Stubborn Green Horse-Ground work

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mustangrooster, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. mustangrooster

    mustangrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Y'all,

    I figured there would be a few horse people on BYC, so i decided to post my horse problem on here.

    My new horse who i acquired less than 2 months ago is so disrespectful when it comes to ground work its just unbelievable.
    Let me point out i am not a beginner, i have ridden ever since i was 6, i ride bareback, without a bridle, been around horses all my life, this is just a new horse.

    I know very well that he is being the leader over me, he has no respect for me being the leader, and if he doesn't want to do something he'll simply turn his nose up to me, and swing his backside around to me.
    He can be a very affectionate horse. And does good ridding bareback for a green horse-I've only fallen of him once.

    But it takes a while for him to get moving, he needs to listen to me as soon as i tell him a command, not when he thinks so!
    Hes has been technically broken in, has lunged, done ground work, etc etc at his old home.

    Some of the problems with him are...

    *Wont stand still in whilst i brush him, pick his hoofs, or comb is mane. He will fidget and fidget and swing his head around in a threatening manner.

    *Very stubborn on the lead rope

    *Does aggressive head bobbing when he doesn't want to do something

    *Impatient-VERY, often pawing the ground and swishing his tail aggressively

    And the list does go on.

    I know very well what i need to do to show him whos boss, the thing is i've lost some confidence with him.

    One night i was out feeding him, i was walking around to the other horses, in front of him of course, he pinned his ears back and gave me a good hard bite under my arm.

    It didn't hurt me too much, but left a good bruise. Its shaken our bond. He knows very well i get a bit anxious when he swings hes head around to me and partly pins his ears.
    When i try to lead him, he used to be so good, now he is so lazy with it, and stops and is so hard to get moving, his aggressive head bobbing worrys me.

    I've been doing ground work with him day and night, hes getting better with it, but often glares at me like he wants to kill me, hes not relaxed, more tensed. I speak to him softly all the time. And we get on so well when i ride him. He is such a sweet horse and i know he has a great horse within him if i get this ground work problem sorted.

    Hes about 15 hands and a half, a 3 year old Gelding and may mature to over 16 hands.

    Please, if you are going to accuse me of not being a good horsewomen and me not being capable of owning horse PLEASE DO NOT comment. I have a other horses who are sweethearts and bullet proof through all my work i put into them. This one is different.

    Please note he is NOT human aggressive to the point where he will attack, apart from that biting incident. He is young and green, and hates being told what to do.

    Which is an issue of lack of respect.

    All i want is your opinions, thankyou.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  2. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    We had a horse like this many years ago. He was actually great when you rode him but otherwise he was aggressive and snotty. It turned out he was a cryptorchid that had been sold as a gelding with the one descended testicle removed. I was young at the time and my job was to take care of the horses so my dad sold him because he didn't want to take chances.

    I can't say that's for sure his issue, but it is worth having a vet look into. Too many times I've come across unsavory people trying to sell half gelded crypts and it's not always easy to tell.

    Otherwise, I would suggest learning about round penning and using that to gain your respect. That is what always worked best for me and I could adapt it to train pretty much any behavior I wanted.
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    Oh a tough one :p

    3 yo, hmmm he's still being a baby ;)

    First, if it were my horse, I would tie him in the barn and let him stand there until he stops fidgeting... For hours if need be. That will start him on the whole "patience" thing.

    Next, he might just be a high functioning guy; try some long trail rides, let him get out and see some new things. Show him he can trust you to make the decision on where to go. Sometimes the lunge line gets too monotonous and they get bored, which, with his impatience issue, is a bad combo.

    Third, the head bobbing. Try a tie down temporarily. It may require that you put the saddle on when you're practicing your leading, but if his head is tied down he can't Bob it, and after a while, he might think that every time he tries he's just going to yank to no avail and quit trying.

    It's been so long since I had a young horse to work with, my mind is dusty lol.... Oh! Try a carrot or two in your pocket if you're having a hard time leading, too. That worked with one if mine. He was an old fart, just lazy, but a carrot in my pocket made him stick right beside me ha-ha..but don't let him bite at it, keep it on the left side ;)
  4. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2015
    Mora, NM USA
    This does sound like a respect issue. Have you ever read this book: Dancing with Horses by Klaus Ferdinand-Hempflnig. When I first got my stallion he was really not very respectful; I started leading him the way he does in the book, and this suddenly transformed my stallion from a pissy, semi aggressive animal into a sweet and trustworthy horse. So I started leading all my horses that way. It communicates to them that you are the Leader, and they are the Leadee. A simple thing but very vital in human/horse relationships.

    It's possible, though, you may need the help of someone else to get where you want to with this horse. I personally look for a trainer who's horses travel willingly on a slack rein with a happy expression, and lead willingly on a slack lead. That's what you want - a horse with a nice light touch, and it needs to be a trainer who will help YOU too. I don't think it would take long for your young horse to be turned around; at least he's young and that's in his favor. You want to try and stop this as soon as possible so it does not become a habit. This horse is accustomed to being in charge and having things his way; so far, although it sounds like you're doing everything right, you don't seem to have impressed him as Leader and so he is behaving disrespectfully because he thinks HE should be in charge. It could be really hard for you to learn a different way to handle him real fast and on your own, that's why I suggest the help of someone else, for a short while, to not only work with him, but with you. It might take a day, it might take a week or it might take a month, but you and the horse are worth it.

    It is also possible he's a crypt. Even these horses can learn to behave though so don't lose hope; I believe he can be turned around. If what you've done so far has not worked, don't be afraid to ask for help. That's why there are other people in the world, so we can help each other! Best of luck and I hope you'll post on your progress together.
  5. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2010
    A few questions. Have you ruled out any pain | dental issues? How much turn out does he get?
  6. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2010
    I will say that I must agree with Chickerdoodle, perhaps he is a cryptorchid. Since you have lost your confidence with him I would recommend seeking help from someone. That way this person can see the horse in action and assess the situation accordingly. Even top trainers will seek advice from other professionals, so don't feel as though you are any less a horse person because you've sought help! Good luck and stay safe.
  7. mustangrooster

    mustangrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Thankyou for your advice. And that little story, he is respectful to alot of other people on the farm, but he gets his way alot like for instance if someone puts his hand on his snout, and he moves away from the touch, they will let him be. For people this is not a big deal, but he scored a point because he got his own way. Hmm, i do not think that is his issue, he was very respectful at his old home, did everything perfectly, expect he would like to stand right next to you and get all the attention, maybe the change of homes and leaders has been too much for him at this point. He is the alpha (well...i cant say lead stallion, but lead gelding) over the other horse. Hes high spirited, so since he is the leader over the other horse, i think its hard for him to take orders from someone else since hes used to giving the orders. Do you get what i mean? or am i being silly? Yes, i would of done round penning....but we dont have a round pen...
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  8. mustangrooster

    mustangrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:A big baby he is! Thats a good idea, i should do that, hes not too good with patience.. Thankyou! He is high spirited...With the head bobbing, its aggressive, i dont know if that would work but i will give it a try! No no no, your great! It might not be as dusty as you think :p A carrot, he wont eat em'...hates apples too...ha ha, 'an old fart' classic :p
  9. mustangrooster

    mustangrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:' No, never ever seen that book. But thankyou, i will look into it. Did your stallion have problems before you used that method? Yes, that was an option, but there are no trainers available, all are packed full. I have been using the methods of this guy: His methods always work for me, i will start using his exact methods on my horse. And, i have seen improvement, i keep the lessons short, and always end him on a good note. Yes i agree with you, he can be turned around, if i find a method that works for the both of us, which i have i think things might work. Yes, he is used to having his own way. True, but there is no one available. Thankyou for your advice! I will keep everyone updated on our progress
  10. mustangrooster

    mustangrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:No pain, he is a very healthy horse, up to date with everything etc. No dental problems are not present. When you say how much turnout he gets, do you mean how often is he out in pasture?

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