My horse is SO ANNOYING! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-13-2013, 09:19 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
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How old is he? I am not excusing his behavior, but I can say with my horse, he used to be terrible at standing still, but has improved massively now that he's a mature 8 year old who works on a regular basis as opposed to a green, goofy 5 year old. Time, consistency, mean what you say/do, and some more time and consistency.
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-13-2013, 09:44 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: KS
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You can teach him to stand completely still. Tell him to "whoa" as soon as he moves make him move his feet. You don't necessarily have to lunge him, if he is used to cross ties and you know he will not start trashing around, you can even move his feet right than, just do not let him stop. Do it until he is sick and tired of moving around. Pay attention, when he will look like he is ready to beg you to let him stand still ask for "whoa" again. When he stops moving, praise him like crazy. Than wait; as soon as he moves his feet, do the same thing. make him move around until he is sick of it. Eventually he will get to the point where you could shoot a gun by his foot and he will not move it.
Yanking on a halter is nothing but fighting with a horse, so is smacking him.
Give him a choice. You don't even need to be aggravated. Just calmly do your thing. It will end up being his choice between moving his feet forever, or standing still. Horses always pick the easier way.
Good timing is very, very important. You have to move his feet the second his foot leaves the ground. It may take him few days, or few weeks to learn this. Every horse is different, so there is no way to tell for how long you will have to work on it. If you can stay consistent and patient you will win. ;)
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Last edited by All4Crystal; 10-13-2013 at 09:46 PM.
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-15-2013, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Portland, OR
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Thanks, everyone! For some reason I wasn't getting notifications for this thread.

Ian, do you have any specific exercises you'd recommend working on for improving my ability to move his feet? I've been doing some side passing along walls, lunging with a lot of direction changing and stopping him facing me in between, and flexing his neck without swinging his hind end on the ground (he does it fine under saddle), but I'd love suggestions for more groundwork exercises to work into our routine.

Wallaby, I've heard people suggest "the evil eye" approach, and it makes sense. I'm going to make a point of making myself more intimidating when I'm making demands obviously I would never want him to be afraid of me, but until he learns I'm in charge I think I need to be a little more formidable :p

gssw5, I will try this. I was wondering about doing it after a ride I thought about it but wasn't sure if he'd associate "punishment" (being made to stand) with riding. I know standing isn't a punishment, but right now since he clearly doesn't want to stand I'm guessing he sees it as one.

churumbeque, I think that about horses sometimes, too, and dogs, but I am the least fidgety person I know! I really don't think I give off nervous or high energy that he'd be feeding off. I think he just doesn't think he has to listen to me.

DustBunny, I've heard the crop suggestion, and I think I'm going to try this. I was hesitant about the idea, but I'd rather him start to stay in his space by getting smacked a few times until he learns than nagging him and begging for the rest of my life, since clearly my gentler requests are not being heard ;)

Sharpie, he's 10, and supposedly he was his old family's trusty trail horse, so I think this is about me rather than him, which I guess is the better case? Hehe

Crystal, I will try this! How do you suggest moving him in the cross-ties? Just side to side and front to back for a minute?

"...and may your life be filled with good horses." Buck Brannaman

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post #14 of 14 Old 10-15-2013, 07:09 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Missouri
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You are causing this by patting him and babying him.

I don't let a horse fidget, any more than did my kids.

They can stand stock still all day long when it suits them, so the only reason not doing it now is because you are not demanding it.

I can stop a horse fidgeting by using only a growly throat clearing, from quite a distance too. Or tell one to get on their feet and they will stand still.

I also am not a fan of making horse move when what I want is for it to stand still.

I get after horse when it moves away, and will smack leg if it paws, or acts like it has ants in its pants.

Get after horse, quit the patting and if you are babbler? Quit that too. Keep quiet and use lower tone if talking for a reason.

But you are making this worse by not firmly stopping it.

No reason for a horse to do this except owner allows it.
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