Training help with my fidgety horse! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 13 Old 11-24-2012, 11:58 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Horses that fidget like that and especially horses that paw are doing thing because they are... not necessarily afraid... but unconfident with the situation. Pawing comes when horses feel that they have to be moving but they cannot because something is restricting them (this can be either mentally or physically). So they resort to pawing and swaying to release their energy.
The best way to fix this is to do alot of ground work before your tie him up to stand.
He has to trust & respect you as a leader, which does not mean hitting him (alot of people confuse respect and fear, but they are not the same thing). when he is fidgeting, untie him, have him do circles, back up, forehand & hindquarter yields. Mostly alot of things to get his attention on you.
Don't just chase him around, though. You need to take his emotions in the moment into consideration too. I
f he is already anxious & upset (which is indicated by the pawing & swaying. A confident, relaxed horse with stand quietly, and a horse that is messing with you with probably wait until he is untied to do damage) then you will just make things worse by getting after him too strongly. By having him to circles, or yields, you are giving him the release he needs, with is by moving his feet. When he can do this he will eventually begin to feel comfortable because he will know that he is not trapped and he can move.
This will help boost his respect for you as a leader because you are giving him what he needs.

My Arab mare used to be terribly "impatient" when tied, pawing & fidgeting like you've described.
AS SOON as i started working her on the line (not just longing) even for five minutes before tying her up, she smarted right up. She stands calm as can be now, and does not worry about where the other horses are, where i am or what is coming. she just waits.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #12 of 13 Old 11-24-2012, 02:34 PM
Join Date: May 2012
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If you have the ability to tie him to a wall and just leave him there all day everyday until he stops. My trainer does that with all the new horses she takes in for training, and its in the indoor so there is constant motion and eventually they get over themselves. If they revert back, start all over. Every so often I will just tie my guy to the wall all day and let him chill :) My guy is a very timid horse that will get scared easily. When I first bought him if i would touch under his chest he would freak out, pull back, and snap lead ropes. He snapped three in one week, I was beside myself because i was afraid I was going to get hurt. Well that didn't help, finally my trainers husband worked magic. Lol he took him into the indoor, there the wall has tire tubes and lead ropes tied to them. The guy started touching him where he freaks out and he freaked out. He let him work through his fears and learn his behavior was wrong. Have never had a problem since that day.

For the back leg, I worked at a summer camp that will take in donated horses and you never know what you will get in a horse. Do you talk really quietly? You could take a lead rope, stand to the side, pull up just like you would actually picking the foot up. If he goes to do the fake kick, yell at him a sharp no or knock it off.
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post #13 of 13 Old 11-24-2012, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Northern MN
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Hi. I had the same problem with my horse when I first got him. I got him when he was 6 years old, and he had no training. The first thing I noticed with him, was he thought he was the "boss", and would not back up when i told him to. I just started tapping his feet with a dressage whip (not hard), and he finally learned to back up. He also took up the habit of pawing. The first couple times, I would tap him in the chest with a small whip. He would quit, until i walked away. After that i would just ignore him. He eventually stopped when he knew i was not going to give him attention for it. Also, for the hoof picking. My horse when i got him, he did not like the idea of standing on three legs. So he would act like he was unbalanced, and almost went down a few times. I practiced picking up his feet a couple times a day. Not even picking it, just lifting it up so he could get used to standing on three legs. After maybe a week or so, he was fine. There are times that there is a problem with his right hind leg, but we think he just gets stiff after jumping, so we hold it low to the ground, and he seems fine. Usually when that happens we know that he is sore, and needs to rest it for a day or two. He is on joint supplement though, so we think he may have had a bad accident and injured that leg. Hope I helped! If you wanna know anything else, please feel free to message me! :)

Meagen and Rowdy<3
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