Herd bound horse calling to herd and advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-04-2015, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Herd bound horse calling to herd and advice

I'm working with my two horses that are currently very herd bound. I know you are suppose to have zero tolerance for calling and neighing back to the herd. However, I'm unsure of the best way to correct it. If I am leading him and he calls I will back him up if there is enough space which there usually isn't as it always happens in my little barn :/. What are the best ways to correct this?

I've been working with for a while and not making much progress. They are quite herd bound though. I turn them out separate for half of their turn out. However, because of the way my farm is set up they can still see/touch each other. I feed completely out of sight for half of the feeding and then put them back together when I feel one is about to get worked up.

I'm strating to get a little frustrated with them and this issue is taking the enjoyment of having them on my property for me. I'm at the point where I want to do the old school way and just tie them both out of sight and wait for them to calm down (however long that will take). Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated! :)
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post #2 of 21 Old 03-04-2015, 08:09 PM
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I would split them apart :) tough love haha.. Soon he will get over it. My horse has never gotten heard bound.. I most be lucky. I have friends that have horses that will freak out if a horse will leave..
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post #3 of 21 Old 03-04-2015, 08:13 PM
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This is what I just wrote on another thread about the same thing.

Quote:
I always start out by tying horses up well apart from each other. I prefer out of sight and out of hearing, but sometimes that is not possible. Just make sure each one is tied in a safe place and is tied to a place above their withers.

I do not use a stall or pen for any horse I am teaching separation skills to or to a frantic horse that is left behind. They can develop even worse habits like weaving and pacing. I just tie the horse (or horses) up and let them stand tied until they stand quietly and relax. It may take one day or it may take 3 days. I'll just tie one up in the morning and if they are still fussing at chore time, I'll put them up and start all over again the next morning.

This gives horses a chance to figure out that there is life after separation. Once they figure this out, they are OK with leaving each other and come and go just fine. They are happy to be together, but accept being apart.

Until a horse accepts being separated, it is pretty useless to try to do much with one. When they are reactive and not responsive, they are not learning and it is pretty useless to try to get much of anything done. It is really important to get this very natural reaction under control. You have to become their herd when they need to be away from their regular herd.
https://www.horseforum.com/horse-trai...horses-552106/

Here is where you can read the whole thing.

Cherie

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post #4 of 21 Old 03-04-2015, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
This is what I just wrote on another thread about the same thing.



https://www.horseforum.com/horse-trai...horses-552106/

Here is where you can read the whole thing.

Cherie
Wait, are you leaving the horses tied for 3 days?
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post #5 of 21 Old 03-04-2015, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Also would you say it's ok to tie them in the stall? That's the only place I have to tie them safely.
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-04-2015, 10:34 PM
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I will tie one all day.
I will offer it water but most do not take a drink -- except maybe in the summer when it is hot.
I put one up at evening chore time.
The next morning, I will tie it back out after it has had feed and water.

If I can, I prefer to tie one up well away from the barn and other horses. We have tie ropes hanging down from big tree limbs. These are perfect for tying out. Just make sure that any rope like this has a swivel snap so the rope cannot twist up.

Usually by the second or third day, they fuss a little bit and then rest a hind foot and just relax and stand there. THEN, they are ready to actually work with and learn something.
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-04-2015, 10:45 PM
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It's the behavior, not the calling. As you must know by now, "Corporal" (Arabian, 1982-2009, RIP) was my favorite horse. I spent so much time with him and he was soooo reliable, and fearless.
Every year our CW organization, "The Cumberland Guard" kind of owned an event in western Indiana, "Billie Creek." We would field about 2K reenactors total from both sides, and, every year, RIGHT BEFORE the battle, (like clockwork,) my commander would send me with messages, usually to companies that weren't on the field yet. I had to ride through people on the way to watch the battle. Funny, people don't see or hear you riding with them until you are right next to them. Corporal would usually call about 7-8x to his herd while we were making our way through the crowd. It always got a reaction and some laughs. He was ALWAYS obedient, but always attached to the herd.
You are NEVER gonna change that in a horse. But, Corporal was obedient, and wasn't ever fighting me. He would go where I said and for how long. He might stand and paw, but he knew his training and wasn't going to grab the bit and run back.
I wanted you to know that asking them to completely stop calling is an exercise in futility. Expecting them to pay attention to you and do their job can be accomplished. =D

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Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did! https://www.horseforum.com/general-of...queens-617793/

Last edited by Corporal; 03-04-2015 at 10:53 PM.
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-05-2015, 07:58 AM
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Doing what Cherie said is a great start. IMO this almost always comes down to a horse who is not seeing you as a strong leader.
My approach is to pay very close and careful attention to where there attention is. His attention should be on YOU. EVERY TIME his attention leaves you, put him to work. Get those feet to moving quick, fast, and in a hurry. Give the horse a change. It can be a change of direction, a quick movement by you, or sending him off much quicker, but CHANGE something. The change will cause his attention to come back to you. This "attention thing" is a really big deal and a simple one to control. As you practice, you will find that you can get his attention quicker and quicker and keep it longer and longer. He will get respect for you without fearing you if done correctly.
Also, I like to ride buddy sour horses together in an arena. I will ride one and turn the other one lose. I pretty much put my hand down and let my horse drift as he wants to. Each time we get around the other horse, I pick up the pace and start working him. AS SOON AS his attention leaves the other horse, I go completely neutral in the saddle. If you are consistent, within 20 minutes or so, he'll be happy to get the heck away from that work trap of a buddy and just hand out with you.
I treat barn sour the same way. I'll allow them to head to the barn and then work the heck out of them in that place they wanted to be. We then go rest where I wanted to be. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. They'll figure it out and they'll have a WHY associated with it, not just an "I told you so."

In the end, if your horse really sees you as his leader, then he won't mind leaving his buddies or the barn because the only one that matters is with him after all...
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-05-2015, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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I've done what Cherie said. Both my horses are tied with food and water now. However, they are acting insane. It's making me very uneasy. I've already got a complaint from my neighbour about the noise from them calling. My younger one broke both my tie rings outside and got away so I've tied him in a stall unfourtently. Will the behaviour get better? It's seemed to be getting worse in the hour I was down there doing chores. I've never seen horses act like that. Both are quite stressed as their stool is loose and just the expression on their faces.
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post #10 of 21 Old 03-05-2015, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Also, I have a question for Cherie. How do you go about putting them back together? I don't think they are going to be totally relaxed by the end of the day so I how do I put them back together? Isn't that rewarding them for bad behaviour?
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