Dead broke, but with no ground manners? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Dead broke, but with no ground manners?

Well, title says alot. I know I'm posting so many topics, but I just have alot of questions. I do stalk other threads to see if any questions of mine are answered, but for the ones I haven't found yet I just post a new topic. ^^

So, my mother's horse, a 13 year old paint mare who hadn't been ridden much untill we got her, has been a real pain. She was said to be very well broke, and I suppose she is, but she has absolutely no manners! If I have my head or body anywhere near her face she will just smack me with that huge dome of hers and it really hurts. -.- She doesn't really respect my space, and often times will just push through me to get places. If I am holding onto her halter, or trying to get a bridle on she will toss her head up and down, often times hitting me. (She also tosses her head while being ridden and will walk very fast without being told to.)

But I try to make her respect me, I always try and correct her, but we don't work much on ground work. My sister rides her right away so we have no chance to work on it. And when I try to, I'm usually at home so I don't have the instruction of my trainer.

But simple things like opening the gate, when I don't have her hooked up or have a "whip" with me. (It's not really a whip, it's just the parelli type carrot stick with a string attached to it and leather at the end.)

I was just wondering if there is something I could do to make this stop. I do plan on asking my trainer to work with Sadie on groundwork in the spring before they start riding her, but I need something I can try now. Once the snow melts for good, I will be able to work with them. But simple things like holding her face still and not smacking me with her head, or not bursting through the gate I can work on now. But I have no idea how to fix the head bobbing, though. I've never dealt with any other horse doing this, but I highly doubt it's rare.

Mares. -.- I prefer geldings, but what can I do? It's not like she's going anywhere so I'm going to have to cope.

~Butt
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 09:59 PM
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Hi,

Yeah, a lot of people teach horses to be ridden without considering teaching them 'ground manners'. You will have to put in time to work on these things to change them. It will be more effective if your sister & mum do the same, but even if you're the only one who asks her for 'manners', you will eventually get it, just that it won't automatically transfer to everyone else.

Perhaps she's just never been taught those things, or perhaps she was, but learned 'better' with whatever experiences she's had. Eg. horses do what works & quit doing what never works, so if she discovered that it worked for her to toss her head(to avoid the unpleasant equipment or rein pressure), that's what she'll do, unless it *consistently* stops working. Eg. She discovers that it's easier & not unpleasant to keep still & accept contact &/or head tossing doesn't allow her to get away with anything or get relief.

Same goes for other stuff - work out what you want /don't want her to do and ensure the behaviour you want is reinforced(rewarded &/or 'pressure' is released when it happens) and the behaviour you don't want NEVER works(never reinforced, maybe also punished). Remember timing is of utmost importance and reinforcement/punishment must happen *at the time of* the behaviour you want to influence & no later than a second or 2 after it at worst.

Since you mention Parelli(& IMO a whip by any other name...), you might find 'The 7 Games' a very good way of learning how to go about it all.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-28-2011, 11:48 PM
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You might think that you don't have time to do ground work with her, but every single interaction you have is an opportunity that you should take.
If you are carrying hay into the field and she crowds you, respond with a no thanks.
If you are feeding and she is trying to get to it before it's in the bucket. etc etc.

Every single interaction is an opportunity.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-01-2011, 07:49 AM
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Agree with Alex. Everything you or anyone else does with this horse is teaching. Everyone needs to be on board in order to change her bad habits. She sounds like she has No respect and she's been allowed to get away with it for some time. If you want to change it for everyone safety, you need to make sure you talk to your family and make sure they are as consistent with the training or she will be way too confused and it will (Promise) get worse!
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-01-2011, 09:16 AM
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Have you had her teeth checked by a vet? That head bobbing could be an indication of points and hooks on her teeth, which a bit will aggravate.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-01-2011, 05:00 PM
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Groundwork, groundwork. When I work with a new horse I don't do anything until I've figured out where we stand on groundwork. I don't care how old they are or what the owner says they know.

I bought a two yr old Quarter mare a few years ago that had been at a trainers, and the owners said she was good to ride. I didn't think so, and since I had plenty other horses to ride I did groundwork with her over the winter. When spring got there my kids started riding her, and by summer she was carrying beginners. I really think it pays off.

Remuda- a string of horses from which a rider chooses a mount.
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-01-2011, 08:31 PM
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Julie Goodnight just had an episode where she worked with a horse just like yours on RFDTV. Maybe you can find on her website. She had the problems fixed in minutes.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-01-2011, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbender View Post
If you want to change it for everyone safety, you need to make sure you talk to your family and make sure they are as consistent with the training or she will be way too confused and it will (Promise) get worse!
I agree fully that if the horse is to learn to be well mannered with everyone, everyone that deals with her needs to be consistent about handling, but it sounded like other family members etc weren't very interested and while it will make it a little harder/more long winded, if the OP consistently & effectively teaches the horse how to behave around her, the horse WILL learn this and won't be confused. I work with a number of horses who have learned their manners very well with me thank you(promise), but are 'rude' & 'disrespectful' to their owners, who allow it, don't mind or are inconsistent so unable to teach them better.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-02-2011, 02:32 PM
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Sorry but to me, a dead broke ain't dead broke if the horse doesn't have any ground manners! Sometimes the term dead broke doesn't mean the horse really listens to you while you're riding him. He's just moseying about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtInTheDirt View Post
(She also tosses her head while being ridden and will walk very fast without being told to.)
Hence, why I said what I said above.

The first thing I would make sure of--since this is your mother's horse--is that you and your mom are on the same page with this ground manner work. Do you both work with this horse? You guys need to be on the same page in order for the horse to improve. You can't have two training methods thrown at this horse and expect her to improve. She'll most likely get more mad and disrespectful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtInTheDirt View Post
If I have my head or body anywhere near her face she will just smack me with that huge dome of hers and it really hurts. -.-
Get your elbow up there and conk her right back as she's about to shove her face into you. I usually do this somewhere between the jaw and cheek bone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtInTheDirt View Post
But simple things like opening the gate, when I don't have her hooked up or have a "whip" with me. (It's not really a whip, it's just the parelli type carrot stick with a string attached to it and leather at the end.)
Don't bother tying her up just to open a gate. That's ridiculous! She can handle standing there patiently as you open up the gate. If she can't--which it sounds like--make sure you have that whip in your hand and send her backwards! Shake the lead rope snake-like and wave the stick back in forth in front of you pointing towards the ground at her legs to back her up. You need to keep doing this until she quits pushing you around, stepping on your toes or trying to eat grass.

I think to really make a difference in this horse is to be consistent ALL the time. Any time she is the least bit disrespectful towards you and getting in your space, you need to get after her. The more you let things slide, the more she won't take you seriously!

Amber.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas Edison
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-02-2011, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
I agree fully that if the horse is to learn to be well mannered with everyone, everyone that deals with her needs to be consistent about handling, but it sounded like other family members etc weren't very interested and while it will make it a little harder/more long winded, if the OP consistently & effectively teaches the horse how to behave around her, the horse WILL learn this and won't be confused. I work with a number of horses who have learned their manners very well with me thank you(promise), but are 'rude' & 'disrespectful' to their owners, who allow it, don't mind or are inconsistent so unable to teach them better.
I am glad that it works for you. But if a horse is being ridden by several different riders with several different techniques... Come on.. Its gonna be slightly messed up! Ok, and I can see a horse being better with you than any one else but I believe you have to still work out the same issues over and over again.

Why waste time and effort when everyone could be on the same page and help this horse to respond to everyone in the same manner? It only benefits everyone involved including the horses mind!
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