Question about allowing horse in your space - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 12-03-2014, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by TXhorseman View Post
It sounds as though your actions worked well with this horse in this situation.

Probably the best explanation of understanding personal space I've read was in "Gallop to Freedom" by Magali Delgado and Frederic Pignon. Frederic is best known for his freedom work with several stallions at the same time.

Regarding personal space, he states:

"A common mistake is to do too much 'snuggling up' to a horse from the beginning. You should keep the distance appropriate to the stage of your relationship. I don't immediately let a horse invade my space. Quite apart from the danger of being bitten, it puts you on the wrong footing."

Lest people misunderstand what he is saying, he adds: "Once there is total confidence and respect in both directions it becomes another matter."

He goes on to clarify things more. I won't discuss them all. However, I do want to add this about reaction to situations similar to what you describe. Frederic says: " do you impose these rules without breaking all the precepts I have been laying down? [Precepts about keeping a horse comfortable, relaxed, and trusting.] You do it with firmness but without getting angry."
I NEED that book..... its on my Christmas list!!!!!!!! PLEEEAAASE SANTA!!

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
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post #12 of 22 Old 12-03-2014, 10:20 PM
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It's not about using a round pen to gain his respect. It's about being mindful of every little move he makes and correcting what needs to be corrected immediately. Horses keep a list of what they get away with and when the list is long enough they put them all into play at once. The handler is mystified thinking this came out of the blue. No, it's been building for weeks. Carry a riding crop and don't hesitate to deliver a good smack to his shoulder or chest to back him away. In the herd, crowding would bring on either a bite or two hinds so don't worry about a whack doing much damage. It is not beating the horse. 2 hits or more in a row constitute a beating.

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post #13 of 22 Old 12-03-2014, 10:49 PM
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I think you handle the situation quite well!
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post #14 of 22 Old 12-04-2014, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkInEncinitas View Post
I was a bit skeptical of Yogi's post but today proved them correct. Johnny has a serious lack of respect for my space now which has to be fixed. Going through a narrow gate this morning he plowed right into me from the side. I'm sure he knew exactly what he was doing.

The trouble is that I only get so many chances to work on his behavior. It's not like I can tell the owner that I'm taking him down to the round pen to work with him.

Nevertheless his days of intruding into my space without correction are over.
I'm glad things clicked for you. Don't get me wrong there is no issue with loving on a horse...IF things are all on your terms.

If I have a pushy horse I will make a point to not encourage it.

It's like hand feeding/feeding treats. I hand feed all the time. I generally recommend other people not to. The second one of my horses starts to expect the treats or tells me to give them treats is the second they aren't getting any. As such all of my horse will politely wait until I have the treat then they may look cute or ***** their ears but must remain respectful and wait for me to come to them then they get the treat. After the treat I expect them to stand calmly and quietly and not be nosing me looking for more.

It's all about boundaries not what you do. AFTER you have established respect it's ok to do more but the respect still needs to be there, and ALWAYS you come to them and YOU do things when you want them, etc.

Games? Never. Games are how horses show dominance and you're letting him win by even playing. Same with things like rubbing on your or letting them come into your space.

(If a horse wants to rub on me they aren't allowed to but if they look itchy I will extend my hand and allow them to itch on my hand, aka I scratch them)

Like I said, glad it clicked because a lot of people misunderstand or feel it's overdone to say "don't pet the horse" (which is also not at all what I'm saying).

Going to this rescue is a great learning experience for you. I don't think you did anything "wrong" in this situation, just allowed the behavior to happen (then handled it properly). Now you know for the future.

It's the little subtle things we don't pick up on that the horses do. Just with day to day handling, just have confidence and authority, do be kind and give them love, but do NOT lose the first things. You shouldn't need a roundpen. If you have an issue you can even just make him move on the lead rope. Just a step or two away from you to reinforce. Remember, they do get subtle (though some spoiled ones don't listen lol)
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Last edited by Yogiwick; 12-04-2014 at 04:37 PM.
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post #15 of 22 Old 12-04-2014, 06:23 PM
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I think you've discovered first hand that every horse has to be treated on an individual basis. If a horse can't respect you in a situation like this then he doesn't get the chance to do it again - though a bad mannered horse can be taught to stand close and not abuse that privilege if you have the time to do it
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post #16 of 22 Old 12-10-2014, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quick update on this. Yesterday was my first shift since being slammed into the gate. I had to sweep the mats off and needed Geno and Johnny out of my way. Geno as always responded with a couple clucks and bit of pressure on his hip as usual. Johnny did as well but immediately came back to get in my face. He took a nip at me and got smacked. He then sort of charged me, got smacked on the neck and had his course diverted to the side. He stood and chewed that over a bit and stayed out of my space while I finished cleaning the mats.

This morning they saw me coming and just got out of the way. I don't think we're done but progress is being made.
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post #17 of 22 Old 12-10-2014, 03:09 PM
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Good job. Being nice when you can but not being a pushover when you can't. Keep it up and he will get the hint, he will be a little stubborn because he's gotten away with it until now.
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post #18 of 22 Old 12-17-2014, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Final update -

Today I went to clean the guys mat and both immediately exited the mat and Gino waited patiently. Johnny came to investigate which was ok until he was in my way and then a prod in the shoulder and a "Johnny you're in my way" sent him out of the little pen where the rain shelter is, all the way to the other side of the big adjoining pen where he stood waiting until I motioned it was ok to come back.

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post #19 of 22 Old 12-17-2014, 07:48 AM
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Thank you for the update. It's always good to hear of people finding answers to their problems. It seems as though you've found a good balance of establishing respect without fear.

Training riders and horses to work in harmony.
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post #20 of 22 Old 12-17-2014, 10:44 AM
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Well done. So much nicer to have a horse respect you.

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