Horse Testing Me :(
   

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Horse Testing Me :(

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  • How to deal with horse that is testing me
  • Horse acting up when out of pasture

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    08-31-2012, 12:59 PM
  #1
Foal
Unhappy Horse Testing Me :(

Ugh! I'm so done. I haven't had this horse for a week and he is already testing me. I have ridden him a few times the first couple days but the way he has been acting for the last two days, I don't dare. I'm not experienced and am only 13. My parents are completely terrified and if I tell them he is acting up my dad just says "See, all horses are the same, stupid." I am just so frustrated right now. I have always wanted a horse and I finally get one and he acts like a moron. I feel bad because my parents bought him for me and built a barn with a pasture and everything. I just feel like I can't do anything! I can't control him and he knows it. He just needs to respect me but I don't know how to make him!! I take him out and he just acts like an idiot. He jumps at every little noise and things on purpose because he knows it makes me nervous. Then, he runs while I'm holding on to the lead rope to try to make me let it go so he can eat grass. He doesn't respect me at all. I try not to be nervous around him but I can't help it! Trust me, I really, really try hard to be confident. He was fine for the first few days until he figured out I had no idea what I was doing. My parents are no help and my dad just says "I told you, never trust a horse. Sell him." My mom won't even touch him unless he is in his stall. I don't know what to do! I wish someone could just help me because I can't control him all by myself. I want an instructor who would help me and know what to do but I already made my dad spend money on the horse and everything it needs and I don't think it would be fair to ask him to hire a riding instructor on top of that. I don't know where I would find an instructor anyways because we live like in the middle of no where. I'm just so frustrated with him right now.
     
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    08-31-2012, 02:05 PM
  #2
Yearling
Yep...you have yourself a situation don't you?

I am not going to tell you that you shouldn't have bought this horse because that isn't going to help anything.

Take a deep breath and just relax.

He is in a new place. I am sure he is not spooking at things just to bother you.

Don't even think about riding him for a while. Just go and spend some time with him. He needs to get used to you and you need to prove to him that you are his leader.

When he tries to run away from you while on the lead, make him turn in circles. Do some groundwork with him. He isn't acting like a moron...he is acting like a horse.

Do not attempt to ride him until you have established that you are in charge or you are going to get hurt.

I am sure there is someone that would be willing to come and help you. Who did you buy him from? You may have to just suck it up and tell your parents you need help. It's better than having a horse you can't ride!
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    08-31-2012, 02:29 PM
  #3
Foal
When I typed that I was all shooken up and frustrated. I think I need to go to bed earlier :P This afternoon my dad took him out and rode him and he did completely fine. I think he respects my dad because he knows he can't get away with anything. How do I establish that I am in charge? (without getting hurt) I don't have a good place to work him in besides my front lawn or his pasture. We got him from these people who used him to teach special needs kids how to ride. They are about 2hrs away from us. When he runs on the lead I just jerk him around so he circles around me instead of plowing over me.
     
    08-31-2012, 02:33 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
I can tell you where to start:

First, get him out of the stall. Turn him out in the biggest lot, pen or pasture you have. Stop feeding him any grain and give him all of the grass hay he wants. This will help for starters.

Then, You MUST get some instruction and help. Your horse started out OK. So, it is NOT his fault. You and your dad are expecting him to be a mind reader and do what you want him to do (by mental telepathy, of course) since you do not have a clue of how to properly communicate effectively with him.

I would just leave him alone and look for a mentor -- someone that know how to get along with horses and is possibly retired or no longer rides. Ask the local Vets, Farriers, feed stores, etc. Put a note up on the wall of a feed store or Vet Clinic that says you are looking for someone to help you learn how to handle and ride your new horse. Ask for references and ask for personal references for honestly and character. You don't want the wrong people around you or your place. Find out if there is a 4-H leader or Pony Club program near you. They may know someone that can help you.

You need help. Your dad would not buy you an airplane and then tell you go out and teach yourself how to fly it. He would not hand you the keys to his car and tell you to go teach yourself how to drive. This is the exact same thing only more-so. Your horse has a brain -- a mind of his own. While you are stumbling along trying to figure out what to do, he is learning some really bad things that can never be taken out of his head.

Good luck with your horse and your Dad. I wish you were closer.

Cherie
     
    08-31-2012, 02:44 PM
  #5
Foal
What awesome parents you have to buy you a horse and build a barn.

I agree with Cherie, turn him out and don't keep him in his stall. He's by himself, which is a very scary situation for him as horses are social animals. If you can find him a calm and older pasture buddy, that would help him settle in.

Find a trainer. You're thirteen and inexperienced your parents can't expect you to be the next horse whisperer. Explain to them, how grateful you are to have been given the opportunity to own a horse, but you feel like you would gain even more experience and confidence if you could work with a trainer. When a horse decides to test you, it's no fun and it can be potentially dangerous. If your parents understand the fact that both of you are young and green and your horse is in a new place, I'm sure the three of you could figure out someway to get a reputable trianer to work with you and your horse. Try to look for someone giving away a free "pasture buddy only" horse that's an easy keeper to keep your new guy company. Good luck and don't give up.
     
    08-31-2012, 02:46 PM
  #6
Foal
He isn't in his stall I have him in a paddock. I have cut down on his grain but he needs to take this joint medication mixed with it. So I don't know if he would take it without the grain. How much do instrutors usually expect to be payed? :/ There is a 4-H leader up the road from us but she is always at horse shows and I don't know if she would have time or even want to help me.
     
    08-31-2012, 02:47 PM
  #7
Foal
Hopefully you can find someone in your area that can come and help you out. Be honest with your parents (that will also show your maturity) and tell them how you feel. Thank them for getting you a horse, but let them know you need help. Taking on a horse at your age and experience, is not easy. It's more difficult than taking care of a dog or cat. While they still require responsibility, horses are much larger and can potentially hurt you or worse.

Allow your horse time to settle and get used to his new surroundings and also get used to you. If you know how to do groundwork, do a lot of groundwork with him. While you do not want to get hurt, your horse can probably sense your fear and anxiety. I wouldn't ride him until you gain some confidence and he gains some respect.

Don't quit because you're frustrated...you will have days that will be awesome and days you'll just want to cry. Hang in there and best of luck!!!
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    08-31-2012, 02:54 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4everiding    
What awesome parents you have to buy you a horse and build a barn.

I agree with Cherie, turn him out and don't keep him in his stall. He's by himself, which is a very scary situation for him as horses are social animals. If you can find him a calm and older pasture buddy, that would help him settle in.

Find a trainer. You're thirteen and inexperienced your parents can't expect you to be the next horse whisperer. Explain to them, how grateful you are to have been given the opportunity to own a horse, but you feel like you would gain even more experience and confidence if you could work with a trainer. When a horse decides to test you, it's no fun and it can be potentially dangerous. If your parents understand the fact that both of you are young and green and your horse is in a new place, I'm sure the three of you could figure out someway to get a reputable trianer to work with you and your horse. Try to look for someone giving away a free "pasture buddy only" horse that's an easy keeper to keep your new guy company. Good luck and don't give up.
He is not young or green. He is 18 and has been ridden for many years. I'll try to explain to my parents what you just said... My grandma has a little shetlandXwelsh pony that she wants to sell that she could probably bring down. The pony is ride able too, so maybe my little brother or sister could ride her. If I do that though it would be another horse to take care of and I don't want him to get buddy sour...

EDIT: What kind of ground work would you suggest fkonidaris?
     
    08-31-2012, 03:45 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Contrary to many beliefs, horse don't usually spook or act scared just to mess with their rider. What you are experience is his lack of confidence in you and the situation. It is new to him - you are new to him and i'm going to guess that you're not a very convincing leader, which means that he feels like he's on his own.
I would start by just spending time with him, brushing him, playing with ropes around him, etc, just to get him comfortable with you. When he's obviously not scared of you, then start making him to little things like backing out of your space, circling you, moving his hindquarters & neck away.
To do this, you can use the end of your rope but I would suggest a short, 4-foot whip or even a stick. Ask him politely at first by pushing or tapping, and gradually increase the pressure until he does what you want.
Just remember that the moment he gives you even a little bit, release the pressure/ stop what you are doing. Wait a second and try again.
With horses, pressure motivates, it is the release that teaches.

When you ride him, try just working with him in a small area at first until he gets confident with you on his back & giving direction. Just to stop, go and circles, etc. Then move up to a faster pace if you're comfortable.
Don't try and do more than you can handle because the horse will sense your uncertainty and either take control of the situation himself or get nervous and jumpy.
Sometimes the smallest thing can set a horse off, especially change of environment. Try even just leading him down the road to get him used to the scenery.

As for the running off to eat grass when on the rope, the moment he starts to go ahead of you/away, shake the rope hard and jerk on his halter to get his attention back. If he looks like you've freaked him out, just relax and give him a second to realise all is good and learn what his lesson was.
Same for if his head is in the grass. It can sometimes he easier to shake your rope and make it uncomfortable for him to have his head down there than it is to physically pull it up.
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    08-31-2012, 03:48 PM
  #10
Foal
Keep the sessions short, too long of a session will lead to stress, anxiety, and/or boredom. Get to know the difference in your horses communication with you (is he relaxed and accepting or is he anxious). I use a rope halter and at least a 10' lead or longer or lunge line. Your body movement and positions will tell your horse a lot to how you're feeling and what you're expecting. Talk to your horse while lunging or leading and any bad behavior correct immediately. Don't let him get away with it. You may be scared inside, but don't let him know it. My horse use to try to rear and run off when I would catch her in the pasture. I immediately made her move her feet and trot small circles around me. A really good book that I like that helped me is "101 Ground Training Exercises." You don't necessarily need a round pen to work in either. I've done groundwork in the field and in the arena.

If you're having problems even catching your horse or approaching, remember to watch your body language. If you walk up to him and you're standing very upright and tall, walking fast, he's going to walk away. I always approach slightly hunched over and allow my horse to come to me. Once caught, touch your horse all over letting him get used to you touching him.

To lead, stand at the horse's left shoulder. As you step off, give slight forward pressure on the lead rope. If he doesn't move, tug a little harder or tap him on the hindquarters and say "walk on!" Once he moves, release the pressure to reward him. If rushes ahead, pull back on the halter to apply presure on his nose, turn him towards the fence (if possible), or if he doesn't have rearing issues, place a whip in front of his face as a visual barrier.

Practice leading a few steps and if he doesn't fight you, praise him verbally or with a pat on the neck (don't treat or he'll get mouthy). If he stops, don't turn and look at him or he's going to stand there or back up. If you tell him to stop/whoa and he continues trying to walk on, step in front of his shoulder and face him and say whoa! And then back him up a few steps to reinforce the whoa.

If you're applying pressure during any groundwork, as soon as your horse responds the way you want, reward him by releasing the pressure and telling him "good boy."

If you're lunging him in circles (both directions), pay attention to where your body is in comparison to your horse. If you step in front of his shoulder he should slow down or stop. If you stay behind his shoulder and wave your opposite arm or lunge whip that will drive him forward. Don't let him "fall in" on you. You can send a wave through the lunge line to yield him away from you. To stop him, step in front of his shoulder or face and say "whoa."
     

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