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Missi 03-03-2007 07:54 PM

Aggression in my stedaughter's horse.....
Today my stepdaughter & I were working her horse, Charlie, in the round pen. We are working on him listening to her by lungeing him & changing directions. We do a series of exercises; backing, desensitizing, flexion, & lungeing. When she asked him to change direction during the lunge, Charlie went towards her, ears pinned back as if he was trying to bite her. He did this at least 3 times to her. This is the first time he did this. I got in the round pen & lunged him myself. He did the same to me. I don't understand why he's doing this. He is a stubborn horse and I'm hoping his stubborness isn't turning into aggression.

Any suggestions?

mokinho 03-03-2007 11:16 PM

How old is Charlie
How long have you guys owned Charlie
How often is Charlie worked
When was the last time charlie worked in the round pen
how did she ask him to change direction
Is there anything that has changed on the property like new horses

sparky 03-04-2007 05:02 AM

My horse did this to me as well. I just turned her back out, and continued lunging her, then tried it again. She did it eventually, but it took a long time.

Missi 03-04-2007 09:04 AM

Charlie is 10 yo.
He's a Walkaloosa & we got Charlie last August at an auction.
He is worked quiet 2-3 times a week, weather permitting
She worked with him Friday night and I worked him Thursday.
She walked up to him & pointed in the direction she wanted him to go, and clucked with a whip (only for stimuli) in her other hand. When he slows down, he is touched w/ the whip to keep up the pace.
No, nothing has changed.

I know 2-3 times a week isn't ALOT to work a horse. I wish I could work him every day but it just isn't possible. Should I loose the whip? Are we portraying 'aggression' towards him which is making him defensive?

He is a VERY confident horse; Not scared of anything, curious about people, sometimes pins his ears back when I approach him while he's eating. He definiately has the peeking order over my horse and he thinks he has the peeking order over US apparantly.

I get the impression he just doesn't want to do what we ask him to do. When he wants to go, he goes. When he decides to stop, my stepdaughter has to get the small whip after him. Sometimes she can just show it to him and he will go, other times she will have to lightly tap him on his shoulders to get him to go.

Now my husband, who would rather be in a Ford Mustang than a real Mustang got on Charlie yesterday and walked him & cantered him around the yard. He crow hopped once w/ my husband on him, he turned him in a circle and Charlie did fine. Charlie went where my husband asked him to go & cantered him when asked to canter.

A few months back I took Charlie on a ride and he did really good. He only acted up when we he spotted a barn, it wasn't our barn, it was just a barn and he wanted to go to it. But after a few minutes of him & I arguing, he realized he needed to listen to me & all was fine.

mokinho 03-04-2007 11:03 PM

6 months
So he's been with you guys for 6 months?

He could still be adjusting to the new place/routine...

He may have been at the auction because of his behavior??? Can you trace him back to his original owners and ask them about his past behavior?

Were you lunging in a round pen or on a lunge line?

Even if his temperament in the past got him to auction doesn't mean you can't work what ever quirks he has out of him. But it would be great if you can get some history on him. Call the auction house and see if they will help you in contacting the past owners to ask them some questions. You might be surprised that he hasn't been worked much because someone may have been afraid of him or that no one had time to work him and what you’re experiencing is his way of taking control of the situation.

Be persistent and give him some more time. Two to three times a week will just take a little longer to get where you want to be than if you worked him every day. Be patient yet cautious.

Horses don’t have a clue as to time. They don't associate the length of time they have been some place. What they do realize is how they are treated in what they perceive to be the hierarchy of their band.

TxHorseMom 03-05-2007 05:56 AM

I am sorry to tell you that your horse is MAJORLY disrespecting you! His behavior is very agressive and DANGEROUS. Personally, I would recommend getting a professional trainer. 6 months is plenty long enough for your horse to become adjusted to his new place, and working him 2-3 times a week is really ok. I mean, truly, who honestly has the time to work thier horses everyday. Horses are intellegent animals who can retain their lessons. After the trainer has worked with him for a couple of months, you should be able to pick up where they left off.

If you are against getting a trainer, then I would invest in Clinton Anderson's roundpenning for respect tapes or dvd's. Watch them carefully. He has the belief that you should be as gentle as possible, but as firm as necessary. Be very careful. Wear a helmet and take a whip with you. Use it if necessary. I don't believe in abusing a horse, but I believe less in them harming you. You CAN NOT hurt a horse with a lunge whip. All you will be telling it is that you mean Business. Watch horses out in the pasture. They will kick and bite each other. These are 1000lb animals. Do you really think that you could hurt them with only your hands or a longe whip? I don't think so.

Right now, he believes that he is above you in the pecking order. That is why he pins his ears back when you approach him if he's eating. He needs to learn that YOU are the leader. I can approach any of my horses at any time (I have over 20+ horses) and do anything with them I want to. I could take their food away while they're eating it and they would do nothing, Why? Not because I am mean, or beat them or anything like that. Because I am the leadmare and they respect me. It's all in the attitude. Good luck and stay safe.

Softtrainer 03-05-2007 08:43 AM

I agree with the other post-'ees'. Charlie is having some issues, but they could be set off by a few things.

1. Make sure that when he is being longed, that you are standing at his shoulder. If you want him to speed up, then fall back and in line with his hip. If you want him to slow down, move up towards his head. He might be getting confused as to when you want him to change his pace.

2. When is he coming in towards you? Is it in a certain direction, with a specific exercise? I agree that there are behavioral issues, but he also might be experiencing some discomfort, but it is hard to tell from your description.

What I would suggest doing is really making him focus on you and where you are standing in the ring. You want him to always have his inside ear on you, so if that means that he is looking away completely, I always rattle the line/whip/or even shuffle my feet to get his ear back on me. Try and make it interesting and fun for him. If he does not respect you, then you both are fighting up hill battles. Maybe he is not too fond of the whip, try some de-sensitizing. Rub it all over him and let him know it's not going to hurt him. He sounds like he needs some TLC and some rules!

Good Luck~

Bentley 03-06-2007 03:17 PM

Aggression in stepdaughter's horse
Clinton Anderson's training DVDs are an excellent resource. Gaining respect and control on the ground series one, two and three will help tremendously with getting control of Charlie. I agree he is quite dangerous with his present attitude, and I too, think his behaviorial issues may be why he was at the auction. I am concerned about the suitability of him for a young girl, assuming your stepdaughter is young. There are too many nice horses out there, and getting hurt is not worth fooling with a dangerous horse.

Missi 03-11-2007 11:02 AM

We took Charlie on a ride last Sunday for 5 hours. He did fine w/ my stepdaughter. For about 10-15 minutes, both my horses were a little jiggy & nervous but afterwards they both calmed down. During the ride, we encountered other horses in a field. For a short while, Charlie didn't want to listen to her & wanted to go towards the other horses. She got him under control & made him go the way she wanted. I don't know why Charlie was acting aggressive; may be it had to do w/ something we were doing & he was confused. But I think all Charlie needs is ALOT of ground work & especially learning to respect us & learning we have the pecking order.

He is a good horse & my daughter loves him dearly. I am a huge fan of Clinton Anderson & love watching him on RFD-TV.

Bentley 03-12-2007 09:19 AM

Aggression in stepdaughter's horse
What happy news! I'm so glad things are working out with Charlie.

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