Horses that don't pay attention to you - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-01-2010, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: KY
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Horses that don't pay attention to you

What do you do about a horse that ignores your presence completely, and when you step in to work with them, they just avoid any and all contact? Like - a horse you can walk up to in a field, he won't run away from you, and when you are trying to put on the halter, he pulls against you and tries to keep his head down so he can eat? Like he's thinking, "Puny human. Do what you want to me, but don't interrupt me being social and eating and whatnot."

I think I have a pretty good grasp on what to do, but I'd like to know if anyone else has dealt with a horse like this, and what you've done.

I'm so busy, I don't know if I've found a rope... or lost my horse...
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-01-2010, 06:44 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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If the horse pulls and just keeps munching on grass ignoring me I make her feet move. That's it. If "gentle methods" don't work the smack on butt with the rope (or a stick if you carry one, which I almost never do) definitely gets the attention back on you and make it move.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-01-2010, 07:10 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
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I have a long lead rope. If my horse doesn't move after I ask twice nicely, or swing his hindquarters after I ask, or won't pay attention to me after a jingle on the lead, I'll throw the rope to hit (with gravity force) his hindquarters, if he doesn't listen I'd get progressively harder until he did.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-01-2010, 08:26 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Yep! This horse sounds like he doesn't respect you or see you as a leader. Do you go out and work him everytime you see him?
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-01-2010, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Oregon
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Well unless the horse is starving, and in need of the grass... It sounds like he does not respect you. I would do some on lead or round pen work. Work on controling his body and movement, and make him do what you want, when you want it. A little bit of refresher and he should be fine.
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-01-2010, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Western MA
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What was that post about the horse that put his ears back when he put on the halter? They were told to chase the horse around the field to gain respect. Could that idea be used here? I see a horse that is disrespectful and that can lead to danger..
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-01-2010, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: KY
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Yeah this horse just got here Saturday. Worked with him yesterday with respecting space and our goal was to walk toward the barn with slack in the rope, without him passing my shoulder. He seemed to get it eventually, but there's no doubt he needs lots of work.

When I go to catch him and halter him, he pulls WHILE I'm trying to get the halter on and buckled. If I "cluck-cluck" to get his head up, he'll move forward. If I stick my toe under his nose, he won't do anything. Just eat around it. When his head DOES come up, and I get the halter over his nose, he pulls while I'm trying to buckle.

Thanks for all your advice, guys :)

I'm so busy, I don't know if I've found a rope... or lost my horse...
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-04-2010, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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When he puts his head back down give him a tap with your foot, not enough to be kicking him in the head but enough of a bump for him to stop and say woah! what was that? It will take a few times obviously until he associates going down with a bump, but I used to lease a huge lumbering thoroughbred who would do the same but when I was trying to do up his bridle, I just kept my foot around where I knew he would put his head down and as soon as it got down I made my foot make contact with his nose. (Again, don't think I'm saying kick him in the head please!!)
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-06-2010, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
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Agreed. A light toe kick to the beak with bring his head up (I say this as nicely as possible) In the past mine have required more than a "tap". When the head comes up, and he goes to walk off raise your hand quickly above his head right in his line of vision and yell WHOA. In my opinion... It sounds like you need to mean it. IE "I SAID head up, halter on, stand here, THEN walk......"
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