Not respecting my space...kinda pushy - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-17-2008, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Not respecting my space...kinda pushy

My barn owner agreed to let me train (well help train cause she's working with her also) her 4 year old paint mare named Zoey. She is pretty good under saddle, but I've noticed lately that she invades people's personal bubbles alot. She also tries to push me out of the way so she can get a better look out of the stall door or to get at something that I'm blocking.

At the moment I'm just doing ground work with her...I want her to mind my space and not be pushy or get too close to someone when they don't want a horse literally next to you.

Usually what I do is if she gets pushy, I'll make her back up 5 steps and have her stay there for 5 seconds (the time increases when she can stand for the whole time without trying to walk away...we are at 10 seconds now). Once she stands for 5 seconds, I'll praise her and give her a small carrot.

As for her respecting my space I'll really just do the same thing...if she gets too close to me I'll make her back up.

The progress is going alright, it is working...little by little she is learning not to get REALLY close unless I invite her to come in.

Am I approaching this the right way? When I first got Sonny that's how I did it because he also was pushy and didn't respect my space and it worked for him...but just wanted to get everyone's input.
What else can I do to help her get better ground manners?

We are trying to turn her into a good beginner safe lesson horse for the little kids. She won't be used until the barn owner is 200% sure that she'll be good for it and that the kids will be safe on her back.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-18-2008, 10:53 AM
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I think that is a good way to approach that, but also i think a good "NO! NO!" when she gets to close then back her up.. that puts like an extra reinforcment in your voice.. I think that can help abit.

I love my horse. She is the wind beneath my wings.

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post #3 of 10 Old 04-18-2008, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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I do tell her no, and then backup before I do back her up. The barn owner wants her to become a push button pony for the little kids so we are using voice commands.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-18-2008, 10:56 AM
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when my horse invades my "bubble" i stick out my elbow so when shes in my bubble she gets a firm elbow in the gut. i dont know how well itll work for you but it sometimes works for me.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-18-2008, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gingerrrrr
when my horse invades my "bubble" i stick out my elbow so when shes in my bubble she gets a firm elbow in the gut. i dont know how well itll work for you but it sometimes works for me.
when I stand to talk to my trainer or a friend who's riding with me, she'll get really close to my close that I can feel her nose on my back. She isnt really invading my space at the sides all the time, but she does occasionally.

The thing is though I need to do things that little kids can do...a little kid can't keep firm pressure with their elbow on the horses's side, and since the horse will hopefully be used as a little kid's lesson horse, we need to get her used to little kids, loud noises, running, and everything else a little kid would do.

We've got the running part down good, and most of the loud noises...we are working to descensetize her to all the hanging things in the arena. The barn owner put flags and plates and such up in the arena for the little she can say "when you get to the pumpkin, turn your head and look at the butterfly" so the kids know exactly what to look at. So we are going to take some flags and wave it around her, touch her all over with it and get her so we can literally throw it over her back, under her belly without her flintching. The flags are stappled down so they shouldn't come on done, but I guess better safe than sorry haha.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-18-2008, 12:54 PM
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You could try sticking your leg out so she runs into your leg when she starts approaching. You could also try backing up and keeping backing up until she moves away from you.
(like if you feel her nose against your back, you could take a few steps backs and continue to back up into her nose until she moves away.)

What i do with Vega is i carry my carrot stick when i want to make her learn to walk next or behind me, not in front of me. And as i'm walking, i'll have the carrot stick waving in front of me, and if she walks too fast, she'll walk into the stick and pause, and then continue when there's some distance between herself and the stick. It also works wonders when teaching a horse to stop when you stop and not to walk in front on you.

If i go up to the horses today, i'll see if i can get a video of that and show you what i mean :)
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-19-2008, 03:05 PM
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I just pop em a good one.
I'm lying actually, but if I warn them enough and then they don't well then I do give em a stinger.

"Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness."
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-19-2008, 03:27 PM
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Be careful that the horse will not use it as a trick just to get a carrot.

At our stable we have a horse, Anastacia who just turned 3 and she doesn't give a **** about the person who is close or is walking next to her. (Read; Walk over you etc)
I'm training with her that she has to stop at a few seconds of walking, she's not allowed to go into het box straight away and i'm learing her to wait and as a award she gets stroked and a few nice words that she is doing good. And at the end of the 'training' she will get a piece of bread or something like that.

Hou van je Jetske meis
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-20-2008, 01:05 PM
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I had the same problem, what helped me was doing some ground work exercises that focus on respect. What you do is stand in front of the horse and move to one side see if the horse turns to watch you. If he does not use the end of the lead rope [ether twirling or with a light tap] to bring his but around so that he is facing you. Make sure to go both directions once the horse is watching you try leading his, the general principal is that of respect if he is watching you for cues he can not be on top of you. There are other exercises but this was the first one that I learned and it really worked.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-20-2008, 02:36 PM
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I'm sure she knows what it is she is doing. It sounds to me like it's a respect issue and just needs to be worked with. Nothing worst than a horse that wont respect you or your space.

I would give her a good elbow in the gut, say no and be very strict with everything you do until she changes her ways and learns some manners.

It's the same idea when handling babies. Sometimes they really don't understand what it is you are asking them to do, and sometimes its a respect problem.

From what I read in your post, it you sound like a very knowledgeable rider. Just make sure you stay strict with her and you don't let her get away with anything until you have a good strong foundation.
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