Training an adorable brat - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-04-2011, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Training an adorable brat

So my neighbor has a little buckskin mare named Dusty. She was trained, But they haven't been able to spend time with her and she has just sat around for I believe 3 years. I think she is 8 years old now. They sold their other 2 horses about 2 weeks ago. I don't have horses any more and I was just waiting for a good opportunity to find a new best friend to hang around. Well now this horse sits in a big dirt pasture with a few chickens all day every day. I asked the owner if I could come over and play with her about once or twice a week. She said it was fine. But she had a talk with me about this mare. She said that because Dusty was never interacted with for years. Shee has developed bad habits and pretty much forgot all her training. They tried to donate her to a 4-H trainer and I guess Dusty bit the lady, or at least the lady said she did. And they tryed lunging (spelling?) her a few days ago and she tried kicking them. She literally came 1 foot away from their face. I have also noticed she is kind of snotty about her feet. That was last year though. She has sat around a lot more this year. She jerks away when you pick up her feet. The owner said shy just need time and work. I am so new to this, I need some help. Please dumb it down, I don't know all the horse terms yet. I need advice on training this mare. Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-04-2011, 12:16 AM
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Sorry to say, but if you don't have a whole lot of horse experience, you really don't need to be trying to train a potentially dangerous horse. It requires a fair amount of knowledge to stay safe. Perhaps you can get a more experienced friend to come out with you?
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-04-2011, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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No no no! I am experienced! I have been riding for 14 years. I just have never trained a horse with bad habits as severe as these.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-04-2011, 12:32 AM
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Then what "horse terms" are you having trouble with?
Really all I'd do is treat her like a regular horse. Be firm and consistent, and of course don't let your guard down. In some respects she's like a spoiled baby and needs work from the ground up.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-04-2011, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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When I say "Horse Terms," I mean what certain training methods are called. They are simple if you explain them to me. Like I didn't know what the heck a roll back was a few years ago and someone explained it to me and now I do a roll back almost every time I ride.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-04-2011, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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I mean what certain training methods are called. I didn't know what a roll back was a few years ago and someone explained it to me and now i know. I just meant that with some different methods you may need to explain it to me.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-04-2011, 01:50 PM
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I am answering this the lazy way. I am copying the answer I just gave to a person having trouble with a 2 year old on the ground. This type of regimen would work very well for you to establish respect. Here it is.

My main assessment would tell me that you are getting ahead of yourself. He is not ready for longeing because he does not have enough respect for you or for that lead-rope yet.

I would spend a week on the ground without asking him to go forward more than a step or two. If he is rearing now, he will rear doing other groundwork (or while tied) and that will give you the opportunity to 'effectively' correct him or let him correct himself.

It is my contention that every new thing you do with a horse -- every new lesson -- the horse should be so well prepared and so ready for it that he does it like he has done it before. When you can go from step to step without a single glitch, you know that you are not skipping steps and creating 'holes' that the horse will leap through when asked to do more.

You skipped doing enough mannering on the ground to get his respect and teach him to move and only move on your command.

My ground work that leads up to longeing is this:

1) A horse must be well-trained to lead. He must respect a halter. Do this first.

2) At my house, he must be trained to tie solidly for hours at a time. (I can about guarantee that this horse will rear up and will fight being tied.) Let him work it out there and not fighting you. It is a waste of my time to argue with a horse that has not learned to stand quietly and relaxed as long as I want him to stand tied. They ALL have to 'give it up' before I go any farther.

3) When a horse comes out of the pasture or barn, will stand tied quietly (resting a hind foot), I will start to work with him. I start out by leading a horse 3 or 4 steps forward, I stop him, face him and say "Whoa!" Then, I take as long as it takes to teach him that when I face him and say "Whoa!", I mean for him to do just that. If he has learned to stand well while tied, it takes about 5 minutes to have him where I can walk all around him, brush him, straighten out is tail, stand 10 feet out in front of him (facing him) and he will stand very still. He will do this because he is ready to learn how to stand still.

4) When he has learned to stand quietly tied, I will 'sack him out' with a long, soft cotton rope. This gets much of the 'reactiveness' out of a green colt. I do not do much sacking out with a blanket or sack while a horse is tied. I do that in hand. But, I sack every one of them out with the big soft rope. I want the 'kick' and the 'jumpyness' out before I even groom one.

5) Then, I take him 'in hand' and I teach him to back up and to move his shoulders over each direction. [This is MUCH more important than yielding his hind quarters and is much more difficult to teach and leaves a much bigger hole in a horse's training if you skip it. ] This lesson is not over until he steps back lightly and willingly and moves over willingly with just a touch and a smooch.

6) Then, I teach him to move his hind quarters away when I ask with a smooch. Just as importantly (maybe more so), I teach him to stand and NOT move away from me until I ask him to.

7) I will still not let a horse work going forward until he does all of this with patience and great manners. If he takes a single step toward me, I will back him up 10 steps and turn him around once or twice to the right (turn on the haunches) and give him another chance to take a step toward me if he dares.

Since this horse already has reared at a handler, he may do it again, even after learning to stand tied. If he does, he needs to be roughly made to back up at least 10 or 20 steps.

I have had horses come to me that were already spoiled and so aggressive that it was not safe to get in their face and make them back up. In that case, I will have a second person, on the other side of the arena fence, (pipe and cable) hold a 2nd lead-rope. That 2nd person keeps me safe. I can jerk a lead-rope as hard as I want and as many times as I want until the horse decides to back up -- at which time I stop asking and step away. I will find a safe way to make ANY horse I handle 'give ground' to me when I want it to. Until this is done, no horse is safe to go on to the next lesson. To be in charge and be at the top of any horse's 'pecking order', that horse has to give ground at the slightest request. Any time a defiant horse 'bows up' and refuses to back up, HE IS IN CHARGE. That is what I see in this horse.

8) If ALL of the above is accomplished, it is a very simple matter go get a horse to walk or jog forward with just a smooch and a wave of the arm on a longe line. A horse will let you pull him around and stop him any time you want him to. A horse will do it like he has done it before.

Read more: Rearing 2yr old.
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