Problems leading! Help please!
 
 

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Problems leading! Help please!

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  • Horse problems leading
  • Problems leading a horse

 
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    10-09-2009, 12:17 AM
  #1
Foal
Problems leading! Help please!

Ok, I have a relatively new horse, had him for about 3 weeks now. And I am still having trouble leading him sometimes. He will NOT move unless its where he wants to go. If he thinks I am taking him out of his stall to work, he will walk all the way to the gate and then just stand there. I do not want to pull and yank him anywhere, as I do know that he has had some abuse I want to use very gentle hands on him. Once I do get him out, even if I am turning him out in our round pen, he will just stop at the gate and not walk in. He will walk forward if someone is directly behind him making kissing or clucking noises, but if im leading by myself and he doesnt want to go, he will not listen to kissses or clucks when I am at his front. When he does not move forward when I ask him to, I will make him move in circles in both directions and ask him again. I can make him do circles for hours and he still wont move forward if I ask him to. I want to handle him gently without the use of giving him any kind of smacking, yanking, or cropping, but I have never had leading issues with a horse before, so this is a new one for me. What should I do!!!
     
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    10-09-2009, 12:48 AM
  #2
Weanling
My colt had abuse issues, but I still had to be firm and assertive with him. Horses are looking for leadership. I would bet that he doesn't need you to be his buddy, but rather his leader.

So - be very precise and to the point. Be quick to release pressure when he gives in (it will be baby steps to begin with), but maintain pressure until he does give. Work with a carrot stick from the get go. Teach him that it is simply an extention of you and not to be feared. Don't beat him with it, yet don't be afraid to push his neck, ribs or rump over with it. Pet him with it after you release pressure.
Big key is to release ALL pressure as soon as he gives. So if you disengage the hindquarters and say you need to push with the carrot stick - as soon as he steps away 1. Quite physically pushing, 2. Take a single step back, 3. Relax all of your body and facial features and let out your breath. You want him to learn to move and respond to the "pressure" of your presence, energy and body language.

Next big key is to have a plan and stick to it. Know where you are going and where you want him. So if you want to walk a straight line from point A to point B, look where you are going, put your hand and shoulders forward to cue that you are moving forward, tap with your carrot stick if he lags (as soon as he goes relax your energy and body and verbally say Good Boy!) When you get to point B pull your hands and shoulders back and stop. If he gets too close, bump with your elbow or ackkk at him, or stop, throw up yours hands till he steps off of you. Relax and continue on as normal as soon as he is where is suppose to be.

Don't be wishy washy in what you want. Put yourself as the leader and he will follow you. If you are not direct, he will look at you as a useless human who cannot protect him and lead him.

In this type situation I will lean towards Parelli techniques. Clinton Anderson is my favorite though. Me personally, I watch and read, then go play with the techniques until I have put together what works for me and my horses.

In my colt's case - I spent an hour in the roundpen with him and worked on disengaging hindquarters, leading and desensitizing. The owner pretty much gave him to me, because I got further in one hour with him than she had in 6 months.

You can be his friend, but remember to be a leader and protector first.

Hope this helps :)
     
    10-09-2009, 01:06 AM
  #3
Foal
I had a horse that was abused and hated being handled. Patience is a big key here. If you get frustrated it's not going to work or the horse will just get flustered. You want to make every experince enjoyable for him. It seems to me that he is gate sour. He could have this problem for many reason and that doesnt matter. What I would do is have either yourself or a friend lead him to the gate and the other person get a bucket of grain or food. Horses are just like men in the way to their heart is through their bellys. I would do this and see if it works. Coaxing him with food will make the experience a good one. I would do this everytime coming out and it may take a long time you may be out there for hours, but he will come around. I would do this off his back for awhile and then slowly wean him off the food. Once he is in the ring let him do his thing. Talking in a calm sweet voice and stroking their neck helped for my horses, just take it slow with him and remember to be patient. Let me knows if it works.

Jaime
     
    10-09-2009, 01:57 AM
  #4
Banned
Unless he was beaten with a lead rope, I don't see any problem in tapping him with one end like a normal horse! I have a cotton rope lead, so the one end is heavier than most ropes, so if Ice is being stubborn (which he does try to be) I can either poke his shoulder with the one end or I kind of swat him with it...not hurting just a "hey, move!" reminder.

But I do agree with BRU....just because he was abused doesn't mean you need to be a flake. You should take caution when introducing new things to him, of course, but if you know he has no problem with certain things, then theres no reason you can't assert yourself.
     
    10-09-2009, 03:14 PM
  #5
Foal
I can not tell if he was beaten by a lead rope, but I did smack his shoulder with the end of the lead a few days ago and he jumped and looked at me like I was trying to kill him. I understand being the dominant one, but I am not sure if I realyl want to be considered "feared".

Regarding the carrot stick, when I am leading should I hold the stick in my left hand and tap his haunches while leading with my right? I heard someone doing thsi before so that the horse does not really see that the person is the one giving them the tap on their bum. I am not very experienced when it comes to groundwork so I would love a video reference or detailed instructions on how to handle the leading situation, because I do not want to teach him any bad habits or have fears in leading, that's for sure!
     
    10-09-2009, 10:20 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaver    
I can not tell if he was beaten by a lead rope, but I did smack his shoulder with the end of the lead a few days ago and he jumped and looked at me like I was trying to kill him. I understand being the dominant one, but I am not sure if I realyl want to be considered "feared".
I don't really find that I am "feared", but rather that I am regarded as the strong one that is the lead horse. I am the one that is going to run off all the boogie men or give the cue to run like hell from a big bad bear. The lead horse is not feared. If you watch a group of horses, they talk to each other with their body language. A well respected lead horse can pin his ears at one that is moving too close to his space and the invading horse will move back to his own zone. That same lead horse will be followed like a puppy dog all over the territory by the other horses because they trust his judgement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaver    
Regarding the carrot stick, when I am leading should I hold the stick in my left hand and tap his haunches while leading with my right? I heard someone doing thsi before so that the horse does not really see that the person is the one giving them the tap on their bum. I am not very experienced when it comes to groundwork so I would love a video reference or detailed instructions on how to handle the leading situation, because I do not want to teach him any bad habits or have fears in leading, that's for sure!
Hold your carrot stick in your left hand with your extra length of lead rope. Gently put your left hand back and reach the end of the carrot stick behind you to tap his flank area.

I will see if I can find a you tube video that will help.
     
    10-09-2009, 10:25 PM
  #7
Foal
I know my horse that was abused hated when I was firm with him until a couple years ago. I ahve had him for over 10 years so now he trust me and he knows better so I am firm with him now, but he would freak out when I was firm with him. So horses are different just liek people and you have to see what works for him. I have never used the carrot stick before , so I am not too sure how it works. I have however taken treats in my right hand and used a long whip in my left and gently tapped the horse on the rump while walking if they didn't go forward. This worked for my young horses, but it would have never worked with my older abused horses cause he hated whips. It just depends how abused he was and what he will tolerate. Saying he is fairly new to you he most likely doesn't trust you and needs to gain that trust before you can push him. Does he freak out when you are assertive with him if not you can still be assertive yet not being mean. I hope I am of some help.
     
    10-09-2009, 10:31 PM
  #8
Foal
I agree with BRU in that horses respond well to standing your ground and establishing domainance like a lead horse would, but take it slow I know once my horse gained my trust I could push him a bit more and he in end followed me around...try different things with him and find what works cause all horses are different
     
    10-09-2009, 10:41 PM
  #9
Weanling


In the second video - note that when the handler is swinging the carrot stick around look at how relaxed he is keeping his posture. He has a "no big deal" demeanor, energy, posturing. Everything about him is calm. That is what you want to teach your horse to respond to.

Your tensing up and frowning up with some energy channeling will soon cue your horse that he is in the wrong spot and if he doesn't move you will go from asking to telling. Just as a lead horse pinning his ears when another is coming too close is a warning or asking him to move back.

I "ask", "tell", then "demand". If a shift in my body ("ask") doesn't get a response, then I move to physical pressure or "telling". If "telling" doesn't get a response then you "DEMAND" that he move.
Ex. Pasture mate moves too close - lead horse pins ears, swishes tail. Other horse still coming in closer - lead horse turns butt end towards pasture mate (telling). Pasture mate is as dense as a rock and still comes in - lead horses kicks, bites, squeals, etc... and DEMANDS that the other horse move. As soon as other horse is where he is suppose to be - lead horse relaxes and acts like nothing happened.

     
    10-09-2009, 10:55 PM
  #10
Weanling
Over time you will find things from different trainers that work for you based on your strong points and weakness.

I am good at channeling my energy and making myself bigger and stronger looking than I really am. I think of myself as on of those lizards with the wide collar. He stands up on his hind legs, flips open his collar, opens his mouth and looks like a big bad momma jamma that no one better mess with - when is he is actually good eating. Or a push over in my case.

     

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