Yearling- Pateince and pushiness - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Yearling- Pateince and pushiness

Back in May I bought an Impressive bred yearling quarter horse. He is already 15 hh and muscular. He was still nursing when I bought him, which caused for some serious problems when we moved him, and he was in a pasture with his mother and 4 other mares, who all coddled him as well. So when we brought him to our barn, he had a lot of trouble adjusting to the new horses who came up and pushed him around and whatnot.

But being here for almost 3 months he has now settled in and taken the role of the na´ve baby of the bunch. He knows which horses he should leave alone, but he bothers them anyway. He knows nobody has forgotten about him and we aren't going to leave him out in the pasture to starve, but if he's the last horse left in the pasture when we take the horses in one by one to feed, he still runs around like a maniac, charging the gate trying to get out.

My other mare I bought as a 3 year old and trained myself. She is a hot-blooded mess, but she was just smart, high strung and dominant. My new yearling just seems to live in his own little world. He is very lazy and strong-willed. And very pushy. But not with horses, with people.

I free lunge him in the round pen. I started off using a Parelli carrot stick, but he would not canter. I would kiss and kiss and swing the string at him, eventually hitting him with the string, and then he'd just start kicking at me. So then I went and found a longer lunge whip and taped a plastic bag to the end. This ended the kicking and got him to canter for a while. But now he is no longer intimidated by the bag, and has gone back to kicking at me when I use it. And if he doesn't do that, he pins his ears back and runs around the round pen as fast as he can and slams into the walls and wont stop until he's satisfied that he's made his point.

As I said earlier, he has pretty bad separation anxiety, and I know that to fix this he has to be separated, but he acts so mindlessly ramming himself into the gates and rearing up at them to try to get over, that it's just not safe to try. And unfortunately since we have to get him out of the pasture first for safety reasons, he boldly walks up to the gate and just stands there and won't back off, even when I use the bag on the end of the lunge whip that sends all the other horses running away. He just doesn't back down. But he doesn't act aggressively. He just acts very na´ve about it.

When leading he is very impatient. I use a 4 knot rope halter on him, and it doesn't seem to phase him much when he wants something. Yesterday my dad went to get him out of his stall, and because my dad wasn't putting the halter on fast enough he started pawing at him and nearly striking my dad's legs. If he gets too far ahead when walking, I try to stop him, but he walks past me until the rope pulls him back around to face me. He also occasionally finds a nice patch of dirt when being led and likes to lie down and roll, despite the person on the end of the lead rope.

As I said, I trained my other mare from a 3 year old so she was a little more mature in some ways, and not in others. What I'm interested to know is what he will outgrow as he matures, and what will he not? My mare used to hate being tied, but she is now 7 and does not give me any problems. It just took time. Don't get me wrong, he is very smart with a lot of potential. I would just like to know if this phase is just a "baby thing", or bad behavior his previous owners let him get away with.
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 08:12 PM
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Im subbing to here what others have to say!
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For without a horse, i could not fly.
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post #3 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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He has really dumbfounded me. Of course you have to punish a disrespectful horse, but what do you do for a young na´ve horse?
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 08:17 PM
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Are we talking about a stud or a gelding?
I am hoping its a gelding. If its a stud I personally would geld it soon.
If you have this horse to be a stud. Don't read on as I have no advice for a stud other then geld it.

If this is a gelding or soon to be a gelding. You need to get this horse under control and soon. he is only going to get bigger and stronger.

1. The pasture issues. Charging the gate. Your not scary enough your lung whip with a bag on it isn't working. I would run this horse away from me and the gate and not let him any where near me unless he was paying attention to me.

2. "He is very lazy and strong-willed. And very pushy. But not with horses, with people." This is what you need to be working on and lazy, strong-willed, pushy horse is TROUBLE. Its good that he is lazy that means when he does what you want he gets to rest. You HAVE to be 10x more strong-willed and pushy demand his attention and respect at all times. Your round pen is the place I would live with this horse. I will get to that latter.

3. Round pen problems. All of his round pen problems are him looking for a way out/away from you. I would work on lots and lots and lots of turns change directions often I wouldn't let him go more then a lap in one direction. Once he is starting to pay attention to you most of the time its an ear turned to you, I would let him rest a little. I would make him turn away from me a lot. I don't let new/young horses turn toward me right away in the round pen. Everything is away from me I want them to know I AM THE BOSS. Then I teach them to turn into me but they must understand I am the Boss first. Its the changing directions that gets your horse to focus. I would ignore all the running into the wall stuff and just make him change directions. As for the kicking that would get a change of direction too. remember getting to go in one direction for a lap or two is a reward. Changing direction is work even more so when they have to do it into the fence/wall.

4. "he has pretty bad separation anxiety". Sorry, but you have to stop thinking like this. I don't know if its "separation anxiety" but whatever it is or isn't, its bad behavior. Bad behavior is bad behavior no matter the reason for it his has to learn to control himself no matter what is going on. For you to think of it as separation anxiety it can make you feel sorry for him and give him a pass on his behavior and you also see it as a "phase" or "baby thing".
Its not a phase, its not a baby thing its bad behavior and need to be treated as such.

5. Leading trouble. The more I read your post the more I believe you really need to show this horse how is the boss. There is lots of good videos on leading. But your horse has little to no respect for you. You said you trained your mare, but this horse you might need some outside help. But if this was my horse, he would learn really fast that there are rules, and breaking the rules is a BIG DEAL.

Good luck if you have more question you can always ask. I hope you can turn this guy around.

If you have read this and are keeping him a stud, I have not worked with studs and would not give you advice on handling one. This is advice for a gelding.
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Yes he is gelded, and okay, that's what I needed to know. I don't have experience with horses quite this young, so I am learning as well, and I didn't know what I should be expecting. I have multiple videos of him behaving and listening very well in the round pen, and one where he was kicking and running around. But it looks like I can't upload them to here or I would show you. What would you suggest for the pasture problems? I'm not sure how to safely go about that.
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-18-2014, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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And when I'm in the round pen, when I ask him to stop and come toward me, he immediately starts eating the grass in the center. So I send him on again, but it seems to never end. And it's the same fight every time. And no, I don't stop when he starts kicking. I make him going until he behaves. But the next time I take him in, he does it again.
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post #7 of 20 Old 08-19-2014, 12:51 AM
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I agree 100% with CowboyBob.

But my question is - do you have to round pen this yearling? It sounds as if he is too mentally immature to handle it. If he is running himself silly every time, it is only going to hurt his joints in the long run. I only round penned mine when she was very good on the ground and knew how to move her shoulder, ribcage, and hindquarters with the lightest of gestures and respected my space. When she went into the round pen, she already knew my body language and how to behave properly, the rest was just translating everything to being a further distance.


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post #8 of 20 Old 08-19-2014, 01:42 AM
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Stop the round penning. This is a very, very, very overused tool with inexperienced horse people. I round pen a horse less than 10 times, from birth to broke saddle horse. Round penning is boring, repetitive and has limited usefulness. This horse needs to learn a few(ok a lot) manners, then be kicked out to grow with other horses.

You can sensitize or Desensitize a horse, and your always doing one or the other. Ideally in balance. In your case you are desensitizing him, without any sensizing. To desensitize you do so thing until the horse reacts, then you keep doing it, effectively teaching a horse not to react, that their reaction gets them nothing. That's great if you have a very reactive horse that needs to calm down. This is the opposite of what your gelding needs, and what you've done very effectively with the whip.
To sensitize you do something until you get a reaction, then immediately stop. The horse learns to be more and more responsive. Of course the end goal is to have a horse that responds softly to some stimuli(like legs, seat and hands), but ignores others(like obstacles, a flapping tarp, the saddle) This is the result of a good horseman working on specific goals and achieving balance with a horse.

So pay attention to what your doing. Make the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy. Set yourself up for success, quit when your ahead, and be a good leader for your horse. Clinton Anderson's book would likely be a great help for you, or even his videos.
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-19-2014, 02:20 PM
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BlueSpark is right, round penning is a miss used tool. I don't agree that you should not use the round pen just know that you can miss use it and make sure you understand what you are wanting from it. I also don't round pen a lot. But he is your horse, for you to get better at round penning you have to use it.

BlueSpark "So pay attention to what your doing. Make the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy. Set yourself up for success, quit when your ahead, and be a good leader for your horse."
This is great advice!

"And when I'm in the round pen, when I ask him to stop and come toward me, he immediately starts eating the grass in the center. So I send him on again, but it seems to never end."

I wouldn't worry about a lot of this right now because of his age. what you want from him right now is respect. You won't get that by him coming towards you. You will get that by making him go away from you. All he needs right now is to understand that you are important and that he should pay attention to you. Once you have that put the halter on him and start working on leading.

BlueSpark said "This horse needs to learn a few(ok a lot) manners, then be kicked out to grow with other horses." I would agree 100% teach him manners meaning you pay attention to ME. Teach him to lead better and turn him out to be a horse. But he must be a respectful horse, poor leading and charging the gate is not being respectful.

As for dealing with him in the pasture when he starts getting worked up get his attention. IF that means running and yelling at him to get him to move away from the gate. No matter what is going on I expect my horses to know where I am, no matter what is going on. They pay attention to me.
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-19-2014, 02:30 PM
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He needs his butt kicked. You're trying to discipline him but you're not. It's almost worse than just letting him push you around.
He sounds like a spoiled brat.

When you said no it needs to mean no. If he doesn't respond to the lunge whip whack him with it. ESPECIALLY if he's kicking at you!!! Not acceptable, ever.

I think you're cutting him too much slack because of his age and putting human emotions on him.

That said, chasing him around in the round pen as described is not good for a horse his age. Especially one so NOT careful. Constant direction changes etc will only stress him out. Now if this was an older horse go for it. And if it's really the only way then that is that, but I would be trying to avoid it at all costs. Personally I would only be roundpenning lightly w/t a few minutes a few days a week. If that.
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Last edited by Yogiwick; 08-19-2014 at 02:37 PM.
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