How to make a horse more like a dog - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 06-02-2016, 07:43 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
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When one of my horses was alone for a few weeks, he became a dog. He wouldn't go out on the pasture unless I walked out there with him, otherwise he would wait at the gate and pout. So I let him out in the yard to graze mostly, he would try looking in windows for me if I wasn't out there with him. When he got another horse with him, his dad actually, he lost most of that behaviour. He was still all clingy with me sometimes, he would wait for me, even if the other horse went on up ahead, he would snake his neck around me and give me a hug. Over time, that slowly disappeared. Now I have three horses, he runs away from me.
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post #12 of 24 Old 06-02-2016, 07:48 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
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Fundamentally, it is correct that a horse will rather be with is own kind.
Yes, there are horses that will appear to like to hang out with you, are perfectly okay having your company as a substitute for that herd security, when you ride or work with them, BUT, they are still not a dog.
My dog will mope , if I am gone, stop eating, while my horses, although they seem to prefer me , when it comes to riding or handling them, also associate me as the person that provides their food.
Sure, one will follow me around that pasture when I am fencing, leaving the herd, but that is partly based on curiosity and also on the fact that the horse associates that pail I am lugging staples, ect in, with usually providing feed-specifically beet pulp!
They seem perfectly fine with someone else feeding them in my absence, and unlike a dog, never become so fixated on a person, that they will long to be with that person, always, above any association with their own kind
Sorry, but that is just not 'normal horse behavior.
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post #13 of 24 Old 06-02-2016, 09:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SW PA
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With mine, it all depends on how fresh, green, and moist the pasture is.

Dead of winter, or drought in summer, he comes to me calling.

April, May, and June, he is like, 'meh, I would rather eat and doze in the spring sun.'
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post #14 of 24 Old 06-02-2016, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
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Personally I would find a thousand pound dog unacceptable as a pet for so many reasons.

Short horse lover
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post #15 of 24 Old 06-02-2016, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Is it just a personality thing? Or just a normal horse thing (they're herd animals, etc)? More importantly, can I change it?

As an owner of horses for 57 years, I am going to waste my time and answer this ^^^^

No. You cannot change whatever the basic/inherent thought process of each individual horse is.

Some are more people friendly than others BUT------ one very important thing separates them from domesticated dogs:

Dogs are basically predatory meat-eating creatures.

Horses were, are, and always will be prey animals, no matter how much bubble wrap we try to put them in.

They will still kick, if they feel the need and aren't properly "horse disciplined.

They will still bite (BTW, you DO know their jaws lock when they bite onto something), if they aren't properly "horse disciplined", and they will still run away in fear or lack of proper "horse discipline".

I treat my horses with utmost respect and fairness. The medical care they receive is better than a lot of people's children get.

The horse in my avatar was my heart horse for 24 of his 27 years. He is laid to rest on his own property.

BUT they are still livestock ---- unpredictable livestock. I would no more think about trying to make them "dog like" than I would think about making a big dog "horse like".

About the time anyone thinks they can re-wire the thought process of any species to resemble another species, it is asking for trouble of some sort. I can easily envision an over night trip to the local hospital where horses are concerned.

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 #16 of 24 Old 06-02-2016, 10:08 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines
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I have to agree with the others on this. If you value your horses, treat them like horses, and expect them to behave like horses. Search or ask about appropriate ways to correct the buddy sour behavior. Trying to get them to behave like dogs will not solve that problem.

The barn owner where I ride sometimes gets horses in from folks who have hit hard times or can no longer care for or handle their horses. The ones that have been treated like dogs do not last long. They are pushy, ill mannered, and tend to throw tantrums when they're required to work.
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post #17 of 24 Old 06-02-2016, 10:41 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Sedgwick, KS
Posts: 263
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I just want to see pictures of Cash! Horses have personalities like people do - personally, I would rather be at home with my animals than out with humans. Im not the most social person, never was, even in school. I am good with people, but I always was a bookworm and horse lover.

I have 8 equine now, some are on me when they see me - LOVE scratches and attention. I have a couple that like the attention but wont seek it out and I have one that could care less, prefers to be by herself.
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Wendy B / Sedgwick, KS / Extreme Trail Riding / Camping
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post #18 of 24 Old 06-02-2016, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 34
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Really great responses. This assures me that the current situation isn't so bad. The buddy sourness definitely needs work and we've been working on it. Feels hopeless but I'll keep at it.

For the one wanting pictures of Cash, I put some pics of him in the "Breeds" forum, a thread named something like "what color - grulla?"
We actually had a great night with him tonight. Poor guy has diarrhea so we're washing his butt daily. Doesn't like to be caught/haltered but once we've got ahold of him he's behaving pretty well.

Like I said, Cyclone really is good once haltered or bridled. Even rides off on her own away from the others after a short fit. But sounds like there's no use wishing she was more of a lover.

Thanks everyone.
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post #19 of 24 Old 06-03-2016, 03:38 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Originally Posted by JAultman View Post
Poor guy has diarrhea so we're washing his butt daily. Doesn't like to be caught/haltered.
I hope the vet is involved regarding the diarrhea. That is a serious issue.

Not wanting to be caught and haltered is an issue that can be corrected, with some patience and correct handling.

Hopefully someone will come in with suggestions, as the horse needs a vet if it hasn't already been seen by one------
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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 #20 of 24 Old 06-03-2016, 05:45 AM
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Northern Florida
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It is a personality thing. I have two mares that are pretty independent unless I have food and one that likes to check people out all of the time. They are all friendly. One of my mares was raised to be an in-your-pocket type of horse and it's a pain in the neck. I have to always tell her to get out of my space. She does it when I tell her but the other two keep a space without asking. My older mare is buddy sour and the other two are not.

They all have their different personalities, but I would not treat any of them like a puppy dog. That is a good recipe for getting hurt. I've known people who spoiled their extremely large dogs too and had problems. Consider the size and what they are capable of and ask yourself if that is what you really want.

You can build a relationship with them but you have to really understand what makes them tick and work with that. I never got that expression that people use (puppy dog personality). They've always reminded me more of a friendly cat if I had to compare them with another pet animal.
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