Curing a pasture kicker! Help! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-28-2009, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Tri-State (IA, WI, IL) area
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Curing a pasture kicker! Help!

My gelding 2-Pak is an absolute gentleman on the ground. Of all my other horses, Dante is the only one that sometimes crowds, and that's the only issue I really have with any of them from the ground.
Recently, however, 2-Pak has realized that he's the biggest horse in the pasture, and if he pins his ears, the other horses scatter. He doesn't get overtly aggressive, going after them or anything, just makes sure they respect him. All perfectly normal, I suppose.
The problem I'm having is that if I'm leading another horse, and 2-Pak wanders nearby, or I have to pass him, he'll still try to drive off whomever I'm leading! And it's actually escalated to a point where I feel that I need to tie 2-Pak up to do anything in the pasture with any of the other horses.
And example is, the other day, I caught Magic and went to lead her out the gate... only a span of about twenty feet between where I caught her and the gate. 2-Pak was beyond where I'd caught Magic, so I chased him a bit further away and headed for the gate. I'm just pulling the gate open, and suddenly Magic squeals and bursts through it with a pretty new 2-Pak-bite mark on her rear. I managed to get out of the way, and only got some rope burn from her yanking the rope out of my hand. And 2-Pak just continued on past to the water tank as if nothing had happened.
Another day, 2-Pak was standing paralell with the fence when I came back with Magic, and I went to walk her past (with as much distance as I could, all the while watching for him to turn or pin his ears), and I kept Magic at the far end of the rope so that if he did try to kick at her, I wouldn't acidentally get in between them (I figure Magic can take a kick better than I can). I thought we were in the clear, and suddenly he cowkicked at her rear, she bolted forward, and he turned and double barreled at her again, this time one of his feet catching me in the wrist (just leaving a bruise, thankfully.). After that, and another day that he snuck up behind Tanner, bit her, and made her run me into a electric fence, is when I started tying him up everytime I go in the pasture.
When he's tied up, he still pins his ears and tries to kick, but I can at least control where he is, and just put him out of the way; besides that I really have no idea on how I can keep him from kicking and biting at all the other horses!
RubaiyateBandit is offline  
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-29-2009, 01:19 AM
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I had to manage a nasty horse at the boarding facility; I carried a dressage whip, or would fling a lead rope at her. I kept myself between her, and my horse, so I could see exactly what she was doing, and 'challange' her threats as soon as she thought she could get away with it. After getting chased away a couple times, she decided to leave well enough alone, atleast when I was there! I didn't necessarily worry about what my horse was doing on the end of his lead, when I was chasing her off, either, I just focused on her. My horse was afraid of her, so he never argued with me chasing her off...after a while he didn't even cringe anymore, at her threats, when I lead him out, and stopped trying to outwalk me to get there, because he knew I was the real 'herd leader' (atleast while I was there).

I would either just keep catching him up, and tying him while you take other horses in and out (which is a pain, but probably the safest). Or start carrying a whip, and make sure you are keeping an eye on him, even when you think you are in the clear...and when he comes up to cause trouble, face him NOW...don't even let him get close enough to bite the other horse, chase him off immediately upon him starting to advance. He needs to learn that when a human is in the pasture, he cannot chase the other horses that are in your control. He needs to respect your space, and right now, regardless of the fact that he is just chasing the horse in your hands, he is NOT respecting your space.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
mom2pride is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 08-29-2009, 02:30 AM
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Carry one of those 4 ft whips with a slight tail to it, that is, not a really long whip, but not a crop, either. This is simply to give you the confidence you need to act like the lead horse in your herd. Anytime you are anywhere near any number of horses, you have to claim the area or the horses will just ignore you and go about their pecking order business and if you're in the way, well, they don't know any better and you end up getting hurt.

So...carry the whip into the pasture and go get the horse you need to get. The second any other horse approaches, you turn and face that incoming horse and drive him away (not wimpy, but not aggressive, but firmly mean it). Wave the whip (like you're whipping the air side to side for example)....flick drive that approaching horse away NOW and QUICKLY.

You are acting like the head horse. You're setting an example, and showing that you are in charge for real. Because you are moving the horse's feet.

So, don't stop driving the horse away, til he's FAR enough away. One or two steps away isn't good enough. that horse needs to GO AWAY NOW and stay away.

The moment he steps toward you again, again drive him away ASAP. NOW. Repeat as many times as it takes for the horse to take you seriously. Soon as he sees that you mean business and you're "claiming" the area around you and the horse that you've haltered...that other horse that wants to approach will not do so anymore. He'll stand back and give you your space, as he would to a top dog horse.

Do this every single time you enter and here's a tip, use a "clucking" sound first then drive the horse away, so he gets used to hearing that clucking sound and he knows there will be more pressure coming if he doesn't move off.

You can't just stand there, or "shrink" back or otherwise be a bystander, you must be an active member of the herd and the top dog, if you want to be taken seriously and if you want to let the horses know that it's NEVER okay for anyone to approach you unless you invite them first.
Calamity Jane is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 08-29-2009, 10:20 AM
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^^ What Calamity Jane said
Spirithorse is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 08-29-2009, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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I can't use a whip on or near 2-Pak, due to circumstances I've explained in a different thread, but I have used a spare lead rope that I just spin around and/or snap towards him to make him keep his distance when I have a grain bucket. I will most certainly try that next time I'm out; I'm not really sure why I never thought of it before. Thanks.
RubaiyateBandit is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 08-29-2009, 01:40 PM
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That should work too. I used to have that problem with Soda... he would bite and generally harass Flame when I was trying to lead her or try to get in between me and Flame. I just started moving him off with the end of the lead basically copied his dominant language and letting him know in no uncertian terms that when a human is around he is NOT the leader. I have no problems with him now and can groom/trim/etc Flame with Soda in the pasture. The most he does is smell me or groom her too... weird horse.
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