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post #1 of 20 Old 01-21-2011, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Hey! Thanks for viewing! I am a green rider who bought a green horse...OKAY OKAY...I KNOW already....that was a bad idea- but blame my old TRAINER for that one...I have already fallen in love with my Charlie Boy- so its too late to do anything about it...
Now lets move on...
I have since switched barns because my old trainer( who wanted me to buy her a "lesson horse" to trade in for free boarding and lessons for me) was not feeding or caring for my horse properply- fast forward to Charlie has gained 110 pounds in 28 days....( new barn, great care)
Charlie is an OTTB and is 4 years old...I can hear y'all gasping But he is sweet and calm...well, that WAS until today.
Today I have noticed something different in Charlie- something I have never seen before in him...Not only did he bite out at me...he kicked his left foot back when I tried to make him leave the field where the herd was....Now, just FYI...Charlie has never been in a herd or ACCEPTED into a herd before...but HERE...well, he has been accepted and has moved up in rank in the past few weeks...and he has gotten confident! TOO CONFIDENT!!
I have a new trainer now who is great, but she couldnt come the past week because her horse was brutally attacked and in the hospital and coudnt leave her horse( who could bame her) PLUS it has been snowing here for days, so Charlie has had any training in 2 weeks nor been ridden in 4!!!
And now that he LOVES his herd, I dont know what to do with this new behavior!
I hated leaving him today on a bad note- but I have no idea what to do with him. Everytime I tried to show authority to him( by standing beside his forelegs on his left and tapping/smackin-not hard! him with the rope) He would either bite out at me or kick his left leg backwards...I think he knew I was nervous. And he "won".
But I am a smart enough to know when to leave good enough alone...
Any suggestions on what to do tomorrow when I try to get him out of the field tomorrow?
Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-21-2011, 11:19 PM
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I don't want to say be too harsh but if you can get to his halter and have a lead with a chain on it, start with the chain not on him because if he ever had one used before he will know it means no funny stuff. Bring a dressage whip so you can be out of the way of his leg without having to turn and swing a rope.

If that does not work put the chain over his nose(threading it over the halter so its not directly on his skin) and if he tries anything give him a quick tug (don't be too hard its just a more direct assertion) when he gives and puts his head down walks forward reward him by loosening lead(keep walking forward though)

Once you get him in you will probably want to start doing some training exercises on the ground that establish your dominance to try and deter this behavior.

bring treats if you thing that will help. Hope everything goes well tomorrow. be safe

btw he is so beautiful!!
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-21-2011, 11:35 PM
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So, PrinceCharlie, is the main issue that you cannot catch him, cannot lead him or cannot get close to him? How many horses is he pastured with and how big is the pasture?
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-21-2011, 11:41 PM
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the reason I ask those questions is that if the issue is you cannot catch him, then I would use a kind of pressure game with him to be able to catch him. It has been explained by me and by others on some other threads, perhaps if you searched on "can't catch . or trouble catching . . .
But the idea is that you move the horse around every time he does not allow you to approach him. You drive him if he tries to evade you. You drive him to establish dominance and to make running away from you an unpleasant experience. However, this only works, obviously, if the area he is in is small enough that you don't have to walk your hiney off doing it. ANd, if there are a LOT of horses in the herd, this makes it harder.

In general, as you probably have already guessed, now that he is more dominanat and happy in a herd, he sees little signifacance in being with you. And if you try to make him leave his herd, he will try to put you in your place.
So, you will now have to make him put you in your place; but that place will be TOP of the entire herd. This is not difficult in concept, but it takes some guidance from someone who's done it before. Especailly if you are green, and he's scared you with his agressive behaviour already
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-22-2011, 12:17 AM
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Ditch that flat nylon halter for starters...atleast for working with him (you can use that for cross tying, trailer hauling, etc).

Get a good rope halter (one with extra nose knots)...he will find that harder to lean against and a "pop" with your lead will actually mean something to him.

It's hard to say what you should do given the scattered descriptions you've given. But, I would have simply continue to walk foward, rather than stand there "nagging" him with your lead rope. IF he didn't follow, I would have directed my energy at simply getting his hindquarters to move AWAY from me. Standing just behind his shoulder, with his nose tipped slightly toward you (your elbow will block bite attempts, or you can let him "run into it", giving him a surprise he won't expect). Now take your lead, or a crop, and point at his hind, or tell him "over"...he probably won't respond to the light cues, so now start lightly and rythymically tapping his hind quarter, continue to tap harder until he shifts his weight away from you. Then release your cues, and pat him. Redo. And repeat both sides. This is just the beginning of teaching him that you control his feet, and body.

I would get that trainer back out ASAP, and have her help you as much as you can. It will be hard to gain your confidence back, when you really don't have much of a clue as to HOW to gain it back. This horse will need a healthy dose of respect given to him, and needs to learn that YOU control his feet, not the other way around. It will take time, and if you can only make it out to see him 2 times a week, please consider finding a more suitable horse for your needs. This boy needs no less than 4-6 times a week; they don't need to be long sessions...half hour to one hour is fine, BUT you need to be prepared for some tough sessions for a while; right now he has the upper hand, and he probably won't easily 'give it back'.

If you can, find Downunder Horsemanship by Clinton Anderson...this is a wonderful book, and could give you some good ideas on where to start with him, in regaining his respect...

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-22-2011, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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A rope halter- ok! Thanks- I can easily get one of those!

FYI- Charlie usually walks when i walk, stops when i stop.Turns when i turn...When the trainer first met both of us, she mentioned that we had already bonded, joined up... I am guessing today he decided that he would rather stay with the herd than come with me...

She only wanted me do ground work in the beginning of our training.( Before i met her, I had already ridden Charlie, with no serious problems) But she wanted me to get total respect on the ground before i got into the ,which made total sense to me

By the way, I see Charlie once a day, everyday.There is only one day in his entire 10 weeks with me that I didnt see him and it was because of the darn stomach bug! He lives around the corner from my house.

Its not everyday we do lunging( ice/snow issues here) but we do our homework, from the trainer.She comes on Sundays, teaches me some new groundwork and desenitizing things and then during the week, everytime I see Charlie, I work on what I learned... Usually I do all of these things with Charlie: Dropping the head, Neck stretching from side to side, asking him to back up by voice command( which I taught him all by myself- so proud!),stepping on the tarp with both feet not just one, stopping when I stop....And then we go for a long walk,away from the barn and into the woods on the trails.( 10-15 min walk)

This past week,we had some bad weather plus my husband went to London last minute, hence no one to watch the kids so i could go see Charlie for our usual homework this week I only got to see him for hugs while the kids waited in the car( my kids are very young) My husband got back last night and so today was my first day to actually spend some good quality time with Charlie...The woman from the barn actually even called me to tell me how Happy charlie was today, how he galloped ahead of the leader of the herd and led the pack into the front field from the paddock. She was suprised that he did this, because Charlie has always been low on the totem poll. He has been at this barn for 5 weeks now and his status is changing she says...which makes me happy, because at the other place, he was thrown in with a pack of 11 aggressive starving horses and was beaten up daily and was never accepted.
Here the herd only consists of 5 plus Charlie.They are all fed well and dont have aggressive personalities. he is thriving here which makes me so happy!
I am in this for the long haul with him. We are gonna grow together
My trainer should be coming on Sunday, but tomorrow I want to be able to get him out of the field without any issues. I ahve to be honest,I am a teeny discouraged by his behaviour today, he has NEVER acted like this once. he ususally very happy to see me and will always come to me and walk with me, no problem...could a few days with out me doing any homework with him cause this??
Thanks for takin the time to write me, Marcy
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-22-2011, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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I dont have issues catching him...he usually walks right up to me...but now that you mention it, remembering today...he didnt walk up to me! I walked up to him and he turned his head away from me as I tried to put his halter on...but i chalked it up to it being windy, or I raised my hand to fast to put the halter on...?

The field that I am "catching him in is 3 acres!" And the herd is a total of 6 including Charlie...
I have never had a problem leading him...Usually if he doesnt walk when i walk, I can just say, cmon charlie and give a light tug and he will walk...and if he doesnt walk with that, then I can jsut take the lead rope and swing it behind my back, never touching him, and he will walk...I never have to be physical with him...
but today, when i tried to walk forward he planted his feet. Then when i voice command him to walk, nothing.Then when I swung the rope behind my back he but out at me.I was SHOCKED. I told him NO in a authoritative voice and again asked him to walk. Nothing, voice commanded him and started to walk forward, nothing. Then when I swung the rope behind my back and BARELY tapped him with the rope he kicked his back foot backwards. It scared me. He is not an aggressive horse,but I have never felt uncomfortable around my own horse before. I never leave Charlie on a bad note. If we are working on things that scare him, i dont leave until he accompishes it...meaning, the tarp..he was so scared of it at first, but with in 20 mintutes I got him to put his foot on it and I gave him a treat and lots of love and then left satisfied that he ateast put his foot on...then the next time I asked for two adn didnt leave til i got two feet on it...
I didnt want to leave today without taking him out of the field for his walk on the trail...but I had to now choice and it made me feel bad. That maybe he just doesnt repsect me like he once did.
Thanks for taking the time to write
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-22-2011, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Hi! Thank you, I think he is quite pretty myself
He knows what a chain is from racing...I do not bring whips around him becaue he is deathly afraid of them!!!
I think I am gonna get him a rope halter with knots in it...see if that works-momtopride gave me that suggestion...
I really hope this is the worst of bad behavior in him!!!
He has a lesson on Sunday--we are DEFINATELY going to work on this!!!
Thanks for writing to me!!
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-23-2011, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Hey! I am not sure if you guys get a reply that I wrote back to you or not...
But I thought I would let you know how it went with "getting" Charlie out of the field.
The following day I had a friend who is very good with horses come to try to get Charlie out...well wouldnt ya know- at first he tried to stop, then tried to kick his foot back, but she whipped that rope around so fast, he didnt even have time to kick his foot all the way back! He just walked!
So then I took the rope. And sure enough he stopped. And I told him to walk on...he didnt walk.So then I turned and looked at him and said to walk and started to put the rope around my back and my friend said...I see your mistake. You look at him too much. Dont look at him- look where you want to go.
So then i looked forward and asked him to walk. And- he walked.And everytime he stopped- I looked forward and he walked! Miracle! lol.

Fast forward to today.
Today I had my trainer come. Charlie was fine walking out of the field from his friends. He was fine walking away from the barn to the woods. He even let my trainer get on him bareback as we walked into the woods in the snow...BUT THEN, Charlie trotted up the hill with my trainer on and didnt like the feeling of having someone on them bareback and trotting and he bucked her off! ( THATS A FIRST!)
I was like- what now?? SHe was like- I am gonna get back on him. We cant let him think that was okay--so she was about to get back on him and he kept moving away from her...everytime she tried to get on him, she moved away from him...
SO--then she was like, you get on. ( I was like- ARE YOU SERIOUS???) Bareback, snow, middle of huge wide open field.
She said, I am wondeirng if its ME. Personally. He might not want me on him. He might want you.
So, I was like...ok.I will do it.
I asked Charlie to come over to me...he came over. I put pressure on his back to see how he reacted- didnt move. SO then i got on. Stood still. She said- well, now we know. He wanted you on him and thats great!
So, that was the good here is the not so good part...

We walked charlie through the field with me on him, he went slow and easy. But then his atttude changed once we got through the field and into the woods...he was looking all over the place and I was getting a bit nervous. So, I said, I think I am gonna get off- something is telling me to get off. She agreed to go with my gut.
Glad I did. Charlie was very excited and was wanting to go faster and faster into the woods and he was getting a bit hard to handle walking through all that snow! SO we decided we would do a "being patient" excercise with him.
We tried to make him stand in the same spot for one full minute. WELL HE DID NOT LIKE THAT ONE BIT. He started stomping his feet, pawing, kickin out. I was actually scared!
My trainer wasnt the least bit scared- she handled him quite well...he even tried to rear- they were in a match off of who would push who- who was bigger...she wasnt gonne let him win.
It took us 20 mintues straight of the two of them bickering to get him to stand for maybe 45 secs with out havin any rude behavior. Once we did that- we were back on home again- which was him trying to drag me back home. It was a lot of stopping- telling him to calm down, and walking again, then stopping him because he was going to legs and arms HURT!
Anyway- the last part was in the ring where she was going to show me how she free lunges her horses on my horse.
Charlie wasnt having any part of it and tried to jump the fence! He was basically charging at her to get past her to get to his herd. It was very scary.
Well to me it was. She told me that his behavior was NOTHING compared to the other horses she breaks...I cant even imagine what she sees!
Anyway- Charlie got away from us and ran from the ring to the barn( through someones yard!)
But as soon as he got to his horses he stopped and let us "catch" him. We walked him around for a bit then let him in...
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-24-2011, 03:11 AM
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Prince Charlie,
I don't even know where to start! Any trainer that would put an inexperienced horse owner on a horse she is already having trouble with, BAREBACK no less, is nuts!!!!! Just her getting on a horse she doesn't know , bareback, outdoors in snow, she is out of her gourd!
That horse has SOOOOOOOOOO many wholes in his training you shouldn't even be on his back yet, let alone riding him bareback!
It all sounds amusing and like a game of tough guy and seeing if you can make him stand still (never heard of that. That is the biggest bunch of hogwash I have heard of) for a minute, but the truth is one of you may get hurt soon.

YOu could see how your friend handled him on the lead that he needs good leadership and to go back to the basics to fill in all the gaps in his training.
The fact that you are in for the longhaul is admirable and I think you will be a really great owner for him in time. But he needs to learn manners in the safety of a round pen or small paddock, and not all at once. Start small and build on it. This is where some understanding of the concepts of Join UP come in handy. Getting your horse to let go of his mental obsession with the herd and look to you to be something so compelling that he will give you his attention.
He sounds like a powerful horse and such animals can be hard to get to give you their respect, but once he does, he will be formidable! (in a good way)
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4 year old , bad beahvior , green , ottb , young horse

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