Best methods for teaching a horse respect - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 04-01-2011, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Best methods for teaching a horse respect

I've started threads about Persia before, most recently about her not wanting her feet done. I work with her but obviously I'm not getting her respect under control the way I would like. Today she broke out of her pen which isn't that big of a surprise. She's an escape artist, I'm actually surprised it took her this long. Her pen leads right into the corral and my brother in law claims she tried to run him over and then kick him when he tried to catch her. I don't necassarily believe this because a.) he is known to over exagerate, especially when no one was around to see it and b.) because I, or my husband, have NEVER had any problems catching her in the corral. You just walk up to her and put her halter on. Regardless, her respect issues are there, so I was wondering what are the BEST methods you all have used to teach your horses respect?
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post #2 of 22 Old 04-01-2011, 04:50 PM
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Round pen work, a la Monty Roberts. Lots of it. Push her around a ton, making her move and think, and understand that the person is in charge.

If the world was truly a rational place, men would ride sidesaddle.
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post #3 of 22 Old 04-01-2011, 04:57 PM
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post #4 of 22 Old 04-01-2011, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Who is Monty Roberts? I do round pen work with her and she does pretty good. She gets a little pushy when I try to back her though. Any advice on how to proceed when she tries to go forward or sideways instead? She's just very pushy in general. I've watched some Clinton Anderson starting under saddle dvd's, but other than that I don't know what he would reccomend in this situation. So I was wondering if anyone had any methods for those especially pushy horses that have worked really well.
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post #5 of 22 Old 04-01-2011, 08:40 PM
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There are a lot of reasons why a horse won't let you pick up their feet. Can be fear or pain issue more than a respect issue. Besides, the way a horse respects a human is not necessarily the way human respects a human. And just because you have a horse's "respect" for round penning does not mean that the lifting feet problem will miraculously disappear because the horse respects you.
I think of it more like the horse "recognizes" you as being a really meaningful presence, so that what you have to say matters. You still have to be clear about what you are asking and you still have to be sensitive to whether the horse isn't raising his feet for you for a good reason. Think about whats's stopping her from letting you handle her feet? Fear?

As for her threatening your family members, it's possible that the man in question approached her ins such a way that she felt cornered and went into self preservation mode. If he walked up onher where she had no way out then she might have turned to kick. Of course, this is not permissible but it's understandable. It does sound like she needs a bit of a reeducation as to how to react with people, but I guess what I am getting at is to not look at it as she is trying to be bad and that you need to "show her!". If you have any sort of vindictive feeling or feeling insulted because she isn't showing you respect, then you will unwittinly arouse feelings of defenseiveness in her because she will feel the threat in your emotional background.

work on the ground work, but just think of teaching stuff, not teaching her "respect".
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post #6 of 22 Old 04-01-2011, 09:31 PM
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yes I agree round pen work. Make the right thing easy, and the wrong hard. she'll want to come stay in the middle with you and behave/do what is asked after a while. It may take a little bit as some horses don't pick it up as quick as others. It's simple to teach... Does she round pen good? turn in to look at you when you ask her to whoa or change directions?
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post #7 of 22 Old 04-01-2011, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
There are a lot of reasons why a horse won't let you pick up their feet. Can be fear or pain issue more than a respect issue. Besides, the way a horse respects a human is not necessarily the way human respects a human. And just because you have a horse's "respect" for round penning does not mean that the lifting feet problem will miraculously disappear because the horse respects you.
I think of it more like the horse "recognizes" you as being a really meaningful presence, so that what you have to say matters. You still have to be clear about what you are asking and you still have to be sensitive to whether the horse isn't raising his feet for you for a good reason. Think about whats's stopping her from letting you handle her feet? Fear?

As for her threatening your family members, it's possible that the man in question approached her ins such a way that she felt cornered and went into self preservation mode. If he walked up onher where she had no way out then she might have turned to kick. Of course, this is not permissible but it's understandable. It does sound like she needs a bit of a reeducation as to how to react with people, but I guess what I am getting at is to not look at it as she is trying to be bad and that you need to "show her!". If you have any sort of vindictive feeling or feeling insulted because she isn't showing you respect, then you will unwittinly arouse feelings of defenseiveness in her because she will feel the threat in your emotional background.

work on the ground work, but just think of teaching stuff, not teaching her "respect".
I suppose there could be an underlying issue with her feet but I don't think it is fear. That's not really the issue though. My other thread talks more about her feet problem but now I'm just concerned with her respect in general. I am probably the only person that comes in contact with her on a regular basis that DOESN'T see her as a BAD horse.I seem to be the only one that realizes that she probably has a good reason for acting out when she does. I KNOW she's smart and is capable of being a great horse if the right steps are taken. When I talked to my brother in law later he told me that he tried again and she kicked out at him two more times. When I got there I was by myself, I went into the corral and stood there. She walked right up to me so I could pet her. I could have put her away right then but decided to give her a little more time. When I did get her halter all I had to do was walk up to her and put it on, just like I knew I would. She walked calmly by my side and even stood and waited while I shewed another horse out of her pen. That is a problem she has never had so I just find it hard to believe. He must have been doing something really wrong to get that kind of response out of her.
Her biggest issue is throwing her weight around mostly during ground work and when getting her feet done. She does the round pen pretty good but when I can't get her to do something, like backing up, she becomes a stubborn beast.
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post #8 of 22 Old 04-01-2011, 11:12 PM
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Moving off of pressure and staying out of your space is the best way to teach it. That means ground work. As for picking up feet, I find my horse does this best when he is untied(still with me holding him though). You want to work up to her being able to do it tied. When my horse is tied, he feels restricted so he usually wants all four feet on the ground so he feels more comfortable(at this point though, if he won't pick it up, a firm voice and a shift of weight makes him pick his feet up). Make sure her weight is on her opposite leg when you are picking up her foot, set her up for success.

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post #9 of 22 Old 04-01-2011, 11:17 PM
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Monty Roberts

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post #10 of 22 Old 04-01-2011, 11:23 PM
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Regrading fear for picking up feet, I don't mean afraid of YOU. It couud be that she is afraid of the vulnerable feeling a prey animal has when it only has three feet available to it. That's what I mean by fear. Or, fear of losing her balance, believe it or not. Not fear of you. somehow you have to show her that she can have one foot held by a human and she will still be safe AND it won't last unbearably long. And you won't drop her foot or pull her off balance.

In the round pen if she is running into you, THAT might be a respect issue. there is where you may need to lay down the law a bit more strongly. I mean if she starts to come in to you uninvited (and if you are backing away from her, you are inviting her, so don't back away), then you swing the lead rope or smack the ground with a whip or shush the whip in front of you , whatever it takes to surprise her out of that zombie mind set of not seeing you as important and just running right through you. You have to maybe startle her enough to make a lasting impression, even to the point of laying the whip or rope a good smack on her neck. Her running over you is quite a serious infraction and must be met with an equally serious correction. Do it good once and you wont' have to do it again.

If you are asking her to back and she does something else, she either doesnt' understand or has , again, a physical issue. If you stop asking when she shows her confusion by doing other things, then you teach her that there are a multitude of responses that get you to leave off the pressure of the back up cue (wiggling the rope?). She rears, you stop. She goes left, you stop. She goes forward, you stop. You have taught her many different ways to get you to stop, except the one that matters, BACK UP>. So, don't , don't stop asking until she does the right thing. maybe only a step or two, but THE thing you want, then you stop.
Her running over you and her not backing up off of pressure are closely related and when you get her to not run into/over you, you will find backing up gets way easier.
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