Herd Bound help!
I need advice from everyone, one of Bay's main flaws is he is herd bound. And of course everyone is in season right now, so it makes it even worse. I can't go to shows without bringing someone, and that is just getting to hard to do.
I lunge him in a circingle for an hour before riding him to calm him down and for him to listen to me. Because he's an adopted rescue horse, could this be why he's so herd bound? He trusts me, and he's not afraid of me, but what could I do to solve this? I'd hate to go to supplements. But is there any natural horsemanship training I can do to work with him?
Is it possible to take him out of sight of the herd, then ride him back, then go back out of sight again. Then go back to the herd, then out of sight again. Over and over until your basicly on top of it x)
Worked wonders on my own rescue gelding, Sam, when I started riding him. Now I can ride him by the herd, in it, around it, completely out of sight of it, and no herd-bound issues. He just came to accept that no matter how much he tries to rush or refuse, we're still going to ride towards, and away from everyone else and he's not going to die a horrible death because of it.
Knowing that he trusts you I think that will definitely make the situation better verses having a trainer or someone else work with him for you (that is, if you'd ever consider that option). I agree with what twogeldings said, and patience, patience, patience is key here. I'm sure that he will be nervous at first, spinning in circles, whinnying, etc. and you may not get too far, but even a few hundred feet is a good start. As you progress, and as he beings to understand that you will eventually come back to her heard, he will be more and more willing.
My mare is somewhat heard-bound and in my experience the more I take her out by herself the better she gets. No matter what kind of fight she puts up, after she realizes that we're not going back home she calms down and enjoys herself. It just takes time.
I am confident that Bay will get better with time. :D Just talk to him, pet him and try to stay clam and collected yourself, that way he can vibe off of your positive energy and begin to calm himself down.
Thanks for the advice, Dashygirl: No I dont believe in sending a horse to a trainer, You learn best by having patience and training him yourself, the way you want your horse to be, so no, its never crossed my mind to send him to a trainer.
I'm not one to seem like a mean and argumentative owner towards him, I calm my body down, and he does listen, but sometimes i have to bring him back into the "real world" when he wonders off and is concerned about the other horses. Some days he's great! Last week he was the best he's EVER been since i've gotten him, and we were riding by our selves. The horses are always by the arena, since the arena is built half in the field. So he's always wondering about them. But I think because its seasonal time, thats sparking him up too.
We've been working in the round pen, and i work him by ourselves away from everyone and he acts up at first, but he's one of the smartest horses i know, and have worked with, so he knows what I expect of him.
I just dont like when i go to turn him out, he goes crazy, and he can get me and himself severly hurt because of it.
Thanks for the update, that's awesome to hear he's doing better! I'm so glad!
What specifically does he do when you turn him loose?
Do you ever have someone to ride with? I ride with my husband, we play "hide and seek" all the time with our girls. One of us will drop back on the trail and hide. The other walks on a few hundred yards then goes and seeks the hider. We have lots of cedar trees that are great cover for hiding. Its fun and it gets them used to being alone. At first they would get upset and cry to each other but we have played enough now they stay calm and seem to enjoy the game as well.
Dashy: Well some days he walks out like a gentleman, and other days he crys out for everyone and he stampeeds out like a maniac, and other times, he doesnt even let me untack him and he lets loose, and thats not good at all for the both of us. Ive never delt with an adopted rescued horse before so i'm thinking this could be one of his flaws due to his history, etc. The rescue owner told me he was attatched to the other rescue horses as well, but never heard of him being like this at his at his original home. He trusts me as a human, and he doesnt have a mean bone in his body, but sometimes his mind goes hay-wire and he could end up hurting me in the long run, and himself.
Vidaloco: THat does sound like a good, and safe training method, but I've only taken him on one trail. We have MILES of trails but my trainer and I both agreed until he learns that he needs to have manners in the arena, and near home, we cant go on a trail because she wants to take her new TB out also, but we just dont want a big crowd going, just us two when they both arent totally aware of their newer home/surroundings.
I just really dont want to risk that.
I am very gentle and considerate with Sam, and in return he is the same with me. But I swear, if he does ANYTHING to remotely endanger me or him on the ground he gets smacked just like any other.
He tried something once, I forgot what it was exactly but I sure didn't like it. I thwacked him once and that was the end of it. Didn't hit him hard, didn't yell or scream, just enough to get the 'I may spoil you, but you better have some manners' message across.
One of my mom's 11 year old mares is like that...every time we'd head out for a ride she'd scream her fool head off and keep looking back and try to turn around. It took a couple weeks and alot of patience but repetition of leaving the property, coming back, going the other way, and coming back again...she got the hint that if she were quiet and obedient, we came home sooner. She also used to beeline for the driveway all the time when we were on our way home...I swear I've spent HOURS just walking past the driveway with her! :shock: But now she'll walk past until I turn her in so it was beneficial in the end!
I think with persistance and patience you'll get through to him what you want and how to get it. Plus you said you have a trainer around for guidance when you need it, always a bonus! Good luck and keep us posted! :-)
TwoGeldings: I'm not afriad to let him know who's boss. I definitly do not let him drag me around, if i know he's doing something on purpose, I use my voice, and if i need to pop him, I will. He's too big of an animal to step over me. But he understands, that if i am gentle with him, he knows to do the same. he's a smart boy, but he has his flaws. Hopefully I'm going out there tomorrow or on wednesday and work on him.
I'll keep everyone posted on his progress. Hopefully with alot of patience and work I'll be able to free lunge him without problems.
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