At my wits end - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 09-18-2019, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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At my wits end

I have been working this 3 year old who has had little training at my clients facility. Just doing ground work and Lunging for now, or attempting to.

I can get her to move her feet. Move her haunches, move her shoulder, side pass, back up JUST fine. She will not lunge for me but she had already been taught to lunge. The owner can lunge her. And the owner has watched me try to lunge her. If I don't have a whip, she has no care in the work that I'm there. If I have a whip, still no care in the world.

The owner told me to get after her. Now I'm not about whipping horses but she insisted and even did it herself to get the horse to lunge. I suspected early on that this horse has been desensitized to a whip a little too much. But anyways, I can tap tap tap all day on her hind end, increasing pressure more and more with no response until I crack the whip (I don't even have to crack HER), then she starts backing up, kicking out, so then I get after her like the owner requested, then she tuns on me like she's about to charge me, ears pinned, neck outstretched.

I have been training horses for 20 years and NEVER have I met a horse like this. Doesnt matter if she's on a lunge line or in a round pen. HELP!

Last edited by loosie; 09-18-2019 at 07:09 PM.
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post #2 of 41 Old 09-18-2019, 01:09 PM
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Sounds to me like the horse doesn't respect you, for whatever reason. You're going to have to make a believer out of her.

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post #3 of 41 Old 09-18-2019, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Oh I know she doesn't and that's what I'm having a hard time getting from her.
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post #4 of 41 Old 09-18-2019, 01:42 PM
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I would have suggested you have her checked for pain issues since you know she has been taught to lunge but since it's a "you and her" issue I think it is more of a lack of respect. You may want to watch the owner when she lunges to see what is different. Does she use a different body language, is she approaching the horse from a different angle, how is she holding the whip etc.

I love the Clinton Anderson videos because he breaks them down in a way that I can understand them. I like the Josh Lyons videos also because he does things slow enough that I can see what he is doing. Parelli talks way too much for me but I do like to watch what he is doing because I can usually pull something out of it (although I will admit I'm not a fan).

I just wonder if you and this mare have a communication breakdown and you just need to take a moment to figure out what "language" she speaks. She is definitely being disrespectful. Without seeing her do what she is doing it's hard to offer advice but when you said she kicks out towards you when you pop the whip, I feel like you should force the issue and MAKE her move when she does it. Not back down or give her time to adjust - just force her to move.

Is there a round pen you can work from before adding the lunge line?
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post #5 of 41 Old 09-18-2019, 02:13 PM
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Are you being firm enough with her? You need to show her you're the alpha. She is only 3 though. See if the owner can be near you when you work with her? Maybe she can help you more? She what she does, like her body language, etc.

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post #6 of 41 Old 09-18-2019, 06:00 PM
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If the horse lunges fine for the owner and not for you, it's YOU you have to fix. The horse is just a reflection of your skills. It is not cruel to get after her, what if her owner could no longer have her, what would become of her if she didn't listen to other people and came at them with pinned ears?

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post #7 of 41 Old 09-18-2019, 06:45 PM
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I ask a horse to move using 'walk on' if they do not then I will flick the whip behind them, still no action I will crack it. If they still refuse to move or run backwards I am very quick to get behind them and crack that whip HARD across their hind legs. If they kick out at it then they get another.

This horse is not desensitised to the whip, she knows you are not prepared to use it.

Show her differently and she will gain respect for you.
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post #8 of 41 Old 09-18-2019, 06:47 PM
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the tapping, tapping, tapping is only irritating her, and building up her tolerance for such low grade irritants. She is learning that she can just suck it up and ignore that, and then, when you put on some real pressure , by cracking the whip (not hitting her), she is only irritated.


How is her attitude when you ask her to step her shoulders over? to back up, or yeild the hind end.? is it equally as resistant?
When she turns on you and threatens to charge you, what do you do?


has she actually charged? would you be able to snap the whip in front of you to deter her, if she started coming at you?
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Last edited by loosie; 09-18-2019 at 07:13 PM. Reason: wrong word
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post #9 of 41 Old 09-18-2019, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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I start with little pressure and increase until I get a response.

Don't get me wrong, if it becomes a dangerous situation I will not hesitate to get after the horse and will smack them with the whip or lead rope or whatever. What I mean by not liking to hit with the whip is whipping a horse when they are fearful or when it's not needed as I've seen people train that way.

When this horse starts kicking out at me, I crack her across the butt with the whip, this can continue for a good 10 seconds, she kicks, I whip, then she turns on me like she's going to charge so I crack her across the chest, she DOES NOT back down like every other horse I've had to get after. I'm not afraid to use a whip when it becomes a safety issue for me.

Today when I got her across the chest when she was about to come at me she reared and struck out at me. The whip does not work with her. I dropped the whip, got after her by making her move her feet the only way I can. Yielding haunches, shoulders, side passing, both directions, backing, walk trot (leading her). This went on for 5 minutes with no issues. She happily did all of this with little pressure. No attitude whatsoever.

I made her work, there was no break in between, she was moving the whole time and I immediately followed by trying to lunge again and she planted her feet and the problems started all over again. I have watched the owner lunge, the owner has watched me lunge. I am doing everything correctly per the owner. I will add when the owner lunges her, she has to crack her on the butt too to get her moving. I have tried in a round pen without the lunge line, in the round pen with the lungline and outside of the round pen with the lungeline. It does not make a difference.

Last edited by loosie; 09-18-2019 at 07:17 PM.
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post #10 of 41 Old 09-18-2019, 08:08 PM
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Firstly, to OP, I edited some paragraph breaks in to your posts. Could you please try to include them in future? May seem pedantic to some, but some of us have a hard time reading big blocks of text!

Quote:
I suspected early on that this horse has been desensitized to a whip a little too much. But anyways, I can tap tap tap all day on her hind end, increasing pressure more and more with no response until I crack the whip
Maybe in the past she's had some desensitising too, but agree with Tiny, the above sounds like what you are doing is desensitising too. If you tap at her(or whatever) and it is not effective, it will annoy her, but she can just put up with it until it stops - or you do something more effective.

Assuming everything is clear to her, she's not acting in confusion or fear, this is the kind of situation I'd say 'up the ante' a lot quicker. Absolutely start small, but give her ONE chance to respond to that before making it uncomfortable for her. Then ONE chance to respond to THAT level before cracking her a good one, and getting after her even stronger if required.

BUT...
Quote:
When this horse starts kicking out at me, I crack her across the butt with the whip, this can continue for a good 10 seconds, she kicks, I whip, then she turns on me like she's going to charge so I crack her across the chest, she DOES NOT back down like every other horse I've had to get after. I'm not afraid to use a whip when it becomes a safety issue for me.

Today when I got her across the chest when she was about to come at me she reared and struck out at me. The whip does not work with her. I dropped the whip, got after her by making her move her feet the only way I can. Yielding haunches, shoulders,
I am very concerned about this, that it IS not only a serious safety issue to you, but to whoever else deals with her. I am not one to use much force & punishment as a rule, but if a horse is actually threatening me - generally well before they *escalate* to charging & rearing - they are going to get WHAT FOR! With whatever force it takes to make them highly unlikely to want to challenge me again.

What it sounds like is going on here is a bit of a 'dominance game'. She's willing to back up her 'I don't wanna' with 'You & who's army?' followed closely by 'I've had enough of you - now I'll really give you What For!' Have you seen horses 'play fight' in the paddock? One will bite & the other one will bite straight back, and this can go on, tit for tat, then if the dominant one has enough of that, they will then drive the other horse off. Unless the one being charged objects, & then a real fight might happen. Sounds like that's what she's doing with you. And it seems that you are playing the game, encouraging her. Then when she does charge or rear, you drop the whip and do something she clearly doesn't mind doing(for now at least, tho she's learning how to deal with you on things she doesn't want to do, so...).

She is obviously a more 'dominant'(for want of better term) horse than you have dealt with. I'd been training horses successfully for many years, no real issue, before I came across my first 'shut down' one & came to realise I just didn't have the skills to deal with him without help - no harm in realising & admitting your limitations, but with a horse like this girl, who's clearly willing & has learned that charging at people is effective, I can see a lot of potential harm in giving her any more 'practice' at these lessons. If it were me, I'd be telling the owner that I felt the horse needed someone more experienced with her personality & call it a day.

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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