HELP, Respect Advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-31-2010, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Decatur, TX
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HELP, Respect Advice

Ok, been a while since I posted. Finally got my TWH to run(just needed a little nudge from some SMALL rowel spurs).

But, had the farrier out yesterday and he wasn't happy. Samson is a bit pushy personality wise, and kinda runs you over( he is 16 hands 1350 lbs). He is a good horse and never spooks on the trail or bucks. BUT..he wouldn't lift his foot or stand for the farrier.

The farriers advice to get him respecting people was to hit him between the eyes with a 2x4 everytime he acts up. Needless to say, not my idea of a training method. I want a horse that is respectful, not afraid.

Just wanted some training ideas on how to make him stand for farrier(he stands for saddling and mounting) and to respect personal space. And as I said, he has a STRONG personality, so I think that is part of it.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-31-2010, 01:55 PM
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I would start from square one with some groundwork to figure out how much respect he actually does have. See how easy it is to move him out of your space forward, backwards, left and right. Gaining control of his feet puts you firmly on the path to gaining his respect. Don't limit practicing this to a "lesson time"; horses learn from every interaction with you, not only structured training time. Consistency is key. Whenever you're around him, insist that he not crowd you, and that he move around you to suit your convenience, not you moving around him to suit his. If he's as pushy as it sounds, you may need to carry a dressage whip or NH-style stick to back up your requests at first until the memo makes it to his head that he isn't the big enchilada any more. No need to get mean about it, just firmly insist that your space is yours, and that his space is yours too. Ask, suggest, tell, and when you get a reaction release all pressure to reward. Just this will likely go a long way to making farrier visits run more smoothly.

Is the horse all right with you lifting his feet? Do they pop up immediately upon your cue? If not, practice until they do. Practice holding the hooves between your legs, the way the farrier will, as well as putting his feet up on a jack. Hold him there for longer and longer periods of time to acclimate him to it. Thump the bottom of his shoes with the hoof pick to make sure that he's comfortable with the nailing process. Any other thing that you can think of that the farrier will do to him, practice and prepare. Set him up for success. Practice every day; make the mock farrier visit a part of your daily routine.

I'll bet within a week of working on basic respect as well as the farrier prep, he's better on the ground all the way around, and a lot more fun to deal with day to day.

I can deeply sympathize with your farrier; although I agree with you that the 2X4 suggestion is a bit extreme. It's the job of the owner to have the horse prepared for the farrier or vet; many farriers and vets will charge higher prices for dealing with overly fussy horses, or will flatly refuse to deal with some. The farrier's job is difficult enough without having to add a pushy, fussy patient into the mix.

Good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-31-2010, 01:58 PM
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yeap - patience, reward and repetition - not punishment is the key.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-31-2010, 02:01 PM
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I would get a different Farrier!
Does he pick up his feet for you?
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-31-2010, 02:03 PM
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whoops....someone beat me to the question!
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-31-2010, 02:22 PM
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Definitely work on some lounging and round penning!!! Getting him to move only when you want him to in a circle leads to him moving when you want him to out of your space. Also, I have found that with super pushy horses, taking a crop or even just a fly swatter and giving them a 'reason' to move out or away works wonders. Just a swift, firm smack to the chest to make him back up and as soon as you get 2 feet, make him stand, and step two feet away from you. If he steps forward, back him up again, and repeat until he stands away from you willingly.

As for the farrier, work with his feet like previously suggested. You can also make his feet being worked with and handled far more rewarding by giving him a treat or a small bit of grain when he DOES behave. If he reaches for the treats or gets pushy with them, pop him lightly in the nose or under the chin adding a firm "no" and take the treat away.

I know it sounds like all I want you to do is 'beat' your horse, that is NOT the case! If you think of a herd situation where a horse is totally annoying another, or trying to be pushy with another horse, what do they do AFTER they pin their ears? They bite and or kick. That is all your doing with your little crop or fly swatter. You can't actually bite or kick, but you can deliver the same communication with minimal pain or injury or confusion.

Some horses need that physical barrier of "That is WRONG!".

One time I was working with a woman who complained that her 18hh OBESE percheron gelding was pushy. I asked her to show me how she handled him and sure enough, she never laid a hand on him but otherwise did everything right, but he still ignored her. I personally experienced his pushiness when out in the pasture trying to grab my mares. He about trampled me because he wanted attention and or treats!!! When I introduced him to a little dressage whip, he learned very quickly to respect MY space. When he was put in a round pen, you could NOT get him to move more than he 'wanted' to either and it bothered his owner that he was so very stubborn/lazy. So what do I do? Pop him in the fleshy part of the rump as a way to tell him "move!". Sure enough he moved! His owner flipped out however and went the road of "OMG YOU'RE ABUSING MY POOR DEFENSELESS BABY!!!" o_o

I did NOT use a 2x4 and I didn't continue to pop him once he did move.

Just remember, contrary to belief, not ALL horses are meant to be 'untouched' when trained and worked with. My mare is very much the 'untouched' trainable horse. I used a whip to extend my arm, but I NEVER had to pop her. I've used a crop for the same reason and the the only contact she's ever had from it was a bit of pressure to her chest to teach her to back up, not a pop at all.

So, take your horse's personality in mind and think more horse like and less human like. If he only moves when 'bitten'...'bite' him...simple as that, and not at all abusive!
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-02-2010, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Decatur, TX
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Thanx for the advice. I will try the crop thing to make him respect space. It seems it is only other people who have problems with him. I go off of a book I read once and it said if he tries to push you around to push him back, bump in chest, make him always face you, etc...BUT, no one else wants to do that since he is so big. They say they don't want him to get mad and kick. Anyways, so far that is the only advice I have gotten other than my wife and MIL and FIL saying to just "spend more time with him." I definitely want to get him to be sociable and respectful around everyone. And, he does resist having his feet handled, bad experience with the last farrier.

As for the current farrier. He is the best around. I live near Denton TX, and most farriers in this area charge $60 for a trim, he is $30. And the only other farrier who is that price hit my wifes horse for moving too much, and then told me my horse had white line disease. Then, a week later, a guy came up to the house saying he heard I was selling the horse because he had white line, kinda fishy. The new farrier confirmed my suspicions that he didn't have the disease. So, even though I don't agree with his training methods, he is the best and most economical when having 3 horses trimmed every 2 monthes.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-02-2010, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention, the last farrier carved alot out on his hoof with the hoof knife saying he was"scraping out the infection." And then had us picking out his feet everyday to clear up the dirt, and soaking his feet in a copper thrush treatment that is labeled to kill white line disease. I twas only after 2 1/2 weeks of treatment did the new farrier(fired the old one for hitting the other horse, and he said he was glad because the horse kicked him back in the gut and he wouldn't shoe him anyways, go figure), but, he didn't have the disease. Sooo, he has been very touchy about his feet ever since. The new farrier has been in business 35 years and really knows his stuff/ has good references, so I know I can trust him, just not as a trainer
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-02-2010, 02:58 PM
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My first farrier in this area took 3 hours to shoe the saddlebred that I used to have. That was front shoes only. I talked to a lady at TS and gave her farrier a call that evening. He came out and had the horse done within 30 mins...all 4 feet trimmed and the two shoes. He was originally $10 higher than the original farrier. He's been shoeing for me for over a year now. I have 2 horses and he works with me on the pricing now. When I first got my trailer a couple of months ago, he did both of mine, new shoes with borium on all 4 shoes for each horse and only charged me $150...which is a great price for around here. When I asked the previous farrier about shoes all the way around, he quoted me that price without the borium. My current farrier will also work with me as far as one of them throwing a shoe. I called him Friday evening when I found out that Rookie had thrown a shoe that day...explaining to him that I was taking him camping the next day. He came out at 6 am on Saturday morning. Even with the cost, I would be hard pressed to change farriers.

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post #10 of 12 Old 08-03-2010, 02:25 AM
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My horse has a problem with the farrier, too. He wound up with some issues that I believe came from his old farrier too. The last time his old farrier was working on him, I thought he was going to have to be aced to get the job done . I started taking my horse out in the riding arena on a lunge line and picking up his feet. At first I treated him like he had never seen a farrier a day in his life and just picked them up for a few seconds and put them down. At first even picking them up required that I lean my weight into him so that I could pick it up. If he allowed me to hold it as long as I wanted, I put it down and gave him a treat. If he pulled it back, I'd make him lunge for a bit. After a while he figured out that it was much easier to just stand there and let me hold his foot. Of course, once he was doing good at that I went on to picking it out and tapping on it. He is doing really good now. All I have to do is reach down low on his leg and tell him to give it up and he takes his weight off of it himself (I don't have to lean on him anymore ) and lifts it. I'm not a horse trainer or anything, but that technique is working really well for me (*knock on wood*) so I just thought I'd share.

Just recently my horse developed thrush. I'm so glad that I had already been working on him about picking up his feet and had him doing it calmly and without a fight. I can't imagine how it would have been had I still been fighting with him over his feet and having to apply medicine to them daily That is just one more reason for us to be sure that we can handle every part of our horse.
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