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wordstoasong 11-02-2008 08:25 PM

Bully 6-yr/old
I'm looking for some help in working with a bossy 6-yr/old gelding.

First off, I've known Hollywood since before he was born. He's really flashy looking and would make a great mount in any showring. As a baby, he came in 1st place as his first in-hand show. He is a Canadian Warmblood and stands at 16.3hh I believe. Almost as big as his dad, Eastern Ruler.
As a baby, I could handle him easily. Now, he's too much.

His owner (my coach) doesn't have time to ride/train him at all. This, she is disappointed with as he's a great horse, just needs to be ridden again. On days she can't ride him, she free lunges him. With a broom. Why? When he was broke, the man pretty much abused him with a whip. Hollywood doesn't care for lunge whips now-a-days. And since losing Sunny, a great school horse, there is no horse that can put Hollywood back in-line. Heck, Holly even chases off Gus the Clyde.

Hollywood is very pushy and I would like to work some things with him. Mainly some in-hand ground work first before riding him. Others tell me he is a trouble to ride. Fights all the way until you are dead tired.

So, any ideas on a bossy/pushy 6-yr/old? Need to teach him some manners. Thank you.

TwendeHaraka 11-02-2008 08:30 PM

Just do exactly that-teach him some manners.

I would work on the ground work first. If he pushes you around, push him around. Make him listen to you no matter what. If he's nippy, hit him in the nose. My OTTB was horrible with manners when I first got him, and even then was bad about them because I let him be. When I finally made him listen to me on the ground and when I was on him, he became a much better horse.

If you have any specific things that he does, I can help out a lot better than just a general overview. :D

NorthernMama 11-02-2008 09:20 PM

I agree -- if he's bossy, you need to make him know that YOU are boss when you're around ALL THE TIME. Feeding, grooming, leading, just hangin' out... NEVER let him get away with being in your space unless you've invited him. Never let him leave where you are unless you've allowed it. He doesn't do ANYTHING without your OK. I have a bossy 5yrold mare and I'm always on her. She's only been here a few months and has improved greatly, but just tonight at supper time, she tried to get around me. She wasn't mean or pushy, but I would have had to move or she would have had to avoid me. So I didn't let her go. She had to stay put, until *I* left. Just an example.

Curly_Horse_CMT 11-03-2008 11:04 AM

I agree with the things said above: he is too big of a horse to be pushing you around. Groundwork is the key here: if he doesnt respect you on the ground, how can he respect you in the saddle? I use alot of the John Lyons/Clinton Anderson methods with my Bashkir Curly Gelding who is a BIG boy and 7 years old and full of it. It has worked wonders with him and he gets better every day. Stay ahead of his thoughts, dont get behind. You have to be "on" him all the time, dont let him get away with anything. Go to the old saying, "you give an inch, he takes a mile" kind of thing...good luck :-)

Dumas'_Grrrl 11-03-2008 11:16 AM

I think that when working with a pushy horse you have to have a very clear lesson plan for that day. One where the goals can be accomplished and the lesson can end on a good note. I sit down and write out what I want to do with the horse over the course of a couple weeks with long term goal in mind.

I then organize the list from step 1 to whatever...say 5.

Say the horse is already "trained" but is just being snotty... I usually just start with leading in hand....Take him for walks where you are just "going"...Keep him moving and act like a leader....I keep the mental state of mind that I have to go from point a to b...and I walk like I mean it.. I don't beg or plead with the horse... I walk with purpose.

Once the horse is following my lead and walking with me... I'll throw in some random stops. I want the horse focused on me. Once the horse is stopping and focusing on me I'll start off walking again and then turn...Horse has to follow....Maybe I'll walk him through or around barrels or chairs...He has to focus and follow and stop with me...

Make sense??? I'm not good at writing all this out.

I think that ground manners translate into undersaddle manners....Its all about the horse focusing on you.

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