Ground Manners / Training.

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Ground Manners / Training.

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  • Ground manners training horse nips
  • Ground manners training

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    06-24-2010, 08:47 AM
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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    06-24-2010, 09:31 AM
Green Broke
Get a rope halter, and if he nips you, SMACK his nose, don't 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. Don't accept ANY bad behaviour, he is a horse, but that doesnt mean he can't 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, he's either doing it because he's a little spooked, or because he's 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. That's just what I've found with horses.

Good luck! :)
    06-26-2010, 10:43 AM
Thank you for the advice!
    06-26-2010, 11:03 AM
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.
    06-26-2010, 11:18 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by saraandgalaxy    
... 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.
    06-26-2010, 06:54 PM
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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