Author Topic: Somebody a horse whispere here?  (Read 4661 times)

Offline AnnaCrew

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Somebody a horse whispere here?
« on: February 08, 2008, 12:15:46 am »
The madness happened - we added a horse to our pack. 16 yo gelding, big and very playful nipper :( other than that he is an angel.
And now my problem - I need help with basic groundwork from the step one. So far we stopped (ish) the nipping (by showing him a crop, he learns quickly) but if somebody here who remembers their first steps with horses would like to PM me, I would be really happy. I'm absolute blank page with horses, never had one and never even wanted one.
Currently he just needs work, work and work, he is bored to death and still a bit too fat (he had spent past six months in warm, cozy and small box without anything, and now he is overextited. He had been a driving horse, but there is suspicions that more than 10 years ago he was also used as a riding horse (just as a hobby horse, no professional training).



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Offline AnnaCrew

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Re: Somebody a horse whispere here?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2008, 12:46:56 am »
His name is Puika. I have all - space, pastures, feed... Just everything... except knowledge how to train this very spoiled and bored boy. So far he can not be walked with halter only - we MUST to use bite to keep him under control. He wants to play... so much, in his own way and I do not want to become a playmate for this big boy... I want him to play my way...
So any advices would be great - I have read 7 games of Parelly and all that, but how to make him really feel that I am the alpha? (I do not feel like that at all outside his box, and he is wise boy, he knows it :) )
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Offline rickie

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Re: Somebody a horse whispere here?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2008, 01:27:22 am »
Congrats!!! What a handsome horse. Ok, I am not an expert, I repeat, I am not an expert. :) I have a 28 yr. Standardbred mare that I have had for 15 years. I also have an 8yr Quarter Horse gelding. I also work with friends to retrain off the track Standardbreds to pleasure horses. In my opinion you can never do too much ground work. :) If they don't respect you on the ground, then they may not respect you under saddle. With that said, 1st off, if you have a nipper, don't hand feed. If you want to reward with treats, either put it in the feed dish, or on the ground. The nipping may take some time to get over. I have seen nippers that have come around, and can eventually be hand fed. There are some people that are just against hand feeding.
When you lead your horse make sure you are on it's left side, your right. You should be able to walk so that you are at an arms length away and parallel to his front shoulder. Never lead directly in front of him, if he spooked he could end up on top of you. If while walking you want to change direction, move towards your right so that he is on the "inside" of the circle. Keeping the lead rope in your left hand, you can put your right arm out straight while changing direction, this will help keep a safe distance. When you are walking in a straight line, (still on his left side)practice the whoa, and make him stand for a few seconds, then a "walk on". I do this every 3ft or so. Eventually, the minute I stop, my horse stops without using words.
As with our dogs, there are different approaches with everything, and it certainly depends on their personality. :) Please feel free to email me trtwpsn@yahoo.com
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chaosndestruction

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Re: Somebody a horse whispere here?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2008, 01:35:11 am »
Well at least you know the first step! That he needs to recognize you as the boss. If you are afraid of him he's going to know it. When he goes to nip say NO very firmly. I am not a believer in hitting a horse but if he doesn't get NO I'd smack his nose...not his head you don't want him head shy. My stallion is a nipper and if I even act like i'm going to bop  his nose he backs off.

Have you tried a stud chain on him for more control when walking?

What about lunging does he know how to lunge? I know you probably don't have a round pen but if you have a lunge line you can start to teaching him on that in a flat open space.

Lunging is good for earning basic respect and ground work and giving him a small workout and warming him up.

Do you know of any barns/riding facilites anywhere near you? I'm sure that if you found someone near you that maybe you could get them to show you the correct ways to lunge?It's a bit hard to explain over the internet:)

he's a pretty boy!!!!




Offline AnnaCrew

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Re: Somebody a horse whispere here?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2008, 01:59:37 am »
Thank you! He is pretty.
What we have done so far. owner said that he was nipping all his life (so it means at least past ten years). But we found when grooming that he does not like to bite on metal.
So we tried to find a crop with a metal handle. All awailable were with plastic only. So we went to the plumbing shop, got a bit of plumbing pipe and made our own crop. When he tries to nip, he can nip the metal pipe. He does not like it. So now (after 4 days) it is enough to keep the crop end in his sight, and he does not nip. Instead of 30 minute fight we were able to put the bridle on in less than 2 minutes. It is great. We did not needed to hit him at all, a bite by himself on metal was enough.
Now the work with him looks like this
 

No nipping - patting and praising, nipping - please, here is the crop end to bite in.

yesterday husband was trotting with him on the road. Lead was loose about 2 m, and he was trotting with husband not by pulling, but just by verbal invitation. And he kept the pace with husband - when he was trotting , horse did the same, when he slowed down, horse went into that strange half trot, nicely pointing the hoofs down. It was a great sight as they were partners and friends.

When we call, horse runs towards us, when we leave, he tries to call us back by pawing. And when we really leave, he calls us back by voice.

Husband walks him on horse's left side, so that we are doing right. When horse gets naughty or has gases, husband just press against its tummy and sends him forwards, so he circles outside with husband in the middle of the circle. Not reall running in circles so far as (by our opinion) after 6 months in box muscles must be build up gradually and he must loose so much fat. mainly we walk him around like a dog on lead - we started with half hour, now we do it 2 hours. But he is still not tired out.

We had not tried stud chain, but i presume that bite will do the thing until the respect and boundaries will be built. He is too difficult to handle just on halter at present moment. On bite he responds really quickly, i walked him with lead in my left hand and right hand on his withers with just two fingers on his rain and he was soo good.
The only really annoying thing is to keep the crop in his sight.


http://ozolkalni.blogspot.com/
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Offline chaos270

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Re: Somebody a horse whispere here?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2008, 05:42:18 am »
I'd recommend the stud chain as well (with a cotton lead attached to the chain) until he starts to be a bit more respectful. Your guy is way too big to be disrespectful. I have a three year old Draft Cross who can be a bit of a bully but I'm doing the groundwork and if I take him anywhere and he's pushy he has the chain over his nose.  He rarely needs it anymore but I like to have it for both of our safety.  As far as groundwork I'd recommend looking into some of the natural horsemanship trainers out there Parelli, Clinton Anderson, and Frank Bell are a few good ones some have shows on RFDTV if you have access to that.

As far as the biting no feeding from your hands and instead of the crop I'd reccommend just using your finger to poke him in the soft fleshy part above his mouth.  It has worked with Fire and a few friends horses.  A well timed elbow works well if he's moving into your space just let him run into it and he'll think it's his fault and learn to respect your space. If you have any questions feel free to PM or email me I'm in the process of training my three yr old but have had horses for quite awhile.  There are also some horse forums out there that have some good info I have one I can recommend if you're interested.

Good Luck with him he's definitely a cutie!
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Offline rickie

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Re: Somebody a horse whispere here?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2008, 07:24:48 am »
what wonderful suggestions from everyone :) Another good tool is a rope halter. I had never used one until I acquired my QH. Let's just say he was a bit full of himself when I first got him. I can now move him around and where I want him with no halter at all. He just melts when around me and is very respectful. If you do decide to use a stud chain, be very careful. I have seen some horses freak out when they realize the pressure. Also, just curious, what  is the chain around his neck? I have never seen anything like it before. He is just absolutely stunning. Good luck :)
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chaosndestruction

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Re: Somebody a horse whispere here?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2008, 11:14:43 am »
what wonderful suggestions from everyone :) Another good tool is a rope halter. I had never used one until I acquired my QH. Let's just say he was a bit full of himself when I first got him. I can now move him around and where I want him with no halter at all. He just melts when around me and is very respectful. If you do decide to use a stud chain, be very careful. I have seen some horses freak out when they realize the pressure. Also, just curious, what  is the chain around his neck? I have never seen anything like it before. He is just absolutely stunning. Good luck :)
^^^
I hope you aren't referring to a stud chain under the upper lip, if so I wouldn't EVER suggest that. That's to dangerous and the only way I can think of that would put much pressure anywhere. I use one on my mare when doing showmanship but mostly to keep her attention, otherwise she'll fall asleep in the ring :D

I was suggesting a stud chain under his chin in a triangle fashion. I use one on my stud like that and only put it over the top of his nose when breeding (he knows it's one of  his signs that he gets to breed). I now hardly ever have to put a stud chain on him when regularly working him.

It sounds like you are making progress and I still recommend lunging for getting his muscles built and respect. (yes running in circles) Just work with getting him to walk and trot it and no for more than 15 mins at a time. You'll be able to tell if he's getting to tired.

oooh I forgot the most important thing. ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS end on a good note. No matter how bad he's being, make sure he does something good before ending a work session no matter how little the good thing is and remember to praise him for it. You don't ever want to end it on a bad note. 


Offline AnnaCrew

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Re: Somebody a horse whispere here?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2008, 12:59:58 pm »
Thank You!
I already joined two horse forums and one seems to be really good and active. But at present I'm trying to get info from everywhere!

We do not hit him with that crop at all (I wold not like to hit the horse under any circumstances) and yes, now when he wants to nip, he gets light poke with hand on his lips with strong "NO" and it works (if he sees that crop as he really does not like to nip it), but we must be patient as he was allowed to nip for past ten years, and it is not going fast now, but he already has changed so much!  

That chain looks strange for you all, I know, but it is the way how he is kept outside here. Small farms keep their cattle like that here (it takes a bit more time during the day to move them around, but allows move each animal directly in the right bit of pastures daily).

Horse is used to the chain, had been on it for past ten years and until fenced pastures will be arranged, he will be kept like that (when he goes down on pastures near the forest, hobble is used, but he likes better on chain).

Chain is long, about 10 metres, so he has plenty of space to walk, and even run in circles, if he wants. As horse has used to it, there are no dangers that he will entangle himself. The only thing that must to be watched out - to go to the horse from the rigt side so you can not be hit by chain.

There is a reason to do things that way as making fenced pastures for just one horse leads to not sensible price. We are planning to make him a running pen (about an acre will be properly fenced) but to make 3 fenced areas for pastures... If it will be possible to train him on that, he will get electric pasture fencing - it is easy to move around.    

And yes - we always end on a positive note, really like with dogs - after the walk he gets back into the box, gets petting, praising and grooming a bit, then time for a water and a "good night" :)
http://ozolkalni.blogspot.com/
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Offline horsepoor21

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Re: Somebody a horse whispere here?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2008, 03:39:29 am »
May I ask where abouts you live ? Just curious as my sister is a trainer , she lives in Kansas and I'm sure would be more than happy to help you .... if you're close enough ! LOL
-Amy
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Offline AnnaCrew

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Re: Somebody a horse whispere here?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2008, 06:02:08 am »
Where exactly in Kansas? I have been there, liked the area... Anyway, I'm in Latvia, Europe, so I suspect that it is a bit too far away from your sister to help me out, at least in real life! But Thank you for the offer!
http://ozolkalni.blogspot.com/
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Offline horsepoor21

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Re: Somebody a horse whispere here?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2008, 07:19:04 am »
Oh ... LOL Yep , just a liiiitttllee too far away ! LOL She's about an hour east (I think?) of Kansas City . She doesn't get on the 'net much or I'd have her e-mail ya . I'm sorry  :-\

I second the suggestion of getting some videos or books from Pat Parelli , or John Lions , or even Clint Anderson . They will teach you many ways to teach your horse to respect you more. My arab mare was bottle fed , so she was SUPER pushy and disrespectul , because she never knew she was a horse ! We got her as a 2 year old , and my husband had to work her over good as she would try and kick me if I even went near her back legs . Now she's a big old baby , lets kids ride her , etc . Still likes to test the limits though ::)
-Amy
Moose-Border Collie/Newfoundland rescue
Allie-Newfoundland
Spook-Newfoundland
Whiskey-Arabian
Wolverine-Cockatiel
Polly&Rainbow-Lovebirds (with 3 babies!)
Crush-Painted Turtle

       "Every boy should have two things:
 A dog, and a mother willing to let him have one"