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post #11 of 16 Old 08-08-2008, 01:43 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 240
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Everyone here has good ideas! The most effective one for such a horse IS to start at feeding time....The method I used was putting the hay/grain where they can see it, BUT, make them respect your space by 'pushing' them away from it untill YOU say it's ok to eat. This is a GREAT exersize that I use EVERY time I feed, even with my 4 year old mare I've had since she was 2...I HAVE to make sure my horses respect me on the ground because I deal with drafts and draft crosses. The other thing is, is that you CAN give treats...just not by hand....Carry a small bit with you (prefferably in a plastic baggy so it's harder to smell) and when she has performed a task well behaved (such as leading from point A to point B without rearing, kicking, or nipping) Take a treat, put it on the ground, then again impliment the "You can have it when I say so"

I understand having limited time to spend with her, but at that age, 1 hour is a LONG time! Now if you CAN make it out there more often, perhaps not for an hour at a time, that could help alot. Keep consistant too! And DEFFINETLY get foal feed. There is too much sugers, startches, and carbs in adult 'grain'. I would also sugest a pelleted feed as that is good for digestion as well and will lead to fewer "uncomfortable" tummies, which will lead to a calmer all around horse.

Make as much time with her as possible into a 'lesson'....Even if it's just you petting, scratching, grooming, or leading, keep a crop or small whip, or a rope if you preffer, with you to use that as a simple extension of your arm. Also, do NOT let her 'lip' you. If she lips you, it 'could' lead to a nip. Now, you don't have to pop her one for lipping, just move away from her lips. You have to be in control all the time, especially with such a young horse.

I know this seems like alot, but really, both you and your new luv needs this.

Another thing that you can do to help your 'bond' is that every few minutes that you spend with her in your aloted hour, just get up close to her and TALK to her...doesn't matter what you say. Sing 'Row Your Boat' or even 'Girls Girls Girls'! This lets her know that you're 'ok'...this gets her used to your voice and I KNOW it sounds sooooo weird, but it works! When I got my mare, she was jumpy, 'lightly' abused (previous owners just didn't know how to handle her) and just a little 'crazy'....When I'd go out there I'd just talk to her and be myself and before I knew it, she was walking up to me to say hello and be took a few months, but in the long run, months are mere minutes!

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck!
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-11-2008, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5
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Sorry it's been taking me so long to respond. I've been busy the past few days.

Thank you, EVERYONE, for your help and advice. I don't think I can answer ALL of these questions, but I will try to fil you guys in as best I can....

Nipping--Dolly would basically nip at our hands/arms, once in a while she would get a hold of our pant legs or shoes. I think the latter was just her being inquisitive. We have cut out the treats and the nipping has nearly stopped. Now she just merely nuzzles.

Rearing--I think this is usually out of play as she never appears to be angry when she does this. There were a few times when she was being led and she reared up, but she was walking fine until then and she showed no signs of anger. The rearing seems mostly out of play...

Kicking--No kicking has been seen in a while. I know once I accidentally spooked her, once was playful, and another time was because my mother was pushing her limits. It must've been the 2nd or 3rd time Dolly had been tied up since she came to this ranch and my mother got right under her and rubbed her legs, somewhat vigorously. I would've kicked her too! But that was the only time I've seen Dolly even remotely angry since we got her.

Feeding--Treats are out of the question now. No more. As for grain, we are offering it to her after we've finished working with her so it seems like a reward for being good and we're gradually cutting down on it.

We've noticed that the weather/time of day really effects the way she behaves, so we're trying to come at the right time of day for her to pay attention and learn.

Right now we've gone back a few steps and are just trying to get her to stand. She gets a little better everyday. We are using a homemade crop, I think it's a blinds rod, just to slap against a slap post whenever she bites at the lead or paws at the fence, etc. Just to let her know she's doing something wrong.

We are located in the Mackinaw City, Michigan area. We have not found a trainer for her yet. A lot of the horse trainers around here don't green broke horses.

Again, thank you everyone for your advice. It will really help us out.
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-12-2008, 12:23 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 240
• Horses: 2
Hmmm, you don't really 'need' a trainer right now....I don't think anyway...perhaps just a horse person 'friend' who could go over with you and work with her. She shouldn't really be 'working' just yet...'work' should be simple things like getting used to being touched all over, having her feet picked up, ears messed with, so on and so on.

I am glad to hear about your progress. Just keep it up!
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-12-2008, 12:28 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plains...
Posts: 752
• Horses: 9
Just work with her, play with her. Pick up her feet, walk around when she's grazing, pat her...ect.

My young horse nips and rears, but he is just playing, and I dont blame him. he respects me though, and I agree. Gaurding the food shows dominance (you'd never see a horse lower in the herd rankings plow through their leader for the better grass.)

If she isnt playing, you need to find out what is causing the rearing/biting.
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-31-2008, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
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She's really playing whenever she's rearing, and the nipping seems more out of curiosity because it's not always our hands she's nipping. Flaps on shirt pockets, pant legs, shoes, and hats have all been played with at sometime or other. She's really getting used to being tied up. She seems pretty consistent once we have a pattern going in her behaviour. If it's later in the day she's usually pretty calm unless a storms coming.

One thing has changed. She used to love having her head patted and rubbed, and now she doesn't like us touching her head longer than neccessary for putting her halter on. Any suggestions?
dovelady4 is offline  
post #16 of 16 Old 08-31-2008, 08:21 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 59
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Great tips everyone!
to make her less face shy, basically just keep trying to pet, rubbing everywhere, she just has to get used to it. It might take a little while, but just keep trying, good luck!

Amanda & Beau [Soldier Boy]
3 days.2 hearts.1 dream
eventers forever! <3
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