Groundwork ideas for building trust with new horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 46 Old 08-17-2013, 04:09 AM
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Ok. As for hand feeding , it's not a good idea for some horses but if you do like to do it then require that the horse take the treat politely. Or, just quit doing hand fed treats .

I made this very crummy video with bad sound
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post #12 of 46 Old 08-17-2013, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the video! I can definitely work on this, this is very helpful! Andy tends to lunge for the apple when he sees it being presented, which is something I've been wary of, but I'll try and get him to be politer about taking food. Either that, or I can just leave them in his feed bucket. ;)
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post #13 of 46 Old 08-17-2013, 08:21 AM
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Dawn, I am truly sorry. I am NOT trying to preach. I just know how badly you can get hurt by being bucked off and I DON'T want to hear about your accident.
That being said, I guess I would just ground school the Hexx out of him. I would also spend a whole day on just perfecting leading, backing, haunches over, forehand over, and drilling and drilling him on taking lunging cues for all 3 gaits. I have taught my 16'3hh (that my Vet thinks is really 17hh) 1,450 lb KMH gelding (7 ft. girth) to put his head over the gate of the stall and wait for the halter, then we take our good old time leading out. He also puts his head over the gate after walking through it. I can now drop the lead and he waits for me to undo the halter. ANY work that leads to calm obedience will make your horse better.
Also, the CA lunging for respect works really well to get pretty much ANY horse to WANT to stand still and listen but also to react immediately when YOU say so.
AND quit the treats before he bites you in the leg.
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Last edited by Corporal; 08-17-2013 at 08:26 AM.
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post #14 of 46 Old 08-17-2013, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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It's ok Corporal. I do understand about the internet being full of people who don't know what they are doing, posting their problems online and expecting somebody else to be able to fix them. Horsemanship isn't cut-and-dried into friendly newbie packages for anybody to pick up - there are a lot of things that you can only learn from someone who knows what they are doing.

Those are all good ideas that I can put into practice. I want to build a little arsenal of things I can do with my boy to get to know him better, since I've only had him a short time. We're still gelling and trying to figure each other out, and I suppose I have been a bit soft on him. I've had a nightmare of a time trying to find a saddle to fit him, he's a high-withered horse with no muscle on his back, so whenever he acted up under saddle, I would (often correctly) assume that his saddle was causing him pain and not correct him for it. So now that I've got a saddle that fits, and now that I'm asking him to do some work, he's figured out that he can't pull the wool over my eyes anymore, and he's throwing some tantrums! I've got plenty of help, no fear on that front, and it is unfortunate that I've hurt myself, but I'll take a lesson from that and proceed more cautiously with this horse.
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post #15 of 46 Old 08-17-2013, 09:33 AM
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I'm sorry you got offended Dawn - your first post did sound as if you had little experience and that does make a lot of people worry that there's potential for a serious accident so often comments that come over as harsh are really made out of concern for the safety of the person asking for advice and not intended to cause offence.
I can vouch that Tinylinys method for teaching respect when hand feeding works because its very similar to the one I use and have always had success with it. Teaching a horse to have manners around treats is actually better IMO than avoiding treats - but I have no problem with anyone who prefers to do that.
When you do whatever groundwork you decide on I would suggest that you at least saddle the horse every time you work him. I have had several horses that buck in a reaction to the feel of the girth tight around them after a length of time off and yours might be one of those
I also discovered that my pinto stopped all her bucking and crow hopping when I got her a sheepskin pad (or numnah as we call them in the UK) and a sheepskin lined girth. She is a precious princess & super sensitive to any slight pinches and discomfort that other horses tolerate.
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post #16 of 46 Old 08-17-2013, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Dawn854 View Post
Thank you for the video! I can definitely work on this, this is very helpful! Andy tends to lunge for the apple when he sees it being presented, which is something I've been wary of, but I'll try and get him to be politer about taking food. Either that, or I can just leave them in his feed bucket. ;)

I hope that helps. I was not being nearly as firm as I would have been with some horses. Mac , the horse in that film, is one that is a bit pushy , I admit, but I have always been somewhat indulgent toward him. He is usually very careful and does not bite, only "snuffle". However, that fact that he does this is because I allow it. I mean, his bad habit is still in existence because I chose to tolerate it. It's MY fault.
Better would be for me to be super , super clear and consistent about this. It's NOT ok for you to ever put your lips on me, or to move that close into my space. If I was very clear, I would not have to constantly remind him and he would not be constantly pushing the boundary.
There's a certain "cuteness" to it that many of us fall for. I am raising my hand and admitting that. However, if Mac were more aggressive or unpredictable, I would cut out the indulgence and be a better parent/leader.

So,. as a new owner, it's not surprising that you've been indulgent to your horse. As you begin to see that, you'll maybe want to look at your interaction through the eyes of a disinterested party, a non-parent to this horse. Would that person see your horse as well behaved? and you as doing your job teaching him to be so?
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post #17 of 46 Old 08-18-2013, 08:28 AM
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Some things that I like to do on the ground (Other than what has already been suggested) is lunging with side reins (if you know how to use them correctly.) It will build up their topline and build some muscles for when you get back to work. However, if used incorrectly, they can be useless or be bad.

Some other things are stretching (Leg stretches and carrot stretches), teaching some fun tricks like bow, and just grooming (Maybe if he has some spots he isn't fond of you touching you could work those out?). Here's a video about stretching:
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post #18 of 46 Old 08-18-2013, 08:15 PM
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First off, you guys are still learning a lot about each other since you've only had him for a couple of months, so don't worry about getting all the kinks out at once - you're a new horse owner, not an experienced trainer, so it will take some time to get to a good point without the help of a professional. In short - don't get discouraged!

That being said, there are a TON of things you can do on the ground to help both you and your horse bond to one another. You can start by practicing basic ground manners (lifting all 4 feet and stretching the legs out, leading on both sides, ground tying, etc).

You don't need a round pen to work your horse, just a line. You can work on verbal commands and keep your guy exercised.

Wish you a speedy recovery!
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post #19 of 46 Old 08-19-2013, 09:52 AM
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I would also like to add here that in addition to lunging, longlining is quite good and more closely simulates riding. If you have never done it, have someone teach you or at least watch some videos as it can be confusing at first with two lines, which can get wrapped around your ankles if you do it incorrectly. I do a lot of it with my young gelding and it is quite fun, you can do direction changes, serpentines, go around and over obstacles, etc. which builds trust and communication. It does take some practice to get the timing right with both hands but it also helps teach you to have better hands when you ride.
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post #20 of 46 Old 08-19-2013, 10:10 AM
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Oh, I just noticed that you had injured your ankle, so longlining might not work for you right now but it might be a good thing to do after you've recovered a little, and might even help strengthen your ankle after your injury. Good luck!
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