Am I right in doing this?
When I tack up my horse, I have to cross tie him or he runs me into the wall and just about suffocates and squishes me to death. Last time he knocked the wind out of me and bruised me and I ended up having back and blue ribs. Ever since then I KNEW this had to stop since it was getting really dangerous.
It starts when I cinch him. He's always been cinch-y so I have to tighten in increments, groom a little, and tighten and so on. Thats okay, I don't care thats not an issue. However, I am totally sick of cross ties. I want to tack him up just tying him to a regular tie so I can tack up ANYWHERE rather than just where I have cross ties. So I've been working on that and every time he spins into me I put two of my fingers against his flank and let him push into them and as soon as he feels the pressure it he steps promptly away. He's been getting better about standing still now but then my friend said I'm damaging his flank.
This is new to me. I'm not hard against it, and it's not like I'm punching it, I'm just letting him run into my fingers to persuade him to move away. Could I be hurting him? Is this an okay training method? He is learning quickly and he hardly does it now so I don't really have to do it but every once and a while he is extremely persistent. I also know its not his saddle, I had it checked by my trainer and she said it fits him great.
i dont think you would be doing any damage. it should be fine considering he is not doing it much anymore.
I was going through this too...I was told not to tie at a corner, to use a straight wall. And when tying, keep it as short as you can as long as he can move his head back and forth. I usually have it about 2 ft long I think. Thunder just stands there and lets me brush him. This is new to him remember. So when I need him to move over, I do the poking thing and he moves. He never used to respond to pressure, but we've been practicing, so now he knows to move away from it. Maybe you can work on that, the pressure I mean.
Say it starts when oyu do that up suggests he is possibly sore were the cinch is not were the saddle is. I read an article about girth soreness which can cause similar behaviours as your horse is showing.
Try applying a bit of pressure with you hands all aroudnd the girth area , on both sides. If he flinches or trys to move then he is proberly sore. Watch his head movments to, as he will also show pain by flinching his head or putting his ears back.
As for your training method i actual think its a good idea. I dont think it would damage his flank as your finger isnt exactly the hardest thing. It is obiously working well, But it sounds like the reason hes still persisting is because there is an underlying problem.
Your not hurting the horse, you would know if you were, he would let you know.
Okay whew. I was afraid I was hurting him since thats the LAST thing I'd ever want to do.
A cinch is the western term for a girth so it is the same thing. I will check for cinch-soreness. He is a little narrow chested, so the cinch really puts a lot of pressure on JUST his chest rather than around his sides too so I buy a roper cinch to help distribute it over a larger area of his chest so its not so thin all the way around and it helps with keeping the cinch from chaffing too.
I'm going out tomorrow morning, I'll check him out and see whats up. He could just be being naughty, he got away with not being ridden for a few months and hes always been all grumpy about the cinch but lately he's been beatin' me up over it lol.
I would recomend using u dressage whip. If your horse goes towards you, tap him on the butt, and keep tapping harder until he releases and moves away. This seems to help a lot with my horses.
your not hurting him (at least not permanently) if he feels a little tingle from your fingers in his flank.. its better than you not being able to bend over from crushed ribs! Sometimes my gelding forgets his personal space and kind of presses me against the wall (nothing violent or intentional, he just doesn't realize I need my own room to work around him) so I use my fingers in his side, by his barrel to push him over.. I've never had any problems and he learns to respect my space.
Don't worry about hurting him at all. It's for his own good, after all! :) But think, in the wild, horses communicate with touches. They even get kicked or bitten when they do something wrong. If I were a horse, I'd rather get a jab in the gut than a kick from a 1,100 pound horse aimed right at me! Your horse has got to learn to respect your personal space. Good work, so far! I hope it works out.
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