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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so my 12hh welsh x is coming at me every time I lunge him and he rears and tries to hit me.

The first time he did this, he actually struck me in the nose and I had a huge blood nose, it was painful >.<

Now, my question is, how can I stop this behavior, I've tried a lot of different things, I seriously need help, he is a bit lazy under saddle and he a dream with tricks. (I don't let him come to close into my space)

I've tried to desensitize him with the whip, but no, he still comes at me.

My SECOND question is: can I put a flat piece of rope (tie down) on his halter and wrap it around his girth, I have done this once and it worked so well but I'm wondering, Is it the right thing to do? (I tighten it so he can't raise his head to much but he can move it down and side ways. Just not entirely up)

Thanks!

-TinyTurtles
 

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The last thing I would want to do is to desensitize him to the whip!

The moment he turned into me he would get that LUNGE whip wrapped around his front legs so hard it would sound like a pistol shot.
If done correctly he would immediately spin away and I'd probably follow that with a crack behind him.

You say he is good at learning tricks, I just hope you have not been silly enough to teach him to rear.

A horse needs to respect the whip just as it needs to respect people. As a handler can get cross with misbehaviour and know that that person can frighten the heck out of them, so it has to learn that a whip can and will be used if there is misbehaviour. It doesn't make them afraid of the whip anymore than a human reprimand makes them afraid providing it is used at the correct time and with issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The last thing I would want to do is to desensitize him to the whip!

The moment he turned into me he would get that LUNGE whip wrapped around his front legs so hard it would sound like a pistol shot.
If done correctly he would immediately spin away and I'd probably follow that with a crack behind him.

You say he is good at learning tricks, I just hope you have not been silly enough to teach him to rear.

A horse needs to respect the whip just as it needs to respect people. As a handler can get cross with misbehaviour and know that that person can frighten the heck out of them, so it has to learn that a whip can and will be used if there is misbehaviour. It doesn't make them afraid of the whip anymore than a human reprimand makes them afraid providing it is used at the correct time and with issue.
He has no fear of the whip, I've tried cracking it at him but he doesn't react.
And no, I haven't been teaching him how to rear! I don't really agree with the rearing tricks, I think it can cause bad behavior!
Also, he comes at me fast. Like no reaction time fast, and yes it is a good sized lunge circle. When he does come in too, he pins his ears as much as he can, I can tell when he is about to come into the circle too, he pins tenses and rears. I don't back away though. As I know that can make them think they are boss!

Thanks for the really quick response! :p:lol:
 

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Just a quick question here OP, can you describe how you lunge him? Has he always done this, does he lunge ok for other people? things like that, just wondering if it could possibly be your lunging technique that is the issue, not saying it is, but would just like to rule that out before I tell you to wrap that whip round him so hard he jumps all 4 feet at once.

I just ask because one of my horses will do this if she gets confused (granted she has had a less than fortunate past) she will actually lunge right at me, and has broken my foot by doing so in the past (struck at my head, I moved, she come crashing down on my foot instead, still count myself as lucky) I just find that when I lunge her I have to stay right back at her hip, if I hapen to shift my position anywhere infront of her hip, she immediately stops and turns, though will only rear and strike if I confuse her by crappy signals
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just a quick question here OP, can you describe how you lunge him? Has he always done this, does he lunge ok for other people? things like that, just wondering if it could possibly be your lunging technique that is the issue, not saying it is, but would just like to rule that out before I tell you to wrap that whip round him so hard he jumps all 4 feet at once.

I just ask because one of my horses will do this if she gets confused (granted she has had a less than fortunate past) she will actually lunge right at me, and has broken my foot by doing so in the past (struck at my head, I moved, she come crashing down on my foot instead, still count myself as lucky) I just find that when I lunge her I have to stay right back at her hip, if I hapen to shift my position anywhere infront of her hip, she immediately stops and turns, though will only rear and strike if I confuse her by crappy signals
I might be giving crappy signals he still pins his ears for my dad but doesn't come in. My dad is much bulkier looking and I'm smaller than him. Would that have conflict on anything?
 

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Does he lunge for a certain amount of time before he decides that it is a better idea to pin his ears and lunge himself towards you?
Next time you lunge him, pay careful attention to your signals, where you are standing, how you hold your whip, or even better if possible, have somebody video you lunging him, with both you and the pony in the video so we might be able to see if it is a handling error.

Have you had him for long? He might respect your dads size more than you, and if that happens to end up being the issue, you need to make yourself the biggest, scariest thing there, might look stupid but stand up tall, chin up, shoulders as broad as you can make them, chest puffed and arms wide, not tucked into your body, he needs to respect you, getting you in the nose with a hoof is definitely not allowed, you are very lucky he didn't do more damage than that.

However I think if possible a video of you lunging him would be the most beneficial, it's always hard to give advice if we don't know whether it is the pony being a flat out brat, or if perhaps your giving conflicting signals and that is his reaction to confusion. When does he pin his ears?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Does he lunge for a certain amount of time before he decides that it is a better idea to pin his ears and lunge himself towards you?
Next time you lunge him, pay careful attention to your signals, where you are standing, how you hold your whip, or even better if possible, have somebody video you lunging him, with both you and the pony in the video so we might be able to see if it is a handling error.

Have you had him for long? He might respect your dads size more than you, and if that happens to end up being the issue, you need to make yourself the biggest, scariest thing there, might look stupid but stand up tall, chin up, shoulders as broad as you can make them, chest puffed and arms wide, not tucked into your body, he needs to respect you, getting you in the nose with a hoof is definitely not allowed, you are very lucky he didn't do more damage than that.

However I think if possible a video of you lunging him would be the most beneficial, it's always hard to give advice if we don't know whether it is the pony being a flat out brat, or if perhaps your giving conflicting signals and that is his reaction to confusion. When does he pin his ears?
Usually straight away, I'll get onto the video ASAP.
 

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If it's straight away then I'm inclined to say maybe he hasn't been trained to lunge, or you may be confusing him with your signals, he may just be a very lunge-sensitive wee guy, but the video should tell when your able to get it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If it's straight away then I'm inclined to say maybe he hasn't been trained to lunge, or you may be confusing him with your signals, he may just be a very lunge-sensitive wee guy, but the video should tell when your able to get it :)
Well I got him from my Nan (a friend of my Nan broke him in) and as soon as I got him he was only just broken and been taking lessons with me (he was my FIRST ever horse and one of the horses I've ever ridden.)
She said he wasn't broken properly and said that wasn't a problem with anything though so that gave me a hunk of confusion. I am confident but starting to think that he is lunge sensitive no matter what I try he keeps on coming :?

Is it alright to use something to hold his head down? I did it once and I took it away and for a while he was okay until he started again?!
 

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Personally, I'd beat the ever living daylights out of him when he turns in. But being that you said you can tell when he'll do it right before he does it, hit the whip off the ground THEN, don't wait until he's already coming at you.

My mare tried this once with me..I hit her across the chest and front legs several times, then her side because she refused to turn and go where I asked, and then her behind when she wouldn't move at the appropriate speed. She then followed me around like a lost puppy, with her front and left side covered in whip marks. She'll still pin her ears ans swish her tail, but not once in the 6 months prior to that has she ever turned in and lunged at me.

There's no point in holding his head down, it won't fix anything. If a horse is bound and determined to rear, it will do it, regardless of if you put a tie-down on it or not.

But all in all..I'd suggest a trainer for this one. You aren't all that experienced, you aren't bigger than the pony, and this is a very dangerous habit/reaction on the pony's part.
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Well I got him from my Nan (a friend of my Nan broke him in) and as soon as I got him he was only just broken and been taking lessons with me (he was my FIRST ever horse and one of the horses I've ever ridden.)
She said he wasn't broken properly and said that wasn't a problem with anything though so that gave me a hunk of confusion. I am confident but starting to think that he is lunge sensitive no matter what I try he keeps on coming :?

Is it alright to use something to hold his head down? I did it once and I took it away and for a while he was okay until he started again?!
That's a bit odd that he wasn't broken properly, did she explain that at all? Your right, that is very confusing.

I would stray away from tying his head down for now, just till we figure out if you are confusing him or if it's him being a brat, if your confusing him then it wouldn't be fair to tie his head down for just trying to tell you he's in over his head and doesn't know what to do.

My gelding Mitch is extremely easy to lunge, pretty much point and go, I can stand wherever I please and he will still go, until I vocally ask him to stop, at which point he will stop, he's very easy, especially for beginners to learn with.
My mare DJ, on the other hand is very sensitive, she was only broken as a racehorse, not even trained with any leg before or after being a failed racehorse, so she has very many holes in her training and is very sensitive to everything in life, it took me 6 months to get her to go one way on the lunge, and a year to get her to go both ways, I only accomplished that the other week, but I have to stand right way back at her hip and follow her rump with my whip, if I so much as step forward in front of her hip she will stop, and we have to start from the very beginning again otherwise she gets confused and starts to rear and lunge out towards me if I get her in too deep mentally, she was never trained to lunge
 

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I wouldn't advise the OP to start hitting the horse. Besides the fact that I personally don't favor such methods, we don't know the OP's pony. Some horses, when challenged with extreme dominance...get extremely dominant. She might suffer.

OP, get a trainer, as simple as that. And no, tying his head down will maybe take away the symptoms (or make him flip over and break his neck), but it won't deal with the cause - lack of any respect towards you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Personally, I'd beat the ever living daylights out of him when he turns in. But being that you said you can tell when he'll do it right before he does it, hit the whip off the ground THEN, don't wait until he's already coming at you.

My mare tried this once with me..I hit her across the chest and front legs several times, then her side because she refused to turn and go where I asked, and then her behind when she wouldn't move at the appropriate speed. She then followed me around like a lost puppy, with her front and left side covered in whip marks. She'll still pin her ears ans swish her tail, but not once in the 6 months prior to that has she ever turned in and lunged at me.

There's no point in holding his head down, it won't fix anything. If a horse is bound and determined to rear, it will do it, regardless of if you put a tie-down on it or not.

But all in all..I'd suggest a trainer for this one. You aren't all that experienced, you aren't bigger than the pony, and this is a very dangerous habit/reaction on the pony's part.
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Okay, thank you for the very helpful information and will look into it!
 

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I wouldn't advise the OP to start hitting the horse. Besides the fact that I personally don't favor such methods, we don't know the OP's pony. Some horses, when challenged with extreme dominance...get extremely dominant. She might suffer.
^This, this is exactly what happened to me with my mare. She did what I thought was being disrespectful at the time and turning in, not listening (so it seemed) and I whacked her over the shoulder with the whip, this was what prompted her to rear up and strike out towards me, each further hit to try and get her away from me only made her get closer and more aggressive. This was the incident that should have killed me and only ended up with me breaking my foot instead. I'm quite happy to admit I made a huge mistake by smacking her to start with, and it's one mistake that I will not ever make again I can assure you of that
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for so much help :D
 

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No horse is desensitised to the whip if you use it against them.

What he is doing is dangerous. Had he landed a hoof on your head you would have been a lot more badly injured or dead.

I did not say to crack the whip at him I said "to wrap it around his front legs" by saying it would sound like a pistol shot means I meant for it to be used hard!

It all sounds as if you are very novice at lungeing and he is taking advantage of it. If you get a video set up we can guide you more.

One thing I would say when you do lunge him wear a helmet and gloves for your safety.
 

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My mare was like this when I first got her. She is the type that NEEDS someone to be in charge, and if no one is going to step up and take the lead, she will. I wasn't being assertive enough, so she decided someone needed to be in charge. So she started dragging me around and trying to run me over and rearing up... this is what I did:

I got a trainer.

She took her to the arena, longed her, the horse was perfect. The next day, she had me take her over to longe her while she watched. When my horse decided it was time to take charge, and come at me, my trainer said "WHACK HER! DO NOT BE A VICTIM!" So I did. She went out to her circle and trotted off. Then she decided again that she was going to take charge, and not knowing what I was doing, I let it happen too many times. My trainer finally told me that when I ask her to do one thing and she does the opposite, she is basically saying "screw you lady." As soon as I heard that I was so mad! Ever since that day I have been in charge, and now we are great friends. She listens and does what I ask every time. She has no problem not being in charge, as long as someone is.

All horses are different, yours may not respond this way. My point is that you really need a trainer to help you figure out what is going on with your horse, and how you can change it. Sometimes it really takes a trained eye to pinpoint the problem and give you the tools you need to make changes, and to make sure your horse is respecting you.
 

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OP and HollyBubbles, you're pony and horse are dominant and aggressive. You need to get it taken care of, avoiding asking the horse to do something they don't want to do ISN'T a solution. It is possible to rehab a dominant/aggressive horse, I've done it, but it sounds like you both need a trainer. And yes, sometimes the horse needs a good come to jesus moment (mine needed a few!), but also focus on making the horse move their feet. A disrespectful horse will lash out when being lunged, a more dominant horse is more dominant because they can make the other horse move their feet. It's the horse mentality and herd dynamic. Both y'alls' pony and horse are telling y'all they don't respect you and that they're higher up than you. Please work with a trainer and get it taken care of. Work on backing, yielding the hindquarters, always turn AWAY from you if possible, in the horse's mind they are giving up ground when they do this, so it is a submissive move. They may lash out when doing this because they don't want to lose their dominant position which is why I suggest a trainer. But also be honest with yourself, some people just won't work for a dominant horse. I personally can, I have always had a more dominant personality with dogs and horses, it's why I can rehab problem dogs and horses. It has always come naturally to me, but there are a lot of people who cannot handle a dominant animal. It doesn't make them any less of a horse person, they just won't work for a certain type of horse. Please get help from a trainer and seriously consider if you are both right for owning that type of pony/horse.
 

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This can be a very dangerous situation--imagine if your pony had hit you just a couple inches higher, instead of giving you a bloody nose! ):

I would involve a trainer for sure. They could train you both at the same time, so there's no confusion on either end :)
 

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Many years ago, before I had a lot of experience working with big young horses, I had a horse come at livery in an emergency.
His owner had been found in the field with her head cracked open.
All I was told was that she had been working this horse, no one knew of she had been riding it or lungeing it because he had managed to get both the bridle and caveson off. As far as anyone knew he had not been ridden.

I took him into the field to lunge him, tacked up and with side reins loosely fitted.
This big youngster went very well for a couple of minutes and then turned in at me, reared up and came walking towards me front feet flailing.

My first reaction was " this is how his owner got her head smashed in!" Which then turned to "What would the boss do?"
I immediately stepped to the side of him and got three hard lashes from the lunge whip across his belly followed by two across his back legs when he came down.
Unfortunately he had his head away from me at this point and just tanked off. I couldn't hold him and never could afterwards but he never ever reared at me again.
I did stop him from tanking off (we never had an enclosed area to work in)

That horse went from being a pushy ill mannered idiot to a respectful willing working horse. I backed him and was riding him within days of his arrival. He loved work and within eight weeks I competed for the Pony Club in the regional Horse Trials. He qualified for the finals but, we sold him for the owner for a very good price.

Lungeing is not just a matter of having a horse twinkle around on the end of a rope, it takes a while to learn how to do it properly and know what to do when things don't go right.

Oh, the woman was never totally over her injury, she ended up with a metal plate in her skull and it effected her movement and her speech.
 
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