new horse walks all over me - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-03-2009, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Dayton, Ohio
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new horse walks all over me

I have a new horse I'm riding for lessons and he walks, moves around and throws his head around when you take off the cross ties to put on his bridle. We keep his halter around his neck, but he's 16 hands and I still don't feel as though that's given me a lot of control. This is my first time working with him and I've already experienced him walking just about wherever he wants to, while i futilely am trying to secure his bridle. He doesn't like his face touched, and I think he gets confused about what humans want, because he puts his head all the way down to the floor, that's what he thinks he is supposed to do.

When he walked on me, my trainer took over and showed me how to be dominate. She turned him around, walked him back into the cross tie and cupped her hand around his nose/face. He didn't like it, but it's what made him listen. She then used her hips and body to back him up and hold him still.

My thing is, he's a big horse for me, I feel so little, if he's walking and tossing his head around, how do I even begin to reach him, much less control him and let him know he's not allowed to walk?
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-03-2009, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greenville area / SC
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My advise would be to work with a different horse. You may ride this one in lessons but you need a more gentle horse to learn with while on the ground. Learning dominance is like any other lesson you need to learn about horsemanship and for that reason you need a horse that will build your confidence.

Just as you would not start out on a hot TB for your first experience with horses, having one that is too much for you to handle on the ground is the same thing. Horseman learn different things at different speeds and just because you can ride this horse does not mean that you can handle him on the ground.

Let your trainer work with you on dominance and ground work - that is just as important, maybe even more so, as learning to ride. It is what makes a rider into a horseman.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

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post #3 of 3 Old 04-03-2009, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by iridehorses View Post
Let your trainer work with you on dominance and ground work - that is just as important, maybe even more so, as learning to ride. It is what makes a rider into a horseman.
Absolutely true!!

Too many people "fuss" over their horses. Oh Trigger, put your head down please. Oh Trigger, don't step on my foot. Oh Trigger, just stand here. Oh Trigger, why won't you let me put your bridle on.

That's the wrong attitude to have. You need to be more like.... PUT your head down. STAND here. And then you won't have the issues of getting stepped on or a hard to bridle horse. Your trainer did the same thing I probably would do, by using her entire body to control the horse. But she probably needed to do that to get the point across to the horse who was already in the mood to walk all over people. If she consistently handles the horse, she most likely will find that she no longer has to use her body to push the horse into standing still. The horse will know that he HAS to stand still for her because she consistently makes him. When a new handler comes into the picture, the horse knows that the consistency just went away so he no longer feels the need to stand in one spot. If you are the "fussy" type of handler, you are not giving your horse the consistency he needs. If you make it a demand to stand still, each and every time you handle the horse, the horse will start behaving for you.

Demand is not about force or strength or abuse. It is about guidance, consistency and discipline. When you tell your horse to stand, what do you do if he starts moving around? If you've let him get two steps in, you've just lost the guidance & consistency part of the equation. You should know the way of the horse well enough to know when the horse is going to move before he actually moves. When you see this happening, you can give the horse guidance to let him know that he should not be thinking about moving. If you aren't quick enough, maybe he'll take a step or two, but you will be there to guide him back to the original spot. You need to be aware of your horse at every moment so you can give him the appropriate guidance & consistency.

Discipline comes at the end of the formula when you know that the horse has gotten the appropriate amount of guidance, and you've been consistent about it, but the horse still has trouble doing the right thing. By this time, he should know what you want from him, and he should have been able to do it successfully. Sometimes an appropriate amount of discipline is required to get the horse back into complying with your demands.

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