How much is too much? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-04-2009, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Question How much is too much?

Hey everyone!
I have been working on my boy's manners, and surprisingly after one day of correcting he stopped his habits. But yeterday, I was trying to tack him up, and he was pawing, walking forward, backward, and everything. Then, after lunging with my surcingle, I went to put his saddle on in the grass, and he is walking circles around me, trying to eat, and all that good stuff. Granted, it was freezing and he hadn't had his dinner yet. Now, I firmly said no, and gave one sharp tug on his reins, he didn't even hesitate for a second, just kept on going. Another thing is, when I feel rushed to ride or am in an imatient mood, so is he and it just isn't a good day to ride (which was yesterday) My question is, how do I punish him. He only does this on days as described above, and I don't want to beat him and wreck our relationship/be too hard on him, but he does need to know it isn't ok. Oh, and for the record, EVERYONE yells at me for being too nice, that's just me So, what is an appropriate wake up call for days like this (for both him and ME lol ) Thanks in advance!
dreamrideredc is offline  
post #2 of 17 Old 12-04-2009, 06:59 PM
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You might try backing him up as a punishment. I saw people doing it for years at my barn and always thought it was a load, but I got desperate when Hershey developed a bucking problem and it worked like a charm.

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post #3 of 17 Old 12-04-2009, 06:59 PM
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If i'm not mistaken, you just said that, on Impatient days, where YOU feel impatient, so does he.
Perhaps that IS the problem?
Often a horse reflects just how you feel. If you're relaxed, a horse will be more relaxed too.
If you feel all tensed, a horse will get tensed too.

I don't think it's a matter of Punishing, it's more a matter of trying to have yourself be more relaxed

Also, don't just pull in his mouth as a punishment.
That can hurt, and it's noting you want to give him!
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-04-2009, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks! I think it might have been a combination of me and him, I just need to know what to do with him when he is going bonkers in the cross ties and places like that lol!

Sophie, sorry if I made it confusing, but I meant this as on the ground not riding!
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post #5 of 17 Old 12-04-2009, 07:14 PM
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My solution to the problem of feeling like its an "off" day to ride is that I don't ride. Sometimes my gelding is just in a bad mood, or I feel preoccupied, so I work on other things from the ground and I don't even bother tacking up. I don't think of it as "giving in" or anything like that, I think of it as avoiding a potential problem.
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-04-2009, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah that's a good point. IMHO, if I don't feel patient/relaxed and in the mood to ride, then how will I ever be able to handle it while actually riding. It does no good to get worked up while riding because usually, even if things do get better, I get hung up with the past and what already went bad. And who knows, maybe my horse really isn't being that bad, maybe I'm just overreacting. Come to think of it, I can't think of a time when things got this bad unless I was rushed, impatient, etc. But still, I would like to hear some solutions to how to get my point across when he acts like this. Thanks
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-05-2009, 12:08 AM
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Just like Sophie said, backing him up is a good idea!
Also a firm 'No!' would be in place to.
If he really crosses line and a vocal command is ignored give him a slap (Don't slap him TOO hard) on the shoulder and repeat 'No!'.
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-05-2009, 12:21 AM
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I am always being told I am to "easy" with my horses, and then when they yell at me to get "harsher" and I do, then they yell at me for being to mean.... "/ So I know how you feel!

You can never take a Thoroughbred away from a horse crazy girl.
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-05-2009, 09:56 AM
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Horses are horses, not people, but much like people they can have off days, and will test the people and other horses in their lives. I look at it like dealing with a little kid. Even if he's in a bad mood, tough noogies, thats no reason to act on the grumpiness and be completely unpleasant to be around.

As far as the way to deal with your horse when he gets "testy," I would follow the very same ask, suggest, encourage progression as I do for everything else. If he's doing something that you don't like, ask him to stop, and leave him alone, expect him to do as you ask. Progress to a suggestion and to stronger and stronger encouragement until you get the response you want. If he's doing something that could rapidly become dangerous, I won't hesitate to get my horse the heck out of my space with whatever I have on hand.

For example... if I have Scout in the crossties and he is antsy, I'll click my tongue and "raise my energy" to scoot him over. If he doesn't respond, I'll touch him on the side, where my leg would go to ask for a sidepass and click. I'll increase the pressure of my hand until he moves. If I can't get a response (for whatever reason) I'll do a little more of a "jabbing" sort of poke. Sort of goosing him in the side with rhythm. I've never had to suggest any stronger than that, I honestly can't say what the next level would be.
However, if he's in the crossties and swings toward me, pinning me close to the wall as I'm asking him to move away, I'll give him a smack, no questions ask. Squishing me isn't cool. It's one thing to totally ignore a cue that he understands, it's another to do the polar opposite.
Note: this example excludes the possibility of a frightened horse or a horse who doesn't understand how to move in the manner that has been asked.

As far as your impatience effecting your horse, here's a good thread on a similar topic, if you haven't read it already. You might try some of the techniques outlined in the video to "leave the impatience behind" in a similar way. I know that if I'm in a hurry, and acting on my rushed feelings and only thinking about getting things done, my sweet ponies are a lot more likely to become pigs.

I hope that answered your question a bit.
Good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
Scoutrider is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 12-05-2009, 10:33 AM
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I know this may sound harsh and everyone already yells at me, if one of my horses is misbehaving on the ground such as pushing, pawing, walking around me in circles, and so on, i just take my spur of and just do one sharp jab in the shoulder and he starts to listen. I know it may be wrong but thats just how i do it.
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