Training Advice Needed - Stable Manners

Training Advice Needed - Stable Manners

Post by Mary La » Sun, 19 Mar 1995 03:35:22


I'm considering sponsoring a 13 year old TB/WB jumper who has been out
of training for quite some time.  He seems to have a good head about
him -- after standing in his stall for 2 weeks straight he didn't
bolt, rear or buck once under saddle after only 20 minutes of lunging.

He needs lots of flat work right now, getting him to balance up and
work on the bit.  I'm taking this one thing at a time though, to see
how receptive this horse is to training.  However, I'm not very
learned in training stable manners and I could use some advice.  He
has two very annoying habits right now:

1) When standing in a cross tie the horse is continually moving, side
to side, forward and backwards.  He also twirls the tip of his tongue
around and looks like he's trying to get food out of one of his lower
back molars during the entire tacking-up experience.  At first I
thought he was playing with the bit, but he does the same thing with a
halter on.  I think some of it is due to excess energy -- but it also
seems as though some of it is due to nervousness and a discomfort
associated with just standing.

He expects to be repremanded for moving, as his owner will frequently
smack him on his belly and say "STAND".  But the results of the
repremand only lasts for a moment, then it's back to
ants-in-his-pants.

Intuitively I would say getting this horse to relax at the cross-tie
would be the best solution -- but I'm not quite sure how to do this.

2)  When leading this horse (he's a big 16.1 HH), he will push me
over.  When I push his head to the right, suggesting that he move
away from me, he bends his neck and continues pushing me with his left
shoulder.  Pushing him off me with almost all my might is hardly
effective as the horse barely responds.  It's almost like he doesn't
feel me pushing him.

I don't know if carrying a crop and smacking him hard with it each
time he pushes on me is the right thing to do.  I'd rather see what
other methods are available.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions ...

Mary Lark

Concord, CA

 
 
 

Training Advice Needed - Stable Manners

Post by Craig Curl » Sun, 19 Mar 1995 09:25:29


Quote:

>I'm considering sponsoring a 13 year old TB/WB jumper who has been out
>of training for quite some time.  He seems to have a good head about
>him -- after standing in his stall for 2 weeks straight he didn't
>bolt, rear or buck once under saddle after only 20 minutes of lunging.

>He needs lots of flat work right now, getting him to balance up and
>work on the bit.  I'm taking this one thing at a time though, to see
>how receptive this horse is to training.  However, I'm not very
>learned in training stable manners and I could use some advice.  He
>has two very annoying habits right now:

>1) When standing in a cross tie the horse is continually moving, side
>to side, forward and backwards.  He also twirls the tip of his tongue
>around and looks like he's trying to get food out of one of his lower
>back molars during the entire tacking-up experience.  At first I
>thought he was playing with the bit, but he does the same thing with a
>halter on.  I think some of it is due to excess energy -- but it also
>seems as though some of it is due to nervousness and a discomfort
>associated with just standing.

>He expects to be repremanded for moving, as his owner will frequently
>smack him on his belly and say "STAND".  But the results of the
>repremand only lasts for a moment, then it's back to
>ants-in-his-pants.

>Intuitively I would say getting this horse to relax at the cross-tie
>would be the best solution -- but I'm not quite sure how to do this.

>2)  When leading this horse (he's a big 16.1 HH), he will push me
>over.  When I push his head to the right, suggesting that he move
>away from me, he bends his neck and continues pushing me with his left
>shoulder.  Pushing him off me with almost all my might is hardly
>effective as the horse barely responds.  It's almost like he doesn't
>feel me pushing him.

>I don't know if carrying a crop and smacking him hard with it each
>time he pushes on me is the right thing to do.  I'd rather see what
>other methods are available.

>Thanks in advance for your suggestions ...

>Mary Lark

>Concord, CA

>Hi Mary:  I'll make it short.  Horse is spoiled!  For the time being,

try tacking him up in his stall.  Works for me.  Don't emphasize the
discipline quite yet.  Spend a lot of time hand walking him and grazing
him...please don't use a crop...I know what it's like when they 'lean'
on you and it can be very damaging to toes...but try not to resort to
any harsh methods. It'll make him worse.  You can teach him to respect
your space by pushing his shoulder (not his head) away from you and
saying something like 'OVER' or whatever you choose your verbal command.
 But keep it consistant.  TB's, expecially off the track are never
crosstied but are tacked up in their stalls via a wall-implanted ring.  
Some of my guys I just never bother crosstying...who cares if they can
only be groomed and tacked up in their stalls?

Horses and people are a two way street.  I know what to insist on and
what to let go by the wayside.  e mail.  I'd like to hear more.

Morgana of Killion Farms

- Show quoted text -


 
 
 

Training Advice Needed - Stable Manners

Post by Denise K » Mon, 20 Mar 1995 02:37:52

Quote:


>>2)  When leading this horse (he's a big 16.1 HH), he will push me
>>over.  When I push his head to the right, suggesting that he move
>>away from me, he bends his neck and continues pushing me with his left
>>shoulder.  Pushing him off me with almost all my might is hardly
>>effective as the horse barely responds.  It's almost like he doesn't
>>feel me pushing him.

>>I don't know if carrying a crop and smacking him hard with it each
>>time he pushes on me is the right thing to do.  I'd rather see what
>>other methods are available.

>him...please don't use a crop...I know what it's like when they 'lean'
>on you and it can be very damaging to toes...but try not to resort to
>any harsh methods. It'll make him worse.  You can teach him to respect
>your space by pushing his shoulder (not his head) away from you and
>saying something like 'OVER' or whatever you choose your verbal command.

I don't know Morgana....I use a crop with Marathon (3 yr.old colt)
and he gives me space to breathe.Actually,I don't even have to
carry a crop anymore.When he was a yearling,he'd try to shove
me into a puddle so he wouldn't have to walk in it.Solution was
a good smack with a dressage whip and that was the end of it.ONe
smack and that's it.It helps to get a healthy respect of space,
since one needs it if the horse spooks next to you.Because
Marathon respects my space,he has never spooked into me or ontop
of me when something "scary" happened.I can't say the same for
some of the other horses at the barn.

Denise in MA

 
 
 

Training Advice Needed - Stable Manners

Post by Sneezewor » Mon, 20 Mar 1995 15:45:51

Quote:

>Intuitively I would say getting this horse to relax at the cross-tie
>would be the best solution -- but I'm not quite sure how to do this.

I'm inclined to agree with your intuition.  I worked with a horse for a
while who, initially, wouldn't stand in cross-ties.  He got better as he
got more relaxed with me and more enjoying his work rather than dreading it.
(This horse may have bad/unpleasant associations with work).

He has to be 'contained' enough to be safe to work around, but I'd use a more
gentle correction.  I've never been one to hit a horse in the belly.  I leave
a lead rope on and hold the end when I'm working.  If the horse gets too antsy,
I give a verbal command.  If he doesn't stop, I give a tug on the lead.  If he
still doesn't stop, I step around and give a good, solid jerk on the lead.  It's
a correction every horse understands, and it's graded, so that you get a
training effect (good for the behaviorists out there).  The dancing should
gradually die down.

Quote:
>I don't know if carrying a crop and smacking him hard with it each
>time he pushes on me is the right thing to do.  I'd rather see what
>other methods are available.

Pushing alone won't work, because he already knows he can push harder.  Have
you tried elbowing him?  With horses that walk on me, I elbow them back in
place, and if they don't move over, take a good grip on the lead rope, step
back and jerk back and to the side.  This swings his head toward you and his
quarters and shoulders away.  Line him up and start again.

I like using the lead rope for a correction because it's consistent, you've
always got a lead rope, and the horse understands it.  If he doesn't
respond to the elbow followed by a jerk, try flicking his shoulder with the
end of the lead, then jerking and popping him on the shoulder with the end
of the lead.  (Jerking is a kind of doubling from the groud.  It
clearly and immediately establishes your complete domination of the horse
because by controlling his head you can move his body anywhere you like --
but you have to catch him off guard).

Good luck.

 
 
 

Training Advice Needed - Stable Manners

Post by trea.. » Tue, 21 Mar 1995 05:47:32


Quote:

>1) When standing in a cross tie the horse is continually moving,

Just I thought, a westren trainer I knew, made standing tied part of the training.
The colts were tied up for x-amount of time everyday until they
went to sleep, relaxed, or stood still.  I never saw it done with
an older horse but time might be the answer there.

Quote:
>2)  When leading this horse (he's a big 16.1 HH), he will push me
>over.

That is absolutly bad manners and should not be tolerated.  Try teaching him
as if you going to enter him in a halter or showmanship class.  Part of that is
learning how to stand square and move in a pivot away from you.  I found it
to greatly improve my horse's ground manners when I started training for
showmanship classes and now I use the same principles when moving from point
A to point B any time.

For the pivot, turn toward the horse's shoulder.  Make him step with his for legs away from
you as you step forward.  If just a hand on the lead shank or bridle dons't,
communicate your intent, use the V of your hand where the thumb and forefinger
join and push into him right at the junction of his lower neck and shoulder right
above the bone.  He should yield to that.  Lots of praise for one step!

Standing squarely on all four feet takes a lot of gentle manipation of the lead
shank.  First line up the backlegs.  You do that using the lead shank to gentlly
shift the horses weight off the leg you want to move (moving the near hind leg
means pulling the horse's head forward and to the right).  A little more pull and
the horse should actually move the leg.  When he puts it down, he will put it down
a little further forward.

Getting control over where the horse puts his legs and where he moves his
body should help establish your space.  Any horse can and should respect your
space.  They should never come into your space unless invited.  Even horses
do that to other horses.
-Charlie

 
 
 

Training Advice Needed - Stable Manners

Post by Nancy Esposi » Wed, 22 Mar 1995 07:53:57

Mary,

Atticus, my foster horse was like that.  I'm boarding at a place
where I do my own stalls.  I have to x-tie Atticus when I
do the stalls so he's had to stand for a while by himself
but within my view.  I think he finally got board & fingured
out that the dancing around go him nowhere.  And now he stands
perfectly still all the time.  
So maybe just leaving him x-tied for a while and ignoring him
thought keeping an eye on him.  Do it after a workout so you
know he's not dancing around because he has too much energy.
This might work, though it might have worked with Atticus because
he's basically a lazy horse.

About the pushyness... You could try working him in hand and
asking him to move over away from a knudge.  Does he respond to your
leg aids to move over?  What do you do if he doesn't?  Do you
touch him with a crop?  Does he respond to that?  I'd treat this
as the same type thing.  Don't wack him as a punishment but teach him
to respond correctly.  Give him a verbal command too like "over".
And praise him when he responds.

Good Luck

Nancy Esposito
North Branford, CT