I could use some help with my horses ground manners
 
 

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I could use some help with my horses ground manners

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        07-10-2010, 10:21 PM
      #1
    Foal
    I could use some help with my horses ground manners

    So I own an 8 year old Holsteiner mare that I've had for about 2 months. She's come soooo far in her ground manners, she doesn't run people over anymore, and she stands still for mounting which were her two big problems. Now the problem I want to conquer is her manners while tied. Weather its cross ties or straight ties, she constantly moves back and forth, and tries to turn herself around. She's even reared a little bit. Its worse when she's in alone, so I'm guessing its a little herd bound ness? She's turned out alone, so its not any one particular horse she's attached to. She moves more when I bring out the saddle too. Its not only annoying, but dangerous. She'll just barrel right into me if I'm brushing her because she's so intent on moving side to side. I've tried everything I can think of; hitting her when she gets in my space, but that just makes her more mad, leaving her tied so she can work it out, but she just doesnt stop. When she does stand still, I praise her, but it never lasts long. Sorry this is so long! But any suggestions are most welcome :)
         
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        07-10-2010, 11:02 PM
      #2
    Trained
    It can take time to change these behaviors, and 2 months is not long at all considering she has a new owner and perhaps changed homes, too. I would continue to practice leaving her tied, starting with short periods of time and gradually increasing it. When you tie her, do something else (clean a stall or your tack, etc), and ignore any bad behavior. Horse are like children...they learn quickly that being bad often gets them attention.
         
        07-10-2010, 11:22 PM
      #3
    Foal
    My horse Holly was nuts I had had her for 12 years and could not tie her to saddle her up, she would throw her self on the ground never saw any thing like it. She had come off the race track and I think it had to be something to do with that... we loved her so we just worked around it. I simply never tied her up just let the lead rope hit the floor she would just stand let me tack her up. The main thing is give it time see what works, you may just end up having to come up with something that works for both of you... :)
         
        07-11-2010, 12:13 AM
      #4
    FHF
    Foal
    Most tieing issues work themselves out on their own. However the biggest problem and most dangerous as you mentioned is her moving into your space when tied. I have seen this alot and it is an easy fix with a little consistency. However you do have to act like the boss mare. Start tieing her everyday for a week for two hours. The first twenty minutes stand at 45 degree angle from her and when she starts to think ( I mean before she moves but when she thinks about moving) toward you just give her a little love tap on the belly with a 6ft or so quirt. She will probably move toward you anyway and so your next tap should be progressively harder until she moves back the other direction. Relax as soon as she moves the opposite direction. But be ready because she is going to start thinking about moving again really soon. You have to be really consistent and firm. If you accept nothing but good behavior when you are standing near her she will work the other stuff out on her own. Continue this excersize on both sides for a second week. Just as the boss mare would do discipline swiftly and consistently with only as much force as needed. Meaning if she will stop moving into your space with a tap then a tap is all you need. But if she needs more you have to be willing to apply more. If she moves back out of your space then you have used enough pressure. If she continues to come into your space then you are not using enough pressure to make her not want to do it again. Coming into your space is your #1 concern. Stop that immediately. She needs to learn early that it is her job to stay off of you at all cost.
         
        07-11-2010, 03:21 AM
      #5
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FHF    
    Most tieing issues work themselves out on their own. However the biggest problem and most dangerous as you mentioned is her moving into your space when tied. I have seen this alot and it is an easy fix with a little consistency. However you do have to act like the boss mare. Start tieing her everyday for a week for two hours. The first twenty minutes stand at 45 degree angle from her and when she starts to think ( I mean before she moves but when she thinks about moving) toward you just give her a little love tap on the belly with a 6ft or so quirt. She will probably move toward you anyway and so your next tap should be progressively harder until she moves back the other direction. Relax as soon as she moves the opposite direction. But be ready because she is going to start thinking about moving again really soon. You have to be really consistent and firm. If you accept nothing but good behavior when you are standing near her she will work the other stuff out on her own. Continue this excersize on both sides for a second week. Just as the boss mare would do discipline swiftly and consistently with only as much force as needed. Meaning if she will stop moving into your space with a tap then a tap is all you need. But if she needs more you have to be willing to apply more. If she moves back out of your space then you have used enough pressure. If she continues to come into your space then you are not using enough pressure to make her not want to do it again. Coming into your space is your #1 concern. Stop that immediately. She needs to learn early that it is her job to stay off of you at all cost.
    This is exellent advice! Im going to ad that you also need to keep yourself safe, so don't stand against something solid like a wall, make sure you have some room to escape should she try to step on top of you! With that said, don't move YOUR feet unless you HAVE to, be firm as said above and make HER move, by using minimal to excessive force as necessary. Think of it as what horses do in a herd, when one tells another to move, it means now and sometimes all it takes is a "look" or twitch of an ear. If that horse doesnt move, they get a clear kick or bite that doesnt tickle by any means. Don't be afraid to teach her that you mean move now not when she feels like it. Tell her nicely once and then make it happen. I am working with a horse that has/had the same issue, you just have to be consistant and teach her she is never aloud in your space unless invited and stepping into your space will not be tolerated. It sounds like she needs ALOT of tie time. I would be tieing her for a few hours a day and just letting her work it out on her own. They do, just watch her she doesnt get tangled somehow by getting all worked up. Some horses just need the time to realize that standing still is way less energy then being silly! Don't talk to her, don't yell at her as some people do when they paw whinny, etc..just leave her and keep an eye on her. Don't untie her unless she's standing nicely.
         
        07-11-2010, 07:16 AM
      #6
    Foal
    Thanks for all the advice everyone! I guess leaving her tied longer is the answer. But if she's having a good day and is just standing still, should I still make her stay there longer? Because she does have good days and acts like she's been doing it all her life hah.
         
        07-11-2010, 11:24 AM
      #7
    Weanling
    If she's standing quietly relaxing that's fine, its the days she's being silly that she can stand there longer or until she quiets down, although its not going to hurt her to stand there even when she is being good. The key is to untie her when she's quiet as a reward. I've heard of people tieing with a few halters/lead ropes with horses who just consistantly try to get untied or have broke loose somehow once before and leaving them tied for a few hours a day, so if your ever worried she's going to snap a clip or something, you can put another halter and lead rope on her and tie her as well. Just make sure both are tied with a easy release knot in case of a wreck!
         
        07-11-2010, 04:16 PM
      #8
    Foal
    I agree with the advice above. Horses should learn to stand quietly when tied, and that may mean they need to stay tied for several hours a day until they quiet down. I would just make sure you are tying her in a safe place and tying safely. I personally don't like leaving a horse in cross ties for a long time or any unsupervised time. I would not let her off the tie until she has stood quietly for some time. I would work with her off and on while she's tied, and I wouldn't let her off the tie until she's stood quietly and not been pushy with you.

    Also, some horses dislike grooming. I would try really soft brushes for awile and go easy on her to see if that makes any difference in her holding still while you groom.

    As for not standing still for the saddle, if you have access to a round pen here's a method that works well. Have her in a halter and long lead rope and do not tie her. Move her to the middle of the round pen and just throw the end of the rope over your shoulder. Pick up the saddle. If she dances, move her out on that lead rope and ask her to trot a few circles. Stop, move in with the saddle...she moves or tries to avoid you or pushes into you...move her out and make her work a little more. Eventually (even if it takes an hour) she's going to stand quietly while you put a saddle on. Repeat this process a few times and I think she'll improve a lot!
         
        07-11-2010, 08:08 PM
      #9
    FHF
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cobalt    
    i agree with the advice above. Horses should learn to stand quietly when tied, and that may mean they need to stay tied for several hours a day until they quiet down. I would just make sure you are tying her in a safe place and tying safely. I personally don't like leaving a horse in cross ties for a long time or any unsupervised time. I would not let her off the tie until she has stood quietly for some time. I would work with her off and on while she's tied, and I wouldn't let her off the tie until she's stood quietly and not been pushy with you.

    Also, some horses dislike grooming. I would try really soft brushes for awile and go easy on her to see if that makes any difference in her holding still while you groom.

    As for not standing still for the saddle, if you have access to a round pen here's a method that works well. Have her in a halter and long lead rope and do not tie her. Move her to the middle of the round pen and just throw the end of the rope over your shoulder. Pick up the saddle. If she dances, move her out on that lead rope and ask her to trot a few circles. Stop, move in with the saddle...she moves or tries to avoid you or pushes into you...move her out and make her work a little more. Eventually (even if it takes an hour) she's going to stand quietly while you put a saddle on. Repeat this process a few times and I think she'll improve a lot!

    This is good advice!
         
        07-11-2010, 09:05 PM
      #10
    Foal
    Quote:
    As for not standing still for the saddle, if you have access to a round pen here's a method that works well. Have her in a halter and long lead rope and do not tie her. Move her to the middle of the round pen and just throw the end of the rope over your shoulder. Pick up the saddle. If she dances, move her out on that lead rope and ask her to trot a few circles. Stop, move in with the saddle...she moves or tries to avoid you or pushes into you...move her out and make her work a little more. Eventually (even if it takes an hour) she's going to stand quietly while you put a saddle on. Repeat this process a few times and I think she'll improve a lot!

    Thank you so much. I'll try this tomorrow! Her problem is that she's loooves to test people and she's so smart that her old owners just let her do whatever she wanted, so we're trying to work her out of that. Thanks everyone, I'll have to try everyones suggestions

         

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