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Pushy Percheron

This is a discussion on Pushy Percheron within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    10-05-2009, 11:46 AM
Thanks! He really is beautiful and carries himself amazingly well for such an old guy! And he does respond to the kissy noises better than anything. Learning the word Whoa will be a big help for us. I think I've made a mistake when he does move back over, I'll say whoa but get frustrated because he keeps going all the way the other direction, rather than praising him when he does stop (even if its way past where I wanted him to stop!)
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    10-05-2009, 09:39 PM
Gorgeous horse! He looks great for 30!

I'm a Parelli Level 3/4 student, so I'll give you my thoughts. Swinging his hind end away can be that he is just being polite, however it is very possible that he is unconfident with you around his hind end. He could be confident with you at certain places of his body, but when his head is restricted in the cross ties (which is why Parelli doesn't suggest cross ties) he gets a little claustrophobic and the pressure of you being back there is a little too much. So play with approach and retreat. With your energy low (but not sneaky!) scratch him along his body and watch his body language. If he tenses up, raises his head, tries to turn and look at you, flicks an ear in your direction tensly, etc. then STOP. This is his cue to you that you've hit his threshold of where he is comfortable with you being. Rub that area until he relaxes then RETREAT. Then reapproach.

The reason I think it's quite possible he's a little unconfident is because if a horse wants to nip/bite or want to shove you around (dominant) they generally won't move their hind end first, they will just swing their head around. This is because dominant horses do not move their feet! In the herd, the first one to move his feet, or the one who moves his feet the most, loses the dominance game.

I have a feeling you are pretty accurate on his Horsenality assessment because draft horses can tend to be introverted, right or left brained. It's just how they are, being "cold" blooded.

One more thing, is his front end hard to move out of your way? Is his hind end easy to move away when you ask? I would absolutely start the 7 Games! You will see improvement once you do.
    10-06-2009, 09:09 AM
Well, I am happy to report that there was a HUGE change in his mood yesterday. His quarantine was lifted and he got out with some of the quieter horses yesterday. When I got to the farm, he came right up to the fence to see me, waited at the gate for me to come and get him and walked like a nice calm confident boy out of the pasture. Unfortunately, as I was getting ready to tie him near the barn, the BO's two dogs came tearing across their yard behind him and scared the poop out of him. He took off at a full speed gallop (of course the first big patch of grass stopped him so he could eat!). I was able to walk right up to him and catch him without any problems and we just played in the round pen for a little while. Even though we had a little hiccup last night, there was a big change in his attitude towards me. My sweet boy is coming back! I'm a little relieved to think that being seperated from the herd was causing him more anxiety and making him even more nervous around his strange new owner (me). On a side note, it was great to know that he can still move that fast and looked good doing it!

Spirithorse, I think you're absolutely right about his wariness around his back end. He'll usually let me doing anything back there (except pick up his feet, but that could be a whole other thread). He's also craking a bit in his hind joints so he may be concerned that I'm going to do something that will make him sore. He's getting on a joint supplement this week. We'll just take our time so he learns to trust us back there.
    10-06-2009, 11:15 AM
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I'm glad he's doing better! =D
    10-07-2009, 10:37 AM
I'm happy to report he was MUCH better tied in the barn last night. All the boys came in to eat and were in for the night. After Noah finished his dinner, I brought him into the asile and tied him inside. He stood horitzontally across the asile, nosing another gelding in his stall, but he stayed put!!! I didn't really care where he wanted to stand, I was just so happy he wasn't dancing back and forth!

One of the owners spent about 45 minutes walking him back and forth outside yesterday. He was trying to work on getting Noah to walk quietly and even he had a tough time with him. He referred to him as a "forward-a-holic". He is still trying to run in and out of his stall. Before I brought him out into the asile, I spent about 10 minutes trying to teach him to back away from the door. Every time he would turn his head away, I'd open the door. Ever time he put his nose back to the door, I'd shut it again. Finally he got some idea of it and walked to the corner, near his feed bucket. At that point, I opened the door and put his halter on. I want to be as patient as I can until he learns not to try to run everyone over, but he's so big, I'm worried that me, or someone else is going to get hurt!
    10-07-2009, 12:55 PM
He sounds pretty claustrophobic. Based on what you described, I would agree with the owner that said he is a "forward-aholic." That doesn't always mean the feet are going a million miles an hour, it can mean that the horse's emotions are going at a million miles an hour.
    10-07-2009, 01:44 PM
On Friday, I plan to be in the area where the resort is located that he was doing trail rides for the last year. I'm hopeful that by scoping the stables out, I might have a better idea of where he's coming from (mentally/emotionally). I would have to assume that he did not recieve the best treatment there. The trail stables owner had sent me a few picture of him, one pic where he was tied in one of those standing stalls (just wide enough for him to stand in, with no back to it). I have no idea if he was kept that like all night, if the horses were turned out, or if he had a regular stall. I do know that they also used stocks for all their farrier work and Noah has additional issues with having his back feet picked up. Prior to that place, he was with the Amish. Unfortunately, I don't know a lot in terms of details on the way they train and keep their horses, other than the general idea that their horses are work equipment and are not treated like pets.
    10-07-2009, 01:59 PM
I personally know a Clydesdale who came from the Amish. He has a ton of baggage....he's a right brained introvert who is super sensitive and if pushed he does explode. Thank goodness his owner knows enough (well, just enough) about Parelli and RBIs to not push him and to take things really slow. He is the sweetest horse, such a lover, but as a learner he can be very unconfident.
    10-07-2009, 03:24 PM
Noah seemed to be more of a Left Brained Introvert the first week that he was with me, but I think it might be too early for an accurate assessment. He's been much more unsure of things since we moved him to the new barn but it's only been a week and a day. He does seem much more calm now that his quarantine has been lifted and he's back out on grass with the herd.
    10-07-2009, 03:33 PM
With a new horse it can be tricky figuring out who he is INNATELY vs. what he shows you his tendencies are in other situations. Observing the horse out in the pasture is a good start. Seeing if he moves a lot or wants to stand still, how big his play drive is, to even the rate at which he grazes. A horse has to be confident in 5 areas to be "balanced." Confident in himself, in you, around other horses, as a learner and in new environments.

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