The terrible twOs

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The terrible twOs

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    10-14-2008, 01:41 PM
The terrible twOs

Hey I haven't been on in a while! I got a job and school has started so I don't have much free time! Also this is were my problem comes in. Just for a short refresher I have a mare that's two years old and a QH paint.

Now I the problem is I have not worked with her in quite a while and she has for gotten most of what we had worked on in the beginning of the summer. Like yesterday I went to see her and I brought her in the barn to brush her and she would be a jerk moving all around on me and she almost tried kicking me in her stall. So before I beat the life out of her I threw her back out and went home! Also she won't hold her feet up for me and she tries to get away with everything now and I feel like she is winning and I don't want a bad horse! I feel a bit over whelmed with her and I'm afraid she going to hurt me. I have no trust in her. Also when I got her she was a tiny bit over 14hhs and now she's 15hhs and still growing! This girl Mel I board with said she will most likey reach 16hhs. The thing is now she bigger I'm afraid she will hurt me if I can't control her and make her respect my bubble.

What can I do to build my confidence with her so my not scared of her? Does anyone have any tips for teaching to ground manners? How can I create a better bond with her and make her want to work for me and want to listen to me?

I used to feel like I had this control and now I don't.
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    10-14-2008, 05:18 PM
I've felt in the same boat as you off and on. Work and college over an hour away from home doesn't leave me with much time to work with my horses :(

(I have a younger one also..only my time problem started at least 3 years ago so it's been going on a while..he's 8 now and I feel that he's backtracked in training too.)

So, when I go home I just try and spend some time brushing them, talking to them and bonding. (There's a good topic about bonding here What else can I do to bond with my horse? )

Then I just take it slow with riding and such. I don't go too fast saddling up or getting into work as it's not fair to overwhelm him when it's not his fault I've been so busy.

I don't have a lot of advice for you though..I'm sorry! I myself am interested in what people will have to say for this as I need all the help I can get too.
    10-14-2008, 06:12 PM
Originally Posted by Juno21    
So before I beat the life out of her I threw her back out and went home!
This pretty well sums it up for me. She won and you have just taught her that if she's a bad girl you leave her alone to go eat grass or hay.

I would suggest that you get yourself some help. Either have someone come in and work with you and her or go to the library and rent some training DVD's. Clinton Anderson has one on starting young ones.

Your right, at 15 hands she can do some serious damage.

If you feel able, I would get her in a round pen or a ring and start some serious ground work. I would be doing it on a longer lead line but not a lunge line, that's too long, start getting her to yield to pressure fore and aft. I would be doing lots of leading getting her to stop and back on command. Then you could progress to a little lunging getting her to respond to the wtc voice commands.

Trust me she hasn't forgotten, horse's have almost a cellular memory, she's just being a naughty teenager.
    10-14-2008, 07:48 PM
Yeah definitely agree with G&K...I was going to and obviously forgot to mention that in my post too. It's not a good idea to put the horse away on a bad note. That is letting them win and get away with it and if you give them an inch they'll take a mile. Much better to work on something different (even something you already do well) and do it right and put them away than putting them away having let them win. Preferably though, if you could make them do what they were not doing that you were already trying to do would be best.

Wow, that sounds confusing. I hope you can understand!
    10-14-2008, 11:26 PM
I'm not sure if you meant that she tried to kick you in the stall, so you put her outside... or if she tried to kick you, you beat her some but stopped before she dropped dead and then put her out... :) If you did nothing and just stuck her out, not a good idea, she needed a spanking -- keep that in mind for nect time. If you did whack her then good. :)

Anyway ~ I would suggest roundpenning her, if you have one available. However I don't agree with the idea of keeping her on a shorter line... or any line at this point. If she isn't respecting you chances are she will just try to drag you, and if the line is shorter than a lunge line she will be within kicking range. Also, it's not good to work her on that small of a circle. I would stand her in the middle of the roundpen, attempt to pick up her foot, if she so much as thinks about kicking you, get after her right away and make her RUN. When YOU are ready for her to stop, let her stop then try again and repeat until she gets the picture (I doubt it will take long). Also just general roundpen work will get her focused on you and respecting you... Make her trot/canter, change direction, etc. a lot... You can look up good exercises online or check out a roundpenning book or video.

Handling her a lot, leading her with a chain over her nose if necessary, and not taking any crap at ALL will all help. :)
    10-14-2008, 11:48 PM
Originally Posted by Hrt4Dressage    
I'm not sure if you meant that she tried to kick you in the stall, so you put her outside... or if she tried to kick you, you beat her some but stopped before she dropped dead and then put her out... :) If you did nothing and just stuck her out, not a good idea, she needed a spanking -- keep that in mind for nect time. If you did whack her then good. :)

Okay well let me just say! I have never beat my horse! I have hit her once and I felt horrible after. Also I know I shouldn't have let her win but what else could I do? I was was furious with her and me standing in that stall sceaming and pulling on the lead wouldn't have helped. It just would have freaked her out and made me ever more mad! What could I do next time I become angery and she's making me nervous?

Okay I read all your post earlier and I put them to use! I was so proud of her! Instead of cleaning her hoofs and brushing her first, I took her straight to the indoor arena and lunged her with a lead rope and not my chain lunge line. She stated to respond to walk and trot and Hoe word commands again and also she would move when I asked her to with the pressure points I trained her to move too. Now I was happy today I just hope she can keep me happy!!!

Can you guys answer this for me now: What could I do next time I become angry and she's making me nervous? What do you do when you get over upset with a horse?

I want my horse to respect me not be scared of me!!!
    10-15-2008, 03:08 AM
For one thing, if the horse is trained properly, they don't forget. They may have a case of the "dont want tos", but they remember what they were taught. Sounds like she was coming around when you started working her.

As far as getting upset, it happens to the best of us. When my horses push me to the point I feel like I want to beat them to make me feel better, I will stop what I am doing and turn my back to them. This gives me a chance to take a breath and regain my composure. If I need more than a few moments, I will tie them somewhere so I can actually walk away from the situation and cool off. Try to think about what I can do to change the response I am getting from the horse.

One thing that has helped me is something my husband told me. He is a mechanic and he said "You have to be smarter than the tools you are using". When I feel like I am getting up set, I remind myself that if I lose my temper, my horse has just out smarted me. I know my horses are smart...but I am higher up on the evalutionary chain
    10-15-2008, 12:04 PM
I agree with the walking away and such to regain your composure. For me though, I just take a few deep breaths and talk/think out loud saying "It's okay", "It's going to be fine" etc etc. and when he calms down I say "Good boy" and such. Just talking and breathing deeply helps calm me down and also him. If you are getting all worked up it will probably make your horse all worked up so calming down together will be a really good thing to get in the habit of doing it with your horse. Just take your time and keep doing what works while adding new things in!

Good Luck!
    10-15-2008, 12:56 PM
Originally Posted by Juno21    
Can you guys answer this for me now: What could I do next time I become angry and she's making me nervous? What do you do when you get over upset with a horse?

I want my horse to respect me not be scared of me!!!
Stand back from the horse and Laugh!!!

Seriously, laughing does two things, it forces you to breath and it calms you down.

Sounds like you did a great job last night, good for you! Even the most seasoned horse can get the best of us. Forget about being an over achiever, ( I'm bad for that), and remember your not on a time schedule. It takes as long as it takes. If you don't have tons of time to spend with her then work on something simple so that you can always leave her ending on a good note.
    10-15-2008, 05:15 PM
Good job!!!! I know that you feel really bad when you give your horse a smack, but you have to remember that there is a difference between hitting out of anger and hitting to discipline. Have you ever seen horses interact? When one steps out of line, the disciplining horse doesn't just look mad and yell "NO!" That horse bares his/her teeth, lunges at the offending horse, and chases them away. If the horse doesn't get it, he/she gets bit and kicked to get the message. If my horse tries to kick me, you'd better bet he's going to get a good smack on his butt! My small hand isn't going to hurt a 1200 lb animal, but he sure as heck gets the point that kicking at me was the WRONG thing to do. If he still doesn't get it, I make his feet MOVE - backwards, sideways, anywhere away from me. Same goes for biting. Get even close to me with your teeth, and I'll flip out - yelling, backing, if contact is made he gets smacked on the mouth. I really like Clint Anderson, too. Here is a link to one of my favorite ideas, longeing for respect:

Clinton Anderson's Longeing for Respect: Preparation Intro

That said, don't get scared. Your horse can tell when you're scared, and will feed off this (how she uses your fear depends on the horse). I like the idea of laughing, I've never thought about it. You can also get mad. This worked for Scout when we were beginning his ground manners. I was scared of him because he was over 16hh and was puffed up. So I thought about my Lab puppy (who was driving me nuts at the time), and puffed myself up and got MAD at him, made him get out of my space, etc. As soon as he submitted, I pet him, smiled, and went on with the day. It doesn't take much, but I felt that when he scared me, he was testing me and was winning, so I got mad.

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