Turnout advice - Page 2

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Turnout advice

This is a discussion on Turnout advice within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        08-09-2011, 01:19 PM
    Yes, I do board, but our BO is adamant about horses being respectful and people being safe, so he has said many times that if you need to smack another horse with a lead rope to keep yourself safe and to keep the horse respectful, do it. That being said, I have seen the turnout guys (who are boarders themselves) smack obnoxious horses with a lead rope to get them to move or to leave a "weaker" horse alone. The only "rule" is that you don't hit them in the face or near the face. When I flipped the lead rope at Willie and Bo, I made sure to aim for their chest or flank (whichever presented itself to me).

    Most of the geldings in turnout are respectful and will walk away once you've chosen a horse to halter. My friend's arab gelding, who is best friends with Aires, was being a little pushy and clingy with me but all I had to do was point and say "CJ, go away" and he wandered off and didn't bother us. Of course, most of the other geldings are worked with every day or are older and know the rules. Willie is young (I think he's maybe 4) and I have seen his owner at the barn once in the two and a half months I've boarded there. She doesn't ride him, nor does anyone else. He stands in his stall unless he's turned out. So, I'm kind of not surprised he has bad/pushy ground manners (he's even pushy in-hand).

    If this type of situation arises again, I will carry that lunge whip with me when I go to get Aires.
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        08-09-2011, 01:31 PM
    I used to board (for 3 weeks, that was enough) at the place where BO didn't care about how horses are treated at all (moreover she let them out to run to the feeding buckets outside the fields just loose). So when you tried to take the horse out there were like 5 or 7 waiting on gate to run through you. And yes, I witnessed it happening several times (when they just knocked through the gate dumping the person in mud... very scary). So... It was no choice but keeping a long whip handy. Needless to say I left the barn as soon as I found another one to board. What I'm trying to say is it all depends on place. Your safety is the most important and shouldn't be taking lightly.
        08-09-2011, 01:42 PM
    Generally speaking, I wait until the other horses are in before I go get Aires. Or if I know I'm going to work him, I don't turn him out until after we're done. It was a habit I got into with my old gelding. Yesterday, however, was kind of a fluke. I found a saddle at a local tack shop I wanted to try on him, so I went and grabbed him real quick.

    We've only had the problem of horses being pushy and putting me in danger once and it was a COMPLETELY different situation. There were two arab geldings turned out with everyone who were ganging up and bullying just about everyone in the turnout. I went to get Aires and had to walk to the other side of the turnout to get him (this was before he learned to come to the gate). The two arabs that were being bullies started going after one of the older horses (another arab) and the older horse sought me out for protection. Needless to say, I was caught in the middle of three galloping, disrespectful horses who kept coming straight at me and then would swerve away at the last second (one of them almost didn't swerve in time, so I actually had to jump outside the fence to avoid being run over). At that point, I resorted to rock throwing to get them to leave me alone. This was an extreme case, though, and those two arabs have never been turned out together again, so it has never happened again, to me or anyone else.
        08-09-2011, 01:42 PM
    I agree with those who say to bring a lunge whip. I deal with the same thing sometimes when I go to get my mare and the other two geldings get in her space and she gets nervous. I just tap their rumps with the lunge whip and they tend to respect it. Sometimes they need a little more though.
        08-11-2011, 08:11 PM
    My horse is on 24/7 turnout so whenever I go to catch him I run into a little trouble. You just have to be a little more aggressive. Those two horses coming over to you are probably top dogs, and your horse is just respecting their space. Flick your rope at them, yell at them, they just need to respect you.
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        08-11-2011, 11:52 PM
    I agree with what just about everyone else has commented on. I have one mare, Love, who is seriously like a puppy dog. She has great ground manners, but when you mess with another horse, she is like white on rice on you. She wants her lovin too! I have a lunge whip that I can smack her butt with, and I also use the rope halters with the leather poppers on the end. I will use that in a heartbeat. Your safety comes first. If another horse is threatening your space/safety or your horses, I say you defend yourself. I don't hit in the face, rather the chest, butt, side...whatever, but NO face. They all learn pretty quickly. If someone gets offended, then explain why you chose to do what you did.
        08-12-2011, 02:11 AM
    Thanks, guys. Turns out I'm not the only one having problems with Willie being disrespectful. I talked to one of the turnout guys about it the other day and he said that they've been waving their hats at Willie and yelling, or flicking the lead rope at him like I did and nothing has helped. So, I suggested using the lunge whip to them. He said it might be a good idea because he has gotten so pushy and disrespectful.
        08-12-2011, 07:29 AM
    Originally Posted by Doe    
    My concern is that people do not take unnecessary risks. Control the situation and control the risks. It is better to send horses away than to try and halter a horse in a group you do not trust 100%.
    We don't board, but I can appreciate the dilemma that people face in boarding situations when you have to handle other people's horses. Regardless of what you actually wind up doing, the above statements are the most important to remember. Being in the middle of a group of fussing horses is extremely dangerous. There is a time for training, gaining respect, being the leader, doing 'what is right', etc., but protecting your own safety must always be your top priority. I've seen too many people hurt in this situation because they gave up trying to separate the horses and placed themselves at risk.
    Personally, I would run them off with my voice and arms, not to just a 'respectful' distance, but 50-100 feet and would not continue until I felt comfortable the situation was under control. In the worst case, walk away, take a 10 minute break, and try again.

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