Herd bound Warmblood - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-17-2019, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Herd bound Warmblood

Hey guys, I need some advice. I have a 12 year old warmblood that has only recently become rather pushy and excessively herd bound to my pony. I have begun spring training to get my warmblood ready for some easy fuzzy shows this summer, just to get him used to it. Over the past few days he has become so herd bound to my pony he is becoming dangerous. He is 17.3 1500 pounds I’m only 5’2” so it get a bit irritating when he completely ignores me and tries to walk over me to get to my pony. I tried the tie it up method but he would not relax! Even a few hours of being tied and he didn’t settle for a second! Should I keep it up with the tying him up until he starts relaxing? I tried to ride him and he is so panicky about being separated that I can’t even get on him! He’s never been this bad about it...and it’s not like he can’t see my pony when his is going on! Please help.
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post #2 of 25 Old 04-17-2019, 10:00 PM
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Being "herd bound" is a human term and a human problem.
Horses like being in a herd, as they feel safer. They feel safer in a herd because they have extra eyes and ears for danger. They also like companionship.

How long have you had this horse?
While it does take some time for horses to become friends, horses don't become "recently pushy and so herd-bound to the point they are dangerous" overnight.

How much experience do you have with horses? I suggest getting a horseman/"trainer" (they are different, but semantics for later) to help you.

Every time you work with a horse, you are either training them or untraining them. You can't step in the same river twice; you never work with the same horse twice. The longer you accept this behavior, the longer that he learns that it is okay to freak out.

Horses do best what they do most. You need to take him out alone more; once every now and then isn't good for the horse.

It is a process - not an event. Don't get greedy and try to fix it in one day. Once he relaxes for a few minutes, put him back (or bring the pony out).

You need to teach the him that he is safe with you - that you are the leader and that you know what's best. I'm not really a fan of the tie-up method. "Pucker up and suck it up, buttercup" isn't really the lessons/mentality I like to have when I work with a horse. Besides, that could backfire. If you hard-tie and he blows up, he could get injured. If you soft-tie and he gets loose, he learns a bad lesson; "I pull and I get release." Besides, tying traps a horse, which can make them freak out more.

Start slow, near, and steady. Don't start by taking him far, far away. Start within visible distance and work your way out.

Establish yourself. Ask him something and engage him - do not "punish" him. Ask him to back and/or lunge (or some other little "job") - something that controls his feet (Preventing movement is still controlling their movement, but it is, in my opinion, easier to make a horse move than trying to force them to stand.) - and gets his mind on you.

While your size could be a "problem", try not to make it one. You can see little miniature ponies bossing around large, tall drafts. Make him notice you - don't be a wall flower. Show him that it pays (well) to pay attention to you.

Last edited by Equilibrium; 04-17-2019 at 10:16 PM.
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-17-2019, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Being "herd bound" is a human term and a human problem.
Horses like being in a herd, as they feel safer. They feel safer in a herd because they have extra eyes and ears for danger. They also like companionship.

How long have you had this horse?
While it does take some time for horses to become friends, horses don't become "recently pushy and so herd-bound to the point they are dangerous."

Every time you work with a horse, you are either training them or untraining them. You can't step in the same river twice; you never work with the same horse twice.

You need to teach the him that he is safe with you - that you are the leader and that you know what's best. I'm not really a fan of the tie-up method. "Pucker up and suck it up, buttercup" isn't really the lessons/mentality I like to have when I work with a horse. Besides, that could backfire. If you hard-tie and he blows up, he could get injured. If you soft-tie and he gets loose, he learns a bad lesson; "I pull and I get release."

How much experience do you have with horses? I suggest getting a horseman/"trainer" (they are different, but semantics for later).

While your size could be a "problem", try not to make it one. You can see little miniature ponies bossing around large, tall drafts. Make him notice you - don't be a wall flower. Show him that it pays (well) to pay attention to you.
Establish yourself. Ask him something and engage him - do not "punish" him. Ask him to back and/or lunge - something that controls his feet (Preventing movement is still controlling their movement, but it is, in my opinion, easier to make a horse move than trying to force them to stand.)
I have had this horse for 7 years, he and I have always had an extremely close relationship. To a point where he always trusted me everywhere I took him with no issues, so this sudden change and him being dangerous is a complete surprise to me. He has never behaved this way, and I have never had to deal with a horse doing this sudden 180 from perfect gentleman to idiot savant.
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post #4 of 25 Old 04-17-2019, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Rachael1986 View Post
I have had this horse for 7 years, he and I have always had an extremely close relationship. To a point where he always trusted me everywhere I took him with no issues, so this sudden change and him being dangerous is a complete surprise to me. He has never behaved this way, and I have never had to deal with a horse doing this sudden 180 from perfect gentleman to idiot savant.
Again, horses usually don't change "all of a sudden" - He changed because something made him change.
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post #5 of 25 Old 04-17-2019, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachael1986 View Post
I have had this horse for 7 years, he and I have always had an extremely close relationship. To a point where he always trusted me everywhere I took him with no issues, so this sudden change and him being dangerous is a complete surprise to me. He has never behaved this way, and I have never had to deal with a horse doing this sudden 180 from perfect gentleman to idiot savant.
Again, horses usually don't change "all of a sudden" - He changed because something made him change.
The only thing that has changed is the fact that I have started working him again. Everything else in his life is the same. Boringly the exact same.
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-17-2019, 11:28 PM
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Herd bound issues are not a " human problem", unless you are willing to consider EVERY issue a rider might have with a horse as a human problem in as much as it would never happen if we weren't riding them. It's a problem for the rider since she wants to be able to ride without the emotional drama and subsequent danger.

I have no firsthand experience in this so can't offer any real advice. Of course, there's a lot in books and videos, but talking with someone who's "been there, done that " is what you need now.
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post #7 of 25 Old 04-18-2019, 04:09 AM
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I kind of think it is a 'human problem' because it is the horse being unwilling - for whatever reason - to go off with a human & leave his mates.

If he's always been willing to just follow you around, leave his mate before Rachael, and you have now just started 'serious' training with him, then it's likely something about what/how you're training that he's obviously uncomfortable with. Without details, who knows what specifics tho.

I do not agree with the 'tie em up & let em get over it' though. They may well 'give up' in that situation, but they aren't likely to really relax, be happy & confident in that situation - and if they think you might take them away to do that sort of thing, they often become more 'hedgy' about being caught & taken out.

Agree with Equilibrium that 'little & often' is a good move, and also ensuring that what you do with him is Good Stuff for him. Not unpleasant 'work' or such.

Oh and hows the pony about his leaving? Any chance their behaviour is what's upsetting him?

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 #8 of 25 Old 04-18-2019, 08:44 AM
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Herd bound issues are not a " human problem", unless you are willing to consider EVERY issue a rider might have with a horse as a human problem in as much as it would never happen if we weren't riding them.
I called it a "human problem" not for the issue you stated, but because the behavior the he is exhibiting ("I want to be with the herd") is normal (most horses don't need to be specifically taught that) horse behavior.

Leaving a horse over the winter, recently start working them, expect them to be a perfect angel and want to be with you (as opposed to being with another horse that they are with 24/7), and blaming the horse for being "herd-sour", in my opinion, is a little ridiculous and unfair to the horse.

Agree to disagree.
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post #9 of 25 Old 04-18-2019, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
Herd bound issues are not a " human problem", unless you are willing to consider EVERY issue a rider might have with a horse as a human problem in as much as it would never happen if we weren't riding them. It's a problem for the rider since she wants to be able to ride without the emotional drama and subsequent danger.

I have no firsthand experience in this so can't offer any real advice. Of course, there's a lot in books and videos, but talking with someone who's "been there, done that " is what you need now.
Thank you! I am doing as much research as I can, it’s just so frustrating since we had such a good relationship before and it’s just suddenly gone.
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post #10 of 25 Old 04-18-2019, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Rachael1986 View Post
Thank you! I am doing as much research as I can, itís just so frustrating since we had such a good relationship before and itís just suddenly gone.

No, i doubt it has 'suddenly' gone, just as I doubt you had a truly 'great' relationship.

Yes, you might have thought so.

Yes, your horse might have done what you asked.

Possibly the reason for being compliant is because he didn't know how to not be but started with little things that didn't really matter then this escalates until it manifests into something major like refusing to go away from his friend.

What to do about it?

Personally I would ride it out of him. If he balked he would get a good hard meaningful whack behind my leg to let him know I mean business.

You can follow the Clinton Anderson way of you have an area where you can work him hard, tight and fast.
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