Dominants vs aggressive?!?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 09-22-2013, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Dominants vs aggressive?!?!

I grew up riding horses. Was an excellent rider in my*'' prime. '' Got married... Had 3 amazing kids... Got divorced... Lol. So my youngest is now 8. Loves horses every bit as much as I do. Did the lesson thing... And purchased 2 horses.... The first is a highly trained 7 yr old gelding paint.... Hers.... The second is a 5 yr old greener qh mare.... Mine.

Anyway.... The paint is just a pain in the ****!! He refuses any direction from her..... And does ok with me but it's a CONSTANT battle. Have been doing ground work with him the past few days just to take off the edge and he somewhat '' charged'' me today while lunging!! Not in a dangerous way necessarily... But I was a little nervous. The whip didn't phase him....

No bite... No buck.... Just always trying to get the upper hand. A little aggravated by all this testing. Suggestions??
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post #2 of 27 Old 09-22-2013, 10:45 PM
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I have a gelding who HATES whips, they make him uptight, he shows his displeasure and yes, has spun and charged me. I ditched the whip and if I need to have him go faster, I twirl the end of the long cotton lunge line I had, would tell him to "trot" in a firm commanding voice and he did a lot better.

And the horse may not like your wife, I am assuming that is who her is. If it isn't a good fit, you may wish to get a horse she is more compatible with, as if you force this union so to speak, it could only get worse and the attitude isn't going to get better, it can only get worse. No fun and not fair to the horse.
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post #3 of 27 Old 09-22-2013, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GreySorrel View Post
I have a gelding who HATES whips, they make him uptight, he shows his displeasure and yes, has spun and charged me. I ditched the whip and if I need to have him go faster, I twirl the end of the long cotton lunge line I had, would tell him to "trot" in a firm commanding voice and he did a lot better.

And the horse may not like your wife, I am assuming that is who her is. If it isn't a good fit, you may wish to get a horse she is more compatible with, as if you force this union so to speak, it could only get worse and the attitude isn't going to get better, it can only get worse. No fun and not fair to the horse.
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post #4 of 27 Old 09-22-2013, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry... Replying from my phone. This is my daughters horse.... And I am her mother. ;) I think I'm so frustrated because he knows his stuff. The lunging episode is just one of several. He just has an overall '' dominant'' attitude with ANYONE. Wasn't as apparent when I purchased him obviously. I just don't want his dominance to turn to aggression. Kind of takes the fun out of it ya know? Lol. Yet he really is a great horse in so many other ways. I guess more than anything I want to hear opinions on whether or not this attitude can be corrected.... Without the constant battle... Or if that's just the horses we have?? If that makes sense.
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post #5 of 27 Old 09-22-2013, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky1inKy View Post
I grew up riding horses. Was an excellent rider in my*'' prime. '' Got married... Had 3 amazing kids... Got divorced... Lol. So my youngest is now 8. Loves horses every bit as much as I do. Did the lesson thing... And purchased 2 horses.... The first is a highly trained 7 yr old gelding paint.... Hers.... The second is a 5 yr old greener qh mare.... Mine.

Anyway.... The paint is just a pain in the ****!! He refuses any direction from her..... And does ok with me but it's a CONSTANT battle. Have been doing ground work with him the past few days just to take off the edge and he somewhat '' charged'' me today while lunging!! Not in a dangerous way necessarily... But I was a little nervous. The whip didn't phase him....

No bite... No buck.... Just always trying to get the upper hand. A little aggravated by all this testing. Suggestions??
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My mare is incredibly dominant and constantly testing. She is the leader of every herd she is put with and rules with a proverbial iron hoof. She won't respect you unless you prove that you deserve it - you prove that you can take leadership and fight for your right to have it. Once you succeed she's more than happy to follow you... But taking it away from her is the tricky part.

The way we keep a happy relationship is I just can't let her get away with ANYTHING I didn't tell her to do. As we're walking, and I tell her to 'whoa,' if she doesn't immediately we back. Aggressively and quickly. And start over. If she's standing and she moves her hooves, she gets put back where she was. If she picks her head up too high, we stop and she has to lower it. It seems overboard, but it's a constant subtle reminder that hey, you listen to ME, not the other way around.

A few months back I had to call a trainer out because she was so herdbound I couldn't handle her, and she was becoming dangerous (and at 17 hands that's not okay). The trainer had her calm and licking in *minutes.* She watched how I handled her and told me I was letting her get away with too much. When I would tell her 'whoa' and be okay with her taking a few extra steps, she was getting the upper edge. She was deciding when to stop. Not me. Little things like that. After the trainer left that's all we did for two weeks... I'd halter her and starting in the pasture we'd walk, stop, back. Walk, stop, back. Walk, stop, start, back. Out of the pasture, around the arena, zig zagging about, and then mosey back to the pasture on MY terms. Just those three things, but she HAD to listen to me to be ready for what was coming next and do it to avoid reprimand.

She is now VERY good as stopping before I even give the command, and even though she occasionally lags with her backing (nothing a light tap with the crop on her legs won't fix) that lesson has been hammered into her, and when she has a lapse of judgement it doesn't take long to remind her that when she is with me she is NOT the herd leader.

So I'd advise to start there. Very basic commands, but very good to establish just who leads who.
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Last edited by Shoebox; 09-22-2013 at 10:58 PM.
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post #6 of 27 Old 09-22-2013, 10:56 PM
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My mare would do well in a pleasure class with me yet test my 8 yr old son to the max. Nothing aggressive, just "ok I'm not moving" and she wouldn't. A big gelding I bo't turned into a bronc the first time I tried to lunge him. I dropped the whip and he was fine, picked it up, and rodeo time. It turned out he was good with just clicking and whoa.



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post #7 of 27 Old 09-22-2013, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Great advice. I ride her during the day when my daughter is in school and then we go back to ride after school. I think I'm just going to have my daughter ride the mare for a while. She is green but has a very willing attitude and is just such a sweetheart. The paint is roughly 15-15.1....But that's a big horse for a little girl!! I bought him for her because he seemed so well trained. Goes to show you don't always know what ur getting into!! She will grow into him eventually. But he definitely likes to be boss. Funny thing is he just stands there with her!! Lol. Doesn't act stupid.... Just refuses to be ridden!!
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post #8 of 27 Old 09-24-2013, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shoebox View Post
My mare is incredibly dominant and constantly testing. She is the leader of every herd she is put with and rules with a proverbial iron hoof. She won't respect you unless you prove that you deserve it - you prove that you can take leadership and fight for your right to have it. Once you succeed she's more than happy to follow you... But taking it away from her is the tricky part.

The way we keep a happy relationship is I just can't let her get away with ANYTHING I didn't tell her to do. As we're walking, and I tell her to 'whoa,' if she doesn't immediately we back. Aggressively and quickly. And start over. If she's standing and she moves her hooves, she gets put back where she was. If she picks her head up too high, we stop and she has to lower it. It seems overboard, but it's a constant subtle reminder that hey, you listen to ME, not the other way around.

A few months back I had to call a trainer out because she was so herdbound I couldn't handle her, and she was becoming dangerous (and at 17 hands that's not okay). The trainer had her calm and licking in *minutes.* She watched how I handled her and told me I was letting her get away with too much. When I would tell her 'whoa' and be okay with her taking a few extra steps, she was getting the upper edge. She was deciding when to stop. Not me. Little things like that. After the trainer left that's all we did for two weeks... I'd halter her and starting in the pasture we'd walk, stop, back. Walk, stop, back. Walk, stop, start, back. Out of the pasture, around the arena, zig zagging about, and then mosey back to the pasture on MY terms. Just those three things, but she HAD to listen to me to be ready for what was coming next and do it to avoid reprimand.

She is now VERY good as stopping before I even give the command, and even though she occasionally lags with her backing (nothing a light tap with the crop on her legs won't fix) that lesson has been hammered into her, and when she has a lapse of judgement it doesn't take long to remind her that when she is with me she is NOT the herd leader.

So I'd advise to start there. Very basic commands, but very good to establish just who leads who.

Shoebox.... Have been doing the basic commands u suggested... He gets so ticked off... Kind of funny actually. But it DID help under saddle yesterday... And he was a different horse while lunging.

We had one major blowout getting him to leave the barn after some arena work to go for a short trail ride... But overall health was much better. There is hope afterall!! ;) Thanks!!
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post #9 of 27 Old 09-24-2013, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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And I've just come to the realization that he won't be suitable for my daughter for some time. We'll trained but wayyyy to headstrong. The mare is doing fine though... So she can just ride her for the time being.
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post #10 of 27 Old 09-24-2013, 02:03 PM
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I have noticed that longing and teaching the horse to disengage their hind quarters helps. If he seems aggressive when the whip is in use, bring your body towards him instead and put pressure on him, if he seems to stand his ground pull his nose so that you adjust him off his feet and he has to move to stay balanced. This was a reality check for my mare that has this issue. Hope it helps!
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