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post #11 of 25 Old 03-27-2010, 07:38 PM
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Not quite sure I read that right, but DON'T put her back in the paddock when she nudges and misbehaves. Going back to her comfortable field is a reward. When she pulls on you to put her head down and eat, and she doesn't respond when you try and pull her head up to continue my best advice would be to instead back her up. Give her a few whacks on the chest when she ignores you and get her head up and her feet moving. If she ignores you, be more imposing. If you do have to, be so loud and expressive that it's impossible for her to ignore you. (A slightly raised, stern voice and a few smacks should get her attention, though). Once her head is up and away from the grass, continue walking forwards like nothing happened.

Getting her to stay away from you will take time and patience. She seems quite disrespectful, so it might take a few days of this. Just be repetitive and persistent and eventually she will catch on. When she continues to approach you, keep making her back up and get away from you. As soon as she takes one step towards you, back her up some more. Right now you should probably not ever invite her into your space. Instead, go up to her (without hesitation) and proceed to pet her or whatever. Until she can stay out of your space 100% of the time, it's probably not advisable to invite her in.

Hope that helps, good luck! Keep us posted.
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-27-2010, 07:42 PM
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Yeah, you made a good point...you shouldn't have treats every time you go and see her, or she will learn that you always have something for her to eat. Personally, I only give treats as a great reward (like after riding, or when my stubborn mare goes into the trailer). Pats and a praising voice should be reward enough, and though right now it seems your horse doesn't care about being loved and patted, that's probably because she'd rather have a treat instead.
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post #13 of 25 Old 03-27-2010, 07:43 PM
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^^ This will also make her appreciate treats so much more when you do give them.
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post #14 of 25 Old 03-28-2010, 12:15 AM
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Yeah, for the first bit after you push her out of your space, she will walk right back up into it. You just have to be consistent and keep pushing her backward until she keeps her feet still at a distance that you want. I don't know how many trips Rafe and I made around the place going backward because he kept walking right back up on top of me. When she stops moving toward you after you back her away, don't have her come to you for scratches, leave her feet stationary and go to her and give her a good scratch. That helps to reinforce that it is pleasant to be close to you but only when you want it.
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post #15 of 25 Old 03-28-2010, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Snapple122 View Post
How do you stop a horse from being pushy? My Shetland x Quarter horse always nudges me on my arm or stomach when she thinks I have treats for her, whether I'm leading her or standing still. It's not just a soft nudge, it's like a headbutt. And today I had a carrot in my hand when I went out to catch her, but I wasn't going to give it to her until I put her halter on. Well, she knew I had the carrot, and while I was trying to get her halter on, she just kept back up. What can I do to stop this? She really has no respect.

I had same problem with my gelding. No more treats period. They need to focus on you and respect not food at this point. Use a rope halter with a snap and re-establish your personal space if they continually invade it, make them back up and jiggle the rope to get them back be tough about it and anytime they wander into your space snap them back til they learn the new guidelines. After a week or so of success with this, then a treat can reward them for respecting your new space but only if they dont invade and retreat, must be after they aren't thinking about the treats anymore and have focus on you.
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post #16 of 25 Old 03-28-2010, 07:15 AM
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I haven't read the replies but generally, if you have a very food orientated horse it is unlikely that they'll ever put manners before grubs. I'm speaking from exerpiance as i used to look after a Shetland and i have a very greedy, very food orientated Highland. I have compeltely cut out hand treats as he gets ridiculously bargy and no amount of ground work seemed to make him listen when there was food involved. This isn't really a solution if you want to continue hand feeding him, but it would make life a lot easier. Shetlands can be little devils when it comes to grub.
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post #17 of 25 Old 03-28-2010, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Snapple122 View Post
And today I had a carrot in my hand when I went out to catch her, but I wasn't going to give it to her until I put her halter on. Well, she knew I had the carrot, and while I was trying to get her halter on, she just kept back up. What can I do to stop this? She really has no respect.
This is one reason that many folks never hand feed treats, but you can fix this with patience and still hand feed if you want. If she thinks/knows you have a treat and starts backing up, tell her to stop (using whatever word you use), and try again. Repeat as necessary, but don't give in/up. Eventually, you'll conquer the behavior.

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On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #18 of 25 Old 03-28-2010, 09:41 AM
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my horse doesn't head butt, but she does know exactly where the treats are kept - even before she gets one. They can be in the front pocket, back pocket, or shirt pocket - and she will stretch her neck out and lip the correct pocket, everytime. She's like a bloodhound, lol. For this type of thing, I just pretend like I'm pinching and jiggling her cheeks, but I do it to her muzzle and face. I talk in a real high pitched voice like I am some type of over-bearing aunt. She doesn't like it. She has never really bit or head butted me in a "habit-established kind of way, but she had previously begun to amble into my space a bit when she was distracted or nervous. Whenever she's exhibited that type of behavior, I always bump her with my elbow and make her back up and stand in her own space. Case in point, we had a show-down at the gate a while back, it took me 20 minutes to get out of the arena because she tried to rush by me, then she'd creep. Sneaky mare. I've also noticed that she seems to deliberately move her stronger front foot as a last attempt to use it as a power play. Even if she just moves that one foot a half step, I still set her back and repeat the process, because I wasn't in control of that one foot! Head-butting, rubbing, and lipping is an over-familiarity that a lot of horses get in the habit of, and it breaks down the teacher-pupil relationship and blurs the lines of respect. It's a hard habit to correct because it is human nature to see lipping and rubbing as affectionate behaviour, not disrespect.

I let my cat head-butt me though, lol.
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post #19 of 25 Old 03-28-2010, 10:27 AM
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I don't disagree -at all- with bucket feeding the treats, but I always feed mine by hand-mostly because I'm too lazy to go and actually get a bucket. My mare does like her treats, but they are a rare occurrence and she knows they aren't the greatest reward she can have. She knows very well I have more in my pocket, but she knows better than to touch me. What she does is the same as Seahorseys: stand an arm length away and stretch her nose towards me, lipping towards my pocket. When she does that I just back her up and make her stand quietly, and then she can have another.

Not saying either way is right or wrong, but it is possible to respectfully feed them by hand...the key is that they actually have to respect you first.
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post #20 of 25 Old 03-28-2010, 01:19 PM
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Stop with the treats. No treat should pass directly from your hand to her mouth. Get a hanging fence feeder by the gate or something. If you are going to give a treat, put it in the bucket while you are on the other side of the fence.

As for running into you, I wouldn't smack her on the face, or anywhere. I mean, sure, that's one way to do it, but unless she's lunging at you with her teeth bared you don't really *need* to.

Passive self-training is beneficial here. Let her train herself. It's like I mentioned in the thread with the horse that leans on the bit. Always keep your eye on her. When she come in to nudge/run you over, put out your hand with one knuckle sticking out right in her line of fire. She'll run right into it. "when i do that, it hurts". You have to be persistent, and do it every time she tries it. Let her run directly into that knuckle with her face. She won't see it happen if you're quick enough, but she'll get the negative reaction when she does it. She'll stop, trust me.

This is how I train a horse that likes to rub on people. It takes about 10 minutes. When you've got an itchy horse, go to rub the side of their face for them. They'll inevitably start rubbing back harder. As soon as it happens, let them run into your knuckle, say NO, and stop rubbing. The idea is, I'll rub you, you NEVER rub me. Stand totally still when the horse starts rubbing back. When they stop moving, you start rubbing again. Rinse, repeat.

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