just a bunch of questions
Hello, I rode for years when I was younger, was in pony club, and in my ten year lapse read frequently about horses, but apparently never thought to read anything that wasn't related to healthcare. I have a pony (13.2, 14 hands, haven't measured) paint/poa/quarter mix? She is thirteen, was sold at auction, bought by a kill lot, found by a mutual friend who tries to find the kill lot horses homes, and I bought her. I know I have a lot to learn, at the same time she does appear to have basic skills, holds her hooves up to be cleaned, stands still while grooming (if not grooming she practically dances) rides good one day, starts out bad the next though eventually comes around, knows voice commands-that said she is fat, and I have saddle slip problems so i have a pad coming in the mail that will supposedly help with that in case that is the issue with her occasional bad behavior. Tonight she was downright obnoxious while bringing her in, running, bucked, reared, after three trys I had to break down and bring out the treats. Now it is also about time for her cycle, if she isn't already back in it. Some days she drops her head to me, other days not, in fact I still have a sore swollen nose from her last head fling. So what do i do? She doesn't appear to respect me, and what I have read says I need to be the herd master. Any tips? I've got new library books, I've got horse people to call, but I'm looking for any and all advice as I've always worked with geldings who never gave me this much bipolar-esque behavior.
Definitely sounds like a lack of respect. Don't let her come within 5 feet of you. That's your bubble. You can approach her. If she tries to approach you, back her away. That's the first step to gaining her respect and will keep you from getting a sore nose.
Next, you need to show her that you control when, where and how fast she moves her feet. This is done with ground work: lunging, yielding her front and rear end, and backing up. Keep in mind that lunging is not just going in circles. I don't have any horse go more than twice around before changing direction or stopping.
When she dances around while tied, leave her alone. Only release her in an emergency or she stands still and is being patient.
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^^ Agree. And don't ever resort to treats when dealing with misbehavior. That is only reinforcing it. Your pony could probably stand to have all treats eliminated from his diet as I suspect he is getting too many, too often, just because he's cute.
I second the groundwork comments. Mix moving her feet with desensitization exercises. Just doing one or the other will lead to other problems. Take a look at videos by Clinton Anderson if you need guidance. That's who I follow along with Sean Patrick and Warwick Schiller. There are many others who do the same basic thing if you don't like any of them. :)
I've seen elsewhere on the forums some people recommending vitamins that are known to calm the nerves of horses. Since she's a rescue, she might be deficient. A vet can do a blood draw and tell you what she needs. @Cherie is the one who can give you more info on this. I recommend you check her posts and you'll find the ones mentioning attitude and vitamins, in case she doesn't see this thread.
Thanks so much, i work every day with her, but with the cold and the ground being so nasty it's usually just a burst here and a burst there. and don't worry about too many treats :), she's a chunk, that's the first time she'd had any in two weeks? She was just so nuts last night, this morning she was fine. backed out of my way in her stall, waited to leave, walked calm, stood while I took off the halter (another thing we're working on, she likes to bolt off) so hopefully last night was a fluke. I'll definetly look into the people you guys mentioned, thanks again.
I agree with the groundwork posts as well! Have you heard of Clinton Anderson? He has a book out about gaining respect from the ground. It is a really good book and I highly recommend it :)
I agree about the above, but sounds to me like you could really do with some on-hand guidance - call on those good horsepeople you can find & ask for help - learning behavioural/training theory is great, but it isn't really an adequate substitute for hands on. Someone who can play with the horse themselves & get to know it, and advise you on when to do what - it's so much about attention to detail, timing, understanding & 'feel' that you can't learn it all from books.
Oh & BTW, it is difficult for some of us to read posts without adequate punctuation. Paragraph breaks, etc, are good value ;-)
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