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How do YOU handle behavioral problems with your horse?

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  • How do YOU handle behavioral problems with your horse?

    I wanted to know what some of you do about horses with bad ground manners? Do you just kinda deal with it? What about other behavioral problems? Clipping, bathing,head shy, trouble tacking, ect.

    You have your trainer get on your horse when they are bad undersaddle. What about everything that is not riding related?

    Just curious, Thanks
    (]~~[) Amy (]~~[)

    * I hope I never get too old to ride, despite the injuries and pain, because I cannot imagine not doing the thing I most enjoy in my life.*
  • Original Poster

    How do YOU handle behavioral problems with your horse?

    I wanted to know what some of you do about horses with bad ground manners? Do you just kinda deal with it? What about other behavioral problems? Clipping, bathing,head shy, trouble tacking, ect.

    You have your trainer get on your horse when they are bad undersaddle. What about everything that is not riding related?

    Just curious, Thanks
    (]~~[) Amy (]~~[)

    * I hope I never get too old to ride, despite the injuries and pain, because I cannot imagine not doing the thing I most enjoy in my life.*


    • #3
      I don't put up with it...from the first day I have the horse I expect it to behave. If it doesn't, it gets reprimanded accordingly. If it is something like clipping, I work on it slowly, every day, until they accept it. Same thing with bathing or tacking up.
      Originally posted by barka.lounger
      u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

      we see u in gp ring in no time.


      • #4
        Ooh great question! When I'm not on my blackberry ill give a proper answer
        chaque pas est fait ensemble


        • #5
          I think it's imperative that horses have good ground manners, from the perspective of someone who has to deal with them on the ground! I think that treats have their place, but I like to put them in their grain bin or give them at dinner time with their feed.

          My pet peeve is when owners treat their horses like housecats. They are large animals, and they MUST respect your personal space and behave in a mannerly fashion. If they are being pushy, a sharp word usually suffices. I rarely lead any horse without a chain over the nose (a LOOSE chain, only tightened if necessary and put on correctly so it doesn't stay tight). You never know when they might spook or shy, and they are so much stronger!

          If a horse is VERY pushy, I'll give it a slap (but never on the face!) or a jerk of the chain.

          If a horse is shy about his ears or head, I'll work slowly to desensitize him. If he's REALLY scared and I'm making no progress, I'll usually just let it go. Even head shy horses are pretty ok about putting on bridles and halters, and I'll just be super careful about other things. No point in pushing things for no real reason.

          Clipping can be tricky. Again, I'll try to desensitize. If a horse for whatever reason just does NOT accept the clippers out of fear, then I'll usually tranq them for clipping, only do it when completely needed, and do their WHOLE body in one dose.

          I think the most important thing about disciplining a horse on the ground is to NEVER make it about emotions. Don't get angry about them being pushy in the washstall, pawing on the crossties, jerking you around while grazing, just discipline them and then pretend it didn't happen. Horses don't understand anger. One not-so-good behavior, one disciplining response, and that's it.


          • #6
            I'm with kellyb on this one. I work at a sales barn so to me, if it's a horse I work with I want it to go to its new owner with great manners. If they have bad manners they are dealt with accordingly. Some horses need more than a raising of the voice. For things like tacking and head shyness issues etc. taking it slow and getting the horse used to a routine is the best, I've found. Nothing like a little patience to help out a nervous horse!
            I'd rather be riding!


            • #7
              Reprimand any bad behavior and be consistent about it.
              I find eventually the horse learns his bad behavior will not be accepted and gives it up.


              • #8
                Under saddle, I'm understanding with my young horses but never lose the end goal of having a well rounded mount as even something that starts out as fear (spooking, turning towards home, stopping) can turn behavioural very quickly.

                However, over the years I have learned that all horses are individuals so what I expect from one horse might not be the same as the next.

                My first horse was a PITA on the ground - he had 30 days under saddle when I bought him and was super nosy and in your space all the time. I realized after about 2 months of reprimanding him for his obnoxious behaviour that it was IN him. He was perfect under saddle and never bad or dangerous...just annoying (like waiting at the ingate when he just HAD to lip the towel, bite the fence, inspect my show clothes etc...).

                If his behaviour ever crossed the line he would get it but there was no way he was ever going to be the stand there, stock still kind of horse unless I was prepared to be very hard on him...which I wasn't. I guess it wasn't that important to me as long as he wasn't dangerous and still performed properly under saddle.

                There are a few things that I find extremely annoying and cannot tolerate no matter what like moving around in the crossties or dragging when being led but in general, as long as the behaviour is not dangerous, I don't expect my horse to be a robot.
                \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River


                • Original Poster

                  I am very pleased with your responses. Sounds like most of you are spot on.

                  Are there any tougher things you would like to fix?
                  (]~~[) Amy (]~~[)

                  * I hope I never get too old to ride, despite the injuries and pain, because I cannot imagine not doing the thing I most enjoy in my life.*


                  • #10
                    Tougher things? Tying and cross-tying? Clipping their ears? Loading? Standing while mounting? All of that can be taught and almost always to the person's specs.

                    I think training on the ground is just like that under saddle. Life gets easy and pleasant when they're doing it right or clearly trying, and worse when they say no,notgonnaeventry.

                    I don't see why people make a distinction between training in hand and under saddle. To me, the ride starts when I open the stall door. When horses are gold in tack and not so much on the ground, I assume it's caused by long-term pilot error or lack of attention to the problem.

                    I also think having a safe, easy, well-mannered horse on the ground is a very easy way to make them more valuable and happy. When a horse knows the rules, he's less likely to get into trouble later.

                    We just need to be scrupulous, take the time and teach them what we'd like from them on the ground.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat