ex in-hand Arab issues - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-29-2017, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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ex in-hand Arab issues

Hi guys, I have recently bought an Arab mare, she is pretty chilled out but I have noticed a few funny little issues. She is good to ride but previously was mainly been used for in-hand showing (not sure if I'm using the right terminology here). She is not head shy but if I try to touch her muzzle she sticks her head up and almost leans back on all fours, I'm not sure if she is trying to escape, she doesn't try to run away or move her head out of the way just head up, I wondered if this may have something to do with her halter training and how they teach them to put there heads up and show off their necks. She's fine to be touched elsewhere and no issues putting on a halter or bridle. Also if I need to bump on the halter if she's being a bit naughty for any reason she does the same thing, I don't want to be reprimanding her for something if she was trained to do it that way, if that's the case I will approach this differently.....any ideas?
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-29-2017, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DakotaNZ View Post
Hi guys, I have recently bought an Arab mare, she is pretty chilled out but I have noticed a few funny little issues. She is good to ride but previously was mainly been used for in-hand showing (not sure if I'm using the right terminology here). She is not head shy but if I try to touch her muzzle she sticks her head up and almost leans back on all fours, I'm not sure if she is trying to escape, she doesn't try to run away or move her head out of the way just head up, I wondered if this may have something to do with her halter training and how they teach them to put there heads up and show off their necks. She's fine to be touched elsewhere and no issues putting on a halter or bridle. Also if I need to bump on the halter if she's being a bit naughty for any reason she does the same thing, I don't want to be reprimanding her for something if she was trained to do it that way, if that's the case I will approach this differently.....any ideas?
She's probably been taught to 'target' your hand or a whip handle and rock back to tighten up for the hard stance in halter. Skip ahead to about 5 mins 30 seconds, if you don't want to watch the whole thing. I think you'll see what she's doing.


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post #3 of 9 Old 11-29-2017, 11:53 PM
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Yes, a halter Arab will often associate bumping under the chin with holding the head up high and standing in halter stance. They often will touch the nose to teach them to stretch out toward the whip end to pose.


Oops, saw Dreamcatcher just posted this info also.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-30-2017, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Ah yes, this is what seems to be happening of course I am not giving her clear signals and she is probably terribly confused wondering what I want. Any ideas how I could get her more comfortable with me touching her nose? I have been needing to do this to put sunscreen on her, she was actually much better with me doing it tonight so maybe she is picking up on what I am actually trying to do.
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-30-2017, 07:41 AM
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First good for you for realizing the mare might be doing something from old training and it's not a discipline issue:).

I have always allowed my horses to smell the medicine, while pointing where I need to use it. One horse just about needs to read the label if I'm using something new.

For example while they sniff the kind of meds you're going to use, I would point and say "your nose". In your Arab's case, I might unobtrusively and gently tap the top of the nose or gently run my hand from the area where a hackamore piece would go, down to the area where you need to put the meds.

My oneriest "I don't have to" horse even tilts his big head toward me when I show him the meds, point and say "your ear". He's been with me 21 of his 23 years but he will still sometimes react on his left ear from people grabbing and twisting his ear to get him to be still.

It may take awhile and she may never get that piece of training completely out of her head, so it will always be something you will have to be conscious of and not reprimand her for.

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-30-2017, 08:10 AM
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You might try approaching her head/face by standing to her side, starting to touch at the shoulder or neck, then moving under the chin to the face. You'll notice in those videos the handlers are standing in front of the horse. Try different methods. How do you groom her around the head?
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-30-2017, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
She's probably been taught to 'target' your hand or a whip handle and rock back to tighten up for the hard stance in halter. Skip ahead to about 5 mins 30 seconds, if you don't want to watch the whole thing. I think you'll see what she's doing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHz1lBQuDLA
It's nice to see shorter bridle paths.
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-30-2017, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DakotaNZ View Post
Ah yes, this is what seems to be happening of course I am not giving her clear signals and she is probably terribly confused wondering what I want. Any ideas how I could get her more comfortable with me touching her nose? I have been needing to do this to put sunscreen on her, she was actually much better with me doing it tonight so maybe she is picking up on what I am actually trying to do.
She'll probably never get completely past that training. It's very harsh in most cases and leaves behind a little PTSD type reactions. Just take your time and be slow and gentle when you come toward her face, abrupt movements will trigger her. My guy, Cloney, will still JUMP when you pick up a whip. He knows if he doesn't move and dang fast, he's gonna get it. He has not shown halter since he was a very very young horse. I do things like, never use anything that looks like a halter whip, never shake anything that looks or sounds like a bottle full of rocks, ditto plastic bags (though I have had luck desensitizing to those by having him take treats out of a bag). Fast, aggressive movements will cause a reaction. Sometimes even a loud voice, if it's used in an ugly, angry way, can do it. I can do a low pitched growl, "Cloooooo - NEY" and he will just quit what he's doing but if I were to shout, "CLONEY" he'll flinch and dodge. Under saddle? Totally different horse.

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post #9 of 9 Old 12-01-2017, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Great advice, thanks guys. She's been much better the last two times in fact I think she may actually be enjoying me giving her muzzle a bit of a rub. Now that I understand better what happens when they're being shown I am better equipped to pick up on anything that may be a result of her training so going forward hopefully we can work it all out. She's a very sweet wee horse so I think we will get on just fine :)
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