the time it takes to perfect these things will help you and your filly forge a bond. This in turn may well help with the catching issues. I have a 2 year old qh filly here who I had major issues catching before I started doing all the above mentioned things. Now, she comes to me ;)

Hope that helps :)
    09-25-2010, 01:00 AM
Oh I forgot to say (hard to imagine considering the length of that last reply) make this part of your daily routine. Don't become lazy and not care of she's pushy one day because you're in a hurry or can't be bothered. Once you start to teach a behviour you must keep it up otherwise you will get nowhere with her ;) good luck
    09-25-2010, 04:09 AM
runs off when leading

The poster before me gave a ton of good and specific advice.
I have had to do some of that and it's all good stuff. My horse had done the suddenly barging straigth ahead and pulling the lead out of my hand. He gets himself perpendicular to me so quickly, and once that happens there is no human strength that can hold him. He would just rip the leadline right through my hand, took the skin off my palm!
So, I had to resort to two things.; one I took a studchain down when I went to get him (only necessary when there was a mare in heat in the herd), and used it with a traditional halter, over his nose. And two, using a good rope halter, as soon as he stared to barge, I LIFT the lead and pull his head around. If I pull the lead back and DOWNWARD, he can resist and run through it. But if I lift the lead and really snug it hard he gets a rude surprise and is kind of jerked around. He has not done this much anymore . It's about the only ground mannar problem we've had.
    09-25-2010, 04:35 AM
I've been working with a very pushy mustang for a while. For me, it's consistency. Everywhere we go I make sure that she walks beside me, is always in tune/alert with what I am telling her, and neverrrr let her exit anywhere first. I start out the day with making her come to me, rather than me coming to her. Then I make sure I am leading out of her stall. As we are walking I will do walk, sudden stop, then backing up exercises with her at random. If she is being pushy I back her up, and then continue as I was doing before. Also, make sure you are relaxed. Horses can sense your nerves, and if you aren't sure of yourself, the horse won't be sure of you either, and they will try and take over the situation themselves. Horses are always trying to squeeze their way into dominance, so just consistently keep her in check.
    09-29-2010, 07:12 PM
I really appreciate all of the great advice! :) I have been much more firm with her and her behavior has improved significantly! She is walking well on the lead, and we are working on yielding forequarters and hindquarters to the right and left, backing up and walking sideways. She is doing great! I was afraid that instead of backing up, she would rear, or just not move, but when I wiggled the rope and pushed a bit on she chest, she just started walking backwards in a straight line like she had done it before. Emily
    09-29-2010, 07:55 PM
Good to hear :) its all about being the boss ;) hope things keep going well for you

P.s. My name is emily too ;)

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