Head DOWN please!

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Head DOWN please!

This is a discussion on Head DOWN please! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        08-26-2012, 01:37 PM
    Green Broke
    Head DOWN please!

    How do I put this politely, but bluntly?

    My horse is a bone head. Seriously.
    Bit of back ground. I have owned Dubai for nearly 7 weeks, friday before last he was gelded. He is a 3yo Hanno at 17hh, so not a light fella.

    He is very responsive, especially on the lunge and tries his heart out under saddle.

    I am always working on his ground work, and its invaluable.

    But I'm having issues. There have been holes missed in his training, but I need opinions.

    I am working him in the round pen with a knotted halter, Working on walking with me, halting, circles away from me, over pole, taurpaulin... things to keep his mind interested. He will drop his head, lick and chew and allround do a very good job of it.

    Until you hit
    The 20 minute mark
    Ask him to 'back'

    At that point his head flings up, he becomes sluggish and has no intentions of doing anything, and at points has bunny hopped- which I would normally send a horse back for, but then he won't go back and tries to barge me!

    I am using impulsion, not a continued force, and then after a 5-10 minute struggle, he gives in and does it, but not as well as before... any tips??
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        08-26-2012, 01:42 PM
    I'm guessing that's his attention span. My horse has about a 30 min. Attention span. Just take it slow give him a break at the walk for 5-10 min. And then start again... See if that helps.
    DuffyDuck likes this.
        08-26-2012, 01:46 PM
    Green Broke
    Thats what I thought, so I tried that, mooched around with him instead and he was still... sour is too strong a word, but I don't know if its a lack of understanding or a pee off from him and he is trying to get the better on me. No joke, I have NEVER had a horse resist so much.

    Its only that small period of time though.

    I don't know whether to end it before the 20 minutes and leave it on a positive note, or MAKE him carry on but I don't know how to do it.... I have a trainer. And he did exactly the same thing to him :S
        08-26-2012, 01:46 PM
    At such a young age, I think his brain is just done at about twenty minutes. You will be more successful ending on a good note before he starts behaving poorly than by winning a fight.
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        08-26-2012, 01:52 PM
    Green Broke
    So stop before he gets there, leave it... and then work over time to try and increase it?
        08-26-2012, 01:56 PM
    Originally Posted by riccil0ve    
    At such a young age, I think his brain is just done at about twenty minutes. You will be more successful ending on a good note before he starts behaving poorly than by winning a fight.
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    Yes! I agree! I missed the 3yr old part. ^^
    DuffyDuck likes this.
        08-26-2012, 01:58 PM
    I agree. Some horses just mature more quickly than others. If you're getting good work from him for a good 20 minutes or so, I would consider it a success and don't push him too much. Now of course, he can't hit the 20 minute mark and just assume he's always done; If you're working, say, 4 days a week, maybe try doing 3 days of shorter work and one day pushing him a little past what he's okay with. I don't think fighting with him is going to produce a great result as he might start resisting earlier on during the work. Good luck!
    DuffyDuck likes this.
        08-26-2012, 02:04 PM
    Green Broke
    Kay so that's part one sorted thanks guys ;)

    Makes sense, and I was thinking along the same lines- not to put my self in a position where I can't 'win the fight' so to speak.

    How about the backing up, though? He knows what I am asking him for. However, he will walk a few steps and some days so very well, and some days shove his head in the air and plant, with myself and the trainer.

    How can I work with that?
        08-26-2012, 02:04 PM
    Originally Posted by DuffyDuck    
    So stop before he gets there, leave it... and then work over time to try and increase it?
    Yes, exactly. You want to push, but not start the fight. If the fight gets started, then by all means, win, but try to avoid it.

    This is exactly what I have to do with my 4 year old. She is a pleasure to work with, but if she hits that point and turns blockhead, sh*t hits the fan, lol.
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    DuffyDuck likes this.
        08-26-2012, 02:07 PM
    Perhaps you could mix it up in that you do any backing that needs to be done first. I mean, backing a horse is a very dominant action. So, you start by backing him and getting a good honest back, the yield of shoulders and hindquarters, too. When he is in the "yes ma'am" type of alert posture, you then direct him to the tarps or whatever.

    Also, pick up the tarp and walk around with it dragging in your hand. If he gets stuck and becomes resistant, you can change things up , such that they become just scary enough to make him interested in moving his feet and paying attention.

    You can mix up the leading excersized by also taking him outside the round pen for walks around the barn. You do your chores, and he comes along on the line. His job will be to stand away from you about 6 or 8 feet and wait for you to do what you need to do, like pick up poo or look for four leaf clovers in the grass. Swing things around , like brooms and such, in the process of you "doing your chores" such that it stays a bit interesting and maybe a bit "dicey" for him. But never really dangerous.

    I also agree that maybe 20 minutes is plenty.

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