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Deschutes 02-27-2013 06:24 PM

Gaining Respect
Alright so, I have offered to put Shooter back into work this spring before faire starts up because he was unable to be ridden during the winter. However, now that I am more knowledgable as a horse person, I want to have goals for him rather than simply work him. His top line and back are in better shape than they have ever been for years and I want to keep that up. But to do that... I think I need to work on his respect for me.

He's one of those horses that you can push a button, and he will do it. But because he does it, doesn't mean he does it out of respect. He is basically like the Faire's babysitter, anyone can ride him and he usually gets a lot of greenies, and the fact that he is so push button makes him a great confidence builder. Not only that, but he knows his limits with different riders, so he's great for everyone.

Last year I mostly rode him as means of practicing for games and that helped with getting him in shape. he's so fat right now, he looks like a pregnant gelding. But anyway. When I go into the pasture, I noticed he turns his butt and pins his ears. When I catch him, his ears are still pinned. I thought he picked up the habit from Brown (for some reason, he picks up the WORST habits from other horses) but I now wonder, is he sour? Or has he just decided he doesn't respect me? It might as well be both.

My initial thought was to smack him and chase him off if he pins his ears and turns his butt. But if he is work sour, that could just reinforce bad things about work. I do visit him when I'm not working him. I feed him when I am able, I make sure after hard work outs he gets a good rub down, stretching and linamint.

I'm not sure how I can gain his respect either since he is a push button. I've worked with this boy for three years... And while our partnership has gotten better over the years, I want to make it better.

Sorry if this is scattered. Help please.
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HorsesAreForever 02-27-2013 06:49 PM

Im not a parelli follower, but, I do believe in their 7 games. One if the games they teach you which is the driving game.. which will teach them to send their hind end or front end away with a swing of a rope towards that 'zone' as they call it or the area you want to move away from you..

Ive notice a lot of lesson horses or horses they get a lot of green or beginner riders do get sour. Maybe for a while just have 1 person ride him and work on som training issues?

But ear pinning and turning their haunches to you is a respect thing IMO

Im sure someone else may have some better insight on this.

Deschutes 02-27-2013 08:11 PM

The ground work we do are: hide the hiney (moving the hind quarters), yo yo game (wiggle the rope to teach them that when done, they have to back up and come when you ask), a combination of hide the hiney and backing up, side passing... And I can't remember what else. But he does all of these things perfectly, and I'm pretty sure its because he's done them for so long. He is our veteran horse.

I don't think he will have a singular rider for any period of time that could even be considered beneficial. He is used for the equestrian team, and we often switch riders so everyone has a shot at practicing.

But it would make sense as he hasn't gotten sour until we started working him regularly.
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palogal 02-27-2013 08:32 PM

When he turns his butt to you, chase him off, I prefer a swinging rope to chase him off with. Approach him again and give him the chance to be nice. If he pins his hears chase him off. Approach again. He's trying to dominate you. Punish an aggressive move by moving his feet.

tinyliny 02-27-2013 09:04 PM

I guess you will want to deal with his manners when catching if you feel that he is directing them at you. if he pins his ears, and I mean really pins them, that's one thing. But if he's just putting them back a bit and turning to wander off away , then he probably is a bit work sour. I still would not let him turn and walk away from me when trying to catch him, but neither would i look at it as him being mean to me or not liking me or whatever was concerning you with you original post.
A horse that has a lot of riders can get kind of sour to work. it doesn't surprise me. Maybe you should just let him do his job as a push button horse and leave him there. That's his coping strategy, and if he's lived this way a long time, it's not so fair to expect him to change just for you.
It's not that you should tolerate bad behavior, but don't think that because he does what is asked of him, and no more than that, that he isn't being a good horse.

Deschutes 02-27-2013 09:07 PM

I figured as much, it is only when I have the halter and lead rope that he does it, however, another example is when he chases off his Pasture mate who is a beta. Gotta fix that as well, as it makes it hard for the owner (who isn't really horse savvy) to get a good look at Chance and ensure he hasn't re opened an old scar.
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palogal 02-27-2013 09:10 PM

That's herd dynamic. You can't really stop him from chasing another horse around. Lesson horses do get that way though, stubborn to catch and grouchy. Can't say I blame them.

Deschutes 02-27-2013 09:15 PM

Tiny, he isn't aggressive, he just pins and I get a "glare" vibe, particularly when tacking. I haven't visited him in a while, but I will see him this saturday. But you are right, it wouldn't be fair to have him change. I know people who used to hate riding him because he would do his best to undermine the rider, but, I have heard good comments about how he is now, so maybe being push button is a good thing.

I thought that if I had earned more respect, our work could be better. He does as I ask, and he works well, we just fight a lot with him cutting corners and ducking down the middle of the arena, as is what he is used to when jousting.

Better than we were before, but meh. I can let it slide.
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Deschutes 02-27-2013 09:16 PM

I don't blame him either. I was hoping to at least figure a way of making work enjoyable. Perhaps more trail rides are in order...
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amberly 02-27-2013 09:18 PM

Parelli's 'games' are pretty good for gaining respect and trust. Buck Brannaman has some good ideas too. They are the two people I look at - Buck more than Parelli usually.

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