Attitude problem/Nervousness
   

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Attitude problem/Nervousness

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  • Nervous attitude

 
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    02-24-2011, 01:41 PM
  #1
Yearling
Attitude problem/Nervousness

There is this horse my sister rides, he's a 9 year old TB. He has this thing when you go near him he'll flatten his ears back and flare his nostrils at you. He looks like he will attack you any second, but he doesn't. Also if you walk by his stall he will charge at the door with his ears back, nose out, looking like he will bust through the door and bite you.

Never have I or any one been bit or kicked or attacked by him. He is actually a really sweet horse. But if I didn't know him, I would be really scared of him, and never go near him.

My sister and I were trying to figure out why he does this. She was thinking maybe because he such a nervous/hot horse it's kind of like defense mechanism. He is really tense, I never really seen him completely relaxed. If you pat his neck it feels rock solid because he is so up tight.

I was just wondering if anyone has any idea as to why he would act like a mean horse. Is there anything that can be done to fix it. He is going to be advertised to be sold soon, and if I was a buyer I would be scared of him, because he just looks mean.
     
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    02-24-2011, 01:56 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
I think he will dive at someone and probably sooner than later. What he is doing can only be interpreted as a direct threat. I would have gotten after him the very first time he laid his ears back at me. I would not have let him approach until his ears came forward.

I think you have to 'fix' this before you can offer him for sale as it is a VERY BIG HOLE in his training.

I would take a 5 foot stock whip and make him move away from me (not beat on him -- think SAFE extension of your arm), then back up and wait for him to face me. If his ears were up, I would let him approach me if he wanted or go to him as long as his ears stayed up.

If he already has a 'thing' about whips, I would use a lead-rope and give him a light over-hand 'pop' with the end of it and make him leave that way. I, personally, would rather be in small pen than in a stall to do this. I would definitely drive him away for a stall door if he charged it.

I would not be petting or hand-feeding this horse over a stall door at any time. I would leave him alone if I did not have a real purpose to interact with him. Some horse get this way from being 'pawed on' by a lot of people. Some can get really ill or at the least, ill acting.
     
    02-24-2011, 02:05 PM
  #3
Foal
There's a horse at the stable I board Siaga at that does this same thing. Well. He doesn't charge, but he lays his ears back and stretches out his neck, turns his head sideways, but the whole time he does this, he sorta partially closes his eyes in that lazy-relaxed look and his lower lip droops, and when you pet him, especially scratch around the ears, he gets even more relaxed. No one knows why he lays his ears back like that, but we think he's a little mixed up on his communication signals.
     
    02-24-2011, 02:16 PM
  #4
Yearling
Thanks, No one feeds him treat over the stall door, the stall door doesn't have an opening in it anyway. He will walk over to you with his ears up, and look cute and not mean. But as an example, if you walk by him while he's on the cross ties he will put his ears back..he won't bit or threaten to kick he just lays his ears back, and his nostrils move up..he won't turn his head towards you either. He doesn't always charge the stall door neither, but he does always lay his ears back when someone walks by.

I forgot to mention It only happens at home, he's fine at shows. We were packed in an indoor arena with about 20-25 horses and people (like sardines) and he didn't put his ears back once.
     
    02-24-2011, 03:45 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
I guess he is very low on the totem pole of the horse group and might feel very defensive in what he perceives as the only place where he IS king.
     
    02-24-2011, 03:54 PM
  #6
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I guess he is very low on the totem pole of the horse group and might feel very defensive in what he perceives as the only place where he IS king.

What do you mean?
     
    02-24-2011, 10:18 PM
  #7
Foal
I think what tinyliny is trying to say is that in his stall and maybe in the stable, he feels that he's the top guy, and because humans are so assertive and need to take the 'lead mare' position, and thereby put themselves at the top of the horse hierarchy, he sees people as a threat to his station in life, and laying back his ears is his way of letting you know that "Hey. I'm Big around here. Mess with me and you got a problem." It's probably an all-bluff tactic, that is commonly used by small dogs that yap their heads off and snarl at you if you come close, but run away when you get closer.
     
    02-24-2011, 10:54 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikaLynn    
There is this horse my sister rides, he's a 9 year old TB. He has this thing when you go near him he'll flatten his ears back and flare his nostrils at you. He looks like he will attack you any second, but he doesn't. Also if you walk by his stall he will charge at the door with his ears back, nose out, looking like he will bust through the door and bite you.

Never have I or any one been bit or kicked or attacked by him. He is actually a really sweet horse. But if I didn't know him, I would be really scared of him, and never go near him.

My sister and I were trying to figure out why he does this. She was thinking maybe because he such a nervous/hot horse it's kind of like defense mechanism. He is really tense, I never really seen him completely relaxed. If you pat his neck it feels rock solid because he is so up tight.

I was just wondering if anyone has any idea as to why he would act like a mean horse. Is there anything that can be done to fix it. He is going to be advertised to be sold soon, and if I was a buyer I would be scared of him, because he just looks mean.


I would like to ask you an honest question and I would like for you to think about how you would change as a person if I were to lock you in a 12x12 stall for 23 hour a day with nothing but sugar and water.

Every few days someone would run you around in a pen for 15 minutes and put you away after brushing your hair for a bit.

I am not saying that is what you horse is experiencing exactly or that your horse reacts the same way you would.

I am merely using this to point out that just because people keep horses this way does not mean that horses enjoy it or it is good for them mentally.

Nothing says that they have to be happy about it.
     
    02-24-2011, 11:53 PM
  #9
Yearling
That makes sense, I can understand that it can be boring being a horse I guess, but I don't really think they use their brain the same way people do. Horses just like any other domesticated animal, don't know any different.

I do think acts like a tough guy because he's really a big baby.

Thanks for the help!
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    02-25-2011, 06:44 AM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikaLynn    
That makes sense, I can understand that it can be boring being a horse I guess, but I don't really think they use their brain the same way people do. Horses just like any other domesticated animal, don't know any different.

I do think acts like a tough guy because he's really a big baby.

Thanks for the help!
Posted via Mobile Device
I talked to a friend of mine who studied this for quite a while and his opinion is that a horse has almost the same brain use as we do... I don't know if that's true, but if it is, we underestimate their brain use!
     

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