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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my boy Muss is doing great, started riding him again and today we almost cantered for the first time ever. He had one spook today when my friend shaun rode his bike up and 2 other horses were chasing him and he went omg! but i pulled him to a stop easily.
But thats not the problem.
When I go to wash him, he gets really worked up, he does circles around me and starts after awhile getting antsy and trotting pulling away and shoving against me. My mum said tie him to the roundyard and do it, i tried and i got pinned to the roundyard for about 20 seconds before he realised and moved. I know hes not intentionally wanting to hurt me, hes never had many baths in his life(hes 6) and so its quite a new thing for him. And I dont know how to, I'm not strong enough to always pull him back. My friend helped me today and he headbutted me in the head and I have a split lip, sore nose and a bit of a bruise near my eye. it hurt alot and now i feel not confident washing himbut i neeed to everyday so does anyone have any tips as i need to wash the sweat marks off him from the saddle everyday as its very hot.
 

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If he's not used to it, you MUST take it slow, use approach&retreat and go step by step, starting with sprinkling water just on his lower legs and looking for signs of relaxation and comfort (soft eye, lowering head, chewing, exaling, soft lips, etc.), and only then working your way up! It might take several sessions, so don't overdo it, you will just make him more and more stressed if you force him to bathe.
 

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As said above, you need to start slowly.
Turn the hose down to a slow stream, and start by allowing the water to run down the front legs. Gradually move to his shoulders, neck, back etc. Keep the water running on an area when he tries to jump away from it, so he doesn't learn that he can get away - just like normal training, you don't take your leg off if the horse bucks ;)

If you have a wash bay that would be ideal, so he can't swing around. Otherwise, cross tie him somewhere that give you an escape option if he cracks up.
 

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I like the above ideas.. the key is to keep it on him, realise its not going to do any damage and then he'll relax. We had horse that would freak at water, but one show ground within the military bases here has a power jet/firemans hose type and the horses would lean in to it- very happy horses ;)

Start with feet, and work your way up- always, not just with training. I'd suggest, where possible, you have someone hold him and you spray him from a safe distance. Enough to reassure, but not enough that you're close enough to get cornered again.

Have you tried a sponge, as well? For sweaty back area etc, try soaking a sponge and wiping him down. May be a good way to introduce him, but make sure you can get out of anywhere if he doesn't like it.
 

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He IS NOT doing great. He has a HUGE hole in his training.

This horse is not ready for a bath. He needs basic ground manners first. He needs to respect your space and he desperately needs to learn that you are in charge.

Anything you try to do with him before he has basic ground manners means risking life and limb.

There are many good threads on here about teaching a horse to respect your space, yield to pressure and look at you as a leader and not the door-mat that you are now. Start by looking them up and studying them.

This unruly animal is 10 times your size and WILL HURT YOU if you continue to work with him without teaching him his place first.
 

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I like the above ideas.. the key is to keep it on him, realise its not going to do any damage and then he'll relax. We had horse that would freak at water, but one show ground within the military bases here has a power jet/firemans hose type and the horses would lean in to it- very happy horses ;)

Start with feet, and work your way up- always, not just with training. I'd suggest, where possible, you have someone hold him and you spray him from a safe distance. Enough to reassure, but not enough that you're close enough to get cornered again.

Have you tried a sponge, as well? For sweaty back area etc, try soaking a sponge and wiping him down. May be a good way to introduce him, but make sure you can get out of anywhere if he doesn't like it.
This. When I got my horse, she was seven and had never been hosed in her life as previous owner did not believe in hoses (really, she thought hosing was bad for them). The key thing was having a friend operate the hose while I held the horse. It would be a far more challenging problem to tackle if you had to hang onto a scared horse and manipulate a hose at the same time. You need a friend who knows horses as well, as the timing has to be spot on and they need to know how much or how little pressure to apply at every moment, faster than you can say, "That's too much, point it away again." We didn't restrain or "trap" the horse in any way. When she danced around, I just held on and followed her, though setting boundaries on where she could go, keeping her near-ish the hose. When she stopped dancing, lots of praise. Slowly moved the hose closer until she allowed it to touch her front feet and legs. When she'd dance and fidget a wee bit, we'd keep it in that spot until she was quiet. If she had a full blown freak-out, we'd back off to the last stage where she was okay with it. In this way, up to her shoulder and barrel so on. The back feet, for whatever reason, were the last thing she accepted. This took like an afternoon to sort out. Not weeks of training. These days you can ground tie her and hose her off.

Edited in light of Cherie's post: The horse needs a solid ground manners for this to not be a completely dangerous undertaking. I fixed my hose-shy mare in an afternoon because she had good ground manners and I could direct and control her energy, even when she was spooking at the hose, and not get run over. If I had a horse who was pushy and disrespectful under the best of circumstances, I'd fix that first.
 

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He IS NOT doing great. He has a HUGE hole in his training.

This horse is not ready for a bath. He needs basic ground manners first. He needs to respect your space and he desperately needs to learn that you are in charge.

Anything you try to do with him before he has basic ground manners means risking life and limb.

There are many good threads on here about teaching a horse to respect your space, yield to pressure and look at you as a leader and not the door-mat that you are now. Start by looking them up and studying them.

This unruly animal is 10 times your size and WILL HURT YOU if you continue to work with him without teaching him his place first.
ITA - bathing should be the last thing on your mind right now. Also, you mentioned that your mom told you to just tie him to the round and wash him there - did she stay to observe? Did you tell her what happened? Considering the injuries you say you have received from Muss, I can't imagine she is completely unaware of the situation you face in working with him.....so it mystifies me that she is not stepping in and making sure that this horse has the appropriate training to make him safe for you to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My mum believes i can do everything on my own, that in know everything,, how to train a horse. His ground manners are pretty good though they do need a little bit of work, sometimes he stands and lets me do his legs and i keep it a very light splash. when he gets upset i put the hose near his mouth and he generally has a sip of water and relaxes, then i try again. my friends mum helped me the other day and he was doing great but she wasnt there today her daughter was who helped me but he did get me in the face. We were all shocked to be honest. at the old aggistment he was gettig quite good to be tied up to be washed(he would move but i was forceful with him and he stopped) and then hes had 3 months with no work and hes back to square one.
Also now where I am my mums told me i need to stop hitting him when hes naughty. I was always taught if a horse does something really naughty you need to remind them with a slight whack and he has bad habits that i need to not let him get away with and because of my mum i have tried this the last few days and now he paws at the ground and tries other things
 

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You need an experienced adult to help you with this horse. I have a feeling your mom has no clue about horses. Just my guess. Someone needs to help her understand that you are in danger, and you either need a good trainer to help teach you and him or he needs to go down the road to someone who can handle him. For now quit using the hose. Back to basics with manners and respect. Just like Cherie said.
 
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I agree with more respect training, and if you are one that babies horses, you need to quit it. By that I mean a soothing voice saying "don't be scareddddd" or "you're all righttttt' as that tone of voice actually makes a horse worse, and telegraphs to the horse that you are not its leader.

A brisk, no nonsense voice works best, and don't take your mind one moment off the task at hand.

To help with basic respect, and the horse looking to you for guidance, something else you can do is when haltering, leading or unhaltering, entering/exiting stalls, is to stop before any forward movement is done, and ask horse to back, and then stand still. When walking, change your speed up and also just stop and stand. This makes horse realize it has to adjust to you and your wants.

As to the hosing? Horse is doing this because he is ignoring you, and the longer this goes on, the worse it will be. If it was me, I'd use a chain shank, or run lead rope under chin for some bite to rope, and get after horse more, but don't know how well you read horses, and if there isn't someone there to teach you it is not something to do on own.

Also, several things jumped out at me. You do not seem to be able to read horses well, as they will let you know they are up to something if you pay attention. A certain lightness in their body, eye focuses somewhere else instead of on you, ears pricked all are signs of horse getting agitated.

You should be in no location where horse can either pin you, or hit you with head. That tells me your body mechanics are lacking. Pay attention to all of your surroundings, not just the horse but what is behind you, beside you, on other side of horse, and pay particular attention to what else is going on, in terms of other people, cars, dogs, horses, whatever. That awareness right there, has saved many horsepeople from getting themselves killed.

And if you are not working horse in smaller area, (as when you said you attempted to canter him for first time wasn't clear if in pen or pasture,) you are asking for a major accident. And need to lead up to it longer too. Many horses will not really let loose on a rider, until the canter. It feels very different for one thing, and if you are in open? You can have a nasty accident. Hold off on that until you have a better handle on this horse would be my thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, reason he actually caught me with headbutting me was my friend had hold of him i was grabbing something and i thought she had him and bam he got me.
I was really tough on him but all of a sudden everyones telling me to be calm and kind to him, to have patience and when he gets upset dont get tough on him just have a quiet voice etc but honestly, i dont think it works and its just making it tough. I only ride him in a small area, its big enough to have a small canter, but closed off so if anything happened the horse wont go anywhere. I am getting a trainer soon and he is good under saddle, perfect to catch, he puts his head into the halter, he stands still when being tacked up, hes never kicked, lashed out though i have noticed he sticks his head in your personal space alot and gets pushy but i push him away but my mum doesnt so he does it to her
 

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one that babies horses, you need to quit it. By that I mean a soothing voice saying "don't be scareddddd" or "you're all righttttt' as that tone of voice actually makes a horse worse, and telegraphs to the horse that you are not its leader.

A brisk, no nonsense voice works best, and don't take your mind one moment off the task at hand.
I really disagree with you, as I have first hand experience of that definitely not being the case.

But I'll leave it at that.

Cherie is on the money; without a solid respect baseline, your horse will continue to be unruly in everything you do with, and introduce, to him including bathing.

And I agree with franknbeans that your mom may not be grasping the severity of the problem, and how qualified someone needs to be to train horses properly (and fairly) and how someone can't know everything.. it would benefit you to seek out an educated, experienced helping hand of a training professional before things escalate.
 

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Tayz, in one of your responses you mentioned giving your horse a "whack" for misbehavior. Physical, corporal punishment can and will only intensify your horse's anxiety. Horses learn through habituation and desensitizing to situations. That is the reason for slowly and consistency in teaching him to accept being hosed off after a ride. The one suggestion of using a large water soaked sponge and a bucket full of water is a very good one. That in itself will help remove the sweat from your horse's back. A full daily bath is not good for your horses skin and coat. In restarting getting your horse desensitized and habituated to the hose lead him to the wash area, but just leave the hose where it lies. If he is comfortable with that turn the water on to the hose in a slow trickle and aim it at his feet as already suggested. Once he settles down and accepts that slow flow of water to his feet at that point stop the process. Slowly proceed maybe daily or until your horse accepts each progressive move up his legs to his body. It will take a good while of slowly introducing the whole body bathing routine. Also most importantly, end each session on a positive note with your horse.
 

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I don't think you understand how to manner and discipline a horse. Hitting and slapping at them is the poorest way to instill manners. You should be quiet and deliberate around horses. You do not need to get loud or hysterical.

You need to be 100% consistent.

There is nothing more confusing to a horse than to be encouraged or not stopped from doing something one time and have someone get all over them for doing the same thing later.

You need to be able to step into a horse's space at any time and you need to be able to do anything to or with a horse and not get an adverse reaction.

BUT, no horse should barge into YOUR space.

When you say "Whoa!" and gave a small jerk on the lead-rope, the horse should not move his feet until you ask him to. If you back away from him, he should not follow you unless you ask him to.

You establish your leadership position in the relationship by controlling his feet. This means he does not move them when you want him to stand still. This means that he willingly backs up and moves over (away from you) when you ask. He come toward you ONLY when you ask him to and he goes forward when you tell him to (as in longeing and leading up along side of you).

Probably the best clinic guru and DVD seller that is clear, concise and gets it done quickly is Clinton Anderson. I would highly suggest you get his DVDs on Respect. They will lay it all out in understandable terms. Your mother and anyone else that handles this horse should also watch them so everyone can be consistent.
 

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^^ Again-excellent post, Cherie-I would only add that I would strongly suggest you get yourself a rope halter, like the ones CA uses, and a long lead, like he uses also. This works much better than a conventional halter and lead, and MUCH better than a chain over the nose, gums or wherever someone else suggested......
 

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Great advice , everyone.

I was just thinking back to how my trainer works with getting horses used to things like being sprayed wiht bug repellent, or water from a hose.

She will have them on a longish leadline but keep it fairly short. she has the sprayer in her right hand and line in left, usually. she starts putting the pressure on, in smaller ways such as on the lower legs, or spraying just off to the side. If the horse cannot handle this, he can move, but cannot flee away. He can move around her, but she does not cease the spraying, just turns around , stepping over the hose as she goes. the horse is allowed to move at first, because he needs to, and he will be less likely to "explode" if he feels that he can move his feet.
She increases the amount of pressure from the sprayer, but will always ease off or stop for a bit, if the horse comes to a stop, however, she never disallows it from moving. Eventually, the horse doesn't need to move anymore, accepts the spaying feeling. She then gives it a break, then sprays it some more , giving verbal praise and then calls it a day. The horse is not tied at all, not during the training process. But it does take some dexterity to be able to spray, hold the rope and step over the hose.
 

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Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question, but why does he need a bath after every ride? We have summers that are in extremely hot, but they usually just wet them down with the hose to cool them off and then let them roll around.

All the horses at the barn I board at are brushed and groomed a lot, but baths are very rare. No one even does it in the winter and our winters aren't all that cold. Then again, we don't show.

I was just curious. :)
 

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Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question, but why does he need a bath after every ride? We have summers that are in extremely hot, but they usually just wet them down with the hose to cool them off and then let them roll around.

All the horses at the barn I board at are brushed and groomed a lot, but baths are very rare. No one even does it in the winter and our winters aren't all that cold. Then again, we don't show.

I was just curious. :)
Even in northern MI we get hot summers, and I think I gave my mare a bath only twice - I have what's called a "sweat scraper", that I use after every time I've ridden her in warm weather after taking off her tack. That, and a good brushing should be all you really need! Consider that these animals would be out in the wild, and not bathed on a regular basis by any human. :)
 

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What I do is put the hose on little more than a dribble. Armed with a pocket ful of treats, I'll hold the horse with my left and stand a little off to his left side. The hose is in my right hand with my arm a bit extended to my side, the horse pointed away. If the horse stands quietly, he gets a small treat. I gradually move the hose closer to his legs, offering a treat for standing still. When he's ok with the water beside him, hose aimed downward I may quickly move the horse so a little water touches his hoof and is gone. Again reward if he stands. If he begins to fuss you need to start over again. When he's ok with his hoof go only as high as his knees, always moving the hose away. Many horses are sensitive to the pressure of the water. You get the idea now, just working in small increments and rewarding good behaviour. This technique works if he doesn't like fly spray, only practise with water in your bottle as you will initially spray it on the ground. With the rewarding good behaviour, the horse sooner or later has to decided how badly he wants the treat, versus the water.
 

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What I do is put the hose on little more than a dribble. Armed with a pocket ful of treats, I'll hold the horse with my left and stand a little off to his left side. The hose is in my right hand with my arm a bit extended to my side, the horse pointed away. If the horse stands quietly, he gets a small treat. I gradually move the hose closer to his legs, offering a treat for standing still. When he's ok with the water beside him, hose aimed downward I may quickly move the horse so a little water touches his hoof and is gone. Again reward if he stands. If he begins to fuss you need to start over again. When he's ok with his hoof go only as high as his knees, always moving the hose away. Many horses are sensitive to the pressure of the water. You get the idea now, just working in small increments and rewarding good behaviour. This technique works if he doesn't like fly spray, only practise with water in your bottle as you will initially spray it on the ground. With the rewarding good behaviour, the horse sooner or later has to decided how badly he wants the treat, versus the water.
Excellent advice - I should also add to my previous reply that I only bathed her twice last summer - not in her lifetime, of course. I still stick to the idea that unless your horse is covered in mud, etc., so much bathing just isn't necessary! Sweat scraper, brushing, should be adequate :)
 
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