How do I train a difficult horse??
Sonya is a 6 year old Paint/QH/Thoroughbred/Arabian mix. She's curious. Extremely curious. She has a licking problem. Licks EVERYTHING. She licks me, my belt buckle, my boots, trees, the fence, the mineral block, everything. She always runs up to see me and greets me with a happy neigh. She also nickers if I get too far out of her sight. She seems like a happy horse, but there are some problems involved. She's more like a person than she is a horse. She is very impatient. When I go to feed her she pins her ears and gives a little kick. She'll nip and pin her ears. Then when she thinks I am not looking, she points them up. But right when I turn to look at her. She pins them. When I tried to lunge her, instead of circling. She turned and came at me, trying to attack. I managed to run to the safety of the raised tack room. She snorted and bucked, then quickly turned back to normal and came running, looking for treats. However, she completely accepts the saddle. She'll also take a hackmore bit, but not anything else. She is halter trained and can be lead. But once I mount, she doesn't budge. She sits there and wont move at ALL. I'm just reciently working with her due to my protective mother. I got Sonya and her mother the day she was born. My mom thought I was too young and wouldn't let me even attempt at training until now. However, Sonya has become spoiled and more like a dog or a human instead of a horse. I try to train her but everything fails and I feel like I'm putting myself in danger. However, selling Sonya is NOT an option. She's special to me. And just because she is difficult doesnt mean I'm going to give up and sell her.
Please Please Help before it's too late. My mother is tired of her being difficult and an "over sized dog". I really need yall's help before my mom gets rid of Sonya for good.
I think that if Sonya has become like this while being lovingly raised by you, as you know, she has become spoiled, and it's probably not possible for you to change her all on your own. There is just too much that needs to change, and with a horse that will become aggressive in a round pen, then you should not try to take this on by yourself. You are really very best to seek out a knowledgeable person to show you how to make these big changes. Way too much to learn online.
This horse looks at you as a herdmate, one that is lower in the pecking order. Is she kept with other horses or just one other that is the boss? She has some really bad habits that are beyond the realm of a forum, she needs a very good trainer that can overcome her serious behavior issues. If you want a horse to work & ride safely & enjoyably, sounds like you need professional help.
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This is your problem. You need to start treating her like a horse. Better still, find a trainer right now to help you before things escalate any further.
I have had horses come to me like this and life has been very tough on them for the first few days/weeks.
Unless you are prepared to toughen up and become the leader then you are not going to get any further than having a paddock pet.
She might lead but what about general manners? ~seems from the food routine that she doesn't have any!
So, when you go to feed her do not let her charge at her feed. If she does then you give her the feed - still in the bucket wrapped around her head. Always make her stand back and wait. Then feed her and leave her.
A horse does not instinctively know how to lunge they have to be taught. (There are plenty of articles on here to say how to start them) The other thing is that you can bet your bottom dollar that had she come at me she would have had the lunge whip wrapped around her legs and chest so hard she would have thought twice about doing it again.
To me it basically seems you are afraid of this horse. Yes, you love her but let her get away with most things.
Unless she is taught correctly then you cannot expect her to just know the commands for walking forward with a rider on.
Get a trainer in on a very regular basis or send her away to be handled correctly and then go to learn what to do.
Get an actual Trainer there with you. Advice from the internet is unfortunatly not going to help in this situation. The horse is Spoilt and knows she has the upper hand. You need someone there on the ground with you who knows how to handle the horse and wont run away from a situation.
Get a trainer who's familiar with basic learning theory. It is so important. The thing is it's very difficult to take a step back and watch ourselves but if she's threatening you to get fed it's because she's been taught to do it. I use "negative punishment" which is taking something away to decrease the likelihood that the horse will show the behavior again. In this case it would be taking the treat or feed away until she shows a desired behavior.
When she tried to attack in the lunge it's probably because she's frustrated and by running away you taught her that if she does that it (the lunging) will go away
Ditto to all of the above. Sonja's biggest problem is that she views herself as the one in charge of the situation because nobody in her 6 years of life has ever told her any different. Get a professionals help in dealing with her. You and HER need help in dealing with this as it is not an overnight fix with information you glean from the internet.
They will however assiciate having the bucket wraped round thier front legs at speed or being backed off rapidly. Punishment with horses needs to be instant and easily associated with the bad behavior. You have 3 seconds to punish a horse, any longer than that and the horse will not associate the punishment with the bad behavior.
Best way to train a horse like that is dont, by yourself.
Save up some money, Find a good trainer and send her away for a month or two. It the trainer is any good, she'll come home a changed horse for the better :-) many of them have weekly or so lessons while your horse is a the trainer, so you won't miss her too much. :)
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