2 year old disrespectful gelding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 10-09-2018, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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2 year old disrespectful gelding

I just adopted my first horse: a 2 year old halter broke gelding from a rescue farm. His mother was a brood mare, and he was separated from her at a very young age and just left in a paddock to suffer from rain rot basically. Amazingly, he is a sweetheart. It's so tempting to spoil him, but I know I can't right now since it is clear he disrespects me. At this age, he should have basic ground manners, but he absolutely sucks at lunging. The moment I take the pressure off him, he slows to a walk then stops. He follows me around (which is adorable), but he does not respect personal space. He shoves his head into me to look for treats and sometimes is stubborn on the lead rope. Any advice on how to gain this horse's respect would be appreciated. I want to show him I'm alpha without hurting him.
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post #2 of 28 Old 10-09-2018, 01:36 PM
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No need to lunge him too much, as long as he understands how to travel around you and knows when the pressure is on, he picks up the pace. As for him getting in your personal space, use the tip of your finger, and firmly poke the offending body part. If he is butting his head towards you, use your poke finger just below the jaw and above the mouth, that fleshy part, poke him a good one and mean it, you will only have to do it about once or twice and he will catch on. Same thing if he moves his butt or shoulder towards you when you're working with him, poke him in a sensitive spot, he will get the idea real quick. Eventually you'll just have to touch him in those areas and he will move for you. Since he is pushy about treats, cut those out for a good long while. Treats are only given out to fully respectful horses. Good luck with him and enjoy your new horse.
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post #3 of 28 Old 10-09-2018, 01:45 PM
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Don't be afraid to be a little tough once in a while, the young ones will figure out very quickly that they can walk all over you. Sometimes a little whack is necessary. Have you roundpenned him at all? Roundpenning is great to gain respect in a young horse because you are controlling their speed and direction without being attached to them. I have a 2 1/2 year old filly that was extremely disrespectful for a while. I can tell you that as much as you would like to don't give him treats but every once in a while because with a young horse that is already pushy giving constant treats won't help (I found that out the hard way).



May I suggest watching a few of Clinton Anderson's videos on Youtube? They are very helpful and he has some really great groundwork exercises to gain respect.


Also teaching a horse to back up is a great way to get respect. I have taught both of my 2 year olds to back up when I tap my foot in front on the ground in front of their chest and it is one of the most useful things I have ever taught them! Now at feeding time whenever one of them gets a little pushy all I have to do is tap my foot a few times for them to back up and give me some space.


This has been a helpful reminder to me " One whack is better than a lot of little taps" now that sounds really harsh but the idea is to not nag your horses. They tend to test you if you nag them. So if he won't go on the lunge line, instead of tapping him to go again whenever he stops try giving him a little whack with your lunging pole/ handy stick. This will help get the point across that it is his job to keep the pace you asked for.


Basically anything you do that is asking them to move their feet, yielding hindquarters, yielding forequarters, lunging, backing, roundpenning, will gain you some respect. But don't forget to desensitize plenty as well!


I really hope this helps!
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Last edited by koda2004; 10-09-2018 at 01:51 PM.
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post #4 of 28 Old 10-09-2018, 08:34 PM
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You should know that not everyone thinks CA's methods work that well. Do cut out the treats. Only use them as reward for work. It takes some time, but they learn.
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post #5 of 28 Old 10-10-2018, 06:19 PM
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@charrorider , I'm aware that there is a lot of controversy regarding CA's method. I was just suggesting that it would be helpful as his techniques are quite helpful and using them has done absolute wonders for my own horses. And she did not state that she dislikes his method so I suggested it. She can decide if she likes his methods for herself.

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post #6 of 28 Old 10-10-2018, 08:11 PM
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Koda2004. It sounds like you're objecting, but I don't know what it is you're objecting to. Is it that I said not everyone agrees with CA's methods? I didn't contradict your suggestion. And true Isenfierx didn't say she disliked his methods, but she didn't say she like them, either. I'm glad using CA's method's worked on your horses. I bought a horse that had been trained using CA's methods and it took me months to make a safe and sane horse out of him. I wouldn't touch a horse that was trained using his methods, again. To each his own.
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post #7 of 28 Old 10-11-2018, 10:43 AM
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@charrorider , I apologize if I came off the wrong way, it is hard to figure out how to take thing with just text to go off of. I’m sorry that you had such a bad experience with CA’s method, every method can be used well or misused. Personally every CA method trained horse I’ve been around has been very mannerly. Like you said, to each his own!
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post #8 of 28 Old 10-11-2018, 08:21 PM
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Koda2004. Not to create an argument, but I was only relating my personal experience with CA's methods. Since my own experience, I have known of a few other horses trained using that method that have resulted in unsafe and insane mounts. And I don't agree that "every" method can be misused. If one considers that even the smartest horse is no smarter than a severely mentally handicap person and one treats them as such, I don't see how one can go wrong. Things go wrong when we forget their brain is the size of a walnut, when we lose patience, when we don't leave our ego behind, when we see the horse as something we need to dominate, when we take their errors as lack of respect. JMO.
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post #9 of 28 Old 10-11-2018, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isenfierx View Post
It's so tempting to spoil him, but I know I can't right now since it is clear he disrespects me.
Depends what you mean by 'spoil' If you mean give him whatever he wants, when he wants it, regardless of his behaviour, that's not a good move with any horse(or dog or kid...) regardless of their prior education. If you mean giving him whatever he wants whenever he is doing whatever acceptable, 'polite' behaviour, even if that is just standing around looking cute, that's fine. Just remember, horses learn from instant reinforcement & whatever behaviour he is giving you when you 'spoil' him is what will be reinforced/strengthened.

Also depends what you mean by 'respect/disrespect' as to whether he's doing that. If it's simply a lack of 'manners' or other behaviour you want him to do but he hasn't learned, I don't believe it has zip to do with 'respect' any more than a kid who's never been taught better eating with their mouth open or not saying please & thankyou. It is simply a matter of lack of education. For this & other reasons, I don't think it's helpful or very accurate to lable horses as 'disrespectful' generally.

Quote:
sucks at lunging.
You shouldn't be lunging a 2yo much at all anyway. And you need to teach him the basics & build up to doing stuff like lunging anyway. If he doesn't even know how to yield to direct pressure reliably yet, you've got a lot of 'kindergarten' stuff to do first.

Quote:
The moment I take the pressure off him, he slows to a walk then stops.
Sounds like a good start. Get him reliably doing that when asked, and reinforce it, before beginning to ask him to sustain whatever gait for short times & gradually building up to whatever you're wanting. Baby steps.

Quote:
he does not respect personal space. He shoves his head into me to look for treats
So just ensure that behaviour NEVER works for him. And you can also correct him - make him back up suddenly if he does it or otherwise punish him *when he's doing it, in order to make that behaviour have unpleasant consequences & he will soon stop. Particularly if you also 'spoil' him for alternate 'good manners' such as standing back & keeping his nose to himself.

Quote:
and sometimes is stubborn on the lead rope.
I'm guessing you mean he either drags on the lead or hangs back. He just needs to be taught clearly how to yield to the pressure from the halter. If you're not sure how to go about those sorts of basics, you really need hands on help to learn how to teach him, as the 'blind leading the blind' will commonly go very wrong.

Quote:
I want to show him I'm alpha without hurting him.
The 'alpha' or 'dominance theory' is actually from old behavioural studies of how wolf groups interact(faulty - not natural but from strange wolves thrown together in an enclosure). It is not really an accurate perception of wolf/dog relations, let alone horses. IMHO you'd be best forgetting it & just focussing on learning how to effectively train & learn to understand & communicate with your horse.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #10 of 28 Old 10-11-2018, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koda2004 View Post
Roundpenning is great to gain respect in a young horse ...
May I suggest watching a few of Clinton Anderson's videos on Youtube? ...
Also teaching a horse to back up is a great way to get respect.
OP you will learn there are plenty of different opinions here... After a few decades experience training (& 'retraining')many different horses, I couldn't
Quote:
disagree
with the above much more.

Whether lunging on a rope or using a round pen, doing a lot of circling is not physically good for a young horse. It depends how you do it, your level of understanding & skill, your timing, etc, etc, as with any other method, how good, bad or otherwise it may be teaching a horse anything in a round pen. I personally think it's best to teach them the basics on lead first, before then teaching them stuff when they're not attached.

CA's techniques that I've seen on Youtube are mostly the antithesis of what I want to achieve with a horse. I DON'T want them to be afraid of me, to run away from me in fear, to 'submit' to me only because they have no alternative. There is simply no need for the level of harshness that CA displays with horses, and while negative reinforcement (pressure/release) is undoubtedly very helpful, punishment occasionally necessary, there's also a huge advantage to using well timed rewards and instead of teaching the horse to be your slave, you can teach them that humans & their 'games' are something fun!

Backing a horse up is one of many basic yielding exercises that are important. Of course, you want to be able to teach the horse to move in whatever manner you ask. And to do this effectively is indeed one thing that fosters *true* respect.

But the way CA & many 'followers' understand it is to use backing up and 'moving the feet' as a punishment & they do it quite aggressively. I don't believe that helps gain respect, only fear, which IMO loses you respect.

But then, there are different ideas of the meaning of 'respect' too. I personally believe that you must deserve & earn respect, and part of the equation is being respectFUL and considerate of the animal you're dealing with too.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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