Pushy Horse: Helpful tips? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Pushy Horse: Helpful tips?

My new guy is a pushy boy. He acts like its the end of the world if I am not in his sight but the moment I'm with him, he pushes me over, steps on me, and really disrespects my space even when I sharply tell him to stand or back up.

My friend suggested a nose chain to use for him. Now, this might be a good idea but I am also looking for more tips. Thanks everyone.

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post #2 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 12:37 AM
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Ignore the nose chain idea. Seriously.

Push him out of your space. Don't just use your hand against him to push him - yell, slap him, push him away with all the force you have. You need to establish your dominance over him. He can't understand English, so you can't just say "Hey mate, you're on my toe, fancy getting off of it?" You need to speak horse and say "Listen buddy, GTFO of my space before I kick your face in."

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post #3 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 01:58 AM
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Don't let him push you around. It means he knows that he is the boss of you and that your not being bossy enough. DO NOT LOOK HIM IN THE EYE when he does something like that; that means he is winning. Just establish your space and just stand there and if he tries it again push him away and don't make eye contact.

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post #4 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 02:42 AM
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I always thought looking a horse in the eye was asserting dominance? When you slide your eye down the body of a horse in join up, it gives the horse permission to slow down and come into the circle.

When he gets into your little bubble, make him back up, and not just a few steps. Then start walking forward again. Repeat as you need to. I have been known to throw an elbow up into the side of a horses neck when they wouldnt give me space.

I think there are a few other threads on this topic as well....

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post #5 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 07:40 AM
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I will say, making him back up is the best. DO NOT USE THE CHAIN. He'll only get hurt and other issues can arrise. Honestly, take a crop with you and that is your arm, hand. You will need to give him one good pop with it. This is not mean or abbusive in anyway. For one, your going to save your hands, and elbow from getting hurt and two he is probably not going to feel the sting you feel when you slap him. When in a herd, a horse will be moved by another horse with a bite or kick, so popping him with a crop is alot nicer than kicking or biting.
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 08:16 AM
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Recognize your personal space, and make sure he recognizes it, too. Practice driving him out of your space and having him just stand there nicely, out of your reach. He gets left alone if he respects your space, his world ends if he invades without your permission.

I've heard the same thing about eye contact being an aggressive form of body language, and I do use it sometimes. Although, I also differentiate between "soft" and "hard" eyes, if that makes sense. Soft eye contact is okay, it just means that I'm looking at the horse's head for whatever reason. Hard eye contact is part of the whole nonverbal "get the heck out of my space" phrase.

I like backing up a lot - my horse has had a pretty good education about this, but sometimes he does forget himself. If he even starts to edge into my space without permission, my first correction is to back him up with energy.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 09:41 AM
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[QUOTE=VelvetsAB;774934]I always thought looking a horse in the eye was asserting dominance? When you slide your eye down the body of a horse in join up, it gives the horse permission to slow down and come into the circle. [/QUOTE]

That is true. Looking a horse in the eye is confrontational. They are flight animals.

I would suggest doing Join-Up with him. Do you have access to a round pen where the horse can be free lunged?

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post #8 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Scoutrider View Post
Recognize your personal space, and make sure he recognizes it, too. Practice driving him out of your space and having him just stand there nicely, out of your reach.
This is similar to our approach. Even though we don't drive them out just for practice, we never let them 'invade' our space.
What I've noticed most in my experience is that (because of fear) it is very natural for folks to back up when a 1000 lb animal is crowding you. When you do that, you have given your space to your horse. I always tell people that if they ever even get the feeling that the horse is going to crowd you, you must act first, moving into the horse and taking their space (i.e. driving them out).
Our easy to remember phrase is that you have to be confident and ACT BIG to define your space using your voice, arms, elbows, whatever you need. Horses understand this and you don't have to be a big, tall, strong, or a giant to do it.

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post #9 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 05:55 PM
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Dancer and DJ were both very pushy when we first got them. They really had terrible ground manners and it showed when the previous owner tried to help us load them when we picked them up. I have no tolerance for that sort of behavior, and I swear, they both knew it immediately, because they were never that pushy with me.

When we first brought them home, they would both try to walk with their heads hanging over my shoulder - not such a horrible thing, but it meant they nearly stepped on me with each step - they would actually bump me with their chests. I want them walking quietly behind me. With that in mind, every time they got to close behind me, I flapped my arms, which also sharply wiggled the lead rope. First time I did that, Dancer nearly jumped out of her skin - that's the only time I've ever seen her jump (not counting when the evil, vile fly spray bottle/demon gets too close!). After a few (and I mean a few) times of getting my little "correction," (which I've done with both horses), they now walk quietly and respectfully. Even Rain is learning to do this. Monkey business just isn't allowed!

One of these days, I'm going to figure out why I have no fear of my horses while I'm on the ground, and scared spitless in the saddle - guess I'll just chalk it up to a fear of heights! :)

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

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post #10 of 11 Old 10-08-2010, 10:26 PM
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Rebel was very pushy too. All you need to do is make him pay when he gets there. Have a long lead, and when he runs you over, smack him on the legs or the chest, wave your arms and MAKE him back up. If he hits you with his head, smack him on the nose and wave your arms until her gets away. Pop him with the lead multiple times. Wave the end of the lead in front of you in a circle and if he runs ahead of you he gets his nose whacked with the end of the rope.

I put a stud chain on Rebel too, and it did make a world of differance, but it didn't solve the problem. You don't want a horse who only listens with the chain; you want one who listens without one. The chain will only be a temporary fix.

Now what you could do, is put the chain on when working with him until he stops being pushy and will be lead nicely, then take it off and do nothing differant. If he acts up again, put it back on and work some more. Eventually you won't need it anymore.

Oh, and if you smack his nose, make sure you spend some time rubbing his face too so he doesn't become head shy. If the only time you put your hand to his face is to punish him, he learns that your hand = pain. He needs to associate the punishment with the crime, not the punishment with your hand.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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