Baby bored with lunging/attachment issues - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By tinyliny
  • 2 Post By DRichmond
  • 2 Post By PunksTank
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-06-2012, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Baby bored with lunging/attachment issues

I am training a 3 year old Arab gelding. He is sweet and gentle but he get's very bored on the lunge line and some times it is a fight just to get him to complete a full circle.

I try to do different things with him constantly and he has become quite attached to me. He is not my horse. I have been giving his owner activities to do with him but she is very apprehensive. He will follow me everywhere and I use this in our training without leads. When he doesn't want to do something (like walk over a pole or go near the mounting block) I send him away and he will throw a hissy fit and then trot right back to me and do what I asked.

But now I have found this to be bad. He is perfect to saddle but when i send him away from me he complains and has temper tantrums and just tries to be near me. Next to me, he will walk trot and canter with the saddle on.

He is the first pure Arab I have trained, I normally have mutt ponies or quarter horses and such. Is his attachment something found in the breed? Should I not be encouraging it?

I should say that though I have trained many horses and ponies full-up, I specialize in rescues which tend to need the attachment to trust people.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-06-2012, 01:20 PM
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send him away and he will throw a hissy fit and then trot right back to me and do what I asked. He is playing a game with you and takes delight in thinking he is getting one over on you Arab's are smart to their own un-doing.

I try to do different things with him constantly and he has become quite attached to me. He is not my horse. I have been giving his owner activities to do with him but she is very apprehensive. He will follow me everywhere and I use this in our training without leadsArabs are loyal to the death once they have found Their Person. It sounds to me as if this Fella has found YOU for his person.

The actual owner is apprenhensive to begin with and I hate to say this but, it is going to be a rocky road to get him to transfer his respect to the owner.

It was very obvious to me that my Arab had lost his person when he was very young. He has been with me for 19 years and still tells me "thank you" for rescuing him.

BUT-----I could always tell by his actions and see in his eyes that somebody was missing. It took him many many years to get over whomever the human was that he loved so much.

I don't have the answer you're looking for; hopefully some of the long-time Arab owners/trainers will come on here with some good advice as to how to get this Fella to not be so attached to you.

And Kudos to you for recognizing his differences and asking

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post #3 of 6 Old 09-06-2012, 01:57 PM
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I tthink it's important for a horse to be trained to be able to stand or move AWAY from the human. Horses that insist on being right up on top of you are maintaining a dominance position, though it might not feel that way.

I would do things where you ask him to move away from you and stay out there.
Not necessary lunging. just standing out there.

watch your interaction when you lead or groom him. Does he push his shoulder into you? My friend's horse is like this; utterly adorable and very sweet and loveable and cuddley . . pushes his shoulder into the handler all the time. he needsto be corrected about this, but it would mean ALL the time, not just when he is lunging.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-06-2012, 02:59 PM
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I have a three-year-old Welsh/Paint cross, and while I don't have that specific problem with him, the Arab sounds like he has a similar personality to mine. Mine likes to be very close to people and is a bit pushy. He has no fear of people, and if he could, he would try to be in control of what he does. I have found that we have to be extremely firm with him, firmer than I am with my other horses, especially about invading humans' space. Since we have gotten tougher with him, he has improved immensely, and now he generally behaves like an adult horse (except he isn't broke yet). Good luck.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-06-2012, 06:20 PM
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My suggestions would be to stop lunging him for the time being and to stop driving him away if and when he isn't doing what you ask. He obviously likes you a great deal and wants a bond he cannot get with his current owner because of her fear of him, and he is sensing you can fill that need, and that maybe you want that too, so maybe that is the cause of what you described are temper tantrums. Why not let him bond with you as part of your working with him? Without some trust and bonding, in my own opinion it is training which is basically mechanical and lifeless.

Arabs are exquisitely sensitive and generally super quick thinkers, and I have found that they respond beautifully when you are intensely dialed into them with your body language, eyes, intentions and matching intensity. They also love that extra praise (big confidence builder!) and are very sensitive to punishment, and need hardly a scolding, usually even a stern no upsets them a great deal. They are great horses to help a person finely hone their intuitive, empathic and instinctive abilities. They are not "difficult," as many believe.

Attachment and trust issues seem to go hand in hand. It's unfortunate that his owner is afraid of him.

As for driving him away when he isn't doing what you ask, I would take a different approach and ask if how you are asking is a factor in his response or lack thereof. If you don't believe that is the case, a milder response to his not wanting to go over a pole, for instance, might be to go back to something he did successfully, praise him like nobody's business (make a real fuss over him LOL) and then ask him again to do what he previously didn't want to do before. The more praise you heap on an Arab sometimes, the more they delight in pleasing you. Building confidence with positive reinforcement, basically. Building his confidence generates his trust in you, and of course attachment is pretty much based on trust, so you two may as well get attached ;)

I hope this helps.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-06-2012, 08:43 PM
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Here's an idea which might help him with both issues.
He is bored lunging and he won't move away from you? Start ground driving!
Teach him how to ground drive and practice him over poles, through cones, over tarps and all sorts of interesting things. Arabians are thinkers - running in circles is pointless and takes an unneeded toll on their joints, instead make his training more useful and teach him to drive around. If he does well being saddled just run two lunge lines through the rings or stirrups of the saddle. Start like as if you're lunging him, standing in the middle then slowly use outside rein to make a few short straight lines, work this in both directions until his straight lines can work longer and longer. Practice until you can drive him away from behind and he'll follow his nose wherever it goes instead of you.
All these skills will greatly help him under saddle too. Personally I teach my horses to lunge just long enough for them to learn walk, trot, easy and woah verbal commands and then I never do it again. From that point on I ground drive them any time I plan on doing any work unmounted. With ground driving you can really make them think, drive them over uneven ground, through trails, around scary things, through scary things, over scary things everything! Make him use his brain as much as his legs.

Good luck if you need any more explanation on how to do that let me know - I'm trying not to be too wordy, but I always am :P
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arab , attachment , baby , lunging

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