Need help with a assertive gelding towards me. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-23-2013, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with a assertive gelding towards me.

I have had a bay QH gelding for some time he is about 15yrs old he is assertive towards me he has even kicked me once and today he bit me in the face while I was knelt down putting a blanket on his goat buddy first he was just nosing me then I saw his ears pin back I tried to move and he got me right on the cheek I instantly hit him in the face. He is odd he seems to become quiet anxious, nervous, and even a little fearful around people who don't interact with him regularly like my husband the farrier and the vet but me who's out there with him daily he tries to run over I've had trainers say use a whip teach him who's boss and others who say no never use a whip use treats and build respect well both methods have failed. When I'm in there with him he is constantly worried about his goat and watches for him and makes sure he doesn't get too close to me could he see me as a threat? Another thing is you put someone on his back that he shys away from like my husband he is excellent but with me he tests me I am so confused and need help I'm tired of paying trainers who do not help
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-23-2013, 06:11 PM
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I am sorry to hear your having such a problem. He certainly has your number and does not view you as his herd leader. I would definitely stay away from the treats, he needs to view you as the herd leader. Your horse is most likely fearful and anxious because he does not have a herd leader. He knows he can dominate you and does not see you as his leader who will keep him safe. Consistency is the key, you have to pick a method your going to use and stick with it. You have to be alpha and prove to your horse your worthy of being his leader, and that you have the ability to make him move his feet.

I am going to recommend a book Establishing Respect, by Clinton Anderson, it is easy to understand, Clinton is black and white no confusion in his teaching and methods and will help you gain your horses trust and respect. In the mean time carry a training stick with you at all times around your horse, if he comes into your space threatening you, or uninvited chase him out of your space and make him move. Alpha mare will bite, chase, kick do what needs to be done to move the herd, especially the disrespectful ones. Do not feel bad about whacking him if you have to, alpha mare does not feel bad when she kicks a herd mate. Show him you can make him move, yell, swing the whip, chase him; make him think your going to kill him. Then go back to what you were doing. If comes back in do it again, your going to have to get tough, or your going to get seriously injured. Two eyes are better then two feet, if he turns his butt to you whack him from a safe distance and move his feet. Act like an alpha horse would in the pasture, do not take his crap. He will come to respect you, and his fearfulness will go away when he knows someone is in charge. Good luck to you and be safe.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-23-2013, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you I'm going to buy that book asap and I'll start carrying the whip with me also I appreciate the advice very much!
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-23-2013, 09:09 PM
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For the time being, you cannot trust your horse. This means you don't turn your back to him, don't put yourself within biting or kicking range, and you never allow him to nuzzle you. practice moving your horse away from you, and allowing him to stand calmly, at a distance. For example, if you need to work with the goat, you first have the horse move away from you, make him stop and stand out there ,then work with the goat. Do this work with the horse on a rope Halter With a good long lead line.
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-23-2013, 09:42 PM
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I use a stick that's at least 4' long and swing it side to side about waist height. As you approach the horse, the stick (lunge whip, willow branch) will connect if he doesn't move. Then he'll move away. Go to what you wanted to do but each time he approaches straighten up your shoulders and start swinging that stick and move toward him. Unless he's right dumb, he'll be in a hurry to get away. Keep the stick at waist height, not up in the air and say nothing. Yelling at a horse is nothing it understands except maybe get it's attention. Always enter the area with your stick. Surprisingly the more you make him move away from you the more he will come to respect you. Sometimes, if he's backing away, keep him going and don't stop because he wants to, it's not his choice.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-23-2013, 10:15 PM
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DO NOT trust this horse one inch. NEVER turn your back, never take your eye off him (and whatever you do, do not let any kids near him!). Always be mindful of his body language and where you are in relation to him - you really do have to be on constant alert. If you're feeling a bit distracted, do not interact with him.

Saddlebag is 100% correct. Control the feet and you control the horse. Drive him away, keep driving him away. I use a buggy whip - long enough to keep me at a safe distance, short enough to not be unwieldy. Yelling doesn't work but I hiss like a snake and put myself in a "threatening" stance as well - makes me look like a bit of a loony but it sure does get a horse's attention, especially if (like mine) he's a bit insensitive to even a good crack with the whip. If you're the one that feeds him, make sure he isn't allowed to eat until you let him - drive him away from both you and the feed area, make him go stand in the opposite corner until you have put out the feed and stepped away from it. This will be particularly hairy as he will challenge you but the most important thing is NEVER take a step back. Any ground conceded is a win for him and he will become even worse.

These types of horses are a real battle but it is so satisfying when they become well-mannered and stand when you require it, follow when you want them to, back up when you ask for it and never pull a mean face.

Stay safe, I agree with the Clint Anderson tip and also check out John O'Leary's Horse Problems Australia - this page is of particular use but all the ground manners stuff is helpful (as is plenty of his other stuff).

Oh, and this is one of those horses who you don't hand-feed treats. If you really want to make yourself feel good and reward him for some good work or after a day's hard labour, pop a piece of liquorice or some carrot or apple in his feed at feeding time.
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A crazy girl with a crazy horse
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-23-2013, 10:26 PM
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Referring to a spoiled, disrepectful horse as "assertive" tells us you're being too kind to him.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-24-2013, 12:20 AM
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I had a similar issue with a mare I was working with. I would go to get her in the pasture she would turn and charge at me. I let her get away with it once and that was it. I brought my lunge whip with me next time made her run until she dropped her head and faced me. I dropped the whip she came right to me and rested her head on me haven't had an issue since. So it does work if you stand your ground safely of course. Good luck!
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-24-2013, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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OK so I tried the whip at waist level while cleaning his turnout area and it worked well and he kept his distance but when it came to feeding time I had a fight on my hands I refused to back off and had to push him back several times and he had his ears pinned at me most the time but he did finally back off and leave after about 15 minutes and then I left and let him come over and eat
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-24-2013, 07:46 PM
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That's a win, MissNova! If you can keep him off his feed til you let him, then you are asserting your position as herd leader in this herd of two. You are likely to have a fight on your hands for a while, he won't give up easily, but so long as you don't concede ground and back down you'll eventually cement your position. Brock was worse, when I kept him off his feed, in a 10 x 10 ft stable mind, he spent the first week rearing up and striking out, I was hitting him in the chest and front legs for all I was worth, driving him back. 90% of the time it's bluff, but you can't count on that. I was proper cautious given how aggressive Brock was, and wore both a helmet and a body protector in, to try and minimise any injuries to my head or chest - a real kick in the chest is enough to kill a man, a top racing farrier over here died like that a few years back. But it sounds like your boy hopefully isn't quite that aggressive if he was just gesturing.

Brock (after a lot of battles with me) will give me hugs, doesn't consider biting OR kicking, moves over when I ask and is as mild-mannered with me as you could want. I still don't ever trust him 100% because he does occasionally try and push the boundaries. And I still would never let a kid, nervous person or non-horse person near him without supervision (let alone a dog, he still charges them or kicks them in the head if they come in his paddock) but he's a mile better than what he was at first. He wouldn't even lead an inch past where he wanted to stop back then, and if you tried to make him with a whip then he'd go ballistic - it was the first time I'd ever seen sparks actually fly from hooves, his shoes would be smoking and smelling of hot metal from his very scary tantrums.

A crazy girl with a crazy horse
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