working with aggressive gelding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-07-2011, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Angry working with aggressive gelding

I'm still having trouble with my 8 year old gelding which charged at me last week while longing.I have already posted on this issue. I know it is a respect issue. I'm trying not to be a predator to him. great ground manners leads well lifts feet well very laid back until there's pressure of some sort.

Today I was working him with baby steps trowing the rope all over him done great. hind quarter yields little pull on the rope touch his hind quarters moves great.he was acting very relaxed yawning licking lips all the good sighs. when I started working on front leg yields hand on front shoulder hand in face he starts to move then out of nowhere ears back and tried to take a chunk out of my hand I got out of the way just in time.So I took the rope snatch the rope walked around the round pen with the horse behind me look back and he has his head up and ears down.

having no ground manners for the first time would not stay still.Now my Question is if I pop him good for doing such stuff is he going to get more aggressive and charge? How do I need to go about correcting this kind of behavior and get some respect out of this horse? thanks
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post #2 of 27 Old 08-07-2011, 11:21 PM
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Are you working with a trainer? It would be a good idea to go to a few clinics for ground manners. Any horse can benefit from them, really.

When a horse gets aggressive with me, I pop him so fast he doesn't know what hit him, and I make the horse WORK. Immediately after he lunges at you or becomes disrespectful, jerk on the lead until he backs up, backs up, backs up with absolutely no resistance. Send him out in a circle at a canter, work his butt off, and don't let him come in until YOU ask him to. Horses can not learn that they can be dominant; you have to be the dominant one in the partnership, and your horse needs to know that disrespect is not even an option.

Also, make sure to reward him when he complies to leg yields without a fuss. Positive reinforcement is very important.
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post #3 of 27 Old 08-07-2011, 11:31 PM
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i'm with equiniphile on this one...
except that my guy that i recently bought was painfully head shy. So when he was rude or aggressive, i didn't want to "pop" him for fear that he'd become even more sensitive about his face.
I did however, put him straight to work. Lunge line and ground work has been our savior. If he's being hot and ridiculous i will make him trot and canter... and then trot and canter... and maybe some more trotting even after that!

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post #4 of 27 Old 08-07-2011, 11:42 PM
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I was working with a barely handled 3 yr old, asking her to lunge at the walk, my intention was just a couple of circles. I was using a 12" stout lead. About 3/4 of the way around she came at me fast, ears pinned. She got a hard slap on the neck with the rope which turned her away. She was planning on leaving except I braced myself for when she ran out of lead rope. She hit the knots in the halter, did a prompt about face and stood still. I gently asked her to circle again and at the same place the scenario repeated itself. After the 2nd hard smack on her neck she became quite respectful. It never happened again. A dominant horse would bite her on the neck to drive her away and that is what the smack on her neck mimicked.
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post #5 of 27 Old 08-07-2011, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Oxer View Post
i'm with equiniphile on this one...
except that my guy that i recently bought was painfully head shy. So when he was rude or aggressive, i didn't want to "pop" him for fear that he'd become even more sensitive about his face.
This is why I never pop a horse in the face. I always give an elbow or heavy lead rope to the chest, neck, or rump...whichever is closer.
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post #6 of 27 Old 08-08-2011, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Red face

I am more inclined to think that this horse wants to engage in a fight!My main question is to this forum is when I pop him is he going to want to engage more into a battle and charge me harder?That may be a tough question,but I hope someone could possible chime in and give me there two cents on this.

thanks for the replies so far........
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post #7 of 27 Old 08-08-2011, 02:15 PM
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It is entirely possible that he will momentarily become more aggressive after the first correction when he sees that you are challenging his authority.

I guess I have to be the one to mention that you have been solidifying this behavior in him for some time. Every time he would bite at you, you would dodge out of the way, then turn your back and lead him, you were basically telling him "Okay, you win. Here, let me get out of your space like you told me to." Now, you have a more serious issue on your hand.

If he was mine to work with, every single time he showed even the slightest aggression toward me (even pinning an ear or a mean look in his eye), he would spend then next 10-15 seconds thoroughly believing that he was going to die. Hit him hard on whatever body part happens to be coming toward you, even if it's his face, then drive him hard out of your space either backward or in circles by any means necessary. If that means leaving welts on his shoulders/hips from your lead rope, then so be it.

Hitting him in the face may not be ideal but if that is the main part that is lunging at you, then that's what you need to deflect. Any potential for head-shyness can be completely negated by a good rubdown after he has begun to behave himself unless he already has head-shy issues.

If you are not comfortable doing what needs to be done to re-gain his respect, then you need to find a trainer who is and who can help you become more assertive in your handling of this horse.

Aggression in a horse is a very dangerous problem that can turn deadly in a heartbeat. It needs to be corrected now.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:

Last edited by smrobs; 08-08-2011 at 02:18 PM.
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post #8 of 27 Old 08-08-2011, 02:23 PM
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^^ Perfectly said, as usual, smrobs.

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post #9 of 27 Old 08-08-2011, 02:41 PM
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Every once in a while my mare will swing around as if to bite when I'm tightening her cinch. I have no problem elbowing her in the muzzle. If you can stop the behavior before it happens it's easier to handle. I'm afraid had I been there with your horse, I'd have taken the lunge and smacked him on both shoulders and backed him up to China. What your gelding is doing is dangerous to you. A horse can life a big man off his feet with its teeth. I have to agree with the others at this point, get a trainer to help. When you told me you turned your back on that horse right after it gave me the shivers. Cheryl
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post #10 of 27 Old 08-09-2011, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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I agree with you guys 100%.Now this has only happened once and trust me I wanted to lay into him the whip was not in my hand at this time.I firmly believe that when he gets to this point he wants to fight, and I'm not sure if my whip will keep him off of me that's just my thoughts I hope that i'm wrong for my sake.
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