Herd bound Warmblood - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 25 Old 04-23-2019, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
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Originally Posted by Rachael1986 View Post
The training we have started has mostly been short lunging work for about 15-20 minutes mainly to get him back into shape slowly. He has not shown any pain or issues with the actual work itself,
So... does 'no issue with the work' mean he enjoys it or just does as he's told? I can't imagine running in circles for 15-20 mins(that's not starting 'short' IMO) is much fun for him. I don't actually think lunging is a great exercise for fittening - because it's just too tedious & boring - you can exercise their body, but their mind goes awol. I don't believe it promotes a good relationship at all.

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he beats the crap out of my warmblood and I feel like if I ever moved my warmblood my pony would be happier about it. He is definitely the herd leader, but I have always been the leader of both of them.
Sounds like pony is a bully, and WB is rather insecure. How old is WB? How big is their paddock? Does/can he not stay out of pony's way? Just like a school bully who might have the 'obedience' of less assertive kids at a school, your horse may 'kow tow' to pony, and if he's the only equine company, he may feel more secure with him, but that's not synonymous with 'leader' IMO. And maybe you have always been 'the boss' but not seen as a 'leader' either. Maybe. Only speculating, but...

And I differ from Fox's opinion here, that I don't believe you can/should just force them to work hard to 'get them over it', whack it out of/into them. That will likely give you obedience - & if that's all you want... - but I want my horses to feel happy about the 'work' I want of them, to enjoy it, be comfortable, confident to be with me.

If he's been recently separated from 'the devil he knows', when he was injured, this could well be to do with it - he thinks he's not going to be allowed back with 'devil' when you take him out. I've had horses like that. One of mine was the most independent horse I'd met. He was not a worry at all when mates came or went. He would actually leave his friends & walk over a couple of hills for miles alone, to visit a neighbouring farm with a lone horse(I found out he'd been making a practice of this when he was gone one day, that he'd been visiting at night regularly!). After taking him away to a (bad) trainer for only a week, he came back so stressed & frazzled, he still gets really stressed if his mates are out of sight, worried even if they're on the other side of a fence! It took me a lot of work to get him back to the point of going out happily with me.

He seems to enjoy the work, I use ground poles and different things to change it up as he goes. I want to get back to riding him but with this recent behavior I haven’t been able to even get on him. You may have just hit the money on the whole
“If he's been recently separated from 'the devil he knows', when he was injured, this could well be to do with it - he thinks he's not going to be allowed back with 'devil'”. This seems to be the point where everything changed with him. I’m not sure I completely understand the dramatic level of change there was but I’m still learning. I want him to enjoy the work with me but he is so big and his brain shuts off so completely when he begins to go into the reactive side of his brain I have to attack to get any sort of response in my direction. When I say attack I don’t mean abuse I mean scaring him so he doesn’t run me over. His head literally goes 4+ feet over my head when he ignores me and looks to my pony. So I’m basically not even in his view at that point!
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post #22 of 25 Old 04-23-2019, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ClearDonkey View Post
What was he doing before you brought him back into work? If he has been sitting in the pasture with his buddy for the past weeks or even months, of course he is going to prefer that over working. Carry a crop and have him in a rope halter, and be ready to mean business. If he starts trying to turn back towards his buddy, or begins pushing into you, get his feet moving. Yield his hindquarters, back him up fast - work him until he is focused on you. Continue walking away from the pony. Rinse and repeat.

I do not let any horse, whether it be my own or one of my clients, run me over. I have never allowed a horse to get to that point, because this is something you catch when it starts rather than letting it get to an extreme. This was not an overnight change, it may have started with him just keeping an ear in the pony's direction, or looking back at his friend - it could've been caught then.
Ok this makes sense! I know now after talking about this and doing research that I have been WAY too easy on him, probably to a point of patronizing because I was once told that since he is blind in one eye to never be mean to him or to scare him or even be rough with him. Because then he would never trust me and I would lose the relationship we had...now I realize how backward that advice was! I ended up being scared to discipline him for fear of losing the bond we had...and there must have been subtle clues I missed and now that I am asking more of him then he wants to give the battle is on. Does that sound like I’m on the right track with this?
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post #23 of 25 Old 04-23-2019, 05:21 PM
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Ok this makes sense! I know now after talking about this and doing research that I have been WAY too easy on him, probably to a point of patronizing because I was once told that since he is blind in one eye to never be mean to him or to scare him or even be rough with him. Because then he would never trust me and I would lose the relationship we had...now I realize how backward that advice was! I ended up being scared to discipline him for fear of losing the bond we had...and there must have been subtle clues I missed and now that I am asking more of him then he wants to give the battle is on. Does that sound like Im on the right track with this?
Yeah. Don't baby him. That's a human thing. Humans want to live that whole life as to not "ruin the relationship." Your pony is a little bully to him, yet he like to be with your pony. Why? Because he feels safe with your pony. Your pony give him leadership, and most horses find comfort in having a good leader.
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post #24 of 25 Old 04-23-2019, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rachael1986 View Post
Ok this makes sense! I know now after talking about this and doing research that I have been WAY too easy on him, probably to a point of patronizing because I was once told that since he is blind in one eye to never be mean to him or to scare him or even be rough with him. Because then he would never trust me and I would lose the relationship we had...now I realize how backward that advice was! I ended up being scared to discipline him for fear of losing the bond we had...and there must have been subtle clues I missed and now that I am asking more of him then he wants to give the battle is on. Does that sound like I’m on the right track with this?
Yeah. Don't baby him. That's a human thing. Humans want to live that whole life as to not "ruin the relationship." Your pony is a little bully to him, yet he like to be with your pony. Why? Because he feels safe with your pony. Your pony give him leadership, and most horses find comfort in having a good leader.
Thank you for the feedback. I have had a lot of great help from people both on here and in my local life and i feel like I am not not nuts and there is hope for this situation.
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post #25 of 25 Old 05-08-2019, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 3Horses2DogsandaCat View Post
I recommend finding videos on Youtube, etc. of professionals working through the herd-bound behavior.



I wanted to point out that he may have been the injury that brought out the herd-bound behavior. I have had a horse for years who was never herd-bound until he contracted EPM and a hock injury. He used to love to hang out by himself and graze in the round pen next to the pasture. Since his illness/injury, he spends a lot more time looking for "monsters" in the woods behind the pen. When they're injured, they realize that they are weak and vulnerable without the protection of the herd.
Oh wow that makes a lot of sense! That could very well be the issue.
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