• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

How to improve a horse's ground manners/stubborn attitude!?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How to improve a horse's ground manners/stubborn attitude!?

    I bought a 5 year old mare a month ago and she has never been in consistent work. When her old owner had time for her, she would spend a few months putting some miles on her, then throw her back in the field. When I bought her she hadn't been handled much in 4 months.
    The first month I had her stabled at a backyard barn so I didn't do much with her. But I did begin to realize she had really bad ground manners. She is fine to lead, but her bad habits come out on the cross ties. She walks around and just won't stand still! She comes into my "space" while I groom her, and I can't stand that she is moving around the whole time. She was really bad when you picked up her feet, but that problem is getting better.
    I just moved her to a barn with an indoor and am beginning to realize she's so stubborn too! She walked right on the trailer for me 3 times before I moved her. But when I wanted to move her to the indoor she wouldn't get on for anything. She's a very sweet mare, but when we tried to push her butt over to keep her body perpendicular to the trailer entrance, she tried to kick my mom and I. We finally gathered some people and got her on by making a chute using lunge lines and walking her in. When she planted her feet on the ramp, we pushed her in by pulling the leadropes around so they put pressure on her butt. The second we did that she walked right up!
    Now that she's at her new home she continues to test me. She won't walk into the wash stalls that are bright and airy, and needs extra encouragement to walk behind the mounting block. I don't know what her problem is all of a sudden. I think she does not respect me. She really likes treats, but is very mouthy when hand fed, so I don't know if bribery is the best way to make her come around. If you get a little rough and dominant with her it just makes her mad. How do I earn this mare's respect, and encourage her to behave better on the crossties? I look forward to your responses!

  • #2
    1. No more treats.
    None. Zero. Zip.

    2. No more cross ties. When you groom her, or handle her, have her on a halter and a lead. This will force you to address any time that she moves, and have her put her feet back where they were.
    It might take 25 minutes the first time to just run a brush over her whole body. But after the first time it should get better quickly.

    3. Failure to load is a leading problem, not a loading problem.
    I am going to guess from your post that when she leads, she hangs back at the end of the rope, rather than keeping her shoulder even with yours with slack in the lead.
    Were you to start trotting, I am guessing that rather than keeping pace with you freely and easily, there would be a big dragging scenario going on.
    So, whenever you lead her anywhere, she must keep her shoulder even with yours with slack in the lead.

    The other day I had to load a horse who got "stuck" at the trailer ramp. I walked the horse in circles while trainer got behind us with a broom to keep him freely and briskly keeping pace with my shoulder. We went up to trotting big circles, trainer reinforcing from behind with the broom, until the horse was freely trotting along side and keeping pace with me by virtue of paying attention to me and adjusting his pace accordingly. We went from walk circles to trot circles in about three minutes, a minute of trot circles later the horse was on the trailer.

    No matter where this horse goes from here on out, her shoulder should be even with yours with slack in the lead.
    Whenever you lead her anywhere, surprise her with increases and decreases in your pace and insist that she pay attention and adjust herself accordingly.

    4. If she is edgy about the mounting block, the ONLY PLACE you can feed her a treat is after you have gotten on, and she is patiently halting. If she scoots after you get on, bring her back to the halt, ensure that she is halting long enough for a deep breath or two, and then reach down and give her a treat. She will learn that "halt"="treat".
    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

    Comment


    • #3
      I've been in your shoes with different horses over the years. Two things I have found particularly helpful: 1-have a place to tie her up with a single, short tie in her stall and 2-pratice a lot of "showmanship" skills on the ground.

      Tying in the stall teaches patience and is a good place to start for bad cross-tie behavior as well as a "time out" technique for bad behavior. We would tie up the impatient ones before and after riding. I had one mare in particular that had absolutely no respect for her handlers, would walk all over her handler and would look for us to fight with her, which would just make the situation worse. Tying her up made ALL the difference. The second she'd give us a hard time, be it leading, catching in T/O, clipping, etc, instead of trying to address the issue and risk getting in a fight with her and creating a bigger problem, we'd immediately tie her up for 1/2 hour or so and she would then be a different horse. I put my tie ring in the back of the stalls, away from hay or buckets. I want it to be a time out spot, not to leisurely hang out at their comfort area. But not high and tight so they are uncomfortable either.

      The "showmanship" skills are found in the western ring-in hand, with a chain shank most of the time, these horses learn to give to pressure on the lead shank (drop heads down) and respect your space. Training these skills do take a lot of patience and repetition. We'd work them at the walk and trot, learn to turn on haunches and back up, all while dropping their heads down and give to pressure. I would set up cones and have a specific pattern, like when I would trot or walk or halt or turn or back up, etc, and make it a game. I definitely would not tolerate any horse invading my space when working in hand, especially not putting their mouths on me. I'm not saying beat her, but firmly push her away and get her thinking about something else by giving her something to do.

      She's young, she is going to test you. You are better off nipping it in the bud now and showing her how you want her to behave before it becomes a bigger issue. Good luck!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks! Very good ideas, I will work on all the things you mentioned. I think some time off the x-ties, whether in her stall or standing free, will really do her some good. She needs to learn to stand.
        She also paws a lot, any ideas for that? And she hates having her mane pulled and will not let you clip her face. Ideas?!

        Comment


        • #5
          Typical unhandled baby stuff. Don't worry too much about it but be aggressive on her manners. The pawing is impatience. If you have a patience pole or a good safe place to tie her, tie her and leave her as long as you can. She'll paw, toss, move, etc but eventually she'll learn it does absolutely no good.

          As far as loading, I agree, that's actually a leading problem. Babies are fun because just when you think you've got them all broke and figured out, they remind you that they still have a little bit of opinion left in them. Work on her leading skills AT ALL TIMES. She always has to be at your side, halt when you stop, back when you ask her to, trot when you ask, etc. She should also know to move away from pressure when you ask her to move away from you in a circle. When you put pressure on the halter to ask her to come forward she should jump forward immediately. If she doesn't, back her immediately. For the trailer, ask her to walk up to it, then back her up, then ask her to walk up to it a little further. If she resists, back her up. Always keep her facing the trailer and never make her get in. Ask her, but don't force her. It will take a while so if you can do a little each day, that's probably your best bet. Pat her when she's good. Be clear with your signals and she'll understand quickly. Ponying (if you have a horse available) is also a great way to get a baby used to going out on trails, working, leading, etc.

          Re: main pulling/clipping. Do a little bit every day. It's a pain but it's probably the fastest, safest, easiest way to handle that. Let her get used to the clippers in the off mode for a while. When she's ok with that, then turn them on. When she's okay with them being on, then trying to clip her a little. For the mane, I usually end up using a twitch and do just a little bit so they don't get anxious about it. Do a little bit each week (not every day - they'll figure out that the twitch means something unpleasant pretty quickly). Don't push it and be patient. Always reward for good behavior and ignore the bad behavior if you can.

          When I brought my mare out of the field at three, she knew nothing. You could halter her but that was about all. She didn't load, didn't cross tie, in fact, she couldn't figure out how to walk down a hill (we had to lead a horse in front of her to get her to go down the hill). A year later she's a pro - leads, loads, stands in the cross ties patiently, lunges nicely. Some days she reverts back to baby mode, but I can get her out of it pretty quickly by just being firm. I don't ever have to hit her, I just say 'knock it off' in a stern voice and she straightens up (it's really nice btw haha). Just be clear about what you want and work on it every day. Slow and steady wins the race!

          Comment


          • #6
            I had the same problem with my mare. Bought her at 3 and she was awful. She was owned by a beginner and got away with murder there. They even had a "bad horse" signed on her stall warning people to stay away.

            She really is a sweet horse now, but she sure was mean then. I did several months of basic groundwork with her. Some of the NH trainers have good advice (except Parelli, ugh) but use what you need and remember it's not a bible and may not work for everyone. I would never listen to anything they say re: riding, but most of the other stuff is just basic horsemanship. When you start looking around at different people, most if it is really all the same.

            I liked using a rope halter. My mare can't handle chains, they made her rear, but the rope definitely helped. Then we worked on personal space- just made her stand in her own area and not try to run into me. Backing up was a good tool for me as well. When she got nasty and snapped her teeth and tried to bite, we flew backwards and she quickly learned that she doesn't like to go backwards and its easier just to be nice.
            Once we got personal space down, she was pretty good about leading. Then we taught turns on the forward and haunches while staying in her own space and not running me over. Occasionally she'd start getting nasty, and then we'd back up until she put a happy face back on.
            She also had a habit of swinging her haunches in and threatening to kick, so I taught her to face me when I asked. This got a bit tricky and led to some problems later with mounting, but I'd rather have her trying to face me than trying to kick me.

            But after all that, she's a great horse a year later. Keep reinforcing everything though! When I got more into riding and didn't have time for a weekly refresher course, she definitely tried to go back to boss mare, then we had a big power struggle to get over that.

            You might need different techniques depending on your horse, but I think the most important thing is to establish respect and personal space, and once you earn the horse's respect, it's a lot easier to fix the little things.
            Last edited by Tegan; Dec. 28, 2009, 10:14 AM. Reason: repetition

            Comment


            • #7
              Totally agree with all the responses. The key with any of these techniques is consistency. Make a plan, figure out what works and what doesn't for the mare, and then stick to your guns. Don't vary your reactions to her behavior. If she steps into your space and you slap her chest with the lead to back her up one time and snap the halter another time, she's not going to learn. She might get the picture from these two similar actions, but you need to do the exact same thing every time for each misbehavior. Eventually, she'll know exactly what's coming when she makes a certain move, and the game will get old.

              It takes time, and dealing with a horse like this can be frustrating, but once you have a system going, just be firm and consistent. Don't make a big deal out of things--just reprimand firmly and move on.
              Equestrianism
              Photography

              Comment


              • #8
                Showmanship work is an excellent suggestion. I would strongly suggest that you try to find Richard Shrake's Showmanship tape(s) - he's the best! If you have trouble, let me know. I think I have a copy somewhere.

                C
                www.ayliprod.com
                Equine Photography in the Northeast

                Comment

                Working...
                X