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Pony keeps walking away from me in stable
15

MyLifeNow20 · 21/12/2021 22:15

Does anyone have any suggestions please. She can be a bit of a mare! When I try and put her headcollar on to lead her out and muck out weve started having a battle where I will go in she turns her back and we go round and round in circles, its annoying.
Sometimes I just stand there and wait for her to come to me which she will do occasionally, other times I resort to treats but feel like im praising bad behaviour.
Can anyone help please

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Takemine · 21/12/2021 22:25

Are you scared of her?

I don't understand why you're not putting one hand where the noseband would go and just moving with her while sliding headcollar on.

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MyLifeNow20 · 21/12/2021 22:29

I have lost confidence yes.
As soon as I go into stable with headcollar she starts moving around and showing me her back end.
I have also noticed she is more grumpy when there is no hay in field and no grass so shes brought in and theres a haynet and then I turn up to muck out and she doesnt want to be tied up

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liveforsummer · 22/12/2021 08:29

You could treat before she turns away then you aren't rewarding bad behaviour (providing she's not one that turns nippy of you give treats). Personally though I'd just grab rug at neck as soon as you enter if she turns away just walk swiftly and confidently as if you hesitate that's when she'll have the chafe right start playing games. Definitely nothing to be gained by chasing round in circles. Can you give a hay net when you tie up? Tbh I often just muck out around them though

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lastqueenofscotland · 22/12/2021 09:33

Horses aren’t meant to be left for long periods of time with no forage so if she’s out in a field all day with none I’d be scoping for ulcers.
But to be blunt you need to grow a pair really, and be a bit firmer. Yes to grabbing the rug and being a bit firmer with her.
But she might be more willing if she doesn’t associate head collar with turnout which basically is not being fed for hours

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Takemine · 22/12/2021 17:01

I think you need to see what she does with someone more experienced. Does she immediately back down or is there some aggro that you may not be able to handle safely. It sounds like a firm word and giving her a more pleasant life would be key, but you need to know this horse doesn't get nasty if you show her who's boss. My horses and my daughter's horses might be aggravating but our response is 'Stop being so ridiculous, stand STILL! Thank you!" And laugh about it. If they were allowed to keep up with no input they might get very bossy and unpleasant, I suppose. But we can be like that because we know the horses don't have a nasty gear beyond our ability to handle. If I thought there was more to come i would call for more skilled reinforcements rather than allowing it to unfold.

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MyLifeNow20 · 22/12/2021 19:08

Thank you. She has a big bale in the field today. She hasnt been going out much recently because the fields are so muddy so hasnt been standing there for long periods of time but she is also very greedy too.

I am going to try and grab her rug, hadnt thought of that. I do tell her to stand still, sometimes she listens, sometimes she doesnt!

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pappydeb · 27/12/2021 12:10

Try just spending time in the stable with her, don’t attempt to do anything just hang out, offer a carrot and leave,
Do this a few times then put the head collar on offer a carrot and take it off and leave.
What’s happening is your only going in to put a head collar on and take her out and she obviously doesn’t like it, could be she’s had a bad experience or associates it with pain.
Your not re enforcing bad behaviour because horses minds don’t work that way, they are reactive..so you have get around it with kindness and treats.

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WildFlowerBees · 30/12/2021 20:07

My new pony was very anxious and she in turn picked up on my anxiety. I had some coaching and he taught me to step back whilst she was doing something I didn't like and as soon as she stood still I'd give her a few seconds then give her a scratch on her withers which she loves give her praise then try again. It took a few days but she's a totally different pony so sweet and I'm not afraid of her at all now.

I also would put her headcollar on then take it off give her praise then do it again, did this a few times over a few days, now she lowers her head for me so I can do up the buckle.

I don't follow the 'show her who's boss' stance I work with her and it's paid off she's a dream now.

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Elieza · 30/12/2021 20:15

She’s fly as a bag of monkeys!

Give her the treat and before she turns away to escape you, get her nose in the head collar.

If you can’t do that, in future give her the treat with one hand and grab her forelock with the other before she turns away and put the hand you fed her with on her nose (in the noseband area) quickly before she can turn away from you. Mine would generally give up at that point once he felt my hand on his face and I’d get the head collar on. Then he was fine.

Greed generally helps.

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Shinychestnuts · 30/12/2021 21:40

I would go back to basics with this one. Turning her bum to you is very disrespectful. It could potentially get quite dangerous if it develops and she could eventually kick.someone in the head who happens to put a feed or water bucket down at the wrong moment.

I would tackle this outside of the stable with ground work. Do a little every day. Teach her to step aside, manoeuvre her quarters out of the way while her head faces you. All the basic patterns. She should eventually be able to do this with a loose rope and minimal, light touches.

Personally, I rarely use treats, especially with a greedy horse as it can encourage the barginess.

Obviously you have to get her out of the stable to to do the training Grin, so I would get some help with that from an expert, don't struggle on your own. I would take the opportunity to give her a health check too. See if she has any stiffness in her neck, or has hurt her poll. Obviously a headcollar shouldn't be hurting her teeth but she may associate it with being ridden, so you could get her teeth checked too. Just check basically that the defensive behaviour is definitely associated with food and she is not protecting herself from pain.

Another idea: maybe you could get her tied up elsewhere without a hay net and once she can stand politely, with a slow feed hay net. Extend the period of times she does this? Then transfer that behaviour to the stable? Then loose in the stable?

This may take a bit of patience and time to get right. And if you are able to do this, I would vary the time and manner in which she is fed (as long as she doesn't go too long without obviously) and mix up the routine a bit so she doesn't get in to too much of a froth around feed time. Also, add more interest to her day where possible. Good luck.

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MyLifeNow20 · 30/12/2021 21:51

She has been much better this week. I have walked straight in and put my hand around her nose and put her headcoller on with no issues.

Thankyou everyone, I am a nervous rider but went out today with some friends for a good hack and now feel great and want to keep this up!

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MyLifeNow20 · 30/12/2021 21:54

Wildflowers, I did that the other day, just stood with her and put headcollar on and took it off several times, she was fine!

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Shinychestnuts · 30/12/2021 22:01

Oh well that sounds much more positive! Well done op!

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Chickenfarmer4 · 30/12/2021 22:11

Easily solved: handful treats. Go in, give her a treat and a Pat, go out. Repeat, bringing in the head collar with you. Next time, when she’s happy with everything else, rub her with the rope. Next time, loop it over her neck. Then put the head collar near her face. Finally, put it on. Give her a treat and a cuddle.

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CaptainCarp · 30/12/2021 22:19

My old horse didn't really like people in her stable with her. She got better over the years with me but had her moments when she wasn't keen. We think it was related to some vet work she had when she was young.
I used to put her head collar on over the door.

Sounds like yours was picking up on your nerves when you entered the stable.
Glad you've been out for a good hack & she's responding to your firmer approach.

I always say for confidence "Fake it until you make it"

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