Is she respecting me?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 03-05-2012, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Question Is she respecting me??

Ok, so we were doing good until this weekend. My horse is an 18 yr old arabian mare. As far as we know she has not had any formal training. When we go in the round pen I walk next to her for a few laps and she will follow with her head near my waist. She will follow my every move, if I turn she turns, if I stop she stops. Now the problem is lunging starting with the trot. She will eventually get out on the rail with some convincing and sometimes stay at the trot nice and perfect but some times, like this weekend, she would cut in and kind of throw her butt at me and buck. This was not even close to me as I couldn't reach her with my lunge whip. Now I did catch her and do lots and lots of circles until her ears came forward and she was listening to me again. Now by the end of our little session, about 15-20 min, she was back to head near my waist and following my every move. And the rest of the time I was there she was an absolute angel, including taking her dewormer perfectly.

My question with this is what is she doing and why? I understand she is most likely acting out in some way to try to be boss but she starts and ends with what seems to be respect?
I am open to suggestions to help.

Just a side note, we have basically ended her head tossing, she will do one toss just before she's about to act up. She also walks on a lead very well until we get to new scary places then she wants to go home. She is also extremely buddy sour and as the weather improves we will be working on that taking her off property.
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post #2 of 24 Old 03-05-2012, 12:22 PM
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Yes, it's a disrespect. If my horse would try to cut in and especially swing her butt towards me, she'd get a whip on butt making her to get back to the rail fast. As for bucking I'd work her on lunge and the moment the head goes down for the buck, I'd ask for the change of the direction before bucking happens.

They can buck all they want in field 23 hours out of 24. Ring means work, not "play" with me as a target.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #3 of 24 Old 03-05-2012, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Well I did get after her for coming in to me, I always get after her for that when I didn't ask her to. But the thing is her head doesn't go down before she bucks it actually goes up first then down during the buck. The problem is when she acts out during lunging how do I get after her fast enough? I usually have to run at her with the whip as she very quickly gets back out on the rail. She will never run at me and when I tell her Woah, sometimes a few yells, she stops and turns towords me but stays there until I ask her to come in then she will lower her head and walk in. She knows I will get after her when she bucks that's why she's so fast to get out of my range.

The change of direction is another issue. She will only go clockwise. She turns her head funny going the other way so when the vet is out next week I will ask him about it. Her eye looks normal but who knows as she was extrememly malnourished in the past.
Thank you for all suggestions.
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post #4 of 24 Old 03-05-2012, 12:47 PM
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What was the footing like? If you are asking her to move on dicey footing, she may be telling you "Please don't hurt me". Our round pen is too frozen right now to ask a horse to do more than a walk - so we work the horses in the indoor.
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post #5 of 24 Old 03-05-2012, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I do not have any access to an indoor. But I can tell if she's ok with the footing when she starts to walk. She will walk slow and look 'ouchy' if she doesn't like the footing. Yesterday the ground wasn't too bad just snow covered it was warm enough in the sun that there wasn't any ice. If I can walk in it she can as I will literally trip over my own feet on even pavement. She has even looked at me funny when we are walking and I slip on the ice, she just waits for me to fall, she's very helpful.
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post #6 of 24 Old 03-05-2012, 01:19 PM
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poppy, I think you'll have to start slowly with her. There is a possibility she doesn't know even how to lunge. And given most horses are stiffer on one side (same with people too ) that could be a reason why she doesn't want to lunge on that side (may be something medical too of course, but hopefully your vet will rule it out). Given it's not a health issue, start with walk first, if she's comfortable to go both directions as well as change direction, then introduce the trot on the "bad" side.
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"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #7 of 24 Old 03-05-2012, 01:25 PM
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I've had the same situation happen. He disrespects me and I try my best to get after him, but its hard sometimes. The bucking is different though. He doesn't buck but just turns his hinney to me. Like he's threatening to kick. I guess I just try to keep the distinction between my stern "STOP IT" voice and my "GOOD BOY" voice and remeber to lash out when he misbehaves. Don't act scared when she starts acting up. Show her that even though you probably might be a little scared (I know I am sometimes) That you are the boss and her little fits won't change that. Working with these things are hard to do. Just keep your mind positive and do what you think best at the situation. I guess this is a little different for me though, because I don't lunge. Actually, I don't know how. But I do get the jist of it. Just stick to what you've been doing before with disciplining but just keep adding more when she misbehaves.

To ride or not to ride? What a stupid question!
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post #8 of 24 Old 03-05-2012, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, we have been going very slow. It seems she "forgets" when the weather has been bad so she gets time off. The guy who was fostering her before I adopted her taught her to lunge. So she is still learning but knows the commands as some days she will be perfect so I know she knows what I'm asking. We are still working on building her muscle so she gets tired fast, mostly do to herself getting all worked up for nothing. But I will try again tonight, slowly.
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post #9 of 24 Old 03-05-2012, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppy1356 View Post
Unfortunately I do not have any access to an indoor. But I can tell if she's ok with the footing when she starts to walk. She will walk slow and look 'ouchy' if she doesn't like the footing. Yesterday the ground wasn't too bad just snow covered it was warm enough in the sun that there wasn't any ice. If I can walk in it she can as I will literally trip over my own feet on even pavement. She has even looked at me funny when we are walking and I slip on the ice, she just waits for me to fall, she's very helpful.
Walking is different than trotting on uneven or icy footing. There is ice under the snow due to the rain prior to the snow on Tuesday.

If she is turning her hindquarters towards you - that is disrespect. In horse speak it's the same as your mother saying your name very firmly. "Stop now or this will escalate".
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post #10 of 24 Old 03-05-2012, 01:47 PM
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I must say that I find the application of the word "disrespect" to horses to be dangerous, because humans take that word personally, engendering anger/upset in the humans. If we'd understand that horses don't think of themselves in terms of "disrespect", but rather are simply doing what they're hardwired to do by their Creator, which is to test for leadership, we'd be better off & the horse'd be better off.

Watch a herd of horses in the field: they test for leadership constantly, over who gets the lushest patch of grass, who gets the hay first, who gets the shady spot. All day long it happens, & the horses don't think "disrespect"; they don't take the hierarchical skirmishes personally! In a second, it's over, without any horse being "disrespected".

What usually is the case is that the human hasn't taught the horse what's acceptable behaviour, in the horse's language. Once the human is clear & consistent, the horse simply learns the boundaries. Calmness on the human's part, & not triggering the horse's fear (so that horse can learn) are necessaries, as well.

Last edited by Northern; 03-05-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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