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Discussion Starter #1
filly (whiskey) is 17 months old and seems to be attempting to assert herself

yesterday was walking in the pasture and feeding the horses (3) alfalfa treats and the filly got mad that i was not treating her fast enough --- she turned her back end towards be -- lined up -- took 2 steps back and kicked at me

i am not sure what the proper response should have been -- but i slipped to my left, jumped forward to her flank and gave her a quick jab to the short-ribs -- hard enough to let her know i meant business -- but not hard enough to hurt her -- kind of happened before i could think if it was the right thing to do

today -- i was riding Dixie (the other quarter horse) - (the filly thinks it is her mom) and she comes running up beside her -- and then Whiskey ( the filly) charges my wife and daughter who are walking in the pasture --- my wife threw her hands up and yelled and scared her off -- but she whiskey (the filly) end up bucking and charging about 3 times -- luckily my wife scared her off each and every time

after charging the wife and kids she would run under the nearby tree with her tail raised high, head really erect and high ect.... (figured that would be relevant)

so -- i am under the impression that the filly is trying to establish pecking order --- but scared the crap out of me, my wife, and my daughter.

any suggestions would be great ---- thanks in advance
 

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Go out in the pasture one day with the goal of breaking this behavior. Bring a whip. When she starts after you, stop her and have what we like to call a come to Jesus moment. Get your whip and when you get her to stop and turn away, chase her around the pasture. Yell a lot. Make her MOVE, Make her think the devil himself is at her heels. Be aggressive, not just a jab to the ribs. Let her know that she needs to never do that again. EVER. Once she's gotten the message stop and pretend to resume diddling about in the pasture. I've seen this done and it usually only takes a time or two before they get it! If you look at a herd that's exactly what a dominant horse will do - Chase and tell the lower horse their place, so it's in a language that's plain and clear for her.
 

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I agree with the above. It works well.

I had a colt who only got testy twice in his life with me, when he was 6 months and when he was a year.

He used to get ****y when he was nursing and his momma walked off, he would pin his ears and run up in front of her shaking his head to make her stop. Once he was weaned he thought it would be okay to do it to me. Then again when my mom fed him, that time he attempted to double barrel her right in the chest but he missed. Next time I went out with a whip, and made him think I was going to kill him for 5 seconds then returned to feeding. I wouldn't allow him to come to his grain until I left.

When he was a year he wanted to throw a fit when I took him away from the good grass in the yard. Again, made him think he was about to die. It only took once for him to get that I meant business!
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Even after you do this, I would still be very hesitant to trust this filly in the pasture for a long while with the wife and kids. I would also be doing ground work with her to let her know that turning a butt to a human is NEVER a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
we've had the filly for about 2 weeks and have spent hours and hours in the pasture with her and the other horses -- yesterday was the first time she did this

my wife does most of the feeding since i normally have to be at work early early and it is an hour away --- i will make sure she reads this so she knows to scare the crap out of the filly in order to break the behavior

i let the my wife and daughter know that if they want to go out to the pasture - they need to bring the carriage whip with them -- since it makes the loud whistling and popping sounds if you do it right.

will do so research on some ground work i can do with her --- i have been clipping a lead to her halter and walking her up and down the pasture
 

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She needs to be tied to a high limb on a tree while you ride, not allowed to chase the horse being ridden, who is really defenseless with a rider. After she is tied up for a few hours, take her to the water to let her drink, then tie her back up. The herd leader controls the water, and it is one of the quickest ways to estalish dominance.

Be sure to use a web halter to tie a horse above their head, because they can escape from a rope one.

Nancy
 

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Yes absolutely light a fire under her feet and I would not worry about hurting her, do you think the alpha mare worries about hurting her if she steps out of line, nope. She needs to know you mean business and you have the power to move her feet. She needs more ground work then just leading her around, you need to do exercises that will gain her respect. If you don't know how to train her get someone to help you. There is plenty of good information out there, personally I like Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox, Julie Goodnight, Craig Cameron they all teach about gaining your horses respect. Be safe.
 

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Horses are LIVESTOCK. They are not dogs. They are not friends. They are HORSES. They need to be treated like the livestock they are. This means NO CRAP EVER. PERIOD.

It also means you do not get angry. You need to be assertive. You need to know when to apply pressure and also when to stop.

Most folks get angry and that often takes the response beyond where it needs to go. Response needs to look like Satan himself complete with fire, horns and pitchfork but without anger.

The best way I have seen it put is you make the horse think you will KILL him. You have 5 seconds to do that.. and it must occur immediately at the time of infraction. After the 5 seconds you keep the horse moving so they clearly understand YOU control their feet. When their feet move and when their feet stop moving.

It is really quite simple. You learn timing. Horse learns respect.

FWIW when you start to treat a horse like a horse you may find that horse a LOT happier.. a lot more willing to work and a whole lot more fun to be around
 

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we've had the filly for about 2 weeks and have spent hours and hours in the pasture with her and the other horses -- yesterday was the first time she did this

my wife does most of the feeding since i normally have to be at work early early and it is an hour away --- i will make sure she reads this so she knows to scare the crap out of the filly in order to break the behavior

i let the my wife and daughter know that if they want to go out to the pasture - they need to bring the carriage whip with them -- since it makes the loud whistling and popping sounds if you do it right.

will do so research on some ground work i can do with her --- i have been clipping a lead to her halter and walking her up and down the pasture

What are you in the pasture doing for hours and hours? Horses are not dogs, and doing this does nothing but cause problems. And humans are not horses either.

If you are babying the horses and this filly, you need to quit. That means petting and messing around with her too, as that makes this worse.

You also need to realize that if your wife/kid can't make it a defining moment in their handling of this filly? That means put a stop to it. They will actually be making her worse each time she does something and they allow it.

All horses should be kept away from the humans when going into pasture. Even if this filly stays back, but only the others come close, filly could well decide to rush another horse and shove that horse into human. Or wheel and kick causing a kicking melee.

You need to reassess how you are feeding, and take steps to alleviate risking yourselves until you get this sorted out.

But the main thing elsewhere is to not baby this filly at all.

And quit riding in the same pasture with the other horses is what I would do. Good way to end up in serious trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What are you in the pasture doing for hours and hours? Horses are not dogs, and doing this does nothing but cause problems. And humans are not horses either.

If you are babying the horses and this filly, you need to quit. That means petting and messing around with her too, as that makes this worse.

You also need to realize that if your wife/kid can't make it a defining moment in their handling of this filly? That means put a stop to it. They will actually be making her worse each time she does something and they allow it.

All horses should be kept away from the humans when going into pasture. Even if this filly stays back, but only the others come close, filly could well decide to rush another horse and shove that horse into human. Or wheel and kick causing a kicking melee.

You need to reassess how you are feeding, and take steps to alleviate risking yourselves until you get this sorted out.

But the main thing elsewhere is to not baby this filly at all.

And quit riding in the same pasture with the other horses is what I would do. Good way to end up in serious trouble.
me and the wife walk the pasture a lot, kids have their swings out there under an oak tree, sometimes i mow down the brush out there, was out there yesterday fixing the fence in a few places ... we spend a lot of time out there

we are trying to work out the feeding situation --- the 2 new horses crowd our space a lot and it is not safe.
 

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Go out in the pasture one day with the goal of breaking this behavior. Bring a whip. When she starts after you, stop her and have what we like to call a come to Jesus moment. Get your whip and when you get her to stop and turn away, chase her around the pasture. Yell a lot. Make her MOVE, Make her think the devil himself is at her heels. Be aggressive, not just a jab to the ribs. Let her know that she needs to never do that again. EVER. Once she's gotten the message stop and pretend to resume diddling about in the pasture. I've seen this done and it usually only takes a time or two before they get it! If you look at a herd that's exactly what a dominant horse will do - Chase and tell the lower horse their place, so it's in a language that's plain and clear for her.
I agree. It sounds like the behaviour was not corrected early one when she started to take over your personal space, therefor learning its ok to continue to take over. It's a behaviour that is easy to correct and very common for young horses to do this.
 

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me and the wife walk the pasture a lot, kids have their swings out there under an oak tree, sometimes i mow down the brush out there, was out there yesterday fixing the fence in a few places ... we spend a lot of time out there

we are trying to work out the feeding situation --- the 2 new horses crowd our space a lot and it is not safe.

If trained to respect you then being the pasture will not be a problem at all. Yes, even well trained horses will sometimes get a wild hair and start running around when you are in a pasture, so you always should keep an eye out, but if you are doing that you should be able to be in the pasture and be perfectly safe.

I would start with making her respect you with feeding time. I will not usually discipline another persons horse, but if one of the horses in my barn gets in my space while I'm feeding I let them know on no uncertain terms that that is not acceptable. What I did with my mare, is teach her that she would not get her food until she would stand a few steps back and wait for me to walk away from it. This will not be easy to teach two horses at once if they are loose with each other, so if you can separate the mare while you feed the filly, that will make your life easier.

Take a lunge whip with you and make her stay a few steps back from the food. When she tries to crowd in, crack the whip and run her off. Be careful, because she will probably kick out. Continue to chase her away from the food until she will stand relaxed a few steps away, only then is it ok to move off and let her eat. This will probably take a long time at first, but as time goes on she will learn that if she just waits at a respectful distance, then she will get the food faster. If my horse starts to crowd me for her grain now, all I have to do is point and tell her to get back and she will wait for me to set her bowl down and move off before eating.
 

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If trained to respect you then being the pasture will not be a problem at all. Yes, even well trained horses will sometimes get a wild hair and start running around when you are in a pasture, so you always should keep an eye out, but if you are doing that you should be able to be in the pasture and be perfectly safe.

I would start with making her respect you with feeding time. I will not usually discipline another persons horse, but if one of the horses in my barn gets in my space while I'm feeding I let them know on no uncertain terms that that is not acceptable. What I did with my mare, is teach her that she would not get her food until she would stand a few steps back and wait for me to walk away from it. This will not be easy to teach two horses at once if they are loose with each other, so if you can separate the mare while you feed the filly, that will make your life easier.

Take a lunge whip with you and make her stay a few steps back from the food. When she tries to crowd in, crack the whip and run her off. Be careful, because she will probably kick out. Continue to chase her away from the food until she will stand relaxed a few steps away, only then is it ok to move off and let her eat. This will probably take a long time at first, but as time goes on she will learn that if she just waits at a respectful distance, then she will get the food faster. If my horse starts to crowd me for her grain now, all I have to do is point and tell her to get back and she will wait for me to set her bowl down and move off before eating.
been taking the lunge whip out with me and keeping all 3 horses away while i set out feed ---- been swinging it around me keeping them 10-15 feet away and when they turn in and step towards me i snap the whip in front of their faces until they turn away

yesterday morning was a defining moment -- i was out gathering the buckets after the morning feeding session and theyed start crowding me and the filly turned around and kicked at me just barely missing my shoulder ---

i chased the crap out of her with that whip trying like hell to catch her and attack her flanks -- i figure i ran about a mile (almost killed me - i'm too big and old to run like that) i kept the filly seperated from the other 2 for half an hour trying to keep her from finding comfort and safety with the mare she thinks is her mother

after that i went out with a lunge line and lunge whip and had her walking circles for me and making her respect my space --- took her a while to understand not to turn in on me --- i think i did about three 30 minute sessions like that -- all walking and no running unless she turned in on me and then i stepped up the pressure to turn her out and away from me

but both her and the mare have issues when it comes to food --- they both want to crowd --- so no one is allowed to feed them except me ---- like i said -- i keep them 10-15 feet away from me with the lunge whip and i will not put up with any crap from them --- they are too big and too dangerous without discipline
 

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Good for you! Keep up the good work.
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been taking the lunge whip out with me and keeping all 3 horses away while i set out feed ---- been swinging it around me keeping them 10-15 feet away and when they turn in and step towards me i snap the whip in front of their faces until they turn away

yesterday morning was a defining moment -- i was out gathering the buckets after the morning feeding session and theyed start crowding me and the filly turned around and kicked at me just barely missing my shoulder ---

i chased the crap out of her with that whip trying like hell to catch her and attack her flanks -- i figure i ran about a mile (almost killed me - i'm too big and old to run like that) i kept the filly seperated from the other 2 for half an hour trying to keep her from finding comfort and safety with the mare she thinks is her mother

after that i went out with a lunge line and lunge whip and had her walking circles for me and making her respect my space --- took her a while to understand not to turn in on me --- i think i did about three 30 minute sessions like that -- all walking and no running unless she turned in on me and then i stepped up the pressure to turn her out and away from me

but both her and the mare have issues when it comes to food --- they both want to crowd --- so no one is allowed to feed them except me ---- like i said -- i keep them 10-15 feet away from me with the lunge whip and i will not put up with any crap from them --- they are too big and too dangerous without discipline
Could you please explain the "not turning in on you" thing? If we are talking round penning or anything if the sort, you want the horse to change direction by turning in towards the center of the circle - ie bringing its front end in to turn around. You do not want the horse to change direction by swinging its hind end in.
Or we're you just stating that you wanted her to stay out on the circle?
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You've had some good advice on establishing what isn't acceptable behaviour and beginning some constructive groundwork that demands and grows respect from a horse.
What I will add - and realize that some will disagree - that although we should be able to go into a pasture and hand out treats its not something I would ever do or encourage other people to do - especially children. Horses can get very demanding and begin pushing without intent of causing injury but the risk of getting caught up in their pecking order is still very high
My opinion is that treats are for reward or individual attention, if you use them for catching a horse they should remain in your pocket until after the horse is haltered. Going into a field and handing them out the way your family were is asking for trouble unless you are very well established as a strong leader and the horses are very well trained to have good manners
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You've had some good advice on establishing what isn't acceptable behaviour and beginning some constructive groundwork that demands and grows respect from a horse.
What I will add - and realize that some will disagree - that although we should be able to go into a pasture and hand out treats its not something I would ever do or encourage other people to do - especially children. Horses can get very demanding and begin pushing without intent of causing injury but the risk of getting caught up in their pecking order is still very high
My opinion is that treats are for reward or individual attention, if you use them for catching a horse they should remain in your pocket until after the horse is haltered. Going into a field and handing them out the way your family were is asking for trouble unless you are very well established as a strong leader and the horses are very well trained to have good manners
i completely agree with you jaydee --- the members here have been great about telling me when i have been stupid and offering solid tips for corrective actions


all treats have been suspended until further notice --- with the feeding issues we already have - i don't want anything to encourage them to invade human space.

until the wife and kids learn how to establish those boundaries and enforce them -- they will continue to keep their distance from whiskey and only go in the pasture if they are carrying the lunging whip --- as it is --- kids are not allowed in the pasture without an adult ---- wife usually does not go in unless i am there and never goes without a whip
 

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Could you please explain the "not turning in on you" thing? If we are talking round penning or anything if the sort, you want the horse to change direction by turning in towards the center of the circle - ie bringing its front end in to turn around. You do not want the horse to change direction by swinging its hind end in.
Or we're you just stating that you wanted her to stay out on the circle?
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Since I'm not the OP I can't answer on their reasoning but I also don't like or allow my horses to turn in when I'm lunging them. My reason is that I hook the lunge line up by clipping it to the bit on the outside, up over the poll and through the bit on the inside. If they turn in and flip directions then my lunge line is on the wrong side and it's more difficult to control the horse. Plus I'm always worried they'll step too far in and get tangled in the line. I certainly don't want a line wrapped around their legs and attached to their head. I like to make them wait for me while I gather the line up, switch sides and then send them off the other direction. For me, it's a safety thing.

Good job OP for establishing respect and enforcing the rules. It sounds like you're doing exactly the right things. Keep up the good work!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Could you please explain the "not turning in on you" thing? If we are talking round penning or anything if the sort, you want the horse to change direction by turning in towards the center of the circle - ie bringing its front end in to turn around. You do not want the horse to change direction by swinging its hind end in.
Or we're you just stating that you wanted her to stay out on the circle?
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sorry -- i missed this one --- i probably do not have the horse vocubalary so say it right


so what i mean from keeping her from turning in on me ---

she will stop and turn in to face me and walk in to where i am standing -- chest to chest like she is trying to get me to yield

or she will turn in facing me and just stop and stare at me instead of turning to go the other direction


i am sure in the second case i am not being clear and i am doing something wrong --- but in the first case - i feel she is not respecting my space and actively challenging me --- which is already an issue she has, especially when food is involved

yes -- i want her turning her front in to change direction, but i definitely do not want her walking in on me because she has been aggressive/dominant with me in the past by trying to kick me
 
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