help with rebuiilding relatiionship with my horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-06-2012, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: South Africa
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help with rebuiilding relatiionship with my horse

Hi everyone, i'm looking for some advice. My riding horse is my 20 year old gelding. He looks/ is built like the SA Boerperd. He has a very good disposition normally, except for being herd-bound and seemingly becoming more so by the day. Unfortunately I don't get as much time to ride him as I would love, despite living on the farm with him. He had some serious teeth problems wich kept him out of work for some time late last year and up till now I haven't been able to go out and work and ride him as much as would be good for our relationship. The other problem is when we go out it's on trail rides - ALONE!!! Not something he appreciates.
So a few weeks ago I decided it's time for him and me to go and explore some of the cattle trails again, like in the old days. He suddenly refuses to let me mount. He does kinda let the workers , who admittedly weigh less than half of what I do, mount,although he doesn't really stand still. They are fly and mount on the jump, I can't. I use an old tractor tyre for my mounting block. He was recently ridden out to gather cattle with no signs of discomfort, so I doubt he's in pain, he's just being a pain.
Now I really want to rebuild a good relationship with him, but I'm not sure whether to "play nice" or whip has butt into shape physically and mentally considering a few days ago i brought him to the tack room and hitching post, saddled, bridled him and tied him to the hitching post. Thinking to try and use some clicker training to work on his mounting issues. The mares he was turned out with was within sight across the fence and he literally barged into me on more than one occasion in the 15 mins we worked tryng to see what they're up to.. I wacked him with the brush and he seemed to pay a bit more attention. Does he have my number, or am I missing something? how can we regain what we had?

Sorry for the long post and thank you if you read that.
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-06-2012, 12:57 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
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I'd start with some good ol' fashioned ground work. I would also stop people using him if they are going to accommodate his mounting issues rather than insist on him correcting himself - but, to me, that would come only after I had gotten things firmly in hand on the ground side.
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post #3 of 3 Old 11-06-2012, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oklahoma
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Sounds like he is disrespecting you. You need to make him stand still and respect your space. If he gets in your space you need to make him get back immediately. Sounds like he would benefit from ground work. I'd keep a lunge whip or a dressage whip with you. If he is being pushy while your holding him you need to bump backwards with the lead rope and tell him to back up. If he comes at you when he tied you need to give him a smack on his rear or neck/shoulder. When you mount him hope off and make him work disengage his hind quarters. Do a few spins then ask him to woah and try to get on him again if he moves his feet repeat if he won't woah move him some more till he does. Basically you want make moving work and sitting still a reward. When you get on him and he stays still rub and praise him. Also when you get on him don't just let him walk off make him stand still for a bit. And whether your riding or leading you catch him looking at the horses you need to bump his lead/ reins and get his attention immediately. My mare used to get upset about leaving pepper and every time I caught her watching pepper I'd bump and make her look forward. Then I'd take her and work her for a bit cause usually she'd still go but she wouldn't quit Whinnying for him. So I'd occupy her mind with lots of changes of direction, figure eights, maybe do some circles, etc and we would do that for a bit till i felts like I had her full attention. After that she would completely forget about pepper I would have her attention and we would have a nice leisurely trail ride.
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