How do I teach my horses I am boss?
   

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How do I teach my horses I am boss?

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    04-03-2012, 11:01 AM
  #1
Foal
How do I teach my horses I am boss?

8n my previous post I talked about how 2 of my horses are attched to each other, and with this they don't look to me as their leader. I am wondering what kinds of things I can work woth them on to show them I am in charge, and stop them from bossing me around. I am too rasy on them and let them get away with things and spoil them...I want to fix it before they get too out of hand.
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    04-03-2012, 11:27 AM
  #2
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavoie    
8n my previous post I talked about how 2 of my horses are attched to each other, and with this they don't look to me as their leader. I am wondering what kinds of things I can work woth them on to show them I am in charge, and stop them from bossing me around. I am too rasy on them and let them get away with things and spoil them...I want to fix it before they get too out of hand.
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Ground work would do the trick I believe. Get them feet moving, send them each direction and yeild the hind quarters. Tons of other stuff to do as well on the ground to get their attention. Check out some youtube videos and read up on gaining respect on the ground.
     
    04-03-2012, 12:01 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Control their food. I feed a low protein grain to my 3 horses so that they watch for me every day. I moved them to stalling at night during this last winter partly so that I could control when and how they came into their stalls in the evening for grain and to stay, AND, how they behaved being haltered (or led by a rope around the neck) for turnout.
When turning out your horse MUST face you and MUST wait until you decide to unhook the halter. I've taught my 16'3hh gelding (big head, left) to walk around the 5 ft gate, put his head over and wait for me to unhook him. NOW, he will wait while the rope is on my side of the gate and I don't hold it, then I undo his halter.
NO RUNNING AWAY FROM YOU OR DRAGGING YOU WHEN TURNED OUT IS ACCEPTABLE.
The other two turn towards me--they're too short to put their heads over my gate-- and wait, again, until I'm ready. I learned this a LONG time ago, and it agrees with CA--two eyes, instead of two feet (in your face.)
ALSO, I started in March, when they went to 24/7 turnout, to feed them grain while they are tied in their tie spots. (You can accomplish this in your boarding barn, too.) Nobody gets their grain until and unless they quietly allow me to halter and quietly lead--no jigging or pulling--to each horse's tie-up spot, the same place where I tack them up, and keep them tied while they eat their grain. It's also a good time to say "no" to any pawing. If you're strapped for time you can stall your horse or turn him out again AFTER he finishes his grain. When you have more time, don't be in any hurry to untie him. THIS is a great opportunity to insist that you horse stands quietly EVERY TIME. Bring a good book like, The Hunger Games to read and let him stand and watch you read it.
C--no bullying, lunging or hard work, and your horse WILL respect you more. =D
     
    04-03-2012, 12:12 PM
  #4
Foal
I agree with Wallee - ground work will help a lot. We have two horses and they're always trying to see who goes first. Self-confidence helps. Horses are very intuitive critters and they can read your body language. A recent example: I was going to ride with the stable-owners' daughter. She was so excited about having someone to ride with again. She grabbed their stud, threw a saddle on him and off they went. The normally calm stud was not happy with the situation, and he threw her off. My horse, a middle aged Morab, was very antsy and I realized that my anxiety was causing it. The moment I sat back in the saddle and took a big breath, my horse returned his attention to me. Needless to say, we didn't ride together that day, or any other day after that.

But, yes - definitely the ground work and a superior attitude. You're the boss.
Wallee likes this.
     
    04-03-2012, 12:30 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
Control their food. I feed a low protein grain to my 3 horses so that they watch for me every day. I moved them to stalling at night during this last winter partly so that I could control when and how they came into their stalls in the evening for grain and to stay, AND, how they behaved being haltered (or led by a rope around the neck) for turnout.
When turning out your horse MUST face you and MUST wait until you decide to unhook the halter. I've taught my 16'3hh gelding (big head, left) to walk around the 5 ft gate, put his head over and wait for me to unhook him. NOW, he will wait while the rope is on my side of the gate and I don't hold it, then I undo his halter.
NO RUNNING AWAY FROM YOU OR DRAGGING YOU WHEN TURNED OUT IS ACCEPTABLE.
The other two turn towards me--they're too short to put their heads over my gate-- and wait, again, until I'm ready. I learned this a LONG time ago, and it agrees with CA--two eyes, instead of two feet (in your face.)
ALSO, I started in March, when they went to 24/7 turnout, to feed them grain while they are tied in their tie spots. (You can accomplish this in your boarding barn, too.) Nobody gets their grain until and unless they quietly allow me to halter and quietly lead--no jigging or pulling--to each horse's tie-up spot, the same place where I tack them up, and keep them tied while they eat their grain. It's also a good time to say "no" to any pawing. If you're strapped for time you can stall your horse or turn him out again AFTER he finishes his grain. When you have more time, don't be in any hurry to untie him. THIS is a great opportunity to insist that you horse stands quietly EVERY TIME. Bring a good book like, The Hunger Games to read and let him stand and watch you read it.
C--no bullying, lunging or hard work, and your horse WILL respect you more. =D
Wow, I love this idea! I would love my horses to have the respect yours have for you! I have all the time in the world since I live on the 17 acre property my horses are on! I am fully devoted I to working with them to turn them into the horses they used to be before I got them and got lazy with them. This is my first time @ ownership (I've always leased and took lessons) and now that I am the owner of the horses I guess I worry about them more, not wanting them to get hurt or not like me. Well thinking like that hasn't gotten me anywhere but with two horses who control me (the third hasn't been here long enough to find out I am a pushover).

I have a few questions...about how I should go about this at my barn. I have never tied one of my horses since I was told when I got him...he doesn't tie...don't tie him beacuse he will break his halter when he pulls back. Well that's too bad because he is going to learn to tie. What is the best way of going about this. I was told get a cowboy halter and just tie him...he can pull back all he wants and the halter will not break. I am concerned he will break his neck or hurt himself some how...am I over reacting?

Next question is where should I tie them. I have three horses...two are attached at the hip and have meltdowns if they are not with their buddy. I am currently working on operation seperation putting them in seperate paddocks and soon leaving one in their stall in the other turned out. Should I tie them far away from each other or close at first?

And you mentioned low protien grain. Does what I feed them really affect their behavoir? I have them on mostly beat pulp, about a pound of purina senoir and weight builder and 24/7 grassy turnout since they are hard keepers being ottbs.

Thank you for the help!!!
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    04-03-2012, 01:03 PM
  #6
Foal
I think it's important to be able to move your horse around on the ground as a dominant horse would do - and it's also very handy when grooming etc! I think it's a fairly easy thing to teach - the basic idea is to ask your horse to move by putting pressure on an area, say his shoulder, and when he does move release the pressure and reward! Once that's sorted I think your horse starts to realise that you are in charge!

You must always reward good behaviour too, but also let the horse know if he does something you don't want. The way to remember it is to act like a dominant horse would - if your horse swings his bum at you, he is possibly threatening to kick, so (if it is safe and ONLY then), push him back like the lead horse would (don't let him threaten you). If you run away, he will know he is boss ;)

Be confident around your horse and stand tall, because they're great at readin gbody language. Perhaps it would be a good idea to read up on herd heirarchy and behaviour etc, to learn how horses show their dominance? I mean, if a horse wanted to fight, you wouldn't challenge it lol, but just to get the basic idea. That's what I did and it seems to work!

On the subject of tethering your two buddy horses lol, I'd personally start them tied up close together. Then you could slowly move them apart and distract them with haynets and stuff :) Then, if they realise they are further away from each other than they'd like it won't be so sudden!

Anyhow, make sure you are always safe - if your horse is overly dominant and is becoming dangerous, it might be worth getting a trainer in or something. Once your horse knows you are boss and that he can rely on you to protect and direct him, your bond will get really strong! Have fun!
     
    04-03-2012, 01:26 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavoie    
I have never tied one of my horses since I was told when I got him...he doesn't tie...don't tie him beacuse he will break his halter when he pulls back. Well that's too bad because he is going to learn to tie. What is the best way of going about this. I was told get a cowboy halter and just tie him...he can pull back all he wants and the halter will not break. I am concerned he will break his neck or hurt himself some how...am I over reacting?
FIRST, I would get a sacrifice halter for THIS horse and very securely tie a lead to it that is long enough to drag. Put this on your problem horse and turn him out by himself for about one week with this apparatus on him. He will step on the lead, haul back and punish himself without hurting YOU. I learned about this from a Welsh Mountain Pony farm and they broke their yearlings to halter in this way. After a week, test him by running the lead around a vertical fence post. Pull him towards the post, and see how he reacts. I believe one week will cure him, but it may take longer. I would NOT try tying him until he is cured. Once you fix this problem it will be permanent. Feel free to praise him every time he does right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavoie    
Next question is where should I tie them. I have three horses...two are attached at the hip and have meltdowns if they are not with their buddy. I am currently working on operation seperation putting them in seperate paddocks and soon leaving one in their stall in the other turned out. Should I tie them far away from each other or close at first?
Here is how I tie, high enough to keep a foot from being caught, quick release and daisy-chained.

Keep them far enough away from each other so that they can't start a food fight with you inbetween them. If possible, tie them all out of sight of each other. I would suggest that you spend the next month on tying manners. I worked with my 2 young geldings--my mare came finished--last summer. They stood tied while I gardened...for hours. I could see them, but it was good practice.
I started tying for grain in 1985 when I bought a small herd of 6 horses that I couldn't catch, though there were all broken. I demanded that each put his head over the fence and wait to be haltered, then I led each to his own tie spot to be grained, then back to their paddock (they lived outside with a shelter then), head over the gate as above. They exited the paddock and were put back in their pecking order. THIS kept them from becoming fractious, as a herd leader will do if he isn't fed first.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavoie    
And you mentioned low protien grain. Does what I feed them really affect their behavoir?
My current 3 horses are easy keepers and DON'T need grain to maintain their weight. I use it for training purposes ONLY.

There is some connection with high protein grain affecting horses just like high sugar and junk food hypes kids up. Talk to your Vet about what KIND and amount to feed--PM me if you want a longer explanation. I had an Arabian, "Corporal", (1982-2009, RIP) and an OTTB who were both hard keepers, so I've got some experience there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavoie    
Thank you for the help!!!
You're welcome!! There are MANY expert trainers here, BTW.
     
    04-03-2012, 04:05 PM
  #8
Foal
You have no idea how much I appreciate the help!!!

Would a halter like this what you are talking about?
Knotted Rope Training Halter - Statelinetack.com

When I do begin to tie and feed at the same time, what kind of feed containers/where do you put them? I currently feed in their stalls and have built in containers where I place those flexible black rubber feed dishes. I would just place those on the ground when feeding when tied but I would have to worry about a foot getting caught in the lead right?
     
    04-03-2012, 05:41 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavoie    
You have no idea how much I appreciate the help!!!
I'm flattered...and blushing. Although MANY knowledgeable people are here to help, I think that Cherie probably could give you some specifics that I may have missed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavoie    
Would a halter like this what you are talking about?
Knotted Rope Training Halter - Statelinetack.com
NOT this one. The knots are designed for disciplining while you work your horse. A regular rope halter would work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavoie    
When I do begin to tie and feed at the same time, what kind of feed containers/where do you put them? I currently feed in their stalls and have built in containers where I place those flexible black rubber feed dishes.
Yep. Use the old standard, the flexible, black, rubber feed bucket. It is very sturdy and very safe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clavoie    
I would just place those on the ground when feeding when tied but I would have to worry about a foot getting caught in the lead right?
You can snap the lead up on the side of the halter while they are feeding. You might want to get some inexpensive, nylon halters.
Basic 2-Ply Halter - Statelinetack.com
Or this
Weaver Elite Classic Adj Nylon Halter w/Snap - Statelinetack.com
Get the absolute CHEAPEST of any kind for your rogue bc he will beat that one up--maybe check out the local farm supply stores, too. I prefer the regular nylon bc I can get them undone fairly quickly. I'm in the habit of not buckling all of the way through, like below.

Even those seasoned horses will get a foot caught now and again. Our old herd leader (17yo, at the time) once caught both his back feet while tied to a small tree (in my parent's suburban back yard, when we were visiting.) DH told him to sit down, which he did, and then we got him unstuck. These things will happen. They look to you for help and security, so a caught foot gives you the opportunity to calm your horse down and develop a better relationship with your horse.
Clinton Anderson and Craig Cameron have very good videos about training confidence into your horse, and they both use methods that include desensitizing your horse to ropes around their legs.
     
    04-03-2012, 06:18 PM
  #10
Weanling
Corporal, while I agree with some of the methods you mentioned, I'm wary of allowing a lead to be tied to a released horse. All this horse needs to do is wrap it around his leg once and it can be a disaster, or step on it with his back foot and potentially end his life. Been warned of it by many horsemen, seen it happen before, and I've watched girls come to my barn and pull a dorky move and almost injury their horse by dropping their lead on the ground.

I also agree with getting a cheap nylon halter and not hooking it all the way. I also suggest keeping it a little loose so it doesn't rub uncomfortable and so your horse can scratch all the itchy places on his/her face as needed, but keep it tight enough that he can't just rub it off on a tree.

I recently heard of a trick on getting a horse to not run from you as well. I'm not sure how well I agree with it, but it's a cowboy trick. You tie a heavy-duty tie to a rope and tie it to your horse's halter and allow them to drag it around their pasture until their done running from you. But at the same time, this was done to a 3 y/o Arabian stallion. I don't know the woman well, I've simply taken her on the trail a couple of rounds.

If you have a round pen or arena and longe rope, it would be the best tools for you to gain dominance. It is very important to know that you must have dominance, trust, and respect on the ground before you expect it in the seat of a saddle. Simulating a nip or a kick to the rear will not hurt the horse. Horses push each other forward - the strongest horse keeps his herd going. This doesn't mean chase your horse until he's running. You're a predator, he's prey. When approaching your horse, come up toward the rear versus the head, assert that you are the better horse. I do this every time I have to go to Scotch in his pasture by using my index knuckle and thumb to briefly "pinch" his flank, then I let my hand follow up his side to his head. His manners have progressed a lot since I started following these simple tricks.

P.S. Be careful round penning! Don't push your horse to go so fast that he/she slips, or ends up with a foot in the bars.

Good luck!
     

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