Friday, January 7, 2011


Have a question for anyone out there that might be reading.
My Mr. Gentle Gemini has not been so gentle the past couple days.
I have been trying to work with him and my mare on their herdy habit!
My mare did good for the most part.  Only got a little nervous around the truck and when she saw Gem.
I started on Wednesday of this week with the same way I started with her.
Except I could not get him to move an inch!  I tried with the bit in and with just the halter and lead.
I even had a convincer and he still wouldn't move.
He instead decided to throw his head, pin his ears and try to bite me!
I kept trying, didn't give up.  Got frustrated and left him alone for a bit.  Went back to him and he started the same thing.  I put the mare inside and he was finally convinced to move!
By this time I was so tired, we worked for a few minutes more and I turned him loose.
I went out again yesterday with some determination and he did the same thing but much worse.
He chased my mare everywhere, he bucked and kicked at her.  She turned around and kicked him!  Bugger deserved it after picking on her!
I thought we should end it for the day and try again today.  Oh boy!  I either really made him mad or he is hurting somewhere and I can't see it.
I went back out to see if he would at least let me near him to see if I could feel any sore spots. Couldn't feel any but right behind his right front leg makes him pin his ears and try to bite.  He got ahold of my coat this time!!  Good thing I have a baggy carhart, otherwise he would have had my arm too!
So my question(s) is this.  Is this a sign that he's angry with me?  Is he in pain?  What is it? Is he thinking I am trying to take him away from her?  Please give advice.


  1. I rarely offer horse advice, and probably won't this time either. I've only been at this for five years, and still feel that I don't know much.

    With that said, it sounds like normal herd behavior. While we as humans find it annoying when one horse "picks" on another, it is simply their normal social behavior. And when a human walks into the mix, they simply view us as another member of the herd. The key is ensuring that we are on top of the pecking order. I read something by John Lyons once where he stated that if a horse ever bites you or tries to hurt you in another manner, you should spend the next three seconds convincing them that you are going to kill them. Not hurt them, just scare them. They must know that such behavior is never acceptable.

    Do you do any ground work your horses? I've found it to be key to establishing the acceptable norms for their behavior when I am not on the saddle.

  2. I agree with the above poster Paula. It sounds like Gemini is being a jerk and you need to get after him. Next time he pulls that crap and tries to nip or pin his ears, get after him. A loud "NO" or "HEY" will get his attention. And also grab a hold of his lead and back him up quickly and show him you are in charge. I wondered about him being in pain but sounds unlikely. He is testing you big time. Hold your ground. Don't put up with his pushing you around. Horses learn REAL quickly when you are intimidated around them and not feeling in charge. Horses like to feel secure and you need to show him things are good and you are the one in charge.
    I hope this helps. I have a gelding who was a real nipper and dork about stuff but after a few "sailor" talk sessions with him when he tried to nip, he quit and respects me. I refuse to put up with this type of behavior and any disrespectful horse who acts this way around me is in for it. Just sayin'............

  3. Buckskin
    Thank you for the insight into the herd behavior. I didn't look at it that way. I didn't think they would treat me being a human as part of their pecking order. I have a friend that also read a lot of John Lyons and has made some suggestions of his own training be it horse or human. I will have to look for some of his books.
    I was working on the ground work while he was doing his unacceptable behavior. Being consistent from what I've heard is one of the most important things I can give them. I go out every day in the morning to let them out and feed. That is my time to say good morning and check them over. Thanks to my friend she told me to take something in my hand that I can swing around. He knows the consequence is he gets smacked in the face if he were to nip at me. It works! Yeah!
    Anyhow thank you for commenting.
    How are things in your area? Loved the video of your horses ears tuning in.

  4. Amy
    I thought he might be trying to bully or buffalo me! What a jerk! I will learn all this stuff with time just as you have. I've tried to make sure I have friends in this area to ask for help too. One of which use to own my mare. She came out on Friday to give me some pointers and help me to get him past his "I'm not moving!" behavior. He's a been there done that trail riding horse that came from a riding camp, then to the U.P to a group of geldings where the pecking order is pretty mean and he was low man in the order. Now he's with my mare. I have to learn to be harder, not the softy that I normally am and not take his crap! I don't want him to think he's the ruler. He tested Denny too and found out that he was not the boss!
    Thank you for your advice, it sure does help! I just may be calling you to find out what exactly you used to correct your gelding. Sailor talk? Do they understand that? he he he
    Hope all is well with you and the rest of the family.
    Thanks again Amy