Respect my space pretty please? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-23-2013, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Respect my space pretty please?

You know how horses get when they haven't been worked in a while for the winter.. Well, my horse has decided to see if he can get away with disrespecting my space while being led. He'll get WAAAAY too close to me, try and walk in front of me and cut me off, and sometimes he'll pin his ears and try and bite. Any suggestions on letting him know I'M boss and getting him to be nice and respectful while being led again?
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-23-2013, 07:18 PM
Green Broke
 
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Well, for starters, take the "pretty please" out of that request when you relay it to him. From the sounds of it, you have had this horse for some time and he was mannerly before -- did you do the initial work with him?
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-23-2013, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themacpack View Post
Well, for starters, take the "pretty please" out of that request when you relay it to him. From the sounds of it, you have had this horse for some time and he was mannerly before -- did you do the initial work with him?
So be a little more firm with him then? Yes, he KNOWS its wrong. That's why he's doing it. Honestly, I could've done a little more groundwork with him, but he had really good manners and respect.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-23-2013, 07:37 PM
Green Broke
 
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Horses don't "know it's wrong" nor is it "that's why he is doing it". They do these things because you are not being a good handler.

And it may have been coming to a head for a while, which is what I suspect.

Allowing a horse to waller all over on the lead is one way to end up like this. Not holding lead correctly is another, giving too much leeway on horse's behavior is another, allowing them to fidget, lollygag around, ignore you, or show aggression.

The horse is telling you that you are not the boss of him. It is not the horse's fault as much as it is yours.

Horses work on the leader system, if there isn't one, they become the leader, which is what is happening here.

You need to learn better handling skills, and more about horse behavior and herd dynamics, as that will help more than anything.

Horses make me a better person.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-23-2013, 07:40 PM
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Arm yourself with a riding crop and as he approaches swing it side to side about waist height. If he walks into it he'll get a smack. Do this each time he approaches you and he will learn to keep his distance. If you want him, lower the crop and you approach him. When you lead him give him about 30" of lead rope so he can walk his own path and not crowd you. Every once in a while flap your elbow up and down. If he connects with it he'll learn to pay mind. Continue to do this but not with rhythm. Develop the attitude you are a drill sargent and he is your troop. You tell him what to do, he doesn't tell you.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-23-2013, 08:52 PM
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Depending what you're doing, you can also arm yourself with a buggy whip

One of my three horses has been a bully all his life and tests everyone from me to the strong alpha-dominant horse. The Bully is third in line.

2 - 3 times a week he "accidentally" gets in my personal space when I am opening the paddock gate to let everyone in the main pasture.

If I were to always let that horse get in my space, it wouldn't be two weeks before he would be running me over to get thru the gate.

He is 16.1H and I am 5'2" - I can't be letting the Snot get away with anything. The buggy whip is my "arm" and while I'm opening the gate with one hand, he is getting poked in chest by my "arm" on the other side. If that doesn't grab his attention, I let him have it across the neck (never in the face). He gets mad, snakes his head, starts chewing his tongue and waits until I tell him he can leave.

We've been doing this for 16+ years because he's a horse that will never quit trying me or the two horses who are ahead of him in leadership.

Horses don't stay broke and well-mannered by themselves - every time we're around them, they are learning something - either how to get one over on us, soon or later, or that they better be respectful

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-24-2013, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpbr View Post
You know how horses get when they haven't been worked in a while for the winter.. Well, my horse has decided to see if he can get away with disrespecting my space while being led. He'll get WAAAAY too close to me, try and walk in front of me and cut me off, and sometimes he'll pin his ears and try and bite. Any suggestions on letting him know I'M boss and getting him to be nice and respectful while being led again?
Horses are like kids and like to test us owners LOL
My horses are all taught to walk behind me, I use a 10-12 foot lead and if they start crowding my space I swing the end of the lead and bop them with it, doesn't take them long to figure out to stay back and walk nicely.....

My horses are the joy in my life.....
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-24-2013, 12:52 AM
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Be firm and demand good behavior! He gets too close, make him get away. Ask nicely first if he doesn't move then make it uncomfortable to be so close. Do you have a good dressage whip or lunge whip to carry with you. When you offer the harder deal make sure your firm make it sting don't peck at your horse. I'm not saying beat him up but a few firm concise whacks that undoubtedly make your point. To be an effective leader you must demand he behaves all the time. He doesn't know he's being bad unless you tell him. Remind him who his leader is or he'll take the leader role for you, which can easily become dangerous if you let it.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-24-2013, 10:04 AM
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I haven't read the other responses but the title to this thread seems to say it all to me. If you are thinking "Oh pretty please will you stay out of my space?" you are going to have problems, you need to think "get the **** out of my space and stay out". As you are walking, if he gets in your space give him a tap with your elbow/hand/whatever is easiest, if he continues to stay in your space hit him harder, if he still doesn't get out of your space give him a good solid smack and make him back up. He will soon learn that it is just easier to stay out of your space!
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-24-2013, 01:23 PM
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Personally, and this is common in the UK, I do nt teach a horse to walk behind me, I like them to be shoulder to shoulder with me.
The reasons for this are that you can always see the horse's expression and anticipate what he is going to do next, if anything! A horse that is behind you and gets startled can and might slam into you from behind. If a horse does get startled then you stand a better chance of holding onto it if it is shoulder to shoulder. You can turn it in front of you or, if it comes into you, use your elbow to keep it out. Finally, I like a horse to be brave and not just follow. I have never had them assume they are my leader because they are slightly ahead of me.

If I have a horse that likes to come into my space when I am leading him then the point of a hoof pick against their shoulder keeps them over.
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