Horse pins ears - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-04-2018, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Horse pins ears

So I recently bought a 4 year old haflinger x arabian gelding. (The one in my pfp) was a nightmare on the first few weeks I had him (biting and kicking) but he has slowly started to calm down a bit. One thing that he still does he keeps pinning his ears back when I approach him accept for when I am either carrying his bridle (as he knows it’s time for a ride) or giving him his food. He doesn’t try to do anything but it still makes me feel uncomfortable. He also pins his ears, and does a small buck every time I kick him while riding, Even when I kick really lightly. He always nickers when he sees me but seems to hate when I approach haha. He is the very first horse I ever owned. I also have a 4 yo mare.
Does anyone know why he is acting this way? I also don’t want to hear comments like: “sorry to brake it to you, but I don’t think he is the right horse for you.” as I am definitely NOT willing to sell him.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-04-2018, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaddleUpAndRide View Post
So I recently bought a 4 year old haflinger x arabian gelding. (The one in my pfp) was a nightmare on the first few weeks I had him (biting and kicking) but he has slowly started to calm down a bit. One thing that he still does he keeps pinning his ears back when I approach him accept for when I am either carrying his bridle (as he knows itís time for a ride) or giving him his food. He doesnít try to do anything but it still makes me feel uncomfortable. He also pins his ears, and does a small buck every time I kick him while riding, Even when I kick really lightly. He always nickers when he sees me but seems to hate when I approach haha. He is the very first horse I ever owned. I also have a 4 yo mare.
Does anyone know why he is acting this way? I also donít want to hear comments like: ďsorry to brake it to you, but I donít think he is the right horse for you.Ē as I am definitely NOT willing to sell him.

Thanks.
Do you mean EXCEPT where I bolded the word? That would be clearer.

Also, why are you kicking him? Maybe just stop kicking him, for starters.

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-04-2018, 09:25 AM
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Work with him at liberty and see how he feels about you approaching. I knew an Appaloosa once who gave a sneer to anyone who approached him, but if you went up to him calmly and scratched his neck or showed him some other form of kindness, the ears went right back up. If he gets away from you given the chance, you got some trust issues to work on still, but since you made progress already, just keep at it.

As for kicking him...see above. Give him a chance to respond to the lightest cue possible, not the lightest kick.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-04-2018, 10:04 AM
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He's challenging you...showing disrespect when he pins his ears at you on approach.
Some of the challenge is normal, although not good when a new horse is figuring out if you are a leader or they are to lead and you be the follower in their hierarchy and herd.
You need to exude a stronger leadership position or the threat will soon become actions acted against you...
You don't need to be aggressive though.
You need to calmly and with purpose do tasks around and with the horse, with a authoritative attitude...
{For me when I tell my horse to move..he moves and then checks to see if it is far enough kind of attitude given for example}
Biting and kicking at you though is never to be permitted as a "gentle" bite or kick could kill you or worse injure you where permanence of injury is forever...
Never allow biting or kicking of any kind...a raised voice, flailing arm and noisy mouth to startle the horse to another thought pattern of "what have I done"....
Make very sure you are immediate in response to the threat and be very careful your actions keep you safely out of harms way of a hoof or teeth...but a horse who threatens would think twice about ever repeating that action against me.
I turn crazy when you threaten my safety and I don't need to touch the horse, but they don't need to know that!
My actions, body language and demeanor tell them they just made a big mistake they not want to ever repeat.

As for "kicking" when astride....
You don't kick with point of the heel {center of your boot heel} but do apply leg pressure with the calf and inside heel of the boot to the side...squeeze and release, not kick.
He is being disrespectful when he "crow-hops, small bucks" when you are astride...
He though is reacting to your cruelly placed leg kicking his ribs and may indeed be causing him pain...
My "internet appraisal" is you need some instruction in ground-handling of this horse and you need some riding instruction to better communicate with this horse.
Learning to handle and work in quiet harmony with your animals...we can all learn new techniques, truly.
Be open to some constructive criticism and ideas to make your interactions with all your animals be calmer, friendly but in a strong leadership role.
A new horse who you don't know what, how or who handled him previously so not sure what and how he truly was treated...all animals have baggage from previous owners and all horses have personalities we need to work with to shape into what we want...
Some tutelage in fine-tuning that communication may be a good place to start...
Subtle cues given is what you strive for...both on the ground and while astride.
...
jmo...
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-04-2018, 10:25 AM
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My Arabian does the ear pin thing too, until you say, "Fix those caca ears!" and he'll perk them right up. He's never allowed in my space with his ears even remotely back, he has to be looking at me with both eyes and ears up or he has to go out. It's an every day exercise with some horses. Some are actually threatening, some like my guy are in a "habit". Until you know which it is, you keep him out of your personal space and only let him in or let him eat or drink, when he gives you "pretty ears". He'll learn real quick who's in charge. You take ownership of the gate, the pasture, the feed bowl, the water tub and he only gets to approach if his ears are up and forward. You have to be quick though, he may only flick them forward for a second, you need to praise him and tell him "good boy" and back off what you're guarding at that moment. It's more a timing thing than an aggressive thing. If you keep up your guardianship of whatever object past the ear lick, then you'll lose your momentum and be reinforcing the ears back.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-04-2018, 03:12 PM
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Also going to question the kicking thing. You should be putting your leg on by pressing with the insides of your calves. You can "bump" with your calves if squeezing doesn't work but you definitely shouldn't actually be kicking.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-04-2018, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avna View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaddleUpAndRide View Post
So I recently bought a 4 year old haflinger x arabian gelding. (The one in my pfp) was a nightmare on the first few weeks I had him (biting and kicking) but he has slowly started to calm down a bit. One thing that he still does he keeps pinning his ears back when I approach him accept for when I am either carrying his bridle (as he knows it’s time for a ride) or giving him his food. He doesn’t try to do anything but it still makes me feel uncomfortable. He also pins his ears, and does a small buck every time I kick him while riding, Even when I kick really lightly. He always nickers when he sees me but seems to hate when I approach haha. He is the very first horse I ever owned. I also have a 4 yo mare.
Does anyone know why he is acting this way? I also don’t want to hear comments like: “sorry to brake it to you, but I don’t think he is the right horse for you.” as I am definitely NOT willing to sell him.

Thanks.
Do you mean EXCEPT where I bolded the word? That would be clearer.

Also, why are you kicking him? Maybe just stop kicking him, for starters.
Yes. It was just a spelling error.
I am only kicking him because he does not respond to a squeeze.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-04-2018, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mmshiro View Post
Work with him at liberty and see how he feels about you approaching. I knew an Appaloosa once who gave a sneer to anyone who approached him, but if you went up to him calmly and scratched his neck or showed him some other form of kindness, the ears went right back up. If he gets away from you given the chance, you got some trust issues to work on still, but since you made progress already, just keep at it.

As for kicking him...see above. Give him a chance to respond to the lightest cue possible, not the lightest kick.
He seems to pin his ears whenever he feels like it. I have tried to pet and scratch his neck and talk to him but he just seems to hate it even more when I do so. I only kick him if he doesn’t respond to noise or a squeeze.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-04-2018, 05:28 PM
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[QUOTE=SaddleUpAndRide;1970580999
I am only kicking him because he does not respond to a squeeze.[/QUOTE]

Move your leg position around some when you "squeeze"

I found one horse I thought was dead-sided that indeed he is not but he was "cue-taught" to respond further forward from where I normally have my legs placed...
If I sit with my leg more chair-seat placed that horse has a reaction and is very responsive.
His "training rider" rode more with leg in front of her and I ride more with legs in align with me...not wrong just different and you may also be dealing with that...
Be flexible and search around a little bit looking for the sweet spot...
...
jmo...
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