Lesson horse's behavior... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-12-2013, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Lesson horse's behavior...

Hi, everyone! I'm taking lessons, but have a few questions I need answered, if anyone could help, about my lesson horse's behavior. I would ask my instructor, but I only see her once a week and forget everything I want to ask her . Anyways, if anybody could clear up what's going on?

My lesson horse, a draft-cross mare named Goose, always turns her ears back while I groom her. I get confused, because I'm not sure if she's upset, or just chilling. Her ears are not flattened, just angled so they face backwards. This is in a grooming stall, so there is nothing behind to listen for. Why is she doing this?

Do horses normally not like their feet messed with after riding? Because after my lesson, Goose will refuse to pick up her feet. Not until everyone is leading their horses to the paddock does she let me pick them.

I'm not sure how to describe this, but it's like kicking/pawing. I try to lift her front left hoof, and she throws around her back left hoof, like she's trying to hit me, but not trying to at the same time.

Goose is a really sweet mare, and other than those things, she's an absolute angel, both on the ground and in saddle. Thanks for helping!
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-12-2013, 02:59 PM
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she doesn't want to be bothered with you lifting her feet. when the other horses are going out to the paddock, she , too , wants to go, starts shifting her feet around and knows that if she lets you do what you do, then she can go. she complies, but expresses her unhappiness by moving the back foot around.

These are all bad manners and she needs a sharp reprimnad to smarten up, pay attention and lift her feet politiely. if she has some actual problem with lifting up her feet, such as a pain issue, or has never been correxctly taught, then have ;your instructor help you get it right, but this behavior is her expressing her impatience. as for the ears back, if they are just softly back, not pinned, it her just relaxing. School horses are not usually the happiest creatures. they have a lot to put up with, so if they aren't "smiling" with their ears forward and perky all the time, we should cut tehm a bit of slack there.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-13-2013, 06:09 AM
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You might be going too fast on the horse. Are you walking up to the horse normally, touching it's shoulder, going down the leg to the foot and bringing it up? Horses have like a 2 minute memory span so you should do that every time so they don't get a bit startled at first. Eventually you can touch the leg then the foot, then just the foot. So, the horse may not be fully sacked-out for it.

The ears mean the horse is a bit irritated in this situation I'm assuming. If the horse didn't mind, it would mean the horse just wants to hear what you're doing.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-13-2013, 08:01 AM
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Horses don't keep ears forward all the time. As long as she doesn't pin them back (and you won't miss it when you see) I wouldn't care much. BTW, both my mares keep ears back when I'm riding, because I use voice commands (so they are listening).

As for not picking the foot. Well... That's an example of bad manners. She's like "I'm done, don't bother me anymore". I do NOT allow my horses to misbehave when I'm still working/messing with them. So with her I'd strictly say "stop it", and would ask for a foot again.



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post #5 of 5 Old 08-13-2013, 05:23 PM
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She just seems as tinyliny said.. impatient, taking advantage of you being new to this, in need of a wakeup call.

But unfortunately since they deal with so much being lesson horses.. it's sadly what a lot of them are like.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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