Fourteen Year Old Arabian Challenge! Advice needed! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 08-25-2014, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Question Fourteen Year Old Arabian Challenge! Advice needed!

Okay, so I have just gotten a new horse. He's a fourteen year old arabian gelding. My boss/the barn owner believes he has foundation quater in him, but I personally disagree. Anyway, he has only been with one other owner since he was six months old. Well, his previous owner did nothing with him. He hardly allows anyone to pet him, me being the exception. He'll come up for treats, but he's extremely pushy. It becomes worse when food is in the mix. He doesn't know the meaning of personal space at all. He uses his size towards his advantage. He's big, and he knows it. He doesn't like men... he's at least three times pushier with men than with women. I'm the only one who can even attempt to make him listen, and that is hardly anything. He'll follow me around, and act like a big ole baby with me. Unless I have food, then he tries getting even closer and even running me over. I have experience with previously trained horses, but none with a horse who has been allowed to walk all over people for fourteen years. I was able to lead him somewhat properly the second day of having him, but after being let loose by another person on a bad note, I can't even do that anymore. I handled the person, but intimidating the horse and getting him to listen is a lot harder than it was with that idiot. Any training tips are greatly appreciated. Especially when it comes to the leading and personal space problems!
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post #2 of 25 Old 08-25-2014, 08:11 PM
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You need to ramp up your energy and quit thinking about his past. Carry a dressage whip and use a knotted halter on him with a lead about 10' long or more. He'll pay better mind to this type of halter. Hold the lead about 4' away from the clip so you're not forcing him to crowd you. The moment he starts moving ahead or toward you abruptly switch direction. Hang on because you're going to suddenly put pressure on him. Don't look at him or pet him or talk to him but square your shoulders and keep going as tho nothing happened. Sometimes flap your elbow. One good whack with that will make him keep his distance but continue to do it randomly as a reminder. It won't make him headshy. Keep switching back and he'll soon be keeping an eye on you. Carry the dressage whip in your left hand, pointed down and behind you. Learn to carry it like this. If he holds back you can easily wiggle it or even give him a light tap with it. Turn away from him if you need to look, not toward him.



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post #3 of 25 Old 08-25-2014, 09:23 PM
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He's a spoiled and pushy teenager. Treat him as such. You will need to be firm and insistent, without picking at him. Sometimes you will need to be harsh to make your point, and yes, he WILL respect you in the morning. At the moment, he doesn't have much respect for you. He has put you at the bottom of the pecking order. You need to convince him you RULE. Treats won't do that.
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post #4 of 25 Old 08-25-2014, 10:37 PM
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Pretty much what has already been said.

It doesn't help he's an Arab as they are unusually intelligent and cunning

Get rid of the treats and reward him only verbally and with scratchies under his chin, or somewhere on his face that he enjoys.

Get used to always carrying the riding crop with you --- it is your extended arm and can reach him to whap him.

Of my four horses, I have one that just turned 20 and STILL prefers to ask forgiveness instead of asking permission.

He flat out blatantly, defied me today and got the end of the lead rope that was attached to another horse, right across the side of his butt. He was lined up just right that I connected that rope really hard. He is smart enough to think he can always get away with something if I have another horse in hand

Anyway, I wouldn't even attempt anything resembling round pen work until you get his manners under control and you have established just who the real boss is, when you're around <----not him

He sounds like fun to me but---------------too many fun horses like him is why I wear a back brace today - lollollol

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #5 of 25 Old 08-26-2014, 11:06 AM
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No more treats and a crop to be taken with you anytime you are working with him.

We have a pony that thought he ruled the roost then my then 13 yo dd got him. He went from being dangerous to not all because we made him toe the line.
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post #6 of 25 Old 08-26-2014, 11:36 AM
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Everything said so far is good information!

I'd strongly suggest that you either get someone to help you and/or study a Natural Horsemanship Clinician (Parelli,Anderson,Cox,etc) because reading a few paragraphs on a forum just cant give you the timing and feel needed to both keep you safe,and help the horse learn manners. He's not being naughty, he's never been taught correct behaviors around humans. At the very least , watch as many dvd's as you can , but a live person would be by far your best bet.
Being able to read his intent , before his action , will be an extremly helpful tool for you.
In the meantime:
Rule #1. He is NOT, not ever, allowed in your space unless invited. Imagine you have a 2-4 foot bubble around you. Agreed a NH halter, rope halter would be your choice, and at least a 9-12 ft NH lead. These tools have more feel than cotton lounge ropes and flat webbed halters. Keep him out of your space by simply creating a commotion--flapping your arms, add in jumping (jumping jacks..for most horses, that alone will cause them to decide to keep their distance.
Rule #2. You can go into his bubble anytime.
That's minimum, basic, getting started 'stuff'.

Good luck, stay safe.
Fay
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post #7 of 25 Old 08-26-2014, 11:58 AM
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I've had 2 horses like this - one was an unbroken 8yr old Arabian that had only ever been a stud horse and the other a 3yr old hand raised mare that had been treated like a dog
No treats until they've learnt to respect you and your space
With both of the ones I had I hit them once, really hard and never had to hit them again though I used to carry a whip when I was handling the arab for a while just so he knew it was there
I would never nag at a horse with this sort of nature because they have the intelligence and potential to turn really nasty and defensive. Treat them fairly and consistently, always praise for good behavior
The mare became the best horse I will have ever owned and the Arabian pretty high up on that list
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post #8 of 25 Old 08-26-2014, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
I would never nag at a horse with this sort of nature because they have the intelligence and potential to turn really nasty and defensive. Treat them fairly and consistently, always praise for good behavior
Very important, this.
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post #9 of 25 Old 08-26-2014, 01:46 PM
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He's spoiled, like everyone else said.

You two need to build a relationship and learn how to communicate. I highly suggest using a round pen. You will need to look up techniques or work with a trainer if you are not familiar with it. Your objective is in the end for him to do what you ask on his own accord, not because you bribing him or using excessive force (i.e.: whip).

There are three kinds of Arabians, all which have a lot of endurance and will wear you out before you wear them out. However, despite their energy and eagerness, they are big people pleasers and thrive off of praise (even more so than with treats). When you work with him (use ground work first) and he does what you ask, immediately praise him by releasing and if he makes a huge feat, make a HUGE fuss, telling him he's a good boy, pet him, kisses, etc. (but no treats). It should help motivate him (and simultaneously give you more confidence).

I know this is a broad reply, but I hope this helps. I've had Arabians over 20 years. They are the most dedicated, hard-working horses I've ever had. I admire and respect their work ethic. I've even observed my one Arabian practice what I taught her on her own out in the paddock (I have barrels and jumps set up in the paddock).
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post #10 of 25 Old 08-26-2014, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the advice! I'd given him a few days off to settle more, and to cool off. I went up to see him this afternoon for a bit. Without a lead rope, or treats in sight, he wasn't nearly as pushy with me. He'd stay about arm distance away. Even when he was following me. When he'd try to get closer, I'd stick out my arm and he'd stop again. He did lip at my arm and leg when he thought I wasn't paying attention. Then he backed away when scolded and my arm was held up. Other than that, he was very well behaved. I even got him to back up a step or two! I'm hoping that if I work with him without the lead first, and allow him to get to know me better, then I can work on the leading. For now, the personal space is the main concern. I had also talked with a guy who has trained even wilder horses than Ghost. He owns a horse at the same stable Ghost is boarded at. He had given me some tips about body language, and said he would be willing to help more me one on one with Ghost when the barn is empty of other people. It's already helping significantly with Ghost!
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