Dominance/authority
 
 

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Dominance/authority

This is a discussion on Dominance/authority within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Dominance authority
  • Groundwork to establish dominance in horse

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    12-05-2011, 04:11 AM
  #1
Yearling
Dominance/authority

How do you assert/show your dominance, or that the horse should be listening to you and not the other way round, on a first meet? I know it takes time and more work, but how do you carry out that first introduction?
     
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    12-05-2011, 05:20 AM
  #2
Foal
Wow! How interesting! I just came into this section to post nearly an identical question.

Further query to the OPs on dominance if I may - is it a dominance thing with owning a horse (kind of like it is with a dog) or is it a different kind of relationship?
Even though I've owned horses, I don't ever remember asserting a particular dominance but I've been debating this topic with a horsey friend of mine and was looking for further information on how people...I suppose, assert themselves with horses?
     
    12-05-2011, 06:29 AM
  #3
Green Broke
I wouldn't call it dominance. Think of herd dynamics. They will want to meet someone new. After the initial meeting though, they want to establish where the new one is in the pecking order. It's the same to me with training a horse. The one that can get the other to move first is higher in the pecking order.
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    12-05-2011, 07:19 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Dont give it treats or fod in a manner that it thinks it took it from you. In the horse world he who eats first and most is the boss.
At feeding time put feed in bowl, then turn your back to the horse while watching, if they get within 3 feet of you yell "GET BACK" and wack em in the chest with a carriage stick or whatever you have handy. Stand over the food for a bit then just walk away, don't call him or motijon its ok, simply walk away. Do the same with hay. Put hay out and stand over it for a few minutes, don't let him near, then just walk away from it like you have had your fill.
Watch a small herd in the field, the boss horse will act the same way.
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    12-05-2011, 07:28 AM
  #5
Banned
I think it depends on the horse and if he is showing signs of testing you or not. Are you hoping to build a deep relationship with the horse? If the horse is being 'respectful' in his body language, there would be no need to move him away from you. It also depends on what you are doing. Are you approaching it in a field? Is it tied up waiting to be groomed? Or are you about to do groundwork or ride it?
For instance if you are visiting it in a field, you could introduce yourself and give him a treat to say 'hi I'm no threat' and then walk away to get his interest and then re-approach if neccessary. If you are grooming him you could move his hindquarters over or something. Release and then carry on grooming.
Now if you have a horse that doesn't see you as a leader because he's showing signs of ear pinning, moving into you etc. then I would take it a step further and do a hell of a lot more feet moving in a confined area, even if it's a horse I've just met.
I think you have to read the horse's body language in order to tell you what you should/should not be doing.

Someone also asked about dogs. Dogs are a predator animal and horses are prey. Prey and predators think the opposite in most things so it takes ALOT of understanding of how a prey animal thinks, so in a sense it is a different kind of relationship because you have to do different things to suit the situation.

The slow way is the fast way. A good relationship doesn't happen over night, it's a slow gradual process and even once there is a good relationship established, it still has to be worked on to stay good. Good luck.
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    12-05-2011, 07:37 AM
  #6
Foal
I agree that the one who controls move has higher position. During first meeting I introduce myself, but from the beginnig there are some rules like a horse must respect an area around me. And the first day of work with new horse is for establish a rule that I control move.
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    12-05-2011, 07:43 AM
  #7
Green Broke
I did some more thinking about this. Most decently trained horses will assume you are a leader for them. They will listen and do what you ask, at first. After some time they will start to test you or challenge you for your position in the herd. This is where many have their problems. It may be a week or two or a month or two after they get the horse. This is when you need to show them you still are above them in "your" herd. You need to correct them right away. Don't let anything "slide" or it will just get worse.

I work with horses that have little training and that's where my first post came from. Unless you have one that has little training or is aggressive/pushy, this second post would apply.
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    12-05-2011, 08:02 AM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusciusWasAGreatTeachr
Now if you have a horse that doesn't see you as a leader because he's showing signs of ear pinning, moving into you etc. then I would take it a step further and do a hell of a lot more feet moving in a confined area, even if it's a horse I've just met.
What do you mean by feet moving in a confined area?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfusciusWasAGreatTeachr
Someone also asked about dogs. Dogs are a predator animal and horses are prey. Prey and predators think the opposite in most things so it takes ALOT of understanding of how a prey animal thinks, so in a sense it is a different kind of relationship because you have to do different things to suit the situation
Oh actually, I never even thought of that.
I suppose that makes a lot of sense. With my dogs, I am dominant when needed - but with my friend and her horse she sort of seems more...like a protector than dominant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by usandpets
This is where many have their problems. It may be a week or two or a month or two after they get the horse. This is when you need to show them you still are above them in "your" herd. You need to correct them right away.
May I ask, how you do this?
     
    12-05-2011, 08:21 AM
  #9
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiavo    
What do you mean by feet moving in a confined area?
I mean by moving him around in an area (moving his feet) like in an arena or round pen where you have easier control of him. Horses have a strict pecking order and 'he who moves who' is in control, therefore gaining respect and in turn, trust. (Of course there's alot more to it than just this and takes time and different situations)
     
    12-05-2011, 08:24 AM
  #10
Yearling
Thanks for the posts everyone. I am helping a woman with her 14 year old, 15.1h TB mare. Before I visited for the first time they did tell me she likes to have her way, and be the one in charge. I prepared myself but didn't assume anything. First thing I did was feed her, I took the bucket into her stall, made her walk back, stood for a second and then walked away. She started eating once I moved. Then I groomed her which she stood still for, mostly. Every time she moved I put her back into the position I wanted her in. Then I decided to put her on the lunge line. She reared up at me instantly when I asked her to move out, I didn't really know what to do because I've never been in that situation before, so I just sent her out when she came down and just made her move forward. After that she was pretty good, had a buck or two but did listen to me pretty well. She picked up when I asked her to, and she responded well to the word "whoah" when asking to slow down.

I just wanted to know if I did the right thing and what I should do next time. We need to get to know each other and I want her to know I am in charge. Her owner told me this, and I quote " she is a pushy mare, doesn't have much in the way of ground manners, likes her own way, hot and fresh to ride, rears when you jump because she gets excited, is ok on the roads sometimes".

I've never dealt with a horse like this on my own before so I'm not sure whether to carry on or not. Maybe she just needs putting in her place...
     

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