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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:08 pm 
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Location: provincie Utrecht
hi Carla,

Good to hear that one is "saved" from his "unwanted behavior". So there is realy a connection with AND and the behavior of horses.
About the pony, just as Glen wrote, maybe he have some pain somewere were you can not see it directly.
I know it is a big search but it is in mine opinion a good idea better for your savety and for the pony his mind to get more rest.

I know that Carloyn Resnick wrote about her "meeting" with a bitting horse and she wrote in her blog what she have done to make it possible to toutch the horse, maybe this can help you too. This works only if the pony doesn't do this because of a pain issue.
I understand that the pony give you some space, but can you touch his body and work with him? That's your goal i suppose.
It is quite handy that you can lead the pony for what ever, the vet or farrier or just a hug and play time ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:42 pm 
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Hello Carla,

Bless you and hugs for you for taking this pony away from the horror that he's likely experienced.

Very early in my career, after a lot of ranch work with pretty rank horses, and then with racehorses gone sour (particularly stallion work), I learned somethings about these fighters.

A general statement about them to establish where one might come from initially with them is in order here: they are often more full of fear than other horses, or ponies, they lack confidence and much like human bullies make up for it with threats, aggression, and if they can, to violence.

My own work rehabing such horses, and watching "hands," breaking horses on my uncle's ranch back in the 50's (yep, I'm that old), gave me a lot to consider over time.

I've come to the conclusion that horses are not very confident creatures by nature, very cautious, and they tend to use what first works to make things they fear leave them alone.

My speculation is that this pony received some abuse, but that is not necessary for this violent pattern of behavior to emerge. With no cause other than feeling anxious and reacting to it with a bit of aggression and successfully driving off the object that provoked the anxiety the pattern can begin.

A few more positive rewards (which it is when a horse is aggressive and people retreat from that aggression) and behaviorally the horse or pony is now "trained," to be aggressive.

There is another field to look to for some answers.

Mustang taming for the auctions.

People don't just come to the roundups and pick one out, have it roped down and drug into a truck. These horses are gentled, halter-broken, ground handling familiar and tolerant. And the number one rule (as far as I can see, as it was for me as the broken bones mounted up over the years) is safety for the human handler first.

So they begin most often in a pen, with the mustang inside, and the human outside, and a bamboo touch pole with a rag or feather on the end. Regardless of the mustang's response the end of the touch pole is introduced and reintroduced, gently of course, until it accepts the touch.

You may well know some of these things yourself. You don't write like a novice horse person, but bear with me. Something new and useful may turn up in my narrative.

After than first touch, that comes from approach and retreat methods, the area that has been tolerant of touch is expanded, again with approach retreat. You go only so far as you get the reaction you wish. That is that the horse, or pony, stay positive with the pole and rag. Always stopping before you get a negative reaction. Then restarting at the last "tamed," spot and working out from it.

Why treat this pony in this way, like a mustang? Because the reactiosn you are seeing are the same ones that mustangs have naturally, flight or fight.

The wonderful thing about mustangs is that they usually learn so very quickly and get over their fear, as they have not been trained by human presence to be afraid and to fight.

Your pony, sadly for the little guy, has probably been trained. "humans bad, bite humans, humans go away."

I'm sure you'll study him, and note what triggers his biting or striking and work with that.

We have, we human horse handlers, for thousands of years more often than not assumed the worst of the horse and any unwanted behavior. The change has come for many in recent years, say the last three decades or so, that the horse may not be hostile at all, but simply expressing his fear, the primary feeling, with the secondary behavior of fight and resist.

So if we think in those terms, and presume the horse would rather, over all, live a peaceful gentle life and frame our tactics around that goal, and approach with gentle nurturing and kindness in our hearts and minds, and hold to that, even when the little pony is rective and still wants to fight us, eventually he will come to be able to read our true intent.

A few little practical things one can do. Secrets of the so called "Horse Whisperers," most of them:

The rag you touch him with? Breath heavily into it, thinking good thoughts, how beautiful his is, how brave he is, how much you wish to nurture and protect him like his mother would have when he was little, etc. Yes, I'm quite serious. I've exerimented a quite about with this.

Horses, as predator food, have learned to read the thoughts and emotions from other animals breaths...think about how horses greet each other. The are even clearing in reading other creatures than we are, and mostly through breath

And yet another thing. Do not be silent approaching, with, or leaving the pony. Predators make a point of approaching with great stealth. Do not approach slowly, or fast, just a medium pace, and the same with movements.

And another; think 'mother mare.' That is to use your body like a mare with her foal. If something startles your pony, move between him and the object of fear. Go, if you can, to the object and touch it with your hand (your hand, and arm, to a horse, is more your head and neck for inspection and other purposes ... we don't use our nose and mouth for this, as the horse can see, so they think our hand and arm are our touching sensing "nose and mouth.")

Do not be afraid to use your hand and arm to signal "no" to the pony. That is, should he strike or bite in your direction, make the mother mare motion with your hand and arm, swing it high over above shoulder level, your own shoulder, of course. ONCE. Don't keep swinging it for a single aggression move. Just once. MORE means you want to fight, in pony and horse language.

It does mean too you want to play, but context is everything. One "cue," at a time for one "offense" at a time.

You need no more than that. Forget punishment. Even a water bottle. The arm wave in horse language is very clear as a neck and head gesture of "don't DO that."

Your pony has probably had plenty of "punishment," that is negative consequences heaped on him and he's probably a master at steering his own response from suppression of a behavior to outright aggression again. He'll get around that water bottle trust me. And likely change his tactics. Instead of a bite or strike, a kick or a charge and shoulder hit.

Leave the world of negative consequences behind, and of course the world of punishment too.

If you don't click and treat (that is use positive behavioral conditioning, operant conditioning) then now would be a wonderful time to learn it.

Learn how to charge the clicker. That is to associate the sound with a toothsome yummy reward. You can pitch him the reward to stay safe.

As soon as he alerts on the clicker, and comes to the treat reliably - usually no more than 15 or 20 minutes of slow work, you can look at his behaviors, pick the ones you want (such as standing quietly when you lift the touch pole to shoulder level) and click and treat.

The pony, I guess very like us all these days, needs to find peace, and once found will want it for life, as I do.

Give him peace every change you can.

Find out how to give him pleasure in ways besides the treats too. Locate some scritching spots. They will often reveal themselves during the first stages of taming him to touch. You'll spot that he not only holds still for a particular spot to be touched but moves it into the touch, and later, will "present," that spot to the touch pole and rag. Bingo, you have another "reward," to give when you click.

I do not agree with the "herd buddy," taming method any more. I once did. Nor with the herd leader method either.

It's the behavior of the mother mare that we should study. Even at very high levels of horse training for performance. The mare traits work.

That is who to study to learn how to tame and socialize horses to humans, even badly abused horses and ponies. Study the mother mare. Take them back to their mother.

When I worked with emotionally disturbed youth I got my first inkling of this concept. I learned to mother 15 year old kids. So called delinquents. And it worked very well indeed.

It does for horses and ponies. In fact even those not abused and traumatized respond to mare mothering.

Donald

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Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:42 pm 

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Donald,
your explanation of "mother mare" behavior brought a question to me mind.
I have found the mother behavior approach quite successful with dogs of all ages, not just puppies but had always assumed that the reason it works so well is that domestic dogs (with a few exceptions like northern breeds) have generally been selected for puppy-like characteristics because those are the same behaviors that make them get along with people well.
So, I'm wondering if there has been this level of domestication in horses, to where baby/youth characteristics are retained longer in highly "domesticated" horses, whatever that may mean, than wild horses. I'm wondering if this method would work for older mustangs after they have reached maturity. Of course mustangs are technically not wild horses so may still act more like horses that have lived with people for hundreds of years.
Is anyone aware of any research about this in horses?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:48 am 
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Birgit wrote:
Donald,
your explanation of "mother mare" behavior brought a question to me mind.
I have found the mother behavior approach quite successful with dogs of all ages, not just puppies but had always assumed that the reason it works so well is that domestic dogs (with a few exceptions like northern breeds) have generally been selected for puppy-like characteristics because those are the same behaviors that make them get along with people well.
So, I'm wondering if there has been this level of domestication in horses, to where baby/youth characteristics are retained longer in highly "domesticated" horses, whatever that may mean, than wild horses. I'm wondering if this method would work for older mustangs after they have reached maturity. Of course mustangs are technically not wild horses so may still act more like horses that have lived with people for hundreds of years.
Is anyone aware of any research about this in horses?


I would point out, in answer to your question, the pony breeds. Usually "cute," in form. Small head, more dainty feet, proportionately larger body to head size. Many even move more cutely.

Among the horse breeds we have the Spanish horse, the Spanish mustang in the Americas, and the Classic breeds, those derived from or the Andalusian spanish horse itself.

More rotund, more elegant too in some ways. Often moving with more upward, and to most eyes, more attractive scope.

"Cuteness," is what keeps us from, in stress and moments of pique, from murdering out children I think. Or is at least one of the more important factors.

I believe all mammals, and possible some birds and reptiles too (live young birthing), respond to this "cute" form. I refer to it, when I'm teaching, as the "AWWWWWWWwwwww factor."

We definitely have, in the normal healthy members of a group or species, this switch in our psyche. The Awwwwww switch.

Too, we breed for childlike behaviors. It's not really very adult among wild equines, like zebras, to be friendly with a predator. But a young prey animal often has to learn about predators observed adult behavior among their kind, or they'd walk right up to us. And do.

Bonnie even showed some "wild," behaviors toward us. And she's froma breed notorious for acceptance of and cooperative and compliant association with humans. But for awhile there she was a little mustang herself. Yet breeding did tell over time.

This leads me to believe there might be reciprocal to this in the "mother," factor recognition. It's not the domestication by breeding for it so much as that all creatures are born (well, mammals, birds and some reptiles) to be drawn to nurture. I'm thoroughly convinced, and if it's possible, becoming more so over the years, that if we design our training or association with animals, our horses and dogs in particular, around these factors we will have much more success: protection, generosity, gentleness, nurture, guidance, joy, play.

Success means to me satisfaction. I am never satisfied when I force a horse to do something, for instance. Even if for their own good. I know it stresses the relationship. And nothing pleases me more than to see a horse want to do something for his or her own reasons.

Bonnie currently comes, when we are untacking Altea after a ride, for her turn with the saddle blanket, and will carry it around quite happily until it falls off on its own. I din't "train," her to stand for it being on her back, but simply pitched it there one day as a handy place for it to be while I finished what I was doing. Or was it Kate that did that? In any case, Bonnie thinks it's quite comfy and nice. It smells of her mommy, and probably feels a little like her mom's neck over her back.

I'll store my surcingle over her back sooner or later. Or have her carry it along for us on the trips up the mountain. Her toy, not mine at all.

She already takes Altea's lead and pulls on her mom's head with it, on her own.

Provocative thoughts, no?

I am currently struggling not to scream at people at the barn where I teach.

Somewhere along the way the children have picked up from the adults that jerking on the lead line while the horse is standing still in front of you teaches something. I'm not sure what - maybe "respect out of fear?"

I have told those that are my students this practice is over, and instructed them in how to have compliance by asking using the lead line. How to ask softly, trust the horse will agree, and ask softly again if it does not. And again if need be.

Some of the children are lighting up.

The horses, of course, are very curious about this gentleness, newfound in human handlers. I teach breath communication as well, but only after a few weeks of them seeing me doing this with all horses that I approach, or approach me.

Interesting things coming my way. I suspect the barn owner at some point will confront me, as she is a "stern discipline approach," person I do believe. And has been kicked amd bitten a few times for her trouble as a result.

I also teach the "mother mare," approach to my students. They are enthralled with the idea. Of course it appeals. It's what they want as well. To give care, to nurture, and in the end to give up force and be gentle. Some really do love the horses.

Donald

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Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:36 am 

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Location: Corneto di Toano, Italy
Thank you Donald for this idea!
I teach my cousin and nephew also to treat the horse as their best friend, but I did not think of it calling it the mother mare treatment.
They have a very lovely caring mum themselves, so they will immediately understand what I mean.

I will surely use this. Thank you!
:love:

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AnneMarie

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You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make'em drink...


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:27 am 

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Donald, thanks for your thoughts and experience. I tried being mother-mare today.
I have begun C/T as well - about a month ago and it's great. Trouble is....Elvis gets so eager for more treats that he comes to me to receive them. I'm confused about what to do once I've clicked and he then crowds me to get his reward. Any ideas?

Elvis has the cute factor for sure. The most troublesome behavior right now is once he is loose in the paddock. Let me explain...his barn is in the center of the paddock and during the day Elvis goes behind an electric fence to his "play pen". At dinner time, the old TB is locked in his stall and Elvis then has the run of the whole paddock and can use his stall as he pleases. So...once he's eaten - he is loose and if I am still there he will follow me around wanting treats. Great time to do some C/T, right? The trouble is he crowds me even once he gets a treat and as I walk toward the gate to exit the paddock or really when I move at all - he tracks me and if I don't respond w/ a game he will turn sideways and eventually get his bum to face me in prep for a kick if I have still not complied. I calmly step aside and out of his way but it's quite a struggle to exit the paddock while he's targetting ME! I have to C/T my way out. And he's not just threatening w/ his hind end - he has kicked and it hurts! Even if I am behind a door or fence and we're playing target games and I'm taking a breather if he's too excited (I just look away and ignore his pawing) he will kick at nothing out of frustration, it appears to me.

So today, as I was exiting the paddock he stuck like glue to me and will back up for a C/T but when I move forward he turns sideways and then gets his end facing me, I stepped aside and held up my arm over my head and grunted (this is me being mother-mare) and he seemed a little shocked and did let me pass but then came right after me.
In writing this I'm realizing it's passing in front of him that he tries to stop by turning his butt at me. I have in the past held a crop or carrot stick w/ a line on it out and claimed the space around me but today i was trying not to use force.

Before all that I did breathe into thinking as you suggested and tied it to a stick and did some targetting.

I have seen a TV show about gentling wild mustangs at a CO state prison. FASCINATING to see the effects on the prisoners!! They have much in common with the mustangs. I have also had the privilege to know a once wild mustang who is quite spooky.

And Donald, Bonnie is the epitome of cute! The shelter behind looks great too!

Thank you, Carla


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:35 am 

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Forgot to mention, when I first took Elvis in the vet did a thorough exam/blood work and he had a chiropractic exam/adjustment. He is in fine health.

Glen Grobler wrote:
I think being turned out is important, and also correct diet, but I think the most important thing is allowing horses to be in charge of their own life - to feel that they can agree or disagree about what happens to them without getting "punished" or rejected for having an opinion and expressing it.

Glen, I couldn't agree more! And I'm encouraged to know Laska has overcome his issues. Elvis doesn't seem to want to be left alone - just the opposite! He follows people, keeps an eye on everything one is doing and gets right up on you! He's like a puppy dog more than a horse to me. Except he's so big and powerful that I can't let him be on top of me and he doesn't seem to understand this.

Thanks, Carla


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:27 am 
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Ah. Now I understand. I also have "it's over" difficulties from time to time. :D You know - it's the funniest things. Most people complain that they have problems catching their horses in the field or getting/holding their horse's attention. Here in AND-LAND we complain about not being able to disengage ... :funny:

Freckles is usually too close to me :yes: he does not swing his butt to me or show any "aggression" though. He uses his chin over my shoulder to pull me into his chest, he uses his lips to tickle me or he tramples on my heels - ouch! It has taken a little time but I have been "replacing" that behavior with ramener by asking for it every time he does the behavior I don't want after telling him "uh-uh no" regarding the unwanted behavior.

Laska is and does get aggressive. He pins his ears, swings his butt, kicks out, all of that. I did the same thing. I clearly disapprove of the unwanted begging behavior and then I "show" him an "appropriate" begging behavior which I have chosen as ramener.

I learned along the way that it not enough to "stop" one behavior. It is necessary to replace it. A new behavior needs to be given or the old behavior just stays - at least that is the way my 2 boys are.

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Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. Anon


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:20 pm 

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Glen Grobler wrote:
I learned along the way that it not enough to "stop" one behavior. It is necessary to replace it. A new behavior needs to be given or the old behavior just stays


Yes, Glen that's exactly why I am having success finally w/ C/T. The book I purchased to show me the basics says if you want your horse to NOT do something then show them what you DO want (as a replacement). But like you put it - I have trouble letting Elvis know I am done. Laska sounds very similar to my pony. I'll check out your diary to learn more from your experiences w/ him.
Thanks, Carla


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:29 pm 
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If you want to read my early days with Freckles and Laska you would have to read my old diary. :blush:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=841

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Glen Grobler



Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled. Anon


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:32 pm 

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OK, I had just gotten through page 4 of Freckles and Laska's diary. I had trouble with some of the video links but managed to find you on Youtube after all.

I'll look at this old diary too. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:59 pm 

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Carla, I also had this problem with Morgan at the beginning and still do from time to time. I also use a clear "uh uh" in a low voice if he becomes pushy or starts a behaviour I don't like. This has had the advantage under saddle too as it has rolled over.
At the beggining I would only fill the treat bag half way and when the treats were done I would take it off, show him and allow him to nuzzle inside the bag and then leave it on the floor. Once he understood no more treats were coming, he would quit bothering me and settle down and just hang out without trying to mug me by standing infront etc.
I know with Morgan he can get too excited by the treats and then stops listening and just wants treat. treat , treat. Eventually you just become a vending machine.
Some things that helped me were to make sure at the beginning he turned his head away from me before he got the treat. (Later I moved this to ramaner) When the moves become fast it is hard not to have the treat either ready in your hand or your hand in the bag (it took me a while to figure out that I must not get the treat until I had clicked and he had turned his head away, or even look like I was reaching for it!) I also would walk away if he got too pushy and would set it up that I could "escape" through a fence that he could not follow. This way he learnt that if he didn't respect my space then the treat dispenser moved away.
Eventually he figured out that he needed to do something asked before he got the treat and the time between asking, doing and treating got longer and he became more patient. He still sometimes gets a little pushy and to buy some time, I can also drop some of the pellets into a bucket or on the floor and take a breather before we start again.
I think it's important you try to find what works best for the both of you, (which is really where the fun begins!) but it sounds like he could hurt you unintentionally so please make sure you have an 'escape" route/plan until he understands how you want the system to work.
Glen is spot on by replacing the behaviour you don't want with something you do. It's a little like removing a small child from a dangerous situation and giving them something new or different to focus on!
Please let us know how you get on.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:28 pm 
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Thought I'd chime in, too!

I've also needed to work through versions of this with both my guys. It's been interesting processing my own part in this -- with Stardust, I've had to work at being able to shut him down because I get so jazzed that he's so engaged, and with Circe, she is the queen of "give her an inch and she'll take a mile" all with a beautiful smile on her face and eyelashes a-flutter.

So I've had to first work on me... ain't that always the truth?!? 8)

A few thoughts about then working with the horses, once I get my own 'to treat or not to treat' stuff sorted out:

First, when the treats are gone, I point to my pouch, hold my hands up, palms out, clap them, and then put them back up, saying, "It's all gone. You've eaten them all." Then I drop my energy contact with them and walk on to the next thing I'm doing. They do get this. They don't always want to, but they do get it.

With Circe, I found that when we first started working with treats, she got really good at mugging and then standing in a beautiful ramener (that replacement behavior Glen was talking about). I eventually realized that I was being played -- she was being bad so she could be good so she could then get a treat. :roll: :funny: So, for a while, I would just fold my arms and walk away from her if she was pushy and muggy -- pulling my energy in and continually turning away from her. That wasn't very fun, so we shifted that habit fairly quickly.

Now we're working on standing in ramener for more extended periods of time while doing ground work, and we're working on (while at the very, very beginning of learning about riding) walking on more than once between treats. This seems to be working quite well.

Annette's point about the vending machine is a good one -- I just wanted to add that I've actually played with this. I find that I can control the energy if I'm really focused and shaping exactly how quickly I treat. Sometimes fast and furious is actually a great tool if they're being nudgy -- you can bring their energy up and their focus totally on you doing this, and then bring the speed and energy back down. With Circe, who can get really antsy, this can be very effective.

Circe has occasionally kicked out at me and/or barrelled into me. I become serious tough mom in those moments and I do push back physically. For example, she was finding body slamming a fun game one day until I finally planted my energy (bending knees to get myself secure so she couldn't knock me over) and met her with an outstretched fist, which she slammed into. She was appalled! :ieks: :funny: But she didn't do it again. I also will push their butts away from me if they try to block me (with two, this can happen easily, especially if they're each trying to be the center of attention.) I watch carefully so I'm never directly behind them in hoof range, but if their butts come at me at all, I physically push them out of my way as I continue to walk forward on my own trajectory.

I am obviously not a fan of whacking horses, but there are moments that if they get too rough-housey and horsey with me, I become a horse back, and I will kick at them (with foot or hand). Especially with a young horse, who's not always remembering that people are breakable, this can be very effective. And whatever force I use is less than what mama mare would have in the same situation.

If that's appalling to you, the other thing I've done when faced with scary and potentially dangerous behavior is to get big vocally (I have an AH! AH! AH! 'no' noise I make), and then I walk away completely. Temper tantrums are absolutely not okay in my book. I'm an absolute pushover about most things, but I truly don't tolerate tantrums or aggression towards me. If it's done in play, I will point out that I'm breakable and they have to remember that (which, combined with an effort to calm the energy down as I say it, seems to help!). If it's done because they're being pissy, the boom drops immediately. Game over, and there are repercussions. (Same is true for nipping, which Circe was doing for a while when she didn't get a treat.)

All that said, I know that when you are working with a horse who's been abused, the game can be very, very different -- I know that some horses are wired to get bigger if anyone gets big with them. (I have a scar on my arm from a little guy who turned and bit me hard -- breaking skin and drawing blood -- after being tormented by an out of control cowboy, who chased him around a round pen with a shovel because this horse "didn't respect him." When I got to the horse, he was panicked, lathered, and bleeding at the ankles where he'd clipped himself with his hoofs after being forced to canter too fast in a small pen. He gratefully let me take him out of there and get hosed off -- and when he was feeling safe enough to go from fear to anger, he bit me as hard as he could. Poor baby! The great story to this is that he was incredibly cute and a very athletic little jumper and a young 13 year old girl fell in love with him and adored him with very gentle energy long enough that he found his way out of that haze of anger and fear. :cheers: )

So -- I think Donald's 'mother mare' idea is a great one, especially and probably more gently than I'd outlined above -- I can be tough mama with Circe because she's never associated that energy with being tortured -- Stardust however, has, so I have to be very, very careful about using it. And giving him peace every chance you can is really wise advice from Donald as well, I think. Maybe the place to start is to keep your interactions really soft, slow, gentle, and very limited so you begin to build a vocabulary with him that's about soft enjoyment, rather than a power struggle. Literally just a minute or two a day. With Stardust, I've learned that there is a lot of rewiring of expectations and patterns and habits that has to happen for his perceptions to change -- and it always takes longer than I expect. And when in doubt, I break the building blocks down into smaller pieces.

Ah well, I've driveled on long enough! Hope there is something in here that lights a lightbulb for you!

All the best,
Leigh

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:49 pm 

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Location: Corneto di Toano, Italy
Quote:
If that's appalling to you, the other thing I've done when faced with scary and potentially dangerous behavior is to get big vocally (I have an AH! AH! AH! 'no' noise I make), and then I walk away completely. Temper tantrums are absolutely not okay in my book. I'm an absolute pushover about most things, but I truly don't tolerate tantrums or aggression towards me. If it's done in play, I will point out that I'm breakable and they have to remember that (which, combined with an effort to calm the energy down as I say it, seems to help!). If it's done because they're being pissy, the boom drops immediately. Game over, and there are repercussions. (Same is true for nipping, which Circe was doing for a while when she didn't get a treat.)


With Billy I still have the 'nipping' problem.
Or correctly: he gives us all a nipping problem, it is not just with me.
I love him dearly and sometimes we can be very intimate together for a while. But I always have to be aware that at some point of time he might nip. Usually he will only touch my jacket or scarf or whatever, but sometimes he nips harder and will hurt me in the process.
He knows he's not allowed to do so. Which makes him pull his head away, high up, immediately after. This because he has had some physical reactions in the past and he knows he it is not permitted. I tried moving my arm/elbow very quickly, he had a reflex hand-hit etc. but it was obviously always too late to make him stop his habit.

Those people who saw Lidia's video a few weeks ago when she rode him again after 2yrs of rest, may have noticed that he also nipped her at some point of time.
See: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2888&start=45

I tried with CT to keep his head away from me and that works fine during that exercise.
But afterwards he just gets his old habit back again.

Don't know what I can do against that anymore.
Particularly with children or other people around him I am not sure as he looks like an angel until... :twisted:
I try to be very aware and make sure I notice in time if he would like to nip so I can correct it immediately. Even though sometimes he still surprises me, little devil. :rambo:

Some people say you have to let them make the error first... but what if that error has become a habit?

_________________
Kind regards,

AnneMarie

------
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make'em drink...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:40 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:19 am
Posts: 72
Location: Rhode Island
Leigh,
I did try crossing my arms and turning my back on Elvis today while shutting down my energy. Eventually he did back off - C/T!
He is a horse that will absolutely push back w/ more force than I could ever muster so I don't push him. He will move his hindquarters when I point at them and say over or lightly touch and say over but when he's of the mind to fight - there's no way I can match his strength physically. I see how quickly he learns and wants to learn so I have high hopes.
I have also kicked at him w/ my own legs only to be kicked back at by him. Guess who wins? :blush: :muscle: Yup the one w/ more muscle. That's where all this AND stuff comes in and has projected us leaps and bounds from where we were at first meeting as far as understanding each other. Because of his stressful past, I have been committed from the start to be the gentle presence he never had but now I am having success at implementing what was just a notion.

AMA wrote:
I tried with CT to keep his head away from me and that works fine during that exercise.
But afterwards he just gets his old habit back again.

I have the same difficulty w/ my pony. I'm hoping in time we work it out so he is safe for anyone. Time will tell.

AMA wrote:
Some people say you have to let them make the error first... but what if that error has become a habit?

Or what if that becomes a wound?? :sad:

Thanks for your thoughts!! Carla


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