She loves her job but thats it. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-22-2019, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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She loves her job but thats it.

Looking for recommendations and things to try. First off.....I have been around horses all my life. I have trained colts before and worked with problem horses. I would just like to learn some new ways that others have tackled this kind of situations. Don't need rude comments. I love reading on here to see what others have done. If you are a true trainer you are learning everyday.

I have a Qtr Pony that loves to run and do her job, however she does not like to work. I just got the pony, but have known her for a bit and knew she gets excited behind the gate and will buck..

Before a run , you have to get on and go. If you don't, she will buck till she gets to run. Kids have been riding her, so I am not sure if she is thinking this is acceptable behavior cause the kids let her do it. I need to correct this ASAP. She has been to a chiropractor several time. She does not have any lameness issues or hurting in anyway.

We have her at home and I have tried to Lunge her. Her reactions is that she will lay her ears back and walk towards you like I am not working. (mind you that I did not have a whip to suggest her on. I am learning more about her everyday.

She is awesome on the ground with the kids as far as being brushed and bathed but when it comes times for conditioning she is not having it. We have only had her a couple weeks and letting her get settled and used to the others before we really start training again.

What are your thoughts?

Last edited by Horse Lover from way back; 08-22-2019 at 12:36 PM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-22-2019, 01:00 PM
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A. She doesn't know you yet. You guys are still in the getting to know one another stage.

B. She's trying you to see what you'll let her get away with.


C. She's being rude by pinning her ears. She doesn't respect you or, she's scared of you/doesn't trust you. You need to know which it is before disciplining her. If she's rude, you're going to want to convince her you're the boss, not her, and get those feet moving. Release the pressure when she gives you two eyes and approaches you politely. If she's scared (Unlikely) you need to earn her trust first.



D. She may be bucking because you're holding her back when she wants to run - not to be naughty, but because you're telling her going forward is the wrong answer.. she can't go backwards... so up becomes an option. I've seen folks riding the brakes while hitting the gas and telling a horse to go, and that's what happens. They either buck or rear, because up becomes the answer they think you're looking for or their only option. Alternatively, she may have learned bucking is a way to discourage someone from riding her and putting her to work. Or. yeah, she may just be excited and being playful, but that's unacceptable when being ridden.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-22-2019, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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A. She doesn't know you yet. You guys are still in the getting to know one another stage.

We gotten her from a very close friend and we know the horse and ridden it then as well. Their child rode the horse for over 5 years. She always done this with them as well. I understand that she doesn't know us/trust us yet, hence the reason I am not pushing anything on her yet.

B. She's trying you to see what you'll let her get away with.

I am learning more about her everyday. This is why I am seeing what she will let me do and how far I can go before she response in a negative way. Then I will know what steps to take to correct the issues.


C. She's being rude by pinning her ears. She doesn't respect you or, she's scared of you/doesn't trust you. You need to know which it is before disciplining her. If she's rude, you're going to want to convince her you're the boss, not her, and get those feet moving. Release the pressure when she gives you two eyes and approaches you politely. If she's scared (Unlikely) you need to earn her trust first.

I agree completely with this 100%. .


D. She may be bucking because you're holding her back when she wants to run - not to be naughty, but because you're telling her going forward is the wrong answer.. she can't go backwards... so up becomes an option. I've seen folks riding the brakes while hitting the gas and telling a horse to go, and that's what happens. They either buck or rear, because up becomes the answer they think you're looking for or their only option. Alternatively, she may have learned bucking is a way to discourage someone from riding her and putting her to work. Or. yeah, she may just be excited and being playful, but that's unacceptable when being ridden.

example: daughter got on the horse waiting for her turn. We was standing behind the alley way waiting our turn. My daughter thought she was next, she turned the horse then turned her back towards the gate because she was the next rider. The horse began to buck. She was not pulling on her or holding her back. we was at a stand still and she just started. We got off and re grouped. Got her back on then she went in and ran. Its the weirdest thing. Its like she was throwing a temper tantrum. lol


Thanks for the input. :)

Last edited by Horse Lover from way back; 08-22-2019 at 01:31 PM. Reason: to tanks the perosn taht commented
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-22-2019, 01:37 PM
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If her job happens to be running as fast as she can, then she is not "loving" her job, she is simply anticipating that she will be told to run as fast as she can while being spurred and whipped, most likely, even when she is going all out, and she is all cranked up and anxious about it until it happens. Wouldn't you be? At least, most of what you describe sounds like that. A kid's gymkhana horse with multiple riders, it is only too likely. She is protesting the only way she can.

The lunging issue sounds more like trying on being boss mare, since she doesn't know you (again, something that often happens with children's horses). That will have to be addressed. I would use a flag rather than a lunging whip, myself. Hopefully in a round pen, without a lunge line to complicate things.

Reality: what horses almost entirely "love" is to mosey around eating grass with their friends, and occasionally cavorting.

What I would do is stop running her entirely, take her out on lazy trails and teach her that being ridden isn't necessarily an ordeal. "Conditioning" is best done walking up and down long hills. Maybe trotting, later. If/when she gets completely relaxed, then slow loping. Only when she is happy loping around on a loose rein, could I imagine short bursts of speed. But at that point I would not be in the slightest surprised if she got sour and angry again when asked to do this. Horses have looong memories of bad experiences.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-22-2019, 01:53 PM
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Instant feeling is she is a bully and winning by intimidating you.
I'm no trainer, don't claim to be one but have been around the block a few times and worked the horse industry handling some "behavioral" issues...


You, the human is who calls the shots, not the cranky 4-legged animal.
You are being tested, pushed by her attitude and reactions...
She doesn't want to,...she gets a nasty expression and threatens....
That nasty would of just met my you think you are tough and let us see who backs down when I get huge in motion & sound in front of you...remember the equine eye magnifies things and sensitive hearing picks up loud noises as startling...
Use both those tidbits of information to change a attitude from being challenging to you to what have I done and unleashed on me....oh boy!!
If you know what you are doing then set the mark now and what you will accept and expect to push back when the pony pushes over the acceptable limits.
There is no "getting to know her"...she is acting out and behaving with dangerous intentions...stop it!
From the saddle, bucking or kicking out is totally unacceptable and bet a learned habit that they behaved as such a manner they intimidated and were left alone...
Sounds as if the pony is getting your number...she is well on her way to establishing with you her new set of bad behaviors.
3 times something bad or negative is done and not corrected it is now a learned new habit...so what strike are you at...one, two or ....
No more time to back-down, hierarchy is being established and you better be top-dog or in big trouble you will be, period.
Now I'm to big to ride a pony I feel, so the riding correction I have no way of saying do this or that...cause without hands-on seeing it occur not sure why or who the bad display of manners is for or was it trying to tell you something missed.

This, " I have a Qtr Pony that loves to run and do her job, however she does not like to work." to me is a contradiction and confusing..
So she enjoys running around loose, but saddle-up and here comes the attitude?
If so, she sounds spoiled rotten and again...intimidation and who accepted bad behavior?
Make sure there is no pain-issue the pony is desperately trying to tell you about...body, teeth, saddle, feet are all trouble-free.
Then she has bad manners.
Anxiety, high-strung energy, impatience all need to be handled as they occur with appropriate discipline, but a skilled rider who knows what they are doing needs to be at the end of dishing out discipline cause that pony is not going to take lightly to being reprimanded and made to behave.
Then this, "I just got the pony, but have known her for a bit and knew she gets excited behind the gate and will buck."
There is no excuse for a kicking/bucking pony or horse, ever. A recipe for a disaster waiting to happen.
Me, unless that pony is over 13 hands I would not get on...but, I would send that pony to a trainer to work the issue and make the corrections, then work with the rider to maintain those corrections.
Something or someone allowed these behaviors on the ground and astride to start, now you as new owner need to be firm, be consistent and set clearly understood boundaries for the animal to learn that this is acceptable and this is not.
Acceptable we get along fine...
Unacceptable we will be changing your attitude one way or the other...
Draw the line, don't waiver, don't ever not correct the wrong but do praise the right with softness of body and voice to the animal.


I don't do treats and especially if this animal is intended for children I will not allow hand-feeding cause fingers and skin taste good...
So, clicker training to remedy just throw it out the door...we are to precious and easily get injured by a mouthy animal looking for their "reward"...my rewards are scratches and softness, removing of the pressure and my horses love it.
To feed "reward treats",...no.
I just give teats because I want to and it is in a bucket where I can watch them enjoy and not me be mugged.
Other than that...I know to many who barrel race and have "ready" animals...but they do not display bad behaviors waiting at the chute their turn or they get a heads-up of what is your problem...
To many bodies backstage that could get hurt at a event to allow that display...temper tantrum was a good description.
...
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-22-2019, 02:18 PM
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Sounds like a temper tantrum to me.



So, you are wanting to use this horse as a barrel racing horse, right? And she's been doing it (barrel racing) all along? And this bucking when turned away from the alley has been going on all along?
I think it IS a temper tantrum. One thought would be to put someone on her who can ride through anything she can dish out, and every time she bucks, to whale on her with a whip or rope. smack her every time she bucks. It could get pretty ugly.


Or, perhaps, what if you set things up so that when she runs out to the arena, you just take her around and around the outside, working her on and on, so that she's not just running a pattern, and then all done.


The nature of barrel racing, the wait, wait, wait, now GO! nature, seems to often cause behavioral problems in horses.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-22-2019, 06:52 PM
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There is quite a bit of anthropomorphizing and judging going on in this thread.

"Temper tantrum"
"Spoiled rotten"
"Being rude"

These are judgements. Judgements that generally call for punishment. My experience of punishment for behavior you don't want is that you may get that behavior to stop, but there will be other consequences, unwanted baggage of tension, fear and distrust that is harder to get rid of than the behavior you stopped by using it.

Maybe a few horses have real temper tantrums, where they don't get their way and stomp around in a pique. But it is a lot more common that when a horse isn't doing what you want it to, it's either because what you are asking it to do is too difficult in some way, or they do not understand what is being asked. Or, they have simply learned that acting that way creates relief from the pressure and stress they are experiencing. No judgements. They are just making the best choice that appears to be available.

What good trainers do is make that choice difficult, and behavior they prefer, easy and rewarding and obvious.

What is she trying to tell you with her behavior? It probably isn't just one thing, but several. What kind of reward are you going to provide for better behavior? That's an important thing to think about, because I'll tell you one thing, getting to run the barrels is not going to be it.

I'm no horse whisperer. But I have learned a few hard lessons and I seem to have to keep learning them over and over. They can be summed up in Tom Dorrance's saying, "There are only two choices, listening to the horse, or wishing you had."
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-22-2019, 08:01 PM
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This sounds like a mare who A.) has developed bad habits due to being ridden by children who didn't correct her, and B) is likely sour and sore somewhere. This doesn't sound like a horse that 'loves her job', this sounds like a horse who hates her job and is just trying to get it over with as fast as possible, and who has been 'run into the ground' and has big holes in her training.



I'd get her a full vet exam-- rule out teeth, back pain, full lameness workup, etc. to make sure this isn't a pain response. Have a chiropractor go over her. Make sure her saddle fits. Then get her off barrels and put her to work. Do lots of groundwork to make sure you can move her feet or stop her feet when you need her to. Get her soft and flexible so she knows the right answers. Then ride her anywhere but an arena. Go down the road, go out on the trails, go work cattle. She sounds like she's sour and uncomfortable and needs a break from being a barrel horse. After a few months, ride into the arena to untack her. Then ride in and do a few laps around the perimeter on a loose rein, then go do something else, then go back in and let her rest. She needs to get her mind back. Sometimes it can happen, sometimes the horse's mind is blown and they never are a trustworthy speed horse after that. This is why 90% of training and tuning a barrel horse is done slowly, and why most horses who are finished barrel horses aren't run on the pattern except at an event. When they learn it means run, run, run, no matter what, you have problems.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-23-2019, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Lover from way back View Post

I have a Qtr Pony that loves to run and do her job, however she does not like to work. I just got the pony, but have known her for a bit and knew she gets excited behind the gate and will buck.

Before a run , you have to get on and go. If you don't, she will buck till she gets to run.

We have her at home and I have tried to Lunge her. Her reactions is that she will lay her ears back and walk towards you like I am not working.

What are your thoughts?

How old is this pony?

How long has she been running barrels?

In my honest opinion this sounds like
1) a horse that hates its job or
2) a horse that is soured on the barrels or
3) a horse that is in pain somewhere or
4) combination of the above

Barrel horses that love their job don't act in this manner. They willingly want to get in through that gate and go to work; not exhibit behaviors like bucking. Yes it's possible she used to have a lameness problem in the past (but doesn't anymore) but now the behavioral aspect remains, but I'd be darn sure to check the horse top to bottom to 100% make sure they are not hurting somewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Lover from way back View Post
She has been to a chiropractor several time.
She does not have any lameness issues or hurting in anyway.
You mention chiro but what else have you done to ensure she is not in pain in any way?
Have you done a full lameness evaluation with a GOOD lameness vet?

Please be more specific about what you have done so far to be so sure that she does not have any lameness.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-23-2019, 01:23 PM
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Back in the day when I would play gymkhana game I rode a pony who, waiting at the start line, would do baby rears in anticipation of what was to come. He would watch the starter holding the flag and the moment that flag started to come down he was off.

He was not sour, he loved the games and it was pure excitement that made him do this. It was ditto with a 12.2 pony that would pony race, get her to the start line and she would rear. Again it was anticipation of running, which she loved to do.

With this horse you it seems to me (and I know nothing about BR) you can have someone hold her and/ or ride her in tight circles so she cannot buck. Totally retrain her which would mean no racing for a while or, accept it is a thing she does with excitement
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