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Bad mannered lease (help!)

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  • Bad mannered horse
  • horse collected on hackamore

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    09-02-2012, 12:28 AM
  #1
Foal
Bad mannered lease (help!)

Hello forum.

I recently began leasing a horse at the barn where my gf boards her horse. The barn owner is very generous and only asks that I buy the horse (Magnum, aka Doodles) feed.

Everyone calls Doodles the "pissy man" or "mad doodles" before I even began riding him. He's the type of horse that always has some sort of cranky attitude and is just sort of a jerk. His ears are pinned at you when you walk by his stall and he'd rather just be left alone.

According to the barn owners, he's a great horse, despite his vices. Granted, he doesn't kick or rear but has been known to bite one or two people at feeding time as they left his stall.

My girlfriend rides all the time and I really want to ride with her, so this horse was the easiest and most convenient way to do that.

Now, here's the problem. The barn owners insist that doodles be ridden in a hack, for he, in their opinion, doesn't need a bit. But Doodles will not stop-nor will he stay stopped. I have tried everything. I try checking him, I try circles til I'm dizzy, I try backing him up when he tries to walk off, I sit back but doodles has been taught some very bad manners as they had previously leased him to a 13 year old with zero experience.

I can't use a bit on him. And I even dismount and lunge him. This however, only makes him hotter and then he wont stand still. This is incredibly frustrating .

Any help? Thanks :)
     
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    09-02-2012, 01:13 AM
  #2
Started
Yes lunging is a great way to make a horse hotter :P

Anyway, what type of hackamore is it? They can range from being a big pile of nothing on the horse's face to being far crueler than any bit. Do you have a picture? He could be ignoring the signals from the bridle simply because they aren't clear enough, not that they aren't strong enough.

He needs to spend some time learning 2 things, the first being respect, the second being trust.

First respect. He needs to learn space and that violence is Never acceptable. I'd practice all the usual ground yielding exercises, yielding his hind end, front end, backing up, putting his head down, side passing - everything. Until he is yielding away from you with a feather light touch. All this done on the ground (if you need more specific how to's I can go more into detail).

The second being trust. He seems to really hate humans. He's probably not been given much reason to like them, only being taken out to work and never anything good. I'd start making him appreciate you. Take him out every once in a while and do something wonderful for him. Maybe let him hand-graze for a while or take him and just scratch all those places he really wants you to scratch. And scratch them until his nose is all stretched out and wiggling!!

He needs to know his place but he also has to come to see you as a desirable place to be. These are your first two big steps.

As for not halting, you're using a lot of hands, spinning him and backing him. Are you using your seat too? If he's backing up how is he not halting? Does he just go forward then back right up - then back and forth without standing still? That sounds to me like a seriously uncomfortable horse who's searching for a place to get away from something. I'd get him vet checked. Does he stand still on the ground? Will he walk-halt trot-halt on the lunge? If he can do it on the lunge there is NO reason he can't do it under saddle unless he is in pain.

Good luck :)
     
    09-03-2012, 12:56 AM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
Yes lunging is a great way to make a horse hotter :P

Anyway, what type of hackamore is it? They can range from being a big pile of nothing on the horse's face to being far crueler than any bit. Do you have a picture? He could be ignoring the signals from the bridle simply because they aren't clear enough, not that they aren't strong enough.

He needs to spend some time learning 2 things, the first being respect, the second being trust.

First respect. He needs to learn space and that violence is Never acceptable. I'd practice all the usual ground yielding exercises, yielding his hind end, front end, backing up, putting his head down, side passing - everything. Until he is yielding away from you with a feather light touch. All this done on the ground (if you need more specific how to's I can go more into detail).

The second being trust. He seems to really hate humans. He's probably not been given much reason to like them, only being taken out to work and never anything good. I'd start making him appreciate you. Take him out every once in a while and do something wonderful for him. Maybe let him hand-graze for a while or take him and just scratch all those places he really wants you to scratch. And scratch them until his nose is all stretched out and wiggling!!

He needs to know his place but he also has to come to see you as a desirable place to be. These are your first two big steps.

As for not halting, you're using a lot of hands, spinning him and backing him. Are you using your seat too? If he's backing up how is he not halting? Does he just go forward then back right up - then back and forth without standing still? That sounds to me like a seriously uncomfortable horse who's searching for a place to get away from something. I'd get him vet checked. Does he stand still on the ground? Will he walk-halt trot-halt on the lunge? If he can do it on the lunge there is NO reason he can't do it under saddle unless he is in pain.

Good luck :)
That's a lot of really good advice. Thank you for the time in writing all that. And he stands perfectly still when tied. It's just other horses or being barn sour make him wanna dance around and refuse to stay still or stop when I'd ask. I'll take a picture of the hack tomorrow and post.

However, I would appreciate that you go into detail, as you offered :) maybe you can teach me something new.

Thanks!
     
    09-03-2012, 01:00 AM
  #4
Weanling
I would teach him softness...Lateral flexion works with bosals or hacks too I believe (Correct me if im wrong) but that's the first thing. Also I would work on roundpen excercises and get him to respect. And you might try playing with different kinds of hacks. Goodluck!
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    09-03-2012, 01:18 AM
  #5
Super Moderator
For a horse that won't sit still you can also try making him move , A LOT! Can you ride him out at trot and canter until he is begging to stop?

So, if you want him to STAND near your girlfriend's horse, take him away, work the breathe out of him, bring him back to her and let him choose to either stand or move. If he moves, let him do so, and direct that movement off a ways and work, work, work. Not mad or punishing, just "let's go!"
REturn to the "rest" place and give him a loose rein so he may choose to either stand or go off for another round of work. It might take a long time for him to figure this out, and you have to be physically able to work him the required amount, and you have to have the time to do this until when offered the chance to stand by the gf's mount, he will. GF must just be willing to stand there on her horse, not going anywhere, until your boy has chosen to STAND. At that point, I'd let him rest about 10 minutes, then put him away for the day. He will remember this better if you don't then go out riding on top of all that.
     
    09-03-2012, 05:45 AM
  #6
Weanling
It sounds like this guy is either in pain, or like mentioned above has learned to dislike humans. Due to this, he is probably very anxious and antsy. I had a horse like this, and what worked for him was, as mentioned above, earning his respect and trust. For two weeks, I would go out to the paddock, give him a good rub, yeild a few areas, give another rub, then leave him alone. My the end of the two weeks, he was walking to meet me in the paddock with ears forward. I used gentle persistence, but was firm in what I wanted and didn't stop until I got it. After two weeks, I started taking him out of the paddock, another good rub all over, quick yeilding session, more rubbing, then back in the paddock. It took a month of doing this until he became eager to work, and in a very relaxed manner. He is now a wonderful horse who loves people and is no longer disrespectful or anxious. I think what this guy might need is a reason to trust, and respect people.
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    09-03-2012, 07:30 AM
  #7
Green Broke
Sometims a horse like this gets worse the harder he is worked (some will actually work themselves to death). I do not know if this is what you have.. and I won't tell you to work him more or less to get him to stand still.

I will say this... do NOT reward bad behavior. If he is irritable in the stall at feeding, find a way to feed without going in the stall. If he is irritable because he wants you to go away, don't go away (hopefully he is in a stall with a grate so you can stand there next to him until he unpins his ears, THEN walk away). Carry a crop with you and do not hesitate to use it.

The whole "no bit" thing is c.r.a.p. IMO.. but he is not your horse.

When he is dancing around and being a jerk WHAT is it he wants? To go back to the barn? Go to other horses? Does he rush back to the barn when headed in that direction? If he does, don't give him those things as rewards.

This can take a LOT of time to fix.. but it is fixable.. and even then you will probably have to 'stay on it.' If he is dancing because he wants to go to the barn, you ride away from the barn and ride in a loop (do not ride out, turn around and go back). The minute he knows you are headed back to the barn and starts to rush, turn him AWAY from the barn until he is calm.. then turn back. The minute he rushes, ride him away again. This means a 20 minute ride out can be a 3 hour ride back (yes.. 3 hours). When he gets back to the barn do not make it pleasant. Leave the saddle on and put him up and tie him.. or put him out in a paddock away from horses and tie him.. tacked up. Going back to the barn is not so much fun now is it?

If he is herd bound.. he needs to be ridden out alone.. and again prepare for an argument and 20 minutes out being possibly a rough ride and 3 hours back to get him to realize he is going no where unless he is doing it calmly. Calm behavior gets him what he wants. Stupid behavior is met with doing what he does not want.

BTW all of this can be done at a walk.

This is the safest advice I can give you and not see the horse myself. Lacking the ability to use a bit and really TRAIN the horse in a riding ring to be responsive, round, collected and so forth. I used to do this in any flat field I could find.. but I do not know YOUR skill level either.

Ultimately, that is what I would do if I could do what I needed.. then stupid behavior can be redirected into something much more useful because the horse has been trained.
     
    09-03-2012, 07:43 AM
  #8
Green Broke
BTW when I say take him back and tie him ONLY after he is walked cool and leave him tied for about 30 minutes before untacking him and putting him up. Do not immediately feed him when he is put up (do not have supper waiting in his stall). Feed happens about 15 minutes later.. and then if he pins his ears, the food (and you) go away. Come back in five minutes.. rinse and repeat until he has ears forward when you stand outside the stall with the feed. Then feed but do NOT go in the stall.

If it were my horse I would take this further. He would not eat unless I held the food. Pinned ears would mean the food left (with me). I would carry the crop but do not hit him.. some horses will become extremely aggressive and take the fight to you if you hit them (I knew a horse like this about 35 years ago). Very talented eventer.. but he was nasty from day one as a little foal. He ws never abused. His sire was the same way. IMO his talent did not supersede his aggressive nature and if he had been my horse he would have either had an attitude adjustment or a bullet. No need for dangerous horses. Too many good ones out there.
LSdriver likes this.
     
    09-03-2012, 10:33 AM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by EthanQ    
I would teach him softness...Lateral flexion works with bosals or hacks too I believe (Correct me if im wrong) but that's the first thing. Also I would work on roundpen excercises and get him to respect. And you might try playing with different kinds of hacks. Goodluck!
He's not my horse, so I can't really try anything else other than what they give me. And he's the type of horse that as soon as you walk him into the round pen, he takes off running like heck. Most attempts to stop or slow him down result in him picking up more speed or turning on a dime and running like heck in the direction.
     
    09-03-2012, 10:36 AM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
For a horse that won't sit still you can also try making him move , A LOT! Can you ride him out at trot and canter until he is begging to stop?

So, if you want him to STAND near your girlfriend's horse, take him away, work the breathe out of him, bring him back to her and let him choose to either stand or move. If he moves, let him do so, and direct that movement off a ways and work, work, work. Not mad or punishing, just "let's go!"
REturn to the "rest" place and give him a loose rein so he may choose to either stand or go off for another round of work. It might take a long time for him to figure this out, and you have to be physically able to work him the required amount, and you have to have the time to do this until when offered the chance to stand by the gf's mount, he will. GF must just be willing to stand there on her horse, not going anywhere, until your boy has chosen to STAND. At that point, I'd let him rest about 10 minutes, then put him away for the day. He will remember this better if you don't then go out riding on top of all that.
I would love to trot or canter him until he is really worked. However, this only makes him hot and he begins his "I don't wanna do anything but run." and this guy can go on forrreeevvveeer.

There's a lot of really good advice I'm getting though. Thank you.
     

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