How do I earn my horses respect? - Page 3

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How do I earn my horses respect?

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    11-02-2011, 01:44 PM
As far as the head rubbing goes, I was told my one person that its a sign of disrespect and not to let them do it, another told me that it is a sign of affection (like grooming) between horses and not a disrespectful thing, just a mutual respect. The main reason why I have been told that it should not be allowed is because if you could possibly be injured if the horse does it at the wrong time.

A few years back I was trail riding and I was out on a very steep mountainside and did not feel safe riding it so I got off my horse and while I was talking with my friend about why I didnt want to do the trail, he rubbed his head on my back and shoved me a bit, I was able to catch myself but I realized how bad that COULD have been, a little harder of a nudge and I would have been falling down that mountainside.

So I tried all the techniques suggested for lungeing and nothing worked. It was rather frustrating. I did try giving her a good solid whack, no response, I tried repeatedly tapping her hip bone with the whip, no response, I tried putting the lead rope on her and moving her in other directions (she would walk in that direction but that was it). I feel at a loss as to what else I could do. I will just have to keep trying at it I suppose. Thanks again, everyone!
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    11-02-2011, 02:10 PM
Maybe you don't need to round pen. If your horse is behaving well under saddle and doing what you ask, when you ask, then why bother?
If you do want to lunge or round pen and she wont move, try tying a plastic bag on the end of a whip. Moveing that around with a real snap to it, I bet she'll leap out of her skin at first. That'll wake her up.

It is desireable to have the horse look at you when you are working with them, and it's not always easy to get that. But its more than I can really explain in this box here.

As for rubbing, I think if you invite it, it's ok but if they do it uninvited, cut it off. I think that's pretty wishy washy, I know. I really shouldn't let him do it at all, but Mac is pretty nice about it.
    11-02-2011, 03:23 PM
Respect is a big thing in the horse world. Right now, your mare does not see you as the dominant 'lead mare' and to be completely honest, she doesn't seem to really trust your judgment too much. By turning toward you when you ask her to move away, she's telling you that she doesn't agree with your decision. By babying her through it, you're reinforcing the idea that you don't trust your own judgment. To her, that's a loud and clear signal that she needs to step up and be the leader because you're not.

If this was my horse, I'd take her to the round pen and just send her around in circles. As long as she's moving away from me in the direction I send her, I don't care how fast she goes (as long as it's faster than a lazy jog) or how big the circles are. Stay out of kicking range and keep sending her in circles. I'd keep her going until she begins to show signs of submission - drooped ears, licking lips, chewing, bowed neck. I'd keep her going until she focuses an ear on me and continues the signs of submission. At that point, I'd take the pressure off and turn my body 45 degrees from her. If she comes up to you and puts her muzzle by your shoulder, she is accepting that you are the leader and offering you the dominant status. Walk away from her. If she follows, that's it. If she wanders away, push her out and make her work again. Eventually, she will follow you all over the pen, stop when you stop and turn when you stop. That's when you can really begin fixing your relationship and working as a team.

Smacking her will not hurt her feelings, I promise. In a herd environment, horses routinely lay their ears back, nip and kick. When you smack her, she equates it to a quick nip or kick and thinks, "hey... I guess that wasn't an appropriate thing to do!" You don't have to flog her with the whip or beat her, but a quick smack on the rump or shoulder will work wonders. She might look at you like you're the worst thing on the face of the earth, but rest assured that she's just playing you to see what she can get away with.

I like to take every horse I work with to the round pen and give them a quick session. It makes training so much easier when they respect you as the leader and understand that you are the alpha. Having a steady leader makes a horse feel safe. If they recognize you as the leader, they will be calmer and more willing to work with you because they feel confident that you will keep them safe.
    11-03-2011, 12:34 AM
I just skimmed some of the responses and I didn't see what I'm about to say, but if I missed somebody else who already said it sorry.

You need to rethink how you are asking the horse to go. You have the first part right, point in the direction you want the horse to go. I like to say "open the door". But your focus is on the hind quarter with your lunge whip, and what she is doing is yielding the hind just like you're asking her to do. Remember a horse drives forward from anywhere behind their eye, they drive back from in front of the eye, and away directly at the eye. I would drive her from the girth, about where you'd have your leg when riding. If she's facing you drive the shoulder or neck. Don't be afraid to make contact but only after you open the door and ask first and she doesn't respond. Before you know it when you put your arm up she'll move right off.
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    11-03-2011, 03:16 AM
Thank you again for your helpful information. I used to be able to get the response out of her that I wanted every time we lunged, but not anymore, that's why I am so confused why all the sudden I am getting no reaction at all. It sounds like Courtney is explaing Monty Roberts technique for lungeing and that is exactly what I do with her and it has always worked great up until recently. She would follow me around like a puppy dog anywhere I go after lungeing and even now she still does follow me like that but the problem is, is that I can't get her to get away from me so I can lunge her. She has never kicked a day in her life so I don't worry about being outside kicking range but its good to be anyways I suppose. When I lunge her I stare at her drive line (her shoulder) like Clinton Anderson teaches and point the whip at her hip. I think tomorrow I will try the plastic bag and see how that goes. Thanks again :)
    11-03-2011, 09:34 AM
Another thing that I was wondering is that my gelding and other mare seem to want to follow me and be with me, while my younger newest mare seems to rather do her own thing in the pasture. She's in a weird herd situation and I don't know if maybe that's affecting our communication and relationship in the pasture. The other two horses have made her isolate herself and will not let them near "their" herd. I also have 2 donkeys that also stick together. So she is somewhat of a loner by nature. You think that would make her crave my attention but it only seems as though she's affectionate sometimes. My gelding and other fiesty older mare do not want to share my attention with her so they repeatedly lunge at her and put their ears back if she trys to approach me. They form this sort of love bubble around their "mommy". Is this why she's less affectionate with me even after I take her out of the herd and ride her?
    11-03-2011, 12:27 PM
Thats interesting Allison... I've seen it with other herds but they eventually will join together if they live together long enough so I don't know why your horses would do that. I guess you could look at the positive side of it if nothing else, at least (hopefully) your loner horse won't be a buddy sour pain in the bum like mine can be at times.
    11-03-2011, 01:55 PM
Green Broke
Your new horse is an outcast to the "herd". It happens anytime you introduce a new horse. They will usually accept her in time.

It's not the same between you and her. You need to show her it's better to be with you than separate. Some call it join up. If she has no interest being next to you in a round pen, get her to move her feet but not just circling. Change her directions often. When she stops and looks at you, turn away or back away looking down. She will learn that paying attention to you is easier than having to work. She'll see you as a leader and want to be with you. If she doesn't feel you are a leader, she won't want anything to do with you.
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    11-04-2011, 09:40 AM
Thanks a bunch!! && yeah Erfellie hopefully never! That's a big plus 'cause she never wants to go into the pastures she just wants to work with me outside! (; she likes the work I give her but and doesn't like anything to do with the herd! Or me sometimes though /:

The weird part of this situation is that my mare leaves for 6 months a year (to be a camp horse) and the herd between my youngest and the gelding was already formed. It seemed like as soon as she came around again, Star's former love,her feisty attitude and hatred for other mares made an IMMEDIATE change in the herd. My mare has not been accepted in the 4 months she's been back here and I don't see it happening in the near future either!
    11-04-2011, 12:27 PM
I wish I had an indoor arena... today might be the last day I get to ride for awhile, darn rain! Hopefully we will have better luck today, Im going to try the plastic bag technique.

lunge, respect, round pen stubborn horse

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