Problems....any ideas
   

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Problems....any ideas

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        07-26-2008, 09:25 PM
      #1
    Banned
    Problems....any ideas

    Well I'm happy to say Sonny now has a girlfriend in the pasture with him, a beautiful grey mare named Hannah. But I am having problems with Sonny and I know it will only get worse

    1) When he's with another horse or more he doesn't want to be caught. He'll run away, etc. I don't chase after him because I know that will only make him keep going. When he walks away, I'll say "no" in a firm voice and either walk away or just stand where I am....wait till he stops and go to approach him again. But it's hard because he doesn't want to be caught when there's another horse with him. Now, by himself, he's fine...he'll stay and let me catch him....but it's almost as if he's showing off to his new friend lol.

    2) He has NO respect whatso all for ANY mare...I mean he tried to mount Hannah, but lost interest :roll: ....then I was walking him outside about ready to ride him, and I stopped a ways back from the one mare that was infront of him, but he kept walking...would NOT listen to me...and got himself kicked in the chest. How can I teach him respect to other horses? Or is it a learning process for him? Meaning he'll learn once he's fed up with being kicked?

    3) When frightened, he looks for me for support...which I guess isn't a bad thing, but he gets REALLLY close to my side and almost tries to huddle with me. When he does this I have been turning him in a circle and making him go away so I'm not being trampled...but it's soooo annoying. Any ideas?

    4) When I tried to go bridleless today, he was crazy....reallllly flighty and wouldn't listen...but when I put the bit in, he relaxed, calmed down, and listened. I think, in a way, he finds security with his bit, which I guess may be good, but also not. I know he's still kinda skiddish in the new place, but he just surprised me because the previous day he was great.

    Thanks in advance!
         
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        07-27-2008, 12:28 AM
      #2
    Foal
    It sounds abit like your horse is testing you as leader.. Keep inforcing who is boss and hopefully he will become easier with time...
         
        07-27-2008, 02:16 AM
      #3
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aappyfan1
    It sounds abit like your horse is testing you as leader.. Keep inforcing who is boss and hopefully he will become easier with time...
    ^^^

    Book yourself some lessons :)
         
        07-27-2008, 03:51 AM
      #4
    Trained
    Firstly, I believe you should concentrate on making him want to come to you first & foremost. If your horse doesn't want to be with you in the first place, this tends to get in the way of other issues. Make yourself the better option, rather than just the better of 2 evils, by going there just to hang out, give him a scratch, treats, grooming - nice stuff. Hold off or greatly reduce the stuff you know he dislikes for the moment, until he's come to expect Good Things from you too. Then just don't forget to do Good Stuff with him regularly too.

    Quote:
    He'll run away, etc. I don't chase after him because I know that will only make him keep going. When he walks away, I'll say "no" in a firm voice and either walk away or just stand where I am....wait till he stops and go to approach him again. But it's hard because he doesn't want to be caught when there's another horse with him. Now, by himself, he's fine...he'll stay and let me catch him....but it's almost as if he's showing off to his new friend lol.
    After you've established the foundation of a better relationship, then you can strengthen & direct it with negative reinforcement - that is, the removal of something unpleasant - pressure. I think doing just about the opposite of what you are doing is a good start :roll:

    Naturally, putting unpleasant pressure on anyone will make them want to find ways to escape it. Your horse is escaping the pressure of your approach by walking away. When he does, at present, you're reinforcing his behaviour by taking the pressure off - quit following or walking away. Each time you repeat this, you're making the behaviour stronger! So, it's had a bit of 'training' already & it may take a bit of patience to 'untrain'.

    I would start this phase in a small area first, for your convenience(unless you want to get fit! ), and have the responses reliable & well established before trying it in a larger area & with obstacles such as other horses.

    Now your horse should be reasonably reliable about coming to you anyway now, but any time he walks away, follow him passively. Meaning follow, but without strong focus, without much energy in your bodylanguage. So long as your horse is leaving you, keep that bit of pressure on. Make the 'wrong' thing difficult.

    The instant he even thinks about slowing or stopping - even if it's just cocking his ear at you or lowering his head to begin with, turn & walk away from him. Make the 'right' thing easy. With repetition you can gradually ask for more, until he learns that what works(to remove the pressure) is to stop & face you. You can also begin to get less dramatic about the removal of pressure & just quit following.

    After this behaviour is well established, I then 'refine' it further by asking the horse to come to me. I will repeat these lessons in a variety of places, including the paddock to help him begin to generallise that walking away from you anywhere, in any situation leads to Bad Stuff.

    2) If the horse was gelded late, or otherwise has rather dominant, stallionish behaviour, this is often strongly ingrained, as it's such an imperative instinct. It may be difficult to get him out of this behaviour in the paddock, but I would be inclined to run him with a group of mares & let them teach him some manners!

    You also need to earn enough respect from him to prevent him doing this when ridden or handled! It's not just him that could be kicked & the owner of the other horse might get in the way too. I would suggest practicing your negative reinforcement skills in many ways, not just for catching, to teach him to yield well.

    I would also use one rein to bend the horse, as an emergency control measure. While the only ultimate use for this is as an emergency brake, it does need to be well taught & established, so that it is a yield(soft response with understanding) not a forced thing.

    3)
    Firstly, improving your relationship, teaching him you're trustworthy & will consider his feelings & ensure safety will help. As part of this, you can do lots of desensitisation to scary things, using 'approach & retreat' to avoid confronting him with his fears and keep it low key. Do lots of practice in a controlled environment (meaning you can control the distance & intensity of the scary). That way, you can also find a level to start at that he won't run you over, and teach him to respect your space & teach him if he feels the need, run round you, not over you. On the ground and then ridden. Teach him that he just needs to focus on you & you'll keep him safe. Then when you are out & about, follow the same routine.

    4)
    It's not so much security of the bit IMO but he has learned that he needs to comply with a bit or Bad Stuff happens. Without it, he's not so sure you should tell him what to do. I'm definitely all for bitless riding - I think bits are *generally*(never say never) one of the problems in any equation between a horse & human.

    However, I think you need to work on a fair bit before it will be safe for you to ride bridleless. My approach would be to establish everything on the ground first, then riding with a halter on a loose rein(you want him to learn to respond to your seat & legs, rather than just reins) in a small enclosure at slow speed, before gradually working up to refined control at a canter, then repeating it in larger areas & the open. You might choose to continue riding a little with a bit while you work on everything else first.
         
        07-27-2008, 04:23 AM
      #5
    Weanling
    One thing that may help with with leading issues is a rope halter(headstall), rather than a webbing/leather one. It's gives much more direct pressure that the other which are more comfy. I've found my horses respond musc better with rope halters.
    You may already have one, but I just thought i'd mention it.
         
        07-27-2008, 10:43 AM
      #6
    Green Broke
    As far as the catching thing goes...give it some time. He'll soon find out that the mares are only his friends for a few days out of the month, and he'll come back to reality. Carry a cookie or peppermint with you when you go to catch him (yep, back to basics) to remind him that it's you he wants to hang out with. He should be back to normal in a week or two.

    I wouldn't worry about him with the mares, either. I mean, he's been by himself for a while now - - right?? Probably just getting the built up energy out... The mares will teach him that it's NOT ok to do that...and in a few weeks, you'll have your gentleman back.

    Other than moving his shoulders away from you, and some basic "myspace" "yourspace" roundpen work, I think that what you are doing with regards to him crowding you is absolutely fine.

    As far as bridleless goes, it may not have been the best day for him...i mean if the ladies were calling, and he put up a fuss about being caught, and was crowding your space and all. Sounds to me like he had an identity crisis and thought he was the stud of the place. :) I would keep trying with it, but pick your days with him....does that make sense??
         
        07-27-2008, 10:58 AM
      #7
    Super Moderator
    1) When he's with another horse or more he doesn't want to be caught. He'll run away, etc. I don't chase after him because I know that will only make him keep going. When he walks away, I'll say "no" in a firm voice and either walk away or just stand where I am....wait till he stops and go to approach him again. But it's hard because he doesn't want to be caught when there's another horse with him. Now, by himself, he's fine...he'll stay and let me catch him....but it's almost as if he's showing off to his new friend lol.

    Remember when you move a horse, you have about a 2 week adjustment period. He's going to show you all kinds of new "quirks" in the next few weeks. He'll settle down eventually. As for hte catching him issue. What has worked for me in the past is to make him "want" to be caught. I didnt need a longe whip, but whatn I did was to continue walking towards him, he would run away and I would let him run, but the moment he stopped, I went towards him again and he would run some more. When he got tired he would turn to me and wait for me to come. It would take about 30 minutes in the begining, but as time went, he ran shorter and shorter amounts of time, now he may turn his butt to me, but he looks at me and waits to be caught. It took a couple weeks. We've done this with several horses.


    2) He has NO respect whatso all for ANY mare...I mean he tried to mount Hannah, but lost interest ....then I was walking him outside about ready to ride him, and I stopped a ways back from the one mare that was infront of him, but he kept walking...would NOT listen to me...and got himself kicked in the chest. How can I teach him respect to other horses? Or is it a learning process for him? Meaning he'll learn once he's fed up with being kicked?

    Some of this is a learning process, some of it is his new environment, and some is probably his personality. He needs to learn to respect you. When he learns to respect you, he'll listen. (the mounting hannah is just him being him - he'll get over that when the newness wears off).


    3) When frightened, he looks for me for support...which I guess isn't a bad thing, but he gets REALLLY close to my side and almost tries to huddle with me. When he does this I have been turning him in a circle and making him go away so I'm not being trampled...but it's soooo annoying. Any ideas?

    This is good, and it's dangerous. He's got to learn to respect your space, you don't want him to spook and jump into your lap. You can do a lot of ground work with him, start by leading him and then turning into him quickly, without warning, he should move away from you, walk along and then halt directly in front of him, facing him, he should stop. He should always be watching you. You may need to carry a crop so you can use it as a preasure, you know put the handle into his shoulder to move him away from you, some people use their elbows. He should give you your space though.

    4) When I tried to go bridleless today, he was crazy....reallllly flighty and wouldn't listen...but when I put the bit in, he relaxed, calmed down, and listened. I think, in a way, he finds security with his bit, which I guess may be good, but also not. I know he's still kinda skiddish in the new place, but he just surprised me because the previous day he was great.
    He's going to be quirky for a few weeks... When you went brldleless today, were you just in a halter?
         
        07-27-2008, 11:39 AM
      #8
    Green Broke
    Don't forget, he's in a new place. He's probably a bit uncertain of his surroundings which might cause him to act out. It's only been a couple of days right? So, give him some time, but make sure he understands he has to behave.

    I agree with getting some lessons.
         
        07-27-2008, 03:12 PM
      #9
    Banned
    Okay an update:

    1) It was just a one day quirk...I caught him three times today with no problems whatso ever. So I think it was an "OMG please don't take me away from her" moment.

    2) He's gotten more respect for Hannah. He does get really mean (pins ears back and comes at her) when I am around though...but when I'm not there they are reallly nice to each other.

    3) I did some work with him and he's starting to respect my space a little more. With more work he should be great. I guess I"m realizing that I have been spoiling him too much and he's been getting REALLY dominant

    4) Went bridleless today with a parelli halter on and he was fine....no problems. THe occasional "oh I'm going to go in the middle and see that the other horse is doing" but no misbehaving at all.

    I guess it's just some quirks that I have to get out of him.

    He's reallllly dominant and I think that's the main issue I've been having with him. The BOs husband worked with him for a while and that got him to listen better. I'll definitely be doing more groundwork with him before and after I ride to get him to mind manners.

    I had my first lesson on him today and he behaved well. That Parelli stuff is making him behave, which is a good thing.
         

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