Stall aggression
 
 

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Stall aggression

This is a discussion on Stall aggression within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How to cure stall aggression
  • Aggresive mare in the stable

 
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    05-12-2010, 12:22 PM
  #1
Banned
Stall aggression

Okay, so Ice has some stall aggression issues. When I first got him he had some issues leaving his food, so I worked a little bit on that and that was over and done with. Six months go by with zero issues....I can walk in, put his halter on, lead him out no problem. Suddenly in Feburary, he attacks my BO and won't let ANYONE in his stall. Im talking you open the door and he pins his ears and bares his teeth. If you step into his stall, he lunges at you and then recoils into the back corner....OBVIOUSLY defending himself (from what?). I have confidence that my BO has never personally done anything to him, the conditions of her "attack" were entirely her fault for not reading the signals right, but I don't know what makes him continue.

We've been feeding him more hay, and his general attitude has improved, but he still is unsure about people coming into his stall....I can now open the door (he ignores me) but if I step in then he pins his ears and lift his head. That's where I've stopped, I haven't tried to step forward. Forget bringing a whip or crop in to establish space, that earns you a lunge right away.

I am unsure if I should push him, which could lead to him either shutting down again or I could get seriously hurt, or letting him be. I can get his halter on over the stall door without any issues, I have no problems doing that, but I would like to be able to at least walk into his stall to do it, you know?

How would you go about curing a stall aggressive horse? In wide open spaces, I can walk up to him, but in most cases he walks up to me.
     
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    05-12-2010, 12:49 PM
  #2
Showing
Is he OK if you lead him in the stall and if you are there with halter and lead rope on him? If not, I'd just put halter/lead and walk there with him and mess with him keeping some control. If he tries to bite let him run into the elbow, or manure fork, anything unpleasant. The biggest danger is not biting, but if they try to turn and kick at you (at least IMO), and that's when halter/rope are handy by giving you a control. Personally, I'd go after my horse in this case, because I have to mess with mine in stalls when it's rain or snow (brush them, bring water/hay, check for injures and such).
     
    05-12-2010, 01:08 PM
  #3
Banned
No, I can't lead him into the stall at all. We usually stop at the door, I take his halter off, and he walks in. That's just common practice and what I've always done with him, but he even pins his ears at me when I have the halter already on him if I try to step into the stall. I actually tried on Saturday since I had to clean his waterer and turn him out, but I ended up having to tie him outside his stall to go check it.

He also does this to EVERYONE, not just me, just so there's not the assumption that its what I'm doing.

He's never offered to kick, except if its a cow kick when trying to clean his sheath, and his bites actually draw blood. He picked the BO up when he bit her. I've been kicked before, that's not my fear, but never been bitten.
     
    05-12-2010, 01:10 PM
  #4
Yearling
If he tries to bite let him run into the elbow, or manure fork, anything unpleasant.

Read more: http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/stall-aggression-54860/#ixzz0njRRpLmi

Don't do that if your horse doesnt want you in his stable and you then attempt to use a fork on correction. You are then reinforcing that he must protect himself from you as you are bringing pain!

If it was my horse id maybe bring a bucket of feed into the stable or apple and let him eat out of your hands so you are associated with only nice things this will get his trust and he will continue to let you in a little bit more each time.

You cannot rush this something has made him want to protect his area and you must let him learn your allowed in there with him.

Have you tried switching his stables to a new environment also this might break the agression sightly.

I don't know if any of this will be of any help to you though.
     
    05-12-2010, 01:13 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggiStar    
If he tries to bite let him run into the elbow, or manure fork, anything unpleasant.

Read more: http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/stall-aggression-54860/#ixzz0njRRpLmi

Don't do that if your horse doesnt want you in his stable and you then attempt to use a fork on correction. You are then reinforcing that he must protect himself from you as you are bringing pain!

If it was my horse id maybe bring a bucket of feed into the stable or apple and let him eat out of your hands so you are associated with only nice things this will get his trust and he will continue to let you in a little bit more each time.

You cannot rush this something has made him want to protect his area and you must let him learn your allowed in there with him.

Have you tried switching his stables to a new environment also this might break the agression sightly.

I don't know if any of this will be of any help to you though.
Um, no ----
     
    05-12-2010, 01:17 PM
  #6
Yearling
HOw would gaining his trust by positive reinforcement not help themacpack??

So you would let yourself be associated with bad rather then good?
     
    05-12-2010, 01:34 PM
  #7
Foal
Have the horses either side of him changed?
How much hay are you giving him?
How much turn out is he getting?
How much hard feed is he having and how much work?
How many people handle him?
     
    05-12-2010, 01:38 PM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggiStar    
HOw would gaining his trust by positive reinforcement not help themacpack??

So you would let yourself be associated with bad rather then good?

Sometimes, with aggressive and dominant horses the use of positive reinforcements encourage the behavior. Take my husband, for example. He has 20 horses he MUST ride EVERY DAY. 9/10 are soured up, and pin their ears at their neighbors. You're saying that opening the stall, bribing each one out with an apple is going to correct the problem?

Tempting with treats is 1) a bandaid solution when one is in a hurry, and 2) a sure-fire way to help encourage a horse's dominance over you.

In no way am I saying that you shouldn't give treats, or that it doesn't help some horses come around, because those are both positive things. But in this case, OP needs to assert her dominance in the stall, and let Sir Grumpy Britches deal with it.

And you know what? I would much rather be associated with a bad thing than get hurt. You can go back and erase most things that are "bad" that you're referring to, but you can't always take away an injury. And honestly, I'd much rather that horse have his feelings hurt than risk my health in any way, shape, or form.

The first thing I would suggest, OP, is to trade stalls with someone, if possible. At least for a short amount of time, to see if it's the stall he's protecting, or if he feels threatened in the enclosed space of the stall. (Which is very likely, he could feel cornered in there, or he could know that getting out means work and is avoiding you.) Whatever the case may be, he knows that he has you at his mercy when he's in the stall, and you need to correct that. If that means standing there, working him in and out of the stall for 10 hours, that's what you've got to do. You might even have someone help you, hold him outside the stall, you go in, and do not allow him in. Make sure he knows this is YOUR space, and he's just ALLOWED in it, and ONLY when you say so.

What are some of the other things you've tried with him?
     
    05-12-2010, 01:44 PM
  #9
Yearling
I do agree with your ideas.

However if I had an agressive horse I would not want to try force my presence onto him I would rather he accepted me. The last thing she wants is her in the stall horse has no where to flight and resorts to fight. Now im not one of those don't be mean to the horses types if they disrespect me I will discipline them. But this horse is trying to protect his area and if your threatening him in his space his only optio is to protect at all costs.
Definitely move as far away from that stall as possible. And try to make your presence a positive sign for him.


OP is there any chance he could have been slapped or anything by other barn members??
     
    05-12-2010, 02:14 PM
  #10
Banned
To MaggiStar---thats exactly what I was thinking about the fork, I've only owned him for a year, so I don't know what his previous circumstances were. I know since he's off the track, they usually clean the stalls with the horses in with them, so there is a good possibility he's also been possibly antagonized by someone with a manure fork. I don't know this for certain though.

I DO occasionally feed him hay from my hand, but only if he has a nice face....the first few times he tried to pin his ears at me and take it, but I shooed him back until he learned to approach with a better attitude. I also do this when throwing him hay for breakfast/dinner (I work at the barn 3 days a week)....he can't pin his ears at me and he has to back away from the door nicely. He used to not let me touch his face over his stall door, and now I can again. I know that I personally have slapped him on the muzzle when he tried to nip at me before while tacking up, but he's never been aggressive on cross-ties, and I've never done anything to him in his stall. I am not sure about others though.

To Alex....he's gotten fatter. His left is fatter than his right. Its pretty much always been that way, and he's always been uncomfortable with people messing with him on his right side. He gets 5 decent sized flakes per day, 3 in the AM and 2 at night (he is on night turn out). If we have extra hay, we throw it out into the pastures for the horses, and he'll get an extra flake. He's also on 5-6lbs of Safe Choice a day....I'm looking to change that (more hay, less grain and maybe some rice bran on top) but at the moment I have no $$ to do it. He gets 8+ hours of turn out, by himself because he does not like geldings, and the mare that he likes aren't allowed to be out with other horses (per her owner). He also is on ZERO work right now, I'm trying to get him fat and then re-introduce work to see how much food he needs to keep weight on him. However, when this initially started, he was being worked 3 times a week. There are I believe 5 people who consistently handle him.

Westonsma, we do have some outdoor stalls that he is perfectly fine in. I can walk in, refill the water buckets, come in and out, and walk right up to him to put a halter on. These stalls are a little bigger, and made of steel piping, so they might give the illusion of not being boxed in. I've tried putting him on a long lead and just working with him on going in and out, and he's GREAT with that, he'll do it forever. He also does great with him outside and me inside. Its purely the combination of him and any person in the stall together that he does not like.

I have not tried anything else because no one seems to be able to provide me with ideas....we used the "this is my space **** it" approach with a dominant aggressive mare, but his aggression is purely protection/submission aggression--I saw someone on this board describe it as "please don't take my lunch money"
     

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