Trouble being stern with your own horse?

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by DNN, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. DNN

    DNN Senior Member

    Dec 3, 2008
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    Hey guys. So my horse is now 6...ive had him since he was 3 and ive done all his training....hes good boy does whats asked...hunt seat, western (working on it) saddle seat and dressage stuff. He is only 6 and i knwo thats still kinda young but sometimes i feel like he is acting TOO young. He cant stand still, alwasy wants to eat, doesnt pay attention for long so i try to switch up our work outs and such to keep his attention but nothing really seems to be working. Does anyone else think he still has ALOT of maturing to do, or do i really need to get after him? I have a hard time really "being mean" not like whipping him to death but really getting afterhim adn not letting him awaway with things when i think its jsut his personality...he really does have a very playing kid like personality so i odnt want to lose that while working on his training and making him "grow up".

    Anyone else have problems like this? what should i do?? Im thinking of going back and taking lessons jsut to have someone on the ground helping with what hes doing. he my baby! its hard to catch when he needs to elarn a lesson or hang back cause hes young still... I jsut feel like i 6 he should be going aroudn the show ring and he wont! hes a big baby about it still.
  2. Horsegirl878

    Horsegirl878 Senior Member+

    Jan 25, 2005
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    Get a trainer. I had the exact same problem as you're having, except my filly was 2 at the time. Raised her since birth, etc.... Wasn't being firm enough, turned my filly into a bit of a terror. Waaaay too pushy... So I got my coach to give me some groundwork lessons, and she did some training sessions with her as well.

    Worked wonders, SO glad I did it.

    Good luck with him!! :)
  3. ParkedOut

    ParkedOut Senior Member

    Oct 22, 2008
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    Yep. You just described my husband's relationship with his gelding. Doesn't want to lose that playful, sweet disposition. So he's a froot loop to ride.

    Definitely find a trainer. You need someone to be a parent-type figure to him, not a buddy! :)
    1 person likes this.
  4. endurgirl

    endurgirl Senior Member

    Sep 29, 2004
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    Horses are always trying to be top dawg in the pecking order, and like a child, he's seeing what he can get away with. Don't think of it as being mean, think of it as setting the horse up for success. Imagine where he 'COULD' be in his training if you asserted a little authority and quit letting him run the show.

    I don't tolerate any misbehavior from my horses. They are not allowed to eat while being ridden, not allowed to eat while being lead, not allowed to eat their feed until I've removed the halter and pushed them away signaling they can go. They are not allowed to walk ahead of me. It may seem harsh to some, but they have their time 23 hours of the day, they can at least give me 1 hour. ;)

    Would you let your kid draw on the walls with permanent markers and just smile about it?
  5. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2004
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    Riding lessons.
  6. lv4running

    lv4running Senior Member+

    May 18, 2011
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    You can be firm without be aggressive. You can set limits without beating him with a whip or your hands, and you can set limits without rasiing your voice. I find that many people can't differenciate the two and that is where the rub comes in.
    1 person likes this.
  7. coloredcowhorse

    coloredcowhorse Senior Member

    Aug 2, 2011
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    There is a time for everything, a time for play and a time for work, a time for....... OK now I have a song in my head for the rest of the day! Thanks!! Seriously.....he can be your playful goofy kid all he wants and you will allow when not working but when he's supposed to be working you need to expect WORK (doesn't your boss, when you are at work, expect WORK?). There are dozens of things you can do to get and keep his attention focused (realizing that it is a survival mechanism for them to have busy eyes and ears so you have to teach them to do is WORK...for both of you). Suggest a trainer.
    endurgirl likes this.
  8. meljean

    meljean Senior Member

    Oct 31, 2006
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    This horse is doing things that I don't let weanlings do for the most part.

    Every horse has the capability of standing stone cold still. Watch them in the pasture sometime if you doubt me. No fidgeting, no bouncing around. Dead still.

    Why? Because the lead horse won't put up with it.

    You need to expect more from this horse and demand it. And 6 is very very old to be worrying about he isn't mature.

    If he moves, get after him, quit trying to change it up to keep his interest and treat him like a horse, not an ADD kid. Horses don't work on the "oh, I am bored with this" as much as they do on the "I am to stand my rear end still, and if there is a change in plans, my owner will let me know" mindset.

    Every time that you have let horse get away with any of this? You are making yourself a bigger problem.

    And if you are using a soothing voice, or baby talk? Quit it. You are just making a monster.

    Get after the horse and make it behave like it should, and that means standing still, not whinnying, not fretting, and not being a pain in the rump.
    endurgirl and (deleted member) like this.
  9. Candi0207

    Candi0207 Full Member

    Apr 28, 2011
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    Its like a kid with their momma, they know they can walk on us, lol. I have the same problem with my mare, and I've been watching a lot of ground working videos and going out there with a goal and trying to be more business with her, less play. Not mean, just firm, and having certain things I want to focus on each day. I left her get real pushy on the ground and last summer she bit me, out of the blue, not even a nibbler. That was my wake up call. Watch the pushiness because it sure can lead to other things.
  10. lblagden

    lblagden Senior Member+

    Apr 12, 2011
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    I feel like at six years old, he should be plenty mature mentally to take whatever you throw at him. At this age, I doubt "hang back" is EVER the answer. I think we've all been guilty of babying the horse at some point (I definitely have some work to do on being firm with my yearling), but you seem to know the answer to your questions already. It's time to step up and teach him manners. He doesn't want to go around the show ring? Too bad. He should do it anyway.

    You seem extremely focused on the fact that he's young. While at 6 he's not fully mature, there are horses in the Olympics and high-end shows all over the world at that age. He's plenty old enough to work. If he was on a ranch he would have been working HARD full-time for nearly 4 years already. I would work on getting out of that mindset. At this age being young shouldn't be an excuse to get away with anything.

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