Pictures Update on my oops moment...

CobletCymraeg

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30 August 2020
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149
Hello all!
Some of you may recall that after losing my heart horse, I found myself the owner of a 2 year old filly. She's been with me a week now, and I'd just thought I'd let you know how we are doing!

Loaded on the box after a little hesitation, but no real issues considering she hasn't done it before! Travelled back really well, and came off nice and calm. We've spent the week making friends and trying to learn to respect space! She can be a bit in your face and on top of you, but we are getting there. Trusts me now to do feet and touch all over. The only issue we have is around feed or hay being brought out to her paddock (individual due to yard rules)... She becomes a right madam and turns her bum on me! I have been chasing her away and not letting her near the food until she shows me nicer body language when this happens, but if anyone has any other advice, it will be gratefully received, as I am doubting my ability a bit here!

Below is a picture of us on our first walkies out together, where we saw and investigated some scary things that became less scary once I'd touched them.

Take care all xx

IMG-20210919-WA0001.jpg
 
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I know that this is probably really unhelpful advice due to your yard rule about individual turnout, but the best thing that is helping the yearling I am looking after with her manners is my grey mare. She really will take no nonsense from the filly and despite having a trainer out to help me with the filly, it really is the mare that is doing the work and I'm taking advantage of it.
 

CobletCymraeg

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30 August 2020
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I know that this is probably really unhelpful advice due to your yard rule about individual turnout, but the best thing that is helping the yearling I am looking after with her manners is my grey mare. She really will take no nonsense from the filly and despite having a trainer out to help me with the filly, it really is the mare that is doing the work and I'm taking advantage of it.
I know herd dynamics would help her a lot, but no one wants to buddy up, so I am having to be the other herd member when it comes to this. Everything else is going ok, and feed in the stable she's learnt to go back for me already, it's just in a paddock we forget our self.
 

Peglo

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Is it possible to chuck the bucket over the fence and wait until she’s finished before you go in to her? Before she can start any bad behaviours get the food down and leave her to it?
 
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What a shame that no-one will buddy up.

Maybe see if there is an IH trainer that covers your area? I did find the one who came to me helpful. Being shown the techniques in person by someone who's seen it all before and knows how to time any correction definitely worked.
 

Caol Ila

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This isn't what you want to hear, but if it's at all possible to find herd turn-out for your filly, please think about it.

Here's my cautionary tale, at any rate: my old horse (the one in my avatar) ended up on individual turn-out as a 2-year old. Her previous owner bought her from the breeder, and that was just her set-up. She had a couple horses, and each had its paddock. I bought the mare as a 7-year old, and her anti-social behavioural patterns were already established, unbeknownst to me until I put her in a herd, and then she caused chaos. She was sweet and pleasant towards humans, right up until the day she died, but she would chase horses, pin them in corners, try to beat the living sh1t out of them. We gave her chance; gave her a year in that herd. It didn't get better. She was dominant in temperament, and her equine social skills remained as horrendous as they started.

When I went to university, the barn at the uni had an individual turn-out option. After terrorizing a few herdmates, the barn staff told me she had to be on individual. She was more relaxed and not terrorizing anybody. That was 2001. She spent the rest of her life on individual turnout. More or less. By the time she was 26, she could cope with a suitably submissive buddy, but she could never be safely introduced to a herd.

When I lived in the US, this was a mildly annoying quirk, but individual turn-out is SOP in a lot of barns, so it was tolerable. But here, my God, it was the source of mindblowing amounts of stress, from 2006 to 2021. Livery yard hunting was like stabbing a fork into your eye. I stayed at a yard I hated for eight years because nothing else in the area offered suitable individual turn-out. When she stopped being ridable at age 28, I spent a lot of hours hand grazing her, but I knew our time was limited at that point. We were both lucky that she was ridable for so long. She was never a candidate for a long retirement. How do you retire a horse who can't spend all day out in a herd, being a horse?

I don't know for sure why she was the way she was, but they learn so many horsey skills as 2/3 year olds. My hypothesis is that she was a dominant mare by nature, and individual turn-out from age 2 to 7 got in the way of her developing the social skills to be a dominant mare in a safe and subtle way. When it came to dealing wih other horses in a field, she was neither.

I lived with that for 21 years, but I also swore I would never buy a horse with no horsey social skills again. When I got a 2-year old myself who had only ever been with her family herd (in every way imaginable, unfortunately), I realized that (a) her ability to speak 'horse' with strange horses was rubbish and (b) it was on me to set her up with a living situation that would enable her to develop those skills. It took three bloody yard moves to find the right place for her, but I can see her gaining so much confidence and maturity in her current herd.

The best way to set your horse up for success is get it out with a herd when it's still a baby. A youngstock herd is ideal, but an adult herd with patient horses who won't bully the youngster and who will teach it the ropes also works.
 
Last edited:

CobletCymraeg

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Joined
30 August 2020
Messages
149
This isn't what you want to hear, but if it's at all possible to find herd turn-out for your filly, please think about it.

Here's my cautionary tale, at any rate: my old horse (the one in my avatar) ended up on individual turn-out as a 2-year old. Her previous owner bought her from the breeder, and that was just her set-up. She had a couple horses, and each had its paddock. I bought the mare as a 7-year old, and her anti-social behavioural patterns were already established, unbeknownst to me until I put her in a herd, and then she caused chaos. She was sweet and pleasant towards humans, right up until the day she died, but she would chase horses, pin them in corners, try to beat the living sh1t out of them. We gave her chance; gave her a year in that herd. It didn't get better. She was dominant in temperament, and her equine social skills remained as horrendous as they started.

When I went to university, the barn at the uni had an individual turn-out option. After terrorizing a few herdmates, the barn staff told me she had to be on individual. She was more relaxed and not terrorizing anybody. That was 2001. She spent the rest of her life on individual turnout. More or less. By the time she was 26, she could cope with a suitably submissive buddy, but she could never be safely introduced to a herd.

When I lived in the US, this was a mildly annoying quirk, but individual turn-out is SOP in a lot of barns, so it was tolerable. But here, my God, it was the source of mindblowing amounts of stress, from 2006 to 2021. Livery yard hunting was like stabbing a fork into your eye. I stayed at a yard I hated for eight years because nothing else in the area offered suitable individual turn-out. When she stopped being ridable at age 28, I spent a lot of hours hand grazing her, but I knew our time was limited at that point. We were both lucky that she was ridable for so long. She was never a candidate for a long retirement. How do you retire a horse who can't spend all day out in a herd, being a horse?

I don't know for sure why she was the way she was, but they learn so many horsey skills as 2/3 year olds. My hypothesis is that she was a dominant mare by nature, and individual turn-out from age 2 to 7 got in the way of her developing the social skills to be a dominant mare in a safe and subtle way. When it came to dealing wih other horses in a field, she was neither.

I lived with that for 21 years, but I also swore I would never buy a horse with no horsey social skills again. When I got a 2-year old myself who had only ever been with her family herd (in every way imaginable, unfortunately), I realized that (a) her ability to speak 'horse' with strange horses was rubbish and (b) it was on me to set her up with a living situation that would enable her to develop those skills. It took three bloody yard moves to find the right place for her, but I can see her gaining so much confidence and maturity in her current herd.

The best way to set your horse up for success is get it out with a herd when it's still a baby. A youngstock herd is ideal, but an adult herd with patient horses who won't bully the youngster and who will teach it the ropes also works.
I agree with you totally in that it would help her immensely. Unfortunately, most of the horses at the yard are how you described your first mare, and the rest of the owners don't want the risk of injury etc caused by another. It has only been a week, so I'm still working on it!
 

I'm Dun

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20 May 2021
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642
I agree with you totally in that it would help her immensely. Unfortunately, most of the horses at the yard are how you described your first mare, and the rest of the owners don't want the risk of injury etc caused by another. It has only been a week, so I'm still working on it!
In that case I'd look to move yards or send her off to a decent youngstock livery. My youngster is 3.5yrs now and hes home for the summer, but he will go back to youngstock livery in the winter, hes spent large periods of time out on a large acreage with other babies and a couple of nannies. Hes home at the minute as I've been doing some pre backing work with him and have a very playful, ex stallion who plays for hours with him but keeps him in line. He will come home again next summer and his 4yr old winter will probably be his last with out with the youngsters, but I will play it by ear.

Hes the most chilled out, mannerly pony, but if he'd been on individual turnout he probably wouldnt have turned out that way.
 

twiggy2

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Highlands from Essex
I agree herd turnout is needed in the meantime bring her in, put the hay out and leave her to eat. Does she have access to good quality ad lib hay? Also catch her and feed in the stable just stop the behaviour hapoening rather than trying to manage it when it does.
Leave her to eat rather than creating conflict, you have only had her a week.
I once worked with a 2yr old who had been kept in a stable and small yard alone since weaning, she had been given a bale of hay everywhere day and as she got bigger it was gone in a day so she then stood without for a long time, she was given ad lib hay and turned out to a field full of grass and eventually (months later) settled but she could never be left without as if she got hungry the w bad behaviour would return. In the field she got a hefty kick and needed treating on the first day but she settled pretty fast out there.
 

Antw23uk

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Behind you
She is beautiful but poor thing, individual turnout and 2yrs old! No, she needs better. For her own best interests you should ideally have her out in a herd or the very least with a companion. You have plenty of years to play with her and take her for walks and rides, but for now she needs to be kept in a more suitable environment.
 
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With the yearling that I am looking after, it was easier because I own the other three horses in the herd so I had full control of how things were for the introduction.

I put an electric fence across a paddock and made sure that there was more than one water source the side that the yearling was going in.

Originally I was going to have the yearling and my chestnut mare one side and the gelding and the grey mare in the other half of the paddock. However it soon became clear that that was not going to work and I ended up having my three one side and the yearling on her own. Sometimes you have to be flexible to prevent injuries.

After a few days my horses calmed down a lot. I then took away the electric fence (about 12 days after she arrived) so all four were in the paddock. I left the extra water containers just in case but essentially they were now one herd.

I have now moved them to a different paddock and they all bimble around happily. The yearling has definitely been helped so much by the others. It really is noticeable. Even things like being pleased to see people has rubbed off on her. The grey is stopping her from being too big for her boots too.
 

PurBee

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When my horses came back from (not great) ‘loan’ the young 18month gelding, now having been with more horses in a herd-type situation became bolshy when feeding in the field.
Bear in mind, he wasnt handled much if at all at this herd home so became somewhat ‘wild’. He’d been gelded at 12 months.
Because he was the youngest in the herd, he presumably had been kept back by older herd mates from food given - so when i started, in wintertime this was, giving hay in the field, he’d run up and turn at me, mimicking herd aggressive behaviour to get ME away from the food.
He never did this behaviour before going on loan into herd. He saw me as ‘smaller’ so perfect to practice his new herd skills on!
This took me aback at the time as i had done loads of groundwork handling as a youngster with this gelding, and it seemed like he had retroverted to unhandled wild….(he also bit me when leading him upon return too, something he’d never done to a human. I never got the full story what happened in that loan home)
I recognised this language he was telling me so next hay feed i went in field with a lunge whip.
They ran to me for the hay, as usual, and then before putting the hay down, i swooshed the whip forward to keep them back, saying ‘back’ - they knew this word from the groundwork handling.
Only when they were calm standing there at a 6 foot or so distance from me/food, did i put the hay on the ground, then i kept them back again, pointing lunge into the space between us, just momentarily (my behaviour guarding food for a moment to establish first and foremost this is ‘my’ food, aka ‘im the dominant in this herd’ ) then i would side turn and step away, draw lunge whip to my side and say ‘come on’ inviting them in to eat.

They were both ears forward listening as this was all ‘new’ to them. Luckily the curiosity about what i was doing trumped the geldings aggressive habit so he really was listening to me. If he had been spinning and kicking i would have resumed using the lunge between us to keep him back for as long as it took until he was standing still, looking towards me, before giving food.
There were only 2 horses to do this with. The other older mare was compliant and calm anyway, so i was really doing this with the gelding knowing she was not food aggressive with me.

This worked so well that the 2nd time, next day, i went in to feed with lunge whip, he remembered and automatically stopped a distance away from me, waited for food to be put down, and then i paused again by food, so he didnt get in the habit to charge into my space at food once its on the ground, then i stepped back and invited them in to eat. It went so smootly, time 3 the lunge wasnt necessary really, and time 4 i didnt have the lunge, just used my arm pointing at him ‘back’ voice, and then that progressed to him being calm around other horses and people when food was around.

Have a stick/lunge to keep a 6 foot distance, and use it at feeding times, as many times as it takes until the horse gets it, to come, stand calmly, wait for food to be given instead of charging at you for food.
 

CobletCymraeg

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Joined
30 August 2020
Messages
149
When my horses came back from (not great) ‘loan’ the young 18month gelding, now having been with more horses in a herd-type situation became bolshy when feeding in the field.
Bear in mind, he wasnt handled much if at all at this herd home so became somewhat ‘wild’. He’d been gelded at 12 months.
Because he was the youngest in the herd, he presumably had been kept back by older herd mates from food given - so when i started, in wintertime this was, giving hay in the field, he’d run up and turn at me, mimicking herd aggressive behaviour to get ME away from the food.
He never did this behaviour before going on loan into herd. He saw me as ‘smaller’ so perfect to practice his new herd skills on!
This took me aback at the time as i had done loads of groundwork handling as a youngster with this gelding, and it seemed like he had retroverted to unhandled wild….(he also bit me when leading him upon return too, something he’d never done to a human. I never got the full story what happened in that loan home)
I recognised this language he was telling me so next hay feed i went in field with a lunge whip.
They ran to me for the hay, as usual, and then before putting the hay down, i swooshed the whip forward to keep them back, saying ‘back’ - they knew this word from the groundwork handling.
Only when they were calm standing there at a 6 foot or so distance from me/food, did i put the hay on the ground, then i kept them back again, pointing lunge into the space between us, just momentarily (my behaviour guarding food for a moment to establish first and foremost this is ‘my’ food, aka ‘im the dominant in this herd’ ) then i would side turn and step away, draw lunge whip to my side and say ‘come on’ inviting them in to eat.

They were both ears forward listening as this was all ‘new’ to them. Luckily the curiosity about what i was doing trumped the geldings aggressive habit so he really was listening to me. If he had been spinning and kicking i would have resumed using the lunge between us to keep him back for as long as it took until he was standing still, looking towards me, before giving food.
There were only 2 horses to do this with. The other older mare was compliant and calm anyway, so i was really doing this with the gelding knowing she was not food aggressive with me.

This worked so well that the 2nd time, next day, i went in to feed with lunge whip, he remembered and automatically stopped a distance away from me, waited for food to be put down, and then i paused again by food, so he didnt get in the habit to charge into my space at food once its on the ground, then i stepped back and invited them in to eat. It went so smootly, time 3 the lunge wasnt necessary really, and time 4 i didnt have the lunge, just used my arm pointing at him ‘back’ voice, and then that progressed to him being calm around other horses and people when food was around.

Have a stick/lunge to keep a 6 foot distance, and use it at feeding times, as many times as it takes until the horse gets it, to come, stand calmly, wait for food to be given instead of charging at you for food.
This is kind of what I've been doing, reassuring to know I'm on the right lines, thank you
 

CobletCymraeg

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Joined
30 August 2020
Messages
149
She is beautiful but poor thing, individual turnout and 2yrs old! No, she needs better. For her own best interests you should ideally have her out in a herd or the very least with a companion. You have plenty of years to play with her and take her for walks and rides, but for now she needs to be kept in a more suitable environment.
Easy tiger! I've had her a week, she's in a paddock of the middle of lots to be introduced with a fence between them to start, and I've put a request up to see if anyone is willing to buddy up ASAP, whilst looking for alternatives if this is not going to happen. I am aware it's not ideal right now, and I am doing my best for her in the circumstances I find myself in. It's not the solitary confinement you're making it out to be, and the reason for walks etc is to keep her occupied and introduce her to her new home and the others around whilst she isn't in a massive herd
 
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