Serious help needed..again..

Laura2184

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Mar 1, 2005
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Guys, I need your help again :( I know I desperately needed to do some groundwork with Prince as he hasnt been worked much and has started to get bolshy and disrespectful. Ive been reading KellyMarks-Perfect Manners book and thought I would give some of the little games in there a try, it was all going fine, backing up, coming towards me, moving his hind quarters etc but then I thought Id have a go at leading him in trot around the school...

Each time I asked for trot I got ears back and him trying to bite me. :mad: He has no trouble trotting when ridden so I know he's not in pain. Any ideas why he's doing this?
I then tried to lunge him but just got him trying to intimidate me, now, he sometimes does this and I send him on, but this time he was very aggressive and looked like he'd have a good go at me if I gave him the chance. :mad:

I can't do join up or free schooling with him as this would be too dangerous for me, so where do I start?! It is quite obvious that he has no respect for me and is the 'leader' and its so upsetting to think that your horse has no respect for you. :(

Can anyone give me any suggestions or just some encouraging words?
 

Bay Mare

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Jun 21, 2004
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Hi Laura :)

If you're following IH methods it's probably worth getting one of their RAs in for a session. If you go onto the Intelligent Horsemanship website there's a list on there, or contact the office and they'll put you in touch. They don't cost a lot and it really is worth it to get started. It could be something in your body language or just that you're not confident and he's picking up on that. I've had an RA out a couple of times and it is really worth it :D


Good luck x
 

wonkeywoody

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Jul 12, 2007
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AHHHH! Dont worry! Yes he is trying to test you and will do it quite alot! Stand your ground. You have 'won' some of the games and so he is seeing where he can get the upper hand again.
Go back to walk next to you, and then halt and walk backwards. Dont make the mistake of looking at him, keep your eyes forward (I know that is quite difficult!!!) Dont be intimidated by his faces, thats where he'll know he has gotton to you!!!
When leading, keep rope slack. Start by taking a huge inbreath so he is seeing a cue that something is going to happen. Start walking forward. If he is 'slow' wave your carrot stick behind his drive line BUT in his personal space not AT him! When you are going to stop relax your upper body again to give him a clue! If he walks past you tap him on the chest. Same with backup. You remain facing forward throughout.
Once you are confident doing this add a couple of trot strides then back to walk, backup, walk, trot - mix it up! Add more trot strides as you get confident. DO NOT look at him and ignore face pulling!!
Have fun!
 

Laura2184

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Hi Laura :)

If you're following IH methods it's probably worth getting one of their RAs in for a session. If you go onto the Intelligent Horsemanship website there's a list on there, or contact the office and they'll put you in touch. They don't cost a lot and it really is worth it to get started. It could be something in your body language or just that you're not confident and he's picking up on that. I've had an RA out a couple of times and it is really worth it :D


Good luck x

Thank You Baymare, what exactly IS Intelligent Horsemanship? There are so many different methods out there that I don't know what Im supposed to be doing!! Its so confusing! I just want my horses respect but dont know how to go about it:confused:
 

wonkeywoody

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OH YEEESSSS!!!!
Be very aware that these creatures are incredibly tuned into every movement and look you do from the moment you arrive on the yard! They will test you at every opportunity as their leader. Dont forget, a leader of the herd keeps them from being eaten...it is their instinct. You have to prove yourself worthy of being a leader! If he makes faces, 'make yourself big' give a loud SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH sound and immediately 'go back to normal' and calm!
 

Bay Mare

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Thank You Baymare, what exactly IS Intelligent Horsemanship? There are so many different methods out there that I don't know what Im supposed to be doing!! Its so confusing! I just want my horses respect but dont know how to go about it:confused:


That's the Kelly Marks' method :)


Her website is: http://www.intelligenthorsemanship.co.uk


An RA is an Intelligent Horsemanship Recommended Associate :) They are fantastic and will be able to help you with your positioning in relation to your horse and your body language. They will be able to help you work with your horse and will help you to find out why you're getting the behaviour that you're getting. They work with 'problem' horses but also help owners with groundwork, long lining etc :)

You will probably start off learning how to lead and how to keep him out of your space. You'll probably also do backing up and generally moving him around.

Personally I'd start with one method to begin with and then add in other things as you gain in experience and confidence. I started out with IH but then started incorporating Mark Rashid, Richard Maxwell, Michael Peace as I learned more and now mostly use clicker and positive reinforcement which I've found to be even more helpful :)
 
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Est

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Echo Bay Mare - an RA is so useful! I was having problems with my gelding and had an RA out for 2 visits. Worth every penny :)
I blogged it here if you want to read about the kind of stuff we did :)
 

Laura2184

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Echo Bay Mare - an RA is so useful! I was having problems with my gelding and had an RA out for 2 visits. Worth every penny :)
I blogged it here if you want to read about the kind of stuff we did :)

Est, I have just read your blog with a sigh of relief, because I can relate to all of these problems that you had with Merrick. The sigh of relief was because reading that has helped me see a light at the end of this horrible tunnel I'm in at the moment! I just keeping thinking, my horse is my hobbie! Im spending so much money and time on him and Im really not enjoying it at all!

I am definately going to get in touch with an RA asap!!
 

Jacq

Let's Roll
Hi Laura....
I'm new to the forum and don't know how old Prince is, but I would suggest you go back to basics before you depend on anyone else.
The bottom line is that Prince has to respect you.....no one else.

A few tricks we use before we break them to gain their trust.

Be the only hand to feed and water him. Make him totally dependent on you. That doesn't mean withholding food or water...!!!!........just make sure you are the only one to be in the box with him for a while.

When you groom him, lean on him, make him feel your weight around him......don't let him push you around. If he complains at certain tickly bits just growl at him and keep on leaning. When he complies........love him to death and tell him how wonderful he is. Don't be surprised if he tries the 'mutual grooming' with tugs on your back.

If he goes to nip you aggressively....nip him back....not hard, just tug on his nostril between your teeth and tell him how bad he is........and mean it! He will start to react to your tone.

If you go to his box just to be with him, (and not for any of the above reasons) and he decides he doesn't want to be with you, then leave the stable, close the bottom door and stand with your back towards him. Just lean on the door. He'll get curious eventually and come over......then give him a polo or something...just for being there.

Punishment does not work..!!. Reward will... and the only reward he will need in the long run is your affection and approval, but you have to make him earn your respect, and not the other way round.

I know this isn't everyones view, but it's never failed me yet.

Jac
 
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Tatooed Lady

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If he goes to nip you aggressively....nip him back....not hard, just tug on his nostril between your teeth and tell him how bad he is........

Okay, THIS I see as dangerous. Sorry, but putting your face that close to the head of a horse to discipline him for having just bit you is just BEGGING for him to swing his head, and have a good chance of smashing your nose, cheekbone, etc. A safer alternative might be "nipping" him back using your hand to simulate an alpha's bite.
If you're not comfortably in control of him from the ground, PLEASE don't put yourself in that type of situation...
 

Jacq

Let's Roll
Okay, THIS I see as dangerous. Sorry, but putting your face that close to the head of a horse to discipline him for having just bit you is just BEGGING for him to swing his head, and have a good chance of smashing your nose, cheekbone, etc. A safer alternative might be "nipping" him back using your hand to simulate an alpha's bite.
If you're not comfortably in control of him from the ground, PLEASE don't put yourself in that type of situation...

The lady is right, of course...........

I consider myself duly scolded......!!!

Jac
 

wonkeywoody

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.......if he offers mutual grooming, just gently raise your elbow and push him away - that way you are not smacking him or telling him off you are just declining his offer..........
 

texel

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Oct 6, 2006
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Laura

I think you need to find an RA or someone who can see you working with your horse and point out any deficiencies with your approach and body language. You can read all the horse books on the planet and they are no use unless you feel confident you are applying the methods correctly and you can understand how to react to whatever behaviour the horse shows you confidently and assertively. It sounds as if you are frustrated and also frightened of your horse, both of these can work against you.

Your horse is responding in the way he has been trained to by yourself and people he has experienced before you owned him. Horses do not plot or plan, they are highly reactive and you just need to learn to read his mind to a certain degree. You will be able to overcome these issues you just haven't found the way yet.
 

puzzles

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Laura

I think you need to find an RA or someone who can see you working with your horse and point out any deficiencies with your approach and body language. You can read all the horse books on the planet and they are no use unless you feel confident you are applying the methods correctly and you can understand how to react to whatever behaviour the horse shows you confidently and assertively. It sounds as if you are frustrated and also frightened of your horse, both of these can work against you.

Your horse is responding in the way he has been trained to by yourself and people he has experienced before you owned him. Horses do not plot or plan, they are highly reactive and you just need to learn to read his mind to a certain degree. You will be able to overcome these issues you just haven't found the way yet.

Moi aussie! :D
 

Laura2184

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Quick Update

Well Thank You for all your suggestions and just to let you know we appear to be getting somewhere now ;)

Next day I went to the yard with a positive attitude, and thought you ARE going to trot beside me!! So without looking at him and carrot stick borrowed from a friend in his driving line positively asked him to trot - and guess what!? We got a trot! and again and again! only did a couple of minutes with him and then he got lots of praise.

ALSO I used to walk up to the stable and have to push him out of the way to get in myself as it was as if I wasnt even there! NOT ANY MORE! :D After reading Est's blog on having a RA down to her I used her technique to get him to shift out of my way! Look straight at him, make myself big and if he doesnt move bang my coat...it worked and now after a couple of times of having to hit myself :rolleyes: he now shoots back when I want him to and he gets lots of praise when he does. He seems to have a lot more respect for me now and enjoys being near me more now I think.

I know this is only the beginning but wow, what a difference doing the right thing makes!! ha ha!
 

Drifted

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Dec 30, 2007
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That's worked with mine as well, I used to get out of his way now if he's in my space I do the making myself big thing and get him to move, he's stopped using his head againt me as well... and stamping his foot. Expect you can guess, have a bolshy cob who is beginning to realise it's not so easy to push me around anymore, when it's just me and him, I'm going to be the herd leader, not been an easy road to take with him though. Baby steps and you'll get there.
 
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