New Horse pushy and disrespectful on the ground - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-07-2011, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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New Horse pushy and disrespectful on the ground

I recently got a 12 year old appaloosa gelding as sort of a rescue. I had admired this horse previously, had seen him in the area ridden by the owner and some kids. Appeared to be a well broke horse and the owners were far from horse savvy, just city people who had the space and money for a few horses.

They decided to move back to the city and offered him to me as they knew I liked him.
Went and saw him, saw him ridden, rode him myself, then my young cousin rode him. All seemed pretty well.

Brought him home, its been a few weeks now and his behavior has totally changed. He is pushy and disrespectful on the ground, constantly worried about where the other horses are and calling to them(had been alone for 6 years), forever fidgeting when being led, constantly tossing his head and pulling the lead rope and just a general annoyance.

I'm sending him to my boss/trainer in about two weeks but was wondering how I can start to gain his respect on the ground now. He is still fine under-saddle, a bit forward (part of the reason he is going for further training) but nothing that is unmanageable for now plus I plan on waiting to ride him more until we can be seen by my trainer. I also just want to be able to lead him in and out from the paddock (I self board so I'm with him alot) groom him without him tugging me around, rooting at me for treats and just being annoying.

I think the people who had him previously treated him like a big pet and let him get away with alot of crap on the ground and were timid/afraid of him.
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-07-2011, 08:49 PM
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if you want respect i guess i would start by disciplining him. when he nudges or fidgets, back him up real fast or to the side. just getting him moving away from you. :)

thats where i would start while you have him before he gets to the trainer.
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-07-2011, 10:11 PM
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It's pretty normal for a hrose to change behaviour when it changes "home". And especially one who has been alone and is now a herd member (or vice versa)

I dont' have specific advice, more than to start disciplining him, but just to encourage you that it will probably mellow out in time.
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-07-2011, 11:47 PM
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There's this thing called 'heeding' that I do with my four year old stallion, and it works really well- it sounds fancy, but really, it's just this- when you take them out, you walk them. You keep walking them, when they do something bad, or misbehave, don't freak out, don't change what you're doing- keep walking, making them turn in circles, back up, turn away from you, etc. The point is to not react to anything but when he does well, so that he feels that he's overreacting and will eventually calm and focus on his work. It works well for my stallion.
I also have what I call a 'danger word', which for me is 'quit'. While the heeding thing is more of a neutral type of work with no real negative reinforcement, and just a pat and a word of praise when he does well, this is a negative association- when he does something bad, when you discipline him, say the word, and he will eventually associate the two. This also works for my stud- when he gets excited, I just say 'quit!' and he stops what he's doing and looks at me like, 'What now, mom?' He has his moments, but he's much more well-behaved than when I got him, and not at all as crazy as people were convinced he was (without evidence) JUST because he was a stallion.
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