Stubborn Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-23-2009, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
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Stubborn Horse

My friend just got an ottb a few months ago. As the months have gone on his problems have begun to slowly come out. He is under weight, and has a lot of skeletal problems. He also just wants to stay in the barn all the time. She will go down to the pasture and get him and he will walk up to the barn just fine, but once he's there it is impossible to get him back to the pasture.

This guy has been through a lot, and he was really scared and spooky when she first got him. He couldn't even be sprayed with fly spray, but he is A LOT better now. She doesn't want to use a whip pr anything on him just because of his past. He has come pretty far in the last few months as far as trust goes, and she doesn't want him to take any steps back.

I am at loss on how to make this horse move. After like 15 or more minutes he will finally give in and go down, but there must be a better way. Food doesn't work.

Any advice?
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-23-2009, 02:50 PM
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Don't try to pull or nag him forward, if he stops...just get his feet to move. Longing is a good start, or she could simply do shoulder and hip yields, to get him to unlock his feet. The only thing a person accomplishes by trying to pull a horse forward is more resistance. She doesn't have to use a whip, but she may have to use the lead to encourage him to move his hip, or to get him to longe. The key is to simply get his feet to move, and teach him that just because he doesn't want to 'go foward' doesn't mean that he won't have to move. She needs to control his feet even when he is scared, or testing her, or he will never be confident in her ability to lead him safely. And that is the main goal; he wants a confident leader, not one who is going to be indecisive or let him decide when they will walk foward together.

Whips or carrot sticks are not a bad tool, unless they are used in an abusive manner; They are meant to be an extension of the hand, as it's not always feasable to reach the horse in order to cue him. He is not going to hate her if she uses these kind of tools. Plus, he's not thinking about his past, unless his owner is, so if she keeps treating him like he's 'still there' he will never move beyond that attitude; his owner needs to become confident in handling him and stop worrying about the horse's past. Yes, it happened, but she needs to move beyond it, and help the horse regain his confidence in her\other people.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."

Last edited by mom2pride; 08-23-2009 at 02:53 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-23-2009, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
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I know that whips aren't a bad thing, and I am not against them. I use them on my own horses when necessary. I have told her that it doesn't hurt him, but she just doesn't want to do things that way, so I have to respect that. It's her horse not mine, and I am just trying to help.

Lunging wouldn't really work because usually she can't even get him out of the barn, but walking him in small circles might work. There should be enough room.
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-23-2009, 11:37 PM
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I would use a whip or gimmick stick to make things in the barn really uncomfortable. Also you should get the ground work done so that you can get him away from you when you want him to go and let him come to you only when he is invited. If your girlfriend is unwilling to make physical contact with the horse to help him learn and become useful then she will not have much success. In my opinilon, neglect or poor training is the worst and most prevalent kind of abuse.
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