listen to your horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-11-2015, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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listen to your horse

Taking one of the rescue horses to the round pen for some exercise and on the walk there he was just misbehaving something terrible. Very unusual for him. I was able to get his focus back on me and he was actually very good during exercise and more affectionate than usual when we were done.

I generally leave him in the round pen for a while to enjoy the sun so didn't move him back to his corral for another 30 minutes or so. On getting back to his corral I noticed (I probably should have noticed this the first time) that the other volunteers hadn't fed him!

No wonder he was misbehaving so much, he was hungry! I should have listened to him and I will next time.
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-11-2015, 09:58 PM
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I have done similar things. They tell us, we don't listen and then, being the amazing creatures they are, they continue to work and please us despite their discomfort. Thanks for sharing!

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post #3 of 14 Old 03-12-2015, 06:11 AM
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Being aware of your horse's emotions can be really beneficial. Sometimes we're just too pre-occupied with other things in our life, rather than being in the present moment with them. Good on ya Mark!
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-12-2015, 06:53 AM
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This reminds me of an amusing conversation that we had with our long time breeder friends many, many years ago when we were new to having horses at home. I casually mentioned that our mare got cranky when she was hungry, and our friend simply said "So do I". It's often very easy to over analyze horse behavior, and I've kept that simple response in the back of my mind for many years.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-12-2015, 08:17 AM
Green Broke
 
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Good for you Mark, to pick up on this. Horses really hate to miss mealtimes.
I had a gelding once who had an tendon injury and was on rehabilitation. I rode him every morning for about 20 min at one point in his exercise program. I got up early gave him a light snack then cleaned stalls while he was eating then out for exercise. One morning I was late and had to skip the stall work in order to get to work on time. As I never ate before going to the barn I told him it wouldn't hurt for him to go out before eating just this once. He got a couple of mouthfuls while I was tacking up but apparently this was not enough in his opinion.
This was an older guy, very well trained with no vices. He was so ticked with me as we were trotting along, him with his ears pinned back and suddenly he stopped dead and dropped his head down. I think his idea was to have me go over his head and he would go back to the barn. It didn't work and I laughed at him and told him to suck it up and we continued the short ride. He really did not like having to go out with out his breakfast.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-12-2015, 10:58 AM
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While I agree with you that it's important to pay attention to the cues your horse is giving you, I expect a horse to behave even if it hasn't had lunch yet haha.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-12-2015, 08:31 PM
Yearling
 
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And if you really listen carefully a horse might tell you about some of his past !

I have made some assumptions from cues in a horse's behavior and later, after talking to the right people I found out they were correct
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-12-2015, 11:16 PM
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Yes. :)

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post #9 of 14 Old 03-13-2015, 01:12 AM
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My horse used to balk and then if urged to go further she would paw at the ground with increasing violence until she would drop down to her elbows kind of in a downward dog position. I had many "trainers" try to work with her and they got the same result. I had vets check her. Eventually I found out it was saddle fit and she hasn't done it since I got her a saddle made just for her uneven withers and shoulders.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-13-2015, 09:55 PM
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Last summer I was out riding in the woods (no real defined path). My mare suddenly stopped and refused to go any further. We were going north. I could turn her and go east or west, but she would not continue north. Out of curiosity, I turned east and continued for a few yards before turning north again. Once again, the brakes engaged. I headed off ten yards west, tried to turn north again. But, you guessed it, hit the brakes again. Now, this was our first real trail ride together. She had never, in the three months I had had her at that point, refused anything. Sometimes she hesitated, but she never ever outright refused. I could tell that she was trying to tell me something, but I couldn't quite tell what. She drew a line for me the whole way to the tree line and very clearly declared it a no passing zone. Fortunately I decided to trust her. There turned out to be a bear living in there. Fortunately it has since been served its...erm...permanent eviction notice as that patch of woods is right next to where the new pastures need to go.
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