World war 3 when it comes to washing my horse!
So my horse loves water except for when it comes to taking a bath! I don't usually wash him and I don't mind the dirt but when it comes to pony club or a show I HAVE to wash because he's 'white'.
So when I wash him he starts out by swishing his tail which is a obvious sign that he's not happy, and then he swings he hind quarters at me and nearly knocks me over! I push him back and so on. He is literally a dirt magnet which doesn't help so I end up washing him for longer which gets him really grumpy and even tries to kick, which he succeed and hit a target once( note he has NEVER kicked and this is the only time he really has done it plus he got a good telling off)
So what should I do????
Instead of pushing him back he should get a spank for that. Pushing him means nothing.
You need to tell him to knock it off as soon as he swishes his tail. He is allowed to have an opinion, he is allowed to not like baths, but that is as far as it should go.
He is polite enough to tell you slowly, but his patience with you will get shorter until he does kick you.
Are you washing him by yourself? The best advice I have is to have someone hold him while you are washing. I really love working with a partner. That way, you can focus on your job of washing and the the other person can focus on keeping him in line and correcting him of he acts out, and keep you safe by helping direct his temper tantrum away from you(ever had to wash a tail on a kicker? If you have to bail, having someone there to correct the horse immediately saves so much time, and is much more effective.) I am a big fan of teams.
When you are done(if he wad good) lavish the treats on him. Make him feel good. Make sure you scrape all of the extra water off him, especially under his belly, maybe run a towel over him. Dripping water upsets many horses. I think it tickles as it drips off. A cup in a pan of grain and just leave him alone to eat it. Stand at the en of the rope and give him some peace. Make him feel good afterwards.
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Sorry, double post.
My horse would rather accept death before she would ever intentionally swing her butt at me. This horse needs to feel the same way.
Not sure, I'd get too aggressive with the reprimands. Might cause some other unwanted problems.
We've had several of these. I usually, just stand out of reach and start with a spray nose that is fairly gentle, and just bring it up to them slowly from the ground up. Stay on their feet until they are comfortable with that, then start going up the legs very slowly. In the beginning I'd avoid the head and neck, between the back legs, and under their tail completely. Most horses enjoy a bath once they get used to it. They'd rather be clean too.
Forget the treats, etc. Horses really do not need then and they cause too many unwanted problems. It's should be thanks enough, that you did not hurt him. He is being asked to do something, and bribery is a poor training aid. The best treat you can give a horse is companionship. Just be close by and no pain.
I agree with OVO and ladydreamer. The second your horse turns his butt towards you you need to react, that sort of behaviour is not okay and can escalate quickly into something you really don't like- kicking, especially. Your horse needs to know that it's always unacceptable, no matter how 'displeased' he is with the situation. Move him back, give him a smack and move his feet backwards, sideways, however you have to. And then when it's done, it's done, go right back to what you were doing. If he does it again, you do it again. You might need to spend a couple 'washing sessions' doing just that, making him accept the situation respectfully.
And yes, I definitely recommend doing so with a partner. The end goal is being able to bath by yourself, until then you need another experienced person on the ground.
There are lots of problems that could arise from being too aggressive in this situation. One being the wash rack itself. That is not the best place to get into a "Who is the leader" battle with a horse who already thinks himself high enough to turn his butt towards and knock his handler around when something happens that he doesn't like. If she gets too aggressive, this horse is likely to resist.
In a lot of places, wash racks are concrete, there are hoses and buckets and brushes in easy range of getting knocked over and then tripped over even in the most organized of places. It is wet and if it is concrete, slippery. Unless the whole thing is rubber, if you get in a battle, likely the horse is going to get off the mat and could possibly slip and hurt himself. Sounds like the horse is tied and not held by someone else. Over stressing this situation could cause him to pull and fight and possibly damage the wash rack, the handler and the horse.
So, I agree that the location is not ideal for a NEVER THREATEN ME AGAIN!! meeting. It should be corrected there immediately, a spank, a verbal warning, etc. but it should not evolve into a real war/training session/smack down/"bonding session"(picture one or both chewing on each other lol!)
If it looks like a fight will be the case, the horse, the handler and the hose need to go out in the grass and duke it out. Lol. The hose will spray pretty far, so you can stay safe while letting him know that his temper will not get the bath to stop.
Some groundwork sessions in the future, better establishing respect for the handler as the leader should be on this horse's training/work schedule.
And I will reiterate the importance of having a helper. It makes everything so much easier.
As for the treats, I am a big believer in ending on a good note. I don't see them as a reward, I see them as something that my horse likes and enjoys. The point of removing him from the wash rack and taking him out for an undisturbed bit of grass or a tiny bit of grain that he can enjoy in peace, without being fooled with,is to put him up happy and comfortable, instead of just putting him back in the stall or out to the paddock after getting those dreadful baths.
Again, also make sure he is as dry as possible before taking him out of the wash rack. Scrape the excess off and run a towel over him. Some horses don't mind being dripping wet, and others hate it with a fiery passion.
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She might not be washing him on a rack, she didn't say, but just in case. Better assume the worst.
You could also just not wash him as much or as long. You said you have started washing him for longer amounts of time. Could it be that you are obsessing too much?
Also, is the water cold? You could set out a bunch of buckets of water in the sun when you get there, work an then sponge bath with warm water.
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Do you just stand there when someone turns a cold hose on you?
I cannot see the point in washing a horse in cold water, it does not get rid of any grease. Try using warm water from a bucket.
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