Horse has no respect! Please advice needed!
Okay so I am working with my aunt's horse. She is a very busy lady (has 4 horses, and is always traveling, and is getting older, just turned 63) and in the past couple years has not had time to give her horses the attention they need. I am going to start working on her gelding (who is the worst). He is 9 years old and is overweight and needs to be exercised. But he is horrible under the saddle, and will not lunge. He is such a lazy horse, hates to work. Out of the 4 horses he is with, he is the alfa horse. Well since my aunt has not been on top of him, she lets him get away with murder! She raised him since he was 2 months old, broke him, and trained him. He was a excellent horse about a year ago, but because of lack of attention he completely lost it. She really wants me to work him so he can lose weight (he is on a diet, but he needs exercise) but I cannot lunge him or ride him so I am kinda stuck. I know I have to start with groundwork. He is SOOO BAD! :evil:
1. she only has 2 stalls and 4 horses so I have to feed him and her TB outside in the pasture. He doesn't get as much grain and hay as her TB so he gobles it down and then goes and eats her TB's grain and hay.
2. He will not let you halter him without a chase. He turns his butt to me and runs away when he sees me with the halter. I either have to hope he will get tired or catch him when hes eating to halter him.
3. He does not lead easily. Sometimes he will follow nicely, but other times he will stand still and you have to continuely jerk on the lead rope to get him to go foward.
4. He will not back up for anything unless I take the end of the lead rope and flick it at his chest, and even then he reluclently backs up or instead of backing up, he'll go sideways.
5. When I started to lunge him, he would turn into me constantly! I would tap his inside leg and when it went over, I would drive his hind foward. That worked to get him to lunge for a little but now, he pushes me out of the way with his head when I go to tap his leg, or circles around me so I can't tap his leg. With her other horses all it's takes is a jerk on the halter for them to stop, but that doesn't phase him. When I really crack down on him, he'll walk VERY slowly in a circle and then just turn his butt towards me and walks off, pulling the lunging line right out of my hands. I jerk the rope hard when he does his and he spins around, head very high, and walks towards me. Then we start all over again. This happened 20-30 times last night, jerk the leadrope or making him backup does not work.
6. Under the saddle, he does not want to leave the barn. Barn sour. He does what he wants, goes where he wants, etc. Will not listen to whoa, easy, clicking or kissing. Does not listen to my leg or rein cues. He DOES know what they mean, because sometimes he will submit and listen when I say whoa, easy, click, kiss, etc.
I know I need his respect and trust. I already tried some advice from friends and online but none seems to work with him. Ever dealt with a horse like this?
Everything will work when you find the way to project the energy to convince him of your authority. He dosen't sound aggressive or mean, just aware of your inability to enforce the rules. He knows your are frustrated.
jThere are so many points to address in your post that I wont' deal with all of them, but for examply, you asking him to back up:
by the time you are at pushing on his chest, you are too close. you start asking for the back up when you are about 6 feet away from him. you start by 'throwing some energy downt he rope" toward his head. you lift up your hand and lower it (straight up and down works better than side to side for a horse that is really sticky) and toss the rope so that a wave of energy goes down the leadling and makes the lead clank up under his chin. and say "back!" and pusht the air with your other hand toward his face. Advance toward him if he doesn't back off of just that, increase the energy going downt he rope and go so far as to poke him right in the kisser (nose) if he doesn't back up. he'll be surprised, and throw up his head and maybe back or go sideways. it doesn't matter. you made him move. if he went backwards, you stop and release the pressure > DO NOT BACK AWAY FROM HIM> stand your ground and make him back away from you.
never back away from him unless you literally fear for your safety, and even then , he should never be getting in that close to you to begin with.
I would not ride him or lunge him until you can back him up off of you, can make him move his shoulders away from you , and can make him follow you on the lead rope. (that's a whole 'nother post) . you need to do some searches on her for "hard to lead" or leading problems and see if you can't get some insight there.
I wouldn't get on this horse until I had some respect from him on the ground. The people who posted ahead of me have given you great advice. You need to start this horse from scratch.
Tinliny and palominolover - THANK YOU! I started with the halter advice you gave me, to make him run and after about 5 minutes of getting him to move, I haltered him no problem! I was told to halter him and unhalter him so he knows he doesn't need to be worked everytime. I tried this for months and saw no results but this seems to be working on him. I also worked on backing him up and he seems to be doing great, my only question is - I want to get him to back up without using any lead line. My mares were a lot easier to get to back up and they can back up with just putting my hand up and saying 'back'. The techniques I used on them, are NOT working on him. How can I go from using the lead line to just using my hands on him?
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for being hard to catch all my horses used to do that.. then one day my dad got sick of it... you know what he did.. he got the truck and chased them around for a full hour.. then after that they let us catch them because they were sooo tired.. then i rode eaach of them for an hour or so.. since then they dont run for that long or they ome right up to you.. its crazy.. if we want to run away from you let him.. chase him in some type of vehicle until he gets tired.. he will realize its not worth sweating a lake just to get cuaght.. also when he does start to be easy to catch dont work with him everytime.. give him some loving.. everyonece and a while..
And no he is not aggressive at all. He is a sweetheart of a horse, has a great personality. Hes a horse that I used to introduce my daughter to be around horses. (she's 5). He is not jumpy like the other 2 mares and the years that I've been around him he's the only horse out of the 4 that has not kicked, bucked or reared on me. He just really lacks respect and ground manners.
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Oh he gets lots of love! A few times a week I take my daughter out there and we groom and wash them. He loves his baths. I've been getting so attached to him, he's such a sweetheart.
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To get him to back up with no line will take time, and more time. Start decreasing the jerks down to a wiggle after a few weeks. Eventually Try waving your hand at his chest and saying back. Once he knows this cue try decreasing it just down to just saying back. This could easily take a few months, and whenever he refuses to do something make your cue stronger.
When you dont have a lead rope, the steps for backing up are as follows. Obviously if he is moving, you dont have to escalate to the next step.
1. Give him a mean predator look. Tense your shoulders and arms. Stare him in the eye, lean torward him.
2. raise your arm up and point a finger at him
3. shake your finger at him
4. shake your whip
5. hit the ground at his feet
5. Swing the whip in front of you and start marching towards him whiles still staring at him. If he stays put, you will whak him (and it is clearly his own fault for not moving).
If he rears (many disrespectful horses will), it is safest to smack his stomach as this will cause him to gome down (because the stomach is their most sensitive area). Do not back down no matter how scary it is, just meet his agression with assertion and get him to move away from you by any means.
I once retrained a horse with similar issues. Once, he reared and lifted me up by the shoulder (bit me). Hed gotten to me when I didnt have a whip (it was just dumb lack of experience on my part, now I would never go anywhere without my 'longer arm'), but I punched him in the chest, grabbed a fisful of fur and flesh and twisted until he dropped me and backed up a good 20 feet (i reduced the pressure once he was moving). After that he was mellow like a house cat, because he knew that I would go through with my promise if he didnt listen to my suggest, ask or tell.
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