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Discussion Starter #1
A couple days ago I moved Winter to my side of the road (from my brothers side) to be in my field so I could get him used to being alone since I never have anyone to ride with,etc. And he was starting to be buddy sour, barn sour, or whatever you want to call it. Since I have moved him over here he has lost all his ground manners. He rushes up in my space, won't stand still for grooming or anything that would need him to be still, will not let me pick his feet up and if he will he jerks them away or knocks into me. He has also lost all his repect and beginning to be very pushy. I don't know what caused all this all of a sudden as he was fine last week. The only think I can think of is he is reacting to me moving him from his buddies and thinks he thinks I'm going to give up when he acts up but he has another thought coming.. I do however want my nice calm, sane, pleasant to deal with horse back. What can I do? What would you do?

I'm almost at my wits end with all the acting up all of a sudden.. That's not the only things he does though. He never spooked at anything before and now he spooks at the dumbest things, like the chickens coming out of the chicken lot, the dog barking and little things like that. He never spooked at them before.. And he actually reared up this morning when I was leading him in the gate and the dog barked! He has NEVER reared before! I couldn't believe it.

So any advice would be great. He's getting a little hard to handle. It's so crazy though, because a week ago my 4 year old niece was able to lead him by herself. I would never let her now though.

Sorry this got so long. And thanks for any help in advance.
 

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It sounds to me like he is testing you. Regardless of the reasoning behind his actions, if he has been well behaved before and there is no indication that he might have an injury somewhere, then he needs work. Not playing in a roundpen or on a lunge line, real work. If he was mine, I would literally begin riding him almost into the ground. Doing a few million circles at a trot and lope, riding for hours on challenging trails with a ton of hills, working his bending and stops. Get him tired and he will be less willing to challenge you.
 

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I would also set up a "patience pole", or an area where you can tie him and leave him alone to fidget(supervised of course). Once he stops his moving and stands quietly, then you praise him and untie him. Like smrobs said, when he acts up, don't just let it go, get his feet moving. He'll figure out that just standing there and behaving is less work than misbehaving.
 

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Couple of days - as in two?

He needs time to settle in. Everything is different. Horses are herd creatures and fight or flight animals. Without his herd leader - he will be prone to the flight end of things.

Time and patience.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah there is no health problesm at all. He stands at the edge of the field and watches for my brothers horses half the day and then when I go out there to mess with him he smacks me with his head and pushes me or whatever to try to get me to go to the gate. Which I think he's acting up because of being alone.. But I can't work with him when he is over there..


I also forgot to mention he was abused before I got him. He is broke to work,ride and drive and someone has busted him in the head with what we believe to be a metal pipe of some sort. I just got him over his catching issues and I was letting him be a horse for a while before I wanted to start working him again because that's all the last owners did was work and beat him. He was very headshy and is now over that so I want to fix the current problems without causing him to go back to his old ways..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Couple of days - as in two?

He needs time to settle in. Everything is different. Horses are herd creatures and fight or flight animals. Without his herd leader - he will be prone to the flight end of things.

Time and patience.

Yes I moved him on Sunday. He was the "herd" leader with my brothers horses and he seemed to have settled down but maybe I need to give him some more time :)
 

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I agree, he needs some time. My Arab mare gets ridiculously herd crazy, to the point where she becomes a danger if she's running with a herd and you need to take her into a barn and out of sight of the herd. Right now it's not an issue as we do everything outside anyway, but when I was boarding her, it was a royal pain. I ended up seperating her into her own small paddock (she's fine running alongside herds and other horses, as long as she's isolated into her own pen) and it probably took a week or two for her to stop acting like a nutjob and settle down.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone :) He is doing better when I was out there with him this evening and I think he may really just need time to settle but at the same time I think a little ground work wouldn't hurt either. lol
 

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Definitely do a bunch of ground work with him, and just generally remind him that while you are his 'friend' you also desire his respect...abused or not, you can demand his respect, without resorting to 'violence'...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh I would never resort to violence I just didn't want to have a "relapse" of sorts on how far I have gotten him :)
 

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It is good to hear he is getting better and I too would have suggested to give him some time to adjust. However, you made a good point in saying he was a dominant horse where he came from. You will need to work on the leadership role with him as he has plainly shown you what he will do the next time he gets upset if you allow him to continue being the leader of your new herd.

Practice that ground work and focus on the exercises that help him learn you are the leader. Good luck.
 

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Sounds like he was insecure, being away from his buddies (there is safety in numbers in a horse's mind) and in an unfamiliar place. The ground work will remind him that you are the leader. He'll become more confident with time, and the ground work will make him think about respecting you again.

That herd instinct is very strong - have patience with him. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone :) He had a big turn around today. He was a lot less spooky, stood better (still not back to his old self but we're getting there).
 
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