Very spoiled horse.

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Very spoiled horse.

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    07-08-2012, 03:53 PM
Unhappy Very spoiled horse.

I am trialing this gelding that I fell in love with at this barn that I help at. It is a 60 day trail. He is such a sweetheart, not jumpy, and for the 5 months that i've been at this barn, and taking care of him, he's never bite,kicked,bucked, etc. He is not aggressive at all, just stubborn and spoiled. He is 9 years old, and was broke by the owner. He was used to run barrels and was a lesson horse at summer camps. Well a couple years ago the owner lost time for him and he became a pasture horse. He is the alfa in his herd of all mares and the owner let him get away with a lot of things she shouldnt of. He is also very overweight.

I have researched tons and asked trainers for help with groundwork and I use it on my new pony. She is very sweet and has very good ground manners, but she's only been ridden 10-20 times. I did this trust exercise my trainer told me to do first, and basically I sit in the middle of the roundpen, walk around, ignoring her and evenually she'll follow me. It worked and now she'll come to me more than she ever did. I tried this on my gelding for 20 minutes a time for DAYS and nothing. He'd stand at the gate, ignoring me.

I am not easy on my pony, but I'm not rough with her either. I do not take any crap from her, when she throws her little tantrums, but when working with her I use a soft voice and overall manner and she listens well. She respects me and is doing great.

But I try to use the same tone with him, and same training techiques, and he'll just ignore me or stand there like "haha, I'm not doing what you say". He knows this, he is not a green horse, he used to be used on lessons. He is just subborn and spoiled, doesn't want to work. To get him to even back up, I have to slam the lunging whip on the ground, look him in the eye and say "BACK" really loud and stern. And he'll more like one tiny tiny more backwards. I praise him, and start again. But he'll never back up more than 1 little step. My pony, all I gotta do is hold my hands up and say "back" in my regular tone, and she will keep backing up til I put my hands down.

I know I have to be harder on him, but how hard? When lunging, the only way to get him to a trot, is to whip the whip at his hind. I know you're not supposed to, but NO OTHER techiques is working on him.

How should I be with this gelding. I know I have to be hard, but how hard? How can I get him to trust and respect me.
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    07-08-2012, 06:06 PM
Super Moderator
My answer to you is that you have to become very tough!

He has got away with things and can see no reason to do otherwise.

When lungeing him, and I would have him on a line, do not be afraid to use the whip across his back legs and use it hard. Hard enough that instead of him lumbering into a trot he leaps forward at a canter. Then get him back to a trot and then walk and ask him again, give him the chance to move up a gear if he doesn't repeat with a crack across the legs. Mean it, keep him going faster than you would normally want so that he realises when you say "Move" he does.

As for backing up, use your finger or the sharp end of a hoof pick on his chest to get him to go back and do not stop at one half step make him to do two or three before relaxing the pressure and rewarding with a scratch.

When horses go what I call wooden, you have to be very firm with them at all times. If they realise that not obeying you means discomfort then they are soon willing to comply.
    07-08-2012, 06:16 PM
If your whip is long enough to keep you from getting kicked, keep tapping him on the hip, rhythmically if you can but quit the moment he picks up even a little speed, even a faster walk. Then begin again. If he choses to ignore you then tap a little harder, trying to keep the rhythm. Think of a kid tapping your arm for attention. Annoying, right? And you move away. Should he suddenly get the message and canter that's ok, you asked him for forward motion so don't discourage it at this time. Allow him to slow on his own, then begin the exercise again.
loosie and JazzyGirl like this.
    07-08-2012, 07:57 PM

I too think it sounds like you have to be firmer, for one, but I disagree with fox that that means you need to start whipping the horse to hurt him & such. I'm more in line with Saddlebag's ideas. You want to 'ask' something of him gently, but escalate it when he doesn't listen, to a level of mild discomfort and just keep it up for as long as it takes. I think that strong physical punishment can indeed be warranted occasionally, but don't think it's fair or most effective in this sort of situation, let alone necessary.

Firstly, IMO 'he doesn't want to work' is a bit of a no brainer, regardless of the horse's experiences & personality(or the species). If you want them to *want* to do what you ask, you need to start looking at ways of making it *play* & stop seeing it as 'work'. Think about how much you like doing your 'work' & chores, compared to how much energy you willingly put into your hobbies.

So... his personality & experience has taught him that people aren't really worth hanging out with, if he can help it, that they do & ask unpleasant things, of which he seems to have come to the conclusion to ignore it & it'll go away. Horses do what works & he's learned that attitude & behaviour works. You've just got to change that so the 'ignorring' behaviour no longer acheives what he wants, and the desirable behaviour does. Just expect him to persist for a fair while in the early days, as that's what's worked for him in the past, so he'll try harder/longer for a bit before he gives up that tactic.
    07-08-2012, 11:11 PM
Green Broke
Ask, tell, demand.

What you are doing is asking, and then begging it seems.

And horse isn't obeying you because there are not any consequences for doing it.

Toughen up, this horse has your number, and QUIT the empty praising of the horse as it is accomplishing nothing. Merely teaching him that he can give a half hearted attempt and you go bonkers over it.
smrobs, Cherie and HanginH like this.
    07-09-2012, 09:04 PM
...why aren't you supposed to use the lunge whip on them? Do they instantly die or something? Or does Animal Control come crawling through your window to arrest you?
See, here's the thing: horses don't speak English. They're horses, not people. Horses speak horse language. In the horse world, they threaten, and then they back that threat up by biting, shoving, kicking, and stabbing.
Now, if the human world, we hint, and then hint again, and then ask, and then threaten, and threaten, and threaten, and threaten, and threaten, and cry, and then threaten, and then throw an ineffective tantrum, and then threaten once more. If you actually ever back your threat up to another human, you usually get arrested. :)
So... if you ask the horse to back up nicely, and he ignores you, you ask a bit more firmly. If he ignores you again, you take a crop and give him a good old smack in the chest as hard as your little arms can hit. (*gasp* I said to hit the horse! Honestly people, come on. Do you even understand how much force is behind a horse's kick? Or even a horse's bite?). The idea is to ask, then ask firmly, then do whatever the heck you need to do to make sure you will not be asking a fourth time.
The horse knows he can walk all over you. And you know he can walk all over you. And you know he knows he can walk all over you so... why do you let him? It's not a big mystery as to the steps you should take to fix that. :)
smrobs, Gremmy, AlexS and 1 others like this.
    07-10-2012, 01:55 AM
Originally Posted by rascalboy    
...why aren't you supposed to use the lunge whip on them? Do they instantly die or something? Or does Animal Control come crawling through your window to arrest you?
Firstly, I didn't ever say 'you're not supposed to', I said I didn't agree with hurting a horse in the name of training. (& I likely said generally too as usual, as there may be exceptions) IME there are generally more effective alternatives without resorting to violence.
See, here's the thing: horses don't speak English. They're horses, not people. Horses speak horse language. In the horse world, they threaten, and then they back that threat up by biting, shoving, kicking, and
See, here's the thing - horses understand horses quite well, but BECAUSE they don't speak English, it's often misunderstanding that causes them not to 'obey'. Even those that are human & speak English sometimes still attempt to teach with force - eg. Punishing kids for making mistakes - but generally these days it seems to me that people have learned much more effective & fair ways of teaching.

Now, if the human world, we hint, and then hint again, and then ask, and then threaten, and threaten, and threaten, and threaten, and threaten, and cry, and then threaten, and then throw an ineffective tantrum, and
It's called nagging & I suspect it's just that sort of behaviour this horse has got used to, which is why he's considered 'spoilt'. I personally think you can *generally* work out ways of being effective without using painful methods.

Honestly people, come on. Do you even understand how much force is behind a horse's kick?
Honestly yourself person! So just because horses hurt eachother means that we should strive to do that too?? Suppose because my toddler kicked me I should have kicked her back too?? Just because something is natural doesn't make it necessarily Right or desireable or most effective. There are actually alternatives, such as using your bigger brain instead of 'bigger stick' mentality.

*Not that I'm saying I personally feel strong physical punishment is never an appropriate response either - there are exceptions IMO, but trying to justify it as the most appropriate response & telling people they're being rediculous for not believing it is... pretty rediculous logic IMO.
Elizabeth Bowers and Reno Bay like this.
    07-10-2012, 08:46 AM
The problem here is that this new horse isn’t your pony mare. This is a completely different horse that you’re going to have to approach in an entirely different manner. He thinks he’s the boss and you’re letting him because you are treating him like your well behaved pony. Get that thought out of your head and completely forget you’ve got another horse. Comparing them and doing what works for her isn’t helping so try a different tactic. I’m very firm with some horses and soft with others, if a horse needs a stern command and a tap with the whip then that’s what they’re going to get. You can’t think in black and white here, this horse will never respect you if you can’t show him you’re the boss. And if you’re really stuck try asking the owner what (s)he did to train him and try using that technique. The owner will have more insight and maybe trained him differently. If it’s not working your way try doing it other ways. There is more than one way to get to where you want to be you just have to work at it.
    07-10-2012, 09:30 AM
Bloobabe - I did ask the owner. She used pay parelli. She gave me all the DVDS and booklets and I studied them, I started with the friendly game. But he is already desensitized of everything. And he let's you touch him anywhere. Even his face, not headshy at all. He actually loves the attention. And I do make sure to groom him and spend time with him besides just working. He moves away from pressure if you just your hand to press down hard,it's just the 3rd game with the tapping, I can't get past this one with him. I could tap for hours an he won't yield his HQ or his front. Once I start to tap harder, he'll just bash his head into me, without moving his feet, o move me out of the way. I know this is for lack of respect for me.
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    07-10-2012, 09:35 AM
One thing I did notice with him, I'd that he is very food motivated. I looked online on training with treat rewards, and I thought I should try it. That was the farthest I ever got with him, training wise. But the owner said that, that way of training should be avoided because he can get pesky with treats (which he never did). So I stopped doing it.
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annoying, brat, horse, spoiled, training

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