How to make a horse more like a dog - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 24 Old 06-03-2016, 02:19 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 710
• Horses: 4
I have the same mentality as everyone above so won't go through all that again LOL. I've also noticed it depends on how much "little stuff" you do with them too. Is it just always riding? We owned a gelding who I always just rode, never had special just grooming days etc. I'd get on, we'd ride, I'd brush or hose him down & that was the end of our interactions. He never much liked me & I honestly never liked him much. The young gal that owns him now? He ADORES her.

Doing small things like just walking out into the pasture & "chilling," having a grooming day, or doing interesting groundwork makes a difference. Now personality is personality, but they help. My WB is a cranky brat. She doesn't really like to be pet, doesn't much mind to spend time with you, but will always walk up to me in the pasture. She also NEVER behaves like she did with her old owner for me - which tells me there's respect/trust & maybe a smidge of liking. My TB mare 100% wants to be with me & trusts me. Yet I can't catch her in the pasture... she likes those old geldings too much I think I just started to ramble... Oh well!
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post #22 of 24 Old 06-04-2016, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,295
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Every horse is an individual but I see a difference between mares and geldings. Mares I have found can have a strong devotion to the "herd" even if some of the individuals don't really like each other, so those I would consider "herd bound" rather than "buddy sour". Horses are herd animals and I wouldn't expect any horse to choose people over other horses. My mare enjoys the company of the geldings that she shares a pasture fence line with but also comes (usually at a full gallop) if I am at the gate. When it is just her and me the rapport is good, so I have no problem with her being a horse the rest of the time.
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post #23 of 24 Old 06-04-2016, 04:39 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 6,659
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Hmm. I was (and still am) one of those people that want my horses to be pets, not just modes of transportation. Because I always figured, if you didn't care about the relationship, it is probably cheaper just to get an ATV or bicycle. So I really want a friendship and partnership with my horses.

Everyone is right, respect needs to be first and foremost. Because I always bought previous broke and trained trail horses, I never really had a problem with respect and just pretty much spoiled my horses rotten. I think we both liked it that way and because of their previous handling they never really crossed any lines.

I discovered how important respect was when my mare had a foal. I KNEW not to make him spoiled and enforce rules, but somehow he became a bit of a brat anyway. Not a bad brat, but a horse that thinks highly of himself and questions decisions I make. But he's coming along as a riding horse (he's almost 6 now). But it would have been easier I think if I had never handled him at all rather than imprint him and have him tag along with me every time I went riding. He got a TON of trail experience from a young age but is still spooky and sometimes questions my authority. On the bright side, he stands perfectly next to any object for mounting and isn't afraid of anything I do on him from the saddle.......tarps, slickers, plastic bags, etc. One time I even rode him home with a cluster of balloons!

His mother has to be the sweetest horse EVER. Immediately comes up to the gate to go out, loves to be pampered, etc. but isn't as pushy as her son.

One time I bought a BLM Mustang (already saddle broke) and he had been a man's horse. A rope horse, camping horse, pack horse, etc. He didn't like to be caught and showed me his eyewhites if I tried to hug him. He HATED hugs. But being a woman who likes loving on her horses, he got lots of hugs, kisses and treats. And lots and lots of riding. By the time he died he was a different horse. Greeted me at the gate, tolerated hugs and kisses, etc. So they can change to be more pet-like if you work with them enough. But he always remained respectful.

Make sure the horse is respectful first and foremost. Then you can become their friend. I want my horses to look forward to seeing me, and I guess I do give treats as a form of love. But I am happy with it that way and the horses like it as well, so that's just the way I operate. Other people probably think I am spoiling them, but they are MY horses and I value the relationship with them. Otherwise I would get a bicycle. Much less upkeep!

Just whatever you do, don't spoil your foal or you will regret it. Every time you work with him you will be correcting behavior issues until it is misery instead of fun. It's like bailing water out of a leaky boat. For every good behavior you are correcting something bad. It's better just not to go there if you can help it. And this comes from someone who knew better and tried not to spoil her horse. He's now a good horse........but not as good as he would have been if I had been able to enforce discipline better from the get-go.
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post #24 of 24 Old 06-05-2016, 05:56 AM
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: England
Posts: 139
• Horses: 2
Horses are like people, in a way. They are all different and each one has a unique personality; some things are the same. For instance some horses love being ridden while others hate it and would much prefer to munch on grass all day and all night. Some hate being brought in and like being in the field 24/7 (cough cough Dusty).

I'd say your pony is the latter and you just have to accept him for who he is. Maybe take him some carrots to the field, give him cuddles in his stable and spend time grooming and looking after him. He will love it and some of that awkwardness will be lifted!

Good luck...
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