The Horse Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So for the last year and a half my horse has been leased out while I was in school. When I left him he was sweet, gentle, was able to be tacked up easily and was just the sweetest thing. This past weekend I got him back. He is pushy, hates being groomed to the point of kicking out at me. He won't stand tied patiently and he dances around the entire time the halter is on him. Even rubbing my hand down his neck he pins his ears, starts swishing his tail and picks his back leg up to kick at me. Today it took me 20 minutes to brush just his neck before he would even remotely calm down, but even then if I would move my hand to say his chest the problem started all over again. And saddling is completely out of the question. He kicks out, he steps sideways, pins his ears and throws his head up at the first sight of the bridle. He is 14 years old ottb. He is 17.2 hh and I'm 5'2 on a good day. Ugh what could be the issue??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,363 Posts
He had a bad leaser who spoiled and/or abused him. If you plan on leasing him out again, interview the possible leaser, have him/her take lessons with you or an instructor that has worked with your horse, and really look into the leaser!! In the meantime get a trainer to help you with your horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,205 Posts
First of all, he has serious respect issues. Have you watched the leaser work with him? Does he respect the leaser? If he doesn't, there's your issue. Whoever you let lease him let him get away with acting the way he does and sadly, it's now up to you to fix it.

First thing you need to do is let him know that his behavior is absolutely, irrefutably NOT acceptable in any way shape or form. You are the boss, not him. Right now, he thinks by doing what he's doing, he can make you stop and go away. Don't take into account size. It doesn't matter how small you are or how big he is, you are the alpha mare. Period. End of story. I have seen a little 14hh arab mare DOMINATE a herd of big, brawny geldings, the smallest of which was 15.2hh (ranging all the way up to about 16.2hh). How? By not taking their crap and getting after them when they were out of line.

If he acts like a jerk when you're leading him, you back his a$$ up until he decides to be a gentleman. If he tries to kick you, he gets a smack and a sharp reprimand (I use the word "Don't!" said very sharply...now, most of the time I don't even have to smack, I just have to say "Don't!" and my point is made).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, they let him get away with so much, and then when he was bad they wouldn't want to deal with it so they put him back out in the pasture. Ugh, people. I swear. Today I just took it slow with him and made sure to end on a good note. I'm just not sure how to get him to understand I'm alpha mare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,205 Posts
Watch videos of a herd of horses (or an actual herd of horses, if you have access to one). Watch how the alpha horse (usually a mare in a mixed herd) keeps the others in line. Correction, and at the appropriate time, is the name of the game. It doesn't matter that he's bigger than you. If he does something that you don't like, you let him know. Either with a vocal cue, a physical cue (like a smack or backing), or both.

Example: My old gelding had HORRIBLE ground manners when I got him. He would "spook" and climb up your shoulder if you let him. Pushing him away didn't work. He didn't know how to back on the ground (I taught him later, but at first he had no clue what I was asking for). So, he got shanked back. I might catch crap for that, but he absolutely would not listen to anything else. As time went on, he learned to back with just the pressure of my hand on his chest and the word "back," so if he tried to be a brat and get ahead of me, all I had to do was pivot around to face him, place me hand on his chest and say "Back!" sharply and he'd back until I let up the pressure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: caseymyhorserocks

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,363 Posts
If you knew they were letting him get away with stuff and spoiling him, why didn't you step in and get your horse back?
 
  • Like
Reactions: BaileyJo

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,077 Posts
Yeah reading this thread kind of makes me worried about my current lease situation, since I'll have a sea and a half separating us...

But I agree with casey and drafty. Groundwork, patience, learn how to correct and when to drive them away from you or change what you're doing around.

Think about this as a re-starting process. Spend lots of time catching and grooming. Until your horse stops feeling like you're a threat of some sort.

Have you had his back checked? Teeth? tack?

After he can handle that, then start working on leading via halter and lead rope. Take him into a space (not the pasture if you can avoid it!) and work on some basic pressure release. Work on forward movement, at the walk. Lead changes, backing up, yielding.

Once your horse has got this down, then sack him out and desensitize him to things. Not the saddle yet. Think about pads and coats and buckets, whips and towels and such.

Once he's comfortable there, then bring out some poles or barrels and do an obstacle course with your horse.

Then slowly reintroduce the saddle and make sure it fits! Start doing ground work in the saddle and then slowly start riding again. Just take it slow and productive. Short and sweet.

It's going to take awhile but just take your time and maybe think about keeping the lessee away for awhile.

Make it fun! Take lots of breaks and graze your horse for no reason. Always end on a good note.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That kind of pinning and swishing and kick threats says "Pain" to me.

Did she use your tack? I would bet he's got some pain going on, and likely due to tack.
Possibly. She used a saddle that was fitted to him. They didn't ride him frequently, apparently. He doesn't do the swishing and kicking when I'm in the pasture with him. Only when I bring him in. Even if I just have him in a halter and I touch his mane he acts out
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,077 Posts
Just when I bring him in
Well then that sounds more like a sour horse that is expecting a lot of work and rather hang with his herd IMOP. Maybe you need to start catching your horse and just grooming him for a long time and putting him back out, or other "non worky" things. Change it up, get out of the routine.

All suggestions of course :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ahh I'm so happy! So I pulled out the rope halter today, and we did ground work and I got him out of my space. He finally realized that I'm alpha mare in this pack. It's still going to take a few weeks to really get him used to all these changes, but I'm starting to see the light! He let me pet him all over and barely even swished his tail!! I'm super excited!!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top