spoilt horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-22-2020, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: brandon manitoba
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spoilt horse

hey im elena with Rescue Horses. i am struggling with one of my horses that i got a few months ago. Denny is a 13 year old arabian gelding that never did anything and was babied until i got him. so he does great with leading and lunging on a line. loves attention as long as you dont make him work too much. he hates the bit. no reason why. teeth are ok, tried different bits etc. he hates going away from other horses. will rear and be bad. so now im not sure what to do. please help me by giving me some ideas how to work with him. he is etremely stubborn and stuck in his ways. thanks

Last edited by loosie; 09-23-2020 at 06:26 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-22-2020, 11:24 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
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Correct him, as hard as need be til he behaves. If his teeth are fine and the wolf teeth are gone, no mouth ulcers, set your bridle pretty loose so he has to pick up the bit, go on YouTube, find a tutorial how to measure for a bit and measure his mouth to make sure the bit is not pinching. You have to be very consistent with a horse that has been spoiled and gotten his way, show no chinks in your armor.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-23-2020, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: California
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If there is no need for a bit right now, you can try him in a bosal or a bitless bridle. I have ridden even well started horses who just plain prefer a hack/bitless option. This could atleast help you move forward with training, however you can still throw a bit in and let him pack it around while doing his stall, under a halter while lunging, while standing tied etc so he doesn't always pair it with work necessarily. I do this with my baby, just allow her to carry it around on her own.

edit to the buddy sourness- I would work him near the other horses and slowly make your way farther out resting/removing pressure when away from them. This can be a lengthy process. But just stick with it

“Be selective in your battles, for sometimes peace is better than simply being right”
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-23-2020, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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I rescued my Arab when he was seven. The Seller said he could not wear a bit- that he had had some dental work done and “it was not a pretty sight” unquote.

I kept him in a mechanical hackamore until his passing at age 29. He was a part time lesson horse for children under ten. My Arab and the kids got along just fine with that hackamore. In the round pen or out on a trail.

If your intent on using a bit, check him for a thick tongue and/or low palette, as those are two big reasons horses fight bits.

Far as discipline, are you saying he was never broke to ride? Or are you saying someone tried to break him to ride and the horse won.

I am going to heartily disagree with correcting him as hard as need be. Arabs and Arab/Crosses do NOT take correction the same way as other breeds. The harder you correct them, the more they rebel. They are intelligent to their own undoing.

Except for the rearing business. My Arab never reared but the intent was there, when I first brought him home. His knees would buckle and he would bounce off the ground a little bit. I tapped his knees with the riding crop, or if in the saddle, I very lightly tapped him between the ears, leaned forward and hollered a sharp “NO!”.

Even if you’re trying to quickly turn this horse for a profit, it’s not going to happen. You need to increase your patience barometer by about three times.

Stay on the ground with him. Put a saddle on him and long line him (ground drive him), until he is so adept, you can whisper the commands and he listens.

Arabs can take a lot longer to break because they are a lot less inclined to put up with what they deem abuse - even if it is not. They need to think everything is their idea:)

I would bet a lot of money that’s what happened to your fella — he ended up with someone who had no clue how to teach his brains. I put Arabs in the same category as Rottweilers and Siamese cats — not everybody should own one, regardless of how strikingly handsome they are:)
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I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-23-2020, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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Did you say he has NEVER done any riding? never been broken at all? If so, you may need to start from absolute ground zero, and if you have never done that before, you will need to get someone with more experience in starting horses to work with you.

He sounds like a very emotional horse, so becoming emotional with him will probably make the whole result too stormy.

Consider asking a pro to help you.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-23-2020, 07:13 PM
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Firstly, what training HAS this horse had? If none aside from leading, or if you have no idea, agree that I'd start him from scratch. I'm guessing from your words, you don't have the experience to do this yourself, so employing a trainer would be a very good move. If you know the horse was once well trained, I'd still be starting at the beginning, ensuring he knows/remembers all the 'basics' before asking/teaching more.

Next, what are you wanting/trying to do with him exactly? Trying to ensure he is decent to be ridden, in order to be rehomed, or...? And what stage are you at exactly? With little detail about what you're asking for, don't know what specifics may be more relevant.

Remember, first & foremost, horses learn by *instant* association, to do what works & quit doing what doesn't work. If they learn something works, they will repeat that. So if he's 'stubborn' about something, that's because someone has taught him - inadvertently or otherwise - that that works. So it will take consistency & repetition, to teach him that it now no longer EVER works. Be utterly consistent with teaching new 'rules', because even if it only works occasionally, that will *strengthen* the behaviour/his knowledge that it works, so teach him to be more 'stubborn'. It's the exact same principle at work that causes people to become 'addicted' to gambling BTW.

So... correct when need be & ensure the behaviour never works, but be patient, considerate & don't blame him or get angry with him - he is doing what he was *trained* by someone to do. Just that you don't desire that behaviour.

Re the bit, firstly I'd be ensuring he went well without a bit. I'd teach him to yield to pressure reliably & softly with a halter, first on the ground, then from his back. Only after he well understood that, would I start teaching him to respond similarly to a bit. Otherwise, you'll end up hurting him with strong bit use, to get the message across. If you haven't taught him well to yield to pressure *gently* from the reins, he has EVERY reason to hate the bit.

Have you first ensured the bit is one that fits his mouth comfortably, then got him desensitised/comfortable to just wearing it, without asking anything of him via it? This needs to happen, or else he has EVERY reason to 'hate the bit', regardless how his teeth are, etc. Of course, possibly he has had good prior education, but it's your timing, lack of release or some such that is causing him to 'hate the bit'.

Hating going away from other horses... Sounds like you shouldn't be trying to do that yet anyway. But you need to first understand his *motivation* for being 'bad'. It is probably to do with fear. Horses are prey/herd animals who don't feel safe away from their 'herd' & out of their 'comfort zone' of environment. If the horse is new at your place, he may not even yet feel fully comfortable/safe AT your place, with your horses. So he's already on edge, so 'pushing' any further will just send him over it. He also doesn't know you at all well, sounds like there has been a lot of confrontation & angst with you already, so you haven't yet established you're a nice, trustworthy person that he knows will look out for him when away from other horses in a strange, scary environment.

So... I'd start out establishing a good relationship and communication with him at home, where he's comfortable & relaxed first, then once that's going well, THEN you can start GRADUALLY teaching him that it is OK, even Good for him, to let you lead him out of his 'comfort zone'.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-27-2020, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Taranaki New Zealand.
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What others have said. I too would start by deciding to build a relationship with the horse first before trying to do anything with it. You can discern a lot about a horse by how it lets you (or doesn't let you) handle it on the ground in the paddock. Can you stand with it quietly or does it continually try to push you around with it's head? Can you rub on it everywhere or does it have no go zones? The best place to begin any kind of training is from a calm and relaxed platform.

When the horse is completely relaxed while you are with it i.e head lowered in relaxed position, some licking and chewing, hind leg cocked in a rested state THEN ask it to do something very very basic, ask it to, for example, take one step back. If the minute you ask it to do something easy like yield to a little pressure on it's chest and it then becomes tense and reactive immediately saying "NO", well that is your starting point. It has learned to resist pressure rather than to give to it. If this is the case then your job is to teach it that giving to pressure gets a reward, I wouldn't even worry about bits and riding until I had established the mental state of the horse which is best done from the ground.

I hate to be the one that keeps doing this but I am again going to have to suggest checking out Warwick Schiller and his videos on you tube, he has some great ways to develop a relationship with a horse.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-28-2020, 12:37 AM
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I am going to heartily disagree with correcting him as hard as need be. Arabs and Arab/Crosses do NOT take correction the same way as other breeds. The harder you correct them, the more they rebel. They are intelligent to their own undoing[/QUOTE]
After training several Arabs for the public and one of my own, you have to be fair with them, they don't suffer fools. But I found you don't put up with their shenanigans, you correct them as hard as need be, just as you would any horse. Arabs are intelligent, they figure it out pretty darn quick that they deserved it. Again, boss mare mentality. You handle them incorrectly and unfairly, you bet they will rebel.
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