Need help teaching my gelding to let me stand behind him!

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Need help teaching my gelding to let me stand behind him!

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    09-03-2009, 01:47 AM
Question Need help teaching my gelding to let me stand behind him!

Haha, so I know this is a strange request for help BUT when I took my 2 yr old gelding for 30 days of training, the trainer worked with him to respect our space and so with that whenever you get near his rear end he turns his butt opposite of you which is good EXCEPT for when I want to brush or braid his tail, lol. Even if I pull his tail to the side to try and brush it, he will either side step or keep front feet placed but move back feet away from me. I want to begin showing him in Halter just for fun but I can't even brush his tail more than a few seconds without him moving away from me. He was never like this till he got back from the trainer. When I asked her what she did, she just told me that a horse needs to know his/her space which is true to an extent. He lets me mess with his back legs and clean his hooves, he is great for the farrier but if you are 1 ft from his rear he moves it out of the way, it really does get frustrating after a while, especially since I LOVE playing with horse tails for hours on end, lol.

So please someone, tell me how do I solve this problem, oh and food doesn't bribe him either. If he is eating hay or grain, he still moves his butt away from me. *sighs* He is a sweety though and REALLY respects anyones space.
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    09-03-2009, 02:07 AM
That is a really good base to have, too many horses don't have even close to that amount of respect. I would tie him to a wall or fence where there is only 180 degrees of movement that he can do, then go back and start messing with his tail. When he goes to move, just stay with him and keep ahold of his tail. When he stops and stands still for a moment, then drop his tail and go scratch his head for a minute, then go back to his tail and do it again. That should work. Good luck.
    09-03-2009, 02:21 AM
Thanks, that is a really good idea, yah even though he is 2 1/2 yrs, he has an AWESOME temperment. He has never been mouthy, totally respects space even when you are trotting him on lead. Has not spooked at anything yet that he has been exposed to which is (chickens flying over him going crazy, big rigs and vehicles in general, doesn't care when dogs run at him, great around plastic bags and other noisy things, great with gunshots even the loud shotgun) I think as he ages he will be an excellent horse and I also think that as he ages maybe past age 8 and with lots of miles on him he would make a great kids horse for my daughter.

One time, very very scary but I had my patio door locked and my 2 yr old daughter (20 months at the time) somehow unlocked the door while I was cleaning her room I guess. I couldn't find her in the house so I ran outside and found her out in the pasture with Scout, he was nuzzling her hair, but I walked out slowly and found her sitting next to him drawing on his hooves with her chalk. OMG talk about horrified and feeling soooo unresponsible, let's just say now we have no climb fencing so she can't get in AND a high child proof lock on the sliding glass door. I don't know what would have happened if he would have been spooky. *sighs*

But yah, thanks so much for that and I will try it out soon and see how it works. :)
    09-03-2009, 12:42 PM
My husband and I taught Starsky to yield his hindquarters, so he had the same issue. He really likes his butt scratched, so we basically did the same thing that smrobs did, and would scratch his butt if he didn't move.

I swear horses know the difference between adults and children and have a different bond with them. They are more gentle and calm when there is a kid on their back or on the ground, at least with my two. They really are smart animals.
    09-03-2009, 04:26 PM
What a great problem to have, a horse that respects your space. LOL

Along with the above I would also teach him to ground tie. Your horse should know by your body language what your intent is, stand still or move. When teaching them to ground tie you should be able to walk all around them without them moving. You should be able to run at them or run in circles around them and they don't move.

Another thing you can try is working with a loft lead rope and softly swing the end up on his body from every angle. It's a way to show your being friendly and I don't want you to move.

I'm guessing he's not sure about your body language, especially if he just had "move" drilled into him at the trainers.
    09-03-2009, 06:06 PM
To me this sounds like a confidence issue. If the horse is moving when you didn't ask him to, then he is assuming you want him to move and he is afraid to not move. The horse needs to be able to read your INTENTION. It sounds like the disengaging the HQ's was over done.

I wouldn't tie him personally because he needs to be able to drift. The worst thing you can do with an unconfident horse is prevent them from moving. That's when the explosion happens. Walk down his side rubbing him and paying attention to his body language. The moment he tenses, stop. That's his threshold and he's telling you he isn't comfortable with you going any further. Rub and scratch him until he relaxes then RETREAT. If he does move, drift with him, but have his nose tipped toward you SLIGHTLY, and rub the dock of his tail. Rub rub rub and rub some more until he relaxes and stops moving his feet. Then retreat. Approach and retreat is a great way to build confidence.
    09-03-2009, 06:52 PM
Yeah, I would tie him and then say "stand." That's what I did with my mare. And whenever she would move, I would push or slightly slap her butt until she moved into place and then say "stand" or "whoa."
    09-03-2009, 10:31 PM
See that is the thing y'all, he is ground tied, I can walk away for an hour and he will still be there, I can bathe him, saddle him, pet all over him and he is fantastic. Also he is used to the lead rope being rubbed everywhere on him. He knows the command "give" for all 4 hooves and everything.

He has NEVER had this issue with me behind him till he got back from the trainer and they told me they worked with him on that (which in the first place he never had an issue with space) Also he DOES NOT tense ever no matter where I am near him. Even when I place a hand to go to him behind he doesn't tense. I used to brush him all day long before the trainer, so sometimes I wonder if they were rough with him when teaching space issues. Scout is a really really relaxed horse. For instance, he is fine if you just walk straight past him in the aisle way, but if you get within 1-2 feet of his behind, he moves out of your way.

I really don't think it is a confidence issue because he is also like this when you are walking him on lead. If you are leading him and suddenly stop he will stop in his tracks and if he feels he is in your space, he will back up till the right amount of distance and then just look really relaxed. He doesn't tense up when I am near his rear end and he seems relaxed at all times, sometimes even with on foot resting. I seriously think the trainers over did it though. I am going to go mess with him today and work with him on it.

It could be my body language but I don't know, because when I have the brush in my hand and I brush all over him, like I have done in the past, I always work my way from side, rear, then the other side, and now he thinks that I don't want his butt near me or something. I will say whoa Scout and I will grab his tail and start brushing but he will move his butt just enough away from me but let me keep brushing towards the end of the tail. So I can sorta brush, but of course I can't braid in that position.
    09-04-2009, 06:19 PM
It's one thing for a horse to respectfully give you your space, but another thing for the horse to hurry up and get out of your way (whether you asked for it or not) because he's afraid of what will come if he doesn't move.
    09-05-2009, 04:47 PM
That is why I suspect the trainer's (who I REGRETFULLY wish I didn't take him too) must have done something really cruel each time, I am REALLY P'd off about it. I found out they weren't feeding him the correct food, he came back to me very ribby and dull looking. Lots of ppl for some reason referred these trainer's to me for some ungodly reason and I can't figure out why. Everytime I would go and see him, they would tell me how UGLY he was, I mean seriously, that is just RUDE!! I will just have to work on him daily. Let him know that I am not the one that has ever laid a mean hand on him. I love my boy dearly and he is like my own child, lol. But thanks y'all.

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