Won't stand still in cross ties?

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Won't stand still in cross ties?

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    12-25-2011, 12:51 PM
Won't stand still in cross ties?

I got a 12 year old 15.3HH 3/4 quarter horse 1/4 percheron for Christmas and he needs quite a bit of work. He's only been at the barn I board him at for about a week and a half and he's adjusting pretty well, for the most part. I've only been doing some ground work with him (walking and trotting+commands) because he foundered a few months ago and is at the very end of the healing process, but did not want to push him because he's at a new home.

He's been in cross ties about 4 or 5 times since he's been home and he's still acting like an idiot. This is my first horse and I'm not really sure what to do. I have a trainer I take lessons from who helps me, but I only see her on Tuesday's and I obviously get out there almost every single day, so not knowing what to do isn't really helping me. We used the chain on his nose and snapped it every time he tried to paw, but he just kept going and going and going and I was getting more irritated. He just will not stand still. He's very pushy with me and I'm trying to make him realize that I'm the boss, but so far it isn't really working. Help?

OH and something I almost forgot about, he doesn't like his feet being picked up. When I put my hand and squeeze, he never picks up, so I lean into him a bit, which then he yanks his hoof away from me and steps in the opposite direction so I have no way of holding onto it. If he doesn't do that, he just tries to push it back down and I yank it up. I've got him to pick his front feet up maybe once or twice and haven't even tried the back yet.

Ugh, it's just really frustrating.
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    12-25-2011, 01:23 PM
Has he been in cross ties before? If he hasn't its different from just being tied to a ring, and is probably stressing him out a bit. The pawing can be him feeling trapped and insecure so yanking a chain on his nose isn't going to help him feel less trapped. Do you need to tie him in cross ties? Or can you tie him to a ring for now? Until he is settled and confident you are a good leader, keep him doing what he knows.
Then gradually introduce the cross ties and make them a happy fun place for him. Tie him, give him a scratch, step back for a second, praise for standing still then step back in and release him from the ties. Over time you should be able to leave him for longer and longer with him patiently waiting for you to return to him.

With the feet, what ever you do, don't drop them! The easiest way not to drop the foot is to put a loop of rope around his pastern and hold the rope up. This also puts you out of the danger zone if he tries to snatch or kick. Praise with your voice when he stands well, scold with a 'tsch' or 'no' if he tries to move. As he improves with the rope, place your hand over the rope, then revove the rope altogether eventually. Again, build up how long his hoof is in the air until he will hold it there all day!
    12-25-2011, 01:29 PM
He's been in cross ties before outside, just not inside. The only knowledge I have about him is his past 7 months of life. The lady I bought him from bought him from a broker, so I basically don't know a whole 11 years of his life. Yes, he has to be cross tied as the barn I'm at doesn't have any other options. I'll try the rope around the foot as well.
    12-25-2011, 02:01 PM
Ok then just try to make the cross ties as enjoyable as possible for him, and because it is a problem when he is inside, it would suggest he feels trapped.

Teach him how to release pressure for himself using things like getting him to submit his head down with pressure on his poll and letting him wander round a field with a rope attatched to his headcollar and when he stands on it he must learn to figure out which foot to move in order to release himself. Obviously you need to be close to hand incase he freaks out with this exercise. Once he has learn to release pressure by thinking thinks through he should be calmer in the ties when he feels pressured mentally. Look up about pressure and release training to get more ideas. Lots of these will probably involve plastic bags on sticks haha

Btw, congrats on the christmas pressie!!! Its my first christmas with a horse too
    12-25-2011, 02:03 PM
Awesome, I'll look that up! Thank you so much, you've been very helpful! (: And congrats on your new horse too!
    12-25-2011, 02:13 PM
Happy to help! Your horse is beautiful, hope you have lots of fun
    12-25-2011, 02:59 PM
If he had foundered more recently he may not want to bear weight on his opposite hoof. Try putting him in the cross-ties for just a few seconds, also telling him to "stand" or "whoa". Give him a small treat and unclip one side. Then clip again, repeating whoa and again for just a few seconds and treating again. Do this a third and a fourth time. Undo him walk about then clip him again and do as before only for a little longer. Do not treat him if he moves. He'll start figuring out that standing still earns him a treat. Be sure to extend your arm each time you give it so he learns that only a straight arm delivers a treat. You can use this same technique for his hoof. Barely pick it up, set it down and treat. Always stand up, arm straight when you treat, then pick up his hoof. You have the idea, slowly extending the time and rewarding. I used alfalfa cubes which I break up into small thin wafers.
    12-25-2011, 04:11 PM
I don't think treats are a good idea if he's already pushy and having respect issues. He's not going to think straight arm= treat he's going to think "human! Give me those goodies!" which will probably add to his impatience and pawing. Honestly first I would just stick him in there and leave him. Not walk away of course but just let him be silly all by himself. Leave his lead on invade things go south so you can rescue him but just see if he'll get over himself. If not then I've had good luck with throwing very small pebbles in the direction of the horse when they start pawing, but my horse would also stop the second I stepped towards her to scold her as all she wanted was attention so throwing things was my only option haha. As for his feet I would just treat him as he's never had his feet handled. Ask him to pick it up and when he does immediately release and work from there getting him to pick them up and hold them for longer and longer
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