Standing Still - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Ashsunnyeventer
  • 1 Post By Saddlebag
  • 1 Post By Palomine
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-22-2013, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland
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Standing Still

I have a 5 year old TB mare who will not stand still in cross ties. I got her in August and at the time she had wonderful ground manners. She would move a bit, but not enough to be annoying or need correction. I can't seem to pin point when she got so wiggly in the cross ties, but I think it started happening when the new grass came up. She was so bad last week that I had to lip twitch her just to tack up. She goes forwards, backwards, sideways and she will paw. It's very annoying and I feel like it's rude too. How should I fix this behavior? Today I put the chain shank on her and corrected her everytime she moved and put her back in the same spot she was in, but it took forever to tack up.

She also doesn't stand for the farrier. She likes to stretch, so when he picks her feet up, she leans on him or pulls back to stretch her legs. He gets mad at her for hopping around and leaning on him, and I can understand why. I tried the shank, but it didn't make a huge difference.

I do stretch her before I ride. I have her stretch her top line, and then pull her front legs out to get wrinkles out from the girth. I use treats to get her to stretch her topline (1 treat per 3 stretches). Should I not do this anymore? I feel like the stretches really help, but maybe that's the reason why she wont stand in X-ties or for the farrier...
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-22-2013, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
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You could try just letting her stew in them for a while one day if you have a free cross tie and some time. Wait until she calms down, and then take her out and treat her for standing still. Ignore her as long as she's moving around or misbehaving.
I had to do that to a horse, he figured it out pretty quickly that the longer he stood still, the quicker it was over.
That's only if she doesn't get bad enough in the x-ties to possibly injure herself though.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-22-2013, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Horses get claustrophobic in cross ties. A horse needs to feel it can escape a hidden predator. You know there's nothing there but his hearing and sense of smell tell him otherwise. it could be a mile away. Why not work at teaching your horse to stand when you drop the rope? This way he knows he can escape and it may seem strange but by knowing this he may be more relaxed and will stay with you. You need to spend a lot of time picking up, holding, picking, tapping, even rasping a little if you can get an old one. When a foot is help up, again, no escape.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-22-2013, 01:47 PM
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A TB who doesn't want to stand still...if I only had a nickel for every one of those!

Firstly, I understand your frustration. It's no fun to deal with.

What I'm thinking is, TBs are very linear thinkers. You're thinking stand won't still in cross ties while being tacked, she's just thinking about that first thing. Take the cross ties and tacking up stuff out of the equation. Stand her where you have a ton of room to manuever on a long lead line, 14' or so. Pick a time when you have all day to do this and it will only take 20 minutes. If you do it when you're in a rush, it will take all day. This is a guarantee. Ask her to stand still. When she ignores your request, either back her up, circle her, yield her hind end, whatever makes her work and focus on you. I'm not a big fan on high energy 'longe the crap out of them'. It doesn't get any point across and brings on focus on you. You want small things that make her work, but focus on you. Carry a long crop in the other hand, so you can make her back up or move her butt wherever you want it. Be assertive but not aggressive. Keep in mind you would be closer to the business end than if you were just longing her around, so stay away from her wheelhouse so you don't get kicked. That's what the long whip is for. Keep your energy as low as you can while still getting the result you want. When you start to see that look in her eye that says "oh crap, she's serious about this stuff and more bull headed than I am", bring her back to a stop and ask for her to stand again. If she stands there head high, rigid and just looking to move again, go back and get her butt moving again. If, however, she stops, puts her head down even a hair or gives any other sign that she's listening to your request to stand, throw a big party. Reward her with pats and lots of lovin'. Let her know she did right. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The most important part of the exercise is to be sure to reward the slightest try by her to stand still. The reward has to be immediate. You don't have to throw the big party after the first few times, but reward every try.

Once you've got this down in an open space, do it near the cross ties, but still on the lead. Then build more using actual cross ties, and then finally tack. Just make sure only only add one element at a time. Once she gets it, it should follow through, whether it's you or or farrier asking.

Hope this helps. good luck!

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post #5 of 6 Old 06-23-2013, 02:40 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Horse is getting worse because you have not dealt with problem in timely manner.

She could stand still all day long if it suited her. And lead horse would get after her for her fidgeting too.

Teach her a command like "be still" and get after her lightly as needed to get her to be still. Quit, get those feet still, plant 'em are all ones I've used, and still do.

I would also bet that there are other things she is doing too. And you more than likely are the root of these things because you aren't in charge here.

Quit babying her if you do that, quit excessive chatter, especially if she is misbehaving at time, correct her and be quiet.

And bone up on horse handling too, as a horse that has to be twitched for tacking is well on way to ending up slaughter bound.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-23-2013, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. Some of them are very helpful and I used your suggestion today MyBoyPuck. it will take some time, but it was definitley better. Palomine- I agree that she needs a stand command and I will be working on that. I don't think that she is getting away with other things though, and I don't think talking to her would cause a figeting problem. My horses are my pets and they will never be sold or sent to slaughter. I take the time and patience to fix their problems instead of giving up on them. I feel like you might have drawn some conclusions without knowing enough information.

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