How do I establish dominance with my horse? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 13 Old 04-02-2009, 11:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Californian
Posts: 155
• Horses: 2
Originally Posted by grayspeckledgoose View Post
He is completely mindful and respectful of me in the round pen. He follows me around wherever I go, with a low head. When I stop, he stops. When I move, he moves. When I free lunge him, he concentrates on me (for the most part.....and when his mind wanders off, I get after him and get him going in the right direction again). He halts when I want him to, and will turn and look at me, then walk to me with a low head and licking. So it would seem as though I have established myself as leader with him. But, when he's out in the pasture, he's like a different horse, so to speak. He lifts his head from grazing when he sees me coming, but then goes back to eating. I can walk up to him, and he'll lift his head for a head pet/scratch, but quickly goes back to grazing. Sometimes, after a head scratch, he'll go back to eating for a few seconds then walk away.


Just seems like he could care less that I am there. When I bought him, his owner told me he's got loads of personality and likes humans more than other horses...but I am not really seeing that (yet). He acted differently at his old place...was more curious about humans, would meet you at the gate, etc. Of course, at his old place, the horses only had around an acre to graze on. It was pretty much a dry lot. Now, he's got 25 - 30 acres, and six new friends (as opposed to three). He is kind of a loner horse...doesn't "hang with the group" much. He's got one gelding that he seems to be buddies with, but he's always on the fringes of the group, grazing on his own.

I keep thinking things will congeal with time....
(he's only been here for 9 days)
It sounds like you've got the idea about the "join up" stuff, but I don't think you have established a clear CUE to let your horse know:
"When I do this, your place is to do this..."

So, when you go to the pasture, the follow you around stuff falls apart. And you're just not as interesting as grass.

I would put a halter and lead on him and start there. Reason being, these tools give you a back up cue. (I don't use a round pen anymore, just a halter and lead)

so, for example:

I ask the horse to move the hip away and end up facing me with two eyes. I look at the hip and cluck to it and raise the end of the lead and twirl it and tap the horse on the hip with a light tap that gradually increases, not to punish but to make the horse uncomfortable for ignoring the cue. Soon as the hip moves away and the back feet cross, the front end of the horse (the head and eyes) will come in toward me. when that happens and the horse ends up looking right at me with 2 eyes, I leave him alone and rub his face maybe. Let him think about what just happened then repeat the whole thing.

I want to repeat it til the horse hears the cluck and immediately moves the hip away and brings 2 eyes to face me. Then I can eventually phase out the end of the line twirling and just use the sound to tell the horse "I'm telling you to stop what you're doing. To move your hind end away. To bring your eyes to me. I move your feet and I am asking for your attention. If you don't give me your attention, you'll be uncomfortable with more pressure added, til you do."

This simple move will allow you to go up to your horse and cluck to him and he'll raise his head out of the grass and move his hind end away from you and bring 2 eyes toward you. And from there you can add him following you around (hint: just take this same move and spiral out from the horse's side til eventually you can get him to turn and face you and take a step toward you from a distance).

Every time he thinks about leaving or ignoring you, you cluck and look at the hip (act like you've got the line to twirl) and he'll remember the lesson (if you've done it enough times)

This is how I teach horses to follow me in the pasture. It does take a LOT of repetitions and at the same time, I'm working on getting more softness out of the horse (the more hip control you've got the better) and on my stopping and steering for when I ride.

Anyhow, I think if you simply establish some actual cues, you'll find that your horse will be more than willing to follow you.
tnaworld likes this.

Last edited by Calamity Jane; 04-02-2009 at 11:58 PM.
Calamity Jane is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #12 of 13 Old 04-03-2009, 04:35 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 10
• Horses: 1
I'm glad this topic was posted. I am having problems showing dominance over my horse. I checked the link to Julie Goodnights site and it was very helpful, although I find that I am doing a lot of things wrong that assures my horse that he is the alpha. He is doing a lot of testing. The last trail ride we went on he kicked out two times and then had an episode where he crow hopped and kicked out which freakedout another horse and cause dhim to rear up. All of this over nothing, no spooky things around anywhere. I think he was playing off of my nervousness from the other 2 instances. Anyhoo, it caused me to lose confidence, so now we are working in the pen on the ground and saddle. He is a very nosey horse that wants to look around while I'm in the saddle and not be focused on me. Also on the ground, and is very antzy and wont always stand still. I've done a no-no and have given him treats when I get him out of the paddock and if he does well, then I will give him a treat when the work is done. Please give advice on how to correct him, especially with ground manners. I usually pop him underneath when he moves into my space or wants to move away and if i can be quick enough, I will back him up or walk him in a tight circle. I am new to all of this and want to be more assertive and be successful in gaining his respect.

Dreamer101 is offline  
post #13 of 13 Old 04-05-2009, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: SC
Posts: 3
• Horses: 0
I have a 6 yr old qh/tb. She is a good horse but she likes to make me think she is the boss. When I walk by the pasture fence she will start running and kicking up like she's daring me to invade her space. She threw me last year so I have not been riding her like I should. I am 53 and don't want to end up on the ground. Her father Alota Gator Bait is very accomplished TB and comes from a long line of successful race horses. Her mother is qh halter/western pleasure. Nipped by a Gator is her name. Search for Alota Gator Bait and look at her father and brothers and sisters. They are all out there in the ribbons. But she just sits in my pasture all 16.1H and dares me to ride her. Yes ,I did send her for some rehab. she was great up there but when she came home she settled back down into her ways. I have gotten very disheartened and have thought about giving her away to good home. But, then I think I can't let this horse defeat me.

Kristina is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome