Gelding that thinks he's a stallion. Tips please?
Hello all, I have a eight year old Missouri Fox Trotter gelding. I got him about two years ago in Missouri, he had had'nt been ridden for about three months at the time but I was able to ride him without a problem after he was worked a bit by the stable owner (she insisted on it).
He had always been a bit spooky on the trail and rather high spirted for a gelding, but I fell in love with his puppy-like personality :D
At the time, I figured his skiddishness was nothing some time under the saddle could'nt fix.
Unfortuantely about three months after I got my wonderful horse I into a car wreck and was unable to ride again for a year (I was ticked). The stable owner did not want to work him out of fear something would happen. I had broken my back and was stuck in a rather goofy cast and could'nt do more then lead him around and brush him.
We then moved from Missouri to North Dakota, it was a good six months before I could have him brought up here. He adjusted well to the change, and I had no problems with him for the first month at least. Then it was six weeks before I was able to see him again, my dad works in construction usually with my mom, neither of them had any time to get me out to my horse.
Then it started when I tried to wash him for the first time in an indoor wash stall....
He was skiddish, he kept swinging his hindquarters against the wall. I had contiunous problems with him untying himself. (It went a bit like: Shampoo, retie, wash, retie...for two hours)
Now I have a whole list of issues with this horse.
He does NOT stand tied, he used to perfectly. Now when he does, he's only busy freeing himself.
He does not stand tied in the cross ties, if you can get him into the cross ties that is.... Worming him or even just brushing him is a nightmare.
Catching him in the pasture is a vigorus, twenty minuet exersice.
Leading him is a battle, he dances around, he pulls, he rushes, he tries to cut in front of you, he runs into you.
When I bring him into the indoor arena and take off his lead rope, he works himself into heavy sweat running up and down the end of the arena, spazzing because all the other horses are outside and he's not.
He once actually half ran me over as I was leaning the arena via the gate, he bolted out the open outside door (why it was open, I do not know) and lead me on a chase that ended with him grazing innocently on the other side of the pasture fence, then running off into the outdoor arena.
I talked to the 25+ year experienced horse gurus at the stables. They suggested a stud chain when it comes to leading him. I'm so frusterated with this horse that I'm about to go and (rather unwillingly) buy one.
They also told me that my horse is out in the pasture just moving constantly. He HAS lost alot of weight and is pretty much JUST muscel right now. I did get him a daily fat suppliment for him thats now being added to his feed.
Also, the stables used to have him on a oats/sweet feed mix. I am now having him weaned onto a diet of Purina Stratedgy feed. I'm hoping this will help put some weight on him and (even better) relax him a bit.
We are moving in about two weeks to a house about ten minuets from the stables. Once we're established there I'm going to put Loki on a half the week indoors, half the week out stable plan and just try and work with him more, as terribly frusterating as it might be.
Does anyone have any training tips for my stallion gelding? I have a goal of being able to show him in halter by next spring, as well as being able to ride him again. I love this horse to death and really don't want to have to buy a stud chain just to control him. Although right now it seems like my only opition....
Every little bit helps, thanks in advance :D
I'm a geek, heres my obnoxious, yet loving, not-listening-thinks-he's-a-stallion horse
It rained...he rolled...and rolled...and rolled
Then, three hours later......
Five minuets later, what does he do? Rolls. -.-
Last but not least....the horsey fan-vid :oops:
First off, your horse does not think he's a stallion; he just has some respect issues. I used to ride a stallion who could have a mare in heat tacked up in front of his stall and all he would do is stand there and look at her. (no sounds, no carrying on)
What do you mean by he would untie himself? Like, he would pull on the crossties so hard they would come undone?
Theres a couple reasons he wont stand in the crossties; he probabaly isnt used to standing in them, i mean I wouldnt stand very well. Dont deworm him in them; then he will think he is being dewormed every time you tie him in them. Instead, leave your lead rope attached and when he starts to move, you have something to grab, tell him stand, and put your hand up. When he stands for a couple seconds, tell him he's a good boy. It will take a while but eventually he will understand that standing still is good.
I suggest you get a rope halter, stud chains are useless (in my opinion); use a crop as an extension of your arm and nudge him with it when he gets in your space. Dont hit him, but when he crowds you reach around your back and give him a nugde and say 'out' eventually you wont even need the crop and all you have to do is swing the end of the rope behind you for him to get out of your way.
When in the indoor arena; get his mind on you so he doesnt think about the other horses, lunge him, put poles down or even a jump. Make him listen to YOU
If he tries to rush through a gate or into a stall, take him back through it and make him do it right. Do it until he understands he wont get away with it. He must understand that being pushing is wrong, and he has to listen to you. Most horses get it pretty quickly that if they do it nice the first time, its less work.
-why is he moving constantly in the field? He is being chased? its not normal for a horse to move constantly especially when there is food there.
-take him off all feed; see if he calms down.
Don't set a goal of showing (yet) your first goal should be able to lead him, and to have him stand tied. And be able to ride him without him freaking.
How in the world does that make him a stallion? Every stallion I have trained and ridden has been fine unlike some people that think they are so high spirited. Yes they will be if you treat them like ferocious beasts. And keep them locked up. Personaly I think fillies are more spirited than stallions.
As for your horse I would say do some lounging for respect everyday.
Yea, this isn't stallion behavior. He's just being exremely dominant and he doesn't respect you.
I would HIGHLY suggest you look into starting Parelli with him. The first "level" you study is Level 1, Safety. Parelli will absolutely help you.
Oh, and I wouldn't use a stud chain either. Those "gurus" you talked to, IMO, don't know squat about horse psychology if they are telling you to buy a stud chain :wink:
Loki sure sounds like a fitting name. :)
I agree with Spirit horse, invest in the level I Parelli set. It will give you tools to address all of the things you have been describing, and will help you understand your horse much better. It is a bit pricey, but you can keep it forever and refer back to it at any time.
I encourage you to click on the following link and look at any of the videos labeled "Dez..." or "Dressage" to see how my stallion acts in public places as a 4 and 5 year old in his first two seasons showing. http://s242.photobucket.com/albums/f...afilter=videos
My point being that really any sex of horse can have behaviors like you have described, and stallions can have none of the behaviors you have described depending on their training, personalities, and situations. I will admit my stallion likes to untie himself as soon as I turn my back when he is at the hitching post or trailer. That can be fixed by securing the quick release knots. Whenever I forget to secure my knot and walk off to get a piece of tack, I come back to find him munching on some weeds near the hitching post - it is pretty humorous really, and my fault that it happened :)
Your horse seems very smart to me, which will be good when you guys are communicating properly.
He doesn't sound like a stallion. He sounds like a horse who has forgotten his manners & training. Perhaps the time off & change of barns also encouraged him to develop these new (annoying) habits.
You have several options:
- punishment: You can do what your friend suggested and get a stud chain and punish him every time he takes a wrong step. If used property it should decrease the bad behavior. It's not my first choice because the relationship is based on pain/punishment. I'd rather have him cooperate because he wants to, not because he's scared I'll hurt him.
- hire a *good* trainer and do sessions with the trainer. He'll learn boundries and you'll learn subtle tricks such as how to catch a horse without running after him.
- look into some of the existing training programs. Some people love Parelli, which could help you? I teach my horses manners using positive reinforcement (insteade of Parelli's 'removal of pressure'); google "clicker training" for the easiest explanation of how to train using postive.
You can also adjust some of the environment to make him easier to deal with. For example the cross-ties: make it so he can't reach the knots or whatever he's untying with.
The issue in the arena is a common one. He is "buddy sour". The problem isn't the ring. The problem is he's feeling really insecure without his horse friends in sight. The training should help you work through this & build a relationship with him, so he doesn't flip out when alone, but it will take a little work.
Sorry for the late reply everyone...
Stepher - On your question of untying himself. He will work and pull on the rope until it comes undone. According to his previous owners, he learned this habit from a former Quarter Horse they had who was a master at undoing knots.
Spirithorse - I am actually going to start him with Parelli once I can actually get him to stand tied and lead without worry. I have tried the quick release knots with no avail...although I'm usually beside him before he can go prancing off.
He does stand still occasionally to munch hay, but otherwise I really do think he's getting picked on. I have noticed an increase in cuts and bites of missing fluff on him.
It drives me insane knowing this and knowing theres nothing I can do at the moment to prevent it...I'm so worried he'll get kicked in the head, legs, anywhere for that matter, and he either lame for the rest of his life or that he'll have to be put down. Now that theres snow on the ground on top of it...I wish I could be out there 24/7/365 to defend him.
At the place were I'm boarded, if you leave your horse inside you have to clean your own stall. I simply don't have the means to get out there every day to do that.
After we move I swear I'm going to be out there 7 days a week even if I have to walk through the stupid -4 weather and foot of snow...the thought of him being hurt...
gah. I'm going to give my self a stroke here x.x
funchy - You've pretty much covered all my fears with the bad behavior ='s punishment method. I talked to the people at my barn again and they told me quite bluntly 'beat the sh*t out of him. Make him respect you.'
I don't know what kind of crack these people are on, but I could never do that to him. I want a trusting relationship...not a fearful one.
I have great news though. I found a new stable a little farther away but it sounds like it's really worth the extra drive. The lady out there takes in and trains rescue horses on a regular basis. What I thought was rather impressive was that she took a scrawny little Arab cross recuse and turned him into the second highest Junior endurance horse.
She also knows a great trainer who I will defiantly be looking into, as well as a good farrier.
She feeds natural grass hay all year round, and in the spring, summer, and fall she actually HAS grass in her pastures (I live in ND, a lot of people don't have grass pastures...it's sad)
Only around one or two more weeks until the move! WHOO![/b]
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