Frustrated new horse owner. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 05-24-2011, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Massachusetts
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Mbender-He isn't pushing on me at all. Picture me walking him out of his stall to go out into his paddock, getting outside the barn and him putting the brakes on and when I try to get him to go forward he just backs up. I am being as aggressive as I can, but all it does is make him go backwards faster. He is an ex-barrel racer, don't know if that has anything to do with the great ability to back up :).

Sahara-He is in a stall at night, but out in a paddock from 6am-8pm every day. He isn't being kept off of grass as a punishment. He's always out.
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post #12 of 24 Old 05-24-2011, 07:19 PM
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I was in your shoes as a new horse owner almost a year ago now.
My suggestion would be to make him back up even more (like really far) when he starts to balk and back up. It's worked for my mare on both the ground and in the saddle on the trail. Make it a ton of work for him! Then try to walk forward again. Keep doing it until he gets the picture that doing the wrong thing is going to be a hassle and not worth the refusal.

Also, maybe he sees something that's bothering him and he's staring at it? If so, you could attempt to start to head into a different direction than snap to where you really want to go (the paddock). That could distract him. Just always be a step of him - mentally.

Best of luck!

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post #13 of 24 Old 05-24-2011, 08:11 PM
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when I first got my newest horse, she didn't like going into the barn either and gave me the same problems and the same thing with the crossties. Because she was a harness racer, she spend 90% of her time in a stall. So she did not want to go back in the barn. She was a little more nervous as well because she was never "free" before spending time in a paddock or pasture. But after a month of gaining TRUST, she new that "The Barn" was not a bad thing, and now she follows me in. The crossties were a little harder to break because the reason she didn't like them was because she felt restricted (like being in a stall) but once the trust was there, she will stand there as long as I need her too good as gold. I really don't llike the nose chain idea, when I was having problems I had a few ppl suggest it. I believe that causing pain is a quick fix, but trust is a life long fix.....Good Luck
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post #14 of 24 Old 05-24-2011, 08:15 PM
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I didn't read all the way through but if he wants to back I would back him and not stop. Keep going and he will get tired of backing. Everytime he does it when not told to back him some more. There have been other posts today with beginners giving thier horse treats to get them to do something. NO TREATS. Put the treats down and back away. This causes so many behavior problems. Think about the bratty kid who screams until he gets his cookie. Does this sound familar?
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post #15 of 24 Old 05-24-2011, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by natisha View Post
You have received very good advice. You may also want to contact the owners & tell them of your problems. Maybe they could come out & watch you work with the horse & give you some pointers. They want this sale to work out also.
This is the best idea yet. If he was a problem horse I doubt they would have given a trial.
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post #16 of 24 Old 05-24-2011, 08:39 PM
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For one, he is very new to his new home and he will need up to a month or more to adjust. He needs to get used to you and everything around you. Give him time to adjust. And hey, if he wants to back up keep him backing, and backing and backing till he doensnt want to back up anymore but keep backing him up until you think thats enough then try again to walk him into the barn, if he refuses and backs up then keep him backing until he wants to stop but dont stop, keep on going (: Soon, he will realize that if he tries to refuse to go into the barn and starts backing up that he will be met discomfort being forced to back up. As you make him back up and after a few times of this he should walk into their rather niceley. BUT like I said, he needs time... Time to adjust.

E v e r y horse is good for something. You dont throw a whole life away just cause he's banged up a little...
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post #17 of 24 Old 05-24-2011, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Massachusetts
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Thank you for the recent posts. He is new to us and he was great the first week and then started this. Each time he stops he goes for the grass. Tonight my husband tried walking him out of the paddock and did well until he put the brakes on and spun around. He ended up on the lawn and tried eating but my husband wouldn't allow it because it wasn't a rewarding time, he started pawing at the grass and pulling to try to eat it. I know that we haven't had him that long and I asked the owner for a longer trial to try and work through this, but I have been told that that can't be because there is another buyer. At this point I am at a loss. I spoke to the owners trainer and she suggested if he seems hungry to feed beet pulp as a filler, perhaps that will help him to now want the grass as much. I have had horses my whole life and don't want to give up, but I am at a loss. I have tried the backing up thing and it hasn't helped, he just continues to back up if you ask him to go forward and pulls. He actually broke away from me today in the paddock. This is the first time that he has done it in the middle of the paddock. We shall see how tomorrow goes. I will update everyone then.
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post #18 of 24 Old 05-24-2011, 11:33 PM
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you can try walking him in small circles.... my mare is bad with direct confrontation stuff, so i always walk her in circles. Sometimes it helps to get her to pay attention to me. It sounds like the horse either now knows he can put up a fuss an thus get a bit of grass (in his mind) or maybe he's really scared of something. Either way this sounds like a lengthy training project.... you've pretty much tried everything i would try. Maybe is there a different area you could work on leading with him? Maybe he associated the area with fear.... you could also spend time in the pasture/paddock just grooming/ getting to know him there, maybe he'll calm down and begin to follow you without a lead rope. That's all the ideas i have! Good Luck!
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post #19 of 24 Old 05-25-2011, 12:57 AM
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I agree with the backing up advise that has been given. But if you are able leading him with another horse also helps.
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post #20 of 24 Old 05-25-2011, 08:43 AM
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I never let a horse eat grass when on a lead. They want it all of the time then.
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backing up , new horse

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