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Ground manners for disrectful horse

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  • Ground manners for disrectful horse

    Hi all, I am in need of some suggestions for ground work exercises to use for my aunts horse. He is a big 16 year old 17 hand Dutch warmblood thoroughbred cross. He recently became my aunts horse, after having him for about a month at his previous barn. At that barn he was pretty good, but we had been told by the BO that he was a jerk. She actually referred to him as an A hole more than once. We were also told that he was regularly sedated for body clipping and mane pulling and to get his feet done.
    Under saddle at the previous barn he was very good, trustworthy ect. In the stall he was pretty good. Well he is now at my house in our barn with my horse. They both came home to the house together about 2 months ago. My horse is doing great, but my aunts horse is having major manner issues. He is pushy in the stall, very bad/pushy in the wash stall. In the wash stall he paws profusely and rears. About 3 weeks ago when my aunt was trying to pick out his feet he pulled his foot away and kicked her, got her in the thigh, and knocked her over. He has bad feet and has had foot issues in the past... Navicular, thrush, abcesses etc before we had him.

    Today when she was giving out treats in the pasture, my horse went to walk away and her horse attempted to be naughty/ pushy and kicked out at my horse and caught my aunt square on the knee. She fell and I ran out and collected both hotspot and put them away and made sure she was ok.

    She is sore but ok. I started doing "groundwork" with this horse about a month ago. Mostly in the paddock and in the barn and in the stall. We do a little in the wash stall, mostly just going in to stand while his stall is cleaned, and to practice going in and standing to be cross tied and not walking me right out of the stall. I usually use a leather halter with a chain over the nose for him. I also have a rope halter which I got to see if he would be a little easier to control. Turns out the chain is best. I wish I could just use his regular halter, but is a belligerent goober and if he doesn't want to do something he won't. I am 6 feet tall and not petite, and he walked me out of the wash stall 3 times the other day until i put the chain on.

    I don't really do the natural horsemanship stuff never really needed to, but this guy is a challenge. So I started doing stuff like having him yield his HQ and backing up and having him halt and stand. I don't really know what else to do... He has been on and off with soreness due to his feet, he recently had an abcess.

    So very long story shiort, he is a piece of work, and too much horse for my aunt. She has ridden him a few times since he has been home and he was very forward. Our facility is very new, and our riding area is not set up yet, and I think he is used to a structured ring. So that doesn't help. I've longed him a few times, and he does ok.
    So other than doing what ive already been doing, which is helping somewhat, I don't know what else to do. As a side note, my aunt isn't very consistent with her behavior with him. He also nips and sometimes she gives him a strong correction and sometimes not.

  • #2
    He needs a new home before he hurts somebody. Point blank. He knows that your Aunt is scared of him, and he's walking all over you both. My mare is 17h and can be a goober on the ground at times. It's just how she is. We accept it.

    It sounds like he needs a job as well. He's bored. If he's sound, lunge him. Make him do transistions. Walk/halt. Trot/walk. Etc. Keep him on his toes and make him tired.

    Really though. Find him a new home with somebody who knows how to deal with a big, pushy, jerk.


    • #3
      I agree with Superminion, but while you work it out, check out these vids. Warwick Schiller regularly gets horses that are disrespectful and he gets 'em right w/o hauling on them. I've used his leading stuff very successfully.




      today I had my young mare out and it only took once, for her to remember that if you drop your head, I move away and she comes with. Most of what he does is to move the feet stuff. If a horse wants to come to one end of the arena, he says "ok" but then he works then down there, and after a little bit, that end isn't so interesting.


      • #4
        He's fixable, really he is. I have had much worse here on my farm for training and we even have a "manner's boot camp".

        I am a stickler for manners, kind of like the manner's police. Many of my personal horses are 17 hand WB's so it's not a size issue. When I was given my 17 1600 pound Dutch stallion years ago he had been able to bite people-yes bite b/c his owner never really dealt with the isssue-and he was the one who put him on the ground. In 30 days that stallion learned "no biting". I did not beat him, set him on fire or anything remotely like that. Firm but fair.

        Every single time you (meaning anyone) handles a horse they are a trainer and it is natural. This is "natural horsemanship" b/c what really is "unnatural horsemanship?".

        PM me so we can chat.


        • #5
          I agree with you, Classic, but I don't think that it's wise for OP's Aunt or OP to take on the challange, because it sounds like he makes them nervous.

          17h is big, there is nothing around it. 17h of pushy jerk that scares the bojangles out of you is even bigger. They can do a lot of damage. Can you get a pro in to help you OP?

          Those videos are great! I'm going to play around with some of that stuff with my mare.


          • #6
            Yes, be careful. This may not be the horse for your aunt. Everyone has to be consistent with the training and be fair. If he knows your nervous thats going to make it worse. If she's been kicked twice by him I'd send him to someone else that can handle that or send him for training while you guys work beside the trainer to learn. no more treats in the pasture would be my number one. We give treats in the pasture but my horses have manners and listen and know better. They will get a swift correction if not but usually don't have to correct. I have one butt head. Great with humans but a total butt with other horses sometimes. All I have to do is say his name firmly if he is going after someone and he automatically stops and looks at me and quits that behavior. The horse has to know who is the herd leader and he thinks right now it's him. Get help
            Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


            • #7


              • #8
                Criminy!! He's not the horse for her at all! He may be fixable but your aunt's not the one to do so.

                To me, it sounds like he needs a job, maybe a reduction in feed to oats and grass hay as long as he maintains body weight and shine, to something like send him out (if you decide to keep him) to a working cow ranch and let him work some bugs out. After a few days of 'gettalong little dogie', he'll be more than happy to settle his @$$ down. But then, once you get him back, your aunt will have to keep on keepin' on and from the sounds of it, I don't think she'll be able.

                Here comes the usual mantra of...'there are too many other suitable horses out there. If one doesn't work out, plenty more to choose from.'

                Good luck!!
                GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Superminion View Post
                  I agree with you, Classic, but I don't think that it's wise for OP's Aunt or OP to take on the challange, because it sounds like he makes them nervous.

                  17h is big, there is nothing around it. 17h of pushy jerk that scares the bojangles out of you is even bigger. They can do a lot of damage. Can you get a pro in to help you OP?
                  17h of pushy jerk scares the bojangles out of me just reading it!!
                  GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Superminion View Post
                    I agree with you, Classic, but I don't think that it's wise for OP's Aunt or OP to take on the challange, because it sounds like he makes them nervous.

                    17h is big, there is nothing around it. 17h of pushy jerk that scares the bojangles out of you is even bigger. They can do a lot of damage. Can you get a pro in to help you OP?


                    This. Owning a horse is supposed to be fun and it sounds like he's the only one having any. There's nothing wrong with admitting he's not the right horse: he may turn out to be someone else's dream horse.

                    And NO MORE TREATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They aren't helping a thing!
                    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"