How Do I Show a Horse That I Am The Leader/Boss? - Page 2

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How Do I Show a Horse That I Am The Leader/Boss?

This is a discussion on How Do I Show a Horse That I Am The Leader/Boss? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Teaching my horse that i am the leader
  • She who moves the feet is the boss

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    07-08-2012, 12:38 PM
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
Groundwork groundwork groundwork

I like Clinton Anderson's techniques. You can rent his videos on Giddyupflix or view his TV show with a paid subscription to RFD tv's website.
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I used to sit by the mailbox for Giddyupflix! Clinton is a pretty good place to start; that's where I started. Dude is excellent about really breaking things down and explaining the whys of groundwork.
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    07-08-2012, 01:07 PM
Originally Posted by Imagine That    
Well I can lead her anywere, but I can tell that she doesnt really trust me because when there is a tarp ar somthing else on the ground, she is hesitant and she starts to breath very fast and deep, and I can tell she is scared, she will follow me without a lead rope and stops and walks on command. But I can tell that she doesent rely on me to protect her, any ideas?
This is the subtle difference between being the 'boss' and being the 'leader' (IMHO). Our 17 yr old mare, Mandy, is the boss... all the mares stay out of her way. Our 18yr old mare, Angel, is the leader...when something goes boo in the night, they all line up behind her to see what she does.
Being the leader requires trust, and trust only comes with time. Keep up your work and be patient...there are no shortcuts.
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    07-08-2012, 01:56 PM
I think that you should bring her in a round pen or area that's smaller and she can be worked in. Desensitize her to everything. Bring a tarp in and walker her over it, cover her in it, and have it touch her all over. Do the same thing with other objects. But when you do that to her, you should walk over them with her to show that it's not going to hurt you, so it's not going to hurt her. After working with that for a while, she should feel better about them.
Ellie Bramel likes this.
    07-08-2012, 02:33 PM
As much as I agree you should get some help in person (we can't see what's actually happening) - here are some things you can start with for asserting yourself.
Practice teaching her to move away from pressure (a horse that moves away from you is a safe horse). You can do this in numerous ways:
  • move her hind end away
  • move her front end away
  • move her sideways
  • move her back
  • move her forward
  • turn her away from you
How to do each:
With a halter and lead rope on, hold her so she is standing still. Rub the spot you're going to push away from you with your hand, then apply a small amount of pressure with a few fingers (about enough to dent the skin in but not actually pushing). Wait, if she gets distracted or ignores you shake the lead, get her attention back on you, apply a tiny bit more pressure if she really disregards your pressure. The moment she leans away from the pressure, even a tiny bit, stop pushing and rub the spot, telling her she's good. Do this again and again until she moves her feet readily away from the pressure. Eventually you'll be able to point at a part of her and step into her space assertively and she will move away. You want her to willingly move out of your space until you invite her in.

Where to push:
  • to move her hind end, apply pressure to the squishy muscly part of her hind leg
  • the front end is harder, apply pressure to the squishy muscly part of her front leg, you may need to push a little closer to the point of her shoulder or a little further back, depending on her response. If she walks forward push closer to her neck, if she backs up push closer to her elbow.
  • to move her side ways apply pressure right where your foot goes when you're riding, this will help reinforce her giving to leg pressure when riding too.
  • to move her back apply pressure to the center of her chest, you can also use the halter, applying pressure to the bridge of her nose, eventually just looking her in the eye and stepping assertively into her space while saying 'back up' will get her to back away.
  • move her forward, by leading with the rope, or by driving her away
  • you can teach her also to turn her head in either direction by applying gentle pressure to either side of the halter while standing still and waiting for her to turn her head.
  • to make her turn away from you, bring the rope around the opposite side of her and either up over her withers (if it doesn't slip up her neck) or all the way around her hind legs (up resting over her hock, don't let her legs get tangled!) and apply pressure to the rope until she turns herself away from you.
All of these skills helps put you in charge, it will also help you feel more confident leading her, knowing she'll respond to your ground cues. They're also very beneficial for when you're riding!

Hope this helps, but please do consider getting a trainer to help you out - it won't hurt. Sometimes people have creative ideas of how to help.

Good luck to you and your horse :)
    07-08-2012, 10:30 PM
Green Broke
There are many threads on respect and how to get it on here.

Much of it is in your attitude, the rest is in your handling of a horse. If you back away from them, at feeding time for instance, that is telling a horse plainly that it can "run you off of the feed" in horse language.

Search for threads on this, and read them over and over.
    07-09-2012, 12:12 AM
Thank-you very much! I am going to try that tomorrow.
    07-09-2012, 07:39 AM
IT, based on your posts and the fact you are the minor, please, find a trainer to help you with the issues BEFORE you or horse (or both) get hurt. It's never a shame to admit you don't know something and use a professional to teach you how to do things correctly. Internet advices are great, but unfortunately they are still advices over the internet, not a real person watching what you are doing and correcting you.
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    07-09-2012, 12:20 PM
Originally Posted by calicokatt    
I think as a newish rider, you should always start with a horse that is 'perfect', not one that a newish rider would classify as strong willed. If you classify your horse as strong willed, then I would seriously recommend a trainer. Yesterday. Being the boss of a dominant (strong willed) horse requires things that can't be explained on a forum. It requires knowledge and intuition that you cannot get here.
I disagree with that. I think you learn so much more and understand so much more if you work with a horse that still needs to learn too. You will grow with the horse and it will actually teach you so much more than a "perfect" horse would teach you.... The well trained horse might do things by itself without getting the perfect signals and just does it as it is routine for the horse but the green or untrained horse needs to learn and associate your commands and requests. Of course I would recommend having an experienced horse person on with you at all times.
    07-09-2012, 04:12 PM
You need to forget about the concept of "punishment." You don't PUNISH a horse: You train a horse. Training involves instant feedback for the horse's behavior. You show him that there are pleasant or unpleasant consequences for his behavior. But NONE of these consequences can be delayed or the horse will not link what happened with the triggering event. If you don't understand this BASIC concept of horsemanship, than handling this horse might be a bigger challenge than you anticipated and you might be in over your head.
    07-09-2012, 05:13 PM
Understanding horses behavior is not something that anyone just instantly learns. Time spent with horses and working with them will help you better understand how they work. I am currently working with a client who is similar to you in that they are new to horses and are wanting to be the leader. I am currently teaching her how to properly work their horse from the ground and then I will move onto teach them how to properly handle a horse under saddle. The key thing to take from this is I am a experienced trainer helping a inexperienced person in person. I think it would be best for you to learn hands on with/from someone who can help you as taking on a horse can be challenging at times and it can be over your head if you don't have help. Have someone teach you the right way to do things so you do not teach your horse any bad habits. I would rather work with a horse who knows nothing than one who has been mishandled.

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