How to prove you're dominant to a horse?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by P0U1TRYP3RS0N, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. P0U1TRYP3RS0N

    P0U1TRYP3RS0N Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    I have a three year old mustang mare that we bought at a horse auction last march. I've saddled her a dozen or so times over the past year, and am considering sending her to a trainer to really be trained (it's amazing how whe you tell people you're looking for a trainer that suddenly everyone is a horse trainer.)[​IMG] Anyways, my dad is the one who does most of the feeding the horses. The mustang, named "Reba" really loves him. He gives her treats and pets her and messes with her just like a big dog. I've petted her, fed her, saddled and bridled her (and put up with the panic, rage and rearing that comes with that) and she's never given me any problems, and I've never been afraid of her. Today, when my dad and I went in the pen, she went over to him and let him pet her and rub her, and then I reached to pet her and she barred her teeth at me! I got scared- I backed up (I know I shouldn't have, but I did) then, later I went to pet her, she seemed fine, didn't pin or ears back or anything and then wehn I turned around to walk away, she BIT me! I turned around and yelled no and tried to slap her, and she tried to wheel and kick me! WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?! I figure she's telling me she's the herd boss. I want to be dominant, and especially try not to be afraid, but how do I do that when 1000 LBS of horse will kick me?! Suggestions for showing her who's boss without ending up in the hospital!?
  2. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    I can only tell you something I've heard, I don't have a horse so I don't know for sure. They say you need to get right up into her face and make her back down. That you need to stomp your feet and come right at her face first into her face and not back down. To me it would work great if she doesn't decide to come at you.
  3. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    Bite her ear! that is what I did to my pony when I was little [​IMG] I am not jokeing I bit him.

    Good Luck,
  4. Stormhorse23

    Stormhorse23 Songster

    Aug 22, 2007
    I am not saying abuse her, but a smack on the neck is in order. Then come back later and have a treat with you. If you can pet her and she is nice, give her the treat. If not, a little slap. Just like spanking kids. It isn't going to kill them, but teaches them right and wrong. Nobody jump on this, horses in the wild punish each other SEVERELY for screw-ups. This is just for a little while and it barely even stings. You could be killed if she thinks this is ok. Allow you horse to feel a little sting, or die?
  5. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    We went to a training seminar this weekend which was WONDERFUL!!! Here is the website

    I am in no way a horse trainer but what I have learned with ours and this training confirmed it. You have to establish a relationship with your horse without yelling and slapping. My daughter had her horse for months before she even saddled or briddled her. The people we bought her from had such a hard time catching her. Our back door shuts and she's running to the fence and whinning (neighing). We can hardly walk without her putting her head on our shoulder. We spend time with her everyday.

    Please read the website it's about training without force and caring for your horse natural ways.

    Good luck.

  6. Chatychick

    Chatychick Songster

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    I beleieve the parennie way but you have 1 minute to make them think you are going to kill them. I dont strike the face at all as this makes them head shy...I yell at them and throw a bucket at their hinney. They try to hide their rear unless really provoked. Mine know if they bite me which they dont do now. I will run the snot out of them. They figure I am alpha female. Also the 1 that does the most feeding and all for them seem to bond to them. I feed 3 of mine and the DH feeds the other 3 ...the 3 I feed have more to do with me than the others. Also its a female thing I think too that mares love men and with her history you dont know what she has been thru. I have a mare that was abused by a man and have had her 6 yrs and she still really dont like my hubby. She tolerates him and when it comes to rideing she wont allow it at all. Tried to toss him, she has tossed my son. she is fine with me. Just dont like men. I bet if you feed her more than your dad she will finally accept you. Trainers are a dime a dozen and the bad mistakes are harder to get rid of than making good training. Check out how they do it and what they use as aid. If you dont feel right keep looking I always say Go with your gut instincts. If it feels worng run...I know I have rambled on and I hope some of this helps some. If you can get RFD-TV they have alot of training programs on there and ways for you to do it too...just a thought..
  7. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I am no way a trainer, but I have hired a wonderful one, and learned a lot. Some things are also my opinion. First, I would quit the treats, from both you and your Dad. She earns them and if you are to be her leader, then she needs to listen to you to get them when she's done something positive. Too often I see people tossing treats because they are cute or whatever, it ends up creating a monster, JMO. Also, don't use your hands to dicipline. I know it was probably more of a quick knee jerk reaction but try not to. Don't look a horse in the eye. And my daughter swears by biting them back. Yes she bit her horse when he bit her and he hasn't done it since. Not sure if anyone else has done it before to advise, but we have a new mare and she tests us ( especially today ) and my daughter kept telling me to bite her, but I didn't.
    Make sure your work time is a positive time for her. If she's not behaving, don't run her into the ground as a punishment, I say this 'cause I see a girl at our place doing that to her 3 yr. old all the time, and it kills me. All that is being learned is that the time you share is not fun. As soon as she does do something good, quit and let her rest. Anyway, doesn't sound like that is where you are having trouble. I would do some lead line work, just walking with her, teaching her to respect your space kind of thing. Start from there and see where it goes. There is a lot of great resources out there and I believe in ways that are like Parelli. It's hard to find a good trainer and I'm lucky I stumbled on the one we have. She's got many ceritifciations and quite frankly, the proof is in the pudding!

    Good luck!
  8. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    I agree with Chaty. I just wanted to add that it sounds like all she associates you with is work (and from the sound of it, that's not going well - most horses don't rear, buck, panic, etc) and possibly pain (I can't figure out why she'd be doing the aforementioned unless she's in some kind of it).

    Like Chaty said, get out there and spend TIME with her...don't just be associated as the one who catches me and works me and scares me.

    Mix that in with some posture training - and BITE BACK - and you should get through it.

    Of course, your idea for professional help is a great idea. Whatever you do, if you're scared...wait it out until you do have help. No one should get hurt!
  9. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    Horses only understand horse language. They don't know what a slap means. A slap is human language.
    Look at the way a head horse will treat a lower horse. A head horse will push the lower ones out of it's way, it will keep them away from food until it's done, it will not let a lower horse crowd it, put it's ears back at it, lift a back leg to it.
    A head horse walks and talks like it's the boss. That's the #1 rule with a horse. You have to BELIEVE you're the boss to become the boss.
    Stop the treats now. No more treats. Not only are you below your horse on the pecking order, you're also a walking, talking vending machine.
    Read up on Parelli, like Jackie suggested, and see if you can't find some reading on horse behavior.
  10. Stormhorse23

    Stormhorse23 Songster

    Aug 22, 2007
    Quote:Actually, they do understand. I usually just move quickly and touch them. They understand that I am letting them off easy and they better back off. When stormy gets upset, I blow in her nose and it confuses her enough to just do what i say! haha. you should see the look she gives me!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: