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Horse Shows Me His Butt Too Often


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#1 Jocelyn II

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 08:38 PM

My gelding has been trained in the round pen. He works great: he whoas from any gait, he turns on command, he follows me around like a puppy. He LOVES to do ground work! He is in training to pull a cart (so far, he ground drives, and has pulled some weight but not a cart). If I pull him from the pasture just to brush him, he will not leave the round pen until we do a few trot laps. (I "ground tie" him with no halter in the round pen for grooming).

Here's the problem: if he is tied (we practice this for in case I sell him) and I do something that makes him nervous, he turns his butt at me! He has never offered to kick, but I suspect that that gesture is next. If he turns his butt on me when he is loose in the round pen, I smack him with what ever is handy (lead rope or lunge whip). He rarely does that, though, unless I am not paying attention to him. (he is an attention glutton!)

Any ideas??



#2 Debi Z

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 08:41 PM

What kind of work have you done w/him in the RP? It sounds like he doesn't respect you the way he should.
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#3 Cheri Wolfe

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 09:02 PM

Spank his butt ANY and EVERY time he steps his hind end toward you -- tied, loose, on a lead-rope -- whenever. It is a gesture of disrespect and you should let him know it is unacceptable every single time he does it.

Remember, the worst behavior that you accept is the best behavior you have any right to expect out of him.

#4 Willy ShoMaker

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 02:26 PM

Like Cheri said....spank that butt, and stand at his side just in front of the hip so you don't get kicked. My horse used to move his butt toward me when he was on cross ties in front of his stall. Every time I was ready to put him away to eat....he'd move that butt toward me. He got broken of that habit fast....and now he has more respect since doing groundwork, etc. Also, if possible, after that spank, make him backup lots of steps. That's another way to gain respect by moving their feet.

#5 historyrider

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 04:20 PM


Think that you are an electric fence Jocelyn. Do you think for a second that your horse would push into THAT if they knew they was a hot wire next to them? You want that same respect at least. You are a cactus with a hot wire around you at all times and your personal space should be defended with the same passionless, consistency of both those inanimate objects. Here's the good news. Horses are really smart when they are taught effectively. Do you know why they don't "play" with electric fences? Because that wire passes the test every single time and likely it only took two or three ZAPS! to make a lasting impression. So, for the next few days, set your horse up to test you. Tie them and keep a dressage whip in your back pocket or in hand if you know this is going to happen. Butt comes over, WHACK! Now I suppose your hesitation to already have done this is the fact that the horse is tied. It's okay. They are happy to swing that butt toward you, they can also swing it away. What you don't want to do it WHACK, WHACK, WHACK YOU CRAZY DUMB HORSE, WHACK. Now that will get you a broken halter, fence or neck. Check your emotions at the gate.

What I also suggest you do is get some respect at the hitching post. After this lesson or before (but then it won't happen likely) teach your horse to move out of your space with the almighty power of your thumb. Keep in mind that your horse can feel a fly land on him SO, while standing tied, put your thumb into his flank while having a driving tool like that dressage whip in your other hand. Press GENTLY, and wait a second or two, THEN tap the air, then tap the horse until they move off of that steady pressure of your thumb. When they move, rub with your hand to tell your horse something has changed and they can stand still now. Steady pressure = move, rubbing = stand still. Now switch sides and ask them to move back again with SOFT steady pressure. Tap them off of it, Air first, then horse. In just a few tries I can almost promise you that the AIR will be enough and then soon after, the horse will move from the steady pressure of your lightest touch. Now you have your horse thinking a little differently about their and YOUR personal space while tied.

Practice this every day for a while and instead of walking around your horse to groom them, ask them to change sides for you. Make this change and you will never see this issue again.

William (historyrider)


#6 Jocelyn II

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 12:24 PM

historyrider said: "keep a dressage whip in your back pocket"
that line is exactly what I needed. I have tested this horse. I turn him loose, and wait for him to turn his butt to me. I've done it often enough that he knows when he's being tested and when not! so he is only disrespectful when all I've got is my hand. I just don't want to get close enough to whack him with my hand (although I have done so a time or two). With the dressage whip in my back pocket, I feel like I'm gonna be able to fix this- finally! Thank you everyone!!