My 14.2hh 12 year old cob is quite rude, no manners. I have had him for 2 months now and he was handled a lot by an 11year old girl who I feel let him get away with a lot.
When I groom him he moves around a lot, I think this is more to look at the other horses as he likes to see them when they are in the field, also I am getting the saddle checked as he moves about when I am putting it on.
When I am with him in the field poo picking or whatever, he trys to bite me. He always expects treats and trys to knock you and search your pockets.
Then I have a bit of trouble with the bridle he doesn't like it going over his ears and swings his head around.
When you are on his back you would not think he is the same horse, he is absolutely brilliant, he may just be seeing how much he can get away with as I am his new owner!! But I need help on how I can improve his manners, someone did suggest treats but I have stopped giving him them as he barges you for treats all the time when I used to give him a carrot. He has improved since I stopped if I do give him a carrot or something after a ride I do put it on the floor or in the bucket and then leave him to eat it.
All suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!!! xxx
for standing still I would try tying him alot, tie him while you clean stalls or while you clean out the paddock, or even tie him while you ride a different horse, I'd start by doing it for a half hour a day or so, he doesnt have patients becuase that 11 year old probably never asked him to stand. He was good under saddle and that's all that mattered.
for the biting issue, this is going to be hard if you are a treat person like me, but stop carrying treats around. Give them to him in his feed tub for a while, NOT out of your hand. You also need to do space excersizes... walk him on the lead rope and suddenly stop in front of him, he should stop. walk around and then walk into him, he should move away from you. You want him to always watch you for your next move... that should help with the space issues.
It's hard when they are awesome under saddle and naughty on the ground.... because you know they are capable of behaving!
For standing still...tie him...he'll soon learn that he can't do that. Each time he moves, tell him in a stern voice "No" and possibly tap him on the hind (not hard) and when he stops and stays still in a nice voice say "good boy!"
Don't give him treats out of your hand will soon solve the problem....Sonny got too pushy about feeling my pockets so I ended up either putting the treats in a bucket for him or not give him any. YOU have to be the dominant "horse" here.
If he tries to bit, flick him in the nose...remember if he was in a herd and he tried to bite the head horse he'd get what's coming to him...and that would probably be a nice hoof in the jaw.
For the bridle....randomly go up to him and touch his heads practice putting a rope up by his ears around his ears, through his ears etc...also keeping a halter on him when you ride might be easy...so if he raises his head you can grab the halter and pull it down.
Do some ground work with him...lunge him...do some of the parelli games...that will help him respect you, your space, and just make him be a better horse all around
I'd definately tell them not to....he's your horse right? and not just a horse your leasing.
I'd talk to the barn owner and tell her/him that you don't want anyone to give your horse treats....at least not hand feed him. I told my BO that and she yells at ANY kid who even thinks about giving him a carrot....of course there are a few people that I trust that I let them give him treats but I trust them enough to not let him be pushy with them. MY main concern for people that i don't know feeding my horse is them poisoning him...the BO had one of her horses poisoned by a lady so she understood my reasons.
A do not feed the horse sign may not be enough... It has been suggested on here that a sign that says "sick horse" do not feed may be better respected... or a sign that says "horse bites".* Most folks won't want to hurt a sick horse or get close to a biter.* Stand your ground with the horse and show it that you are not going to put up with his antics.* He'll figure it out soon enough.* He's just testing you.
Treats (or anything fed from the hand) are one of the worst ideas that has happened to the horse industry. Few folks do well at observing their horse, even less recognize what is happening if they do observe.
Couple that with trying to teach folks to teach their horses to respect the human's space, then confuse the horse by showing it that it can come into the human space and nibble, and the treats are a recipe for an really unhealthy relationship.
It is no surprise that biting horses were so rare 50 years ago, and and horses respectful of a human's space are so rare today.
Now, don't be whacking at him with your hand or riding crop. That will teach him to duck and dodge your hand. You do NOT want your hands to be associated with punishment. You need them for handling your horse.
Don't wait to correct the horse for nibbling, because you are too little too late. Correct him with an elbow or forearm for getting into your space. A pretty good bump to the nose, then forget it. It's over. No grudges. If he does it again a few seconds later, a firmer bump to the nose with the elbow or forearm. Then forget it. It's over. Be consistent, be fair, and be insistent. Think like the lead horse. Escalate if you need.
Dumas' Grrrl observed that lots of clients here are young gals. Okay, if you are a young gal, just where would you let your prom date touch you when he comes to pick you up, as your mom and/or dad are waiting and watching? That's right. And that's what your standard for your horse should be. Respectfully waiting on her little highness at an appropriate respectful distance. You gotta insist on respect, and know respect, before you can expect the horse to accept that he must show respect. (Like that? ;-)
Okay Dumas Grrl,
Yes, we do get kudos for raising and training horses with willing manners based on respect. I agree with your comments.
Thanks for your comments.
author of "Back Country Trail Basics"
from Western Horseman
2003 winner of AHP Best Educational Series.
Good for you for realising he has a few things he needs to review and good for you for trying to find a solution. What he learns now will affect how smoothly and how well everything else he learns on the ground and in the saddle will go.
I liked what Sonny gave for advice.
Keep us posted on how well things go:)
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