A couple questions - Page 38 - The Horse Forum
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post #371 of 1323 Old 10-22-2015, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Im confused, dont get it sorry.
The method you are attempting to use to train your mare is called "natural horsemanship" .
Using your body language to move the different parts of the body, playing "games" with horses, working more than 5 minutes on the groundwork, using a rope halter, etc., have all come about in the last 18-20 years because of a few trainers who made videos and got TV shows.

In the past, we always did groundwork, but it was never exclusive, but a preparation to RIDE.

We had games, but they were called poles, barrels, flag race, etc., we did not play games on the ground.

We had rope halters until the 1960's, when nylon strapping was introduced, and we "upgraded" to that. Now we are back to rope (for natural horsemanship).

We trained a LOT of horses, and trained them VERY WELL before these trainers discovered how to sell videos and clinic spots. There is nothing wrong with it, this is just an explanation!!
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post #372 of 1323 Old 10-22-2015, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
If she wants her butt scratched, she needs to find another way to ask.
This isn't fair. She doesn't need to find a different way to ask. You need to understand what she is asking.

I started a thread awhile ago, and it's actually a pretty funny thread (to me). But I was convinced my mare was being disrespectful by slowly turning her butt to me and everyone here suggested she wanted a good butt scratch. So I tried it, and low and behold- she wanted a butt scratch! She gets one every day, and she asks for it the same way every day. BUT, she doesn't get to demand it. There's an art, so to speak, to understanding horse language.

And for the record, without being there and actually seeing how your horse was acting, I don't know if she wanted a butt scratch or not, but if she was...

Last edited by jenkat86; 10-22-2015 at 09:53 AM.
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post #373 of 1323 Old 10-22-2015, 10:02 AM
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Hoof pic, may I ask.... Have you ever trained any animal before?

I ask because you seem to believe this animal is "set it and forget it", like a machine.
She is a HORSE, an animal with a brain the size of a walnut. She does not have the same language as you. You ARE going to be saying things to her, OVER and OVER, forever. Her mind is like a 4 year old child, and will never be more than that.

Warning...this is going to come across as sexist.....
Women (generally)find horses easier because we are programmed by nature to pick up on the smaller signals, in order to help read when our children need things, like food, comfort, etc. plus, some of us have been through human 4 year olds, and maybe better understand the phase.

Plenty of men find their way, of course, and. I am not trying to discourage you, AT ALL, but it is just a little more difficult, as you are finding out...
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post #374 of 1323 Old 10-22-2015, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by enh817 View Post
OR, were you perhaps stepping toward her shoulder/head, when this would happen?
I considered this as well but no i wasnt doing this.

Quote:
What was the rest of her body language telling you? If her ears were pinned or she was wringing her tail, or threatening to kick by raising a leg, then it was a threatening gesture.
Was she focus on something else? Then maybe she just wasn't interested in you and was checking something else out.
Or maybe it was nothing and she just had enough petting
Ears werent pinned, tail was relaxed and dropped. But as I approach her, she would keep her head looking forward. I felt she just didnt want me to bother her.

Who knows. Like I said, I wouldn't worry about it, just see how she is tomorrow.


Quote:
They can be grumpy, whatever, but I expect them to behave the way I've taught them regardless.
I agree. Perhaps she was in a grumpy mood yesterday, but just because she is, I need her to know that, that doesnt excuse her for being rude.

Her previous owner is coming out next week to visit her and this is actually one of the things im going to ask her about. How she has been when she was in heat when she had her, what does she tend to do/how does she act, etc.
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post #375 of 1323 Old 10-22-2015, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BearPony View Post
Horses can have their "off" days just like people. Has the weather been changing where you are lately? We've been getting some cooler temps and strong breezes lately and its been making the whole herd (one QH gelding, one GH mare, one Morgan gelding, one small pony gelding, one Quarab gelding) at my barn behave a bit differently than usual. The Morgan is a bit snorty and a more standoffish than usual (he's normally right in my pocket all the time), the mare has decided it is her job to keep the whole group of them hunkered down in a little valley in the pasture when the wind picks up, etc. They all adjust once the temps stabilize a bit and stop this crazy warm weather one day, cold weather the next thing.

I think you're reading too much into this as well. Based on your descriptions, my thought too would be that she may want her butt scratched. Mine do this occasionally and if they first greet me head on and then turn around slowly (so I know they are not wheeling around to kick or threaten), I'm happy to oblige.

I think its also ok for a horse to choose not to be petted if they are loose in the field. If I put the halter on, then its time for them to go to work but if I'm just casually hanging out in their pasture with them and watching them as I like to do sometimes, I leave it up to them if they want to come hang out with me or not. In my experience, if I start to do something I definitely don't need/want their help with like fixing a fence or dumping and scrubbing a water trough that is almost a sure way to get them to come investigate and hang out with me.
Weather is fine, not windy at all.

Quote:
Try bringing a book to read and truly just hanging out there without trying to go after her or mess with her at all. You may be surprised to find that she is so curious about you doing seemingly nothing she will come investigate!
Yes I know she will.
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post #376 of 1323 Old 10-22-2015, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rainaisabelle View Post
If you smack her on the HQ in the correct time frame it doesn't matter she would associate it.

You seem to be walking in expecting her to misbehave and she will if that's what you expect from her.
Im forsure not.
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post #377 of 1323 Old 10-22-2015, 10:27 AM
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If you are not walking in expecting her to misbehave, then why are you so concerned about having the whip with you?
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post #378 of 1323 Old 10-22-2015, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jenkat86 View Post
This isn't fair. She doesn't need to find a different way to ask. You need to understand what she is asking.

I started a thread awhile ago, and it's actually a pretty funny thread (to me). But I was convinced my mare was being disrespectful by slowly turning her butt to me and everyone here suggested she wanted a good butt scratch. So I tried it, and low and behold- she wanted a butt scratch! She gets one every day, and she asks for it the same way every day. BUT, she doesn't get to demand it. There's an art, so to speak, to understanding horse language.

And for the record, without being there and actually seeing how your horse was acting, I don't know if she wanted a butt scratch or not, but if she was...
If she was asking for a scratch then i feel really bad now.

The reason why Im so skeptical on what her intentions were is because she used to turn her butt to me everyday, sometimes numerous times a day when I first got her. Not only me but others as well. The very first time this happened was the second day I had her. Went to pet her while she was eating supper - (obviously didnt know at the time but I learned quickly) that horses generally do NOT like to be bothered or accompanied when theyre eating hay. I thought, ok, maybe it was just this one time that she didnt want my company. Tried it again later, same thing, turned her butt to me and she was a bit more aggresive in swinging that HQ. Ever since this second time I have never gone up to her when she eats hay. She was clearly telling me to go away.

So now when she does it, can you blame me for not being able to tell what shes telling me? If she wanted scratches, she wouldnt be walking away after she turns her butt to me for 2-3 secs. SHe would stand there planted and most likely look back to see if im going to scratch her or not. But she turned her butt and walked off so that tells me she was telling me to go away.

Its too bad i didnt get this on tape.

Honestly, I think one of these days (perhaps in the next day or two), I should setup my tripod just outside her paddock and you can see how she is when i just hang out in her paddock. This would be a good idea cause it will give you guys a much better idea of what im going on about. Perhaps she wont be turning her butt to me then, but at least you can have a general idea how she is when im in her paddock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greentree View Post
Hoof pic, may I ask.... Have you ever trained any animal before?

I ask because you seem to believe this animal is "set it and forget it", like a machine.
She is a HORSE, an animal with a brain the size of a walnut. She does not have the same language as you. You ARE going to be saying things to her, OVER and OVER, forever. Her mind is like a 4 year old child, and will never be more than that.

Warning...this is going to come across as sexist.....
Women (generally)find horses easier because we are programmed by nature to pick up on the smaller signals, in order to help read when our children need things, like food, comfort, etc. plus, some of us have been through human 4 year olds, and maybe better understand the phase.

Plenty of men find their way, of course, and. I am not trying to discourage you, AT ALL, but it is just a little more difficult, as you are finding out...
Dont worry, i dont find your comments sexist at all, I agree that women are programmed better than men to pick up stuff like this.

I know shes not going to act the same way every day and she will have her off days and her mood swings. But turning the butt is perhaps just as bad as biting (if her intention was to be cheeky with me). I have no doubt in my mind that she was just toying with me. Be cheeky when I go up to her and give her attention, but when I start heading for the gate, she immediately follows me.
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Last edited by Hoofpic; 10-22-2015 at 10:36 AM.
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post #379 of 1323 Old 10-22-2015, 10:39 AM
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Hoofpic, don't feel bad. I didn't tell you that to make you feel bad. My goal was to get you to look at the picture a little differently- not so black and white, which I think I did.

And no, I don't blame you at all for not knowing. You don't know what you don't know. I was there once, too. I understand the struggle all too well!

I think it would benefit you greatly to record on video your interaction with her.
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post #380 of 1323 Old 10-22-2015, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
The reason why Im so skeptical on what her intentions were is because she used to turn her butt to me everyday, sometimes numerous times a day when I first got her. Not only me but others as well. The very first time this happened was the second day I had her. Went to pet her while she was eating supper - (obviously didnt know at the time but I learned quickly) that horses generally do NOT like to be bothered or accompanied when theyre eating hay. I thought, ok, maybe it was just this one time that she didnt want my company. Tried it again later, same thing, turned her butt to me and she was a bit more aggresive in swinging that HQ. Ever since this second time I have never gone up to her when she eats hay. She was clearly telling me to go away.

So now when she does it, can you blame me for not being able to tell what shes telling me? If she wanted scratches, she wouldnt be walking away after she turns her butt to me for 2-3 secs. SHe would stand there planted and most likely look back to see if im going to scratch her or not. But she turned her butt and walked off so that tells me she was telling me to go away.
Horses learn what we will and won't accept with EVERY interaction we have with them. This includes the seemingly innocent/innocuous ones.

That first day, when you walked up to scratch her and she turned her butt to you, so you backed off. You just showed her that it was okay for her to tell you to get out of your space. Not only did you obey her, you did so with alacrity. In her mind, she made the connection that if she points her butt toward you, you'll go away. That's probably why it took so long to get her to stop doing it all the time. You should be able to go up to her at ANY time, eating or not. Eating is NO excuse for being rude.

Remember, she has the attention span of a 2-3yo child right now. She could very well have been asking for scratches, but since you didn't oblige, she lost interest quickly and wandered off. She's not like a dog who is going to DEMAND your attention (I have one who will creep into your lap for a good ear scratch...all 60lbs of him ). My best friend's mare LOVES to have her withers scratched. She'll come up and ask politely (aligning her withers/shoulders with you), but if you don't engage her right away, she'll lose interest and walk away. She won't look at you to "tell" you what she wants. She'll just stand there. Mind you, she's 12, so her attention span is a good deal longer and more focused than a 4yos would be. My gelding, who is 6, loves to have his chest scratched. He'll walk up and stand very close to you with his chest in front of your hand. If you start scratching, great. If not, he'll stay there for a couple of seconds, realize that you're not going to oblige, so then he'll walk away.

Point is, you are assuming she was being a brat and telling you to go away. We all know what happens when we assume, right?

I would ask your BO to interact with her. Watch him and see what he does. See if she tries the same shenanigans with him. If she does, watch what his responses are. Your BO sounds a lot like my old BO, just without the anger and ******* nature. Good, quiet, steady cowboy who knows how to handle horses. There's A LOT you can learn from someone like that.

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