my mare almost runs me over when i let her out of her stall
if my mare has been locked in her stall no matter how long, she will try to run me over when I open the door. I obviously do not let her and I just keep yelling at her to get back, but the minute I take my eyes off her she will try to plow through. How can I break her of this. I have smacked her in the nose when she comes up but I do not want to use this method. And even that does not seem to work.
The only time I have not had this problem, was one day after a very short ride, i reprimanded her for about 5 min. for being a total "B" . Really chewed her out and gave her a smack on the butt. After putting her in her stall and opeing the door she turned to run out and i hollared at her she lowered her head turned around and just stood there. I cud definetly tell she knew she was in trouble and that I meant business
I realize most of these issues are a lack of respect and we are working on that but does anyone have any solutions or ideas on how to keep her from wanting to charge out.
i chewed her out and did some quick lunging her and hard sharp circles. I was on a time crunch and didnt have time for a major discipline lesson. But this discipline had nothing to do with the charging through the door it was only for being a snot while out on a quick ride. I realize that a very quick repiramand isnt' going to fix the problem, i was just mentioning that after recieving one she obviously knew she was in trouble and didnt try charging out. I need a permenant solution training method in order to break her of this
When I go to let a horse out of a stall or trailer, no matter how long that horse has been in or how young or high energy it is, I do not tolerate the animal trying to muscle it's way out (they will almost ALWAYS win). In fact, I don't even allow a horse to take a step forewards. I make the first move and I tell the horse when he's allowed to come out.
IMHO, you're being too easy on your horse. Animals learn from every single thing we do, and if you aren't correctly repriminding your animal, it's going to hurt you. In order to teach your horse that he cannot move until you've asked him to, you have to deal with the problem before it gets dangerous, as it's happening. Not a few minutes afterwards. Horses very quickly forget what they've done, and will not understand that you are punishing them for something they did five minutes ago. They deal with the here and now.
What I would do if I had your horse, is I would take a lunge whip with me to the horse's stall, and wear boots and a hard hat until you can trust him. Open the door and raise your hand in a shooing motion while you said 'back!' in a commanding tone. If he crowds toward you, whack him on the chest hard enough for him to feel it, and once again say 'back!' If he does not back up immediately, deliver a harder smack on the chest, and raise your arm at him. He should step back and wait until you come in. Halter him, and if you feel like you need to- have someone show you how to put a stud chain around his nose for more control. Open the door. If he triest to step forewards before you do, say 'BACK' and give one good tug on his face. If he tries again, smack him in the chest with the lunge whip. Only allow him to step forewards after he has stood calmly for atleast ten seconds, and make sure that YOU take the first step. If he crowds you, 'BACK' and smack. It may take a few sessions but he will soon understand. A good horse will only need one or two good smacks to realize that they must be patient.
good luck to you, and be careful. A pushy horse is a dangerouse horse!
I am sure that it is a respect issue, as you recognize. so, along with working on this particular problem, you might want to work on her general leading skills, such as: come off the line lightly when we walk, stop or slow when I slow, and stay behind me and off to the side. Really work on backing her off your body language.
Next time you go in, back her as far away from the door as you can, go over, halter her, turn her around and BACK her through the open stall door.
Practice moving her off her food, too.
I think to help this you need to work on some basic ground work. It's apparent that your horse does not respect you at all. You can gain this respect with a lot of ground work. Go back to some halter basics for a while and get your horse walking properly at your shoulder, backing, yielding when you turn left or right, etc. Get her standing perfectly no matter where where you are standing (basic showmanship stuff). Teach her wht is acceptable, and what definitely is not.
I personally dislike striking a horse BUT if the horse is doing something that poses a danger to it's handler, or itself, then it may be called for. This is something that will also fix other issues under saddle as well and is something you really must get under control because if there is ever an emergency and someone else has to move your horse (fire, injury, etc), they will be in a very dangerous situation.
I've just gone on a little bit of a rant about what I'm about to say on another thread so pardon me for repeating myself almost word-for-word, but -
Respect is key. If your horse is being rude and pushy towards you, then she does not respect you. You need to TEACH her some respect. First, you will need to gain it in the round pen, free lunging with LOTS of changes of direction. You change the direction the horse is going, YOU are in control, and the horse will fight you at first but if you stick to your guns she will give in.
I don't like stud chains and IMO if you have to use them there is something very wrong with the partnership. I'd use a chain on an actual stud purely because I'd rather have too much bite than not enough when dealing with stallions (they have a reputation for being dangerous for a reason), but not a mare or a gelding.
What I would do with this horse, AFTER re-inforcing leadership in the round pen, would be to teach it some basic liberty. Backing on command without being touched, especially. This can be taught amazingly easily, and I will explain it if you like.
And then, once you have that liberty backing as soft as possible every time, translate it to the stall. Back the horse away from the door, and get on her case for even a shift of weight forwards without being invited. No creeping allowed either. I know a horse that will suddenly "get an itch" and use that as an excuse to move his foreleg forwards, and then he'll put weight on that foreleg and slowly creep into your space hoping you don't notice.
I am REALLY strict about two things. Dinner time manners, and gates of any kind. My personal space comes a close third, I will not be crowded under any circumstance.
I used to have a gate barger (the horse I had before Monty) and he got himself injured because of it. He got his hip caught on the gate which then pushed him into the gate post and the latch punctured his side. A few millimetres deeper and he'd have punctured his rib cage, maybe even a lung, and I'd have had a dead horse. Ever since, gate manners have been among my top priorities.
Keep that in mind when you get on your mare's case about her rudeness regarding stables. It can end in tears and injury for both horse and handler. She sounds like a pushy type which means you will need to be more pushy and more dominant. Both mine are pushy and in making sure they respect me I have been accused of abusing them before now, but somehow I am the one who rarely has rude horses and I never have a problem catching them - and they are both very affectionate. I think we've gotten far too soft on our horses to be honest. They NEED to be told, stand there, move over there, go at THAT speed. They NEED to be told to get out of the way when they're between you and where you want to be.
I'm not advocating abuse or anything of the sort. I'm just saying, we need to have a good "last resort" that we actually USE. When you're working with a horse, you need to start very soft, because you want them to eventually respond to that initial soft aid that may be almost invisible, or even completely invisible. But you also need to graduate your ask until you're telling the horse, and then demanding, and at last promising it that it WILL do as it's told.
The attitude goes something like this:
"Please, oh pretty please will you back up?" (for me, that's gentle steady pressure on the noseband or bit, but at liberty it can be as simple as a raised finger)
"NO" says the horse, and she doesn't respond. Guaranteed you'll get this the first many times. Don't increase your "ask" phase, you want her to respond to the smallest of aids in time.
"Back up" (I use firm pressure on the noseband or bit, at liberty it can be a wiggled finger or you can go for the rope with a LIGHT wiggle)
"NO" is a possible answer. Probable, if she's gotten away with ignoring you for a long time.
"BACK UP RIGHT NOW" (I use an on-off pressure on the noseband or bit, and at liberty this is where you need your rope and a moderate wiggle)
if the answer is still "NO"...
"YOU WILL BACK UP NOW OR ELSE FACE A PAINFUL AND LINGERING DEATH" - I guarantee you will only have to use THIS phase once or twice if it's a good enough fourth phase. For an effective fourth phase the horse has to honestly believe she's going to die. THIS is where I've been accused of abuse, and if you have to go to this phase, you have to have brilliant timing so that you can stop as soon as the horse offers what you want.
The trick with the fourth phase is to not actually get mad, but make the horse THINK you're mad.
So what do I do in the fourth phase? I'll yank on that lead, whether it's attached to a headcollar or a bit, because that horse is backing up NOW and it's been given plenty of chances to give me the right response with a gentler aid.
And THAT is with a horse that's learning... My two KNOW so I will often go from the ask phase to the demand phase. I haven't used the promise phase in months.
I had a horse who had this problem but her's was fear based rather than a respect issue. When she was a youngster she got tangled in a gate and was afraid of the actual gate and would bolt through if you let her, and of course, the results will be the same as the lack of respect horse, one day they catch you just wrong and you get knocked down and dragged.
I haltered her and would walk up to a door or gate and say, "Whoa". She'd stop and I'd take a step forward and say, "Step". She was allowed to take one step everytime I said it. Once we'd 'stepped' our way through the gate or door, I'd stop again and praise her and we'd walk on. It was the ONLY thing that stopped the bolting through openings. If I turned her loose in front of a gate and let her go through on her own, even from a stop, she'd bolt right on through, she literally could not control her fear herself.
It took several repetitions and many hours of practice but she got very good at stopping before a gate or door, I didn't even have to say, "Whoa" after awhile, and then only "Step" when I told her to. I had to do this day after day after day, right up until the day she died in order to have her be safe going through gates. Consistancy and firm control were the key.
DCA my horse that injured himself badly barging through a gate developed that problem and I used that method to show him that it wasn't going to kill him, but it shouldn't have to be a lifelong thing as what happens if circumstances change and the horse has to be sold? New owners may not implement the technique even if it's disclosed. My Latte was a rude horse to begin with (hence the injury) but I couldn't get up him about the gate or I'd make him more afraid. I also couldn't make a big deal about it because then he'd feel there really WAS something to be afraid of.
So, my method was to allow him to walk at MY speed but the moment he got too fast he had to stop, and if he didn't stop instantly he had to back up and start again. The stop/back thing was something I did with him a fair bit because he had a habit of taking ages to halt, or turning his hindquarters away from the handler, and I was trying to stamp that out. It was therefore something he understood.
Within three days he was absolutely fine about gates again. And considering this was a horse that could have died, that hit the gate post so hard he moved it half an inch, and that was a nervous nelly at the best of times - that's impressive.
I can't take credit for the method though. It's just something my mother suggested to me, that worked for that particular horse.
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