The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My horse doesnt know what a personal bubble is usually its not to bad but sometimes she pushes me and its in a "joking" way (not mean grr way) but I never just let her do it and she just keeps doing and after every ride she uses me as a "scratching post" and wont stop rubbing her head on me also she wont stand still when she is tied up I personally dont mind but it scares a lot of other people in the barn I know its just her getting bored and ansy oh and she paws the ground when I make her stand still for a few minutes but I dont know how to stop these things can anyone help also what are some good ways to "scold" bad behavior (that she knows is wrong)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
My horse had pushy problems really bad. What I do is (if you have cross ties) leave a lead rope attached to their halter, if they move, reajust them in the cross ties. If they scratch or push on you, push back harder. Their testing their boundaries with you when they do that. Its what they do with the other horses to see how far they can push them. Just strict enough so they learn boundaries, but not violent. My barn also switched my horses fields so he is one of the bottom horses in the food chain to correct this...I hope I helped.

Edit: Oh yeah, and for pawing just tell them to knock it off in a raised voice. They will most likley catch on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,466 Posts
Annie is really pushy too. She's actually shoved me over before and I landed in some blackberry thorns...ouch :(

Anyways, what I did to correct her is if I'm just walking her by the lead rope and she tries to push me I will swat her with the end of it, and shake the lead rope to ask her to back up. Once she does, I reward her by petting her neck and then we carry on. She soon figured out that she shouldn't be pushing me around.

Do some personal space excersizes. Practice shaking the lead rope to get the horse backing up. Start with just a little jiggle, then gradually get strogner and by the time your trashing the rope around and she doesn't move, take a step forward like "Back up NOW" and eventually they will realize that to avoid getting Mom mad they should just step back when you jiggle it lightly.

Maybe do some practice moving the hips and forehand away with the rope as well/ Just twirl it around the haunches or forehand and as soon as they pivot away reward them :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Ahh.. sounds just like my old 3 year old gelding. :)
How old is your horse? If she is really young she might not have a lot of patience when standing tied. My 3 year old gelding had ALL the same issues. With the standing still while tied issue, I would tie him to our trailer, tack area, fence, or wherever & just left him there while I went to work my other horses or muck pastures. This really helped him to accept being tied & that there is no use moving around for nothing... he eventually learned to be patient & that I wont forget about him. :wink:
Now, for the whole scratching post thing, if you really don't like that, give her a nice push & back her up a couple steps. If she does it again, repeat. When my gelding did it I didn't mind too much because he wasn't doing it with an attitude or anything.. he was just being silly. :p
If she is one of those horses who are always crowding into you constantly, I have a good technique you can use. Go buy a long crop, training stick, dressage whip, or something that is a good extension of your arm. Fix your horse up in the halter & lead, grab your whip, & go for a long walk. During your walk, stop your horse. Say whoa & stop in your tracks. If she doesnt stop with you, add halter pressure. Next, reach your arm out with the whip & imagine drawing a huge circle around you the distance of your arm & whip together. That is YOUR bubble. Your horse should not be in that space. If she is, push her out of it. Don't use the halter, use the whip. With rhythm, smack her chest until she moves out of your bubble. If she is not responding increase the pressure of the smacks every four hits until she moves back. Keep repeating: Walk, stop, back her out of your bubble (If she is in it) & repeat. Eventually, when you stop she should stop immediatly with you & out of your personal space. Some horses take to this pretty fast.
Take your time, be patient, & consistant. :D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
I correct a horse that won't stand still in cross ties with a swift knee in the rib cage. I get a horse that paws I step into the horse, a sharp lift of the knee in the rib cage and say STand UP.
It fixes them in short order.
That said I watch boarders all the time with older horse stand there with a whip threatening and for the minute it might do some good but before long the horse is back to pawing and being a pain.
I never allow the horse to rub his head on me, never. If he tied a quick elbow in the chops keeps him in his space.
I know is sounds rough but I don't spend time threatening the horse, dealing with crap and they learn right off to stand still and keep to their space. I don't threaten, I do.

Any animal is better off if it knows is boundaries , what it can and can not cross. We are both happier because of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
My horse was never pushy or anything like that, but what really bugged me was that when I walked away from her and she followed me, she would be right up my back and I could feel her whiskers on me. I learned this from the Stacy Westfall clinic I went to...what she did when her horse got right up on her was kick her elbows back and she backed up to basically show that she can "kick" too. I find it works really good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,466 Posts
I correct a horse that won't stand still in cross ties with a swift knee in the rib cage. I get a horse that paws I step into the horse, a sharp lift of the knee in the rib cage and say STand UP.
It fixes them in short order.
That said I watch boarders all the time with older horse stand there with a whip threatening and for the minute it might do some good but before long the horse is back to pawing and being a pain.
I never allow the horse to rub his head on me, never. If he tied a quick elbow in the chops keeps him in his space.
I know is sounds rough but I don't spend time threatening the horse, dealing with crap and they learn right off to stand still and keep to their space. I don't threaten, I do.

Any animal is better off if it knows is boundaries , what it can and can not cross. We are both happier because of it.

You're a very harsh person, aren't you? I don't mean offense or anything, but there are better ways to do it. Yeah punish them when they do it but the ribcage is a very sensitive part of the horse. I wouldn't ever knee a horse there. That's a good way to get yourself thrown against the barn wall when he kicks. You can do it in a gentle manner that still shows you are the boss and you will have your way. And they're a lot safer too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,455 Posts
I fail to see how a knee to the ribs would get you thrown against the barn wall. I alos disagree with the ribcage being any more sensitive than most other parts of the body. I would guess that it is considerably less sensitive since there is alot of muscle and bones that are designed to flex. If any human can hurt a horse by kneeing it in the ribs then I will walk softly and call him/her 'sir'. I have seen horses get kicked by another horse with both feet in the ribs and it didn't seem to hurt them at all so I am sure that however harsh RD is that he is only causing very temporary discomfort of a type that the horse is acustomed to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
My horse was never pushy or anything like that, but what really bugged me was that when I walked away from her and she followed me, she would be right up my back and I could feel her whiskers on me. I learned this from the Stacy Westfall clinic I went to...what she did when her horse got right up on her was kick her elbows back and she backed up to basically show that she can "kick" too. I find it works really good.
I saw that clip, too, and used it for my older QH. Worked like a charm after one 'bop'. My 4 yr old does the same thing, follows too close. So I walk with the lunge whip under my arm, the handle end sticking out behind me. If she gets too close, she hits the whip handle. She has great respect for the lunge whip, apparently, and she backs right off! I have heard people kick straight back when their horse gets too close, too. But the flailing elbow works really well!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
Gold: Yea I love it! She rarely does it now, but every now and again, she will and I just have to remind her and she backs off. Glad you liked it too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
Yeah Bailey has similar problems, I think its cause he doesnt respect me, cause like for his real owner he stands like a rock without even being tied, but for me he wont even stand in cross ties.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
Well, for the standing still and pawing I would hobble train her. When one of ours acts like that they get to stand for hours hobbled until they relax. Then the hobbles come off and they stand some more. When standing calmly becomes a routine it will help.

If the horse is rubbing you I would normally just use an elbow to the jaw. It doesn't have to be particularly hard, but it will get their attention. If you ever have to do that you should always be sure that when they are behaving later you rub around on their ears and head just to prevent them getting headshy.

You can also stomp and just say get back sternly. That really depends on teh relationship with your horse. Mine know I'm the boss, so if I turn and look at them mean they take a step back. If they didn't then they understand they would get in trouble just like they would with another horse.

I try to see how harshly another horse would scold one, and watching mares and young horses is normally what I go by. If your horse doesn't react to the softest thing you do then escalate it, and if they overreact then don't be quite as harsh the next time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I know yall say she doesnt respect me and I think that is right but I have done many of the things you guys say and she does what I ask her most the time and we have done many different parelli and stuff from people on tv and she will let me put a rope around her leg and lift it up and I can swing things all over her body and (this was gross) but the other day I was putting on her blanket and I acceintly touched a tit and she didnt even flinch and I can wrap my arms around her but and cover her eyes and everything
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
Trailhorserider: Haha, I totally agree with you, not only because we have 2 geldings but because I have a mare too and I try to spend as much time bathing her, grooming her, etc so I don't have to clean the geldings "junk". lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
I don't know, I'm bi-pedal, and when I'm working with a horse that is exhibiting inappropriate behavior, I'll rather keep both by feet on the ground and keep my balance. I'm not commited enough to steven seagal my horse. I've thought about it, sure..she had had a habit of walking forward a bit when I'd try to tighten the girth on the cross-ties, and that was really annoying. To be honest, I just ignored it for a week, would take her into the indoor and then work with her on standing still while I walked around the whole arena, whoa to a dead stop on cue, and attach and unattach the girth while she was in the ring. If she moved, my train of thinking was that I had the space to really get her moving forward, since that is what she wanted to do, right? Turns out the silly mare didn't like that too much, ended up saying "no, mom, I'd much rather stay still"

Riosdad and Kevinshorses have alot of great insight on disclipining an unruly horse, and I agree with them for the most part. There's no denying that they are experienced and their ways get results. I agree with them doing it because they probably do it in a way that translates to the horse 100%, "KNOCK IT OFF!" I just don't have that follow through yet to feel comfortable with that type of discipline. I'm getting better though, truly used to be a shrinking violet. I guess it takes a while to build up your confidence, you do really have to earn that from a horse and it has to be genuine.Just recently, I elbowed Frida hard for being unaware and nervous and swinging her head around and smacking me in the face. Hurt me more than it did her, but I was certain that she forgot whatever distraction had unsettled her, because she followed me like mary's little lamb the whole way back to the barn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Yesterday was the first of my daughter's spring group lessons. It was very stormy so they did ground work instead of riding. They introduced their horses to "Miss Palmer" (their palm) and learned to hold their open hand up and when the horse got in their space Miss Palmer tapped them away. These are 8-9 year olds. My daughter's lesson horse is very pushy and needy and by the end of the lesson he stopped getting into her space because she stopped letting him.

One thing they talked a lot about was when it was okay to love and nuzzle with the horse, and when it wasn't. The girls in this lesson were told that they decided, not the horse, and if the horse was going to push, the pushed back. If 8-9 year olds can teach a horse that, anyone can do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
I know yall say she doesnt respect me and I think that is right but I have done many of the things you guys say and she does what I ask her most the time and we have done many different parelli and stuff from people on tv and she will let me put a rope around her leg and lift it up and I can swing things all over her body and (this was gross) but the other day I was putting on her blanket and I acceintly touched a tit and she didnt even flinch and I can wrap my arms around her but and cover her eyes and everything
This is all well and good, but it doesn't mean you have her respect! It means she tolerates you, you're pretty mch just an attractive nuisance! She knows she can really do whatever she feels like, she's testing your boundaries, finding them, and pushing them.
I learned right off the bat that you NEVER ever let a horse scratch and rub on you, ever. You offer a rub and a scratch, you do NOT let them just come and take it.
She knows where your 'bubble' is, and is showing you just what she thinks of you and your rules. If you don't enforce them, she will walk all over you, literally!
Wrapping your arms around her, covering her eyes, etc etc only shows that she's tolerant, not respectful. Accidentally touching a teat? You should be able to touch, clean, rub them without any reaction.
Respect is key to training a horse, and having that bond we all seek. It isn't difficult to gain respect, but you must stick with it! What is bad behavior once must always be bad, no exceptions. If you allow the horse to do something one time for whatever reason, they think it's now OK to always do it! Easier to be consistant than to retrain.
I am now training my new 4 yr old mare. She hd been trained professionally, but spent much of her life in a box stall, so now she's learning freedom, and in the process has forgotten her manners. I am basically retraining her, reminding her what she already knows, and getting amazing results. She is showing me respect, and we are rapidly buildng a bond that will last a lifetime.
When a horse show you true respect, it is an amazing, fulfilling feeling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
This is all well and good, but it doesn't mean you have her respect! It means she tolerates you, you're pretty mch just an attractive nuisance! She knows she can really do whatever she feels like, she's testing your boundaries, finding them, and pushing them.
I learned right off the bat that you NEVER ever let a horse scratch and rub on you, ever. You offer a rub and a scratch, you do NOT let them just come and take it.
She knows where your 'bubble' is, and is showing you just what she thinks of you and your rules. If you don't enforce them, she will walk all over you, literally!
Wrapping your arms around her, covering her eyes, etc etc only shows that she's tolerant, not respectful. Accidentally touching a teat? You should be able to touch, clean, rub them without any reaction.
Respect is key to training a horse, and having that bond we all seek. It isn't difficult to gain respect, but you must stick with it! What is bad behavior once must always be bad, no exceptions. If you allow the horse to do something one time for whatever reason, they think it's now OK to always do it! Easier to be consistant than to retrain.
I am now training my new 4 yr old mare. She hd been trained professionally, but spent much of her life in a box stall, so now she's learning freedom, and in the process has forgotten her manners. I am basically retraining her, reminding her what she already knows, and getting amazing results. She is showing me respect, and we are rapidly buildng a bond that will last a lifetime.
When a horse show you true respect, it is an amazing, fulfilling feeling.
Whats the best ways to dispipline bad behavior?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
You know, its funny. When I'm teaching people, I often tell them that they are horses, not humans, yet I find myself in the next breath saying "would you let a person do that to you? Then how would you react". It may seem strange to say don't treat them like a person, then say treat them like a person, but in a way that is what needs to be done.

The reason that what RD said works is because it is in a language that the horse already understands. If a horse is acting like a jerk in the herd they will get the stuff kicked out of them immediately, no apologies, no sympathy, simply expectations of what good behavior is. The horse always tells you what they need and exactly when they need it. They don't follow methods, which is why the methods don't work for so many people. The other horses in the herd don't care if the disorderly insecure horse likes them or not, he isn't welcome into the herd if he doesn't have anything good to offer them. This is where you don't want to treat them like a person, you don't give them confidence by holding their hand or loving them, you give them confidence by doing what they already understand, putting your foot down and showing them that you are capable of taking the spot of the lead horse.

Onto my next point, treating them like a person. What would you do if your friend walked up and started rubbing their face on your back, hard enough to knock you off your feet? If it were me I would tell them to get the heck away from me. How about if you were standing and waiting for something and they started looking all over and walking back and forth impatiently, even if you were in their path? You would probably get pretty annoyed by that too, especially if they did it every time you were waiting in line for something religiously. This is when I say treat them like a person. If it isn't ok for your friend to walk on top of you, its not ok for your horse to do it.

You see, we really aren't all that different. There are a lot of little things that lead up to this behavior, but like with people, they all have a common root, insecurity and testing of boundaries. I want you to think that your horse is like your best friend, you like to communicate with your friend, have fun with your friend, and grow with your friend, but would you allow your friend to push you around, walk into you, or act like a nervous wreck? No, of course not, if the horse was a person you probably wouldn't even be friends with them. Its easier to find a friend that has respect for space and belongings than to create one.

Horses rely on leadership from the herd. As a prey animal, if that leadership is not offered, then the horses defensive mechanisms of fight and flight have to be that much stronger in order to protect themselves from danger. For a horse that hasn't been brought up correctly, this is like handing over a business to a child. If they are not prepared, they will crack under pressure and there will be mass chaos. They are taught by a leader, but that does not have to be by another horse, they are very willing to take a person in this position if the person shows that they have the capabilities to step up to the plate.

After that bit of info, you want to know how to correct your horses behavior....

1. Set the expectations as high for your horse as you would for another person, you wouldn't let a human push you around, seach you for treats, or act uncontrolled. (we all know those monsterous children whose parents only want them to love them)

2. Be consistent. Consistency builds leadership. If you don't like your horse rubbing on you, then they can never rub. They will not comprehend if you decide to let them do it one day because they were well behaved on the ride. If you don't want your horse to step in your space, then they can never step in your space, I don't care what scary thing is over there, I can be much scarier if they put me in danger by stepping in my space.

3. Your personal space is SACRED. The way they determine who is in charge in the herd is whose bubble moves the others around. Make sure that you can always throw back more than what is being thrown to you by the horse. The pushier the horse, the bigger and stronger my bubble is. That horse has to earn my trust to allow the bubble to become smaller. Believe me, the horse will see that you are capable of protection and they will want to be with you even more.

4. Response time is important. Space it out more than a few seconds and they will not understand what they are being rewarded/reprimanded for.

5. If you want to know how to stop unwanted behavior, just watch the herd. If a young horse pushes to hard they will get bit or kicked. They will often get a warning, which you can as well and the horse will learn to respond to the warning. However, you must be willing to follow through, empty threats will not win you respect. Use only as much pressure as necessary, and release immediately, but don't be afraid to increase pressure until you get the result.

Don't find too much comfort in your methods. The reason that your horse will behave better is because you are offering boundaries, guidance, and leadership. Once the horse knows that you will provide that, then they will be patiently waiting for you and looking to you to make the next move. Once you have this horse, you can give the scratches and affection that they give to each other in the herd, but that doesn't mean you become a speed bump, the respect always has to be mutual. Also, its only natural for the horse to occasionaly test the leader, they have to do this to ensure their own safety and make sure the leader is "up to snuff". Always step up, and you will find these "tests" fade away pretty quickly. Hope this makes sense. Good luck.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top