HELP Please - Horse's behavior getting progressively worse... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 31 Old 12-18-2015, 03:12 PM
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You might still consider working him with the mounting block, unless you plan to keep him forever. He should be trained to use it, even if you don't.
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post #12 of 31 Old 12-18-2015, 03:23 PM
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As others have said, he has been around long enough and is testing you and not being corrected correctly.

For me, this is the most important things you said

Quote:
-Stables: Perhaps the least important, but he is becoming more and more aggressive towards me. He used to like being petted (never really enjoyed grooming much), but now he is ears pinned all the time around me, unless I have food. And when the food's gone, ears back down. He nips sometimes, but passively.
For me in the stables is the most important place to insist on good manners.

If you correct the little things, the big things rarely happen.

In the UK we do most things with a horse, tacking up, grooming et al in the stable. I would muck out with the horse in the stable, often when he was eating his food. I would expect him to move from one side to the other whilst eating if I needed to get to the other side. If I had him tacked up he had to stand at the back of the stable untied, and not move a step to the door even if it was opened wide. If he made a step towards the door he was sent back firmly and fairly.

I do not allow any horse to pin its ears at me, if it does then it gets a verbal correction or a good hard poke with my forefinger on its neck.

I never give them tidbits from my hand, if they get a treat, usually a carrot, it gets thrown into their manger.

Nipping is never passive, it is a precursor to biting. this needs correcting firmly and fast.

None of these things are trivial, they are very important,

If you have children and never correct them indoors then you cannot expect them to behave when they are out.
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post #13 of 31 Old 12-18-2015, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Foxhunter, I will take this into consideration.

I am actually happy to hear that you proceed with grooming and other things whilst your horse eats. Actually, with Chah, I find that grooming him seems to be easiest in his box, at dinner time, almost as though the food distracts him.

This is a practice I have that is strongly discouraged in our horse culture here, but as with my previous dog, whilst it is important to let an animal eat, I believe that imposing myself any time with him is crucial in being boss, and not letting him develop his own "territory" where he feels immune to my interventions.
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post #14 of 31 Old 12-18-2015, 04:33 PM
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Just want to add, I think it best to get someone to show you in person how to do the corrections and how to time them. It is easy to misunderstand the written word, you may not picture what the writer has in mind.

Yes, he is bossing you around and it will only get worse until you show him you are HIS boss.
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post #15 of 31 Old 12-18-2015, 04:36 PM
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I really think you should get a trainer out to watch what he does and show you the best way to correct him.

My first horse started playing up when I tried to hack him out alone. Started very minor and slowly progessed to becoming dangerous. This was a 26 year old gelding that knew his manners and was on the verge of retirement. I got a trainer out who promptly told me that what he needed was one good hard whack on the rump with a whip the moment he tried it on.

Well I wasn't confident enough at the time to do that so the trainer told me to not even bother to ride him out alone, until I had the mindset to deal with the problem. That it would just result in his behaviour progressing.

So for 3 months we only rode out in company or in an arena on the property. Then one day I was sitting at work and I knew that was the day we were going to hack out alone and I felt confident to deal with the issue.

So we set out and I get him a few kms down the road and he starts stomping and then he spun half way around. That's as far as he got before I popped him on the rump very firmly. Well the result was comical really. The trainer was right, he immediately squared up the right direction and started walking like nothing had happened. He never tried it on again.

The point being an hour with a good trainer could save you a lot of time and heartache down the track :)
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post #16 of 31 Old 12-18-2015, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both, I suppose some professional help couldn't hurt. Frankly, given the feedback and anecdotes, I'm lucky it hasn't gotten worse already! Chah, despite his rebellions, remains a fundamentally kind animal (in my totally unqualified opinion).

It sounds silly, but when he nips, he moves his head out of the way to do it next to you, and when he bucks, it's only a few inches, once in a ride (then I scold him and that's it for that time). When he raises a leg, it's always the one opposite to the side you're on, and never, ever results in a kick or even a try (so far). So you see he's frustrated and a bit aggressive, but he's also deliberately trying not to do harm so far.

I want to correct everything of course, and certainly don't take an animal this size for granted, regardless, but let's just say we've all seen horses be much more direct and proactive in their efforts.

I work with the stable owners (lifelong horsemen/women) regularly, and strangely enough here is Switzerland, my part-time neighbor is a Cheyenne Indian horse-whisperer...

Overall I know he's a great animal, and I'm confident that with the right approach he can be corrected. Thank you again for your time and feedback
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post #17 of 31 Old 12-18-2015, 07:08 PM
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Not quite enough information for me to have an opinion. You say you recently purchased him and also that other people who know him say this behavior is strange. Does that mean that they knew him before you purchased him? Was he at the same facility? I also find it a little strange that he recently has become aggressive toward other horses. If everything is new (owner, boarding facility, companion horses) then he very well may feel settled in now and trying to be dominant. If the only thing that has changed recently is his new owner then it is possible that he is in some discomfort.
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post #18 of 31 Old 12-18-2015, 07:18 PM
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All of the problems you describe are typical of a horse who is looking for a leader. The most important question to Chah is will you protect me or am I on my own? All those irritations you describe are him asking the question, and he isn't getting the answer he wants.

Instead of dealing with the symptoms, I think it would be quicker, more effective, and safer for you to deal with the real issue. Treat him like another horse would and make him move his feet forward, backward, left and right. There are dozens of trainers all using essentially the same techniques. I think Clinton Anderson is easiest to follow, but if you prefer Richard Winters or Stacy Westfall or Mark Rashid or someone else, fine. But learn how to do some groundwork that will persuade Chah that you are the leader he wants you to be. He will be so relieved and the other nonsense will stop.
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post #19 of 31 Old 12-18-2015, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
Sometimes I think many of these things might be due to his history as a racing horse, competitive nature, the very special commands/training he's learned, and lack of intimacy with humans he's certainly experienced.

What worries me is just that things are getting progressively WORSE all the time...I'd appreicate any thoughts on how to improve this!
The "lack of intimacy with humans" statement worries me and leads me to think that you tend to "baby" the horse... that is a BAD idea! Horses will see that as a weakness many times.

Things getting progressively worse tells me that you are not being effective in your corrections.

You never need to be "mean" or "vindictive" but you do need to make things ABSOLUTE with the horse... no room for any rebellion at all. It sounds like this horse sees any opening as a sign that he can "go for broke" with his own ideas instead or YOUR ideas.
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post #20 of 31 Old 12-18-2015, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
Thank you Foxhunter, I will take this into consideration.

I am actually happy to hear that you proceed with grooming and other things whilst your horse eats. Actually, with Chah, I find that grooming him seems to be easiest in his box, at dinner time, almost as though the food distracts him.

This is a practice I have that is strongly discouraged in our horse culture here, but as with my previous dog, whilst it is important to let an animal eat, I believe that imposing myself any time with him is crucial in being boss, and not letting him develop his own "territory" where he feels immune to my interventions.

I do not groom horses whilst they are eating their hard feed. I would muck them out that is all.

It would be like someone trying to groom you whilst you are eating. Mucking them out when they are eating would be like someone doing the dishes whilst you are eating!

I do not allow distractions, I want the horse to concentrate on me.
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