Some ground manner issues, help please - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-28-2008, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Some ground manner issues, help please

So I just got a new horse, a 8 year old Thouroghbred.
He is wonderful! He does have some minor behavior issues I was hoping you guys could help me out with

#1. When tied up to the post for grooming/tacking up he paws the ground a lot, doesn't seem happy. How can I get him to stop that?I read somewhere he might be anticipating the exercise and thats why he paws, it said some horses do it when they are anticpating being fed as well.

#2 Sometimes when I brush him he puts his ears back like he doesnt like it, and same thing with fly spraying. When I try to fly spray him he will put his ears back and back up and try and move away. Ive been giving him carrots as a distraction but is there another way?

#3 He doesnt like it when I try to put the saddle pad, saddle or girth on. He doesnt kick or anything but he puts his ears back and looks at me and gets his head close. I have been having my friend distract him with carrots but Id like a more permanent solution. Also in regards to the girth, I do it very slowly, keeping it really loose at first and talking to him and patting him.Ill do something else for a minute come back and tighten it up one notch and repeat the process.

One other thing but this isnt so much of a issue, he doesnt like to be alone in the turnout, he will pace and run back and forth and if there is a horse in the arena next to the turnout and im not there he whinies cause he is lonley. The guy I got him from said to never put two or more horses in a turnout together because one could accidentally kick another, but I would really like him to have a turnout time once a day but cant really do it if he is by himself, what should I do?

Thanks for any advice, its been a long time since i have owned a horse so Im a little rusty.
sydney is offline  
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-28-2008, 07:26 PM
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I'm afraid I don't know much about horse care, but a friend of mine has a horse with beautiful manners who hates his fly spray. He'll stand still without being tied for any kind of attention, he's even good at being wormed, but the minute the bottle starts squirting all seventeen hands of TBxHanoverian are acting like a big baby. So I imagine it's not that rare for horses to hate the fly spray.

Luckily he trusts his mum a lot and knows to obey her, so even if he's trying to hide his unsprayed side from the fly spray, if she tells him to move his arse, he will. He glares at her for it, but he does move. And then tries to hide in the corner as soon as he hears another squirt xD

If you believe everything you read, better not read.
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claireauriga is offline  
post #3 of 12 Old 07-28-2008, 07:38 PM
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It's normal for any horse not to like the fly spray.
I'm afraid theres nothing you can do about it.
And the kicking the ground..
I guess that just depends on the horse and its peronality.
I believe it may be bcz its excited or anticipating it.
You seem like an excellent owner.
Just keep doing what your doing.
He should come around
Plus, you said you just got him.
Also I definitely think you should let him socialize with some other horses.
I know a horse down the road that is all by himself all the time,
The owners dont even do anything with him and hes very lonely.
He needs a friend
Keep that in mind
ilove_lady93 is offline  
post #4 of 12 Old 07-28-2008, 10:20 PM
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That's a lot of questions!

1. I don't usually stop Arrow from pawing if I walk off, but if I'm handling him, I don't let him paw. I'd try slapping his shoulder and saying "stop it" in a very firm voice. If that doesn't work, tap his leg with a crop and say "stop it." Don't pay any attention to the pawing unless you are working with him--don't yell "stop" from a ways away, only tell him to stop when you can enforce it.

2. Try softer brushes, look for ticklish spots. As for flyspray--get a rage and wipe it on, it works better that way anyway.

3. No talking or patting--be all business when you saddle up. Looking at you is one thing, if he moves his head towards you, though--give his muzzle a light slap, look him in the eye, and say "knock it off!" Girthing up slowly is a good thing, just be more businesslike, don't baby him--be the leader. Also--check your saddle fit, maybe it hurts him, and make sure the skin where the girth goes is especially clean. Sounds like you have a thin-skinned horse. Maybe get a nice fleecy girth cover.

4. As for turnout--I can only say, he'll adjust.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-28-2008, 10:23 PM
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Post #2--I'm always afraid long ones will get lost before I finish.

Don't underestimate how long it can take a horse to settle in to new surroundings. I've had Arrow a year and a half now. He was spooky and unsettled for a month, and he didn't really start trusting me for half a year. We're really partners now, we click--but it takes awhile. That's why I advise being all business for a bit, leave the palsy stuff for later. Project confidence, make him feel safe--making him feel safe is more important than giving him treats. Work with him with a mindset of "I'm going to protect you, nothing can hurt you here, don't worry." You'll really be partners after a while--just don't expect it the first week!

Congrats, and good luck--can't wait to hear more about him!
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-28-2008, 10:59 PM
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i would check him all over for pain and possibly get a chiropractor out to see him. sounds very similar to some problems i recently had with my wb and the problems were basically all related to his back being out and causing him pain.

the pawing when tied up is common same as it is when its dinner time. try tying him up and doing lots of different things with him. keep him wondering what you are going to do that day rather than anticipating being ridden.

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"

jazzyrider is offline  
post #7 of 12 Old 07-29-2008, 05:03 AM
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First off, stop with the carrots, you are rewarding him for bad behavior!

There are a couple of things you can do for the pawing. You can hold a crop and when he paws give a sharp NO and pop him in the chest with the crop. (not beat him, just pop him one time) It is more of a surprise thing. OR to "self teach" you can get a horse shoe and put it on the front of his hoof (not all the time, just when he is exhibiting this behavior) when he paws, it will "thunk" the top of his foot. It won't hurt him, just annoy him. More later, I have to go to work!
TxHorseMom is offline  
post #8 of 12 Old 07-29-2008, 05:30 AM
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For the pawing issue, it could be frustration/boredom, so keep him occupied, like Jazzy said, do different things with him. If he still does it, put your foot against his leg (don't kick!) so you block him, and say "no!" in a firm voice. As soon as he stops, praise him. Or you could try and bottle or can with stones/gravel in it and as soon as he starts pawing shake the bottle and say "No!" again in a firm voice! As soon as he stops, praise him lots, give him loads of rubs and scratches. I don't believe in hitting any horse in any way and i've heard these methods work very well :)

As for the saddling/girthing problem, I would get him checked by a vet, something might be hurting him. If that's all ok, he could just be a very ticklish Thoroughbred, so don't punish him for that. I know one TB who is so ticklish, puts his ears back for everything saddling, grooming, putting on/taking off rugs.

Hope this helps :)

LuLu is offline  
post #9 of 12 Old 07-29-2008, 03:43 PM
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NO MORE CARROTS! You are telling him its ok to pay, be crabby, put his ears back. Check your saddle fit, or have someone check it for you. Agree with everyone else, tap him with a crop and FIRMLY say NO. Don't let him do that. He's definitely testing you - to see if you are good enough to be the boss mare... If you are not firm with him (and stop with the treats) he is going to turn into the leader, not you. (This doesn't mean you still can't love on him).

As for the fly spray, yes, you can fix this. Fill a spray bottle with water (so you don't waste your expensive fly spray. Put your horse in a rope halter (not nylon) and lead. Begin squirting him on his front legs (from the side). If he moves, fusses, backs up, keep squirting. The very second he stops moving, you stop squirting. Do this all over, when he relaxes, you immediate stop squirting. Eventually, he'll stop moving when you fly spray him.
GallopingGrape is offline  
post #10 of 12 Old 08-16-2008, 06:23 PM
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How's he settling in? Have you changed his name? Give us an update!
Arrow is offline  

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