Sweet horse to angry horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-26-2019, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Sweet horse to angry horse?

10 year old mare that I have had since a weanling has always been super sweet. She would never hurt a fly but was always the dominate or alpha in the herd. Recently I just moved her and her buddy to another farm and since she has completely changed. She now tries to kick the crap out of me and I don’t know why. Her life has changed quite a bit and they both have only been in this barn for a month. Do I give her more space and time to settle? Do I correct it right away? I’m kinda lost with what to do.

Also when we moved we had to leave one of their buddies behind (not by choice)
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-26-2019, 06:53 PM
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New environment, new hierarchy being established...
Mare is looking for leadership, stability and you are not it to her currently so challenging you and your authority.
If this were me....
I don't care who's horse it is, the conditions of why the horse is in the environment...
You lift a hoof or snap a jaw at me you will think that the devil has just unleashed on your head...
That horse would feel and learn real fast who to respect and show servitude to...
No "poor horsey" from me when they weigh close to 1000 pounds and a pea sized brain...
One bite, one kick landed and I could be badly hurt or worse....dead!!
Think not...
Time to stand up to your poor baby bad display of manners and respect forgotten before you get hurt.
This is not a dog....
It is a 1000 pounds of aggressive animal if they lose respect for your position in the herd...LEADER!!!

Oops...WELCOME to the Forum!!

....

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-26-2019, 07:21 PM
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I think it's hard to say, but from personal experience with our 4 horses, and observing other horses at our barn, I think you should look carefully at whether your handling has changed.

I have been guilty of personifying situations and feeling sorry for my horses, which makes me rationalize their bad behavior, and ultimately let it slide until they become serious issues.

My husband, who is generally not too permissive with his horse, broke Gus' manners last week, and we had to go to the round pen yesterday to fix him. Last week we were riding on a windy day at our barn. We rode in the arena a bit, and then rode out around the property for a bit. Gus is not brave out of the arena, and gets very looky in the wind. We rode past a line of parked trailers, and someone had left half a bag of shavings out in the open. Gus caught a glimpse of the out of place shavings bag and the wind rattled the plastic, so Gus had a big spook and spin. My husband sat it and got him back, but from then on, everything became a scary monster to Gus.

(Side note: Wild Card One Eyed Salty followed suit with the spin and spook, loaded up like he was going to blow and buck, but then immediately came back to me, put his head back down and walked forward. I breathed a sigh of relief, petted him up, and we ambled off to the obstacle course to end on a win. Yay, me and Crazy Salty!)

My husband, not wanting to give in to Gus' over active imagination, walked him further down the row of trailers, exerting every ounce of energy to holding Chicken Gus together. When they got through it, he went and got his rope halter and put Gus to work on the ground in the spooky place. My husband usually doesn't get too shook, but Gus was wound up. When my husband backed him up, he reared up. When my husband tried to yield his hind quarters, he nipped him on the arm. My husband, feeling sorry for poor, scared, 1300 pound Gus, didn't correct those two things. Over the next week, Gus kept getting nippier and more disrespectful. My husband didn't want to smack him because he's had some harsh training in the past. Gus was disrespectful, nipping, refusing to do anything on the ground, rearing up instead of listening and working.

To the round pen we went. Gus was being awful to my husband, escalating his antics, not listening, not working. He had quickly learned that the rearing got him out of work, and was using it for all he was worth with my husband. He was also pushing into his space and nipping him. I went in with him, backed him up, scolding and backing him harder when he reared, sending him both ways and waiting out his wild bolting, getting after him when he tried to come into my space. It took less than 10 minutes to get him fixed and have him walking, trotting, backing, standing with respect. My husband took over and worked him, and they seem to be back to good now.

The bad behavior started because my husband attributed bad behavior to being scared, and let Gus have a pass. Then, recalling his past rough handling and bad training, my husband didn't want to correct the nipping. Gus is the smartest lazy horse in the universe, so he took advantage. When reminded of the rules and put back in his place, he is happy and calm.

I'm wondering (after my long winded story) if you started letting her manners slide because she lost her friend and moved to a new place, and she is taking advantage of the chink in your armor and exploiting you to get her way. Now she has your number and is threatening you and pushing the limits, and you don't want to get after poor, nervous, sad horse.

Maybe she needs you to get back to handling her firmly and correcting her bad behavior, regardless of the cause.

Last edited by horselovinguy; 01-26-2019 at 08:48 PM. Reason: not permitted..
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-26-2019, 07:22 PM
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Yeah, you have a bit of a problem on your hands. Mind you, though, that your horse is not angry with you, and neither did she try to kick the snot out of you. Instead, she said, "Look here now, I am above you in the herd, and if you don't yield, I'll kick the snot out of you. And this is what it looks like!"

Well, you did yield...otherwise you wouldn't have been able to observe this as a pattern.

So what you need to say is, "Oh, I'm sorry horsey...but you are mistaken! And if I ever look at your butt again instead of your face, that butt's gonna lose some hair! And no, you will not kick the snot out of me because my whip is longer than your reach!"

There is a reason why I said that she's not angry with you, because it's important that you, too, correct her without anger and that you let it go immediately - well, as soon as she yields her space to you. You don't want to act like a predator, and you don't want to prolong the correction beyond her ability to connect it mentally with the offending behavior.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-26-2019, 07:33 PM
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I think you need to be consistent, and that means giving out the same discipline you would have given out at the old barn. I would not accept any misbehavior directed towards you. She can lash out at other horses to establish her place in the hierarchy, but she can absolutely not lash out at you. But I agree with @mmshiro - don't act angry or hurt, just be the adult. Understand that this is not because of you, but because she is trying to adjust. Spend lots of extra time with her grooming, giving her scratches, etc. If you can't do that safely, then just hang out in front of her stall. But otherwise, dole out discipline as you always would. If need be, spend some time working on ground manners, but perhaps try to do it in a space where she feels "safe" at first (ie, without the other horses around).
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-26-2019, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
I think you need to be consistent, and that means giving out the same discipline you would have given out at the old barn. I would not accept any misbehavior directed towards you. She can lash out at other horses to establish her place in the hierarchy, but she can absolutely not lash out at you. But I agree with @mmshiro - don't act angry or hurt, just be the adult. Understand that this is not because of you, but because she is trying to adjust. Spend lots of extra time with her grooming, giving her scratches, etc. If you can't do that safely, then just hang out in front of her stall. But otherwise, dole out discipline as you always would. If need be, spend some time working on ground manners, but perhaps try to do it in a space where she feels "safe" at first (ie, without the other horses around).
They were VERY spoiled and it was just the three of them at the last barn. Now this farm has 15 total but only 4 close by that the see regularly. She tried to kick me today and I wasn’t having any of it and grabbed the dressage whip. I just don’t want to be doing the wrong thing. If I need to correct her I have no problem doing that I’m all about manners and safety. They are miniatures so I do have the smaller size on my side 👌🏼
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-26-2019, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistydolly View Post
They were VERY spoiled and it was just the three of them at the last barn. Now this farm has 15 total but only 4 close by that the see regularly. She tried to kick me today and I wasnít having any of it and grabbed the dressage whip. I just donít want to be doing the wrong thing. If I need to correct her I have no problem doing that Iím all about manners and safety. They are miniatures so I do have the smaller size on my side 👌🏼
I guess my point was that she may be behaving out of character because of the change, so she needs you to be consistent now, more than ever. If you would have disciplined her for this behavior at the old barn, you should do it now too. She will do better with consistency coming from you when it seems to her like her world is turned upside down. :)
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-26-2019, 08:32 PM
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She needs to give you two eyes not two feet. I would correct her with one or two quick whip attention getters on the hind quarters and make her face me, then continue as nothing happened until she tries it again. She is not respecting you as the leader.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-26-2019, 08:47 PM
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I have bad feeling about this...
Your words... are these... and these....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cedar & Salty View Post
My husband, not wanting to give in to Gus' over active imagination, walked him further down the row of trailers, exerting every ounce of energy to holding Chicken Gus together. When they got through it, he went and got his rope halter and put Gus to work on the ground in the spooky place. My husband usually doesn't get too shook, but Gus was wound up. When my husband backed him up, he reared up. When my husband tried to yield his hind quarters, he nipped him on the arm. My husband, feeling sorry for poor, scared, 1300 pound Gus, didn't correct those two things. Over the next week, Gus kept getting nippier and more disrespectful. My husband didn't want to smack him because he's had some harsh training in the past. Gus was disrespectful, nipping, refusing to do anything on the ground, rearing up instead of listening and working.

To the round pen we went. Gus was being awful to my husband, escalating his antics, not listening, not working. He had quickly learned that the rearing got him out of work, and was using it for all he was worth with my husband. He was also pushing into his space and nipping him. I went in with him, backed him up, scolding and backing him harder when he reared, sending him both ways and waiting out his wild bolting, getting after him when he tried to come into my space. It took less than 10 minutes to get him fixed and have him walking, trotting, backing, standing with respect. My husband took over and worked him, and they seem to be back to good now.
The problem was with my husband...

I went in with him, ....
It was you who make the correction...asserted authority and made the rules tick again...

My husband took over and worked him, and they seem to be back to good now.
This may have proved to the horse that your husband again deserves respect....but be prepared that it not stick and testing to resume...
It would be best if your husband initiated the respect made to be given when he has the issue with the horse... not you

The horse was not disrespecting you, but disrespecting him...hence the correction would stick better if correction was associated with him first...
Otherwise...good job stopping before worse escalation.
...
jmo...
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-26-2019, 09:08 PM
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@horselovinguy , I whole heartedly agree! This was an odd situation, because normally my husband doesn't take any disrespect and isn't easily backed down. He usually has pretty even, authoritative energy. I don't know why this behavior got in his head so much.

Once he saw that Gus didn't escalate his behavior with me, he was able to switch places and gain some respect back.

Luckily for me, I've had an excellent professional horse trainer put a few hours into my daughter's horse this past week, so my round pen skills are much improved. I used to get a little worried when I'd get a big response in the round pen, but he really showed me how to control my energy and wait for the right response.
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