Looking for some opinions please

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BannerBrat

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[SIZE=12pt]Hello guys![/SIZE]

It's been a while since I've posted, & I've even changed my name, thanks to Marylou,
I used to be minidonkeyny with my Mom, but now I'm just me yay! lol.

Anyway lately I seem to be going backwards with the training of my gelding Banner. He hasn't been very responsive and seems to be in just a bad mood overall. He will sometimes throw tantrums over minor corrections, which we work through, but this all is really unlike him. He has always been a horse that keeps me thinking, but these tantrums are kind of mean, usually he's just being a goof when he throws his little tantrums, but lately they've been more violent. Also he seems to go from bratty & obnoxious to when I correct him he freaks out & looks & acts like I've corrected him unjustly. Which I'm pretty sure I'm not. So that has me puzzled unless he's more sensitive due to not feeling good. [he has had some loose poop, and seems a little less Bannerlike, haha. :DOH! Which I'm thinking is due to slightly different hay & the heat.]

This leads to the fact he really doesn't like the extreme heat, [who does? yuck!] which it is now gross out here. I was sick for about a week and didn't do anything with him, & now that I'm better it's nasty here, so I'm wondering if the heat is magnifying problems.

I'm considering going back to the very basics with him, as in leading, & 'you will stand there when I tell you to, I don't care how green the grass is' type of thing and basically do a whole review with him (over a week or so, however long it takes.) & then working up from there to where we currently are, longlining, and he has been hitched a few times & has done awesome, it's just too hot for that though. Up until this point we had been improving more & more.


I would like to know your thoughts though on what you would do, if you would go back to the very beginning & be a perfectionist on that his listens to what you ask of him, (which I usually am anyway, I don't let him push me around, he knows respect.) Or if you would just keep working him lightly when the weather permits.

Thank you guys for any imput.


If anything's not clear just ask.


Ash
 

MiLo Minis

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If this has been a relatively sudden change in behaviour then I would look for a cause other than just being bratty. If he is not an immature horse and therefore it is related to him growing up and thinking maybe now he should be boss but rather he is already mature and has always behaved well previously it could be a physical problem - he is in pain - or he could be misunderstanding what you are asking of him and resenting being punished when he isn't sure what it is you want. Perhaps try a different method of teaching him (I don't know what it is you are working on with him so can't really suggest how) or being more patient with him. I would not work him as hard when it is extremely hot or humid - you wouldn't want to work too hard either when its hot and muggy.
 

BannerBrat

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If this has been a relatively sudden change in behaviour then I would look for a cause other than just being bratty. If he is not an immature horse and therefore it is related to him growing up and thinking maybe now he should be boss but rather he is already mature and has always behaved well previously it could be a physical problem - he is in pain - or he could be misunderstanding what you are asking of him and resenting being punished when he isn't sure what it is you want. Perhaps try a different method of teaching him (I don't know what it is you are working on with him so can't really suggest how) or being more patient with him. I would not work him as hard when it is extremely hot or humid - you wouldn't want to work too hard either when its hot and muggy.
[SIZE=12pt]Thank's Lori, I didn't think about the possibilty of him growing up. He's 4 turning 5 so I suppose he could be maturing some more. I've looked him over for anything physical, not otallty ruling it out but I think physically he's fine, he was running laps in our pasture the other day, bucking and kicking.
[/SIZE]

I appreciate the imput


Ash
 

hobbyhorse23

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I'm with Lori, Ashley. While I'm sure the heat isn't helping his attitude a sudden change like that means SOMETHING's going on either mentally or physically. You're a good owner, you notice things like a change in the intention behind his tantrums. Trust your instincts! He's trying to tell you something.

Going back to basics is always a good first line of defense but in this case I'm not sure it's the right thing to do. It doesn't seem so much like he's not understanding what you're asking him as that he's got something else going on and going back to basics isn't going to fix that. With the loose stools you mention I would definitely check first for a physical cause. Maybe he's coming down with something, doesn't feel good, and is therefore cranky about being asked to work in the heat. Maybe he's got something going on that makes his skin sensitive so the harness and whip are both very uncomfortable for him. Heck, if you were a horse how would YOU tell someone that you've got a headache or are achy all over?
It wouldn't be easy! When Kody's back is out he acts fine in the paddock but has particular things he does in harness depending on which part is hurting him. When he's got an allergy attack, again there are certain signs. Ulcers, still other signs. It's taken me a long time to figure out which behaviors mean what problems and some of them I'm still tracking down! :DOH!

It could also be something mental. You're going to have to get inside his head and try to figure out where he's coming from. Could it be that he's just bored? If your math teacher made you sit inside a hot building and do the same type of problem over and over again until you were ready to scream, wouldn't you get a little cranky? You wouldn't understand why, would have no motivation to cooperate, and would be resentful as all get-out when there are so many better things you could be doing. Instead of going back a few steps, try going forward. Give him something new and interactive to do like ground-driving him down a trail or working him through an obstacle course with lots of praise and treats. See if he has the same problem there. If he does, it's probably something physical. If he's suddenly bright-eyed again you may have discovered part of the problem.

Leia

Edited to add: Really, with the sudden dramatic overreactions I'm concerned that he may have something causing him pain like a pinched nerve. Is it possible the new hay has given him a sore mouth, causing him to resent the bit or something like that?
 
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Jill

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The first thing I wondered is if his teeth are bothering him? But I am not sure why that jumped out at me as a maybe?

If your weather has recently changed to be as disgusting as ours has recently changed to be (so hot, muggy and oppressive), that could be a factor in my opinion.
 

rabbitsfizz

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First off...what a BRILLIANT owner you are!!!

Really, if horses had a lot more people like you around they would be a LOT happier...well done.


You need to get his back checked ASAP...no matter that he is running around like a lunatic, he doesn't like working in the heat...yet he still runs around in it..see??

Certainly a complete check up by the Vet, taking in teeth and stools and everything would be a really good thing, but I think the loose stools may well be associated with the weather.

Can you work him evenings and really early mornings...I get up at 4 0r 5. do whatever we need to do, feed and then, yes, I admit it freely, I go back to bed!!!

Most horses, I would say 100% of riding horses, have back problems, as do Humans...we are not "bred" to stand upright, Apes walk on all fours, and so making our spines stand up in the air suspended on two feet causes issues....same with horses.

They are evolved to eat, sleep and run away, they are NOT evolved to pull carts and to have people on their backs, especially as we have taken the strong sturdy, little animals they were and twisted, pruned and "Bonsai's" them into sometimes ludicrous shapes and sizes.

So, please, get a physio , a specialist, NOT just your Vet, out to give him a really good once over...this should happen at least once a year with ALL horses, I am coming to seriously believe, not just the ones you think have problems..I fine it ten times easier to pre-empt a problem than to solve it!!!
 

MiLo Minis

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[SIZE=12pt]Thank's Lori, I didn't think about the possibilty of him growing up. He's 4 turning 5 so I suppose he could be maturing some more. I've looked him over for anything physical, not otallty ruling it out but I think physically he's fine, he was running laps in our pasture the other day, bucking and kicking.
[/SIZE]

I appreciate the imput


Ash

4 turning 5!!! This is a time of big changes in his teeth. Wolf teeth quite often come in at this age. If you haven't had the dentist our for his teeth very recently I would suggest you have them looked at NOW. Tooth problems can cause diarreah or loose stools. They will also make for a dramatic change in a horses behaviour in harness.

And I agree with Jane! Kudos to you for being a good owner
 
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BannerBrat

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[SIZE=12pt]
Wow guys, thanks for all the replies. I'm going ot keep trying to figure this out.
[/SIZE]

I'll look into all you've brought up.
& hopefully we'll go around this block of some sort.

Thanks Guys!


Ash
 

BannerBrat

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[SIZE=12pt]Update: I just came inside for giving Banner a little workout. [/SIZE]

It's a little cooler today so I ground drove him around, working on keeping him stretched down and bending in his turns a little. & he did really good!


I felt along his back & side muscles & he didn't seem so, & didn't flinch. I know I'm not a chiropractor, but I thought it couldn't hurt.

But anyway I thought I'd give you guys an update, and in the future I'll remember this & look into the other reasons you've stated.

Thanks again Guys!

Ash
 
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