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At a loss of how to 'bond' with him

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    11-17-2011, 03:54 PM
  #11
Super Moderator
I wish I could be there to help you, as do many of the other members who enjoy doing ground work. But, since we cannot, lets see what we can do to help you "take charge", as your instructor put it.

Fortunately, you've observed your instructor handling the horse with the authority he needs, right? First of all, when you handle the hrose, just pretend that you ARE your instructor, really. Literally speak and move like she does.

Think of your horse as a "lion". If you were a lion tamer in the circus, you would have to be very strong and very clear to the lion, or he'd kill you. I know this sounds absurd, but my reason for saying this is that you want to change your approach from one of kind of "begging " your horse to be good and hoping he'll be nice and getting out of his way if decides not to. To one of, "I am keeping my eyes on this animal, I am being very firm and very strong, so that it never thinks of going for me at all." I know, he's not a lion. But, if you are a slightly timid person it's hard to really become uber confident and firm . Do remember that the horse CAN hurt you, so it's not silly to really crack that whip and back him off dramatically a few times. You want to make such an impression on his mind that he ceases to question your authority.

So, when you are going to take him thought the gate, first you back him up, briskly, several steps. Go forward, then back him up. Backing a horse firmly can be one of the single best ways to establish authority, quickly.
You have the whip, and you ask him to back up by kind of wiggling, then throwing the lead line up such that it "chucks " him under the chin. If that doesn't back him, then start waving the whip in front of him, kind of pointed at his chest. Make that whip "whir" through the air and if it startles him into backing crazily or turning away, don't worry. You are getting his attention. And , By God, he'd better hand over his attention , NOW!

You can even back him through the gate, and keep that whip up and if he starts to try to go back through the gate, bop him one! Quick and sharp. Remind him that are in charge and you are backing throuigh the gate now, nothing else.

So, go tame your lion!

ETA I dont' mean that you should always approach your horse as if he wants to kill you. I am only suggesting this as a way of making yourself lose the need to be "nice" to him and have him "like" you. That can come later, once he stops moving through you or ignoring you like you were part of the scenery.
     
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    11-17-2011, 04:29 PM
  #12
Trained
I gotta say, "I'll take D, from Dreamcatcher's list."
You are not experienced enough to master this horse...yet. It's expensive to start hiring a trainer bc your instructor expects you handle your horse without instruction--there's no logic to this.
Ask your instructor to find you a buyer.
Ask your friends to help you horse-shop for a horse with better training.
Getting hurt by this horse will discourage your future horse pursuits.
When you buy your next GOOD horse--may I suggest buying a middle-aged, safe lesson horse?--shop for a new trainer, who respects you and the money you pay her.
I had an OTTB with problems, and I kept him from age 8 to age 16. He'd sit down with DH on his back, we've had to lunge him in tight circles before using him--the list goes on...
Finally, he slipped on the ice and threw out his back fighting with another member of the herd. My Vet suggested a chiropractor. I suggested an auction and sold him to the meat market. WHY? Bc I didn't want to sell this pretty, 16'2hh black TB, who jumped easily, and had some dressage training despite his bad manners to a 15yo, LIKE YOU, and wonder when she would get hurt. Somebody's sold you their problem horse, and it is inappropriate to expect you to handle this.
P.S. This happens a lot nowadays.
     
    11-17-2011, 05:10 PM
  #13
Yearling
I don't feel that this horse is necessarily a problem horse. He just realizes that he can push her around. My OTTB tries to do the same to me when she wants feed and she gets told whos boss real quick when she does it. This horse has realized that he can push you around so he is going too until you show him that he is NOT the boss. The problem is that he knows you will allow him to push you around. You need to start with absolute groundwork. If he doesnt respect you on the ground there is NO WAY he will respect you under saddle. I would start with lunging. Even if he doesnt want too. If my mare is in a bad mood and pulling me around I let her go at libery in the arena and chase her sorry butt with a crop if she isnt listening to voice cues. Usually you can walk in the middle and still be close enough to encourage them to move. After the horse is COMPLETELY worn out (dont just gallop him. Make him switch gaits and directions. Make him listen.) THEN try some close up groundwork. Get him on the lungeline if he isnt already and mess with him. Pick up his feet. Move him on the ground. Make him come too you them back him up (puff out your chest and advance to him from the front. If he doesnt, pop him in the chest until he steps back. ) teach him to respect your space. If he doesnt respect it, he gets to run. YOU are his relief from running. You give him that precious commodity he wants. AIR. Only let him stop when he is NEAR you and if he acts in any way to push you around take away his air. He'll soon learn that being pushy makes him run so he'd MUCH rather be by you where he can be lazy and rest and if he gets pushy he looses that. Also you really need to get him working on a lungeline so you can improment this technique without having him in an arena or roundpen. Hope this helped even a little bit.
Skyseternalangel likes this.
     
    11-17-2011, 05:15 PM
  #14
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
I gotta say, "I'll take D, from Dreamcatcher's list."
You are not experienced enough to master this horse...yet. It's expensive to start hiring a trainer bc your instructor expects you handle your horse without instruction--there's no logic to this.
Ask your instructor to find you a buyer.
Ask your friends to help you horse-shop for a horse with better training.
Getting hurt by this horse will discourage your future horse pursuits.
When you buy your next GOOD horse--may I suggest buying a middle-aged, safe lesson horse?--shop for a new trainer, who respects you and the money you pay her.
I had an OTTB with problems, and I kept him from age 8 to age 16. He'd sit down with DH on his back, we've had to lunge him in tight circles before using him--the list goes on...
Finally, he slipped on the ice and threw out his back fighting with another member of the herd. My Vet suggested a chiropractor. I suggested an auction and sold him to the meat market. WHY? Bc I didn't want to sell this pretty, 16'2hh black TB, who jumped easily, and had some dressage training despite his bad manners to a 15yo, LIKE YOU, and wonder when she would get hurt. Somebody's sold you their problem horse, and it is inappropriate to expect you to handle this.
P.S. This happens a lot nowadays.

I respectfully disagree Corporal

In some cases, I seriously see your point. Lots of people get in WAY over their heads and need to sell. BUT I do not think this is one of these cases.

I do not think this horse is dangerous, judging from her previous posts. And with that I will say there is no such thing as a bomb proof, perfect horse!!! EVERY horse has quirks and problems. There are no dead broke horses, there are only well trained (and well tempered) horses handled by well trained horsemen.

What I am trying to say is that it doesn't matter what horse she has, if she doesn't teach it respect and have someone to help her, she will get taken advantage of by the horse. You can buy a 30 year old, "dead broke" half dead horse, and it will still most likely tell her to buzz off. She needs to train herself, or have someone train her, and I am fairly confident that the horse will follow suit, especially given the information she has provided (horse did listen well when bought, did lead and ride just fine). He changed after she bought him and he has taken advantage of her. It is a problem with the person, not the horse.

PS. OP, do not take offense to that, everyone needs to learn, but it is not your horse who has a problem, it is just you needing some guidance and learning, as everyone needs at some point
     
    11-17-2011, 07:52 PM
  #15
Trained
1 - Fire the trainer. You won't be able to do dressage if the horse kicks your butt.

2 - Explain your problems with any prospective new trainers, and find one who is willing to help you.

A few lessons with a good trainer may be enough to get you both where you need to be. I was lucky. Our first attempt to hire a trainer resulted in our getting someone who understood we needed help, not just with training, but with OWNING and HANDLING a horse.
     
    11-17-2011, 07:52 PM
  #16
Showing
I wouldn't rush to sell him. It sounds to me like a case of he's got your number.

I have to say, I'd be a bit disappointed in your trainer. If one of my students was having a problem like that on my property, I'd stop what I was doing and spend 5 minutes tuning up the horse.

It might be a good idea to ask to do some groundwork lessons and forego riding lessons for a bit if that's an option. If not, seek other outside help to deal with him until you are confident enough to correct him yourself.
Skyseternalangel likes this.
     
    11-17-2011, 09:58 PM
  #17
Green Broke
Tinyliny, I love your advice about the lion! I have the same problem with my 16 month old gelding. It's been a battle since birth because he was my first foal, the first time I ever had to teach ground work, and I didn't want to hit my foal with the whip. So now I've really had to get tough with him and enforce myself as leader because I didn't do enough of it to begin with. I tended to just hope and beg and wave the whip but not actually use it. Now I know I can't just hope and beg, I have to enforce what the horse already knows.

The lion tamer way of looking at it really visualizes it for me, and I think it is a good approach. I really wanted my foal to like me. Now I still hope he likes me, but want I really WANT is for him to respect me. Because I want to ride the little booger someday.

Anyway, thank you for the visualization.
     
    06-19-2012, 02:06 PM
  #18
Foal
Hi again! I am sooo sorry that I didn't reply! My email didn't tell me people replied so I didn't think anyone had!

Ok so now for an update, me and rascal left our old place and are now much happier in a small yard with 2 eventers who are both extremely knowledgable and happy to help when he's a nightmare. However he is 100x better than he used to be! He now leads respectfully most of the time and catching is sort of 50/50 at the moment, it's a work in progress. But today I had a breakthrough, it's the same thing all you guys were saying he didn't respect me at all, and why should he? I spoiled him, a mistake I think everyone makes at some point, and regretted it as I had made a little monster! Yesterday I was searching for some bonding excercises and found this website Training Tips which was sooo helpful so I decided to try some of them with him today, he was great! When he was relaxed and happy I started doing some basic groundwork with him like backing up and leading/stopping at my shoulder. Everytime he tested me or didn't do as asked I would put lots of energy into my movements and make him do it the first time I flew at him when he wouldn't back up he jumped backwards I then praised him and the next time he backed with a slack rope and I didn't even have to touch him I think he finally started to realise I meant business. By the end of the session he was following me round at the shoulder with the lead rope round his neck and stopping when asked with no lead rope I'm so happy I'm going to continue this and thanks to everyone who replied!!

Also well done for anyone who reads this.
     
    06-24-2012, 05:01 PM
  #19
Foal
I am so happy to have read this thread to the end and to know you have found probably the most overlooked reasons for your horses lack of respect for you.

I have been working proffessionally with horses for a good few years, spoiling them will always ruin your relationship with your horse, you must be strict and firm at all times and don't be affraid to chastise your horse, I have been abused for this statement but horses are creatures of violence, not fluffy bunnies, sometimes you need to be forcefull as well as firm to make your point known.

I am a firm believer in the methods of Monty Roberts for starting young horses and for gaining the trust of very poorly handled horses from clients, if you can practice the join up steps with your horse every now and again it will help to bolster your authority.

I wish you the best of luck in your future with your horse.

Wranglerman
     
    06-24-2012, 05:50 PM
  #20
Foal
^^ Thank you! Yeah I think it was because he was the first horse that was actually mine since I was really little so I spoiled him.

He was actually broken in by one of monty roberts' recommended associates over here in the UK funnily enough. EDIT: Just realised I already said that in my first post, oops!

We're still working on his respect but I feel much happier now knowing we're both on the same page and have something to work towards.
     

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