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Need advice in establishing trust
#1
Newt is my 15.3 6 1/2 year old grulla quarterhorse. We have built a fairly good relationship on the ground, in the saddle, well, I am working on that one. He is a bit heady at times, and if he doesn't want tot do something, uses his weight as in, "No! And you can't make me!" I am aware this is a trust issue, and as I learn more about who he is each day, I am able to interpret and understand his actions and reactions better. At the end of January I began fostering an abandoned 8 month old filly, who I named, Piper. She'd never had that human contact, but since then, she comes running up to the gate and whinnies when she sees me. I can do almost anything with her. That was even challenged with the fencepost impalement injury 12 days ago - she is healing up very well, and still gets excited when she sees me each day. At the same time, Newt knows when I come to the stable, and he will look up at me, but then go back to eating or grazing with the rest of the herd as he was. He would rather I walk the 1/8 mile to get him, than come down to me. I need your advice.

What can I do to continue to work on establishing a deeper trust with Newt? Do horses experience jealousy or is this a continuatiion of a lack of trust and respect? Though I do allot equal amounts of time with both each day, they are like little kids bickering at each other, with Newt being the big brother picking on his little sister. Newt is my primary steed, I need his trust, I want him to respect me, and I want our bond to grow deeper. How do I do this?

<edited by Hook to correct topic spelling>
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#2
He could very well be jealous of all your attention that you've been giving Piper. I had a similar experience when I bought W.T. and still had Warrior (both geldings). Warrior knew immediately that I had fallen in love with W.T. and that I didn't love him anymore. I tried to lavish affection on Warrior, but he would have none of it. He was no longer the horse that I cared about. I sold him not long after that. Not because I'd found a better horse but due to the fact that I was boarding three horses, and one of them had to go. I couldn't afford to board all three. The third horse was my mare, and she had a bad leg and was aged. There was no way I was selling W.T., so Warrior had to go. Two years later, I had the opportunity to buy Warrior back, which we did. Even then, our relationship was never the same.

My only advice would be to try to spend more time with Newt. Let him know that you care about him and that Piper hasn't replaced him. I do this all the time with my current gelding, Dove (Warrior & W.T. have both gone to their rewards many years ago). Terra is my main horse, but I lavish affection on Dove every chance I get, and he knows that I still care about him. I did this from the first day Terra arrived on our place, and both horses get along fine with each other and with me.

I don't know if this has been much help, but it has been what I have experienced with my own horses. Just spend more time with Newt, and let him know that you still care about him. I really think you'll see a difference.
"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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#3
Can you seperate them?

With Bunny- if she's in with J-Lo she has no interest in me AT ALL ! Refused to be caught the whole thing. They get so bonded to each other than neither of them is interested in people. When they are by themselves they become interested in human company again.

( our horses are in dry lots with shared fences so by themselves only means seperated by a fence)

Now she's in with Ramona and she's a totally different horse! Both of them meet me at the gate. Bunny has even learned to leave her hay in the hay ring ! LOL

Ramona is only 2 but she is very trusting and really confident and calm. J-lo tends to be a bit lacking in confidence-as is Bunny.

Maybe putting Newt by himself for a bit will encourage him to be more focused on you.
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#4
Late to this string, but I did clicker training with Bear to get some trust going. It seemed to work well because it's strictly positive - if he doesn't listen, he just gets ignored. Plus it's fun to watch the Pony Club girls' faces when he fetches a dog toy from across the ring.

There is a down side - that self taught trick where he takes my hat off and drops it in his water bucket, for example. And soimetimes he empties the groom kit while I'm tacking him up trying to find the thing I'll reward him for handing to me. Just a thought...
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#5
This topic came up just recently with a friend. I don't think it's a trust issue so much as a training issue. Horses and dogs come to you, retrieve, go away from you reliably on command when they're trained to do it. Yes, I know dogs and horses will do amazing things WHEN THEY WANT TO. A horse will come to you when there's something in it for him, mostly food. Until they're TRAINED to come to you, though, dogs and horses come when it suits them.

Horses that sometimes load and sometimes don't have never really been trained to load. I was aware of this a few weeks ago when I lead my horse to his straight stall and said, "Walk in!" with a slight movement toward his rump. He balked. Just planted his feet; stood there like a dummy. He was going nowhere. I was shocked! He's been eating in that straight stall over a thousand times; I was sure he'd walk right in!!

I quietly and calmly retrieved my favorite long white pole. Took him back to the stall and tapped (chronic agitation, I call it!) his rump till he took a step. Stopped. Then continued with the process. You all know it, so I won't elaborate--John Lyons. My point is that I was training him to do what I wanted.

The second day, it took just a few taps and in he went. The third day, he practially RAN in. He's now trained to enter the stall when I want him to, whether there's food in it or not, and not just when HE wants to. Big difference.

My dearest horse friend said it took her over an hour to get her two horses in a trailer and THEY'VE ALWAYS JUST WALKED IN. She was at her first show of the season and mighty embarrassed by the whole thing. We talked about TRAINING the horse to load, not relying on his mood to trailer when he feels like it. She did the same John Lyon's tapping "trick" and reported that, at the last show, both horses were in the trailer in three minutes. She wrote me, "The tapping gets an A+."

Horses are amazing. I'm happy with the little things I get my horses to do and tolerate every day. I'm in no hurry 'cause I don't show or hunt anymore; I'm just having fun building confidence and trust a bit every day. We do "umbrella training" on rainy days, when I go to the barn with an umbrella. We shake black plastic bags around and even "groom" with them when I'm spreading shavings and they're in the walk-in. I'm as noisy as I can be, doing the most outrageous things I can think of around them and to them; they never miss a chew. Sometimes they'll look up at me with this look, "You idiot!"

My two-year-old ran, kicked out as he ran away from me one day. In the round pen we went. He needed a reminder. He comes to me whenever I go out to the pasture and follows me like a puppy. Round pen work is really very, very old. I read in a pamphlet when I was very young about "whip training" a horse to come to you. It's a lot like what we do in the round pen.

I sold a horse and a year later went to see him. He was in a pasture, far, far away. I shouted, "Come!" and raised my hand to the sky (whip training I'd given the horse years before). He came running as fast as he could to the fence. It's the only whip training I'd every really done on a horse to come to me, but I see glimpses of the same thing in today's trainers all the time.

Perelli(?) did it in a recent video I saw on RFD-TV. You catch a horse by having him come to you. He was simply doing a kinder, simpler version of whip training. Tap on the rump, horse faces you, eventually follows you.

Amazing!

Domino

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#6
i agree with annie, i had a like situation with my horses.my walker willow,and her friend barney i bought them both off the same person.barney nothing bothers him, i would ride willow and barney would go about his business. when i rode barney willow would go crazy pawing at the fence running around the pasture. when i put willow in her own pasture, with the fence between then, so they could still see each other and touch each other, her attitude changed and she became more mellow. by the way neither one of them are alpha. both are betas
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