How to I become the leader with a dominant horse?
My 5yo mare is the first horse I've owned that isn't "finished", and she is also the dominant mare in the herd. She's pretty calm with me but does test me in small ways. She's a bully in the pasture with other horses, though, and sometimes in the arena as well. I've never had an overly firm hand and know I need to up my assertiveness with her. I'm going to start working with a trainer for both of us, but I'm looking for some advice and/or info on groundwork I can do to establish my leader position with her and bond. I think it will help our riding out a whole lot. Thanks for any info!
Since you've watched her bully other horses, you've seen her make them move. That is what you need to do with her when doing groundwork. Move her feet away from you, backwards, sideways forward. Just don't let her decide.
I also wonder how much bonding takes place with a dominant horse???
My new horse is more dominant, and I'm not sure we 'bond' like my more submissive horse and I did,...,
But, I never let him think he is herding me, or moving my feet!
I move him around, make him back out of my space, and always end the lesson when/how I want it to end.
No compromises there.
But PLENTY of positive reinforcement for his good behavior.
I believe we are establishing RESPECT.
I think the more situations that I put him in, when we trail ride,
the more our bond/respect will grow.
At least that's my strategy:wink:
I reccomend working on her with some of Clinton Anderson's training methods...it improved me and my horse's relationship. Good luck!
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