Is he being Difficult? or needs training? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-09-2013, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Is he being Difficult? or needs training?


ok i have a Thoroughbred gelding who im having some small problems with. Hoping you can help.

i cant pick up his feet and when you do he will throw his foot around until you drop it. He behaves fine for the Farrier but not for anyone else.

You cant get him to take his bridle/bit as soon as the bit touches his mouth he throws his head, backs away, and has a tanty.

And my last issue is when riding in a walk he is fine seems calm and relaxed and when you ask for trot he pigroots, buck and shys. His saddle fits, he had a chiro visit. Everything is up to date. Oh and he is an ex-school master.

Your help with this would be much appreciated. I just dont know what to do. Do i send him to a trainer? do i do ground work? any suggestions would be great!

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post #2 of 8 Old 03-09-2013, 09:16 PM
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Nope, he doesn't need training, but you do! He knows he can get away with things, so he does, lots of horses are opportunistic. You need the help of an experienced horse person to show you how to end his nonsense.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-09-2013, 09:36 PM
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I would try getting some lessons with a good trainer to teach you how to stop this naughty behavior.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-10-2013, 12:15 AM
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sounds like he's just being a horse (horses are so much like kids) testing you.......if you know ground work I would definetly start doing ground work with him and get him listening and respecting you.....welcome to horse forum!!
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-10-2013, 12:40 AM
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He's testing you. He knows what he is SUPPOSED to do, but he can get out of it, or at LEAST buy himself some time by giving you a hard time. I agree you need trained not him. He's bossing you around.

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post #6 of 8 Old 03-10-2013, 01:22 AM
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Yes to getting help from a teacher/trainer to show you how to create proper reactions in the horse in order for both of you to be safer. Horses do NOT try to give the handler a hard time/buy time, or boss people around. They react to clarity, or lack of it (ie the farrier), to pain (how a bit is presented), and to either having a leader or needing to take over as a member of the herd.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-10-2013, 01:35 AM
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Also, I assume his teeth have been checked and floated, right? if that has anything to do with this. The avoiding the bit, the pigrooting and even bucking might be part of him disliking bit contact.

I do agree that he has found that he can get away with this, but first check his mouth and then maybe get some help with a trainer for both of you. little things like avoiding the bridle, lead into bigger things.
But the cardinal rule is always to eliminate the possibility of pain being the source of the problem.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-10-2013, 03:56 AM
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Agree with others, except that I think he does indeed need 'training' too - to learn that you will respect & consider him & that doing as you ask doesn't have to be unpleasant.

It's likely not just about him testing you out, but having learned to do this from previous bad experiences. Eg. how would you react if some stranger came along & tried to force something into your mouth?? Especially if you've previously learned that this is unpleasant/painful.

Great you got a chiro for him. What did they say about him & his back, etc? I'm guessing if he was a schoolmaster, he's quite old or otherwise a bit broken somehow?

While his behaviour going into a trot could be purely behavioural, it is commonly due to physical discomfort/pain(or fear, but think we can rule that one out if he's been a 'schoolmaster'). I wouldn't yet be ruling out physical issues. As someone pointed out, it could be teeth/bit pain, soft tissue injuries, you're bouncing on him, hoof pain, ulcers.... a number of possibilities a chiro wouldn't necessarily have an idea about... (also assuming chiro is a good, qualified one). How do you know the saddle fits so well? How does he go ridden bareback or going through his paces without a rider?
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