Gaining Trust-where to even start? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, now I get what you're saying.
I did work with a bit of backing today. When he did start backing when I asked, I told him 'BACK' and counted three steps before I let off and stood relaxed. He did as well and I gave him his praise. :)
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post #12 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 08:15 PM
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Is this the first time you have ever trained a horse? May I ask how much time and experience you have with horses all around? I mean no insult, but you sound a bit new to all this. Is there any way you can call on a more experienced person to stand by you for the first few days and show you some moves, or at least watch you to see if there is anything you need to change.

I say this because you mentioned that one of the horses nearly ran you over. they can do that, but it sounded as if you were surprised by that and at a loss as to how to deal with it, and that is where your apparent lack of experience stands out a bit. I know this doesn't sound friendly, but it's not that easy to train a horse, especially if it's already been trained into some bad behaviors.
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post #13 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 08:29 PM
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A little food has worked for me whenever I got a new horse that wouldn't let me near it. A handfull of food in a bucket. It's not much, but they eventually will want to check it out. That brings them up to you. If the experience is pleasant then they'll be quicker to come for the next bit of food. Should be followed by them not needing the food to come up to you after you've become associated with something nice. Some food from the hand is what I do. Just take it out in the bucket since most associate the bucket with food.
How long it takes will depend on the horse. Never had it take more than a couple of days and usually just a day, but nothing is certain.
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post #14 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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I'm no longer on an Ipod typing, so hopefully I can come across clearly.

I perfectly understand where you are coming from, tinyliny.
This is the first time I have gone about 'training' a horse without the assistance of a trainer. I have worked in many, many barns as a caretaker. Including handling horses of various sizes (from ponies to drafts) with various personalities. I can handle the occasional rude horse who can come across 'hot'. I am not incompetent/fearful/easily pushed around when it comes to the horses. I have plenty of experience with them, or I would be honest and tell this lady I do not think I can work with her horses. I would not wish further bad habits on them.

I did not know these horses were this.. bad. That is why this behavior came as a shock to me. When I say 'they' I really should only say Duke. The others have minor issues I have dealt with before. Duke is my trouble.

I was not at a loss when he ran forward. He caught me off guard today when he did so. I had turned around to start walking back to the barn with him in hand, when I assume he heard something and started rushing forward.

Today was just gaining a fresh understanding on how they act in-hand, in their stalls, etc.
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post #15 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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its lbs not miles,

I did use hay cubes to get Ebony to open up a bit. I let him see I had them in my hand, then placed them in his feed bucket. When I walked away, I could see him walk up and take them.
When I came back, I held one in my hand over the bucket. He was hesitant, but gently took it from me. I slowly walked away to allow him to relax. When I came back he took another, and let me gently stroke his muzzle with my finger tip. (No joke here, I was petting a whisker.)

Again, I let him calm. When I walked back over he let me gently pet his face and sniffed me. I didn't stay by him too long as Red was trying to nip and play with my shoulder from the next stall.
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post #16 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverChestnut View Post
I understand what you are saying. With the way they act and spook at everything, I don't see how they were ridden. The 3 year old side stepped and became fearful of an ATV that was turned off and just sitting there.
I hope you don't take offense to this because I don't mean it to be offensive...but this statement leads me to believe you have very little experience with horses. Horses can spook over doesn't have to move. Just cause a horse is spooky doesn't mean it hasn't been ridden. A lot of times a broke horse who acts up on the ground will be a totally different horse once it has a bit in it's mouth and a saddle on it's back. I think you may be trying to "play trainer" and just from reading some of your statements about how these horses were acting screwy and such. Sounds like they are just acting like normal horses who aren't fiddled with very often and its nothing a wet saddle pad or two or three won't cure ;)
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post #17 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by SilverChestnut View Post
I have the opportunity to work with 4 horses. (there are 5, but one is 35 years old and retired)

1 is totally friendly and I don't see any real trouble with him.
The next 2 are dis-respectful, but I was shown by a woman I use to train with different things in the round pen on gaining respect.

The 4th guy, however, is very timid. I met them today and he would not let me come up to him at all, while the others got curious at some point.

All of these horses are trained. The owner said they are all natural-gait tennessee walkers.

The owner does not get to go out and see them as much as she would like, and has given me the chance to go out and get them handled more often. (not riding..just ground stuff)
There is a man who cares for them and turns them out, but for the most part they are in a large pasture.

She said she is looking into getting a round pen, but for now I am going to buy a lunge line.

I'm not worried about the ones who need to learn respect. I've worked with a few horses like that.
I am a little confused on how to start going about gaining this ones trust, though.

I would just like to hear stories on how this has been done. Should I just go out and be around him a while? I feel it would be easier if they were stalled when I got there, but they're out for the most part.
Welcome to the forum, SilverChestnut! I would spend some "quiet time" with him, and not ask for much at first - just seeing that you are not "threatening" will mean a lot! Be nonchalant in your gestures - hang out, give him 1/2 of your attention while hanging out, which will likely cause curiosity on his part. Have some carrots in your pocket - offer them occasionally, and just stroke his nose. Then go a little further the next time, then the next time, etc..... Good luck :)
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post #18 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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You twisted my words, herdbound.
Like I've said. I would not 'play trainer'. If I didn't think I could handle something, I would not try. Why would I put the horse and myself at risk? I was sharing what happened today as I thought over what my plans are. I would like to work with the 3 year old as he is on my 'comfort' level. If I could get Ebony to open up a bit over time that'd be great as well. As far as the other two (excluding the older horse. He's retired and in it for attention) I really don't think I can help with the way they act. If the owner would come out when she sets the round pen up, maybe she could give them a lunge and see how they do. I can mention to her to try a ride and it may get them back.
I never said I was a trainer. I did not come into this as one, and that's not what I'm in this for. Heck, as we were leaving I was telling the person I was with I think she needs a trainer for the two.

May I just say..just because someone does not jump on a horses back (CAN NOT by OWNERS REQUEST)..does not mean they are inexperienced.
I did NOT bring up the spooks saying I did not know how to handle the situation.. and I did not mean I think spooks mean a horse can not or WERE NOT be ridden.
I am well aware of the fact horses can spook. It's their nature. My post could have been worded differently, but I was multi-tasking and did not re-read. I apologize.
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post #19 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 11:17 PM
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I just know how I handle situations like you are in. Groundwork is great but it isn't the big deal people make it out to be. Truth is a horse that is broke will gain more trust & respect from the saddle in my opinion. They need to be put in an enclosed area such as an arena or a round pen and ridden...they need to be ridden at a W/T/C a few days a week. They need to be flexed, lunged, and warmed up a little beforehand...but if they are broke then riding them will work out the problems you are having. Why the woman would object to this I am unsure. Everyone I know who has "rusty" horses beg for people to ride them.
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post #20 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure either. These are all walking horses and I believe they are just easier riding. There is no arena or pen currently on the property.
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