I picked a fight without meaning to - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Oregon
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I picked a fight without meaning to

I'm going to make this pretty short as it is late but I unitentionally picked a fight with my horse,Gidget this evening. I went to go feed and our horses had plain ol clover grass hay and my mom's have alfalfa...well usually they are rotate piles and fight so feeding is hard..we will be switching over to the alfalfa. Anyways,our horses kept chasing off Greycie,my mom's horse and so I made lots of loud noises and told Gidget to get while waving my arms in the air. Gidget got mad and annoyed and walked off. I move Greycie's food somewhere else so she can eat in peace but Gidget kept coming back to the same spot and I didnt want my horse think she can dominate everyone so I stood my ground and protected those crumbs of alfalfa....she showed her teeth at me cause I wouldn't let her get the food and then she showed them and acted like she was going to chase me down and then all of the sudden turned and kicked in the air to warn me off...big,big no no I did was scream and jog a few steps back as I thought she was actually goign to attack and I didn't have a whip..so naurally I ran as I didn't want to get my face kicked in. Brian than got the whip and went up to her and she charged after him and reared up and looked like she was going to come down on him but she was 7 ft away...it was dark and it seemed a lot closer. Brian whacked her many times with the whip and well she backed down and respected him and she would keep her distance untill I called her but still had a pi**y look on her face. We did some ground work and then put her in the pipe panel stall and fed in there after awhile. We are going to keep her seperatedand do las much groundwork as we can in the cold weather....I cannot trust my horse. I love her and we get along for the most part...but she challenged me and then tried to hurt Brian. I'm not going to put her down or anything like that but what are some good ground work moves to help improve respect. I want my horse to be kind. I have never seen her so angry.

She is in heat I think. It's all swollen down there like it is when she is in season..but there is no excuse for this
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 03:46 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
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She just acted as a dominant horse would act. They don't reason as people do and I think you can still trust your horse, but just be more careful and read her body language, to know her better and to prevent such things in the future. And, as you already mentioned, groundwork to establish your leadership, is essential. Good luck - love your horse, she's a great teacher! :)
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I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 04:00 AM
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Well now you know to carry a whip in when you feed a bunch of horses together. See PintoTess's recent thread about getting kicked again. Same circumstances, fed a group of horses, had no whip, horse turned around and kicked her.

You did the right thing, standing your ground, but screaming and running away has taught Gidget that if she puts pressure on you, you will move. This is not good.

Next time you go in there, carry a long dressage whip or lunge whip, put the food down, and stand directly over it. Don't let any horse come within a few feet of you (kicking distance). If they try to push in, run at the waving the whip until they back off. If Gidget tries to barge at you, run straight towards her, waving the whip at her and yelling. Make her think that you're going to kill her if she doesn't back down. Being in season is no excuse for her to push you around, and if you allow this behaviour to continue, it will escalate into a very dangerous situation.

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

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post #4 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 05:59 AM
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Agreeing with above posters. You put yourself in that situation, Giget responded like you were apart of the herd. Understand that horses don't get that we are not as durable as other horses. When another horse kicks another horse, they just grunt and go back to eat grass, no harm no foul. Horse's do NOT comprehend that kicking a human could equal serious injury.

You can trust Gidget just fine. What you did here was teach her that she can be the dominant one, which is the real danger that came from this. You better get in gear now and be very, very careful not to show anymore leadership holes. I made the same mistake by letting a two year old push me around -ONCE for that matter - and after that he was just a pill. Some horses can deal with this in a more docile way.

If Gidget is in heat, then yeah I would expect her to be a bitch. Selena has gotten to the point where I have a calender for her cycles and I dedicate that time to groundwork and slow schooling, because she becomes the absolute worst little witch I could ever have hoped to meet in my life. Perhaps some mare magic might do her good.

Also, look up Clinton Anderson's "Lunging for respect" videos. I do that a lot when horses are pushy, even the old dead heads still get it sometimes as a refresher.

Think of this as a learning experience. With horses, it's not if they're going to act up...It's just when and how bad. And it's not IF you're going to get hurt, again it's just when and how bad. Now you know, if you are going into the feeding area with a lot of horses to bring a whip. See, you learned something today. I'll tell you a secret....No matter how many of us look like professional, top-of-the-line performers...We've all done several provoking, ridiculous, and sometimes downright stupid mistakes. I myself tend to fall into the "Downright stupid" category

So, end of the 3am novel, take her out tomorrow and establish your boundaries with some groundwork. Has she ever showed any pissy behavior before this?
Kayty and Gidget like this.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Oregon
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Thanks everyone!

I talked to my husband as we sat in the truck when Gidget was first put in the pipe stall. I was thinking about it and I was the stupid one(thinking I was smart) because Gidget was backing down to me and well apparently she wasn't going take any crap from me anymore and I did the wrong thing and ran a few feet away. That was fear in me*slaps face* I will have to be more careful and wont do that again. I am not pissed at her anymore but just need to get this respect thing down. Gidget has been known to be aggressive at points in her life with me..first day I put her out in the pasture when I got her she chased me and showed her bare teeth.....she has down that twice..last time I chased her around with a whip and she got the point. Also when she was out eating I went to get her and she kicked me in the leg cause I wasn't "leaving" her alone...so yes she can be a mean horse. I do have her on mare magic since last month and it has been helping A LOT...Yesterday I forgot to give it to her but didn't want to give her her grain afterwards as she would have thought of it as a treat. I just fed her some hay and filled her water bucket up. I am going out and taking her to the arena today and working with her.
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 03:57 PM
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I suggest talking things over in detail with someone to see if there are little things you are doing that are giving her the idea it is OK to proceed to a big thing. Yes, when feeding multiple horses, carrying a long whip can be good. I'm lucky - our ground is so rocky that there is always something within reach that I can throw.

And once you reach a big thing, you may have to do some big things to reverse the course. But also look at the small things - invading space, head tossing, moving while tacking up, etc. Look at your body language going in to feed. Do you move like a horse? Bad. Do you move like a wolf? Better - for feeding time, not for catching time.

If I want to catch a horse, I avoid eye contact. But at feeding time, I stare into their eyes. I open mine extra wide, bring my body posture more erect, and move more like I want to jump on their head, tear it off and feast on their blood.

Oh...and don't forget your chili next time:

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"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 04:02 PM
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A length of Elkathene pipe is a great item to carry at feeding time - makes a great noise if you swing it aroud and makes a good thwunk noise if used to make contact.

I keep it at the gate at feeding time and if youngster start getting too close whirl it around a few times. They have great respect for it.
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Location: Oregon
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Maybe I can write a trainer and meet with them. It's not an everyday occurance but still don't want it to happen at all.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 04:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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Just want to add...don't get too discouraged. Mia & I have been together for 4 years. I stopped riding her in March. As of last week, after 8 weeks of work, the trainer I hired still hasn't felt right about getting on her back - says Mia was never close to being broken right, and there are too many things that still confuse her, in spite of the fact that I rode her for 3 years...and 95% of the rides went OK. It was the other 5% that still hurt my back!

You try. You learn. You take 10 steps back, and struggle to take 20 forward to get to where you were before.

Personally, I'm hoping that somewhere along the way I'm learning & Mia is learning and someday we'll kind of meet in the middle. We're not there yet.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-28-2011, 04:26 PM
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as for backing up, when you think your life is in danger, anyone will back up and rightly so. It's with work that you'll be better able to tell that your life is or is not in real danger. But, it's instinctual to back up, so no shame there.

I would practice driving her off her food from time to time. with a good strong dressage or driving whip.
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