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free_sprtd 12-22-2007 12:10 PM

Do you discipline your young horse??
I am starting to look for a trainer to help me with thunder (1 1/2 yrs old). I have been talking to a couple different people and watching what they do. There is a third person who is an hour drive away that I would REALLY like to go see, but don't have the money for his lessons yet. What my question is, is how do you show your horse (mainly young ones) you are his/her leader? I understand the confidence thing and what not, but what actions do you take if the horse acts out (not out of fear or hurt, just because of frustration or pure brattiness)?? I don't want to hurt him and he needs to know that if he rears or bucks when learning something new, that it is not ok, but what is a good way? There are many different views out there and I am not sure which is the best for my situation. One person that I have been talking too kicks the horse in the gut (not with the toe of his shoe) if it rears and tries to charge toward him and i am not really comfortable with that, although, all his horses love him to death and are well trained. The other person is as natural as possible when it comes to training and her horses are very spooky and when interested in something, it's hard to get their attention back.I''m just trying to make the best decision for him and don't know what to do. He is one to test a person, and not do something if he doesn't want to.

THANKS! sorry so long :shock:

Barn Sour 12-22-2007 03:15 PM

When you are working him and he does something uneceptable, then just keep making him work.

I always say, Make the wrong thing hard, and the right thing easy!

Bom Sorte!

free_sprtd 12-22-2007 06:13 PM

That's a good idea! I know he's young so I don't want to overwork him. I was just wondering what actions are taken.....whether a jerk on the lead, or voice command. Thanks again!

Sara 12-22-2007 07:43 PM

I'd have to say when I discipline the young ones, I try to keep it as...horselike as possible. First of all, its amazing what turnout with an older herd of horses does for them: they can do a lot of the work for you, broodmares don't take any crap! I will raise my voice and use aggressive body language. That's usually all it takes, I haven't had one that's been well socialized and brought along slowly and methodically challenge me beyond that.

free_sprtd 12-22-2007 09:29 PM

thanks sara! that's what I needed to hear! I will have to talk to the owners of the barn and find out if we can work something out where he gets turned out with others. Since he is new and small and the weather hasn't been good, he's been turned out in the arena everyday. I will talk to them about it though. THANKS ALOT!!

Sara 12-22-2007 10:13 PM

Yes, its hard sometimes, especially if you board...I've had the good fortune of being able to work with babies who have been turned out with their mothers, the other mares, and a babysitter gelding or two. It works really well, but I know not everyone has that option. Hope you work something out:)

Heidi 12-23-2007 12:00 AM

I've also heard of the knee to stomach if they are doing something that they know for sure is unacceptable. That is what a mare herd leader would do if she were to disipline a younster. You just have to make sure 100% that they know they are not supposed to be doing what ever it is that they are doing. It's so hard to know what the right thing is to do when training and all horses respond differant to differant techniques. I am working with a very very nervous scared horse who our shelter rescued a couple of years ago and I am always afraid to do anything like that as she is already afraid of people and I dont want to reopen her 'fear file' by physically disiplining her but if she behaves in a way that puts me in danger I have to make sure she knows that I am the alpha mare, not her and it so far has not caused her to fear me. Hope that helps some, I'm not a trainer but just giving you some tips from experience. Good luck.

free_sprtd 12-23-2007 01:30 AM

Yes, definately! all of this is very great me a little reasurance. You guys are great!

GottaRide 12-23-2007 08:52 AM

You would discipline a young horse the same as you would any other horse. Age doesn't matter when you use herd dynamics. In fact, it should be a bit easier to become the leader for a young horse than it might be to become a leader for an older horse who might be set in his ways.

I always like to say "Ignore the sassy stuff". If you start teaching your young horse something and she gets confused or frustrated, the only way she knows of telling you about her difficulties is by rearing or bucking or other "sassy stuff". We don't want to discourage her from telling us. We should acknowledge that she isn't learning what we are trying to teach her, but we should not reprimand the "sassy stuff". We ignore those actions from her and redirect her to do the right thing. You need to teach her in baby steps and set up building blocks along the way. If we start teaching a horse to lounge, we can't expect him to w/t/c in both directions flawlessly the first time we introduce the task. We start with only walking in one direction. That is baby step building block one. Then we might walk in the other direction. Baby step building block two. Then we'll add the trotting and eventually cantering. If at any point during our teaching process the horse shows us some "sassy stuff", we go back to what the horse knows. Ignore the sassy stuff and redirect the horse's actions so that they can be successful in what we are asking from them.

Now, if I'm working with a horse that knows how to do what I'm asking of it and he shows me some sassy stuff, then I might get after him a little bit. I want my horses to know that it's work time when I'm working with them. They need to keep their focus on the job at hand. Usually a stern "Hey!" or a tug on the rope will get them re-focused on work. Sometimes, I do let them play if I can tell that they are a little extra spunky. My trail horse will have a devilish look in his eye while lounging and I'll say "Let'er rip" and he knows that's his cue to play. He runs & bucks & farts like a wild baboon! When I say "whoa", he slams on the brakes and stands to look at me. And then we are ready to get down to work.

free_sprtd 12-23-2007 01:04 PM

GREAT THANKS! This is all great advice :)

HAHAHHAHHAHA looooooooooove the story about your horse gottaride! I think that's how it should be :wink:

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