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Old 05-05-2010, 09:21 AM  
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rearing at my trainer!!

Hi there! I am a one month new horse owner--my 6 yr old TWH gelding Nyx is sweet, traines, gentle and I am getting lessons to learn to ride him. he is used to a 265lb man and I am a petite 104 lb female so not sure that's why I am having trouble with him listening to me in the saddle. He does great on the ground mostly--lets me catch him easy, walks ok...yesterday a new trainer was showing me what to do if he starts leading me while walking instead of me leading him..she took the lead rope and stopped in front of him telling him to "go back" he looked at her and after she told him again, more stern this time, he deliberately walked forward as if to challenge her! he's never acted that way with me..then she got forceful and hit him in the chest with the lead rope--he went kind of crazy and readred at her, tried to run, she mainted control but hit him harder and swore at him.. I could not believ what i saw I thought rearing was a terrible thing for a horse to do!! finally he calmed down and I took over, he was calm as a cucumber the rest of the day with me...can I have some input here? is this normal? I'm thinking he looked at her as a bully as he does not know her and is used to me for the past month... I baby him, spoil him w treats, just not riding him well yet as he does not really listen to me in the saddle but does not act dangerous--just kind of trots/cantors whenever he feels like it and doesn't really stop unless i really pull the reins back--I know we need some work together--any input is appreciated!!
thanks
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:51 AM  
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I would first stop with the treats....and babying him...Funny Im having the same problem with a 25in mini....lol

You are not going to get any respect if you continue to treat him like a puppy..should I take my own advice...yes...Mine is 7 weeks old, and we are working on his rearing and biting.

I do not give treats to any of my horses...I can a carrot every now and again, but not constant. Good luck..
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:00 AM  
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We've had some other threads on here about this very subject. Some horses are puppy dogs as long as they basically get to do what they want. When someone challenges them, even something as simple as leading properly, they react. Your horse needs some serious training, and no more babying from you. He acts nicely with you because you basically don't ask much from him.

Not saying that swearing at the horse is a good idea, but your trainer did not do anything too drastic in asking your horse to back up, and then swatting him with the lead on the chest. But your horse certainly did!

Your horse is the one being the bully!

You and your trainer need to start working together to get some lessons on who is going to be the leader in this relationship!
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:18 AM  
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Your guy is having a bit of a tantrum because the trainer said to him... "You WILL need to do what I am asking." He is just reacting to not getting his way. He is showing his lack of real respect for humans.

I agree with the above posters. As much as you love him, give him treats, spoil him, he will REALLY, REALLY, love you when you become LEADER in his eyes. You are misinterpreting his reaction to you as one of human love. You ARE the treat dispenser. It is great and very smart you have him at a trainers. He is not listening to you while you are in the saddle because he has no real respect for you.

This is a horse that could become so spoiled he gets dangerous. You need to get some information about horse behavior and herd behavior. True horse respect comes from showing leadership. I had to learn the same lessons and it was so valuable. Now my horses look at me as the head mare, they look at me with respect.... and the horsey version of love.

GOOD FOR YOU and great for your horse, you recognized the problem now and getting some help. Pick your trainers brain for all the info. you can get.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:27 AM  
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Turns and faces the horse- a threat
Maintains eye contact with the horse- a threat
"lunges" at him by whipping him in the chest with rope- an attack
continues to up the volume, shouting and swearing at the horse- out of control

The trainer didn't do anything drastic? She didn't do anything right.

Cesar has it right, and it's not just for dogs. Calm assertiveness creates good leardership no matter what the species. You've got the calm down, now just get the assertive (not aggressive) part.

Aggression belies fear and a lack of emotional control. this horse was not being a bully, just standing up for himself in light of all the threats thrown at him.
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Old 05-05-2010, 01:38 PM  
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Good post GrandBlanc.

You don't demand respect, you earn it.

You don't force obedience, you train it.

Poor horse probably had no idea what the trainer wanted. A confused/scared horse tends to lock up in the hips with a tense back. Hard to back up like that so he reared.

My impression from your description is the trainer was trying to show off with a quick fix. Your horse didn't react as she expected, and so she escalated.

Karen
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Old 05-05-2010, 01:45 PM  
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The trainer was showing off and trying to act like a hero. find another that will not piss your horse off.
as a trainer myself i push the horses and they do not ever know I am pushing them to behave.even tho you are small this horse needs not to be spoiled.
No treats except in the grain pan and you need to learn how to handle yourself and your horse. perhaps lessons on another horse and than you can transfer that knowledge to him.,
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:53 PM  
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Yup, GrandBlanc is right and so are other people on here. Try to not treat him like a pet. It's hard but you're not doing yourself any favours. And I disagree with the method the trainer used to deal with the behaviour.

A few years ago I bought a TWH who had pretty good ground manners but wa terrible at being led. he'd gawk all over the place and step on my and actually broke my toe within about a week of my getting him. I was advised to lead him around and suddenly change directions so he has to pay attention to what I'm doing. You basically just walk all ovet the place. The direction change doesn't have to be a complete turnaround and there should be no indication as to where you're going next.
The other thing I did was to use my elbow. If you put your hand on your hip and point the elbow in his direction whenever he gets too close or even at all times when you're leading him he'll soon figure out just how close or far he can be from you. Some people put a hand up but it tends to be different distances if you do it that way.
I also teach my horses to walk beside me and stop when I stop and back up if I back up while I'm beside them. If they don't stop I make them and to get them to back up you can even use your leg as a threat as if you're going to kick him like another horse would by having your back to him when you do it. It's a threat horses 'get'. He needs to be aware of where you are at all times and to keep you safe.
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:01 PM  
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First, weight difference has nothing to do with how this horse responds under saddle. Both you and the horse need some professional help
I agree, stop babying this horse, unless your aim is for a spoiled barnyard pet
Horses respond to firm leadership and consistency.
The trainer was correct in trying to not allow this horse to lead you on the ground, however , her method was not what I would have used, and escalation in anger, swearing, loosing your calm, are all counter productive in training horses. Better to put the horse away, calm down, and approach the problem in a rational manner
What would I have done? Well, I would first give this horse some lessons leading with a stud shank, run under the chin, snapped to the opposite upper halter ring (don't use a stud shank if you are unfamiliar with it) You can try a 'be nice' type of halter
The point being, ahorse should never take charge or get pushy, either on the ground or under saddle. Good training means you are as gentle as possible, but also as firm as needed. Many people new to horses get the first part, but not the second. Sometimes, to make a horse a desirable animal, one needs to practice some tough love
He also sounds poorly trained under saddle. You don't pull a horse to a stop, using brute force, thus the idea you need to have mass, but rather by correct training
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:17 PM  
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I don't know if this was the 'right' thing to do or not but the horse I was riding the other day got a little excited about being put back in the paddock and was starting to get ahead of me. I stopped and made her stop for like 30 seconds, made her back up a few steps, turned her in a few circles, and then continued on and put her away once she was walking nicely. I didn't raise my voice or hit her or anything, just said 'halt' and 'back' but it seemed to work. She's pretty broke though, your guy is a lot younger.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:18 PM  
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I'd have done the same thing to a horse that challenged me like that, only I don't get mad. I had one challenge me twice charging straight at me only a hard wallop on the neck with a stout rope drove her away. After the second time she underwent a big change of attitude. She didn't challenge me a third time.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:42 PM  
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I know that a lot of trainers face up to a horse, stare the horse down, swat it in the chest to get it to back up.

If I had tried that when I was a kid learning how to handle horses, my instructor/trainer would have worn me out with his riding crop!

He was retired US Cavalry when they rode horses. He taught his students never to stand in front of a horse. He said a horse can bite, strike or run over you if you are standing in front. He also said that horses can't see you right in front. He said that a horse has a blind spot for anywhere from eighteen inches to three feet right in front of its nose.

Everything, including backing, was taught from the side.

If reinforcement was needed to get a horse to back, you could swat it with the tail of the lead rope from the side, or you could use a crop.

He also cautioned about standing in back. He said it was a real good place to get kicked or covered with manure.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:59 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandBlanc View Post
Turns and faces the horse- a threat
Maintains eye contact with the horse- a threat
"lunges" at him by whipping him in the chest with rope- an attack
continues to up the volume, shouting and swearing at the horse- out of control

The trainer didn't do anything drastic? She didn't do anything right.

Cesar has it right, and it's not just for dogs. Calm assertiveness creates good leardership no matter what the species. You've got the calm down, now just get the assertive (not aggressive) part.

Aggression belies fear and a lack of emotional control. this horse was not being a bully, just standing up for himself in light of all the threats thrown at him.

the trianer did what you are supposed to do you turn and face them and ask them to do something the horse over reacted to being asked for the respect of not leading the trainer and the triner being the leader you need to study on how toi work with horses if you think the trainer attacked the horse. horses are not like dogs and are way more powerful than dogs the trainer did the right thing the horse had a temper tantrum.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:46 PM  
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If the horse is deciding when he wants to change gaits, and when he feels like stopping - that, in my opinion, constitutes the beginning of dangerous behaviour. It may not seem like much now, but he's showing you that he's in charge. And if he's in charge he'll eventually start doing whatever he wants, when he wants. When I was younger and taking lessons one of the things that was stressed to me by the instructor was that the horse needs to do what you ask. Even if that means making them stop, back up, and do it. That teaches them that ignoring your cues/commands (basically being a jerk) isn't going to get them out of doing what you want.

I have to admit I'm guilty when it comes to giving treats (carrots, apples, grain, etc) - but I try to limit it to times when the horse is actually being good as opposed to misbehaving. If she was a complete jerk for the ride, she's not getting any treats. But if she worked her butt off and listened well then she deserves a few. I'll also use them for training new tricks (she's learning how to bow right now). I always try to use the treats in conjuction with verbal praise as well - the horse then associates doing what you asked with treats, and treats with praise - eventually you'll be able to bypass the treats altogether and the horse will do what you want because it wants the praise and the pats/scratches. I want my horse to associate me with good things like treats, but at the same time not see me as a walking feed-bag.

Perhaps your horse hasn't been taught to reverse just by saying "Go back" and a better cue would have been to use the lead to apply pressure in the direction the trainer wanted him to go (towards his chest) - a lot of horses are taught to give in to pressure, and in this case that would mean he'd have to back up. If you then say "Go back" or "Back" while doing this, they associate what you're saying with reversing and eventually will learn to go back on verbal command.

I also agree with what Smilie (I think that's who it was) said about training a horse being a two-parter - being gentle when needed and also being firm. I too struggle with the being firm part, but am learning on using my "Big Girl Voice" to better communicate with my horse. Until my horse learns to read my mind (P.S. if someone can figure out how to breed this skill into a horse they'd make millions!) it's up to me to make it very clear what I want. It's really not being fair to my horse if I don't.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:59 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandBlanc View Post
Turns and faces the horse- a threat
Maintains eye contact with the horse- a threat
"lunges" at him by whipping him in the chest with rope- an attack
continues to up the volume, shouting and swearing at the horse- out of control

The trainer didn't do anything drastic? She didn't do anything right.

Cesar has it right, and it's not just for dogs. Calm assertiveness creates good leardership no matter what the species. You've got the calm down, now just get the assertive (not aggressive) part.

Aggression belies fear and a lack of emotional control. this horse was not being a bully, just standing up for himself in light of all the threats thrown at him.
wow I am so impressed by all the horse-knowledge in here! It's fascinating to read all the different opinions and I appreciate all of the advice--I truly do! but I have to say that this msg from GrandBlanc really says it all. I may not know much about horses (yet, but I am learning!) but I do know I have waited a long time to own one of my very own and that this horse is the right one for me. He is very trained and very "light" I am the one who needs to learn to ride HIM. My previous trainer quit on me right before my horse came (she has a track record for this unbeknownst to me ) so I was kinda left hi and dri and taught myself how to do ground work with him. This horse, "Nyx", is sweet and loves people. I have spent time with him almost every day just grooming him, talking to him, sitting in the pasture with him, walking with him, tacking him up and riding him in a small outdoor arena. Again, i know I need more riding lessons and probably should not be riding him until i am more confident in the saddle. My biggest fear is that my inexperience will ruin this beautifully trained horse so I am working on that...everyone tells me i am doing just fine--I believe in my heart this horse sees me as his leader, he comes right to me in the corral and practically puts his nose in the halter!! he follows me around and sees me as his protector (he's gotten some bad scrapes/bites since coming to this new barn with a new herd) as I would "save" him from the bullies by taking him into the stall for long grooming visits.
Maybe I'm wrong here but i don't believe it's written in stone somewhere that EVERY horse needs to see EVERY human as someone to trust and "obey" just as they react to other horse bullies who they see as a threat...I believe my horse was reacting to feeling threatened and that's why he reared. I tend to agree this trainer was "showing off" and became embarrassed when she lost control, causing my horse to rear. As SOON as i took over Nyx was calm, as usual, and followed my lead.
i will continue the riding lessons with this trainer but I won't allow her to treat my horse this way again. As far as treats? I will admit I used them initially to get Nyx to like me and trust me and to create positive associations with me (it worked!) now I only use them to reward good behavior (in a dish, not from my hand)..Sorry but giving my own horse apples and the occasional treat is part of the fun--for both of us!
Thanks to all who responded, and thank you so much GrandBlanc I really am glad I found this place--it's awesome!
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:11 PM  
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Originally Posted by EquineAlberta View Post
Good post GrandBlanc.

You don't demand respect, you earn it.

You don't force obedience, you train it.

Poor horse probably had no idea what the trainer wanted. A confused/scared horse tends to lock up in the hips with a tense back. Hard to back up like that so he reared.

My impression from your description is the trainer was trying to show off with a quick fix. Your horse didn't react as she expected, and so she escalated.

Karen
nicely said and I agree. thank you
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:14 PM  
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Originally Posted by horselady View Post
The trainer was showing off and trying to act like a hero. find another that will not piss your horse off.
as a trainer myself i push the horses and they do not ever know I am pushing them to behave.even tho you are small this horse needs not to be spoiled.
No treats except in the grain pan and you need to learn how to handle yourself and your horse. perhaps lessons on another horse and than you can transfer that knowledge to him.,

Yes I am learning ALOT. I may consider training on another horse--I was doing that until my horse came earlier than expected...thanks for the advice
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:30 PM  
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Originally Posted by tahani z's momma View Post
the trianer did what you are supposed to do you turn and face them and ask them to do something the horse over reacted to being asked for the respect of not leading the trainer and the triner being the leader you need to study on how toi work with horses if you think the trainer attacked the horse. horses are not like dogs and are way more powerful than dogs the trainer did the right thing the horse had a temper tantrum.

Huh?
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:29 AM  
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Wish I knew how to separate the quotes. but..

"everyone tells me i am doing just fine--I believe in my heart this horse sees me as his leader, he comes right to me in the corral and practically puts his nose in the halter!! he follows me around and sees me as his protector herd"

That pretty much describes my boys. However, it was more I am accepted member of their family. The last month has shown without a doubt, I was not the complete leader, or that I had their respect. If anything Riley tends to show protective of me. I was completely dominated by them. I could keep them from eating the other's grain while outside the fence which I thought showed I was the leader. I didn't get hurt because, well, not really sure, because they are what they are.

To quote my trainer "oh they love you, they accept you. They don't trust you. What have you done to earn their trust? You don't have confidence in yourself and them, now, neither do they"

Continue lessons, but don't mistake acceptance and love as you being dominant mare. Learn to recognize signs of dominance. Some are outright, some are more subtle.

If you can't, don't be like me. Don't wait to get the help you need. Find a trainer you like, if you start telling the one you have acceptable behaviour from her, she won't last. Find one that you like and trust.

I think mine is the best since sliced bread. He has done so much with horses AND me in the last 30 days. He trained two horses and one owner

I needed it probably, more than one of the horses did.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:27 PM  
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Wish I knew how to separate the quotes. but..

"everyone tells me i am doing just fine--I believe in my heart this horse sees me as his leader, he comes right to me in the corral and practically puts his nose in the halter!! he follows me around and sees me as his protector herd"

That pretty much describes my boys. However, it was more I am accepted member of their family. The last month has shown without a doubt, I was not the complete leader, or that I had their respect. If anything Riley tends to show protective of me. I was completely dominated by them. I could keep them from eating the other's grain while outside the fence which I thought showed I was the leader. I didn't get hurt because, well, not really sure, because they are what they are.

To quote my trainer "oh they love you, they accept you. They don't trust you. What have you done to earn their trust? You don't have confidence in yourself and them, now, neither do they"

Continue lessons, but don't mistake acceptance and love as you being dominant mare. Learn to recognize signs of dominance. Some are outright, some are more subtle.

If you can't, don't be like me. Don't wait to get the help you need. Find a trainer you like, if you start telling the one you have acceptable behaviour from her, she won't last. Find one that you like and trust.

I think mine is the best since sliced bread. He has done so much with horses AND me in the last 30 days. He trained two horses and one owner

I needed it probably, more than one of the horses did.
thanks for the advice, yep, I am continuing lessons. we are doing ok so far but I don't think I've found the right bit yet...using a kimberwick right now but he still doesn't listen to me half the time...I don't want to use one of those harsh painful bits but I do need better control of his big head! he tries to eat grass a lot and it gets tough for me to keep pulling his head up..anyway, I know things will get better with time and practice--I'm having fun learning and not in any hurry for anything except riding on trails

good luck with you too!
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