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Teach me about The Morgan Mind (Long)

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  • #81
    Originally posted by mvp View Post
    3. He is self-preserving. See #2. This horse did turn his butt to me once and I came after him, can of whup-a$$ right open (which is not what he expected to). So he hasn't done that again. But he will continue to challenge to lesser extents.

    My main question is about the #3 feature of this horse. Does he need to just pick and lose fights over and over and over? Or would he prefer the brief and clear CTJ meeting?
    Sadly, my 27 year old Morgan still challenges me like that after 21 years together. He required constant arguments growing up. Eventually we learned to stare each other down so no physical contact was involved in these arguments, but we've been together for over two decades. I doubt you have that kind of time.

    Just a few months ago (at age 26 mind you) he decided he didn't want to walk down a particularly scary barn aisle (his eyesight is going). Our CTJ meeting ended with him spinning like a top, me (being on my game and knowing he may try this) spinning in self-preservation so we were butt-to-butt, and him kicking me in the a$$ while he took off back down the "safe" aisle. I had a beautiful half-hoof bruise on my cheek for a week.

    He has learned over the years to pick his battles, so he rarely does crap like that anymore, so when he does do it, he means it. But he does still do something like that maybe once or twice a year. I let him get away with it because of his age and as I said, because he's learned to pick his battles so there may be a good reason that I am not aware of (e.g. the above incident led me to get his eyes checked by the vet).


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by morganpony86 View Post
      Just a few months ago (at age 26 mind you) he decided he didn't want to walk down a particularly scary barn aisle (his eyesight is going). Our CTJ meeting ended with him spinning like a top, me (being on my game and knowing he may try this) spinning in self-preservation so we were butt-to-butt, and him kicking me in the a$$ while he took off back down the "safe" aisle. I had a beautiful half-hoof bruise on my cheek for a week.
      I will confess to being a little afraid of this horse after he turned his butt to me. Who does that, other than some kind of equine terrorist with no respect for his own life? It's not like that is legal anywhere.

      So I had some questions about how angry this horse could get, how honest he'd be, and how much he liked life since this was a "someone is going to die"-type challenge.

      I felt I had to kick his a$$, swift and sure so that he wouldn't ask the question again about what to do with his anger. He gets to be angry. He doesn't get to kill me about it. But he has to tell me that he's getting riled up and give me a chance to "make things right." No ambushes.

      I don't know if I would consent to a horse who, every once in a while, was going to strap a bomb to his chest and make demands. I'd like a once-and-for-all CTJ meeting so as to sort out our style of negotiation in the future.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat


      • #83
        Happily, my Morgan's type of "challenges" are probably more common. Every once in a while he will do something he knows is forbidden - grabbing for grass while being led or something equally minor - and then quickly accept correction.
        Just checking, ummm okay, got it!
        The mouth has always been a challenge and I guess will always be. He doesnt nip or do anything aggressive, but that mouth is always grabbing at stuff and no correction seems to stick. In fact, I think he enjoys the attention if I fuss about it. I decided it wasnt worth hassling and just manage the environment as long as he doesnt get mouthy with people.
        Most of the Morgans I have known are not at all aggresive towards people, though some were great face-makers. Even when my guy was on stall rest and handwalking was an adventure, he would bounce, spin, squeal, and kick out but he tried to respect my space and never aimed a kick towards me or anyone else. He is much nicer to be around when he has turnout! I would not have liked to have ridden him if he was kept without turnout. Unless I wanted that firebreathing effect some saddleseat people go for!


        • #84
          ....and on the other hand.... ours look for permission before doing anything; I think it is more from their training to be ground tied

          Classic case was when our daughter was keeping her buckskin at school with her and they were doing a vet inspection in the middle of a parking lot. She turned to go pickup some paperwork from her car looking back she seeing him starting to pickup one front foot as to walk off... she looked at him... he puts foot back down and stood still... vet's comment was he appears to be well trained.


          • #85
            I'm really enjoying hearing everyone's Morgan stories! I bought my first Morgan 2 years ago, and I couldn't be luckier. He is a fantastic, trustworthy and really fun horse (not bad looking either!). My gelding is sily, typical mouthy Morgan, but under saddle, he is a workhorse. We have NEVER had a disagreement, and under saddle, he doesn't know what a CTJ meeting is. We had one CTJ moment a month or so after I got him, and he bit my hand when I reached up to unhook his lead rope. Needless to say, he has NEVER bitten me since, but halters, blankets, saddle racks, brushes, manure forks, buckets, and anything else within reach of his dexterous lips is fair game as far as he is concerned.

            I love how honest and consistent he is. We had some awful weather the last few weeks, and he has not been riden in over 2 weeks. Got on him yesterday, and he was a total gentleman. I also love how he is totally fearless! I think it's true of many Morgans, they're much more interested/fascinated than they are afraid of things. When there's a random tarp laying beside the ring, every other horse is shying away, but goofy Morgan wants to get up to it and paw it.

            As for training, I recall a quote from the Morgan Horse magazine that really made sense. The trainer said to make sure when you're training a Morgan, to teach him something right the first time, because once he learns he'll never forget. I'll have to look for the quote and the trainer who said it. So true!!


            • #86
              As a side note, Forever Morgans rescues Morgans from brokers and auctions. In January, I paid $400 for a 10 year old, registered foundation morgan mare. The downside of this is that you don't know about the animal's history. But this is mostly true any time you buy a horse.

              I thought the Forever Morgans adoption process was thorough and considerate. They send their rescued horses to foster homes after putting them through quarantine.

              I found an awesome trainer and my new little mare is well on her way. She loves her new job.



              • #87
                Originally posted by mvp View Post
                I don't know if I would consent to a horse who, every once in a while, was going to strap a bomb to his chest and make demands. I'd like a once-and-for-all CTJ meeting so as to sort out our style of negotiation in the future.
                I don't blame you.

                For the flip side, my other Morgan could not be more eager to please. This horse spent 1.5 months suspended from the ceiling in a sling due to a significant injury, and kept his happy-go-lucky demeanor, to the amazement and delight of all of the hospital staff. He has never done anything mean, has only dumped me when it was clearly my fault, and would never pull the crap my other Morgan does.
                That being said, he's still the 20 year old punk that snuck around to the side of the barn the other week that is open with easy access from his field to my stack of hay and proceeded to completely devour 5 bales of hay over the span of two days with no one noticing. The other Morgan would never have even considered doing that.

                So I suppose they all find ways to get in trouble, some just more blatantly than others.


                • #88
                  I have to add my Morgan story even though it is close to 30 years old. My first and only horse was a bay 14.2 h Morgan gelding named Black Fox Bodacious, Bo for short. Green when I got him, he was 4, I was 12. My parents fell for the grow up together gig, and while it seems crazy to me now, that horse took care of me like no other. He tested me for sure, but in six months I rode him with no halter and no saddle. He took me down busy roads, across rivers, on my parents porch, everywhere. I've never had a bond like that before or since with any animal. I went away to camp for a month, and our boarder tried to teach my dad to ride him. My dad saddled up when i got home to show off his new riding skills, and Bo promptly rubbed him right off against a tree. The smartest, most people savvy horse ever. I was never afraid of him, and can't get Morgans being considered "hot". Maybe he was special. I would give anything for a horse like him again.


                  • #89
                    Oh, Zwarte, she's going to drive! She looks stylish there. When I finally get my Morgan, I want to drive as well as ride. That is another reason why I'm so set on this breed - I want a "do it all" horse.