Behaviour problems - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-19-2018, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Behaviour problems

Ok, so this is kind of an update to my last thread https://www.horseforum.com/new-horse...tid=1970580831 so as I mentioned, I bought a rescued 4 year old haflinger x arabian gelding. We have made a lot of progress since then. Although I didn’t mention it in my other thread, he was neglected by his previous owner, so i did expect him to have behavior problems.
So he rarely lays his ears at me antmış and he never tries to bite. So last month I had to always groom and tack him up with his bridle on first otherwise he would misbehave. but now I can tack up and groom him in his stall without anything on. I have only been having some trouble with feeding time and picking up his feet. His bad mealtime manners were my fault since I never taught him to stay away while I put the feed in his tub. So I recently started to train him to back up when I entered his stall with his food and it was going good for a few days until one day he decided that he wasn’t going to move. So I waited at the door with his feed and kept asking him to back up. He then turned, made a circle, and turned to face me again. I asked him once again, then gave him his food as soon as he took a few steps back. I guessed it was because he was just excited so I didn’t think anything of it. He often pins his ears when I ask him to back up but I don’t count it because he always gets overwhelmed when he sees his food. Now moving on to picking up his feet. A few weeks ago I could pick up both his front and back feet without any problem. He would hold them really still until I would put it down but since last week he always sort of kicks sideways after holding one of his back feet up for anymore then around 10 seconds. I try not to let go but eventually i have to drop it. I always lift his front hooves no problem and waits for as long as I hold it there. So today, I was just getting him ready for a ride after turnout. When I reached his feet, I picked up his left back hoof and as usual, he started to kick outward. I tried to not let go but I slipped out my hand and landed on my toe. (It was bloody painful) I just told myself it was an accident and asked for his foot again. This time, he lays his ears and he started to turn his butt to me. I quickly moved towards his front and gave him a slap on the neck and said “NO!”. I now feel nervous being around him after this incident. Does anyone know how I can correct this sort of behaviour?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-19-2018, 01:00 PM
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My reaction to pinned ears: "Don't be snarky!" (in a friendly tone), followed by a quick scratch between the ears. The look of surprise ("Well, damn! That didn't work!!") on their face is priceless, and the ears always come back up. My own horse has his ears pinned as he walks next to me to his bowl where he gets his grain - most likely a warning at the other horses on the same pasture and not intended for me. In short, ear pinning is a non-issue for me. There has to be more corroborating body language for me to consider a correction.

As for the feet, you now taught him what to do to get his feet free. You need to figure out how "giving you the foot" is a better deal for him than "not giving you the foot". A lot of positive reinforcement will help with that: You release the foot before he takes it, and reward him. If he takes it, pick it back up right away, hopefully you'll manage the timing this time so you can give release and reward him. I bet he'll figure out that letting you have each foot to pick in exchange for two or three baby carrots is a small price to pay.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-19-2018, 01:07 PM
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My old guy, no matter how many times I worked with his back feet would alway offer a small little quirky kick. Nothing I couldn't hang onto and continue with his feet. I don't know why he did it but no matter how many times I picked them up and put them down he'd do it.

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post #4 of 12 Old 10-19-2018, 02:40 PM
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Just consistently tell him, "Give me pretty ears!" and do something to make him perk his ears and give him his food right away and he'll soon learn to perk on command. I have an Arab who knows what "Pretty Ears" are but if he's fed out on pasture will still give me "Caca ears" because the others are crowding him at feeding time. As soon as I say, "Fix those ears" he perks 'em up and stands pretty.

For the feet, use a rope. Put the rope around the front feet, around the back of the fetlock joint, and hold 1 end in each hand. Lift the foot off the ground just a little and set down. Do it until you can lift as high as you want and no reaction, then start with your hands. Same with the back feet, wrap the rope around the fetlock and lift up toward his belly, stepping back to keep tension on the rope. If he kicks, it will be against the rope, not your hand and he won't get away. First, just a little off the floor and set it down right away, "Good Boy" and pet. Repeat 3, 5 or 7 times (don't know why odd seems to work and even doesn't), then go to the next foot. If he kicks, it will be against the rope, you won't lose hold of it and he can't kick you. Watch the video, he demonstrates everything real safely. I don't actually tie up the foot, have never really felt the need, but it would work too.

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Last edited by Dreamcatcher Arabians; 10-19-2018 at 02:47 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-19-2018, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaddleUpAndRide View Post
Ok, so this is kind of an update to my last thread https://www.horseforum.com/new-horse...tid=1970580831 so as I mentioned, I bought a rescued 4 year old haflinger x arabian gelding. We have made a lot of progress since then. Although I didnít mention it in my other thread, he was neglected by his previous owner, so i did expect him to have behavior problems.
So he rarely lays his ears at me antmış and he never tries to bite. So last month I had to always groom and tack him up with his bridle on first otherwise he would misbehave. but now I can tack up and groom him in his stall without anything on. I have only been having some trouble with feeding time and picking up his feet. His bad mealtime manners were my fault since I never taught him to stay away while I put the feed in his tub. So I recently started to train him to back up when I entered his stall with his food and it was going good for a few days until one day he decided that he wasnít going to move. So I waited at the door with his feed and kept asking him to back up. He then turned, made a circle, and turned to face me again. I asked him once again, then gave him his food as soon as he took a few steps back. I guessed it was because he was just excited so I didnít think anything of it. He often pins his ears when I ask him to back up but I donít count it because he always gets overwhelmed when he sees his food. Now moving on to picking up his feet. A few weeks ago I could pick up both his front and back feet without any problem. He would hold them really still until I would put it down but since last week he always sort of kicks sideways after holding one of his back feet up for anymore then around 10 seconds. I try not to let go but eventually i have to drop it. I always lift his front hooves no problem and waits for as long as I hold it there. So today, I was just getting him ready for a ride after turnout. When I reached his feet, I picked up his left back hoof and as usual, he started to kick outward. I tried to not let go but I slipped out my hand and landed on my toe. (It was bloody painful) I just told myself it was an accident and asked for his foot again. This time, he lays his ears and he started to turn his butt to me. I quickly moved towards his front and gave him a slap on the neck and said ďNO!Ē. I now feel nervous being around him after this incident. Does anyone know how I can correct this sort of behaviour?

Thanks.
Just a thought, can you put him on crossties to work with him? Might make you feel safer till you can get his feet issues straightened out.


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post #6 of 12 Old 10-19-2018, 02:54 PM
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It sounds like you need to be more firm , more consistent and give up your mind set of "poor guy, he was mistreated in the past.' He's not being mistreated anymore, but there are rules he must follow.

There is no feeding until he gets back and stays back until you move out of the stall. Have a crop in your hand and don't hesitate to use it. A pop and a verbal "uh-uh' is quickly understood by a horse. Once his butt is in the corner you can begin putting the feed down. One step towards you earns him another correction. Don't get in a hurry. If he knows he can crowd you into hurrying up to dump the feed, you've lost ground again.

Picking up those back feet may require a rope to keep yourself safe. There are lots of videos to show you how. Just do it and set the foot down. Do it again, and again. Like with feeding, the horse is on your schedule. Don't let him bully you into rushing just to get it over with.

I would also continue to work on ground manners. Does he follow politely on the lead? When you stop, he stops, turn towards or away from him and he's right with you respectfully. Know in your head what you want it to look like before you start and accept nothing less. Don't be afraid to use the crop to reinforce your cues. If you were another horse, you would lay your ears back and swing your head over to nip his shoulder. But you can communicate the same thing with a sharp "uh-uh'" and a smack of the crop. He's a smart horse and very soon just hearing your verbal warning, he will get out of your space without the need for the crop. But always be prepared to back up your words!
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-19-2018, 03:01 PM
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Since this foot behavior is new, it may be a result of discomfort that wasnít present previously when you picked up and held the foot. Have you had the horse checked for physical problems since this new behavior began.

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post #8 of 12 Old 10-19-2018, 10:56 PM
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Here's what I heard from the above advice that I keyed into and agree with:


work on his leading skills/manners: that he comes forward without dragging, does not push into you with his head, does not pass you, will back up off the leadline, will allow you to 'send' him forward, like through a gate, etc. I can't explain how to do all those things, not now.



regarding food you need to have clear authority there. be firmly insistent on his backing and staying off of the manger when you bring in his food. You can also work on this out in an open area, like a paddock, and practice moving him off of his food, then allowing him back in. It's making your giving his food, and then taking it back, then giving it back a non-issue. use a crop, but I doubt you will need to actually hit him. You just wave it in the air, sort of pointed at his face, and if he doesn't move , he will sort of 'run into it'. NOt like you run up and smack him.


I would not do his feet in the stall unless he is on a leadline, which you can hold onto. Just put it in the crook of your elbow (close your arm on it. not wrapped around anything) That way, if he starts to swing his hind toward you, you can bring his head in and around, which makes him swing his hind outward.


Release his foot before he takes it back


If he takes it back himself, just pick it up again, and again.
Im not sure if the little kick thing is him kicking AT you, or there just being a sort of 'krick' in his joints. my horse will sometimes do this after having had his foot held up for some time. I don't like it, and I try to hold his foot, until he 'allows' me to control the decent to the ground.


YOu don't always have to hit a horse with a crop, for a crop to be a useful tool.
like @mmshiro said, he often interrupts a horse's stinky thoughts, expressed in pinned ears, simply by just calmly reaching forward and petting them on the face. This is a place that is somewhat submissive for them. I mean, they are 'submitting' to you when they allow you to pet their face. This kind of surprises the horse, since they were kind of 'shouting' at you, and you just ignored it and went right in with a loving pet, no submissiveness on YOUR part.


I have also used a crop to make a sudden noise. or, just my own hand slapping my thigh. Point being, it startles the hrose out of that train of thought, that stinky thinking, without actually hurting them


And, using the rope to pick up his feet is a great excersize to do. you can even watch his face to see how he feels about this, and perhaps notice if there is any kind of pain reaction.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-20-2018, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4hoofbeat View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaddleUpAndRide View Post
Ok, so this is kind of an update to my last thread https://www.horseforum.com/new-horse...tid=1970580831 so as I mentioned, I bought a rescued 4 year old haflinger x arabian gelding. We have made a lot of progress since then. Although I didn’t mention it in my other thread, he was neglected by his previous owner, so i did expect him to have behavior problems.
So he rarely lays his ears at me antmış and he never tries to bite. So last month I had to always groom and tack him up with his bridle on first otherwise he would misbehave. but now I can tack up and groom him in his stall without anything on. I have only been having some trouble with feeding time and picking up his feet. His bad mealtime manners were my fault since I never taught him to stay away while I put the feed in his tub. So I recently started to train him to back up when I entered his stall with his food and it was going good for a few days until one day he decided that he wasn’t going to move. So I waited at the door with his feed and kept asking him to back up. He then turned, made a circle, and turned to face me again. I asked him once again, then gave him his food as soon as he took a few steps back. I guessed it was because he was just excited so I didn’t think anything of it. He often pins his ears when I ask him to back up but I don’t count it because he always gets overwhelmed when he sees his food. Now moving on to picking up his feet. A few weeks ago I could pick up both his front and back feet without any problem. He would hold them really still until I would put it down but since last week he always sort of kicks sideways after holding one of his back feet up for anymore then around 10 seconds. I try not to let go but eventually i have to drop it. I always lift his front hooves no problem and waits for as long as I hold it there. So today, I was just getting him ready for a ride after turnout. When I reached his feet, I picked up his left back hoof and as usual, he started to kick outward. I tried to not let go but I slipped out my hand and landed on my toe. (It was bloody painful) I just told myself it was an accident and asked for his foot again. This time, he lays his ears and he started to turn his butt to me. I quickly moved towards his front and gave him a slap on the neck and said “NO!”. I now feel nervous being around him after this incident. Does anyone know how I can correct this sort of behaviour?

Thanks.
Just a thought, can you put him on crossties to work with him? Might make you feel safer till you can get his feet issues straightened out.


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I usually tie him with a lead rope with his headcollar. I don’t really use cross ties but I guess it’s worth a shot! 🙂
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-20-2018, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4hoofbeat View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaddleUpAndRide View Post
Ok, so this is kind of an update to my last thread https://www.horseforum.com/new-horse...tid=1970580831 so as I mentioned, I bought a rescued 4 year old haflinger x arabian gelding. We have made a lot of progress since then. Although I didn’t mention it in my other thread, he was neglected by his previous owner, so i did expect him to have behavior problems.
So he rarely lays his ears at me antmış and he never tries to bite. So last month I had to always groom and tack him up with his bridle on first otherwise he would misbehave. but now I can tack up and groom him in his stall without anything on. I have only been having some trouble with feeding time and picking up his feet. His bad mealtime manners were my fault since I never taught him to stay away while I put the feed in his tub. So I recently started to train him to back up when I entered his stall with his food and it was going good for a few days until one day he decided that he wasn’t going to move. So I waited at the door with his feed and kept asking him to back up. He then turned, made a circle, and turned to face me again. I asked him once again, then gave him his food as soon as he took a few steps back. I guessed it was because he was just excited so I didn’t think anything of it. He often pins his ears when I ask him to back up but I don’t count it because he always gets overwhelmed when he sees his food. Now moving on to picking up his feet. A few weeks ago I could pick up both his front and back feet without any problem. He would hold them really still until I would put it down but since last week he always sort of kicks sideways after holding one of his back feet up for anymore then around 10 seconds. I try not to let go but eventually i have to drop it. I always lift his front hooves no problem and waits for as long as I hold it there. So today, I was just getting him ready for a ride after turnout. When I reached his feet, I picked up his left back hoof and as usual, he started to kick outward. I tried to not let go but I slipped out my hand and landed on my toe. (It was bloody painful) I just told myself it was an accident and asked for his foot again. This time, he lays his ears and he started to turn his butt to me. I quickly moved towards his front and gave him a slap on the neck and said “NO!”. I now feel nervous being around him after this incident. Does anyone know how I can correct this sort of behaviour?

Thanks.
Just a thought, can you put him on crossties to work with him? Might make you feel safer till you can get his feet issues straightened out.


Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
I usually tie him with a lead rope with his headcollar. I don’t really use cross ties but I guess it’s worth a shot! 🙂
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