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Personal Bubble?!

This is a discussion on Personal Bubble?! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        03-16-2010, 06:50 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    Yeah Bailey has similar problems, I think its cause he doesnt respect me, cause like for his real owner he stands like a rock without even being tied, but for me he wont even stand in cross ties.
         
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        03-16-2010, 07:09 PM
      #12
    Weanling
    Well, for the standing still and pawing I would hobble train her. When one of ours acts like that they get to stand for hours hobbled until they relax. Then the hobbles come off and they stand some more. When standing calmly becomes a routine it will help.

    If the horse is rubbing you I would normally just use an elbow to the jaw. It doesn't have to be particularly hard, but it will get their attention. If you ever have to do that you should always be sure that when they are behaving later you rub around on their ears and head just to prevent them getting headshy.

    You can also stomp and just say get back sternly. That really depends on teh relationship with your horse. Mine know I'm the boss, so if I turn and look at them mean they take a step back. If they didn't then they understand they would get in trouble just like they would with another horse.

    I try to see how harshly another horse would scold one, and watching mares and young horses is normally what I go by. If your horse doesn't react to the softest thing you do then escalate it, and if they overreact then don't be quite as harsh the next time.
         
        03-17-2010, 01:44 AM
      #13
    Foal
    I know yall say she doesnt respect me and I think that is right but I have done many of the things you guys say and she does what I ask her most the time and we have done many different parelli and stuff from people on tv and she will let me put a rope around her leg and lift it up and I can swing things all over her body and (this was gross) but the other day I was putting on her blanket and I acceintly touched a tit and she didnt even flinch and I can wrap my arms around her but and cover her eyes and everything
         
        03-17-2010, 02:47 AM
      #14
    Green Broke
    Accidently touched a tit huh? Good thing you have a mare!

    You would not like cleaning a gelding!
         
        03-17-2010, 08:31 AM
      #15
    Yearling
    Trailhorserider: Haha, I totally agree with you, not only because we have 2 geldings but because I have a mare too and I try to spend as much time bathing her, grooming her, etc so I don't have to clean the geldings "junk". Lol
         
        03-17-2010, 09:41 AM
      #16
    Weanling
    I don't know, I'm bi-pedal, and when I'm working with a horse that is exhibiting inappropriate behavior, I'll rather keep both by feet on the ground and keep my balance. I'm not commited enough to steven seagal my horse. I've thought about it, sure..she had had a habit of walking forward a bit when I'd try to tighten the girth on the cross-ties, and that was really annoying. To be honest, I just ignored it for a week, would take her into the indoor and then work with her on standing still while I walked around the whole arena, whoa to a dead stop on cue, and attach and unattach the girth while she was in the ring. If she moved, my train of thinking was that I had the space to really get her moving forward, since that is what she wanted to do, right? Turns out the silly mare didn't like that too much, ended up saying "no, mom, I'd much rather stay still"

    Riosdad and Kevinshorses have alot of great insight on disclipining an unruly horse, and I agree with them for the most part. There's no denying that they are experienced and their ways get results. I agree with them doing it because they probably do it in a way that translates to the horse 100%, "KNOCK IT OFF!" I just don't have that follow through yet to feel comfortable with that type of discipline. I'm getting better though, truly used to be a shrinking violet. I guess it takes a while to build up your confidence, you do really have to earn that from a horse and it has to be genuine.Just recently, I elbowed Frida hard for being unaware and nervous and swinging her head around and smacking me in the face. Hurt me more than it did her, but I was certain that she forgot whatever distraction had unsettled her, because she followed me like mary's little lamb the whole way back to the barn.
         
        03-17-2010, 10:11 AM
      #17
    Weanling
    Yesterday was the first of my daughter's spring group lessons. It was very stormy so they did ground work instead of riding. They introduced their horses to "Miss Palmer" (their palm) and learned to hold their open hand up and when the horse got in their space Miss Palmer tapped them away. These are 8-9 year olds. My daughter's lesson horse is very pushy and needy and by the end of the lesson he stopped getting into her space because she stopped letting him.

    One thing they talked a lot about was when it was okay to love and nuzzle with the horse, and when it wasn't. The girls in this lesson were told that they decided, not the horse, and if the horse was going to push, the pushed back. If 8-9 year olds can teach a horse that, anyone can do it.
         
        03-17-2010, 11:10 AM
      #18
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 13kielj    
    I know yall say she doesnt respect me and I think that is right but I have done many of the things you guys say and she does what I ask her most the time and we have done many different parelli and stuff from people on tv and she will let me put a rope around her leg and lift it up and I can swing things all over her body and (this was gross) but the other day I was putting on her blanket and I acceintly touched a tit and she didnt even flinch and I can wrap my arms around her but and cover her eyes and everything
    This is all well and good, but it doesn't mean you have her respect! It means she tolerates you, you're pretty mch just an attractive nuisance! She knows she can really do whatever she feels like, she's testing your boundaries, finding them, and pushing them.
    I learned right off the bat that you NEVER ever let a horse scratch and rub on you, ever. You offer a rub and a scratch, you do NOT let them just come and take it.
    She knows where your 'bubble' is, and is showing you just what she thinks of you and your rules. If you don't enforce them, she will walk all over you, literally!
    Wrapping your arms around her, covering her eyes, etc etc only shows that she's tolerant, not respectful. Accidentally touching a teat? You should be able to touch, clean, rub them without any reaction.
    Respect is key to training a horse, and having that bond we all seek. It isn't difficult to gain respect, but you must stick with it! What is bad behavior once must always be bad, no exceptions. If you allow the horse to do something one time for whatever reason, they think it's now OK to always do it! Easier to be consistant than to retrain.
    I am now training my new 4 yr old mare. She hd been trained professionally, but spent much of her life in a box stall, so now she's learning freedom, and in the process has forgotten her manners. I am basically retraining her, reminding her what she already knows, and getting amazing results. She is showing me respect, and we are rapidly buildng a bond that will last a lifetime.
    When a horse show you true respect, it is an amazing, fulfilling feeling.
         
        03-18-2010, 11:29 PM
      #19
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GoldRush    
    This is all well and good, but it doesn't mean you have her respect! It means she tolerates you, you're pretty mch just an attractive nuisance! She knows she can really do whatever she feels like, she's testing your boundaries, finding them, and pushing them.
    I learned right off the bat that you NEVER ever let a horse scratch and rub on you, ever. You offer a rub and a scratch, you do NOT let them just come and take it.
    She knows where your 'bubble' is, and is showing you just what she thinks of you and your rules. If you don't enforce them, she will walk all over you, literally!
    Wrapping your arms around her, covering her eyes, etc etc only shows that she's tolerant, not respectful. Accidentally touching a teat? You should be able to touch, clean, rub them without any reaction.
    Respect is key to training a horse, and having that bond we all seek. It isn't difficult to gain respect, but you must stick with it! What is bad behavior once must always be bad, no exceptions. If you allow the horse to do something one time for whatever reason, they think it's now OK to always do it! Easier to be consistant than to retrain.
    I am now training my new 4 yr old mare. She hd been trained professionally, but spent much of her life in a box stall, so now she's learning freedom, and in the process has forgotten her manners. I am basically retraining her, reminding her what she already knows, and getting amazing results. She is showing me respect, and we are rapidly buildng a bond that will last a lifetime.
    When a horse show you true respect, it is an amazing, fulfilling feeling.
    Whats the best ways to dispipline bad behavior?
         
        03-19-2010, 02:52 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    You know, its funny. When I'm teaching people, I often tell them that they are horses, not humans, yet I find myself in the next breath saying "would you let a person do that to you? Then how would you react". It may seem strange to say don't treat them like a person, then say treat them like a person, but in a way that is what needs to be done.

    The reason that what RD said works is because it is in a language that the horse already understands. If a horse is acting like a jerk in the herd they will get the stuff kicked out of them immediately, no apologies, no sympathy, simply expectations of what good behavior is. The horse always tells you what they need and exactly when they need it. They don't follow methods, which is why the methods don't work for so many people. The other horses in the herd don't care if the disorderly insecure horse likes them or not, he isn't welcome into the herd if he doesn't have anything good to offer them. This is where you don't want to treat them like a person, you don't give them confidence by holding their hand or loving them, you give them confidence by doing what they already understand, putting your foot down and showing them that you are capable of taking the spot of the lead horse.

    Onto my next point, treating them like a person. What would you do if your friend walked up and started rubbing their face on your back, hard enough to knock you off your feet? If it were me I would tell them to get the heck away from me. How about if you were standing and waiting for something and they started looking all over and walking back and forth impatiently, even if you were in their path? You would probably get pretty annoyed by that too, especially if they did it every time you were waiting in line for something religiously. This is when I say treat them like a person. If it isn't ok for your friend to walk on top of you, its not ok for your horse to do it.

    You see, we really aren't all that different. There are a lot of little things that lead up to this behavior, but like with people, they all have a common root, insecurity and testing of boundaries. I want you to think that your horse is like your best friend, you like to communicate with your friend, have fun with your friend, and grow with your friend, but would you allow your friend to push you around, walk into you, or act like a nervous wreck? No, of course not, if the horse was a person you probably wouldn't even be friends with them. Its easier to find a friend that has respect for space and belongings than to create one.

    Horses rely on leadership from the herd. As a prey animal, if that leadership is not offered, then the horses defensive mechanisms of fight and flight have to be that much stronger in order to protect themselves from danger. For a horse that hasn't been brought up correctly, this is like handing over a business to a child. If they are not prepared, they will crack under pressure and there will be mass chaos. They are taught by a leader, but that does not have to be by another horse, they are very willing to take a person in this position if the person shows that they have the capabilities to step up to the plate.

    After that bit of info, you want to know how to correct your horses behavior....

    1. Set the expectations as high for your horse as you would for another person, you wouldn't let a human push you around, seach you for treats, or act uncontrolled. (we all know those monsterous children whose parents only want them to love them)

    2. Be consistent. Consistency builds leadership. If you don't like your horse rubbing on you, then they can never rub. They will not comprehend if you decide to let them do it one day because they were well behaved on the ride. If you don't want your horse to step in your space, then they can never step in your space, I don't care what scary thing is over there, I can be much scarier if they put me in danger by stepping in my space.

    3. Your personal space is SACRED. The way they determine who is in charge in the herd is whose bubble moves the others around. Make sure that you can always throw back more than what is being thrown to you by the horse. The pushier the horse, the bigger and stronger my bubble is. That horse has to earn my trust to allow the bubble to become smaller. Believe me, the horse will see that you are capable of protection and they will want to be with you even more.

    4. Response time is important. Space it out more than a few seconds and they will not understand what they are being rewarded/reprimanded for.

    5. If you want to know how to stop unwanted behavior, just watch the herd. If a young horse pushes to hard they will get bit or kicked. They will often get a warning, which you can as well and the horse will learn to respond to the warning. However, you must be willing to follow through, empty threats will not win you respect. Use only as much pressure as necessary, and release immediately, but don't be afraid to increase pressure until you get the result.

    Don't find too much comfort in your methods. The reason that your horse will behave better is because you are offering boundaries, guidance, and leadership. Once the horse knows that you will provide that, then they will be patiently waiting for you and looking to you to make the next move. Once you have this horse, you can give the scratches and affection that they give to each other in the herd, but that doesn't mean you become a speed bump, the respect always has to be mutual. Also, its only natural for the horse to occasionaly test the leader, they have to do this to ensure their own safety and make sure the leader is "up to snuff". Always step up, and you will find these "tests" fade away pretty quickly. Hope this makes sense. Good luck.
         

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