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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so my problem is:

Our filly, Spring leads, backs just by me pointing or me backing up (not touching her or the lead), turns away from me just by me pointing my two fingers at her, she stops when I stop, has a understanding about what lunging is at a walk and trot, and knows how to whoa, and we can saddle and bridle her. She is a pretty good filly for having owners who have never worked with a baby before. The only thing is, is when she is asked to do something, sometimes she gets cranky about it. She may swish her tail, or she mostly pins her ears back. She still does what is asked with a little resistance, but not much, she just isn't happy about it! Is there anything I can do to make her always willingly do what I ask, without the cranky behaviour? What could be causing this? Is this normal for a almost two year old? What can I do?

Also, my riding instructor is coming out this weekend to help me out a bit, so I will be getting professional help.
 

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It could be that she is just acting dominant, in which case I would drive her front end away assertively when she pins her ears at you, back her up, something to interrupt that pattern.

However, it could be that she is bored and she's being asked to do the same things over and over again, so she's cranky about it. She may have a very active mind and is a fast learner so you really need to keep teaching her new things and keeping her interested.

When you ask her for something, do you do it softly? Perhaps your body language is "screaming" at her and she's telling you to tone it down lol!
 

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It may just be her personality. I had a filly like this. If you asked her to try something new, her first response was usually "NO!" Ears pinned, hard eye... then once she figured it out, it was like her brain clicked in "Oh, okay." and she did it. There were some things she just tolerated grudgingly, such as brushing her mane. She would stand with her ears pinned, the total image of sullen. Just ignore it, unless she decides to act on those looks, and then light her up for it.

How old is she? How long do you usually work with her? Does she start off by giving you looks or do the looks start somewhere in the middle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help....

I start by asking really soft, not even touching her, then I slowly increase to the amount of pressure it takes to get the job done.

Spring will be 2 in may. I work with her anywhere from 5 minutes 30 minutes sometime a little more, I try to do something with her at least 5 time a week. She starts off really happy then after a while she gets cranky, but only sometimes, not every time.
 

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Spring will be 2 in may. I work with her anywhere from 5 minutes 30 minutes sometime a little more, I try to do something with her at least 5 time a week. She starts off really happy then after a while she gets cranky, but only sometimes, not every time.
This is very normal as a 2 year old has a limited attention span. Just keep working with her, keep the work varied, and make sure that you end every session on a good note, even if it is something very simple.
 

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I have experienced quite a few of this type of young horses. I have found the best thing to do is, as long as she is responding to you the way you want, just ignore the little cranky attitude. If you continue to ignore it and just go about your business showing her that she is not affecting you with those actions then it should go away as she grows up. I liken it to a child, you may tell them to clean their room and they show that they don't like it but still do it. As long as they still do it we're good. It is important to let your horse know that those actions don't mean anything to you because if she sees that it gets to you then she will build on that or you could allow emotion to seep into your work with her and begin to make mistakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the help.

My riding instructor came out this morning and helped me a bit with her. We have come to the conclusion Spring is not the type of horse you can "pick on". Things need to be slow, short, and consistent. She is a alpha horse, and has her mothers attitude.

Does anyone have any ideas on things I can do with her, so she doesnt get board of the same thing over and over again?
 

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It may just be her personality. I had a filly like this. If you asked her to try something new, her first response was usually "NO!" Ears pinned, hard eye... then once she figured it out, it was like her brain clicked in "Oh, okay." and she did it. There were some things she just tolerated grudgingly, such as brushing her mane. She would stand with her ears pinned, the total image of sullen. Just ignore it, unless she decides to act on those looks, and then light her up for it.

How old is she? How long do you usually work with her? Does she start off by giving you looks or do the looks start somewhere in the middle?

Ha ha this is sooo totally Hunter. He hates to have his mane brushed. Spoiled little 2 year old - sullen EXACTLY! Tell me did your filly outgrow this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for the help.

My riding instructor came out this morning and helped me a bit with her. We have come to the conclusion Spring is not the type of horse you can "pick on". Things need to be slow, short, and consistent. She is a alpha horse, and has her mothers attitude.

Does anyone have any ideas on things I can do with her, so she doesn't get board of the same thing over and over again?
Sorry, I wanted to say you "cant" pick on her...
 

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I would suggest getting a little "crazy" with her. Get one of those blow up pilates balls and see if she will kick it or nudge it or play with it, start playing with tarps or things. Try taking her for "trail walks" whether it's around the farm, through fields or down actual trails. Build obstacle courses for her. Teach her the motions that horses go through to open gates. Walk her up to it, unlatch it, make her walk into the gate as you push it, pivot on the fore hand and walk back up to latch it. Get her used to umbrellas, tie things like plastic bags to her saddle and lunge her with them or try teaching her to line drive. Keep her mind busy and spice things up. If every day you work with her you try something new, or put a new spin on an old lesson she will be excited and eager to work. It builds their mental capacity, makes them eager to work and helps to teach them that new things are fun not scary.
 
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