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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks for reading.. hopefully I can get some helpful responses..
A quick bit about us to help you understand more...
I am a first time horse owner, I have had DeeDee for 5 years and even though she is the most gentle natured horse on the face of the planet she does not respect me like she should. Lately the problem I am having is that when we go to the roundpen to lunge she will sometimes do it, sometimes not. More often not these days. Her feet are fine and she is not injured so the only reason I can think of is a lack of respect for me. I do not whip my horse and will not so please dont suggest it.

Typical lunge for us consists of me in the middle, with a lunge whip, I stare at her shoulder blades (careful not to step in front of her drive line or behind) and point in the direction I want her to go, click my tongue, and hold the whip facing her hip and switch it a little and then she goes.

Recently I do it and she stands still and stares at me. I have tried whipping the ground right next to her feet, and i have tried running towards her hips while whipping the ground and clicking and her front feet stay in the same spot and she just turns her rear end in circles and then we end up in a very comical/frustrating situation where Im the horse running circles and shes telling me what to do from the middle.

What am I doing wrong? I know to gain a horses respect you have to move their feet but I am struggling with this now. Any suggestions would be great, thank you :)
 

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can't really help since one of my geldings is doing the same thing :) would love to know what responses you get :) good luck
 

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I'm not going to be a lot of help, either. My Dancer had a lot of issues when I first got her two years ago - most dealing with ground manners - or a lack thereof. I was able to get her to "behave" because I just don't put up with nonsense. After two months, she was an angel on the ground.

Started lunging her about a year ago - didn't have a round pen at that time. Didn't even know if she could be lunged - I never messed with lunging horses before - the ones I had didn't need it, and I didn't know if Dancer had ever been taught to lunge. Seems she knew more than I did about it, so I got really lucky.

However, she's a mare, and has her days of "I don't wanna!" On those days, I do have to be a bit more assertive. Upon occasion I've even had to resort to a little smack on the butt with my lunge whip to let her know I mean business. I'm not "whipping" her, per se, just a smack - doesn't even have to be hard. She gets the message, and after a little hissy fit, she settles down.

Don't be afraid to get as physical as you need to with your horse. I'm not advocating abuse, but a well timed smack can do a world of good. You really need to get your horse to focus on you and move her feet. If the horse won't move when you run at her, then get her to move some other way.

I am assuming, of course, that you are dealing with an attitude problem, and not a physical one...
 

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If it was me, I would try to get her moving in a different direction if she wasn't going forward. I'd get her to back up and keep her backing up for a few strides, then try to get her going forward again. If that didn't work, i'd back her up in a circle around the round pen, maybe get her to side pass on the ground, get her feet moving and keep them moving in any direction, until when you ask her to go forward she does it.
 

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Rent/buy DVD's of either Clinton Anderson (gaining respect series) or of Buck Brannamen. Both are excellent instructors.
 

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I was just watching a friend have a similar issue as this yesterday, only in her case, the horse was not only refusing to move, but was "air biting" toward the stick that she was circling in the air.

Your horse will respect you when she knows that you mean what you say and say what you mean. So, if you ask her to move her shoulder away from you, then you durn well better get that reaction. The longer you stay in that place of you just swinging your stick and her just ignoring, the more it will eventually take to move her. You are building dullness into your horse, which is the exact opposite of what round penning or lunging should be about;

Think of it like this:
when you apply pressure to the horse you, the horse has a place where he will react to that pressure, by moving away from it. Every horse has a different " break point" let's call it. You will start applying pressure very lightly and increase this until you reach his break point, he gives and then you take all pressure off instantly. Such is the fundamentals of training. Your goal is to move that break point further and furthe down the scale. Scale?

I mean, you've heard of "ask, tell, demand" right? It means first you ask nicely, then you tell firmly , then you demand! So, if "ask" is a 1 on the scale of 1 to 10 in terms of pressure, then 'tell" is not one increment above "ask" but rather maybe 3. So "tell" might be a 4. Then if your horse is still not responsive, either willfully blowing you off, or asleep at the wheel or maybe not understanding what's going on, then you have to go to "demand!" Demand is not one increment up from "tell" . It's number 10!. So, your increase in pressure is not a linear increase, it is exponential.

Once your horse knows that you will go to 10 if necessary, she will respond at 4 or less. That is moving her break point down the scale and building responsiveness into her, rather than dullness.

In your case, your horse knows what the worst you will dish out is, and she knows it's surviveable, so she knows she need not do anything. You need to go in with a "this is a whole new ballgame" attitude. think; I am going to move you around here and you will move promptly and correctly and as soon as you do, we are done. But, make no mistake, you WILL move, now!"

If you think this, and if you are willing to do what it takes, you will get your horses attention, and thus more respect becaue you are willing to do what you say you will do. That earns a horse's respect.

And yes, you may need to strike her with the whip. Make it memorable so you won't ever have to do it again.
 

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If she really doesn't need round pen work, then why do it? She's likely quite bored with it and is shutting down. Why not set up an obstacle course and work her over, under and thro that instead to help keep her mentally fresh.
 

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Agreeing with Saddlebag!

This is maybe a bit off-topic, but I just came to think of when I tried to lunge Silver (my mare) a couple of years ago.
She cantered a few rounds, then she became bored with it and just wanted to come in to the middle and have a cosy time instead :p
At last I had to give up the lunging, and just pet her.
Haven't tried after that, I'm just riding her or working on the ground in other ways.
Just an incident!
 

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I agree with both saddlebags and tinyliny. There's no point in doing something your horse doesn't need, but not having your horses respect, and your horse knowing he can just stand there when you are asking him to do something is unacceptable. This will eventually lead to him standing there and ignoring your aids in the saddle. My horse has done this before, and really the point of the setting back is the not moving. So if anything make your horse MOVE HIS FEET. back up, do laterals, and eventually get him moving forward, and away from you. Your horse should know to stay out of your space if he respects you, and this is very important. And with the whole hitting your horse thing, they have a thick skin, and you don't need to actually whip your horse, but you can use a lead rope, or something that will make him want to move away from it (i've used a longe whip with a brightly colored piece of fabric, or a plastic bag attached to it, because they move away from something weird like that and you don't need to hit them with anything) So hope those are some helpful ideas GOOD LUCK:)
 

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Have you tried bribing her? Lol i know it sounds silly but sometimes a horse may just get fed up with the same old stuff day in and day out. Try changing it up a bit with a new rutine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks!

Thank you to everyone who has responded. Maybe I should try a small whack if all the other suggestions dont work, I just dont like the idea of it but I suppose that is the last thing she would ever expect from me so maybe that is what it is gonna take to get her attention. We dont lunge very often so I dont think it is boredom of the round pen (maybe it is!) but lately she hasnt been respecting me in the saddle and I have had 2 pretty serious accidents in the last 6 months because of it. I have read that if it is a lack of respect, to start from the ground up to gain it so thats why I am trying lunging again. I will not tolerate one more of her "accidents" because it might be a fatal one (on my part). I would love to buy Clinton Andersons fundamentals kit but I checked online about a week ago and discovered that it is $599!!!! yeah... thats not an option right now... So I have been asking around if any friends have it... might have located one. Thanks again for all the suggestions, I certainly appreciate it.
 

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I'm not saying whack your horse, but pretty much however hard you hit her would never be as hard as another horses kick. If you say move away from you she should move, if a horse said that to her she would. By stopping your aids before she moves you are training to stand still.

I like doing work on a 12ft rope. Getting horses moving their hind, their front, to each side, and back and forward. Like others have mentioned, sometimes when a horse is reluctant to move one way moving another direction helps that. With my old horse, whenever he wasn't doing what I asked or was being generally rude I'd send him backwards, and then forwards, and then around. I don't know why but going backwards has always worked better for me than going forward as far as respect/attention goes.
 

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Thank you to everyone who has responded. Maybe I should try a small whack if all the other suggestions dont work, I just dont like the idea of it but I suppose that is the last thing she would ever expect from me so maybe that is what it is gonna take to get her attention. We dont lunge very often so I dont think it is boredom of the round pen (maybe it is!) but lately she hasnt been respecting me in the saddle and I have had 2 pretty serious accidents in the last 6 months because of it. I have read that if it is a lack of respect, to start from the ground up to gain it so thats why I am trying lunging again. I will not tolerate one more of her "accidents" because it might be a fatal one (on my part). I would love to buy Clinton Andersons fundamentals kit but I checked online about a week ago and discovered that it is $599!!!! yeah... thats not an option right now... So I have been asking around if any friends have it... might have located one. Thanks again for all the suggestions, I certainly appreciate it.
You have gotten some excellent advise here. HOWEVER-if you go at it with the thought of "prehaps I could give her a small smack..." You will never-ever correct the issue. As was said-do it once and make it count. You will most likely have to do it rarely if ever again. If you "smack her lightly" and tentatively she knows that and nothing changes. She still has your number.

You have bee afraid to hurt little poopsie for 5 years now. This will not go away, only get worse.

You can get CA videos on Ebay for around $30 as I recall. There are some videos you may be able to see on youtube or rent online.

One thing is for sure-until you decide to use the pressure necessary to MAKE her do it, (I am NOT telling you to whip her) she will continue to stand there, stare at you thinking "nanny nanny booboo....you can't make me!":wink:

Ask, tell DEMAND. works every time as long as you really DEMAND it!
 

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When it comes more to discipline and her learning from you quickly (this will also mean her knowing you mean business.) When she does something wrong (no matter how long it takes) go back and do it again, and again, and again..
 

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When it comes more to discipline and her learning from you quickly (this will also mean her knowing you mean business.) When she does something wrong (no matter how long it takes) go back and do it again, and again, and again..

BUT-as soon as she gets it right-QUIT~!
 

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The example I raised earlier in this thread was of a friend of mine who IS working with a Clinton Anderson trainer, believe it or not. Just haveing a system to follow doesn't mean that you will use it correctly. If you have not INTENTION in what you ask a horse to do, the horse knows this and he operates on your intention, not whether you have this dvd or that stick or follow any particular trainer. If you still have the intention that says, "maybe I'll have to smack her, but just once" then your intention is not, "move forward, now!" Horses are amazing in their capacity to judge how strong is your committment or intention. They are much bothered when a person's actions don't match the intention. (i. e. you swing the whip, but you have no real coviction that you WILL get the desired result).

This horse in my example is also starting to act up more and more under saddle and making the rider more and more uncomfortable around it on the ground . It's a vicious cycle, because now he knows that he will not be worked. He snaps at them, even makes small, petty strikes with his front legs and they continue to swing the stick! Why I'd lay a whip on him so fast if he struck out at me with his front legs or bit the air at me. And the longer they do this, the more ingrained it gets.

I am not about hitting horses, and I agree that round penning incessantly causes boredom and can be purposeless. But it may also really show you the basis of your horses attitude toward you, which in this case sounds kind of like,
"Meh, she's ok when she pets and feeds me. Whatever "
 

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There is a saying about training horses. "Use as little pressure as possible but as much as necessary." Unless you are willing to use as much as necessary, that being giving your horse a whack when needed, he will learn you don't mean what you ask him or him not respecting you. You need to convince him you mean business to get his respect.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
WoW thats a lot of advise, thank you again to all of you who offered me your helpful suggestions. I think the general consensus is is that I am a big pansy and let my horse walk all over me... and thats pretty much right. I will give these techniques a try and let you all know how it went :) Wish me luck!
 

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i have a similar problem with my 4yo mare. she doesnt seem to see me as the alpha like the other 2 horses do. she will do what i ask her, but without looking at me. is there any exercises, other than correcting her when she's wrong, that will help me establish being the alpha with her?

and ive heard different things but is it a horrible thing to let a horse rub its head against you? && what does this mean?
 
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