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How to make the horse willing and why do people react as if the horse just hate them?

This is a discussion on How to make the horse willing and why do people react as if the horse just hate them? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • My filly hates spurs
  • Ways to make my horse more willing

 
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    08-25-2009, 10:10 PM
  #11
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marecare    
Horses can have troubles too, and sometimes those troubles are the people handling them.

What we do when we're having owner issues while trying to get a horse on the trailer is ask the owner to go and get a broom..... Honestly once there gone horsey almost always steps on the trailer for transport.
     
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    08-25-2009, 10:17 PM
  #12
Banned
I've never owned a horse that is barn sour. Never had one that wasn't totally relaxed riding alone or in a group. Was not, courages, traffic wise, timid or refused to move out on new trails.
I am a strong rider and my horses reflect this strength.
I have worked barn sour horses, runaways, horses that couldn't ride alone, horses that wouldn't take leads
and they all belonged to weak riders, wimps, people that would rather sell the horse then do anything to force the horse.
A strong leader makes a strong confident horse. Timid riders make timid horses.
     
    08-25-2009, 10:18 PM
  #13
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by G and K's Mom    
What we do when we're having owner issues while trying to get a horse on the trailer is ask the owner to go and get a broom..... Honestly once there gone horsey almost always steps on the trailer for transport.
Omigod, that's hilarious! I think it's okay for owners to step back for a minute and let someone else try. Owners are too emotionally involved. When I had issues with my mare loading after a horse show, I was flabbergasted that she wouldn't load because my mare has never given me that much trouble EVER. Plus, we were right in front so everyone was standing around watching classes and waiting for their class so I was embarrassed that they all saw our moment. Everything probably would have gone smoother if I found a stranger to load her.
     
    08-25-2009, 10:40 PM
  #14
Trained
Some horses really want to please the people around them while others don't care as much about their human companions. My two are completely opposite.

The hypothetical situation is I want my horses to walk through a mud puddle.

Ricci loves to please me, she wants to make me happy, I can tell whenever we are together that she is trying to make me happy. That makes working with her so much easier, because she already has that mindset. So we come to the mud puddle. Ricci hesitates, "Why should we walk through the mud puddle? It looks deep and dark and wet and scary, there's probably monsters in the water." I give her a nudge that says, "There isn't any monsters, I want to walk through the puddle." And she'll go. Because I asked her to. Her reward is my happiness. Seriously.

Gracie, on the other hand, couldn't care less what I want. She loves me, she loves to cuddle and be rubbed on. But when we come up to this mud puddle, and I ask her to walk through it, she'll question my judgment. "Why should we walk THROUGH the mud puddle when there is a perfectly good path AROUND the mud puddle?" Gracie doesn't care that I want to walk through it, she isn't afraid of it, she simply doesn't see why she should have to do it. Gracie requires a lot more work, more persuasion and sweet talk, a firmer hand that says, "don't fight me, you'll lose." At least I need to make her believe she'll lose. She very much fights for dominance in our relationship, and I'm constantly working to prove mine. She needs that firmer hand and a good solid whack every once in awhile to show who's boss. So back to the mud puddle, she'll refuse because she doesn't want to, and I have to turn things around like WE are tackling this puddle together, that I'm not forcing her, but WE'RE going through the puddle. It's quite the challenge, and really hard to describe since you don't know my filly. I tried though. =]
     
    08-25-2009, 10:44 PM
  #15
Super Moderator
I believe some horses just aren't made to do certain things...

I have a mare that was trained by a guy that trains world champions. She came from a high class barn and has THOUSANDS of dollars in her for training. She does it all, she's got the conformation, the looks, the movement... She won't show. The original owner turned her into a broodmare because she put 2 trainers on the ground and broke bones doing it. They decided they had spent just too much money on her. After they had four babies out of her, they took her to auction. My trainer picked her up not knowing much about her, other then the way she moved and the breeder on her papers. I bought her a few months later. (actually my mom did). My mom is a VERY beginner rider. Beauty plugs around for her all day long, ears up, nose out... happy as a lark. Put someone that knows what they are doing on her and she is tail swishy, ear pinny and just plain witchy. She hates to set her head and ride. She does NOT enjoy it.

She is the best beginner horse in the world. Very safe, very reliable. I saw one of her babies for sale on dreamhorse and e-mailed the seller, who turned out to be the original owner, that's how I got the background on her and found out about all the training efforts. She has SO many buttons. Won't show though, rides around like an arab. She hates it.

So in my opinion, you have a couple choices, you can take a horse like that and you can break their spirit so they ride like a machine, or you change your tactics and find something they enjoy.... She enjoys babysitting the beginners...

I believe horses are like people, some people play baseball... some people coach... some people like to play soccer, some like to take long strolls in the country... You have to find out who your horse is... OR you make them who you want to be... I prefer to find out who my horse is....and sometimes help guide them into what I want them to be along the way....
     
    08-25-2009, 10:54 PM
  #16
Trained
Great post, farmpony! I can't believe I didn't mention that! I'm all about doing what my horses enjoy. I've tried all sorts of activities with my older mare to see what she likes. She hates to get yanked around sharp corners, so gaming is out. She's really too spunky to do WP comfortably. She is taking to our dressage work wonderfully. But she LOVES trail rides, so I make sure that at least one ride a week is a relaxed ride down the trails, galloping when we feel like it for however long she'll go. It's fun to make her happy. =] She really likes to jump to, I just don't have much a set up for it, just the logs across the trails.

I've thought about what I'm going to do with Gracie when I start her. I don't think prancing around the arena will be enough for her. I think she needs more stimulation than a mere inanimate object, so I'm contemplating putting her on cows, because they will think back. I have a long way before I have to deal with it, but it's always something I think about.
     
    08-26-2009, 12:52 PM
  #17
Started
It's wonderful that you are thinking so deeply about this and asking questions Zab. I commend you for that. Some people never think about this, and some people just don't want to because they don't care.

Horses never do something for no reason at all. Nothing means nothing, everything means something. If a horse spooks, he's not doing it to get out of work. He's doing it because he's scared IN EVERY CASE. Spooking is a fear response.

Any "negative" feedback we get from our horse (be it biting, kicking, rearing, bolting, herd sourness, not going forward, etc) shows us several things: 1) how our relationship with the horse isn't as strong as we might have thought, 2) that our foundation needs work (but this is a gift!), 3) that we have actually not been acting like our horse's perfect partner or leader.

Lets look at the unconfident horse first, the one who is herd sour. The horse views the barn/herd as the place of SAFETY. Horses want 4 things, safety, comfort, play, then food. If the horse doesn't feel safe, he isn't going to be comfortable and he certainly won't be worrying about playing and food. So it's our job to prove to the horse that WE are the place of safety, that he can trust us no matter what. But how do you do that? You DON'T do it by working the crap out of them when they act herd sour. That is just force IMO. The horse is only acting like a perfect horse (a prey animal) so he should not be punished for acting like what he is. You have to understand his mind set and really put yourself in his shoes. He's unconfident and scared to leave, so you work with approach and retreat of his thresholds and never ever push him over those thresholds. If you take the time it takes, your horse will start to view you as a worthy leader because you understand WHY he is acting herd sour and he will feel more confident in you because you aren't pushing him over his thresholds. A good leader isn't someone who forces and makes and has a predatory mind set.

Now lets look at the horse who is confident, lazy and sometimes argumentative. This horse is not scared. He isn't looking for a leader. He probably thinks people are useless and could care less about them. IMO this is the more difficult horse to work with because this is a matter of getting the horse to WANT to be with you, to see you as someone worth "talking" to and playing with, and more than that, to WANT to put his heart into things for us. So how do you do that with a horse who doesn't care about people? Undemanding time is the first thing. Don't always work this horse, take him out to graze, spend time scratching his itchy spots, get to know him. People often think that just allowing your horse to graze isn't DOING something in the sense of training.....but it IS doing something, it's making your relationship and rapport with the horse stronger. If you always want something from your horse (specifically this horse) and never give anything back, it won't take long for him to get a bad attitude about you. You just take and take and take and never give anything back in return. And people wonder why some horses are hard to catch, hmmmm. Anyway, the next thing to do with this kind of horse is give him MOTIVATION, INCENTIVE and a REASON for doing something. If you just go around in circles in an arena, that is BORING to this kind of horse. This kind of horse needs VARIETY, not so much consistancy. Motivation and incentive comes in the form of food, sctratches and rest. Using food as a motivator IS NOT BRIBING. There is a HUGE difference between bribing a horse to do something and using food strategically to get the horse motivated. These horses don't want to go forward because they see no point in it, and if the rider treis to force the body (in the form of whips, spurs, smacking, kicking, etc) the horse will shut down even more, put less effort into things and in some cases just stop and refuse to move altogether. I've seen some horses lay down on their riders. You CAN NOT force the body and get results. You MUST get into his mind and motivate him, otherwise the rider will be working harder than the horse, or the rider will just keep using spurs and whips and forcing the horse. Riding shouldn't be that hard! Lol. If the horse won't go forward it's because the rider hasn't put enough emphasis on this horse's needs to feel a REASON for doing something. Point-to-point exercises using grazing spots is a wonderful way to get a horse more forward and positive in their attitude. Trail riding, riding on a loose rein, Freestyle riding (working toward TRUE bridleless riding), variety, straight lines vs. circles.....all these things can help a "lazy" horse (who isn't truly lazy, he's just unmotivated) become more forward and positive and to WANT to do things for the rider.

Here is a list (a long list lol) of what I think a true leader is for the horse, someone who is/has/gives/puts emphasis on:

Safety, confidence, having a plan, knowledge, security, clear, fun, incentive, consistant, direction, fearless, motivated, resourceful, imaginative, focused, mentally athletic, solutionary, persistant, empowering, apologetic, provocative, brave, courageous, predictably unpredictable, predictable, caring, guidance, understanding, dependable, empathetic, calm, adaptable, flexible, patient, trusting, respecting, goal oriented (this can also be a bad thing), and supportive.
     
    08-26-2009, 01:10 PM
  #18
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
Now lets look at the horse who is confident, lazy and sometimes argumentative. This horse is not scared. He isn't looking for a leader. He probably thinks people are useless and could care less about them. IMO this is the more difficult horse to work with because this is a matter of getting the horse to WANT to be with you, to see you as someone worth "talking" to and playing with, and more than that, to WANT to put his heart into things for us. So how do you do that with a horse who doesn't care about people? Undemanding time is the first thing. Don't always work this horse, take him out to graze, spend time scratching his itchy spots, get to know him. People often think that just allowing your horse to graze isn't DOING something in the sense of training.....but it IS doing something, it's making your relationship and rapport with the horse stronger. If you always want something from your horse (specifically this horse) and never give anything back, it won't take long for him to get a bad attitude about you. You just take and take and take and never give anything back in return. And people wonder why some horses are hard to catch, hmmmm. Anyway, the next thing to do with this kind of horse is give him MOTIVATION, INCENTIVE and a REASON for doing something. If you just go around in circles in an arena, that is BORING to this kind of horse. This kind of horse needs VARIETY, not so much consistancy. Motivation and incentive comes in the form of food, sctratches and rest. Using food as a motivator IS NOT BRIBING. There is a HUGE difference between bribing a horse to do something and using food strategically to get the horse motivated. These horses don't want to go forward because they see no point in it, and if the rider treis to force the body (in the form of whips, spurs, smacking, kicking, etc) the horse will shut down even more, put less effort into things and in some cases just stop and refuse to move altogether. I've seen some horses lay down on their riders. You CAN NOT force the body and get results. You MUST get into his mind and motivate him, otherwise the rider will be working harder than the horse, or the rider will just keep using spurs and whips and forcing the horse. Riding shouldn't be that hard! Lol. If the horse won't go forward it's because the rider hasn't put enough emphasis on this horse's needs to feel a REASON for doing something. Point-to-point exercises using grazing spots is a wonderful way to get a horse more forward and positive in their attitude. Trail riding, riding on a loose rein, Freestyle riding (working toward TRUE bridleless riding), variety, straight lines vs. circles.....all these things can help a "lazy" horse (who isn't truly lazy, he's just unmotivated) become more forward and positive and to WANT to do things for the rider.
This is what I have. He's 6 years old and I'm not sure of the methods used to train him. I suspect a lot of it was the old "cowboy" way. I couldn't seem to get through to him what I wanted. I backed off and started doing some of the stuff in Gawani Pony Boy's book. I just hung out with him sometimes. It really seemed to help our relationship and now Toby will come to me when I call to him. In the round pen, he will hang around with me and follow me. If something spooks him in the nearby woods, he will come to me for reassurance.
     
    08-26-2009, 03:45 PM
  #19
Zab
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiosDad    
I've never owned a horse that is barn sour. Never had one that wasn't totally relaxed riding alone or in a group. Was not, courages, traffic wise, timid or refused to move out on new trails.
I am a strong rider and my horses reflect this strength.
I have worked barn sour horses, runaways, horses that couldn't ride alone, horses that wouldn't take leads
and they all belonged to weak riders, wimps, people that would rather sell the horse then do anything to force the horse.
A strong leader makes a strong confident horse. Timid riders make timid horses.
I didn't say it doesn't work to force them. I asked why we must force them and if it isn't better to make them want to cooperate without force.
A strong leader isn't necessary one that beats the horse to obedience, a strong leader shos the way, say what he or she wants and expects to be obeyed. A strong leader can also ask the horse what the horse wants and change his mind without ''loosing face'', or decide not to change his mind and still have the horses respect to do what it's asked.

Who'd you respect more? A boss that listens to you but at the ends is the one to decide what to do, or show you if you're not confident in your task. Or a boss that beats you up if you don't do exactly what he say without question. I'd have a rich experience and trust for the first one (if he knows what he's talking about) and respect him. I'd propbably obey the second one too but I wouldn't enjoy it or trust him. And horses arn't that different from us, we're both herd animals that wants to lead or be led by good leaders.

A weak, timid leader doesn't ask for anything firmly and isn't consistent when they ask. You sence they're nervous and personally.. I can't stand that, I just get all annoyed and unwilling by such people if they ask me for stuff. I can't imagine horses feeling better about them.
     
    08-26-2009, 03:51 PM
  #20
Zab
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
I
Now lets look at the horse who is confident, lazy and sometimes argumentative. This horse is not scared. He isn't looking for a leader. He probably thinks people are useless and could care less about them. IMO this is the more difficult horse to work with because this is a matter of getting the horse to WANT to be with you, to see you as someone worth "talking" to and playing with, and more than that, to WANT to put his heart into things for us. So how do you do that with a horse who doesn't care about people? Undemanding time is the first thing. Don't always work this horse, take him out to graze, spend time scratching his itchy spots, get to know him. People often think that just allowing your horse to graze isn't DOING something in the sense of training.....but it IS doing something, it's making your relationship and rapport with the horse stronger. If you always want something from your horse (specifically this horse) and never give anything back, it won't take long for him to get a bad attitude about you. You just take and take and take and never give anything back in return. And people wonder why some horses are hard to catch, hmmmm. Anyway, the next thing to do with this kind of horse is give him MOTIVATION, INCENTIVE and a REASON for doing something. If you just go around in circles in an arena, that is BORING to this kind of horse. This kind of horse needs VARIETY, not so much consistancy. Motivation and incentive comes in the form of food, sctratches and rest. Using food as a motivator IS NOT BRIBING. There is a HUGE difference between bribing a horse to do something and using food strategically to get the horse motivated. These horses don't want to go forward because they see no point in it, and if the rider treis to force the body (in the form of whips, spurs, smacking, kicking, etc) the horse will shut down even more, put less effort into things and in some cases just stop and refuse to move altogether. I've seen some horses lay down on their riders. You CAN NOT force the body and get results. You MUST get into his mind and motivate him, otherwise the rider will be working harder than the horse, or the rider will just keep using spurs and whips and forcing the horse. Riding shouldn't be that hard! Lol. If the horse won't go forward it's because the rider hasn't put enough emphasis on this horse's needs to feel a REASON for doing something. Point-to-point exercises using grazing spots is a wonderful way to get a horse more forward and positive in their attitude. Trail riding, riding on a loose rein, Freestyle riding (working toward TRUE bridleless riding), variety, straight lines vs. circles.....all these things can help a "lazy" horse (who isn't truly lazy, he's just unmotivated) become more forward and positive and to WANT to do things for the rider.
This is the ones I was thinking of when I wrote this. :) I think most people unerstand a nervous or scared horse to one point, the problem is the lazy horses that just don't want to. And I agree that these are by far the most difficult ones.. at least if you don't just force them through it.
     

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