How to Train BF??? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-29-2011, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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How to Train BF???

My two yearlings live in the back yard of the house I share with my fiance. I have had horses for years and am very particular and consistent with my girls when it comes to training. They respect my personal space, they back down if I just square my shoulders and step into them.

My fiance, however, is not a horse person. He has no experience with them and treats them the same way he does our cats. Lots of petting, lets them invade his space and rub on him like a scratching post. Well, I stepped out the back door two days ago just in time to see my filly pushing on him with her head and then REAR UP and STRIKE OUT whiled he LAUGHED!!! He thought it was cute and that she was playing with him. *sigh* I'll grant him the playing part, but not in a good way.

He keeps saying that he did not do anything to encourage her to act out that way, that one day she just suddenly started being pushy. How can I explain to him that all you have to do with a horse is to not stop the bad behaviors? I have tried saying it just like that, but quite frankly I am not used to explaining horsey behavior to non-horsey people. I need to make him understand that if he can't be assertive and make her behave that he has to stop messing with her because it will only escalate and it will get someone hurt. Probably me.

Anyone got any ideas how to explain this??
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-29-2011, 12:24 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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My bf was the same way, but he was slightly more timid of horses. He just all of a sudden had a light bulb moment and really listened to me. I think it was when he saw how bat-crap crazy I went on a horse he was trying to catch who reared up on him.

I think one way would be to find a really good, blunt thread on here about someone who lost their horse's respect. Get him to read some horror stories that show where the behavior started.

Or get someone else to explain it. My bf never thought anything to bad could come from certain actions around my horse until someone else called him a moron.
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-29-2011, 12:26 AM
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Location: Danville, IL
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I once took my boyfriend to a local breeding farm. I explained to the owners, who I know personally, how he interacts with the horses dangerously and wanted him to see what horses can really be like.

We went over there when they were collecting from a stud, and needless to say he was plastered to the wall as far away from that horse as possible. They also talked about one stud they had who they never dared approach without a baseball bat to fend him off; he, at one point, picked up a grown man by the shoulder and threw him across the aisle, and was responsible for numerous injuries and one ER visit that I know of. Then we visited the foals; cute and quiet. Then the curious yearlings. Then the older ones, adults. I even showed him videos on Youtube. Once he saw that while horses are cute, but still very dangerous, and with my constant lectures and instruction,

Otherwise, it was pure drilling -- "Horses are like teenagers. Let them get away with something small and it will grow, and keep growing, into something dreadful."

Then there's the boy I work with... The classic 12-year-old superman. Warnings, lectures, seeing what happens. Nothing. He had to learn the hard way by falling off of a horse, his foot getting stuck, and he was then drug behind it; fortunately he escaped injury.

"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative." (H.G. Wells)
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-29-2011, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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I'm glad to know that all men (boys) seem to ignore the warnings of us "women folk." I was starting to get more irritated at the fact that my experience was not enough to convince him that I know what I am talking about.

Maybe I just need to not intervene the next time he does something incredibly stupid? I think at the age they are now, he will escape any permanent harm, but a few bruises, including his ego, might just open his eyes.

They still respect me because I make them toe the line and don't bat an eye at reminding them that they may be bigger, but I can still put them on their rear end. I just don't want them thinking they can get away with this crap with anyone who is not me.
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-29-2011, 01:16 AM
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Fortunately, I've never really had this issue with my boyfriend. Truth be told, he's a little frightened of my mare and he tries to do exactly what I tell him, right down to the letter. If my mare so much as sneezes in his general direction, he backs away thinking she's 'growling' at him. He doesn't believe me when I say horses don't growl.
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-29-2011, 05:50 AM
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I actually gave my bf of 3 years a lesson this week with a big pushy quiet lazy schooly. I'd now happily send him in to catch prin or any other 'safe' horse.

Before this he'd watched me work my bratty youngster who he's heard plenty of horror stories about
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-29-2011, 09:24 AM
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My current boyfriend is very good around horses and I even let him ride my horse unsupervised on days when I can't get to the barn.

Others I have dated are fine -- scared enough to not do anything stupid, though there was the one guy who was so scared I could not even get him to pet her. It took over an hour of coaxing to get him to tentatively touch the horse's neck. I didn't date that guy for very long.

The one ex I never let on her was one of these people who thought of the horses as big dogs and could have done with a little fear. Him I trusted around the horse about as much as I trusted the juvenile delinquents we had at the equine therapy barn I used to work at. For example, once he was in the stall with me as I was grooming and tacking up and he absentmindedly picked up a dressage whip and started flapping and snapping it around. My horse could not give a toss about most human idiocy and didn't react at all, but I still read the boy the riot act over how stupid it was to do something like that in a small space such as a stall. He also had the habit of getting his face smacked by horses, as he would go for quick pat on the forehead when greeting one, as if it was a dog, and the horse of course would jerk its head up in surprise and to see him. Didn't matter how many bloody times I explained why that was a rubbish way of approaching a horse.

Some people are just not trainable.
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-29-2011, 09:32 AM
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I can totally relate! My hubby was a non-horsey guy, he'd never been up close to one until he met me. He had the macho attitude that they were pretty much overgrown dogs and treated them as such. With my old deadheads, they pretty much are and you can baby, treat, hug them and they still behave as they should.

He didn't get his reality check until Woodstock came along. He was an aggressive, dominant mess when I bought him back (any bad behavior you can fathom, he did or tried.) After I'd worked through most of his issues and gained his respect, I had Dan work with him, supervised of course. He quickly learned that I wasn't bs'ing him and that he had to be on his toes and demand respect from him. It took one round of almost getting nailed and he found some respect for horses.

Now he does all of the halter breaking with the babies, rides a few times a week with me and can even handle the stallions during breeding season if I'm not available. It just took time and one good reality check ;)

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-29-2011, 09:51 AM
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Yeah, I suppose that ex would have proven infinitely more trainable if I'd had a scary horse who would show him that they're not dogs and they really are that big and that powerful. With most people, I'm really happy that she is so gentle, respectful, and well-behaved, as I bring friends out to meet her frequently, but you get the odd person where you think, "Sometimes I wish this horse would act out a little more!"
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-29-2011, 03:50 PM
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OK, the guys perspective here. The breeding barn option would work well, if you have that available to you. That's guaranteed to shock just about anyone into being receptive.

However, if you don't have that option available, then you have to speak in guys terms to let him know whats happening. Change the situation into an environment to which he can relate;

Place him, mentally, in a bar, and set the time at about midnight. All the other guys have had a few drinks and closing time is approaching, so they're getting anxious about who their going home with and one guy has his eye on you. He wants you to be HIS date and intends to claim his territory, etc.

You get the picture. He'll wise up quick when you put it in his terms. That horse is bigger, badder, and able to kick your little butt ALL around that barn/stall without so much as breaking a sweat. So, don't turn your back on that horse and don't underestimate the horse's intentions. You man-up/Alpha-up or you kicked to the curb, literally.

That might get his attention. If it doesn't, maybe you need a new man.

"The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the road has gone, and I must follow, if I can." J.R.R. Tolkien
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