Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hatton Vale, QLD, Australia
im devastated, I had written this massive reply that took me ages and something messed up somehow and I lost it all grrrrrr ok, long story really really short:
My wb did this. Was a dominance, lack of respect and desire for human attention that caused it. Was neglected for 2 years before I got him. I don't tolerate butt turning for any reason. Its rude and shows huge lack of respect. He has come a long way though and this is what I did:
- gained his trust. Once you gain your horses trust you are 90% of the way there. You wont get anywhere at all without it. To start gaining his trust I did a number of things. 1) I took him for a walk every day. Just me and him wandering around munching on grass and exploring stuff. I talked to him all the time as well. This made him very attentive to my voice which helps under saddle as well as he responds well to voice commands, 2) head down. Have your horse in a halter and lead rope. Gently pull down on the leadrope until he gives to the pressure. Even the slightest bit. Once he gives, release. Say head down each time you gently pull the lead rope. Eventually you want to have his head so low that his nose is nearly touching the ground. Jarred is now at the point where all I have to do is say 'head down' and he drops his head. This is great for bridling too especially considering im 5'3" and jarred is a huge warmblood lol I don't know how but through this we started gaining more trust. I've found that once he keeps his head down even when you are standing this means he is relaxed and more trusting. He has no need to be tense with his head up high. In the initial stages of head down I go down with him. At first when I would stand up so would he so he could keep an eye on me lol but now he stays there. I will try and get some video on the weekend of me doing this to give you a better idea of what I mean.
In general you can't go past good old fashioned TLC for gaining trust. Lots of time, love, grooming, walking...anything that helps you and your horse get to know each other and bond.
- next I started gaining his respect and establishing myself as the dominant one or 'leader of the pack'. Whenever he would turn his butt on me I make him run. When we first got him and he was at his worst a carried a dressage whip with me. Whenever he turned his butt on me and walked away I would flick the whip around which makes a very effective noise and make him run. Jarred hates going forward or moving for that matter so he soon learnt that turning his butt meant running :)
- horses are pack animals and as such always have a leader of the pack. This is the head stallion and to a lesser degree the boss mare. Both of these are ALWAYS dominant over the others in the herd and if anyone challenges their authority they are quickly put back in their place. Dominance can be achieved in many forms. A few are:
* when your horse challenges or disrespects you or your space move him backwards or back him up. You can do this but throwing your arms in the air and moving towards the horse. If your horse stands his ground have a dressage or lunge whip ready to use as an extention of your arm. Not many horses wont back away from a whip :) you always want him going backwards not sideways or forwards in this situation.
* whatever you are doing with him, tie him up. I've started doing this more of late with my wb and it is making a difference.
* most of all be forceful without being too rough. The last thing you want is a horse who is fearful of you. That's not true respect. At all times you have to be the boss.
Im sure I've forgotten something but this has taken me forever lol
"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"