Bad ground manners! Help!
   

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Bad ground manners! Help!

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  • Teaching a young horse grounf manners
  • How to get ground manners with young horses

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  • 1 Post By drop_your_reins
  • 1 Post By Moonlight Tango

 
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    12-18-2011, 06:15 PM
  #1
Foal
Bad ground manners! Help!

Hello all! I am brand new to the forum, looking for a bit of advice!

I recently purchased a new horse, a 3 year old. I've owned horses for quite a long time, but I have never purchased this young.

My youngster seems to have some very bad ground manners. When I bought her, I was told her previous owner (who sadly passed away from cancer) basically let her get away with anything- had free run of the yard, and apparently was allowed to eat off his picnic plate. That is really the only background I have. I am not sure if he trained/broke her or if the barn I bought her from did.

She is VERY pushy. She is constantly in my space when I am leading her by halter. She likes to be ahead of me and pull a lot, and the only advice I could get was "Just put a chain over her nose!" It feels like she is going to pull my arm off, and I don't have a lot of strength..I have tooth pick arms This is a brand new barn to me, and it seems like a lot of other boarders let their horses get away with bad habits (so far as I have seen), and this won't fly with me. I just don't know how to fix this problem as I have never dealt with it before, and I know to a young horse anything is training. Also, I know that she hasn't been rode in the last month and has a TON of pent up energy (I just bought her a few days ago). I put her in a round pen in attempt to get some energy out, and she was doing the whole throwing her head thing. At one point she stopped, turned to me, and just started pawing- but no signs of aggression..no ears pinned and no charging, but none the less I have never experienced this and I won't lie, I got a little scared.

I also can't get her to stand still AT ALL. She just goes in circles around me..she will only stand about 20 seconds before going back in circles around me on the lead rope. I also don't know where to start as once again, the only advice I was offered was "Put a chain on her nose".

Other than ground work, she rides like an absolute dream!

ANY advice on how to get her to walk along with me without pulling and to stay out of my space would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
     
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    12-18-2011, 06:25 PM
  #2
Weanling
I would definitely lead her with a chain on her nose, but you need to use it any time she invades your space or is otherwise disrespectful. Just snatch at the chain and accompany some sort of verbal yelling.. "Knock it Off!" is what I say to my guys. The amount of force you use on the chain depends on how much force it takes for her to gain a little respect. You may want to see her reaction to a whip, if she is not scared of it, I would carry a whip with you to smack her hindquarters if the chain does not get the desired effect.
When she is calm be sure to reward her (not with treats, since it sounds like she is spoiled with the pawing thing) with a calm and soothing voice, "good girl."

Another big cause of horses' walking all over owners is intimidation on the owners' part. You said she was the first horse you purchased that young, so there is some inherent vulnerability on your part that she may be able to sense. You need to bury this feeling as deep as you can and prove your dominance by being assertive and confident whenever you handle her. Once she realizes you are boss, she will naturally respect your space and her behavior should improve around you just because she has realized her place.

The biggest thing to remember is to be sure to punish her within 3 seconds of the bad behavior, any longer and she cannot associate the punishment with the behavior.

ETA- treat her like a testy five year old child. Sometimes they need to be spanked, sometimes they just need to be yelled at, but make sure you assert yourself in your voice and body language or they will quickly be able to tell empty threats apart from real threats.
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    12-18-2011, 06:26 PM
  #3
Foal
Clinton Anderson has a very good ground manners DVD they arn't cheap but like I said very good and detailed. Or find a local trainer in your area and hire them its really up to you I would get with a trainer if you have never done and training. For me it works out better one on one to learn new things. That way they can give you instant input on what you are doing right or wrong. Good luck and I hope this helps a little.
     
    12-18-2011, 06:33 PM
  #4
Foal
Thank you both! I will definitely try with whip/chain combo and see if that makes an improvement! As far as natural horsemanship- I've also considered that. My cousin horse was a HUGE problem when she first bought her, and used parelli. That horse is the most polite horse I've seen. She said I could borrow some DVDs if I wanted to and that she would help me..I believe she is a level 3.
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    12-18-2011, 06:33 PM
  #5
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonlight Tango    

She is VERY pushy. She is constantly in my space when I am leading her by halter. She likes to be ahead of me and pull a lot, and the only advice I could get was "Just put a chain over her nose!" It feels like she is going to pull my arm off, and I don't have a lot of strength..I have tooth pick arms This is a brand new barn to me, and it seems like a lot of other boarders let their horses get away with bad habits (so far as I have seen), and this won't fly with me. I just don't know how to fix this problem as I have never dealt with it before, and I know to a young horse anything is training. Also, I know that she hasn't been rode in the last month and has a TON of pent up energy (I just bought her a few days ago). I put her in a round pen in attempt to get some energy out, and she was doing the whole throwing her head thing. At one point she stopped, turned to me, and just started pawing- but no signs of aggression..no ears pinned and no charging, but none the less I have never experienced this and I won't lie, I got a little scared.

I also can't get her to stand still AT ALL. She just goes in circles around me..she will only stand about 20 seconds before going back in circles around me on the lead rope. I also don't know where to start as once again, the only advice I was offered was "Put a chain on her nose".

Other than ground work, she rides like an absolute dream!

ANY advice on how to get her to walk along with me without pulling and to stay out of my space would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
pushy while leading.. I would make her keep her head at my shoulder and if she even stepped one foot ahead of me I would back her up like 5 or six steps quickly. And keep repeating it everytime she gets even a slight step out of place. Its helped me get some pushy horses to slow down usually within 3 quick corrections.

As for the pent up energy I would just use the round pen and work her. Lots of walking and trotting if she wants to go to a canter then let her but make her switch directions so your still in control and force her to canter in the other way. Keep the lunge whip with you so if she turns to you then you can hold it between you and her and poke/tap her on the shoulder to keep her distance.

As for the standing still I would tie her in a safe spot where the hitching post or cross ties are really sturdy and leave her there until she fought it out with you close by. Eventually she will stop and figure it out.

That's just what I would do :) but good luck there are lot of other ways to work with those issues as well.
     
    12-18-2011, 07:15 PM
  #6
Yearling
Right now I'm keeping my horses in a guy's pasture and they're all living with one of his horses. This particular horse is not only the king of the herd but is on the pushy side with people. He'll come right up in your space and push on you with very little regard for manners. This initially created a puzzle for me, because I always insist on being respected when I'm in a herd but of course, I can't just go training someone else's horse.

At least, not OVERTLY.

What I started doing with this horse was that every time he pushed into me I just laid my arm over his nose and worked his head gently back and forth until he took a step back. Then I'd pet him and leave him alone. If he did it again, I'd do it again. Teaching him that pushing on me didn't yield any useful result for him. It was kind of an experiment I was doing to see how much I could get done without being overt or getting his blood boiling (or my own).

Seems to have worked out pretty well. After 2-3 times of going out there and doing the same thing however many times was required, he stopped trying to push on me. Now he's yielding away with a suggestion of my posture and the occasional hand gesture.

I can only speak from my own experience but I'm finding out nowadays that I don't need to do as much as I thought I did to get a horse to respect me. I just try to be consistent in the way I handle him and he adjusts to me accordingly.
     

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