Liberty is afraid - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 19 Old 07-29-2012, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah View Post
She thought that he could be in pain and only showing me because I'm his "mom".
This is a completely irrational way of thinking when it comes to horses. Horses are not humans, nor should they be given human emotions. This person is humanizing the horse and thinking as we would, not as a horse would.

Your horse does not respect you. Its that simple.

He behaves well for other riders because he can't get away with crap. He behaves badly with you, because he can get away with it. Don't baby him. Don't humanize him. You are the herd leader. You are the boss. You must asert yourself in a boss like manner. If he kicks at you, you kick at him back. (Or whip him) if he bites you, you b*tch slap him. If he bucks, you make him work his tail off.

My moms horse acts in a similar way. Every spring my mom gets on him, and he's a pain in the butt. Difficult to handle, only wants to go. Is strong through the bridle. I get on him, and he's completely respectful of what I ask. If I say jump, he says how high. I don't deal with nonsense. While my mother is more softhearted. im firm and my horses know it. I am the herd leader, and my horses know it.

Another horse I have, my lease mare, will nip at my mom if she turns her back on her. Not teeth nipping, lipping is more like it. But nontheless, its a indication of disrespect. She's never put her lips on me before. She respects me and sees me above her in the pecking order.

Your horse is not afraid of anything. He knows he can pull crap and get away with it with you.
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-29-2012, 11:07 PM
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I haven't read many of these replies, but it sounds like your horse is challenging your authority.
I'm still getting leadership points with NASDAQ, she's such a brat to me! With any other horse or person she's like a gentle old mare, but when she's with me she kicks at me, takes off at a full gallop without a single movement from me, and generally acts like a sugar-pumped 3 year old. I can't blame her though....she's still growing and she's got some learning to do.
When I had Wilma, my old Paint mare, she was soooo bad with me...
Things I just saw as carelessness turned out to be disrespect.
She would try to crush me whenever we walked through a gate.
She would completely ignore every cue I made when I rode her.
If she did pay attention, I would have to hold the rein (I rode with a roe halter and a lead rope) with a LOT of muscle in the same spot, very firmly, for about 5 minutes before she even stepped in the direction I wanted her to go in.
Then I couldn't get her to move.
Once I figured out how to get her to move, once I was in the saddle I couldn't stop her from running.
I could not pick up her hind feet very easily....a sign of dominance.
She absolutely flat-out refused to yield her head away when I drove zone 1 away...she would either go backward or deliberately step on my feet.


Your horse is acting out because he's used to being in charge. He likes to push others around, and now that you're challenging his authority, he's retaliating by acting out.
Good luck with your boy!
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post #13 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
I think that is very possible, but without even knowing what the OP does, I don't get how you'd come to the conclusion that he's not afraid & it's 'just attitude' from so little info??
Call it a hunch. I've been told that I have a good understanding of how horses think and behave. It's something that comes natural to me. But like I said, I think that's whats happening.

"Liberty has always sort of been a "brat". He's always had a bad attitude, bucked, and napped on me whenever possible. However, he is always as sweet as can be on the ground."

Since he behaves that way with just her and is fine with others, that doesn't sound like a fearful or afraid horse. At least with the horses that I've dealt with, they usually aren't afraid of just one person. Could it be possible? Yup. They can be afraid of one gender and not the other too. Same with one hair color vs another. I've seen that with one of our horses. At one barn we were at, the BM was mean to one of our horses. He must have acted up because she would leave the grain cart just outside his stall after feeding the other horses. My wife was working there and was feeding our horses when she got to work. I think the BM would feed and let the other horses out before my wife could get there just to be mean. All of a sudden our horse would run to the back of the stall when my wife would go by. This happened right after my wife lightened her hair color that was close to the same as the BM. As soon as she darkened her hair, he stopped acting weird for her. We moved them right after that.

So yes he could be afraid but I feel a horse that is afraid would act different than one giving attitude. She's also had him for quite a while. Unless she is doing something consistently over those years to keep him fearful, his fear would deminish over time. Fear would also cause other problems such as not wanting to be caught.
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-01-2012, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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So... I've ridden Liberty 3 times since viewing these suggestions and started out very simple with lots of circles. He is doing so much better. I decided to try the "voice" suggestion and didn't talk through all three of these lessons except when I was on the ground. He responded much more willingly and happily.
I do however still believe some of it was fear based. He was doing what's called "napping" where he suddenly just stops and refuses to move no matter what the cost. He would also seem to get frustrated with me as if he was telling me he was unsure of himself and I wasn't listening.

We are doing much better now with these suggestions and hopefully will continue to do so. Thanks everyone again for everything! I know just three lessons is not really much of a tell to see if the problem has been fixed but it's a good start :)

because no one will ever understand your love for that "horse smell" or the peace it brings your soul... breathe deep
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-01-2012, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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"Your horse does not respect you. Its that simple.

He behaves well for other riders because he can't get away with crap. He behaves badly with you, because he can get away with it. Don't baby him. Don't humanize him. You are the herd leader. You are the boss. You must asert yourself in a boss like manner. If he kicks at you, you kick at him back. (Or whip him) if he bites you, you b*tch slap him. If he bucks, you make him work his tail off."

I'm sorry but this is ridiculous. The other people that ride him are male, heavier, and do not do more than trot. He doesn't act out for them because they are beginners and do not ask much of him. I bet if they were to ask him to do the things I was asking he would pull the same stuff. Please do not assume that my horse needs a beating or that I baby him or that I do not understand how to "assert" myself when I've been doing this and making a living at it. And NOT all of us like to smack our horses around when something goes wrong. That doesn't always solve the problem
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because no one will ever understand your love for that "horse smell" or the peace it brings your soul... breathe deep
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post #16 of 19 Old 08-01-2012, 09:31 PM
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^^ I was a little amused by the "If he kicks at you, you kick at him back. (Or whip him) if he bites you, you b*tch slap him.", imagining a kid throwing a temper tantrum! Must admit not the sort of approach I find terribly helpful though.

I don't think there's much 'simple' about respect actually, but it's such an ambiguous term & to me it means a lot more than just obedience, or making your horse 'behave'.
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post #17 of 19 Old 08-01-2012, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
^^ I was a little amused by the "If he kicks at you, you kick at him back.
So what do you do when a horse kicks at you? Does you react to a miss the same as a kick that makes contact?
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post #18 of 19 Old 08-01-2012, 10:54 PM
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Ground work. Make him work for you, and then when he gets that, make him work with you. Don't get on him till then. That is all I have to say.
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post #19 of 19 Old 08-01-2012, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian View Post
So what do you do when a horse kicks at you? Does you react to a miss the same as a kick that makes contact?
As I've said before, I prefer to avoid punishment *where possible* and I'd have to say it depends on the details of the situation as how I'd respond. But *if* I felt it was warranted(I feel dangerous behaviour such as this needs strong consequence, I don't think that means always. Eg I don't believe punishing a fear reaction is best) and *if* I could do it at the time of the behaviour or at worst, *within* a second or so, at best when the horse is thinking about it, *before* he actually kicks, then I'd use a whip/stick/rope or whatever I have at hand to give them a good, quick serve. Yes, I generally treat 'near misses' the same as 'connectors'.

I would not advise someone kick a horse back, because a)it's too slow, b)you're likely to miss - horse's reactions are quicker & mine at least have also been trained to yield well, so they'd see my bodylanguage & before I could kick them in the shin they'd be gone) and c) not least because it puts you right in line to cop worse, should the horse decide. And as for 'bitch slapping'... not even sure what that is, but it just doesn't sound very grown up

Oh & I'm no saint btw, I have had the odd temper tantrum with a horse & have kicked out before, but I wouldn't say it's a good training technique.
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