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Miserable or spoiled?

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        12-23-2012, 09:41 AM
      #11
    Super Moderator
    What do you do when he freaks out at something?
    When you went to put the blanket on him and he jumped what was your reaction?
    When he freaks at a jacket over his door what do you do?

    Your reactions says a lot s to how he continues to behave.

    Had he freaked out when I went to blanket him he would have had the blanket thrown on and off him very wildly until he was so fed up with it he would have been thankful for me to stop. I would also correct the behaviour fairly and firmly. He would know that having a blanket or anything thrown over him was safer than making me 'cross'. Cross comes before angry and very, very angry they know that it is just not worth going there.

    I do not knock them around or beat them up but, silly behaviour gets corrected hard and fast with me becoming exceedingly big, pushy and letting them know I own the air they breathe. Coo cooing them and petting and placating only makes matters worse because by being sympathetic and fussing you are rewarding their bad behaviour.
    Foxtail Ranch likes this.
         
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        12-23-2012, 10:40 AM
      #12
    Showing
    Theo, let's back up and start gaining this horse's respect. Grab your halter and lead and sling it over your left shoulder. You are going to be doing some walking. Go into whatever open area he is in and circle around behind. Don't look at him other than quick glances. Line yourself up straight behind him, well out of kicking range and get him to move using only as much energy as it takes to move him even a few steps. Stand where he was (this is important) for about 10 seconds then circle in behind him again. Make no effort to catch him or hide the halter. Continue to circle and move him until he will watch you with both eyes. One eye means he's looking for the door. He will make it harder for you to get behind him as he will keep turning to watch you. Good. When he will watch you back up four or five steps and see if he will come. Try not to make eye contact but lower your eyes a little. Horses are inclined to follow that which moves away. If he approaches, bend a little and extend your right hand, fingers down and wait until he touches your hand. Back up, turn around and walk away. If he follows you again greet him then turn so he can smell the halter. If he leaves, begin circling again. When he will remain, rub the halter on his neck, cheek and back then walk away for a minute. Then when it's time halter him and remove it and walk away. Walking away removes the pressure. Horses in the herd live within a hierarchy and the higher ranking horse will move one of lesser rank and take the spot where it was eating. This is what you are duplicating. By moving the horse you are showing him that you are higher than he is. This is a time to be very patient and if you begin to feel frustrated walk away and take some deep breaths or stop. Take the time to do this, it could take 20 min or it could take an hour or longer but it is most effective. Repeat the circling exercise each day for two more days. If you do this let us know how it goes. If it doesn't work for you pm me and I'll try to help you.
    Herdof2 likes this.
         
        12-23-2012, 12:59 PM
      #13
    Foal
    I agree with saddlebag it seems to be a respect issue. My mare Tux was in love with the bobcat at the original barn she was at, also the 2nd barn. Her favorite toy was a tarp at the 2nd barn, she seemed to love the noises it made. When I moved her to my trainers barn she decided to test to see if the rules were the same. She walked past the bobcat 4+ times a day and every once in a while she would totally spaz like it was a lion about to eat her. I noticed that when the passive very non-assertive girl walked her it was worse. When I walked her and she did it I gave her a sharp yank on the lead rope said "quit" and kept walking and she calmed down and didn't do it for me again. With the other girl it got worse and worse until she couldn't handle her anymore. It was similar with the tarp as with the bobcat.

    When my horse came back home she decided to try testing with being tied. She tied fine before going to the trainer and while at the trainer but she came home and decided to start pulling back. I let her know that it was still unacceptable and she has quit. It is not uncommon for horses to test your leadership when conditions change, even in the slightest.

    My mare was fine then we got 3 new horses into the barn and pasture and she felt the need to test me. She went from being slightly irritable and moody back to her normal self once she realized that even though there were new horses and the pecking order in the herd changed, that between her and me I was still the leader, and it seemed to reassure her.
         
        12-23-2012, 01:18 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    I just finished reading some more of the posts about tarps and how inaffective they are. My 4 1/2 yo SSH was my first from the ground up horse. She was barely messed with as a 2 yo. I desensitized her to EVERYTHING. Well, I hate to say but it was a serious waste of my time. The biggest waste of my time ever actually. I did what others advisted me to and made the situation much worse. Its not about the tarp or the flapping sheet of metal, or whatever. Its about who they trust and respect. If the leader of the herd says its okay, then they all assume its okay. If the leader runs, they all run. Just get him out and work on basic fundamentals. Leading, giving to pressure, forward movement when asked, move his feet where you want them when you want them. Get him to actually connect with you and watch you. You don't have to stay in an arena or his paddock. Take him for a walk and just ask random things from him.
    Foxhunter likes this.
         
        12-23-2012, 02:55 PM
      #15
    Green Broke
    The person who gave you this horse was described as a "very inexperienced rider" who rode him all over bareback.. but he is afraid of things and basically unbroken. What I am reading from you as the new owner is you don't seem to be a heckuva lot more experienced than the previous owner AND you have your user name as Theo'mommy...' so I have my doubts about your understanding of horses altogether.

    This horse needs to be trained. If you can do it, fine.. but if you have never trained a horse before and are not experienced training horses and reading horses then you need boots on the ground help. You have some good ideas here.. but ultimately no one here is looking at or reading you and the horse.

    I am not going to give you advice about how to train a horse. I will suggest one thing and that has to do with you and your relationship with horses.. ANY horses.

    You are NOT their "mom" or their "friend." A horse is not a child or a dog or a pet. A horse is LIVESTOCK. They are large, gifted with great memory but not a whole lot of brains, and they can and will kill you. This does not mean they are not interesting or awesome to ride and train. This does not mean you cannot have a relationship or that the horse won't greet you.. it simply means the relationship needs to be kept in perspective.

    Let me tell you a story. My Dad grew up when there were still livery stables and you could rent a horse to ride or to drive. He worked in a livery stable as a kid (this was in the mid 1930's) and every day he came to work he used to give this horse, "Jim Dandy" a couple of carrots. Jim Dandy got to the point where he would run to greet my Dad and follow him around like a dog.

    Dad would also ride Jim Dandy and they had a good time.

    Well, one day he was out on Jim Dandy and the horse spooked at something and in the panic to run, he fell and twisted his shoulder. It was a good thing he did because my Dad (who was about 10 years old) had his foot hung up in the stirrup and was hanging from the horse. Jim Dandy was 3 legged lame and kept turning sideways and spooking at my Dad hanging there AND trying to kick him (but being on 3 legs he could not cow kick real well because then he was on 2 legs). IF the horse had not been 3 legged lame he would have run off and it did not matter that my Father talked to the horse or knew the horse.

    Finally someone came along and got my Dad loose.. and once Dad was on the ground Jim was much more calm and was led back to the stable. BTW the horse did recover from the injury.

    My Dad never forgot this and I never forgot this story.

    No matter that this horse acted like a pet.. he was still a horse and would have killed the person he seemed to like more than anyone else in the world.

    So... before you take another step forward with Theo, please get someone with real experience to come and help you with "boots on the ground" and please give up the notion that this horse.. or any horse.. is a "pet."
         
        12-23-2012, 03:15 PM
      #16
    Yearling
    The lady says she is getting a trainer starting next week, why harp on her?

    I consider the horses I work with my "babies" yet I don't let them pull crap on me (when I can do it successfully. Still learning).

    Where in the world did you get the insinuation that she thinks of her horse as a pet? She's actually doing ground work and -trying- to fix her problem. New != stupid. And treating her like she is is offensive, imo.

    We were all new once, and she is actually taking the advice and striving to get help. How is that any worse from a spoiled rider who thinks they know everything asks for advice and shuns everyone out?

    Honestly, I think she's heading in the ride direction. She may be new, but time and experience can correct that.
    Foxtail Ranch and FaydesMom like this.
         
        12-23-2012, 07:26 PM
      #17
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by toosexy4myspotz    
    I just finished reading some more of the posts about tarps and how inaffective they are. My 4 1/2 yo SSH was my first from the ground up horse. She was barely messed with as a 2 yo. I desensitized her to EVERYTHING. Well, I hate to say but it was a serious waste of my time. The biggest waste of my time ever actually. I did what others advisted me to and made the situation much worse. Its not about the tarp or the flapping sheet of metal, or whatever. Its about who they trust and respect. If the leader of the herd says its okay, then they all assume its okay. If the leader runs, they all run. Just get him out and work on basic fundamentals. Leading, giving to pressure, forward movement when asked, move his feet where you want them when you want them. Get him to actually connect with you and watch you. You don't have to stay in an arena or his paddock. Take him for a walk and just ask random things from him.
    I don't agree with not desensitizing.....with doing that the horse learns to trust you as the leader.
    I do agree with walking the horse.....
         
        12-23-2012, 07:50 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    Im not saying don't desensitive Im saying don't waste a bunch of time on it. When the horse stops moving his feet and learns that when he is frightened to stop and trust instead of flee then that's what you want. Not to keep bombarting him with a bunch of crazy stuff. The thing with desensitizing it to teach fight over flight not to get them used to every object out there
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Foxhunter likes this.
         
        12-23-2012, 08:04 PM
      #19
    Yearling
    I prefer the idea of sensitising to your tools. A horse fearful of your tools doesn't get you very far. Once you accomplish that, you can get down to the matter.

    When a horse spooks, move their feet. Moving their feet distracts the mind from perpetuating the fear thought. It reinforces your leadership. You can't possibly desensitize to everything, so why bother?

    Cherie made a wonderful post on how she makes a fearless trail horse. Read that it will help.
         
        12-23-2012, 08:22 PM
      #20
    Trained
    Properly done, desensitizing is NOT making a laundry list of things the horse doesn't care about any more. It is about teaching the horse A) fear does not equal run, and B) if your rider says it is OK, it is OK. A tarp isn't magic. Some horses are afraid of it, so it becomes something that causes fear, so the horse can learn that "A) fear does not equal run, and B) if your rider says it is OK, it is OK". Lots of other things can be used, but it is about building confidence in the horse that the RIDER knows what is scary or not.

    Doing it right, you don't freak the horse out. A freaked out horse isn't learning anything. You use it - the scary thing - to build tension, and let the horse learn that if you are calm, he can be calm too. If you push it too far, so the horse freaks, then all he learns is that his rider likes to torment him, and you've just gone 50 steps backwards. And too many people time the release badly, or push the horse until he blows, and then they don't know why their horse won't trust them.

    There are cases where true desensitization is needed. A few months while loaned to a ranch in Colorado taught Trooper to be terrified of lariats and men in cowboy hats (women in cowboy hats worried him, but not like men did). As in, "break thru the corral panels in panic" terrified. I guess spurring 2" holes into the horse's side will do that. So one of the things he needed was to learn that there was nothing scary about lariats and cowboy hats. I hired a pro to work him 5 days a week, and it took 4 weeks to desensitize him to lariats and cowboy hats. But once he was, he quickly turned into the only horse I've got that I trust completely. Trooper was a ranch horse, and the ranch he was raised on raised him well. 3 months on loan screwed with his mind so much that it took 8 months of rest, followed by 5 weeks of full time training, followed by about 6 months on the "You can do no wrong" program to get him back to where he had been.

    Most horses never need true desensitization. Most benefit from good "desensitization", which would probably be better called "trust building". Maybe then people would understand the object isn't to scare your horse senseless...

    Trooper a few weeks after arriving at our place. You can see the hole itself has healed over, but even now there is a 1-2" spot of lumpy bald flesh where he was spurred. The wither pressure marks are still there too:



    After a lot of work retraining him - kudos to the pro, because I didn't have the skill:

         

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