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Gaining Respect

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    02-28-2013, 01:39 PM
Sadly that does happen. Horses that are sensitive can't handle multiple people and beginners constantly. I'm always weary of people who claim past abuse, sometimes issues just arise because people don't know better. Just because a horse acts up doesn't mean it was abused. For instance a girthy horse I see as more of a green person problem. A horse that gets girthed up too fast too often, horse that gets ulcers and it goes unnoticed, a horse that gets sores that get unnoticed, or the horse could just be sensitive.

These horses just learn that they are constantly be bumbled around by clumsy people. Everything is rough and out of timing...confusing and inconsistent. I'm sure I would go sour too. That's why I always believe that even the best lesson horses should still have a very knowledgable rider get on every now and then to show them that yes they are doing the right thing, and to keep up on responsiveness.

When I was a freshman my school's equestrian team deals with everyone from people that have never touched a horse to those that are close to professionals. They had one horse that was very very bitter. I was told he charges people in his pen, he bites, he kicks...ect. I handled him a few times and while he never did charge me he threatened to kick several times and bite. I gave him the correction necessary but the poor guy was miserable being a team horse. I just heard that they sold him because he was becoming unmanageable under saddle as well. Something about they kept upping his bit because they were putting newbies on him with strong bits and were making him very hard mouthed.

I'm glad he got sold. He needed a come to jesus meeting then one very consistent person to handle him.
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    02-28-2013, 01:47 PM
He has white marks from the equipment they used as a Mexican Dancing horse. Has chain marks on his nose, white spot in the girthing area, and one on his withers. He's a solid sorrel as well, so I can only assume they are healed scars.

But yeah. We have always had more riders than horses, and being the veteran horse, he had been passed on to more than one person. But I think the rapidity of how often we change does it. Or, he could just be sick of me. Which very well could be the case. I work him more than anyone else. Next time more people are out, I will see how he is.
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    02-28-2013, 01:54 PM
Ah I see. That is different.

Well good luck with him, and I do hope that you can help him out as much as he can be helped with his sourness.
    02-28-2013, 01:57 PM
Thanks. I will see what I can do. He's a good boy, so I want to try and minimize his ickiness as much as possible.
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    03-03-2013, 01:37 PM
So.... saturday shooter got his hooves done. My instructor just did a trim to make them better until a real farrier gets out. But ****, he was... fiesty. He started getting bored during the trimming process, always sighing and at the last one tried pulling away.

He was covered in mud and needed a good grooming so my instructor could rest his back and as I was grooming his ears were pinned and he was glaring at me. So I popped him one and told him to knock it off. Didn't phase him. Finished what I was doing, and he was still glaring. So I popped him with the halter a couple times and made him back up. Proceeded to lead, and his head was up in the air, and his tail was cocked to the side (he can't bring it up completely like some arabs can, so it just flops to the side)and kept trying to prance over to the gait.

Ran in, forgetting he was still on the halter, which he is very lucky the hot wire was off... anyway, and as soon as I undid the halter he just tore his head away and ran straight over to the other horse, almost running him over and tearing into the fence. He proceeded to run around a little bit after that.

Shooter even gave my instructor some sass as we were leading another mare out that he used to be pastured with so she can get trimmed.

I was told that he probably wants to be messed with and ridden. I've been told by his owners that he likes being worked, and he gets bored a lot. He was certainly more energized then than he usually is.
    03-04-2013, 12:52 AM
Deschutes, I have a KMSH that used to be a lesson horse and was work sour, hated to be touched by people, and though she was pretty good in the saddle, she was mean and pushy on the ground. I know I will get blasted for suggesting this, so take it for whatever you think it's worth, but I used CT on her. We went through the process of charging the clicker and learning manners. Then I went to work on her attitude. I rewarded her for ears forward, relaxed body and soft eyes. She has improved a great deal and keeps getting better, softer, and more willing on the ground and under saddle. She walks over and drops her head into the halter now.
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    03-04-2013, 02:11 AM
I don't think you would be blasted at all. I like the idea of clicker training, however, I worry about the dependency of treats, and that would be the only reason I write it off. I have heard that there are ways of doing it without treats, however, I am not sure how effective that is?
    03-04-2013, 04:21 PM
You are dependent on treats for as long as it takes the behavior to become a habit. Some of the behavior we worked on has become habitual, like greeting me at the gate, keeping head and ears forward while I groom and tack her, dropping her head when I halter and bridle, opening her mouth for the bit. It's mostly attitude that I work on using CT with her. Once a behavior is habitual, I expect it and don't CT anymore. I will move on to other behaviors I want to teach or shape with CT.

I have heard that others use petting and scratching for the reward. I don't have any experience with that and I am not sure that would work with mine as they are not into scratching that much. All my success has been with food. Also I don't reward everything she does every time, I focus on certain things I am teaching or Behaviors I am trying to increase in the horse. I use it with two of my horses because they do not respond well to being spanked, only reward(CT) or more work(back up, lunge).
    03-04-2013, 04:47 PM
Oooh, that makes sense. On another horse I thought of using CT, but he is so treat expectant (he always checks hands for some reason). That I fear he would get worse.
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    03-05-2013, 01:55 AM
The food motivated horse is the best candidate. You just have to be really intentional about teaching what behavior leads to a reward. The KMSH I was talking about is very food motivated. The behavior she gets rewarded for is looking straight ahead, ears forward, soft eyes, squared up. If she turns to look at me, no reward. If she nuzzles my hand or pocket, no reward. So, when she is seeking reward, she squares up and "poses" for me. She nickers a little too, which I ignore and probably shouldn't. She has nearly perfect ground manners. I don't need to tie her, she stands. One thing we are still working on is looking back and clacking her teeth when I cinch her at first. She used to bite at me, and this is what's left of that behavior.

The one thing that keeps me working with CT is the ability to "change attitude." I have two sour horses and they have improved in "attitude." They enjoy work most of the time and have calm happy expressions. Does it still count even though I "taught" them the expressions? I don't care. And I don't always use CT especially for trail riding, just mainly for teaching new concepts & extending duration.
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