2 horses - 2 questions! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-03-2016, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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2 horses - 2 questions!

Hello! I would like some opinions on two questions please...

1. We have a Friesian stallion - Mamba - who has lived most his life as a pasture pet - in fact, the whole herd were pasture pets. In July 2015 I got appointed as the horse's manager and I brought them all in and started working with them. I noticed that Mamba has BEAUTIFUL movement and we send him to trainers. He competed in his first show and got a 2nd and 3rd place with only 3 months of training. The main goal was to get him under saddle and in harness so we could sell him. The show just makes him more marketable. He has covered a lot of mares since he was the only stallion. Now we have bought a stallion with excellent bloodlines as our stud and do not want to use Mamba as stud. He will not sell as a breeding stallion - there is no demand for the baroque type Friesians here anymore and we want to geld him. My question is: if we geld him now as an 8yo, will it make any difference in his behaviour? He is the typical stallion with typical stallion manners! I would love to ride him but I am seriously to scared to ride him as a stallion. Maybe we would keep him and take him to a few more shows...

2. I have a 2yo cross breed filly who is super sweet. However, she can get a bit standoffish at times. Whenever we need to work a bit on manners I lunge her. I do this only when we need to establish respect again as I do not want to be to hard on her legs at such a young age... and I do not see the point in running in endless circles the whole day. She lunges well to the one side and listens well to my voice commands. But I can't get her to lunge to the other side!!! She does not give in to any kind of pressure that I apply to make her move. She just stand there, looking all bored and stuff. Sometimes I honestly believe she wants to say:"Hey, I have done it well enough to the other side, what's the point of doing it all over again?"
Do I leave it be? I do not want her to feel that she gets away with refusing my orders. Sometimes I also feel like "okay girl, you did well enough" but do not want to teach her to refuse something.
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-03-2016, 03:09 PM
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Red face 'I know this sounds stupid...'

So I know this sounds stupid but try to make the other rein her favourite for a bit. Only do a couple of circles on her good rein and then swap, maybe she might be more willing. If not maybe do a few circles on one rein, walk her down the lane or around the arena for a bit as a rest and then go on the other rein.

If she still won't listen, show her you will use a lunge-whip on her! Don't beat her but with medium force give her a tap behind her legs or on her bottom! A tap won't hurt her but don't like full length whack!

If this doesn't work then I'd enlist the help of a trainer (or maybe I'm just bad at this and try someone else's idea!)

Im sorry, I don't have an answer for your first question.

Have fun!

P.S- Maybe try spending some more bonding time with her? make sure you give the other horse attention too, but maybe give her a lick-it in her stable or try some fun riding stuff with her? Maybe then she won't be so stand-offish and think, 'Hmm this human feeds me and does fun exercise, maybe i'll be nice and she'll do it again!' :) Hope this helped x
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-03-2016, 03:52 PM
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Giving her a lick-it won't make her lunge on both sides.... YOU need to do that. Same way you taught her to lunge? This is simply handler error. You are not being effective.

Also HATE the idea of lunging for respect. So she barges past you when you lead and you brought her in and lunged her. What exactly is that supposed to change? She still barged past you so why don't you fix the issue at hand?

Don't leave it be. Make her go. Get something then call it a day. Then stop this lunging for respect stuff. If she is disrespectful work on the issue. Think "every action has an equal and opposite reaction". This is so so true even in training animals. She does a, you fix a. Not go do b. Stop lunging her...after you've made her go both directions. It's clearly not working anyways..

Regarding the stallion. Yes, gelding him will likely make *some* difference. It may change him completely, or very very minimally. You won't know until you do it, but sounds appropriate to do it regardless. Hopefully it works out for you.

Now..."stallion manners"?? I expect a stallion to have IMPECCABLE manners, above and beyond any other horse. Now if you meant "stallion behaviors" that is fine, but if he is allowed to be obnoxious simply because of his gender.. All the MORE reason for a stallion to toe the line. Gelding won't fix poor training/handling/"manners". It also won't make him better trained under saddle or anything. The only thing it will do is (again to some degree) remove his urge to breed and the excitement that goes with that. Why are you scared to ride him now? Because of his gender and a hang up for you (not uncommon, I'm not pointing fingers) or because if he was a gelding and acted exactly the same you would still be scared?
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-04-2016, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Dustyisace, thank you for your reply and advice!

Yogiwick, I meant behaviour (sorry if it confused you - English is only my 3rd language). I saw him kick at other stallions while in the same arena when he was at the trainers. Luckily the trainer is - what I consider - the best in our country and got it out of him, but he acted up every time another stallion came near him. I figured it was because he was the only stallion for so long on our property and now he shares with another who gets to breed and he doesn't... or am I making to much of it and it is just plain bad manners??? He missed the first show we planned to take him to because of his kicking at other horses. He does get really excited when one of the mares is in heat, but has never done something dangerous while being lead - by that I mean pulled on the lead to the extend where I have to let go or rearing. He just makes his presence known loud and clear and "dances" around. During training time he is kept well away from the mares and he behaves perfectly good, as long as there is no mare in sight.

I guess I am scared of riding him because of the acting up at the trainers. And he is HUGE, his size does intimidate me, I am not going to lie about it.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-04-2016, 09:17 PM
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Kicking at another horse under saddle is a training issue (any time you are with the human you are listening to the human). But being green that is more understandable especially since you make it sound like he's gotten over it?

He doesn't think "oh he gets to breed and I don't" lol. He does know it's another stallion of course and it's normal for him to be drawn towards another stallion, still not OK though! Especially for showing, are the rings just a free for all since there may be multiple stallions?

It does sound like he has some training issues. I don't care if there's a mare in heat sticking her bum in his face. He can walk quitely and politely and focused on YOU. Things like dancing and such are not only not ok because he's a stallion but they are not allowed because he's a stallion! However, it does sound like all his training issues are stemming from that so those could definitely go away with gelding (or they may not). Regardless. They shouldn't be allowed ever. Gelding him does sound like a good idea and hopefully he's much easier to work with afterward.
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-09-2016, 07:04 PM
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Re your stallion, I don't know what 'typical stallion manners' are(they're all so different & generally only had to do with well trained ones), but that he's been an untrained 'pasture pet' running with mares for 8 years(?), I can guess he may be a bit lacking in manners. And it sounds like you're not confident. I don't personally have much experience at all with gelding older horses. I do believe they can 'settle down' a bit more, even after they've had lots of experience being 'a stallion'. BUT it's not going to teach him 'manners' - you have to do that. And if he's lived naturally in a herd with mares all his life, chances are, his 'manners' with them are pretty good, and he won't forget what 'training' he's had there either, but there may be other learned behaviours he has which may be problematic for you, before & after the hormones have left the building. It's more about your skill level and confidence than him, most likely. I think you just need to advertise him to an experienced, confident home & disclose that he's been a breeding stallion.

With your filly, it sounds to me like perhaps she hasn't been taught to lunge & you don't know how to teach her. But not enough info to be sure. What do you mean by 'standoffish' and what do you mean by 'needing to re-establish respect'? How do you envision lunging her is going to help with that & what 'manners' are you trying to teach with lunging? 'Respect' is one of those very subjective, ambiguous terms...

Sounds like she & you could do with some lessons - I'd suggest you get someone experienced to put the basics onto her, then give you some lessons, to ensure you have a better idea how to keep it up/improve her training.

If she's 'standoffish' generally, I'd want to make a point of becoming a Good Thing in her life, have her WANT to hang out with you. If she 'lacks respect' and doesn't yield to pressure, she needs to be taught to yield well, *BEFORE* thinking about lunging her, and when she understands how to yield, then you can teach her some 'manners' so that she can learn to be 'respectful'.

So... she should be yielding well, leading & driving first, on BOTH sides(just because a horse learns something in one way doesn't mean it transfers to other situations/sides etc - they don't generalise well), then 'lunging' is just a matter of doing that at an increased distance. If she does it well on a short lead on both sides, no reason why she couldn't do it further away, but maybe she hasn't made the connection, you've made too abrupt changes for her, or she doesn't drive well up close, etc. I suspect it's training, BUT it's also worth considering she may have a physical problem which makes circling in one direction uncomfortable for her.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-09-2016, 11:06 PM
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did you have another thread about the filly, about her being unable to go to the right? or was I remembering a different person's thread.

a hrose that is unwilling to circle one direction will first make me think "unable" to go that direction. meaning, some kind of physical blockage of the spine or hip or ? that makes circling right painful.
or, blindness in that eye. or ? some kind of physical abnormality.

if that is elimintated, it could be the way YOU are positioning your body . you may be uni directional yourself, meaning that since you are right handed (or left handed) you get good body position and line handling skills in only one direction. change that, and you are not correctly positioned and even flailing with a whip does not come across as "go forward" because of incorrect body position.

I'd want to see how a skilled handler worked with her, and if they could get her to go right.

don't continue to ask for something that you cannot GET from the horse. this will only make things worse, eventually. get someone to help you get the correct response from the horse.

I have no advice for the stallion, as I have no experience with them at all.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-10-2016, 12:39 AM
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Geld the first horse & lead the second from both sides making it count. In other words get her leading very well so she listens at close range, turns both towards & away from you, starts & stops when you do, etc.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-10-2016, 01:19 AM
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I was on a ride not too long ago with not one, but FOUR stallions with about a dozen mares and half a dozen geldings. And you would never have known even one of them was a stallion if not for the owners letting you know. They all behaved and minded their manners like every other horse was expected to. The only difference is that their riders were willing to and able to make sure they knew they were going to get into twice as much trouble as any other horse if they dared put a hoof out of line. They get zero leniency or permission to act up just because they're still entire. When it's working time, it's working time.

Same for your boy, though it sounds like he's still in the process of learning that. Acting a fool is never okay, regardless of a horse's reproductive bits (or lack thereof) Gelding him sounds like a good move, especially if there's no good reason to keep him a stud and he'll sell better as a gelding.

Has your filly been taught to lunge the other way? I'd guess she goes okay going counter clockwise, with you at her left shoulder, but goes poorly clockwise? Somehow, it seems like we humans sometimes forget that we need to teach horses what to do, especially when we are on the side we do not normally handle them from. She might need a spanking if she really is just being onery, but make sure she actually knows what she is supposed to be doing that direction before assuming that it's attitude on her part.

And. Uh, pictures? Fresians are so gorgeous!
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-10-2016, 05:09 PM
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I can't comment really on the stallion except to say that I think Fresians are gorgeous!! As for the filly, there are a number of exercises you can do with her to get her to respect you on the ground without lunging her in circles. If she isn't wanting to go one way, that is probably starting with her not being willing to move that shoulder out and away from you. It's pretty common for horses to have one way they favor over the other. Start with getting her to move her shoulders more effectively before you ask her to move forward in a circle around you. Just an idea. :)
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