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Crabby baby

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1 Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:56 pm

uno

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Some of you may recall that this past May a little filly was born here. Chevy. She was weaned before I would have liked, due to the mother losing vast amounts of weight.

Chevy is alone in her pen, but within sight of another horse. Her mother is not on our property (at stable). Chevy has learned some basic things. She does not approach too close at feed time and DOES NOT approach her food while anyone is standing there. Human in range, horse does not eat.

She has learned to pick her feet up for the farrier, although she is not overly patient for it. Wiggles a lot.

She walks on lead but barges ahead and every now and then thinks about taking off, although has not. She stands still when approached with lead rope in hand.

She swings her bum away from you. More or less heads on when approached.

But when handling her, brushing her, she always has her ears pinned with a miserable look on her face. I do not know what I am doing wrong? At this age (10 months) she does not get the concept of lunging so it's not like I can 'work' this attitude out. Not like I know how to lunge a horse anyway, although I have taught her everything else she knows. And obvioulsy, I have taught her something bad since she thinks she gets to make grumpy faces at me all the time.

Is this a baby thing? She is constantly trying to chew/mouth my fingers or sleeve and is constantly getting shooed away for that. What am I doing wrong and how can I curb what I feel is bad attitude/behaviour. Also, at feed time, she does the trotting, head shaking thing as you approach with food. However she does this well out of range, because if she does that anywhere near me, she gets whacked! There will be NO agressive behaviour anyhwere near a human! But still I do get a grumpy demeanour most of the time and pinned ears, pinched nose. Yet despite this cranky look, she approaches anyone who stands at her gate, quite sociable. Any advice?

2 Re: Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:13 pm

triplejfarms

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Last edited by triplejfarms on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:25 pm; edited 2 times in total

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3 Re: Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:04 pm

Schipperkesue

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Uno, is she doing anything else to make you think she is not enjoying the brushing? Could her face not be reflecting her thoughts? I know that you can 'read' a horse by its body language but since she was separated from mom early perhaps her body language is not quite true to form.

In this quote you mention another behavior I would attribute to a baby separated early from her mom.

[/quote="uno"]Is this a baby thing? She is constantly trying to chew/mouth my fingers or sleeve and is constantly getting shooed away for that.[/quote]

So my guess is your baby is just learning to be a big girl.

4 Re: Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:21 pm

uno

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Sue, while she makes bad faces and pins ears during brushing, she does not attempt to move off. I have sort of taught her not to move off when I'm handling her. For being 10 months old, all the brushing and hoof picking that happens, she is not in halter, no lead rope so technically she is at liberty to leave. But she does not. If I am brushing or picking her feet she stays where she is until I leave her. That's the rule.

So I get a lot of attitudinal ear pinning and nose pinching, but she does not stomp off, does not run when I approach her and only makes threatening gestures (head shaking) when she is wayyyy over there, not up close.

I wish I wasn't so dumb about horses. They confuzzle me.

5 Re: Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:39 pm

mirycreek

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im thinking testing behaviour and dissing you just a little bit?...think of your dog growling at you when you take something away from it or your kids making faces behind your back....
My thought is that maybe you need to assert your dominance a little more so you get a little more respect? Just little stuff like not letting her walk ahead of you on the lead and never letting her push or lean on you are important.
I have never been a fan of hitting a horse when they nibble or chew on you, a swift tug on lead shank seems better but I have heard of cases where people have held a pokey object and when they nibble you they get jabbed with it (but not swatted,) then they think they caused the pain...
When you are working farther back on a horse they do have their ears lower so they can hear you but if they are pinned back I would take that as a threatening or at least lack of respect sign.



http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

6 Re: Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:47 pm

coopslave

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Uno, they all have their own personalities, this may just be hers. Some are very sensitive to touch and personal space. I have a new horse and she doesn't trust easily, has a big bubble for personal space and she is not over keen on being touched but allows it cause she is a good girl. Make sure you use a firm touch in case she is a bit ticklish. A ticklish horse does not enjoy a soft touch.

If she is showing that type of behaviour, even away from the food, dont allow her to have it until she is 'nice' to you. Stand and 'claim' the food until she comes quietly with ears forward looking sweet. She will get it quickly.

Some of what you say sounds baby and other sounds a bit like tesing the waters for later behaviours. Remember mums don't put up with bad stuff and neither should you.

She sounds cute, would love to see pictures of her.

Oh, I ment to say I have never been a fan of hitting a head of a nibbler. If they nibble I pinch their lips as hard as I can. Just make it uncomfortable when they do it. If I do get a horse that is really a biter, like truly lips peeled back biter, I do hit them in the muzzle as hard as I can but I have only ever come across 2 of them in 40 years.



Last edited by coopslave on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

7 Re: Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:53 pm

mirycreek

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tickling her, ;yes that could be the ticket!
stop that tickling Uno! Laughing
Some horses really do seem ticklish but usually their hide twitches as you brush over it?!

http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

8 Re: Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:58 pm

coopslave

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mirycreek wrote:
.
I have never been a fan of hitting a horse when they nibble or chew on you, a swift tug on lead shank seems better but I have heard of cases where people have held a pokey object and when they nibble you they get jabbed with it (but not swatted,) then they think they caused the pain...


Miry I have heard of something similar. What I heard was that they held a stick or similar thing and when the horse nipped they would give then a light whack on the shins of the front legs. Again just associating the behaviour with something else that is uncomfortable but not in the head. I haven't tried this, just heard about it.

9 Re: Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:10 pm

Schipperkesue

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I think if you plan to give a horse a smack for bad behavior it is important that the horse associate the pain and startle with its actions, not with a human.

Don't let him know YOU did it!

10 Re: Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:14 pm

coopslave

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Schipperkesue wrote:I think if you plan to give a horse a smack for bad behavior it is important that the horse associate the pain and startle with its actions, not with a human.

Don't let him know YOU did it!

I agree with that for somethnig like pawing when tied (I throw rocks at them for that Very Happy ), but if it bites or kicks me it is going to know that I DID IT and that I MENT IT!

*the throwing rocks thing sounds bad, what I do is toss small pebble at their butts to startle them out of pawing.....no horses or other animals where harmed with this activity. Embarassed

11 Re: Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:17 pm

heda gobbler

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Both my young horses were very ticklish when being brushed - almost to 2 years old. They would try to grab the brush in their mouth, put their ears back, but not move off. Firm not too gentle did help. But don't give up! Now one loves it, the other you can tell is still ticklish but stands and is polite about it.

I find young horses often try to know the world through their mouths - lipping or nibbling everything. It isn't necessarily mean, just shouldn't be tolerated.

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

12 Re: Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:20 pm

Schipperkesue

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coopslave wrote:
Schipperkesue wrote:I think if you plan to give a horse a smack for bad behavior it is important that the horse associate the pain and startle with its actions, not with a human.

Don't let him know YOU did it!

I agree with that for somethnig like pawing when tied (I throw rocks at them for that Very Happy ), but if it bites or kicks me it is going to know that I DID IT and that I MENT IT!

*the throwing rocks thing sounds bad, what I do is toss small pebble at their butts to startle them out of pawing.....no horses or other animals where harmed with this activity. Embarassed

I do something similar with barking puppies- throwing a chain or a tin of pennies beside them startles the out of bark-mode.

13 Re: Crabby baby on Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:25 pm

coopslave

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Uno, have a look at #4. I tried to copy it and it would not let me.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I am not a John Lyons disciple but I do agree with some things he says. John Lyons says if a horse kicks or bites you have 3 seconds to make him think you are going to kill him then go back to what you were doing.

14 Re: Crabby baby on Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:18 pm

uno

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Thanks everyone.

Tried a different approach today. Decided to brush the fuzzy baby. As I was brushing, if her ears were pinned, I put my hand on the top of her head and asked her to drop her head. When she did I praised (voice and shoulder rub) and went back to brushing. If the ears went back, I made the head drop. Guess what? Not long before her attitude seemed in a better place. It was all very low key and quiet, just my hand on her head and down...praise...back to brushing.

There may be hope for us yet.

15 Re: Crabby baby on Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:58 am

mirycreek

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that sounds neat, what a good idea Uno! its just like kids, advice is good but we know our own ones best and usually figure out the best way to deal with them on our own...
We still want pics.... Very Happy

http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

16 Re: Crabby baby on Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:45 am

heda gobbler

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Well said Miry Creek! And well done Uno....

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

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