My Rotten, Smart Boy: A Story

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My Rotten, Smart Boy: A Story

This is a discussion on My Rotten, Smart Boy: A Story within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    07-03-2008, 06:40 AM
My Rotten, Smart Boy: A Story

Today, I pulled Hoover and stalled him when I was taking lessons. I think it made him angry with me, he does get that way if he sees me on other horses.

When I got him out later to grass, I was fake mounting (jumping by his side and putting pressure with my hands on his back), just fooling around. It's something I usually can do with him out in the field without any tack on and he just stands there. Today he came around on me, threatening to bite. When he continued after discipline, I got one of my instructors daughters to hold his head while we worked him a little with it. Once I was on his back, which I've barebacked before and he's been an angel, he started circling and violently switching his tail like I was hurting him. He had us both convinced his back hurt, so he got out of having to work! He's never pulled the injury game with me before, what a booger!
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    07-03-2008, 07:14 AM
HaHA, I just figured out why he was acting that way. When I get on his back, he thinks we're going somewhere. He was mad at me because I wasn't letting him. Heh. What a rotten boy.
    07-03-2008, 08:20 AM
Be careful doing stuff like the fake mounting when they are free out in the pasture. I did that once with a yearling I used to have. Just goofing started jumping up and down next to her at the water tank. She got scared and cornered me by the tank kicking at me. Then I had to take her out and do a teaching lesson.
    07-06-2008, 09:35 PM
Horses don't lie. They don't 'play injury games'. They only communicate their true feelings the best they know how. It's difficult to learn to read a horse effectively, and it's also difficult, being human, to keep our anthropomorphising(sp??) and judging according to our own assumptions and morals out of the way.

What makes you so certain he wasn't in pain? Sounds like it to me it's the most likely cause, especially if it's out of character for him.

If not pain, then there was something else wrong that you missed. Try to be considerate of his feelings and what he tries to communicate to you. I know it's often easier said than done, but he would have been telling you of his discomfort long before he had to escalate his request for you to quit to a bite, because you were being a 'booger' & not listening to those previous requests.

Even if you read it right, that he was peeved that you didn't allow him to go once you were on board(how does this explain the biting when you tried to mount?), this doesn't make him rotten, just means that you have (inadvertently) trained him to do this - anticipate his being allowed to walk off as soon as he's mounted. It is your responsibility to teach him something different if that's what you want, not call him rotten for it.

Best wishes getting to the bottom of the problem!
    07-07-2008, 12:53 AM
No, horses don't lie in the sense we lie. But they will learn that acting one way will get their owner to react a certain way. Oh, when I swing my head around with my ears back, they stop what they're doing. Or, if I throw a kick, it makes them stop, etc. Have you every had a pet that acted sick after it was well so it would continue getting special treatment? I have. My ferret liked getting warmed up baby food so much, he realized when he ate his kibble, he wasn't getting it anymore. So he stopped eating his kibble so Mom would keep giving him soft food. Refuse one food, get another tastier food. It's not a lie, but it's seeing what they can get away with.

And no, his back wasn't the problem. My instructor checked him over, then legged me up to lay across him. He stood fine for that. Once I sat up into the riding position, he started to go. My instructor stopped him, and he stood fine with me on him while I talked to my instructor for 10 minutes.

Also I didn't teach him (on purpose or inadvertently) to start off when he's tacked. He usually has a waiting period with me before we step off, and I make him stand. I've only had him under a year. Previously, he had a gentleman who treated him as a pet, and before that, the Amish drove him (and also beat him.) I'm assuming one of them taught him to GO when he's tacked...probably the Amish with the buggy.

The biting when I was mounting was probably because I wasn't getting on, I was just bouncing and placing hand pressure on his back. He was trying to get me to go away and stop bothering him so he could grass, like he would any other horse. Also, I say rotten affectionately to him, not as in a bad thing.
    07-07-2008, 02:43 AM
No worries, Hoover Sounds like you know what you're on about. Perhaps I'm just too used to dealing with people who lable and berrate their horses in seriousness and are ignorant about what they're blaming them for too. :roll:

So what you're really trying to tell us is that your horse is a character with his own mind??
    07-07-2008, 03:23 AM
Hehe, yeah. He's spoiled, it's my own fault. He has a quite the personality on him, too. He likes to keep me on my toes.
    07-07-2008, 07:38 AM
Although I subscribe to the theory that horses do no plot or plan, there have been some who make me rethink that idea.

A while ago, a friend and I were saddled up and headed out for a ride. At the end of his farm's driveway, his Abby went lame. My friend got off and put him up in a stall. After our ride (he got another horse) we checked out the App and he seemed fine. This happened again the next day so he called the vet.

The vet could find nothing wrong and watched as the horse went lame at the end of the driveway again. This time he told my friend to push him further and forget the lame part. Miraculously the App was fine and never went lame again. The only thing we could think of is that on the first ride he may have steped on a stone and limped for a few strides causing my friend to dismount and walk him home. He didn't learn to go lame, he figured it out.

Go figure!

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