Herd Bound or Disobedient?

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Herd Bound or Disobedient?

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  • Herd bound horse clinton anderson
  • Herd bound gelding

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    06-26-2012, 05:57 PM
Herd Bound or Disobedient?

I have a 11 yr old Quarter Horse gelding. He is the dominate gelding of the herd of 4 (2 other gelding & 1 mare). He has had 30 days of refresher training to get over his bridling refussal and trailer loading. He loads up great to come home although we will fight for hours to leave home. I have tried working him first with lunging and round pinning, sending exercises, even as far as a lip twitch. The lip twitch worked the first few times and has since stopped working. I am trying to understand why he refusses to leave home and maybe get some ideas on what to try next.
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    06-26-2012, 06:14 PM
Super Moderator
Disobedient IS being herd bound. They are the same thing; his anxiety makes him unable to comply. His anxeity about the trailer nd leaving the herd is greater than his worry about what you will do to him.\

I don't really have a lot of conrete advice, but am just mentioning that his disobedience is based on his emotional state; herd bound. So, working on that would seem the most logical way to make him less anxious about trailer loading overall.
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    06-26-2012, 07:05 PM
I like the Clinton Anderson method. Make doing the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard. If he balks at loading, back him up fast and hard, lunge him and keep those feet moving. As a break, offer him the opportunity to load. Repeat until he's loaded, follow with lots of praise or treats or whatever you do.
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    06-26-2012, 07:25 PM
Hi thanks for the suggestion. Myself and my trainer have used this method although my horse tries to run us over (lack of respect) and gets more worked up causing more anxiety.
    06-26-2012, 08:05 PM
Then you need to do groundwork for respect at other times other than just when you are loading. You cannot all of a sudden expect him to know what you want when you start asking him when he is stressed.

Get him respecting you on the ground, away from the trailer. Work on CA's excercises, PP's or whoever works for you, but GET RESPECT.

Keep in mind that there are some (I own one) who will test you relentlessly and you will never be able to totally let up on the training. THerefore, I hope you were present and got some training also when the horse went for his "refresher". It should have also been a "refresher" for you. It does no good for a trainer, no matter how good, to train a horse if you do not know how to do the same thing when the horse gets home. The horse quickly figures out he can get one over on you, and all the training is undone.
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    06-26-2012, 08:19 PM
Thank you for the reply. I have been working with ground work and respect as well, prior to loading and even when not loading. I had most of the hands on training, my trainer would work him the first wk and then its was up to me the last 3 wks. I still go up to the stables to ride with the trainer and he always is improving my horse abilities. My horse has had lots of training and knows what to do; ground exercises I'm starting to think its his trailer anxiety causing the trouble.
    06-26-2012, 10:18 PM
Green Broke
But have you had training on how to handle horses, all the training in the world on a horse, does no good at all, if owner/handler does not know what they are doing.

Horse is acting like it is because it knows it can. Plain and simple. Doesn't have any anxiety more than likely. Just doesn't want to do something and has discovered you can't make it.

Respect on the ground also comes in to play at feeding, leading, haltering, even entering a stall can quickly show that a horse doesn't respect a human.
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    06-26-2012, 10:35 PM
Agree with tiny that it's not a case of either/or - 'disobedient' just means the horse is not doing what you're asking for(& implies that he knows what you want & how to do it), whereas 'herdbound' is a possible reason for that disobedience. If he is herdbound, that basically means that he doesn't want to go away with you. Working out how you can change your relationship so he's happy to go with you/do as you ask should give you a different perspective & approach.

Agree thoroughly with Palomine, that first & foremost it sounds like it is YOU who needs some good training. I would find a good trainer/instructor to help you learn how to deal with & train horses - because every time you interact with him is training too. I would also start learning the theory of equine behaviour & training principles.

Originally Posted by Mrs ALE    
He has had 30 days of refresher training to get over his bridling refussal and trailer loading. He loads up great to come home although we will fight for hours to leave home.
IMO it sounds like someone's taken you for a ride, taking your money to 'train' a horse for 30 days just for bridling & trailer loading, without bothering to teach you what to do/what you're doing wrong. One thing I think it sounds to me like you're doing wrong is getting confrontational & fighting with him.

The lip twitch worked the first few times and has since stopped working.
What on earth was that for?? Did you twitch him & then load him, so he was too preoccupied by the pain to think, or...?
    06-26-2012, 10:47 PM
Super Moderator
I had trouble loading Mac on the trailer. There are a lot of videos on how to do it, by a number of different trainers. Most of them use an approach and retreat techinque and moving the hrose around the trailer, not so much to make not being in the trailer "difficult" but to just get the hrose moving and listening to your direction, thus more willing to take your "suggestion" that he look into and consider entering. Ultimately, the horse makes the decision to enter or not.

I am not a big Parelli fan, but I have to say, I prefer the way he does it over the way Clinton Anerson does. A lot less drama.
    06-26-2012, 10:58 PM
Parellis method works quite well for me. My horse who used to be a pain to load ( 3 hours once) I now point at the trailer and throw the rope over her neck and she walks straight in. She no longer scrambles once in either.

Taking a second horse to begin with can help too.
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