Ear Pinning Help?!?! - Page 2

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Ear Pinning Help?!?!

This is a discussion on Ear Pinning Help?!?! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    05-21-2010, 12:55 PM
Every horse pins their ears. It's how they express their attitude when they're not happy with something. Our one gelding, Columbo pins his ears, but only at certain times. He does it when we have the theraputic program running and when there are volunteers on either side of him and leader leading him. I've come to the conclusion that he hates when there are people all around him, in his space. I would too honestly. We only put the very independent riders on him so we don't need someone on his right and left sides. He's perfectly fine with the leader though. He never gets aggressive!

If a horse starts to get aggressive, than that becomes the problem, not their ears. The aggressive behaviour needs to be corrected immediately, and constantly. Be very consistant, that is the key.
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    05-21-2010, 02:01 PM
This is what I have seen when horses interact with each other.

1. Give a look, warning!
2. Pin ears, escalated warning!!
3.Move into the others space, action!!!
4.Kick, bite!!!!

Maybe some folks can live with their horse giving them warnings all the time but I don't want my horses giving me warnings ever. I want their ears on me asking what are we going to now.

Seems to me the minimum one has to do to pinned ears is a warning back until the pinned ear comes forward.

1. Look, warning.
2 Raise energy level,escalate warning
3.Raise hand, move into horse space, action!!
4.Whack, action, get out of my space!!!!

    05-21-2010, 08:27 PM
You need to know the horse to decide whether the ear pinning is a problem or not.

Usually it goes like this:

A movement of the head and a look.

Same movement with the ears pinned.

Add a step or a nip.

Blast you with a double barrell kick.

You can interupt the progression wherever you choose.

For me its better to address the movement of the head and the look.

Then the rest doesn't happen.
    05-21-2010, 08:45 PM
My newish paint gelding has the same problem and I think in his case its learned behaviour (its keeps people away from him) mixed in with a lack of respect. We are working on both, I need him to know people are a good thing, then that he should respect them.... But what I am finding that is helping him to come around are treats.. I know I know... they can be over used, but in this case when he sees me he knows its always always good news. And when we are doing ground work and he respects me and lets me do what I want with out a fuss he gets a treat. DO NOT OVER TREAT! Treats can be used to bring a horse around to something new, and at the end of a exercise, but not ever other second.

I have never done clicker training, but have a friend who swears by it for her aggress/pissy lipozzaner mare. She charges the clicker with treats (this only ever needs to be done once) ie.. CLICK then treat, CLICK then treat, CLICK then treat, do this about 15 times then the horse will get that "noise = treat". Then you could spent some time with her, anytime her ears come forward click then treat. If it is a learned habit, you could help her unlearn it. I have never done this, but I was told it works wonders.
    05-21-2010, 09:40 PM
When a horse pins his ears he's either being dominant over you or he's mad about something. In both cases it's NOT ok to see, and it CAN and SHOULD be fixed. It's a relationship/respect issue. To simply ignore it is to ignore the horse's feedback on how he/she feels about what is going on.
    05-21-2010, 11:37 PM
Thank you to everyone who took time out to read and then post. Everything seems very much like what she is doing. I know that we have issues to work through. I do think that it is an attitude thing becasue she has a tendency to also flip her tail. There are times when she is GREAT and others not so great. She is worse when she has new things around her or people who want to work at her. She only skruck out once at the farrier. She has been fine with him ever since still pins ears alittle but not as bad. I am hoping that working with her like the chiropractor does will help get her used to people being in her space. I also think that I just need to be much more consistant with my disicpline. She is worst before I ride her, she never really pins her ears when she is riding, shen is always listening to me and always wants to work. I can get all in her space when I get off she doesn't mind it's usually just before or when new people are around. She does not like kids and this I am aware of! She has also only bite once which in my book is one two many and she was disiplined right then and there. Thankfully we have gotten better working together on these things and she doesn't scare me, but I do know that I can't let it get worse.

What does everyone use for disicipline???
    05-21-2010, 11:59 PM
Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
When a horse pins his ears he's either being dominant over you or he's mad about something. In both cases it's NOT ok to see, and it CAN and SHOULD be fixed. It's a relationship/respect issue. To simply ignore it is to ignore the horse's feedback on how he/she feels about what is going on.
I thought that Parelli horses pinned thier ears because they were concentrating.
    05-22-2010, 10:35 AM
This has nothing to do with Parelli kevin, so don't start :)
    05-23-2010, 02:03 AM
I couldn't resist pointing out the inconsistency of your statement.
    05-23-2010, 02:16 AM
When a horse pins its ears it isn't happy and is tryong to warn you that something else might be coming. I have been trying to get a mare trained that come from a ranch where she had never been handled until she was halter broke and 3 yrs old. Generally these are my favorite types of horses but this mare and I got off on the wrong foot and we had been at a standoff until this week but that's another story. She is very protective of her right side still and when I go to touch her there she will pin her ears and get ready to bite. Now if one of my broke horses did that I would wallop them on the nose so fast you wouldn't believe it but this mare is just getting to trusting me a little so I'm not going to punish her much at all. I may bump her with my hand bet usually I ignore it and rub where she will let me and work from there. A week ago she would pin her ears anywhere I touched her but now it's only around her face and then not every time.

The point I'm trying to make is that if a horse is just trying to protect itself then you don't want to go hitting on it or screaming and waving your arms around. You want to head the warning and proceed with caution. Alot of unneeded punishment is not going to further your horses training and is only going to enforce the horses feeling like it needs protection.

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