the line between respect and fear - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-10-2010, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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the line between respect and fear

I need to get more respect with my 2 year old. She is a friendly little horse with a short attention span!

The thing is, is she can be pushy (sometimes she: nibbles, does not stand still, comes into you, etc).

I want respect, but I'm afraid to get fear, as she can be over reactive at times.

I pick my battles and try to work on one thing at a time, but sometimes she switches from one habit to another to another. I've given her a smack when she nips, or she gets a few sharp snaps with the halter if she pushes into me, and thing like that.

She is getting better with the nipping, It has not happened in a while. Everything is happening really slow, some days she's perfect with something, and a few days after she may have trouble/ get pushy...

I think I'm asking is what types of things can I do to show I am the alpha and take a step up without making her fear me. What are some methods of discipline that will get the point across without adding fear?

She's not like this all the time, but she does have times when she tries to take control.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-10-2010, 11:07 PM
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Carry a crop with you when you work with her. She bites, she gets cracked. Continue on as if nothing happened. She pushes you, make her back up really fast about 10 steps and make her think that you are going to eat her alive. Continue on as if nothing happened.

Sometimes you do have to instill fear to get that respect. My mare is like that. She flakes about random things. Say it's windy ad the farrier is doing her feet. She freaks at random, he boots her in the side. Then she gets nervous and refuses to stand still. So I back her up super fast, and she usually behaves.

Treat her as if you are an alpha mare. In order to get that respect, sometimes you have to be mean.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-10-2010, 11:35 PM
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Because my horse is massive, respect was key for me. He can be very sensitive (fearful) so I quickly learned that I couldn't simply correct the bad behavior but go back to ground work to try and prevent it (be the alpha in the relationship so to speak).

The biggest thing I found to help was lead work. For example when he came into my space or didn't stop immediately he was made to back up then stand, and wait for my next instruction. It sounds simple, and it is. And you've probably already done this. I just found that it helped his general attitude. Now he'll match my pace, stops on a dime and doesn't try and run his bulk into me and others. Nor does he try to rub, bite or knock me with his head.

When he's really naughty on rare occasion now, he gets a quick check then I try to diffuse the situation and quickly turn it into a positive by a minute or so of lead work then try working through the problem situation again (trailering). Also I do excersises to bring his head down (calming technique to decrease the adrenaline and increase endorphins).

Small things, but they help me. Patience and repetition is key for me.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-13-2010, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks:) I will try those ideas!
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-13-2010, 09:09 PM
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Maybe try the Downunder horsemanship method... if you like it.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-13-2010, 09:37 PM
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Let us know how it goes:)
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-13-2010, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by writer23 View Post
Because my horse is massive, respect was key for me. He can be very sensitive (fearful) so I quickly learned that I couldn't simply correct the bad behavior but go back to ground work to try and prevent it (be the alpha in the relationship so to speak).

The biggest thing I found to help was lead work. For example when he came into my space or didn't stop immediately he was made to back up then stand, and wait for my next instruction. It sounds simple, and it is. And you've probably already done this. I just found that it helped his general attitude. Now he'll match my pace, stops on a dime and doesn't try and run his bulk into me and others. Nor does he try to rub, bite or knock me with his head.

When he's really naughty on rare occasion now, he gets a quick check then I try to diffuse the situation and quickly turn it into a positive by a minute or so of lead work then try working through the problem situation again (trailering). Also I do excersises to bring his head down (calming technique to decrease the adrenaline and increase endorphins).

Small things, but they help me. Patience and repetition is key for me.
This is excellent advice. In the winter, my barn nearly snows in, and the horses don't get the exercise, physical or mental, that they should when the weather's bad (no shelter in pasture, so it's stable or skinny with pneumonia in a blizzard). I will take 15 minutes to half an hour a day and just practice walking, stopping, and turning calmly and with respect. It honestly does wonders for their attitudes in the barn and outside once the weather does cooperate.

As far as the line between respect and fear goes, you're horse will tell you if he/she's afraid. Usually, truly disrespectful horses need a little "fear", fear as in a knowledge and understanding that if he doesn't do as you ask, there will be consequences. They key is knowing what a disrespectful horse looks like, as opposed to a horse that is acting out of fear or pain. Then there is still the line between disrespectful and outright aggressive, which, IMO, is a problem that needs a pro's intervention.

Personally, I'm big on discipline. These animals outweigh me by 10 times, and I can't afford anarchy . Discipline does not mean a "nasty" handler who reacts out of anger, or horses who live in fear. Discipline means that the horse knows what he absolutely cannot do, and he knows that the handler will be consistent and not confuse him on those points.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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