Join up... Is this a bad thing?
I join up with my 5-year-old mare every once in a while, and it always goes perfectly.
The past few times I've joined up with her, however, she's turned her butt towards me when I let her stop. She doesn't kick or anything. She just stops trotting, angles her butt towards me, and stands there staring at the fence with her ears fixed on me. She had never done anything like that before, and I wasn't sure what to do, so I sent her back out again. When I let her stop again, she'd walk towards me normally.
Why is she doing this? She repects me and my space, and has no bad habits whatsoever.
Just my opinion, but it is a respect issue in that she's not all that concerned about you. Yes, her ears may be on you, but (no pun intended) she's not giving you the full attention and respectful position of her body. Probably testing the waters a bit since she seems willing to obey you in most other respects and once given the opportunity to correct herself faces you after being sent out.
Be quick to send her out when she gives you the wrong answer and by the sounds of it she'll figure it out quick (think she knows, just testing).
Curious though, does she toss her head when you send her out, or side kick in your general direction?
No, nothing like that. I just thought it was a little strange that she would do one little disrepectful thing, but nothing else. What do you think would cause her to suddenly want to "test the waters" like that?
It is spring so she might just have more spike in her then usual, and will test anything.
My mare almost kicked my friends horse, which she would've never though of doing before.
So it could be hormones. Just work through it and make sure you correct it as soon as possible.
The term 'respect' and concept it seems to mean to most irritates me greatly. Tends only to mean submission & 'obedience'. Not very helpful, at least not for the horse. I think where it becomes most meaningful is when you consider if you DESERVE or have EARNED the respect of your horse, whether you are respectFUL & considerate to it. Part of this is learning to understand their psych & body language and listening to what your horse wants, rather than just telling them what you want.
Re your horse's behaviour, it seems that she's just telling you she doesn't want to be there & is just trying to let you know. I would personally handle it by immediately telling her to move that butt away & face me, giving her an Extra Special reward for doing it, then depending on the situation & what we were doing, would either continue playing, but with more/better positive reinforcement to motivate her to *want* to do it, or call it a day with that game & go onto something else that she enjoys more.
"Disrespect" for any reason should be handled immediately and never tolerated. Time of the year, weather, a mare in season, the wind, another horse as a distraction, or whatever is not an excuse for a well trained horse to turn her butt to you. Time and patience - never let your frustration get to your attitude because your horse will pick it right up and it will escalate to worse behavior.
I would take a deep breath, (or a 2 min break) then keep sending her off until she joined up as she should even if it took all day; but once she did, I would end the session.
Alright, thanks everyone.
I agree with loosie.
Until a better word comes to mind, I will continue to use the word respect when concerning my horses. I see the difference between horses responding out of "respect" and out of "fear". The fearful horse has not trusted the handler to be a true leader, and probably justifiably so. A respectful horse to me is attentive to it's handler as it would the leader of the herd. It is beneficial to its well being/safety. It is earned and a true partnership is formed.
When I ask my horses to do something, they know because of prior experiences with me that it is necessary. If I'm out trail riding and a situation comes up that I need the horse to look to me and trust my decision making NOW, I had better have their respect and trust. They know I will keep them safe.
Have I earned this "respect" and "trust". Yes. But , whether they are having an off day for whatever reason, too bad. But remember If I'm having an off day, well that is not allowed either, I do not get to behave poorly and badly around them either. I stay away.
This relationship is forged by our daily dealings, and each is a building block to a deeper trust. In my opinion, no infraction should be ignored because they aren't ignoring the meaning of it. Of course you deal with as little or as much attention as the situation warrants.
Someone told me once that horses are always learning. Either you be the teacher or they will be. Part of that of course is observing the "currents" in the air and taking the right course.
Respect and trust is a two way street, but only one can be the "traffic director" and that should be you.:-)
(sorry for the ramble)
Yeah, I agree with Walkamile. I don't think there's anything wrong with the word 'respect'. I certainly don't think it means 'submission and obedience'. You can show respect to other people, and all it really means is that you take them seriously and aren't rude to them. It doesn't mean you're being submissive or obedient to them at all.
If a horse is afraid of you and listens to you because of it, that's being 'obedient and submissive,' not respectful.
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