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post #11 of 21 Old 09-15-2009, 01:35 AM
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Yes, you are going to have to start over with his respect training. First of all, find a good trainer who has experience dealing with aggressive horses. You need to stop feeding him carrots. If he rears and strikes at you, he needs to know that this is NOT allowed. Yell no, puff up your shoulders, put the whip between you and him. If it is in hand, you can give him a yank on the halter or a tap on the chest and make him back up. This is not a time you should be concerned with whether he loves you, this is a time where he MUST understand that you are the boss. Don't let him learn that throwing a hissy fit will make you go away and stop asking him to work. Does he get daily turn out? If he ran off some energy before you have to do lunge work with him it would help. Also, 2 1/2 years old is a little young to be doing consistent saddle work so you need to start with the ground rules with him.
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post #12 of 21 Old 09-15-2009, 01:52 AM
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If I had a stick in my hand and my horse reared and came at me he would get that stick across his nose in short order. You couldn't really hurt your horse with that stick but you will hurt him by letting him get aggresive and mean. Before you do anything else hire a good trainer or at the very least buy some of the CA DVDs. You are obviosly doing something wrong. Before anyone gets after me about belting a horse across the nose think about what your parents or spouses would do with a horse that killed or seriously injured you and see if a whack across the nose isn't far kinder. To me the first rule of working around horses is don't get killed.
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post #13 of 21 Old 09-15-2009, 02:16 AM
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Maybe not the nose but if it was the nose or me getting seriously injured.. I pick myself over the horse. I do second the no treats thing though...

CA 101: Point the lead, cluck, and spank. So point the lead, cluck, tap the air if he moves in the direction you want lay off. If he backs up rears or anything while pointing the rope SMACK HIM HARD on the neck and KEEP Smacking him on the neck until he moves in that direction and then instantly stop smacking and praise in a calm low voice "good boy".

Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard! A few well timed smacks will save you a lot of heartache. Your not abusing your horse..hes not going to "hate" you.

Good Luck!

~ Starline Stables ~
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post #14 of 21 Old 09-15-2009, 07:23 AM
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KAHUNA's MUM. It sounds as though you need help - not just advice over the internet but you need help in the arena - hands on. If by "raring" you actually mean "rearing" then before you go any further you have to get your relationship with your horse agreed by you and by the horse,
You are to be the boss - the horse is to be your faithful servant. That's the deal between human and equine. Now just how you get to that scenario is very much a personal thing.

Your own personality comes with you as the package. If you are a gentle soul, then probably you need a gentle horse. If this horse doesn't have a physical excuse then his rearing suggests he might be wrong for you - but don't take that to mean you should give him up but it means you might have to adjust your behaviour towards him.

The horse can smell your fear.
The horse can sense your fear by the way you handle him.
The horse can learn your fears by disobeying you and testing you.
He can interpret your body language - sometimes you must move forwards positively at him but he must be allowed the space to back down.
The horse is not stupid, he's sensitive, crafty and canny

The schooling books and the demos help illustrate the principles to be employed but at the end of the day it is you that personally enforces your will over the horse. You need someone knowledgeable - a horse trainer - not a rider trainer- to watch you with the horse and to show you how to change your approach to make you more positive and dominant and without reverting to cruelty. The trainer doesn't go in the ring first - you do. The trainer is to show you how to handle the horse.

If you can't trust this horse on the ground, then you can't afford to get up on its back. So before you go anywhere further, get this horse to obey and trust and respect you. That is your first goal. At 2 1/2 this horse is a baby - there is plenty of time to back him.

Rearing, well that is a no-no, never , not no-how. The horse must never do that to you. It is gross disrespect.

The horse after a couple of months of ownership has you sussed out. He is now probably trying his luck. But most horse don't go so far as to rear - next might come striking - then you would have to consider his future. So for his sake and yours you must work on your "presence".

My guess from the way you write, is that you are more inclined to be too soft than too hard. You have now got to find the right balance - a little kindness in return for good behaviour - that's OK.
But for the horse to push you to obey, that's not OK.

Look around for help. friends, the farrier , the vet, a local breeder. Watch them handle horses. Ask them: talk to them.

You've got as motivating tools in the lunging line, a long dressage whip, a confined training area, a training halter (working on nose and poll) and your voice.
As soothers, you've got your hands, a carrot or two, and your voice. But you have to know how to use these tools and books might tell you how but don't show you how.

Demonstrators at seminars might demonstrate in the arena but they are professionals. The will spout "buzz" phrases. You can only watch and hope one day you can do what they do - but they do it for a living.

You'll know when you have won with your horse - it will walk with you at your shoulder on a loose rein. It will snigger when it first sees you.
It will have accepted you as its "mum". It might even give you a lick.

If it doesn't improve after 4 months (maybe more) - well then you'll have to consider your options.

Take heart - you can win but be careful, that's 1/2 tonne of muscle and power you are playing with. Each foot carries 350 lbs of weight.

Barry G
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post #15 of 21 Old 09-15-2009, 07:35 AM
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I always love BG's advice :)

Kahuna... as you can see from this thread alone there are several different opinions and tactics. Finding what works for you and your horse is no simple task! To whack or not to whack, to treat or not to treat... ton of information, also can be a little overwhelming. Who's right??? They all are because every horse is different, so is every owner. I have my personal set of opinions and tactics (really, I love BG's approach) but that's because it's what works for me. The right trainer will help you and your horse find the method that works for you.
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post #16 of 21 Old 09-15-2009, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Monroe, La
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Thank you all again for your input. It gives me a lot to think about.

RORO~ I am going to stop w/ the treats at least for now as he gets pushy when I don't have them or they are gone. I had a training stick with me. (CA's) but it was the tapping on the chest and wiggling the lead rope to back him out of my space that triggered the rearing fiasco. He has free roam of my back yard which is an acre and a half. As for saddle work we have not even looked at a saddle. I would never get on him till I felt comfortable and in control on the ground.

Kevin~ I was probable misunderstood. I am a firm believer in "spare the rod spoil the child" (in this case horse). I just dont believe in beating into submission or excessive whipping. I know my saftey comes first and I will remeber what you said if in this position again.

Starlin~ I thought I was following those steps pretty darn close. I have to go back and see where I failed. I think when he got fidgity and tried "flight mode" I pulled him to keep him from moving putting him in "fight mode". Although at the time he reared when backing up I was just putting slight preasure on the halter and when he didnt move tapped his chest with the stick. I may have someone record my next session with him so I can learn better and see his body language and responses better. study him in a sense.

BG. by raring I meant rearing lol sorry. He has always been pushy and in my space, hopped here and there when lunging but nothing like yesterday.
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post #17 of 21 Old 09-15-2009, 09:08 PM
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Hi Kahuna,

There has been some great responses to your questions.
I have been to some of CA's clinics, and also own many of his training DVD's and a book of his as well. Even the handy stick etc.

First of all CA starts out with his RP excercises in a specific order for a reason. It is important to establish the space and get the horse moving an able to change directions fluently before going on the the next part of the exercises.
I am not sure of your age but I do feel his lessons are pretty simple for most to understand.
Rearing is a very very dangerous thing - as you well know!

Are you planning to breed this horse? Is he or will you geld this guy?
This is important because stud clots and or stallions can be very dangerous sometimes.

Do you have access to an enclosure that is not really really large? If you do then the RP excercises will still work one just needs to be very mindful of not allowing the horse to get stuck in the corners.

Another suggestion for you that may come across a bit harsh, but here goes...
Your going to have to work on getting past the smacking of the horse. Now I am in no way at all meaning to out right beat on the annimal but for me I will not allow a horse to walk all over the top of me and I do not have to go to a "nasty" extreem of beating them.
Here is a simple question...Are you willing to get after this horse if he charges you or rears up at you? If not I strongly suggest you send the horse to a trainer who is well versed with young and/or problematic horses. It is important for your horse to see you as the leader!

Many times people will see clinicians working with horses and then purchase their taining material read/watch it and think that all the stuff will just fall into place. This is just not the case. Another thing you may try is finding someone who has a horse who knows these methods already. Then see if you can try working with their horse to see how you do.

As CA says be black or shades of gray.

As another poster has already pointed out horses in a herd have their established pecking order and if you watch them you will see that the lead mare or top of the pecking order horse will make it very well known to all the others. In doing this they will bite kick rear charge etc etc.

We as humans working with our equine friends need to first establish that we are at the top of that pecking order. This is done by showing the dominate behaviors - you don't have to be abusive or anything like that.
You stated your doing this while the horse is on the long lead rope. A horse is a fight or flight animal and if he is on your line and feels he has no other way out he is going to want to fight. By not having him on a line your able to get after him with the stick and string or a lounge whip and Drive him away every time he does this aggressive offensive behavior.
This is the same thing the lead mare would do when some other horse tries to come in and eat her food. She pins her ears back lowers her head and is ready to charge if this is not enough she may be ready to whirl around and kick the intruder.

Do you have the Round penning DVD? I can not remember if it is that one or a different one that is packed full of great information about horse behavior and how CA applies his methods in order to gain the horses respect. He really goes into depth about it.

I hope this has helped. I know it can be very scary when a horse starts to act this way around you. My horse came to his new home and started rearing. After the 3rd time I had had it! I stuck him in the round pen and got his feet moving. We did not graduate out of the round pen until he saw me as his leader! When I could move him forwards backwards left and right and he respected my space...then and only then did we move on and outside of the round pen.
Oh and I for certain cut out all treats for quite a while.
If your DVD of CA doesn't have the big explanation in the begining let me know and I will figure out which one it is. It might be "Gaining Respect and Control"
Remember to stay safe. Don't work with the horse when no one else is around.
Please pm me if you like.
I also found that when I was not getting the results I wanted it usually was because "I" was not doing things correctly. Be it my body language or my emotions or some other thing...
keep us posted on your progress.
Best of luck
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post #18 of 21 Old 09-15-2009, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Monroe, La
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I had Kahuna's original trainer over today. I got to see what real confidence looks like. Man oh Man.

So he tried the same thing with her. I was so worried she was going to get hurt but boom. She stopped almost every rear. She had him backing off her and out of her space. She did tell me the first 5 minutes she was on the verge of fear and knew where I was coming from but she just kept on, staying so safe and he backed off her. I was so amazed.

YAY me I'm still extremely gun shy but she had me take the lead and back him and he listened. When I went to feed him to show her how he acted he did get really close to me and shift his weight as if to rear and after yesterday she could see my panic and came and took over. But she did talk me through everything and show me how to do it properly

On the down side I see what I need to do and how I need to act but know deep down it will take a bit before I can get rid of the fear of seeing his hooves over my head yesterday. I am now confident enough to go back out and mess with him but we will do alot of grooming and leading atleast for now.

Just wanted to let ya'll know how today went. Oh and we ended on not a good note but a great note. I realize now if I wanted to have a horse to train and learn from you don't start with a spunky spirited horse no matter how nice they are.

(she pointed out my body language was asking while i was trying to be telling I will definatly work with her working with him a bit if she can make it hear on a regular basis.)

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post #19 of 21 Old 09-15-2009, 09:57 PM
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Don't give treats, especialy to a horse that doesn't respect you in the first place.

If he attack you (rearing at you, biting, kicking) just whack him somewhere you reach, or make him back off in some way. Just get him off you and out of your space, whatever it takes. It doesn't matter if it was your fault he did it, it's not acceptable behaviour.
BUT re-think over what you have done. Did you ask too much of him? Ask less the next time and keep the session short. Didn't you listen to the first, subtle signals he gave you that he didn't understand and didn't want to do this? Make sure to listen to those signals the next time and ask him again in a different way to do the thing you wanted. Example, if you want him to walk in a circle around you and doesn't understand or gets frustrated, walk up to him, lead him around the circle and then gradually walk back in to the center, and praise him when he walks where he should.

Other than if it's a straight out attack, don't punish him for showing how he feel about things, but make sure to get him where you want somehow. Or at least in the right direction.

Keep the sessions short and fun.

Get a trainer that can see you and the horse and what you can do better.

I havn't read many of the replies yet so my answer might be out of date :)

Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.

Last edited by Zab; 09-15-2009 at 09:59 PM.
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post #20 of 21 Old 09-15-2009, 10:50 PM
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I thought I was following those steps pretty darn close. I have to go back and see where I failed. I think when he got fidgity and tried "flight mode" I pulled him to keep him from moving putting him in "fight mode". Although at the time he reared when backing up I was just putting slight preasure on the halter and when he didnt move tapped his chest with the stick. I may have someone record my next session with him so I can learn better and see his body language and responses better. study him in a sense.
I'm very glad that you had success with his old owner/trainer. An inexperienced owner and a horse who has learnt rearing gets him out of work is a combination that always scares me, and if not dealt with quickly, often ends verybadly for both horse and handler.

From what you wrote above, it seems to me like the root of the problem is the same as 99% of rearing. The horse is confused, being asked for movement, forward is blocked, so in his mind, the only logical thing to try is up. It doesn't start out as nasty. It is simply him trying to figure out what type of movement you are looking for. It happens exactly the same in the saddle; Asking for movment while blocking forward = The horse trying up to see if that is what you are asking. Once you backed off after the rear, he thinks "I went up, the pressure was removed. That must be what she was asking", Hence the repetition of the behaviour. The subsequent removal of pressure (out of fear, perfectly reasonable in someone not experienced with this) is simply confirming in the horses mind that it is doing the correct thing. It is the removal of pressure that teaches, not the application.

I think the main thing you need to do now, is ensure you have a failsafe 'forward' button. If you get behind his hip and drive him, he needs to move forward, NOW, and keep moving until you move back to a neutral or blocking position. A horse can not rear when they are moving forward. I would leave backing completely alone until you have a controlled, immediate forward depart when you move into a driving position, and then further, a controlled whoah when you move back to a neutral or blocking position.

The backing... Ah it is so often the cause of problems! I dislike the idea of you staying stationary while trying to 'drive' the horse backwards away from you. Especially when teaching. To me it is a very aggresive way of teaching somethign that is often confusing. The way I teach a back up, is by firstly getting a solid knowledge of leading on my horse. They need to follow at my shoulder, turn when I turn, and stop when I stop. The aim is for the horse keep you at his shoulder, wherever you are. If the horse rushes, change direction. It is similar to teaching a dog to heel. Once I have a good stop, I will start to teach the back. I will stay facing firward, but march backwards next to my horses shoulder, while putting a little pressure on the halter/bridle, and a little pressure on the chest with my hand. The horse by now know to keep my at his shoulder, so generally without much trouble, they back along with me. Eventually you wean them off the halter pressure, and then off you backing, so they back in response to a light touch on the chest, and in my case, a cluck. If you are set on having a horse who will back of a wiggled lead, or with you standing a metre in front, then now would be the time to incorporate it.

I wish you luck!

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