Space bubble issues - The Horse Forum
 8Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 Old 05-28-2013, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Western Wisconsin
Posts: 3
• Horses: 1
Space bubble issues

My horse has always had issues to being a bit too close for comfort, especially when being led. I usually end up with stepped-on ankles... It's not that she's trying to push me away or is being aggressive; she's a very sweet horse and just has a tendancy to wander into me. Even if I give her plenty of lead rope or push her away, she'll still get very close. Any suggestions? I don't think my ankles can take much more of this...
Em Jay is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 12 Old 05-28-2013, 04:37 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 12,985
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Em Jay View Post
My horse has always had issues to being a bit too close for comfort, especially when being led. I usually end up with stepped-on ankles... It's not that she's trying to push me away or is being aggressive; she's a very sweet horse and just has a tendancy to wander into me. Even if I give her plenty of lead rope or push her away, she'll still get very close. Any suggestions? I don't think my ankles can take much more of this...
Hi,

While I'm generally very reticent to use the term 'respect' generally, IMO this is one sign your horse has no respect for you as a leader & you allowing her to walk all over you will tend to lead her to become more pushy & possibly aggressive, as she realises someone must be the leader & in control. That is not in the least to say it's 'bad', 'naughty' or deserving punishment. It's just the situation she's found herself in & is going along with.

It does mean that you need to start taking control & being consistent & effective with her. As you've allowed it for however long, I'd also expect she may well become pushy & throw a few 'tanties' when you try to take control, as she may see your change of behaviour as an insubordinate challenge to her leadership. Therefore I would also be inclined to find some experienced hands-on help to show you how to handle her safely.

Essentially, you just have to be consistent at NEVER allowing your horse to invade what you decide your 'personal bubble' should be. To me & most people I know, arm's length away is the 'line' not to be crossed. There needs to be effective consequences EVERY time the horse crosses the boundary without express invitation and you can combine that with reinforcing her positively for walking at a 'respectful' distance. I also make a point of not hitting out *at* her or being predictable, so she learns that it's not your intention to attack her, but her behaviour that causes her to get *herself* hit.

So... the best way I can think to explain my tactic is 'swatting flies'. I sporadically & randomly wave my arms around me. I don't aim at the horse, don't even look at them particularly, but if they get themselves in the way of my arm, they get swatted too. They soon learn to stay out of the way. If walking single file with a horse following, I also might suddenly go into an energetic reverse & if the horse doesn't get out of the way, I'll be stepping on their ankles. They soon learn to stay at a safe distance & pay close attention to my bodylanguage!
loosie is offline  
post #3 of 12 Old 05-28-2013, 03:41 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Alberta
Posts: 247
• Horses: 1
I agree with Loosie, this horse does not respect you. Not leading properly is dangerous, so you need to start there with basic groundwork. You need to pick a boundary that is your "bubble" and be 100% consistent about enforcing it. I do the arm waving thing too if my horse is crowding me, whether it be leading, on the ground, or in the cross ties, and it works extremely well. Or a quick elbow swung inconspicuously to connect as the horse steps towards you works wonders too. And the trick is to correct it right that moment, and immediately go on like nothing is wrong or ever happened. The horse also needs to be paying attention to where and what speed you are going. Lots of leading, turns, stopping & backing up, will help. The horse should be doing all of this on a slack lead rope, if you're having to pull and tug and push, you need to do more homework and be more firm with your requests.

The horse "asks" in small ways long before it ever disrespects you outright. The horse should absolutely not come into your bubble unless you have invited it. People think that when a horse gives "cuddles" or rubs on a person, that the horse is being cute, or friendly, or that the horse "loves them", but what is really happening is that horse is testing you, asking "Are you the one running the show here?" And if it's not corrected, the horse takes it as a "No", and it escalates little by little, until the horse is outright walking all over you. Horses look to us for guidance, and if they don't get it, they take charge. It's just how they're wired. That's not to say you can't ever pet your horse or gives them hugs and kisses, you absolutely can, but it has to be on YOUR terms and only when you allow it. I'm not a fan of hand feeding treats either, usually it will create a pushy horse, which then gets rewarded with a treat, which reinforces the pushiness, so then they get worse, and it snowballs.

So it's catching those little things, the little step towards you when tied must be corrected. You must require the horse to be paying attention to you 100% of the time. You can ask them for little things while grooming or tacking to reinforce the focus on you. Moving a bit over here, asking for a step back there. Requests, if not responded to in a timely manner, need to be reinforced. Like moving over in the cross ties, for example, a green horse of course gets a little more leeway and understanding while learning, but still is required to respond in an appropriate manner. My mare, who KNOWS about cross ties, and has been familiar with them for years? She gets asked once nicely, and then gets a big smack to move over. It usually doesn't take more than that to get my point across the odd time she "forgets". However, the next step after that has been the broom, which she has gotten a time or two. Big disrespects get big consequences. Less dramatic corrections for the smaller ones. The trick is learning to recognize and address the small issues, long before they ever become big ones.

And then it all translates to under saddle too. Ask, tell, demand. Catching the small things will help prevent things from escalating and having to deal with the major things a horse might do to disrespect you under saddle as well. Once they get to that point where they're ignoring and running all over you, you run the risk that if challenged, they may challenge you back, and that can be scary and dangerous. At that point you need an experienced horse person to deal with it, that's not territory that most people want to be in.
Corporal and swimminchikin like this.

A girl, a horse, and a helmet cam!! Eventing It Up In The Great White North!!
http://www.youtube.com/albertaeventer

Last edited by albertaeventer; 05-28-2013 at 03:44 PM.
albertaeventer is offline  
post #4 of 12 Old 05-28-2013, 09:58 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 635
• Horses: 0
Not to distract from the original question, but what does everyone recommend for a horse who moves into your space when they are afraid? Say they are walking respectfully beside you, but then a plastic bag blows by. The horse is then petrified and wants to be right up against you as much as possible? My friend's mare does this, but only when she is afraid. It's like she is seeking comfort when she is scared. How would you correct this behaviour? I don't think you can treat it the same as em Jay's issue.

Strength is not defined by physical ability. It is determined by your actions and the compassion of your soul.
Bagheera is offline  
post #5 of 12 Old 05-28-2013, 10:14 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 16,846
• Horses: 1
I don't think she understands that you want space. A horse in a herd may allow a horse to come close as she is doing with you, but they immediately tell her to move on over or move away if they don't want them close.

If you want her close to you, continue. If you don't, then you need to communicate that to her.

Bagheera, this applies to your horse too. Teaching her to spook in place involves provoking her slowly so that she learns if she stands really really still, it'll end.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
Skyseternalangel is offline  
post #6 of 12 Old 05-28-2013, 10:20 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 6,166
• Horses: 5
Yes, she must learn to watch you. I still test my horse from time to time, just because. My horse is good and doesn't crowd me (unless she is asking to be scratched, which is asking, not not respecting my space), but every once in a while I'll throw the lead rope up front or suddenly switch directions or put something between us -- just as a constant training thing.

Bagheera -- as your question is completely different that the OPs I think you'd get a better response with a separate thread.
NorthernMama is offline  
post #7 of 12 Old 05-28-2013, 10:23 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 8
• Horses: 0
I find that pushing on them right behind the cheek works well.
ni8840 is offline  
post #8 of 12 Old 05-28-2013, 10:25 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 16,846
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by ni8840 View Post
I find that pushing on them right behind the cheek works well.
The thing with that is it's great if they don't realize how strong they are in comparison. Once the latter is known, however, things become way more difficult.
loosie likes this.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
Skyseternalangel is offline  
post #9 of 12 Old 06-12-2013, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Western Wisconsin
Posts: 3
• Horses: 1
Thanks guys! I've been randomly waving my arms around and she's getting the message.
Em Jay is offline  
post #10 of 12 Old 06-14-2013, 06:20 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 154
• Horses: 0
Thanks for the great thread. I'm having the same trouble with my youngster. I'll work on it now with confidence! Thanks, guys...

Looking at the trail through the ears of my horse...wonderful!
Nine is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
When I Say My Pony Needs Space, She Needs Space JustImagine Horse Talk 15 12-28-2012 12:50 PM
i want to put my horse in a bubble Librahorsegal Horse Talk 11 06-08-2012 07:22 AM
Should we bubble wrap?? busysmurf Horse Talk 6 03-06-2012 08:09 PM
Personal Bubble?! 13kielj Horse Training 21 03-23-2010 12:34 AM
A horse with space issues Eclipse Natural Horsemanship 8 06-18-2009 02:24 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome