Butt turning in pasture and thinking ahead

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Butt turning in pasture and thinking ahead

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  • Horse in pasture turns butt to my horse

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    01-27-2013, 12:12 AM
Butt turning in pasture and thinking ahead

This spring, when I get ready to do faire (basically once march comes along) I am going to be working with my riding partner, Shooter.

Whenever I enter the pasture, he tends to turn his butt, and pin his ears. This is unacceptable. I plan on carrying a dressage whip with me the next time I enter, as most of the time I come in just to visit with them. I will give him a hard smack on the rump, and move him around the pasture until he faces me.

I also will do ground work with him to enhance our riding, as I think some of our riding problems (he is very forward thinking, and tends to predict what happens next.) Can be fixed that way.

Problem one: he tends to wrap the lunge rope around his neck becauase he knows that by doing so, the lunging stops so the human can unwrap him.

How I plan to solve: I bump his head in when he looks out, preventing him from turning his butt to wrap the rope. I also have a twelve foot rope, so by using that, he will have less room to wrap and I more control.

I also plan on doing lots of "slow" work and demanding he wait for my cues before doing them. I have seen my instructor work on another horse who did this, and whenever the horse kept doing unwanted behavior, it would get smacked in the shoulder with the lead rope. Eventually he stopped.

Are there any other ways I can stop Shooter's thinking ahead?
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    01-27-2013, 12:13 AM
Oh, also: he is a been there done there horse who has had (and will have) many riders and handlers. If I can transfer what I want on the ground, my hopes are to do the same under saddle. He has had years of doing the same stuff, so I know this habit may be hard to break.
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    01-27-2013, 06:32 AM
I think breaking his old, bad habits is a good goal, but from my experience, ALL of the horse's regular handlers need to be on the same page about how they will be correcting undesired behaviors when he exhibits them. Because if not corrected, he will effectively be "rewarded" for doing the wrong thing (such as getting to stop because he has gotten himself tangled) and intermittent reinforcement is actually one of the best ways to teach a behavior!

Does he belong to you? If that is the case, then limit his handling only to those handlers/riders you know are capable and competent with correcting his behavior. If he is not yours, speak politely to his owner about what you would like to work on with him and determine if there is a way you can ensure consistent handling to make this happen.
    01-27-2013, 02:08 PM
I don't own him, unfortunately. He's just my riding buddy. The owner and I are on great terms, and she has given me the ok to pretty much do anything.

I'm the only one who lunges him, but I figure that would be a great way to start getting his respect again, as I think he started getting sick of me with all the riding we did last year, haha.
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    01-27-2013, 04:05 PM
Green Broke
If he is wrapping neck in lunge rope, then you are doing something majorly wrong. You need to change what you are doing.

And 12 foot is a good way to get yourself kicked in face I think.

Need to get some more lessons on lunging it sounds like.
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    01-27-2013, 04:36 PM
No, he is wrapping himself upon his own accord. I am at his drive line asking for the desired gait. He turns his butt and wraps the lead rope. I'm not the only one who has experienced this problem.
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    01-27-2013, 04:45 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Deschutes    
No, he is wrapping himself upon his own accord. I am at his drive line asking for the desired gait. He turns his butt and wraps the lead rope. I'm not the only one who has experienced this problem.
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Don't let him turn his butt. When he starts to swing his rear pull his head towards you then send him off again.
I agree, a 12 foot rope puts you right in the way of danger.
    01-27-2013, 04:48 PM
Thank you. I do bump his head in when I feel him thinking he is going to turn.

The owners have lunge lines, but I get tangled in them so I thought a twelve footer would be more managable.
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    01-27-2013, 05:07 PM
I agree 12 feet is way too short. Can you do round pen exercises? Ie without rope at all? If not, use 23ft rope. Clinton Anderson shows a mustang doing this behavior on an older starting Mustangs series dvd's. Going to be hard to describe but here goes:
Moving horses feet at hard trot and gallop to the left. Goal is to get the horse to look in to handler, stop, turn in facing person and take off in the opposite direction indicated by person pointing with right hand/arm and adding impulsion with stick/string (lungewhip).
Gelding spins away from CA and takes off to the right at a run so rope is wrapped around butt. CA literally sits on rope hopping along with horse making it very uncomfortable for gelding to keep running to the right. Horse is hopping, head down fighting the rope, then finally gets where the pull is coming from; turns head and neck towards the fence, spinning hard to go back the direction he came (circling to the left) so CA can try again. Which he does; stepping in front of the drive line to get mustangs attention. As horse looks in, CA steps backwards, points with right arm to indicate change of direction. Horse turns inward to make turn; CA adds impulsion with whip and backs down as horse takes off in new direction having "given two eyes and not two heels" equals Respect! CA does this many times always looking to get horse to turn InWards. If he turns Away to make the turn, need to get him to go back and try again.
Just a thought: if may be you are not strong or agile enough to do this, how about just dropping! The rope and keep horse moving thru it? Pick up the now-cleared line and go again? Will throw a "monkey wrench" in horses control, huh?
    01-27-2013, 05:20 PM
The thing is, Shooter wraps, and then stops immediately. He just looks at you and waits to be unwrapped. Send him off again, and he will wrap within at least a half circle, rinse and repeat. Its just his way of getting out of work. Because he is lazy, and likes to think he's retired once winter comes. The only time I have ever seen him pitch a fit was when I was lunging him once a couple years ago, and a gentleman took the lunge line and whip from me to "show" me how its done. He cracked the whip and Shooter bucked and tossed a fit at him immediately.

But then again, Shooter didn't care for that gentleman either... : p

The one problem I have with doing ground work exercises with him is that he knows how to do everything. So he does exactly as you ask, but I don't think any respect is gained from doing them, simply because he's everyones "lesson" horse. Very dependable, and lazy.

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