Originally Posted by hhadavis
I make them walk home too because I've always heard it was not a good thing to let them run to the barn...and I have the same issues at time with my 4 year old paint..he is such a sweet boy but does have his sneakie side...I really make mine mad (which I am testing them) when it looks like we are headed back to the barn and I make them turn or practice their backups...thats the real test, my walker learned quickly (and myself too) that I will stand there all day until he goes the direction I want..course I get the "tail swish" of unhappiness for it, and then we go to the barn. With my paint, you just never know, he is doing awesome for only having a month at the trainers and now with me, but a couple weeks of perfect Cochise, and then the "I don't want to do it" side comes out like yesterday...when we were headed back, made him turn around to go around a tree, at first no problems, next thing I know a buck fest with me trying to bring his head round so he can't buck anymore and praying we both wont end up on the ground. We calm down for a few minutes, put him thru some steps again because in my mind I will make him complete what we started, then off to the barn, where he got tied to the round pen for a couple hours(thats my idea of "time out") and watched his buddies get the grooming and treats for being good. And now I know he will be good again for a couple weeks..but then he will test me again but hopefully not. All I do is pray with me outwilling him and him outgrowing it, he will end up better for it. The worst part I have to force myself to stay mad at him (he really is a sweetheart most of the time) otherwise I know he would get worse. He thinks Im crazy anyway, so that's a good thing, keeps him on his toes.
It's normal behavior for them to test. He's just checking in to make sure the rules haven't changed. And yeah, he may get his face right down in the dirt to protest.
He isn't however associating those 'time outs' with his behavior. So they aren't teaching him anything about his hissy fit on the trail. They may be teaching him to stand tied quietly, but they aren't helping him overcome the temper tantrum.
You're 'discipline' has to be instituted at the time of the offense...not 10mins later, not 10 seconds later, but at the exact moment of offense, otherwise it's meaning is completely lost on the horse.