Ground Manners / Training. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-24-2010, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Ground Manners / Training.

Hi everyone, I own a 14 year old Appendix gelding who was on break and not used at all over the winter. My trainer has been helping me get him back into shape for a past month or two and he has been ridden a couple of times a week consistently. However since he wasn't handled much for a long time he has developed very bad manners. He's gotten nippy, pushy, impatient and over all very rude! I understand he's a horse and obviously he's not going to be perfect, but last summer he was so quiet and well mannered! He's also gotten in the habit of spooking at pretty much everything in the ring at least once every time I ride him, and it's starting to make me really nervous. I need help turning this horse around! Advice please?
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-24-2010, 09:31 AM
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get a rope halter, and if he nips you, SMACK his nose, dont just ush it away because if you just nicely push it away a lot of them take it as a game.
if he trys to walk all over you "pin your ears" (just make your body language mean "stay away from me,i am boss here!" (it might take a while to get good at this so he understands.) and if he ignores it, snap the rope halter on his nose, which is the same as a 'bite' the lead mare would give him if he did that. dont accept ANY bad behaviour, he is a horse, but that doesnt mean he cant be perfectly behaved (except if he actually spooks/is scared of something, even we get scared sometimes,so do hroses ;) )

as for the arena spooking, ignore it, hes either doing it because hes a little spooked, or because hes got extra energy and/or doesnt want to work, an that usually gets him out of it. Once he figures out your the boss mare from the groundwork, he will probably trust your judgement more and not spook so much when you ask him to do something. thats just what ive found with horses.

good luck! :)

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post #3 of 6 Old 06-26-2010, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice!
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-26-2010, 11:03 AM
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I agree, make yourself the dominant one. Nothing you can do with your bare hands will hurt the horse, it will just give him a warning as to what might happen. Try hand walking him around the arena so that he sees everything before you get on. While doing this, pat him, reassure him, and talk to him. It will let him know that there's nothing to be afraid of. And if he seems to spook at one object in particular, walk him up to it and let him sniff it.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-26-2010, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by saraandgalaxy View Post
... who was on break and not used at all over the winter.....
The root cause of many 'evils' (no fault implied). You would be surprised at how many people I know that send their horse to a trainer, get it back, ride it and say it's a wonderful horse, put it in the pasture for 6 months, and then wonder why their wonderful horse is almost unrideable (and then blame the trainer).

Just go back to basics like you are starting fresh. Your horse hasn't forgotten, just needs reinforcement and work to get back in the groove.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-26-2010, 06:54 PM
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I would put a chain on him and carry a crop around. Just for a while until he realizes you are the dominant one.
Another trick that some people use for nippy horses is have a safety pin handy and if that horse tries to bite you, poke him with it. I can garuntee it wont happen anymore:)

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