He is trying to be the boss of us!

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Born to Ride, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Born to Ride

    Born to Ride Well-known Member

    I suppose this is the place to put this!

    Keep in mind please, 'I am posting for a friend'!

    We have a 7yo gelding.
    He has all of a sudden decided he would like to be the boss (which is certainly not on!!). He has never gotten away with anything since we have had him, always had 'firm' handling and everything always has to be done the handlers way. He has been a amazing pony for the last 9 months teaching his young rider many things and giving her lots of confidence though now he has decided that if you tell him off, he has to tell you off!
    Whether it be ears back, or threaten to kick you (lifting a leg (front or back) or kickiing to the side)
    He is a childs pony, she normally saddles him, lunges him, takes him to his stable etc etc, still does but now with someone by her side all the time!

    So we are stuck for ideas as how to get it through to him that we ARE still the boss and that he will not tell us off! Because as soon as he is growled out for doing something out of line he 'growls' straight back!

    Any ideas and advice would be much appreciated!
  2. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Sounds like either a sour pony that needs a break OR a pony with pain to me. Has he had a spell in the nine months of work? He may need a break from being handled and ridden. He may have pain somewhere or maybe the work he is doing is causing him pain in some way.

    If he was mine I would check out the pain avenue and rule it out. Then if he hadn't had a spell in the last nine months I would chuck him out in a big paddock with other horses for three weeks and then bring him back in and see what he is like.

    Some horses develop a great sense of responsibility for thier riders and they need a break from it. He may also be sick of doing the same old stuff. Is he given variety in his workload ie bush work along with arena work. Taking him to the beach etc. Does she spend just 'easy' time with him ie just being together for the sake of being together not being aksed to do things all the time?

    If he is the kind of horse that 'growls' back then you need to get creative in how you handle him. Hitting him with a bigger piece of poly pipe may make him more aggressive. Teach her to 'shake' him off her ie if he growls then get her to back him up smartly until he stops and chews. Then ask him to come back in and receive a rub on the head. Always handle him in a rope halter with a twelve foot lead so you can shake him off you and then make him run around you while you stand still. There is more than one way to skin a cat.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  3. BigRed

    BigRed Active Member

    If this horse hasnt done this before you need to step outside the box and think why? As the above poster said it might be just thats he needs a break or is sore somewhere but he is telling you somethings not right.
  4. Born to Ride

    Born to Ride Well-known Member

    He is really only getting ridden on the weekends, and she is not a 'technical' rider either. Its just jump on have fun go for a bush ride and he not being a grouch under saddle (no bucking, refusing to walk, trying to turn and bite) nothing! this is what has got me so stumped!

    Will try the rope halter and long lead on the ground. Though my main concern is that he turns on you when you do tell him off! I am lost for ideas....
  5. Coda Cowgirl

    Coda Cowgirl Well-known Member

    has his feed changed recently or changed agistment or paddock?
  6. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    What do you do when he "turns on you"?

    Because I am predicting whatever is happening has gone in his favour!

    This horse is displaying disrespectful/dominance behaviour...if you got to watch the Buck movie you would have heard this:

    "A horseman understands and takes to heart that any ?issue? with a horse is usually not about the horse at all; rather, it?s about what the horse is reflecting back to you"

    So even though you think you have been strict and always the boss, your horse is letting you know that you don't have his respect!

    Establish respect on the ground and then once you have that get respect in the saddle. If you dont think you have the skills to do this by yourself, find someone who can help you out! :)
  7. Diana

    Diana Gold Member

    I find that if my horses (usually Koda - he's more independent & less of a puppy dog than Dave... :rolleyes: ) start getting full of themselves a bit of simple groundwork (backing up, move to the side, little lunging circles in the rope halter/12" lead changing direction often, leading forward, trotting and halting, etc.) usually puts them back in their place :)

    But yeah they're fairly easy to deal with :eek:

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