antsy on crossties - which discipline method?
I need some opinions.
Usually my horse is great on crossties, but every so often she'll get a little antsy -- mostly when she's alone in the barn or when she's been standing for a while and wants to be out of the barn. She's gotten a lot better than when I first had her, but sometimes she'll shift around, stick her leg out or windsuck in the air when she gets impatient. Don't get me wrong, she loves to be brushed and stands quite still. But sometimes she gets a little fidgety.
I've considered two options as a solution, but was wondering your opinion:
a) Just ignore her. She's looking for attention and if you leave her alone and go about your business she'll get tired of moving and stand still again.
> This is what I usually do and it seems to work well. If she were a person I'm sure she would be whining while she's doing this, saying "C'mon mom, hurry up, I want to go outside." When I ignore her and patiently continue what I'm doing, she seems to sense that since I'm not in a hurry, she shouldn't be either.
b) reprimand her when she fidgets a lot or sticks her leg out.
> Occasionally I will give a bit of a smack in the chest, if she's really bugging me. I usually don't tolerate wind-sucking and give her a sound whack of discipline (not too hard mind you).
So, what do you think is the better method? Should I be correcting her every time she does this? Or should I just ignore her? I find that if I'm constantly smacking her or verbally reprimanding her, she kind of tunes me out and keeps doing it. When I'm calm and ignore her, she senses my patience and calms down.
*She's also a TB. (18 yo)
Maybe combine your 2 ideas - if she just fidgets and is a little anxious, ignore her like you said, and let her take her cue from you. But if she windsucks, growl or give her a little smack, just to snap her out of it and say "Hey! That's not on!"
i would go with the second idea and get after her when she is doing behavior you do not want. I think that ignoring her is saying that what she is doing is okay.
With some horses it help if when they start to dance around, unhook them, and back them a step, then forward, then back, then forward and keep repeating until you feel her say she'd rather stand still. It might take a few minutes, but basically you're saying that when she dances around and you back and bring her forward a million times she will find that standing still is much more easier and peaceful. The moment you feel her relax and offer to just be quiet, reward her, snap her back in and go about your business. Like I said, it varies from horse to horse. Some horses take alot longer, some horses pick it up quickly.
Another idea is that she may just feel a bit trapped because she's anxious. You could try unhooking her when she gets fidgety and taking her for a small walk. Tell her that she isnt trapped, and that the cross ties arent a bad place because she is able to leave them with you in a calm state of mind. Once she's quiet, bring her back to the cross ties. By doing this you arent letting her get away with not wanting to be cross tied, because you will keep bringing her back. Pretty soon she will realize that there isn't a need to get so antsy. :)
Reach her to ground tie.
The pony I used to ride was a lot like that. I found that when I ignored it and just moved with him, he'd realize that moving away wouldn't solve anything. Good luck!
I think if you are going to use the second discipline method make sure you show disapproval consistently, not just when you get especially annoyed.
Depending on time frame, I'd say. My horse is getting antsy when tied to post trying to get to the grass. If I have time I just leave her standing for 5-10 mins (of course NOT if it's too hot outside). If I have to trailer, or just don't have much time I can smack her butt saying "stop it".
A lot of trainers just tie the horse and leave them there for hours on end to teach them patience. Norman was trained that way, and it worked like a dream. He used to be horrible on any kind of tie.
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