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No Respect-Help

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Thank you for the tips from everybody. I talked to the woman I board with who specializes in training OTTB's. In response to some questions (not all):
    -My tack does not come in until Tursday so I haven't ridden her since I test ride her.
    -She is GREAT at lunging and can free lunge just fine. There are no problems there.
    -I did do some more work with her today didn't let her shove me around instead using poles, circles and backing up consistently to keep her attention and an awareness of my space.
    -I am a full time college student so affording a trainer is a bit tight.

    Again, I appreciate all the replies and can understand that I cannot let this continue or it will escalate to a dangerous situation for myself.I will do some looking in my area and talk to the woman I board with to see if I can work something out.

    Comment


    • #22
      Don't feel small. Every horse is much much bigger than even a large man.

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by S1969 View Post

        Well, being 5'10" wouldn't really give you much more of an advantage. You're still outweighed by 1000lbs.

        The horse will either respect you, or it won't. It doesn't respect someone because they are 6" taller. It's training, body language, and consistency.
        It does make a difference. I have had to call my trainer over to put lip chains on because once the big ones get fractious and put their head up, I can't reach up far enough to do it. This also includes putting on bridles or halters.

        There is also potentially being picked up by an annoyed big horse or let the lead out more and risk giving the horse to much head to get really nasty.

        My conformation is also short legs/long torso so it's harder for me to keep up with the bigger horses, which can cause further irritation to an already irritated horse. (to give you an idea, the assist trainer is 5'4" while I am 5'2" but her jumping length stirrups are my dressage length and I can't reach her dressage length).

        There are all kinds of ways those 6" make a huge difference that many people don't even think about.

        Comment


        • #24
          no, it's not height. I am short. There has never been a horse i couldn't put a bridle on, and I've handled lots of giant babies, teaching them to accept tack, as well as just big jerk horses who had developed some alarming habits. It's not height, it's skill. If there's ever a horse I can't manage, it won't be because of my height.
          Let me apologize in advance.

          Comment


          • #25
            Just two things: this is how they let them behave at the track, it's what she knows and currently sees no reason to change. Two: a friend told me "thoroughbreds wear jewelry in the wintertime," meaning they often need a stud chain. My last horse did and he was in his late 20s and still leaping about like a ninny when it got cold. Get a trainer to help you, have them establish the groundwork and have you do it so that horse doesn't figure that one person is "god" and you ain't. Hate that. If she is a dominant mare, it will be an uphill battle but so be it as long as she learns you are not a doormat. Good luck.

            Edited to add: think of this - she's too big to be an assh**e.
            "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
            - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

            Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
              no, it's not height. I am short. There has never been a horse i couldn't put a bridle on, and I've handled lots of giant babies, teaching them to accept tack, as well as just big jerk horses who had developed some alarming habits. It's not height, it's skill. If there's ever a horse I can't manage, it won't be because of my height.
              I'm not saying it can't be done, it's just different.

              For example, a horse that stood about 16.3HH came in and decided he didn't want the bridle on. He stuck his head up. With my hand over his nose, I was on very tippy toe just trying to get his head back down. Even with hand over nose, squeeze to cut airway when he goes to lift it up, I was having trouble. He accounted for my height, but did not account for my human ability to use tools. I grabbed the 6" stool we have and used that to get the extra height to get his bridle on. After two days, he gave up the ghost and decided to be a gentleman about it. My trainer, who is about 6" tall than me wouldn't have needed the stool....becasue she's 6" taller than me...and I had a 6" stool....

              Yes, it makes a difference.

              Amusingly, that incident always reminded me of the roughly 12HH fractious pony at the lesson barn I rode/worked at in High school. He would also stick his head up and the little kids couldn't bridle him. So one of us bigger kids would come around and shake our heads - little pony, your head pointing at the sky is not going to work because your nostrils are should height, put the bridle on.

              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by Ajierene View Post

                It does make a difference. I have had to call my trainer over to put lip chains on because once the big ones get fractious and put their head up, I can't reach up far enough to do it. This also includes putting on bridles or halters.

                There is also potentially being picked up by an annoyed big horse or let the lead out more and risk giving the horse to much head to get really nasty.

                My conformation is also short legs/long torso so it's harder for me to keep up with the bigger horses, which can cause further irritation to an already irritated horse. (to give you an idea, the assist trainer is 5'4" while I am 5'2" but her jumping length stirrups are my dressage length and I can't reach her dressage length).

                There are all kinds of ways those 6" make a huge difference that many people don't even think about.
                Reaching the head to bridle is totally not the same issue as being "walked over" while leading or being dragged by a horse that is a jerk. I'm 5'1". I totally get that height and leg length make a difference for some things.

                All horses could walk over or drag just about every human if they wanted to. Even my 33" mini took my vet and I for a rodeo around my barnyard once. And other than my mini, all of my horses can walk faster than me - including my 10hh pony. They don't because I don't let them.

                Horses respect their handlers because they believe the handler is in control, not because they size them up physically and do what they are told because they are outmuscled.

                Comment


                • #28
                  I've been helping with my coaches project horse, a young OTTB mare that's had some downtime. She's a sweety but still had a tendency to look at something in the other direction, fall on you with her shoulder, and knock you into the ditch.

                  Last night I noticed she was leading where I wanted her to be (her nose at my hip), keeping her attention on me. And a couple of days ago she startled behind me but didn't touch me or even tug the leadrope.

                  She's a fast learner. I did elbow her shoulder and get her attention with the rope halter a bit at the start. It comes fast once they know the expectations.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by S1969 View Post

                    Reaching the head to bridle is totally not the same issue as being "walked over" while leading or being dragged by a horse that is a jerk. I'm 5'1". I totally get that height and leg length make a difference for some things.

                    All horses could walk over or drag just about every human if they wanted to. Even my 33" mini took my vet and I for a rodeo around my barnyard once. And other than my mini, all of my horses can walk faster than me - including my 10hh pony. They don't because I don't let them.

                    Horses respect their handlers because they believe the handler is in control, not because they size them up physically and do what they are told because they are outmuscled.
                    I never meant anyone to interpret my statements as saying a horse sizes someone up and acts accordingly.

                    My intent was to clarify that size matters when training horses.

                    Using the incident I mentioned as an example. Let's say I took the halter off the horse not expecting anything untoward and he stuck his head in the air. Someone 6" taller than me comes around and just says, "Just put your hand over his nose and cut off the airway a bit until he drops his head." Well, that's not going to work because standing there, I cannot reach that far. It would be better had the same passerby stated, "Here's a stool, step on it and you will be tall enough that you can get your hand over his nose and bring his head down and just have it handy next time, in case."

                    In short, your height will effect some of the training tools you can or cannot use, or just have to use differently.

                    Being walked over can be one of them, as your proportions to the horse are different, which effects all kinds of things like center of balance, where the shoulder of the horse will hit you if the are pushing you around, the length of their stride compared to you when getting out of the way, etc.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      .stitches - When you say she's been off the track for two years - do you mean you've just let her be a horse with no handling for that period of time? I asked a friend who is a former jockey and has purchased several OTTB's. She does recommend using the chain over her nose. She also said she'd put them out to pasture for a few months to get "the track" out of their brains.

                      I went back to read your original post. When she gets out in front of you - do you stop her, back her up and start again? When she starts to crowd you on the longe line - do you stop her, make her go back to position and start again?

                      S1969 and others are correct when they say "... height doesn't matter." I'm 5'10" and can testify to that. It's convenient when you want something off the top shelf. That's about it.

                      S1969 - You write taller.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        My husband's appy still has atrocious ground manners even after 6 years of working with him. He will still knock you down if you're in his way out to the pasture or back to his stall. Even with a halter and chain shank he still tries to plow over you. Every time I lead him somewhere, it's - try to run me over, stop, back back back back - at least 3 separate occasions so it takes a while to get him anywhere. It's that stubborn appy-tude.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Handler size vs horse size...


                          It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. As a horse trainer, you do have to be the bigger dog, at least feel like the bigger dog, project yourself as the bigger dog, take the position of the bigger dog (even if you are physically smaller, which most of us are most of the time). If you feel like you are the smaller dog, you will be the smaller dog and are not seen as fit to lead. If you want the leadership role in the partnership, you have to reach out and take it, and prove that you are worthy, through clear communication, and fair treatment, and always keeping that horse safe. If you make a mistake and let that horse down, confuse him, frighten him, hurt him, forget or fail to notice his involvement and input in your attempts to modify his behaviour and teach him something, you may lose some of what you have fought to gain in terms of trust and leadership role.

                          No horse is a machine, each is different, has an individuality and character and intelligence which is what makes it all so interesting. You will only get SO far with some of them, perhaps not to the level of perfection that was your original goal. That's life with horses.
                          www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            My husband is taller than me. He does not have the respect I do from the horses.
                            It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post
                              This is not something that can be solved over the internet. It's too complex a problem, and there are no quick fixes.
                              Likely there are many different signals that she's sending you, that you don't see. Please enlist a qualified trainer to help you in person, to learn how to see them.

                              Horses ask among each other (and they ask us) "Are you in charge" in hundreds of subtle little ways. A flick of the ear, pursed lip, shifting her weight, etc. And those questions, if you recognize them at this stage, have subtle answers. And it will look like there's an "invisible bond" or seamless communication, and things look effortless. They're not, but that's how it looks. So it's easy to think, well that horse is just well-trained, as if his behavior is automatic no matter who's handling it.

                              But if you don't recognize and correctly answer the subtle questions, the horse will ask "who's in charge?" in more and more overt ways, until finally the horse is invading your space, ignoring your commands, and putting you in harms way. That's where you are. In danger.

                              Please get a qualified trainer to assist.
                              This is a completely beautiful answer. It's why expert help is so invaluable.

                              Comment

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