NEED TO FIX this pawing habit and other ground manners - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 15 Old 10-07-2013, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 196
• Horses: 0
NEED TO FIX this pawing habit and other ground manners

My horse really enjoys a good paw to get my attention, and she is very patient and has generally good ground manners but some bad habits. I don't like to hit her ever but I do give her a good yank on the cross tie which she has started to tune out. She also tunes out my vocal cues. She's a little head shy (not in a way that she's super freaked out because sometimes she loves a good head rub). If she's super excited when I'm leading her she also enjoys to walk forward and circle around me.

I haven't been able to ride in the past week and I'm about to switch stables, and the last thing I need is to go into a new environment with iffy ground manners. How can I reinforce each individual thing... especially the pawing, which is my big issue?

iDressage is offline  
post #2 of 15 Old 10-07-2013, 09:08 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: The sandbox
Posts: 6,817
• Horses: 0
Tie her out and ignore her so she realizes that the pawing gets her no attention.
Also hobble training is handy.
boots likes this.

COWCHICK77 is online now  
post #3 of 15 Old 10-07-2013, 09:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 47,685
• Horses: 2
would you recommend hobble training to any rider? regardless of their level of experience in horse handling?

I have a feeling that you may be a bit of a softie to your horse. With the leading, she should not go ahead of you. Warwick Schiller has a good video on how to deal with that. let me see if I can't find it for you.


anndankev and Shoebox like this.
tinyliny is offline  
post #4 of 15 Old 10-07-2013, 10:03 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
Posts: 16,205
• Horses: 1
For the leading issue, I use a dressage whip. Carry it passively in your left hand and the second she charges ahead, give her a good whack across the chest. It worked wonders with my best friend's pushy QH mare. Or, spin the excess lead rope in a circle in front of you so that if she surges forward, she gets bonked in the nose.
Posted via Mobile Device
SammysMom likes this.
DraftyAiresMum is offline  
post #5 of 15 Old 10-07-2013, 10:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Washington State
Posts: 581
• Horses: 0
I fixed this once with a horse when I worked for a trainer. It took a while though. But what I did is took my homework to the barn and pulled out the horse and tied her to the hitching post and went off at a short distance, like 10-15 yards, where she was able to see me and sat down and started my homework. Didn't take long for her to start pawing and I just ignored her. As soon as she stopped I would go over and rub her for 30 seconds or so and go sit back down. If during the time I got up to go to her she started pawing again I just went and sat right back down until she stopped. After about an hour and a half or so she stopped pawing all together and could sit that distance away and work and she wouldn't paw. And of coarse I'd go over periodically and rub her and give her attention to reward the good behavior. So basically teaching her pawing drives me away, not pawing brings my attention. I repeated this everyday for a a little over a week and each day the time it took to get her to not paw at all got shorter and shorter until she stopped all together.
SammysMom likes this.

Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high. Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky. And live like you ain't afraid to die. Don't be scared, just enjoy your ride - Chris LeDoux
Horse racer is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 10-08-2013, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 196
• Horses: 0
Thank for your all the advice! I have some new things to try for sure. I'd appreciate if anyone still has more advice, the more the merrier :)

And yes, I can be a bit of a softie with my horse, and then when I am very firm and do three lead-yanks in a few seconds I feel like I was rude, but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!
iDressage is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 10-08-2013, 09:31 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,189
• Horses: 0
A friend of mine has a horse that paws on the picket line even after being ridden. She puts a horse shoe around each pastern, it works.
goneriding is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 10-08-2013, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 196
• Horses: 0
Usually my girl gets much more relaxed AFTER dinner, or after a good workout... once she has her meal and knows it's time to relax.
iDressage is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 10-08-2013, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,231
• Horses: 7
To fix the pawing tie her for a few hours and leave her alone, she will figure out it is doing her no good to paw. I have a few trees where mine learn to stand and gain patience. It works best if they are a bit tired from a good workout.

When your leading and she gets ahead of you turn quickly towards her hind end and use a training stick, or dressage crop and yield her hind quarters with energy for a few circles then walk off like nothing happened. If she gets ahead of you again do the same thing usually a few chase the HQ exercises fixes the problem very quickly. Don't be afraid to give her a good whack on the hind end to get her attention and let her know you mean business. The alpha mare in a herd has not problem biting, kicking or chasing the lower ranked animals, you are the herd leader show her you control her feet.
gssw5 is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 10-08-2013, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 5,247
• Horses: 2
My mule has a habit of doing this also. I just tie him up, and go do something else. leaving him there to paw for a couple hours till he realizes it does him no good.

R.I.P Duke <3
No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.~Winston Churchill
WesternRider88 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
pawing the ground martinevisacinder Horse Health 1 11-07-2012 07:12 AM
Pawing the ground? Cowgirlali Horse Training 8 02-16-2012 01:32 AM
How to fix a bad habit? heartscontent English Riding 3 01-15-2009 12:33 PM
Pawing at the ground why? vicki Horse Talk 6 01-12-2009 11:46 PM
Pawing....becoming a large habit free_sprtd Horse Training 22 01-08-2008 01:28 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome