turning bad habits into something good - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 117 Old 09-05-2010, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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turning bad habits into something good

I keep 3 or 4 horses at a time in my barn. Some of them show up with the habit of pawing or banging their door to get my attention. I hang a bell where they can reach it. The horse is behaving in this manner to get attention. They prefer positive attention but if they can't get that they will go try for negative attention. Banging and pawing bothers me and is a negative trait. Ringing the bell is a cool trick. I always praise the horse for ringing the bell. Anyone who comes to my barn is enchanted with the idea of a bell ringing horse and rushes over to praise and pet the horse. This makes more of my interaction with my horses positive. It puts things on the right foot for riding and training. I am not irritated and the horse got my attention like he or she wanted.I'm not sure it would work in a very large barn if all of the horses had them but maybe.
Just make sure the bell is securely fastened on a short piece of baling twine or other solid tie and pick a robust bell like a cow or goat bell. Some horses like it more than others. The more mishievious the horse the more likely they will take to the bell
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post #2 of 117 Old 09-05-2010, 02:40 PM
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I like that! Very creative and thoughtful of you.
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post #3 of 117 Old 09-05-2010, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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I just wish I had thought of it years earilier.
I wanted to add that you must play with the horse for a few minutes so they know they can make the noise with it
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post #4 of 117 Old 09-05-2010, 04:18 PM
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I don't know. To me, the constant bell ringing would get down right annoying. Like I'm a bell hop.

Unless it weighs a ton... it's just a horse. Draft horse motto.
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post #5 of 117 Old 09-05-2010, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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I just wish I had thought of it years earilier.
I wanted to add that you must play with the horse for a few minutes so they know they can make the noise with it
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post #6 of 117 Old 09-05-2010, 04:22 PM
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I read that.

Unless it weighs a ton... it's just a horse. Draft horse motto.
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post #7 of 117 Old 09-05-2010, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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And it won't let me edit it off! Weird.
Personally being a person who likes bells better than stall kicking I think it is cute. You just find ones that are pleasing to you. The horses don't seem to rinf them all of the time anyway. They just do it when they feel extra needy. I have one off the race TB who seems really somehow satisfied with his bell. He's calmer now.
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post #8 of 117 Old 09-05-2010, 04:31 PM
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We just ignore it and the horse eventually gives up trying. Luckily my boy never developed that habit.

Unless it weighs a ton... it's just a horse. Draft horse motto.
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post #9 of 117 Old 09-05-2010, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Well when you have enough horses to train you find that some need more stimulation than others. One size fits all does not work for horses anymore than it does for people. I'm happy you have a perfect horse
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post #10 of 117 Old 09-05-2010, 04:38 PM
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I like the idea, but I like the idea of correcting the behavior better. No offense, but I what happens if you take your horse to a over night show and they don't have a bell? Or you sell the horse? They have no bell, just a door to paw at.
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