Do I need to stand up to my horse's bullies to earn his respect? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
 98Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #31 of 50 Old 12-22-2015, 07:34 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 20
• Horses: 0
Thanks for specifying! That always makes the job easier. I understand your situation with both a busy schedule and rough winters- Wisconsin is never an easy place in winter. If I understand correctly, you have the aggressive older gelding (the boss), the mare (his way of proving that he's top dog), and the Percheron who gets along with your horse. My advice then is this;

Coordinate with the older gelding's owner: this could be riding, riding with, even grooming this older gelding. The point is to understand how this horse ticks. If you've already got this horse down in and out, then that's half the battle.

Try to establish yourself as "godly" in the herd: If your only competition is an older gelding, you have a simple enough job. Just imagine multiplying him by three or four!
You are a human, remember that. It sounds stupid, but it's a simple thing that I've seen forgotten in people that were then hospitalized by a horse. You and your life are priority, you are essentially above the top dog. Don't let this make you overconfident, the horse can still do damage. But present yourself as important, confident, and aiming to do good in the herd and you will be regarded well. Know exactly what you want and be a leader in the group to get to that goal. Horses love leaders, and being one helps you out. Keep in mind that being positive and acknowledging positive behavior is better than punishing negative behavior.

If you have a dog, practice on them. This is where I get weird looks, but hear me out. Dogs and horses operate very similarly when it comes to displaying emotions, and they convey more than people often receive. Practice "tuning in" to your dog. Watch how they approach other dogs, situations, and people. This will translate into reactions within the herd, and can keep you safe. I hope this helped!
Acadianartist likes this.
ReinDancer2015 is offline  
post #32 of 50 Old 12-22-2015, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,113
• Horses: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReinDancer2015 View Post

Coordinate with the older gelding's owner: this could be riding, riding with, even grooming this older gelding. The point is to understand how this horse ticks. If you've already got this horse down in and out, then that's half the battle.
Thanks for all your helpful advice ReinDancer! I'm also reading books about horse body language and am trying to understand how they interact with each other and how I can communicate better using my body language. Today, they backed right off when I pushed them away, but they were also a bit resentful - the Percheron X actually kicked up his heels at me after I cracked the whip on the ground in front of him. He was about 20 ft away though, so it wasn't meant to hit me, but he was showing me his resistance.

The older gelding is almost 30 and is not being ridden or handled at all. He also has Cushings and is just a pasture pet now. Therefore I can't ride or handle him much. I can, however, go into the pasture and interact with him and the others. What would you do to send a message in the pasture other than what I'm doing now? And do you agree with my idea of letting Harley in from the side gate so he is in a large, open area rather than out of the indoor arena which is at the end of a bottleneck in the paddock and where he keeps getting trapped? I can keep them away from the gate, but I can't stay in there when they all charge at him. I can, however, go in when they're all calm and push them away from Harley anytime they come close to investigate.
Acadianartist is offline  
post #33 of 50 Old 12-22-2015, 08:22 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 20
• Horses: 0
I think you are starting out strong! Using the whip from a safe distance works perfectly for now, just remember that a bond between a person and a herd will always be stronger. I'm glad to hear about your use of body language- Bravo!

As for sending a message, I would say that spending time in the pasture with the herd is your best bet. You will become known and again, respected as time goes on.

I think for now, getting Harley out from the side gate is a wise choice. Work on doing this in the calmest manner possible, and when you've perfected it, transition to letting him in regularly. This is a slow way of standing your ground, and it sounds like the safest way as of now. Once you've gotten him out easily from the side at least ten times, let him out from the indoor arena. You'll show the herd your determination and enforce your leadership in the herd.

Please email me and let me know how this turns out! I love when these things turn out- best of luck!
Woodhaven and Acadianartist like this.

Last edited by ReinDancer2015; 12-22-2015 at 08:32 PM.
ReinDancer2015 is offline  
post #34 of 50 Old 12-22-2015, 08:24 PM
Started
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SW PA
Posts: 2,285
• Horses: 0
I think you will find that after a few weeks of establishing rules, you will find the herd won't even look at you any longer.

Where I board all the other boarders have the hardest time getting their horses in and out of the pasture. I don't. Now granted, mine comes cantering up when called. However, if I get to the barn and they are all milling around the gate (especially in the winter), I can walk through the gate and they part like the Red Sea. I grap my horse, and they part even wider.

It would be Interesting to know if the old man was on the bottom of the herd before Harley, and if he is being so persistent because he doesn't want to end up at the bottom again.
Acadianartist and elle1959 like this.
sarahfromsc is offline  
post #35 of 50 Old 12-22-2015, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,113
• Horses: 2
sarahfromsc, I think your theory is correct - I was told initially that the percheron was the leader, not the old gelding. We were all a little surprised that he is leading the chase at Harley. The percheron actually interacts with Harley positively more than the rest (for example, I have seen them eating from the same hay pile without conflict).

I did feel I had gotten through to the three horses today and will keep reinforcing that message.

ReinDancer - I have two dogs and have had dozens over the years and will try to think about how I interact with them. Thanks for pointing out that I don't need to be violent to get them to respect me. I will try to watch them interacting more often so I can see how their relationships fall, especially when they are being let out or brought in by the BOs to see how conflicts are managed. When I go in to get Harley, he picks up his head and looks at me expectantly, but will not move towards me for fear that the other horses will follow (which they will do). In other situations where there were no other horses in with him, he actually did move towards me so I know he wants to.

Thanks again to everyone for your advice. It is truly helpful in making it clear to me how I can deal with this difficult situation. I do also worry that some of this behavior might rub off on Harley, but so far, he is still being the well-behaved, polite guy that he is. I look forward to being able to provide him with a stress-free environment next summer when he is in my backyard.
Woodhaven and elle1959 like this.
Acadianartist is offline  
post #36 of 50 Old 12-22-2015, 09:07 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 126
• Horses: 0
My herd of 4 consist of an alpha mare. No one challenges her but she doesn't bother the others if they stay out of her way. Below her is a gelding who also is relatively good natured. At the bottom is my timid gelding. Above him is a walker mare that goes out of her way to pester my gelding. This horse is sweet to humans and all the others except my gelding. We've gotten to the point this mare won't try anything when I'm working with my gelding. My gelding knows that he is safe when I'm around. If I'm in the barn but not with the gelding I can say her name sternly if I see her trying something and she'll back off. When I'm not around she pesters him every time she has the chance. I think you can earn respect from the others and give your gelding a sense of security with you presence. When your not there he'll still be at the bottom and the others will do what they do.
Posted via Mobile Device
Acadianartist likes this.
david in md is offline  
post #37 of 50 Old 12-22-2015, 09:18 PM
Started
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North-Central California
Posts: 1,552
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
I did feel I had gotten through to the three horses today and will keep reinforcing that message.
Sounds like you did exactly what you needed to do. You were large and in charge, and made sure they knew it. Above all, they are prey animals, and if you act like a predator they will retreat.

It's so interesting to read about the herd dynamics. I am never able to spend enough time with the herd where Diva is to get much sense of that. She seems to get on well with the other horses there, so no real conflicts to monitor. We're lucky with that, I know.
Acadianartist likes this.
elle1959 is offline  
post #38 of 50 Old 12-22-2015, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,113
• Horses: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by elle1959 View Post
Sounds like you did exactly what you needed to do. You were large and in charge, and made sure they knew it. Above all, they are prey animals, and if you act like a predator they will retreat.

It's so interesting to read about the herd dynamics. I am never able to spend enough time with the herd where Diva is to get much sense of that. She seems to get on well with the other horses there, so no real conflicts to monitor. We're lucky with that, I know.
They are fascinating to watch. I will say that although the three horses are clearly not completely accepting Harley, they are not inflicting any real damage. The other horse he was paddocked with at the previous barn did. One of the reasons I moved him was because here, he has a lot more room and at least he can get away from the others. My gut feeling is that they would eventually let him into the herd somewhat, but he will always be either at the bottom, or on the outskirts. It is also something I am studying closely because I plan on getting a second horse next summer and really want to find a horse that doesn't threaten Harley. So far, he has done better with the mare than any of the geldings who seem to treat him like a rival or something.
elle1959 likes this.
Acadianartist is offline  
post #39 of 50 Old 12-22-2015, 09:58 PM
Started
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North-Central California
Posts: 1,552
• Horses: 0
It's funny, because my trainer has recently acquired a cremello pony (small horse, really) and she's been harassed from day one by the others in the herd, whereas Diva never had a problem. I don't know if there's anything to the color thing that others brought up, but perhaps there is.

It always seems to be a bit of a crap shoot with horses. Buy them and pray you're getting something close to what you want or need.
Acadianartist likes this.
elle1959 is offline  
post #40 of 50 Old 12-22-2015, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,113
• Horses: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by elle1959 View Post
It's funny, because my trainer has recently acquired a cremello pony (small horse, really) and she's been harassed from day one by the others in the herd, whereas Diva never had a problem. I don't know if there's anything to the color thing that others brought up, but perhaps there is.

It always seems to be a bit of a crap shoot with horses. Buy them and pray you're getting something close to what you want or need.
Agreed. There's no way to determine how horses will get along until you try it. Also, the most aggressive horse (the old gelding) is a grey! Maybe it's a case of "I hate you because you remind me of myself!" Although he is also known for acting like a stallion sometimes. Luckily, he doesn't have the energy for long chases!
Acadianartist is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to earn the money for my first horse? MollyDanielle Horse Talk 6 08-30-2012 06:26 PM
Bullies myhorsesonador General Off Topic Discussion 21 07-25-2012 11:17 PM
How do I earn my horses respect? Erfellie Horse Training 36 11-10-2011 01:57 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome