Her behavior with others. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-06-2010, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Question Her behavior with others.

Gracie has darn near impeccable ground manners. I worked hard to teach her what is acceptable and what is not. She is very young, just turned two, and I have taken every precaution I have thought of to avoid any trouble. I do not hand feed her. I do not, ever, let her push me around, especially during grain time. She must stand away, and wait for me to give her an okay before diving into her grain tub. She must not turn her butt towards me. While walking into the pasture with hay, she must give me space and not take from my arms. She knows this, and she doesn't test me but rarely.

While she knows these things with me, she takes advantage of others. She's not dangerous, just obnoxious. She's very honery, and very, VERY smart. I know she knows how to behave, but how do I teach her she has to behave just as well, better even, with someone else?

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-06-2010, 09:28 AM
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Someone else should do it him/herself (I mean the correction of the horse if required). I have similar problems with my girls and posted while back asking for ideas (although I didn't hold my breath since I couldn't figure out anything myself), but looks like there is no way you can do it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-06-2010, 09:39 AM
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She's 2, she is still a baby and is till growing and maturing. Her mind is that of a toddler. I think you need to be patient and just continue doing what you are doing and eventually she'll get it.

It's not educating the horse, as much as it is educating the people who handle her. When you see someone around her and your mare does "testy" things to them, just say "don't let her do that" so that they can continue the "teachings" you are doing with her - but she is still a baby. She is 2.

Nelson is 21 and he still tests other people. He has great ground manners, I've done alot of basic natural horsemanship with him to respect my space while I respect his and all the other great aspects basic NH gives, but he still tests people to see what he can get away with, when he is around them.

He's not hurting anything nor anyone, and it doesn't phase me if it doesn't phase those who are handling him.

Be patient.

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post #4 of 6 Old 09-06-2010, 08:09 PM
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Unfortunately you do have to train the people that handle her. I've gotten after people on more than one occaision for letting Soda get away with stuff. The most common is when they're scratching his neck/chest he'll walk into them. He doesn't do it to me, but definitely with others. Basically I just say "Hey, don't let him get away with that crap. Move him off of you."

Afterwards I explain it to them more fully. Usually I put it in dog terms because more people have dogs. Good luck, it's one of the most annoying things (to me) about being a horse owner.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-06-2010, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I know she's still a baby, that's why I brought her age up. Please do not think I am being impatient in her training, because that is far from the case. I've been thinking about this because I have friends looking after my horses while I'm away on vacation. I told them she would take advantage of them, and I told them what she knows. I worry because I never let it go very far, and I don't want one of them to let it go too far. They should all be fine, they are all good horsemen that I trust, but one in particular is a bit timid, and the others may not want to mess too much with my horse.

I try to get people out to work with her, but as Gracie won't be started under saddle until at least next summer [she's still much too little], all someone can do is fiddle on the ground and probably find it boring.

As I said, she is not dangerous, just an obnoxious baby. I hope she can grow up about it, but I'm not holding my hopes very high on that one. If you knew her personality as I do, you'd understand that she's just a little witch all the time, lol.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-06-2010, 11:39 PM
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Agree with others, that other people have to teach her to have manners with other people. If you want her behaviour to change with others, then you need to ensure the people that deal with her will ask her for the same manners you do. If you can't do that, then you either have to accept her 'rudeness' with others or prevent others from dealing with her.

Horses learn to do what works, and quit doing what doesn't ever work for them. So if it works for her to be pushy with others, snatch hay, whatever, that is what she 'knows' is 'Right' with them.

She may be on her way to 'knowing' her manners with you, but don't mistake that for 'knowing' generally. Horses don't generalise well at all & need to be taught with lots of repetition & consistency in a range of different circumstances(& people) before they will begin to generalise the responses.
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