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grayspeckledgoose 08-13-2007 01:13 PM

How do I establish dominance with my horse?
What are some things I can do, to establish dominance with my horse? To let him know that I am alpha to him?

This stems from my "horse won't move while leading" post....

I tried doing some internet searches on things I can do to establish a dominant position with my horse, but did not find anything.

grayspeckledgoose 08-13-2007 02:05 PM

I just found a really great webpage.....

She's a NH trainer, and has tons of very informative articles on that webpage! Sounds like round penning is a real good way to establish dominance.

Spirithorse 08-13-2007 02:31 PM

Maybe try the Parelli 7 games. You can learn about them on the website.

Madds 08-13-2007 11:54 PM

Have you heard of Monty Roberts methods? They, instead of dominance, get you onto the same page as your horse, and builds a trusting relationship.

If this doesn't work for you then often you just have to show the horse who's boss. There isn't really any quick fixes i an think of right now, others may be able to help you there, but never let him be dominate over you at any stage,keep a firm mind but a soft hand when using instructions. (You probably already knew that but i like to be reminded myself :wink: )

grayspeckledgoose 08-14-2007 11:18 AM

He is completely mindful and respectful of me in the round pen. He follows me around wherever I go, with a low head. When I stop, he stops. When I move, he moves. When I free lunge him, he concentrates on me (for the most part.....and when his mind wanders off, I get after him and get him going in the right direction again). He halts when I want him to, and will turn and look at me, then walk to me with a low head and licking. So it would seem as though I have established myself as leader with him. But, when he's out in the pasture, he's like a different horse, so to speak. He lifts his head from grazing when he sees me coming, but then goes back to eating. I can walk up to him, and he'll lift his head for a head pet/scratch, but quickly goes back to grazing. Sometimes, after a head scratch, he'll go back to eating for a few seconds then walk away.


Just seems like he could care less that I am there. When I bought him, his owner told me he's got loads of personality and likes humans more than other horses...but I am not really seeing that (yet). He acted differently at his old place...was more curious about humans, would meet you at the gate, etc. Of course, at his old place, the horses only had around an acre to graze on. It was pretty much a dry lot. Now, he's got 25 - 30 acres, and six new friends (as opposed to three). He is kind of a loner horse...doesn't "hang with the group" much. He's got one gelding that he seems to be buddies with, but he's always on the fringes of the group, grazing on his own.

I keep thinking things will congeal with time....
(he's only been here for 9 days)

Spirithorse 08-14-2007 03:36 PM

Instead of always trying to dominate him (which he could percieve as you being a dictator) try to bond with him. If he is a loner like you said, that could be a good indication to you that it might be difficult to prove to him that you ARE interesting, fun, provocative, and a place of safety and comfort. Horses that are loners really don't give a rat's behind about humans, generally speaking. Why would they want to bond and communicate with a PREDATOR if they don't even bond with their own kind?

So, I would focus on BONDING instead of dominating. PROVE TO HIM that you are not boring and that you ARE worth communicating to. Do fun things with him, go for walks on-line in different places, set up puzzles for him to solve, but above all don't be CRITICAL. Horses hate that, just like we do.

ruggednomz 08-26-2007 10:58 AM

Spirit Horse I couldn't agree more, excellent post!

Spirithorse 08-27-2007 02:25 PM

Thank you ruggednomz! :)

WildFeathers 09-02-2007 02:29 AM

You don't just need to establish dominance, to become his "master", you need to become the leader. Anytime you are with your horse, you are in a herd, made up of only you and your horse. If your horse doesn't think he can completely depend on you to keep him safe and not lead him wrong, he'll take up the position of leader himself. You have to prove to him that he can trust you with his wellbeing.
This doesn't mean that you never give him a swat (or whatever) when he does something that's against your rules, the opposite really- It's the herd members' jobs to constantly "test" the leader, see what they can get away with before they're reprimanded, that assures that only the most qualified horse(or person) keeps her position as the leader.

Flying B 09-02-2007 09:13 AM

I like WildFeathers, he or she could not be more right :D

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