2 things, correcting a behavior and advice for aggression toward other animals
A week and a half ago I moved my gelding to my boyfriend's pasture, we've been doing a lot of trail riding/camping and it's easier and cheaper to keep him there rather than drive the hour to where he's boarded(BF lives a ways from me,lol) Plus there are a lot more places to ride around his house and he is in a much nicer, bigger pasture. He has goats(6 nannies and a billy) in his pasture with the horses, and a Great Pyrenees(sp?) to guard the herd since there are a lot of coyotes in the area. I am completely aware that it takes a while for a horse to settle into a new place, several weeks. He is getting along just fine with Buddy, BF's QH gelding, but showing a lot of aggression toward the goats and dog, especially at feeding time. In fact, one tried to push into his pan and he picked it up by the neck and tossed it:shock::oops:. I am going to get a hanging bucket to get his grain out of their reach first of all(he has a pan on the ground right now), I think this will alleviate a lot of the problem, and when I am there I stand in the pasture at dinner time and correct him if he does more than shoo them off, but does anyone have any other suggestions? I can't stall him right now during feeding, all he has is a lean to at the moment.
Also, kind of to settle a debate, in your opinion how long do you have to correct a behavior? I am no professional, but I did work with a trainer for a few years and was always taught you have about a minute after said behavior to correct it, after that they don't connect the correction with the bad behavior.
Any advice is appreciated, thanks!!
It's actually no more than 30 seconds but the sooner the better, and the correction shouldn't last any longer than 3 to 5 seconds.
As far as aggression at feeding time, that's pretty normal. Horses don't generally like to share, and goats are pesty as heck.
I think the hanging bucket idea for him is a good idea.
The bucket should help immensely, but if you are going to be there anyway, why don't you make sure that the other animals leave him alone so that he can eat in peace? Correcting him while you are there does nothing when you are not, so any aggression will continue and correcting him while you are there could simply add to his defensiveness. Just my opinion tho…
You may not ever be able to keep him with goats. He should have been allowed to get used to them and learned to tolerate them across a fence for a while. He may never accept them now.
I did that same thing years ago with a TB gelding. I put him in with a friend's sheep when I was a teenager. He shook a sheep the first day he was in there and he killed one the next day. They were in the sheep business and he was in a field that held bottle fed 'bum lambs'. He (and I) got uninvited the second day.
I have since run horses with sheep, lamas and goats, but I always let them get acquainted over a fence after that.
I was always told you must correct unwanted behaviour whithin 3 seconds of it happening, or it's too late.
I agree with Cherie. Some horses just don't get alone with sheep, or goats, or dogs. Not something you can "train off" unfortunately. So I'd just stay there during feeding time.
Well, the funny thing is he has been in with goats before and had no problems, let them eat with him and everything. Otherwise we would have gone slower about it. He has also been around dogs and cats his whole life, he loves my German Shorthair to death, gives him kisses and Bird(dog) licks all over his legs. He IS getting better, and it's only at feeding time that he has been showing aggression, otherwise he could really care less. When I'm there I do stand in the pasture with him and keep the goats away. I think it's a combination that he has always been aggressive at feeding time and he's just been moved and still adjusting, it's a work in progress. Thanks for the advice:)
Is there a way to make a small corral to feed the horse in that is separate from other animals? His reaction to the goats may be because he is also now in with another horse. The other horse is his herd, not the goats and dog etc.
As to discipline, the ONLY way to get the horse to associate the discipline with the action is to actually correct it as it starts to happen.
I will take getting down and rolling while being ridden as an example. As the horse thinks about rolling with you on his back he usually gets humpy feeling. At that MOMENT you turn him in a very hard small circle and drive him forward with a crop making him uncomfortable and taking his mind off rolling.
Correcting him after he is down just does not work.. and correcting him AFTER the fact makes zero connection. Such corrections MUST be consistant and isntantaneous. Usually one circle and one crack with the crop is sufficient then you go on riding as if nothing happened (until the horse tries it again).
We've been discussing separating him during feeding time. Until I moved him he was in with 6 mares and the goats, so I don't think it's that he is in with Buddy, but maybe the fact that it's just the two horses now has some bearing. I have been standing in the field and if he really tries to go after something I smack the whip on the ground and tell him "Ah Ah!" This works well with him and he has made drastic improvements as he's settled in.
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