Filly forgets her ground manners when she gets excited. Suggestions? (kinda long)
 
 

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Filly forgets her ground manners when she gets excited. Suggestions? (kinda long)

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    06-06-2011, 12:12 AM
  #1
Foal
Question Filly forgets her ground manners when she gets excited. Suggestions? (kinda long)

Hello! Recently my friend brought a couple of her horses to my house to board. When her horses arrived, my 3 year old filly got VERY excited. Understandable --she really hasn't been around other horses, besides mine, too much because I live in a very secluded area. We had to finish setting up a divider in my corral, so I had to pull out Sasha (filly) and Dandy (her mom) out of the corral and tie them up.

When we got out of the corral and started walking in the direction of my friends horses Sasha got even more excited and tried walking ahead / tugging on the lead a bit. I expected this though, so when she started to get a little over bearing, I'd walk her in a couple of tight circles around me and ask her to "whoa". If she couldn't stand still, I'd do a couple more circles and ask her again. Once she could stand reasonably still (not moving her feet or pawing) and seemed to be paying a safe amount of attention to me again, I'd move forward. As soon as she'd become over-bearing again, I'd repeat the above steps. Each time she'd calm down a little faster and could go a longer distance without getting fidgety again. Was that the right thing to do? Once she was tied up, she jigged around her tree a little bit them calmed down and seemed to be content with just staring at them. haha

Here's where I need suggestions (I think, I may need some from above too haha). My friend had put her horses in her half of the corral before I got mine down there. When I walked Sasha down there, she was more calm than before, but I did have to do a couple circles with her. Once we actually got in the corral though, her manners seemed to go out the window. She would not pay a bit of attention to me. All her focus was on the horses across the fence. I couldn't get her to bend (in/away? Where her head is facing me, but her body is arching away from me. Sorry brain fart!) her head was bent away staring at the other horses (we weren't close to the fence, I had her in about the middle of her corral). She even started to step into me and my space. I used the tip of my fingers and poked her side to get her to realize I wasn't going to let her trample me. This seemed to get her attention enough so that she wouldn't step on me, but she never even once glanced at me. Kinda like "Oh yeah!! That's right, you are standing there. What's that, you want my attention? Well hold on a sec kay!!!" When I asked for circles she was trying to step into me and I couldn't get her to bend her head towards me and give me the respect I was wanted. I held my ground, she tried tugging me towards the fence and I stopped her with circles and returned to the same spot in the middle of the corral asking her to "whoa". I didn't want to let her go in this state, so I got it to where she was standing still and gave me a little eye contact first. After that I turned her loose, trying to end it on the best note I could because my friend's boyfriend (not super horse savvy) turned Dandy loose in the corral with me who started to dance around excited to meet the new horses. [He is horse savvy enough to lead and groom calm horses (like Dandy). He just didn't realize I was having some bigger issues with Sasha.]

Did I do a half-way decent job at least? I have had space issues with her because she thinks she is dog and wants to be in your lap --licking you, nibbling, ect... I've been working with her though and she now moves away from pressure: I touch her shoulders she will step away crossing her front legs and pivoting on her back legs (turn on the haunches I think), I touch her side, she will side-step away from be crossing both her front and back legs, I touch her haunches and she will cross her back legs and pivot on her front legs (turn on the forehand?). I will draw a line in the dirt that I don't want her to cross and hold her on a lead rope. If she crosses that line without me asking, I back her up sharply a few steps then return to my position. When she is good, I'll bring her into my space, reward her with some attention, then calmly back her out again. This situation showed me though that we aren't quite there yet. What can I do to make sure that she will keep a level head and respect me when we are in "stressful" situations like: new environments, around new horses, or leaving other horses. Thank you!
     
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    06-06-2011, 07:26 AM
  #2
Yearling
The best case scenario when adding new horses to an already established enviroment with resident horses is to introduce the new horses gradually with a separate corral or holding pen. When adding new horses to an established group there will almost always be some ruckus and a high level of excitement among them.
     
    06-06-2011, 07:31 AM
  #3
Green Broke
Testing
Posted via Mobile Device
     
    06-06-2011, 02:42 PM
  #4
Yearling
The circles were a good idea. And overall you handled her very well.

I have worked with fillies in the past, along with full grown horses. My newest horse, Onyx, flipped when I introduced him to the new herd, pulled through my lead, almost ran me over and then ran through a fence. I knew he had ground issues but I have my work cut out

Anyways, your filly sounds like she did very well considering her age and her lack of experience. I don't know how you trained her to pay attention on the ground in the first place (taught her manners) but revert back to that. She'll understand the things you asked her before and it will help bring her attention back to you. You may have to do this for a while, but eventually she'll behave in all situations. I had a filly I raised from 7 months, she tried this and I just kept consistent with her. At 4 years old I could take that horse ANYWHERE whether there were new horses, new environment, new sounds, anything. She was NOt perfect, but I never got hurt because I was consistent and gave it to her straight: she needed to listen no matter what.

Overall you did a good job. All positive experience for your filly and she will catch on. If you continue what you have been doing (establishing space, backing, circling, getting her to lead and pay attention to you) then she will easily follow suit with some time.
     
    06-06-2011, 02:53 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
The best case scenario when adding new horses to an already established enviroment with resident horses is to introduce the new horses gradually with a separate corral or holding pen. When adding new horses to an established group there will almost always be some ruckus and a high level of excitement among them.
We had all the horses tied to separate trees for probably close to 2+ hours. We were brushing them and we had the farrier out to trim all of their feet. By that time, they were all calm just standing there like "okkaayy". I know separte pens are the best, but with our situation it wasn't feesible. It was about to storm, and we don't have shelter for a whole other pen. However, they are separated by 5ft horse panels and they will always be separated. We had to do it that way so that we could split the shelter evenly. They got used to each other very quickly. One of her horses has stayed at my house before. It was mostly her mustang and my filly that were being prancy.

I'm trying to figure out though how I can get Sasha to respect me a little more in situations like this. I don't expect her to be perfect, but I don't want to have to fight to keep from being run over. Did I handle it correctly or no? What kind of exercises can I do with her to work on this problem?

Quote:
Testing
What do you mean? Sasha is just testing me? How can I work with her to gain a little more respect in stressful or excited situations?
     
    06-06-2011, 02:59 PM
  #6
Yearling
[QUOTE=Shananigan;1057868]

I'm trying to figure out though how I can get Sasha to respect me a little more in situations like this. I don't expect her to be perfect, but I don't want to have to fight to keep from being run over. Did I handle it correctly or no? What kind of exercises can I do with her to work on this problem?

[QUOTE]
The best in my opinion are the yielding hindquarters, backing up, and circles. Also if she is good at lunging on a short line, make her MOVE when she gets excited. Out of your space, always. Anytime she even tries, shake the leadrope, throw up your arms, make a ruckus so she doesn't enter your space. If she is still too excitable, lead her away from the situaiton and try again without the distractions. Once you have her attention without the distractions, then again introduce the distractions and begin again.
     
    06-06-2011, 04:15 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
The circles were a good idea. And overall you handled her very well.

I have worked with fillies in the past, along with full grown horses. My newest horse, Onyx, flipped when I introduced him to the new herd, pulled through my lead, almost ran me over and then ran through a fence. I knew he had ground issues but I have my work cut out

Anyways, your filly sounds like she did very well considering her age and her lack of experience. I don't know how you trained her to pay attention on the ground in the first place (taught her manners) but revert back to that. She'll understand the things you asked her before and it will help bring her attention back to you. You may have to do this for a while, but eventually she'll behave in all situations. I had a filly I raised from 7 months, she tried this and I just kept consistent with her. At 4 years old I could take that horse ANYWHERE whether there were new horses, new environment, new sounds, anything. She was NOt perfect, but I never got hurt because I was consistent and gave it to her straight: she needed to listen no matter what.

Overall you did a good job. All positive experience for your filly and she will catch on. If you continue what you have been doing (establishing space, backing, circling, getting her to lead and pay attention to you) then she will easily follow suit with some time.
My apologies Lakotababii! When I had posted, you must have posted your first post riiighht before mine. I didn't see it! That sounds great! I've had Sasha since day one! I've worked with her hands on, her entire life.

Quote:
The best in my opinion are the yielding hindquarters, backing up, and circles. Also if she is good at lunging on a short line, make her MOVE when she gets excited. Out of your space, always. Anytime she even tries, shake the leadrope, throw up your arms, make a ruckus so she doesn't enter your space. If she is still too excitable, lead her away from the situaiton and try again without the distractions. Once you have her attention without the distractions, then again introduce the distractions and begin again.
Thank you! I see what you mean, it'll be easier to call her back with things she already knows instead of trying something new. I just didn't know if my original technique was correct or not.

I will start pulling her farther away from the corral (possibly out of sight). She still gets shaken up about that a bit, then we can work on calming her down. Maybe I'll just try working her a bit -side passes and yeilding. Try to get her mind on the work and not so much that she's away from the herd. :) That will help me work on her herd-boundness aswell. When she starts getting upset, I'll work her until she calms down. Depending on how long that takes, I'll start moving her farther out and then calm her down. Once I get her calm, do you suggest I take her back to the corral as a reward? Wait a few seconds, then start walking away again and repeat the exercise?
     
    06-06-2011, 05:25 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shananigan    
My apologies Lakotababii! When I had posted, you must have posted your first post riiighht before mine. I didn't see it! That sounds great! I've had Sasha since day one! I've worked with her hands on, her entire life.



Thank you! I see what you mean, it'll be easier to call her back with things she already knows instead of trying something new. I just didn't know if my original technique was correct or not.

I will start pulling her farther away from the corral (possibly out of sight). She still gets shaken up about that a bit, then we can work on calming her down. Maybe I'll just try working her a bit -side passes and yeilding. Try to get her mind on the work and not so much that she's away from the herd. :) That will help me work on her herd-boundness aswell. When she starts getting upset, I'll work her until she calms down. Depending on how long that takes, I'll start moving her farther out and then calm her down. Once I get her calm, do you suggest I take her back to the corral as a reward? Wait a few seconds, then start walking away again and repeat the exercise?
Haha no worries :) You can do that if you wish, take her back to the corral as a reward. Or, as I used to do, let her be right where she is. So for example my filly LOVED being brushed and fussed over. So I would carry a brush with me and thus when she was calm would brush her and let her eat grass. That, to her, was her reward. Depending on your fillies preference, I would reward her with what you think she will like.

Especially with a herd bound horse, I strive to make her experiences positive whenever she is away from the herd. So do something special when she is away. For example I would brush my mare when she was calm and was behaving away from the herd or barn. Thus she put the two together, being away, with one of her favorite activities, being brushed. Again though its important that she is behaving first. No treats til after they behave. This way the mare wants to follow you and knows she will be taken care of, maybe even spoiled a little .

That's the beauty of a horse's brain, they don't need a huge reward like us humans may to get the picture. They just like being left alone and given small rewards in the form of being petted or brushed.
     
    06-06-2011, 06:35 PM
  #9
Super Moderator
I did not read all of Lakotababii's post, so forgive me if I repeat her.

I think you did quite well, really. It is pretty normal for a young filly like that to lose her focus and expected. So, the only thing I might not do was attempt to do any work with her in the corral when her mind is so far away. It is unlikely to be productive. I guess I would have required no more of her than that she go into the corral without trampling me, that she stand quietly while I unhalter her and that's it. And if it wasn't near as good as she is capable of, I wouldnt worry too much at this point. Don't ask more of her than she is capable of.

I get the feeling you are very capable and doing a great job.!
     
    06-07-2011, 10:49 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Haha no worries :) You can do that if you wish, take her back to the corral as a reward. Or, as I used to do, let her be right where she is. So for example my filly LOVED being brushed and fussed over. So I would carry a brush with me and thus when she was calm would brush her and let her eat grass. That, to her, was her reward. Depending on your fillies preference, I would reward her with what you think she will like.

Especially with a herd bound horse, I strive to make her experiences positive whenever she is away from the herd. So do something special when she is away. For example I would brush my mare when she was calm and was behaving away from the herd or barn. Thus she put the two together, being away, with one of her favorite activities, being brushed. Again though its important that she is behaving first. No treats til after they behave. This way the mare wants to follow you and knows she will be taken care of, maybe even spoiled a little .

That's the beauty of a horse's brain, they don't need a huge reward like us humans may to get the picture. They just like being left alone and given small rewards in the form of being petted or brushed.
Okay, cool! Just make her time away from everyone much more enjoyable than if she was just standing there. --Good idea about brushing her too! That's her most FAVORITE thing in the WORLD. Getting attention!! Lol I have a rubber glove kinda thing with two differnt curry sides. It's really soft, but when I start scratching her (pretty much anywhere haha) she stretches her neck out and sticks her lip out -kind of wiggling it! Sometimes, if I scratch her belly or the indside of one of her hind legs she'll pick it up like a dog and kind of stretch it out and just hold it there like "Ahhhhhh, I'm in heaven!" eyes rolling back in her head. Lol I've even stratched her back and the top of her rump with a rake that had really soft plastic fingers (big horsey back scratcher). I like that idea, I'll just carry the brush with me! That's pretty much how I've rewarded her, her entire life through everything (Halter training, picking up her feet, saddles, bridles, ect..) I don't know why I didn't even think of that! I may have once I started actually working her! Thank you!

Quote:
I did not read all of Lakotababii's post, so forgive me if I repeat her.

I think you did quite well, really. It is pretty normal for a young filly like that to lose her focus and expected. So, the only thing I might not do was attempt to do any work with her in the corral when her mind is so far away. It is unlikely to be productive. I guess I would have required no more of her than that she go into the corral without trampling me, that she stand quietly while I unhalter her and that's it. And if it wasn't near as good as she is capable of, I wouldnt worry too much at this point. Don't ask more of her than she is capable of.

I get the feeling you are very capable and doing a great job.!
Thank you! I really apprecaite it! I had planned on walking her in and turning her loose, yet she got so excited and dancing she was just running me over and it was like "Okay.. wait a second here missy!" haha I'm not turning you loose if you're acting like that with me. I see what you're saying not asking her more than she is capable of. That is just going to lead to her getting frustrated because she doesn't know what I want her to do and possibly going backwards. Baby steps! I knew she could at least stand still for me though. Maybe I won't work her when she's away. At first just ask her to stand quietly without making too much fuss and start increasing the distance. Then build up to actually doing activities after she is relativly comfortable away some distance from the herd.
     

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