Well recently I've notcied that when tacking up my horse doesn't have the best manners. Why? Because his mommy, me of course, lets him get away with it. Well now its coming back and biting me in the butt. He doesn't do anything serious or dangerous, just annoying stuff.
1) When I groom him he won't hold still for anything. He walks back and forth in the crossties and paws. Now I don't consider this lack of manners, I think it may be because we just moved to a new barn and plus the crossties have solid walls on both sides, so he can not see out. My friend's horse did this as well when they moved, but said he stopped after a while so we'll just have to see. (He did this a little before we moved so I don't know. Also I don't think he is in pain because sometimes he will hold still and other times he won't, just depends)
2) When I put his saddle on, same thing. Again, don't think it is pain because he is fine anywhere else and he is definitely not girthy.
3) When I put the bridle on, well really when I tighten the nose band and throat latch, he walks forward out of the crossties and rubs his nose on stuff and lets his curiosity get the best of him.
4) When I tighten the girth and I'm about to get on he walks forward or tries to graze. ONCE AGAIN, I don't think it's pain.
5) When I get on he starts walking off, before I'm even completely on.
If you guys have any input on these five problems please help me out. Thanks! :)
*By the way please note that this is the worst of his problems. He is an absolute joy and I love him more than you could imagine; wouldn't trade him for the world! =] He is the sweetest thing and is just great all around!
Honestly, the things you are describing can very easily be dangerous - specifically the walking off when mounting and not being still when you are working around him.
The solution is simply to stop letting him get away with those things. Nip the bad behaviour in the bud rather -- as in stop him on the first attempt to step rather than 4-5 steps into it. It may make everything you do take twice as long (or longer) at first -- for example if you have to make several attempts at mounting before you get him to actually hold still for a complete mount vs. just dealing with the movement and forcing your way through a sloppy mount on the move.
It is all too easy to let little things slide, but very important not to -- little things easily become big problems before you realize it.
It's simply a matter of not LETTING him do these things.
You said you let him get away with it, well there's your answer.
You're going to just be super strict with him and I mean STRICT. Make sure that your routine with him focuses on fixing those problems over anything else.
Ill use mounting as an example. If you start getting on and he moves over, tell "stand" stop him and start over. Use someone to hold him there until he gets it if you need to then go back to doing it on your own. Do not stop and move on to riding until he does it and that goes for everything else.
Tell me to stop, when he does praise him and move on. If he disrespects you and continues make him stop. Don't just say "oh next time, or I'll do it later". These issues are things that are going to escalate to much larger and dangerous issues if you don't correct them now.
As I always say, my horses spend 24 hours of the day lounging and all I ask of them is to behave for 1 hour of that day so they better behave and be good. Not to sound cocky, by all the horses I ever owned were superstars (they were all babies), only because I was insanely strict with them. They knew what the boundaries were and they knew that as long as they behaved, life would be easy and pleasant.
Yeah I have already started and we're starting to make some progress :D. We'll definitely work on it!
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