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  1. #1
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    Jan. 15, 2010
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    Default My 9 month old filly strikes out at me

    For some- thanks for the advice... for others thanks anyway
    Last edited by aboubika; Jan. 15, 2010 at 02:07 PM. Reason: No longer needed or wanted



  2. #2
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    I am in desperate need of advice... my fiance recently bought me a just 9 month old filly as my wedding present, we got her January 13th. I was the only one to handel her at 1st because I wanted to be the one to bond with her.
    January 9th I went out to her pasture alone in hope to bond with her. I had some treats in my hand that I gave her right away- as soon as they were gone she reared up and stricked out at me, hitting my hip, and continued to chase me right out of the pasture (which I know, your not suppose to back up from them but I had nothing with me to defend myself).
    Since then- she has stricked out at me twice (these times my fiance- Mike, has been around). She also pins her ears back at me all the time. Mike has now handeled her a couple times and she respects him and seems to like him (never pins her ears at him)- she even chews when he is around, which he tells me is her thinking and wanting to be part of his heard.
    Since last time she stricked at me (just Thursday the 14th 7am) I have got mad- I now make sure to have a rope or something with me to get after her. I chase her away from me if she runs up to me, repremand her for kicking her front feet out at the ground, etc... I'm mad now- so I'm starting to demand respect to.
    But she still pins her ears back at me- I honestly feel as if she just hates me. Any advice? Mike's great at giving advice and knows foal & heard behavior- but he takes what he knows and has for granted. I know I have to be tough around her- but feeling like she hates me, is very depressing for me. This is my 1st foal and I expected a different experience. This has just been a aweful experience so far and I want to make it better. I need her to respect me and know I'm in charge but I also need (for me) her to like me and not pin her ears. I guess I don't understand why or how to fix it.
    Any advice would be SO much appreciated!
    It is very bad business for an uneducated person - uneducated in handling youngsters - to train a horse. You need to get a professional trainer to do it. Your first mistake is anthropomorphosizing the horse. She doesn't "like" or "dislike" any human. She's a horse, and reacts accordingly, and a mare, and is pushing for domination. You are acting as a submissive and she has your number. You are not approaching as knowlegable in any manner, and it is wildly beyond the scope of this board to attempt to train you, although I am sure many will try. It was an unfortunate gift. Well intentioned, I am sure, but the horse needs to be in a professional environment. Please pay for a trainer.
    Last edited by AnotherRound; Jan. 15, 2010 at 04:10 PM.
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2007
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    4,227

    Default

    #1 you need an experienced trainer

    #2 Never ever ever should a horse under 2 be fed treats by hand. It blurs the line between human and animal. I causes an animal to lose respect for you as their leader.

    #3 Discipline! This filly should be caught up and worked with! Discipline does not mean hitting her, it means making her WORK when she acts up. Horses have horrible work ethics they would prefer to be left to their own devices. So when they act out as she has done, here she would be worked to help her clear her mind. I like to use showmanship techniques to turn a tantrum into a triumph. Pretty soon she will learn that act up = work! And she will be calm.


    #4 Horses are ANIMALS! DO NOT give them human emotion. The do not have the intellect for it! It frustrates them and you!

    You do not have enough experience to handle this baby for your sake and hers get a TRAINER today!
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"



  4. #4
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    You obviously do not have the experience to be able to handle or train this filly. Send her to a good trainer. Do NOT make a bad situation worse. We don't want to see her on giveaways after she becomes completely unmanageable or hurts someone. And believe me, if you don't know what you are doing, she will!



  5. #5
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    Oct. 8, 2002
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    Maryland
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    Quote Originally Posted by aboubika View Post
    I was the only one to handel her at 1st because I wanted to be the one to bond with her.
    Let go of this notion. "bonding" is an over-rated idea that comes from watching too many Disney movies. It is MUCH more important that your filly be in competent hands right now. Once horses have learned the pecking order and discipline, then you can worry about being their friend.


    January 9th I went out to her pasture alone in hope to bond with her. I had some treats in my hand that I gave her right away- as soon as they were gone she reared up and stricked out at me, hitting my hip, and continued to chase me right out of the pasture (which I know, your not suppose to back up from them but I had nothing with me to defend myself).
    Never ever take treats out into a pasture. Lesson learned. Your filly sees you as a food source at best, but you are not experienced in horse behavior and discipline, so really you should not be dealing with such a young filly.


    I need her to respect me and know I'm in charge but I also need (for me) her to like me and not pin her ears. I guess I don't understand why or how to fix it.

    Fix it by keeping the filly in a situation where her handling is done by a qualified person.

    This isn't meant to offend but you sound inexperienced. A weanling is NOT the right horse for an inexperienced person. If your fiance was a good horseman, he should understand that too, and wouldn't have gotten you such a young untrained animal. (hate to say it, but I have to doubt his skills a little bit here - if he knew a lot about horses then he should have known it would be a bad idea - I just can't picture a good horseman putting you in this position.)

    Stop anthropomorphizing and taking this personally. It's not YOU - you just don't have the skills. And trying to be her friend and bonding and being upset that she doesn't "like" you isn't going to help.

    Anyway, find a qualified person (a local trainer with other youngsters on the farm) to deal with this while she grows up a little bit. And get lesssons from that person in how to do groundwork and handle things. Won't happen overnight, much of this is about subtle body language and timing, which takes a long time to develop.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
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    Michigan
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    What all 3 responses have had to say to you is 100% spot on advice.

    Get professional help before you and or the filly get hurt.

    Pinning ears is not a like/dislike response - its "I'm the BOSS of YOU" response. She sees you as a lower being on her horse totem pole. One she can and has pushed around.

    I've owned horses for over 35 years and could not agree more with the other 3 posters.

    Get.

    Help.

    NOW.

    Also what c said: Mike is not an experienced horse person or no way would he have gifted you a young untrained animal.
    Crayola posse ~ Lazer Lemon yellow
    Take time to give...it is too short a day to be selfish. - Ben Franklin



  7. #7
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    Jan. 15, 2010
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    Wow- harsh. And not helping. I am marrying a good trainer, who would obvioulsy work with her- the point of her was for me to learn to do it on my own, so unless anyone has helpful words on what I can do differently to better myself, I no longer need the help. She is not a helpless case- I've had her a week, I'm trying to learn the right way to deal with her, so that we both better ourselves. A foal is a whole different ballgame than I am use to- it's not like I am completley unknowledgeable, I have trained 3 year olds and up- who have gone on to be great horses. Just nothing this young.
    As I stated- I had a different experince this would be in mind, which is my fault but now I want to fix it not give her to someone else to fix. So thanks for replying but as stated unless your going to be helpful for me to learn from- plaese don't reply.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 8, 2002
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    So things are only helpful if it's what you want to hear?

    If your fiance is a very good trainer than have him with you every. single. time. you handle your filly. He can teach you how to do it. But given the issues you're having with her, the very best thing for you to do is have live, real guidance from someone who is standing with you and can tell you what to adjust and do.

    Timing and feel and body language in handling babies is really important, and it's not something that's easily taught over a message board.

    It's not meant to be "harsh" or an insult, it's just the reality.

    The most IMPORTANT lesson there is for ALL OF US to learn with regards to horses is WHEN to ask for help and get guidance.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  9. #9
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    Mar. 10, 2006
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    Albany NY
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    Default

    If your husband is an experienced trainer, then you must get him to give you the correct advice to handle her. Personally, there is no way in the world an experienced horseman would put you in this position and leave you unaided and not knowing what to do to correct the problems you already have made, so I don't believe you. You asked for opinions from knowlegable horse people. Sorry we didn't tell you what you wanted to hear. Helpful doesn't mean you get to hear what you wanted to hear. Helpful is giving sound, correct safe advice. good luck.
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.



  10. #10
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    Jul. 21, 2006
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    Default

    No less harsh then her hoof to your head will be. You are wearing a helmet while working with her now, aren't you??

    DQ goes to get popcorn and an adult beverage, knowing where this one is going.
    Crayola posse ~ Lazer Lemon yellow
    Take time to give...it is too short a day to be selfish. - Ben Franklin



  11. #11
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    Aug. 3, 2001
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    Hagerstown, MD
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    She sounds like an Alpha filly who totally has your number.

    I had one of those several years ago. I wound up sending her to a professional to break her and teach her that humans were to ones to be respected, not horses. And I am certainly not unexperienced having broken several 3 year olds myself, but an Alpha filly is a whole 'nother kettle of tea.

    Unless you are very experienced with this type of horse (which you are not from what you said), send her off to a pro before she becomes unmanageable.



  12. #12
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    OK, then trainer/hubby-to-be needs to be giving you daily (or several-times-daily) lessons on how to handle this filly.

    *EVERY* time you handle her, you are training her. If you don't know what you're doing, you're going to train her to do stuff you probably don't want her to do (striking being a great example). You don't mean to do it, but that's what happens when you don't understand her body language and don't know how or when to correct her behavior.

    The best thing you could do for her and yourself right now would be to watch someone competent handle her. It's not just knowing what to do, but knowing when and how, and what to do if what you just did didn't work. It is knowing when to push an issue and when to finesse things along and push another day. It is knowing what method will work best with this particular horse doing this particular behavior. It's just not something you really have a good grasp of unless you work with lots of young horses.

    Yes, you have to start somewhere, but if you are not yet competent handling trained, mature horses, a baby is not a good place to start. I have been riding for 20+ years and still get help frequently with my 5-year-old. I do not want to spoil her or do something stupid out of ignorance that will mess her up and set us back, so I found two excellent horsewomen and they are teaching me how to address things, because sometimes I do not have the right tool in my toolbox, so to speak. It is not uncommon for me to ask one of them to do X with mare so I can see how to handle it myself. I also ask a lot of questions so I can be prepared when I need to deal with *new behavior* by myself.

    You can go the trial-and-error route, sure, but that's a great way to get hurt and to ruin a young horse. Far better to do it the right way the first time and build a good foundation for the future, both with this filly and others.
    Full-time bargain hunter.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    15,405

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    What the other posters have said (or assumed about the OP) is true but a bit harsh and over the top.

    OP, at least you know you have a problem and are willing to get mad at her!

    Watch what your fiance does and what the filly does. I'll bet he's clear about his boundaries-- controlling the space around him and clear, even minimalist in the demands he makes of her. Follow suit. Did you notice that she actually likes him because she respects him? (These are your words, IIRC.) That's because his clear signals give her security.

    Most mares will handle there babies by tolerating some crap and than, seemly without warning, get really pissed-- snaked neck, ears back, even teeth bared. But this lasts only a second or so. Once the baby has backed down, the mare goes back to neutral. Trust me, the baby "loves her momma" as much as you want your filly to love you. You might behave a little bit more like a mare (or your man) and see what you get!

    By the way, most horse behaviorists do not read "wants to be part of the herd" or "acceptance" in the busy, slightly desperate kind of "chewing" that babies. This is not about relaxation (as might be true of older horses), but a demonstration of submission. Babies will do it with older, more dominant horses for their first year or more.

    In any case, you might have just one tough meeting with her where she doesn't back down because you have taught her that she gets to call the shots. If she approaches you with aggression, chase her away. Ignore her for a bit. If she does that again, or gets impatient waiting for you to notice her, chase her again. When she approaches cautiously with ears up and a soft-looking body or expression, pet her on the head and leave/call it a day. Her attention span is only so long.

    Yes, you could pack her up and send her to a trainer... but to do what, exactly? This isn't a big, 30 day problem. At nine months, you should be teaching her to lead, pick up her feet, perhaps load into a trailer if you have one handy, tolerate clippers near her. But you don't need her to know much more.

    What may really help you in the long run is:

    A foal pasture. Turn her out with babies her own age who will do more to teach her about hierarchy and getting along than even the most educated human being can.

    Being consistent with teaching her the things she needs to know. Primarily about boundaries, hierarchy and accepting restraint.

    You do need to work these issues out before she gets bigger, stronger, more bored and convinced that the world should bend to her will. But I don't think that's rocket science.

    Did I mention that you need a foal pasture? You do.

    Best of luck to you.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  14. #14
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    Mar. 27, 2009
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    Upstate NY
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    What kind of horse is she? What kind of older horses have you trained that you do have experience with? And, what is her name!!



  15. #15
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    Jan. 15, 2010
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    Caffenated, I appreciate your help, I'm not unopen to help and that is what I want- just not people saying to send her off. I am trying to better myself as a horse person, I have always had amazing talented horses- horses which I could take no credit for cause they were "push button horses". After 20 years of having horses like that, I wanted the experience to say I had this one from the start. Maybe that's a dumb little girl fantacy- but it is somethign I want to do.
    Fiance happened to be out of town over the weekend and beginning of the week which left me alone with her. She wasn't suppose to be delivered until late this week. Since he got home, he has been helping me with her- I just wanted all the advice I could get. Different views are always helpful I thought. And beign I want this to turn out- I seeked other's advice.
    Another round, believe me or not- dosen't really matter. As stated, me being with her alone was unfortunate timing due to the shipper being extremly early.
    Now as said- if anyone can tell me proper behavior for me- things I can learn from all your knowledge- that would be appreciated. I am listeing to fiance but I jsut thought the more advice I could get- the better. If you don't have helpful words to say- please move on to the next discussion.



  16. #16
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    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
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    I am marrying a good trainer, who would obvioulsy work with her- the point of her was for me to learn to do it on my own
    Um..so where is Mr Good Trainer while you are getting struck at?
    I question how "good" he is if he left you - obviously unused to handling babies - alone to work this out. Bad for you, bad for filly.
    Edited to add: OK - read your explanation. Now I question your judgement in deciding you were capable of handling this filly w/o your finace present.
    Safe is always the better decision than Sorry.

    She is not a helpless case- I've had her a week,... A foal is a whole different ballgame than I am use to
    Bingo - get Mr Good Trainer to step in please, before you get hurt.

    now I want to fix it not give her to someone else to fix.
    You need someone else to "fix" this before you make a bratty baby out of your filly or get seriously injured.
    If you won't make use of someone else with more experience & knowledge you are no horsewoman.
    Harsh? Maybe.
    True. 1000%
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  17. #17
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    Jul. 22, 2007
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    The bottom line is, babies are not for the faint of heart. They are quick, unpredictable and need to be TAUGHT how to behave like ladies and gentleman. If you cannot stand her down with a firm and gentle hand then the best thing to do would be pass her to someone who can.

    You have been given excellent advice. I hope you rethink turning a deaf ear to it. Nobody is going to be able to teach you in a forum what to do. Everything changes quickly while handling babies....one minute they are standing quietly, the next second they are bucking and farting. Unless you can react quickly you will lose a training opportunity and turn the situation into something much more dangerous. Only time can teach you these things and there is no magic wand.

    If your filly had been born with a quiet temperment you might have been able to handle her. But unfortunately she is of a firey nature and needs someone with much more experience to bring her to a useful adulthood.

    Please take a deep breathe. Everybody here IS trying to help you. And the filly.



  18. #18
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    Jul. 30, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    What the other posters have said (or assumed about the OP) is true but a bit harsh and over the top.

    OP, at least you know you have a problem and are willing to get mad at her!

    Watch what your fiance does and what the filly does. I'll bet he's clear about his boundaries-- controlling the space around him and clear, even minimalist in the demands he makes of her. Follow suit. Did you notice that she actually likes him because she respects him? (These are your words, IIRC.) That's because his clear signals give her security.

    Most mares will handle there babies by tolerating some crap and than, seemly without warning, get really pissed-- snaked neck, ears back, even teeth bared. But this lasts only a second or so. Once the baby has backed down, the mare goes back to neutral. Trust me, the baby "loves her momma" as much as you want your filly to love you. You might behave a little bit more like a mare (or your man) and see what you get!

    By the way, most horse behaviorists do not read "wants to be part of the herd" or "acceptance" in the busy, slightly desperate kind of "chewing" that babies. This is not about relaxation (as might be true of older horses), but a demonstration of submission. Babies will do it with older, more dominant horses for their first year or more.

    In any case, you might have just one tough meeting with her where she doesn't back down because you have taught her that she gets to call the shots. If she approaches you with aggression, chase her away. Ignore her for a bit. If she does that again, or gets impatient waiting for you to notice her, chase her again. When she approaches cautiously with ears up and a soft-looking body or expression, pet her on the head and leave/call it a day. Her attention span is only so long.

    Yes, you could pack her up and send her to a trainer... but to do what, exactly? This isn't a big, 30 day problem. At nine months, you should be teaching her to lead, pick up her feet, perhaps load into a trailer if you have one handy, tolerate clippers near her. But you don't need her to know much more.

    What may really help you in the long run is:

    A foal pasture. Turn her out with babies her own age who will do more to teach her about hierarchy and getting along than even the most educated human being can.

    Being consistent with teaching her the things she needs to know. Primarily about boundaries, hierarchy and accepting restraint.

    You do need to work these issues out before she gets bigger, stronger, more bored and convinced that the world should bend to her will. But I don't think that's rocket science.

    Did I mention that you need a foal pasture? You do.

    Best of luck to you.
    I agree with all of this. Good luck!
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!



  19. #19
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    Apr. 28, 2009
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    Does this poster remind you guys anything of that one a couple months back who had the knowledgeable older fiance or boyfriend or something and was looking for a giveaway young horse. No?



  20. #20
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    Jan. 15, 2010
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    Onelandroad & MVP-
    Thank you both. I guess I had it in my head that I wanted to do it all with her. But from the sounds of it- I need to watch him with her, study him and his actions with her so I can learn and try to incorporate them when I do start working with her again.
    She is a Rhineland Pfalz Saar. Who isn't always a bad horse. She leads for me great, she waits for me to open the stall, fence, big garage door on barn, she picks up her feet, etc. It only happens out in the pasture- seems like when I take her halter off. She tried to stand up on me yesterday morning but I had a rope halter on her and pulled on it and made her back up. For now, it seems to have done the trick as this morning I didn't have a problemw ith her and she stood extremly well while I took the halter off her. Now this could be so many things- she could be understanding me not being affraid (for lack of a better way to say that) or she could have just not tried to do anything today, IDK. Her old owner said she has never done this before and that kids have been around her and fed her and she was always great. So why I'm having this problem- I don't know.
    I'm not scared of her- I am confident around her, as I am with my 4 other horses. 3 of which were already started when I bought them (had been riden in round pen at a walk-trot but nothing further) and I finished them. Finished them into nothing more than a trail horse- but they are great at it, my 5 year old niece can ride any one of them. So for all of you who feel I am diving in way too deep, it's not that I don't have some experience. I have been riding for 20 years- until 5 years ago always had trained hunter jumpers and use to compete. Then when I grew up (daddy didn't pay horse bills anymore)- I bought a couple 3 year olds to have in my back yard. I just have never had anything younger than 3. And it is a big difference.
    I guess at 1st I tried to treat her more like a baby (again for lack of a better description). I have since learned that she is not a baby and I have to be firm more firm with her.
    So thanks for the helpful words, I guess the best thing now to do is step back- watch fiance with her, learn from their interaction, and try again when I have more knowledge on working with a filly.
    Oh and mvp- I have a large pasture that we broke off a portion of it and put her in there, so she's next to the other 4 horses but not in with them. I have no other foals- just a 6, 8, 9, and 11 yr olds. Last night we did put my 8 yr old mare in with her- and that was actually really helpful to watch her interaction with her for me. She pretty much left the filly alone unless she came up to her, when she did that the 8 yr old would pin her ears, bite AT her, and the filly would trot away. Then she'd slowly do it again and this happened a couple times. They were only together for probably 30 mins.
    Would it be beneficial to keep another horse with her or keep her seperated?



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