Does he dislike me?
Some of you MIGHT remember the emotional struggle I had with my gelding over dominance and herd order. I followed the advice given to me and whenever Luca became aggressive towards me, I would wave my bucket or whatever I had in my hand that moment wildy, chanting stuff about "how dare you try to bite me" and chasing him around a few rounds of the paddock. He eventually got better and stopped attacking me and trying to bite. But still, I'm not happy. Whenever I go to the paddock, he DOES come up to me most of the time, but he pins his ears at me. EVERY TIME I COME NEAR HIM FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A FEW HOURS. He'll make an ugly face and I make him move backwards, and that usually gets rid of his cranky pinned ears. Apart from the moments when he sees something interesting or when he's excited, he normally has his ears back. Not pinned, just back, that's just his personality. But he DOES pin them, just for a second when ANYONE comes close to him. He's not dangerous, he just makes faces (he USED to bite and charge) but I always feel so awful when he does it, it's as if he doesn't LIKE me :/*
We do have a bond, and after his ugly looks episodes, he's a pretty friendly gelding, but is this just his personality or does he dislike me? I've watched him on the padddock from far away, and his ears are almost always back (not pinned) but they do pin a little when another horse comes close. So...any useful advice? Well...ANY advice, really....thanks.*
Might not be alot of help but whenever my mare decides to be like what you describe i say "HEY!" or make a weird squeaky sound, really loud to make the ears prick up and when they do i say good girl and give her a little rub/pat. Might not be alot of help but its what i do.
I also do things to get them to give me "ears" and I absolutely won't feed them if they don't give me pretty ears. I stand in front of them and say, "Give me ears. EARS!" and when they prick forward, I pour their grain into the feeder so they can have it. If they want to make caca ears and never give their ears to me, they don't get their grain until I get a pleasant expression.
No.. that sounds like a disrespectful horse.
Are you working with a trainer at all? I had someone out here in NZ whose Mare would do the same thing to her. She didn't do it to me once.
He sounds like he's disrespecting you and being grouchy. Sounds mean but I don't tolerate it from any horse in the field where I board. If they come after me I make them feel as if all hells broke loose (pieces of mud and dirt are your friend) I don't abuse them, just show them who's boss like other horses do in the herd. If my mare gets grouchy with me I growl/shout a HEY or DON"T YOU DARE! at her and she straightens right up. I used to give her a small smack on the shoulder when I said it so she'd associate an action with a verbal response. now i just say it and she responds.
Please can I state again: I Don't abuse them! I would never do that, I just use what I can to show them that I am not something to chase out of the field/attack. Other horses can use legs, hooves, and teeth and can take what another horse can dish out. as people we are kinda limited and have to sometimes use things like mud clumps to our advantage.
Thanks for the replies, yes, I do groundwork and he's an absolute angel. In the paddock, if I tell him to, he WILL follow me everywhere without ANYTHING. It's just that moment when I first go to the paddock. Ugh. If he gives me glares, I always make sure that I chase him all over the paddock, until those grouchy ears come forwards again. And after that, he's always fine. I'm just sick of having to do it EVERY TIME I go to see him!
This may seem harsh but I'm going to put it bluntly. Forget about bonding with him and whether or not he likes you. He's a horse and needs to act the way you want. You are correct with what you are doing. It will lessen in time when he learns that it doesn't get him anywhere.
I ride several different horses. Most of them are not on a regular basis. Some are ours and some owned by others that I work with. You don't need a bond to have the horse do what you want. Of course, I don't have a bond with all of these horses but I do get them to do what I want. You do have to be a good leader, be firm and consistent, but also be fair. My wife's horse behaves better for me than he does her. Why? Because I don't tolerate inappropriate behavior. She has a bond with him and she lets him get away with things.
If you concentrate on having a bond or if he likes you, you will try to be nice and let things slide. If you set yourself up as a leader, he will want to do things for you and be near you.
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usandpets: Yes, you are right, absolutely. It just hurts to see him make that unhappy face at me when I come over. BUT...here's improvement! I went to the paddock today and he came right up to me, eyes alert, ears back a bit, but not pinned. We did some groundwork and after that, he was following me around the paddock as I cleaned the feed buckets, his ears forward. We are making progress! :D
When I first started working with my mare, she was the same way. But it was because she was left alone in her dark stall with no contact for days or weeks at a time. She developed all the mental and emotional issues of an abandonded horse. She would pin her ears, turn her butt towards you and charge whoever went into her stall. Everybody was afraid of her and I can only assume the guy cleaning her stall was not nice to her, mostly out of fear. When I started workig with her I would tie her up to brush her, she would strike, cow kick and was very rude, no respect whatsoever. I didn't give up on her. I would, in no uncertain terms, make it very clear to her that this was unacceptable behavour. She would not pick up her feet, so I would tap her leg with my dressage whip, she would crowd me or push me, tap with the whip. She started to understand I was the leader and she began to mellow out and most of all, trust me. I showed her love, companionship, with me and my other horse, but most of all leadership. A year and a half later, she is a very happy, well adjusted girl. Greets me with ears up and whinny. Sometimes she still gets pushy while brushing, I show her the whip and she stands perfectly still. I believe she likes the fact that I am her leader but knows I will never let harm come to her, she finally feels safe.
Keep working with your guy, but everybody is right, bonding is one thing but he needs a leader, not a buddy. Best of luck.
Thanks so much!
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