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Doesn't like grooming?

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Carly Rae

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Hi

My little colt Toby absolutely despises grooming time. He will not tolerate it and it becomes a huge hassle for me as well. It drives me crazy because he is a palomino pinto (White now because he is shedding) and he is the only one who loves lathering himself in sticky black soil... Right now he has a huge thick layer of mud on him because of course it decided to pour down rain while I was at school and he had no coat on or stalled.

So now I am dreading on cleaning him. I hoped he was like Kevin. Kevin will fuss around until he figures out I am not stopping until he is clean and he will stand for how ever long I need. But nope, I can spend all day trying to clean Toby and he wont give up.

So this is what happens when I brush him, I normally just use a curry and try brush it out. I brush him just like I'd brush the others. But when I go to brush him he is good for about a minute then he begins swinging his head round and swishing his tail, If i don't stop he will full on swing around and run into me with his belly as hard as he can, like if I am standing at his side he will barge into me (sorry if that makes no sense). I try and try but it ends up being a push and shove argument. By the end of trying to brush him today I had my hands on his thigh trying to stop him from ramming me with his hips and belly.

I really don't know what to do, I am barley brushing him hard, I cant see it being sensitive skin because he loves his scratches, and when you scratch him he will lean on you so you can scratch him harder and he moves his top lip around like he is giving another horse a scratch too.

I don't know if I am doing anything wrong but anything involving a brush is war between us. I'm also thinking that maybe he doesn't like being brushed so he fights against me until I give up and then he gets away without a brush. Maybe he has just found what makes me stop brushing him and keeps doing it.

I was also thinking that maybe I need a different type of brush? Or should I just be persistent and not let him win? Or should I try hose the mud out?

Id really appreciate some suggestions on how is should go about this. I hate looking at a black pony that should be white, and especially when I have people look at him (family, friends ect) He just looks like I neglect him because all the others are kept tidy but him.

Thanks in advance!
 

Rocklone Miniature Horses

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Change the brush, a curry comb is one of the most uncomfortable ones ever (use it on your own head when it's all notted) for mud I use a dog brush and it gets the mud off really easy. Just be as quick as possible not all horses like grooming and pampering, so just go with it you can't force them to.
 

always learning

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How is he with a bath? My senior milk goat isn't too keen on being brushed, but if I take her out and run the hose on her (when she's chosen the wrong place to lay down and her hindquarters are too dirty to milk) she'll stand nicely and seems to enjoy the water..Then I use the flat side of a sweat-scraper to remove the excess water.. I've also had no resistance using the side with tiny teeth for shedding season. It takes a lot of loose hair and seems to feel good relieving that loose hair itch. Otherwise I just use a brush and save the hard rubber curry comb for those who like it.
 

Carly Rae

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Okay ill change his brush, but most he still will not tolerate.

He doesn't like baths too much but it is a bit easier to bath him than brush him.

Also he is like this cleaning his hooves. If I pick up his hoof he will try bite be until I raise my voice and say "Toby, No" and I start picking his hooves and he will lean on me and try walk away or rear up. Also with hay, when I go feed them he will push into me and try snatch the hay. Not aggressive but just annoying. A lot of the time he just has no manners at all.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I would work on teaching him to stand. Carry a short whip to ask him to move his body away from you. Think of the whip as an extension of your arm. Use the verbal command "stand!" Tap his shoulder, chest, or rump using either the lash or butt of the whip.

Also, many horses feel threatened when tied, so try grooming him untied. Give a tug on the halter as a cue to stand and use the whip, smacking the ground to get his attention. Go easy jerking on the lead as this can cause trauma. Just a tug.

Another thing you can try is desensitizing exercises. Use a long lead rope and twirl it around as you stand beside him. Do both sides. When he is comfortable with that, go to a whip with a plastic bag tied on the end, flipping it around him doing both sides.

After that exercise, do your grooming. Lots of horses do not seem to like grooming. A shedding comb seems letter than a curry comb. I think brushing may generate static, which feels weird to them.

Go to Pat Elder's site. She has great desensitizing lessons.

He sounds as though you will learn a lot about horsemanship from him!
 

lucky seven

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Seven is another who doesn't like a brush, except the face brush that he likes. But he does love to have his mane and tail combed out. I've learned to do the mane and tail first then the body.
 

Rocklone Miniature Horses

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Lots of ground work/manners is needed here. grooming i think is a personal preference with horses, but if he won't stand to hoof lift and barges for hay then thats manners.

You need to be more assertive with him. Try some monty roberts books etc. I read teh kelly marks ones and honestly they made getting my stallion a breeze cause 1) i knew what to do 2)his owner already used the method = super easy stallion.
 

Carly Rae

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Okay, Ill look into borrowing some library books.

In the meantime do you have any tips on ground work that would be beneficial?
 

Carly Rae

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I got sick of him looking like he did, so I got in and tried my best to get as much mud clumps out as I could before he started getting super moody with me.

He looked like this this morning

Then I got out my clippers and clipped him, he is shedding so much and he is the only one that is still really fluffy. So bye-bye to his thick coat. Then I bathed him. He was super good until a bit of water sprayed from his neck into his ear... That was the end of good boy Toby. He turned into a little terror after that. But we finished and he looks great :D Now its time to work on some manners
 

always learning

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Seems to me that if you don't gain control soon," annoying" will turn to " aggressive" before you realize it. He's apparently learned how to irritate you to get his own way, try pushing back, and I don't mean with the flat of your hand. Use something pointier, like a knee or elbow, so he notices.
 

Rocklone Miniature Horses

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My favorite tool is to make them back up but to do this you will need a smaller halter on him cause that one will push on the squishy bit of the nose too much. You hold the rope under the chin and push back until they move back (back no around or sideways) then release. Repeat until they are moving back for as long as you want at the slightest push
 

Carly Rae

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I will start working on those tomorrow

He is getting worse with all these habits. Trust me, If he tries to push me around he gets the same in return. I tried brushing him today untied just holding the lead and it just gave him more room to get away. When im trying to groom him and he is swinging at me with all force, I either let him run into my hip or I put my knee up so he bashes into my knee not my legs and stomach. I try give him a little shove back and raise my voice but it just goes through one ear out the other. I have nearly had him 2 years and this sort of stuff only happened minor when I hadn't handled him in a week or so.

I clipped him and bathed him today and he was just full of energy. Im not sure if it just felt good to have all the furr off again or he was trying to scare me off. But I started walking him and he kept rubbing his head on me while I was trying to lead him, I took him for a run around and he started kicking and going crazy, It kind of just looked like he was just bundled up with energy. But then he kept rearing up at me and i would move back and he would just keep following me while doing little bounces like he is going to rear up. I guess that was my fault because this morning I was trying to teach him to rear up, but It failed a lot he only got so far off the ground and didnt look like a rear, just like he was bouncing on his front feet, and I guess he repeated that again this afternoon thinking he was doing the right thing?

I do love my Toby so much, and not one bit does he frighten me, but this behavior could affect others unaware. Like I said it never got this bad, he used to be a little gentleman, well he never was a huge fan of grooming, but all this pushing was never an issue (again I know some of his behavior this afternoon was caused my me)

But I am going to try teach him some manners tomorrow
 

madmax

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Carley, good for you acknowledging that his problem is his manners. I have found that the first step in gaining a horse's attention and control is to tie it up to a stout post, short enough that it cannot get a foot over the rope if it rears. Stay in the area while you are doing this but not hovering over it, and stay tied for at least an hour or more and the horse gets bored and quiet for a long period. Then go and 'rescue' it but don't slather it with unnecessary praise, just a good boy, and lead him off for something else. Do not tolerate rearing, please... Tieing is the first thing a foal should have learned.
 

Magic Marker Minis

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Work on nipping it in the but now. If.a stud, we will only get worse.

For me, teaching a horse to rear, is asking for trouble. Especially a colt full of testosterone.
 

Rocklone Miniature Horses

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You should never train a horse to rear unless you are very experienced in behavior and horse handling and sorry but you are probably not. I would stick to trying to work on good behaviors and manners and leave the tricks to professionals xxx
 

chandab

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If his manners aren't under control, don't even consider trying to teach him to rear, it's one of the most dangerous tricks taught to horses; maybe once you have his manners under control you can revisit the rearing trick, but not before.

For now work on his manners, and no game playing til he has manners.
 

Marsha Cassada

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This will be an ongoing journey for you two. Good for you seeking advice! Sounds like he did very well for bathing and clipping! You have done well there!

Do you have any friends whose experience you respect who could give you some pointers in person?

Is he still a stallion?
 

Carly Rae

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I know teaching that was a bad idea and he only did it like twice then I when he did it again I raised my voice for him to stop trying and once I got him to stop he didnt do it again until the afternoon.

He is full on rearing up at me now, I have tried your backing up thing and he just reefs his head away and rears up. He is now tied up to a post. He only missed my face by a couple inches before. I am showing him whos boss but he wont back down, I did the suggestion to use my elbows or knees but that doesn't bother him at all. When he is on the lead and I walk up to him he will put his head up really high as like a warning for me to stay away then he keeps coming at me rearing up... I am really sick of this now, and like some said he will get aggressive. Only 3 days ago he was a perfect little colt. He is only 2 and is not gelded because we want to breed him.

If Toby does this, will Kevin when he gets older? Kevin is the sweetest little angel and I hope so much he doesn't do this
 

Carly Rae

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Wait, I found something that works.

The other day I watched some videos on ground manners. There was this little trick called "picking up stones" dont know if anyones heard it but its basically just leading him around and then you stop and pretend to pick up a stone. Then you start walking again, then stop again and repeat, it kind of teaches him patience to walk with you and stop and wait while you pick up 'stones'. I found this actually worked, it was a more peaceful way rather than using my whip and yelling at him to stay down and pulling on his lead.

I found that the picking up stones worked because I wanted my way and he wanted his. He didn't want to be yelled at and pushed around (when he reared up at me I pushed him away in defence) and I found that that way only made everything worse when we started the picking up stones he was a bit pushy and would bump into me or try rub his head on me and I did a quick pointing motion and told him no in a firm voice, and I just gave him a light push on the shoulder to tell him to move over a bit, all of these he responded to quite well.

I think he was curious on why I would stop and pick at the ground every now and then Because when I would bend down he would Lower his head and just look at me, it was cute, it felt good to have my Toby back for a while.

I know that I will have to do heaps more and that this little strategy won't fix everything but I see it as a start. When we finished I stood in front of him holding the lead rope and jumped around and waved my arms and he just stood there.

Hopefully soon we can improve more
 

always learning

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I'm glad your getting some control back. A 2yr old horse (of any size) is like a teen-ager. Some you never have any problem with, but others just have to test the limits and see what they can get away with. And, if they get an inch of slack in control, they'll take a mile.
 

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