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Thread: Bum swinging

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Bum swinging

    By way of an update, he did the bum swinging twice over this weekend. On Sunday he was good as gold and stood quietly, but on Saturday he was demonstrating this behaviour again.
    Armed with the handle end of my hoofpick he did the usual and I let him move himself onto the end of the hoofpick handle just behind his ribs. He continued to move towards me and I had to shift out he way or I would have been squashed against the stable. He then did it again and I used the bristles of a hard brush, this time he slowed down but still continued to move into my space. He swished his tail both times, but it didn't stop him. One of the turns was him turning to watch some horses walk down the lane, but the other was just him. I watched his body language whilst he did it, there doesn't appear to be any aggressive indicators, ears look happy, tail quiet, he's not tense. I wondered if it was triggered by something I do that he doesn't like, but I couldn't identify anything. He definitely enjoys being groomed and he attention. He didn't try to raise a leg to me at all either, which he hasn't done in the past so I wouldn't expect him to.
    More work needed. I will keep trying. As I said previously he takes quite a lot so I'm not sure what to try next as a step up, given these things didn't seem to bother him. Further ideas are welcome!

  2. #22
    Old nag fburton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bum swinging

    Thanks for the update, LHIS. From you description it sounds more and more to me like the behaviour is in the "innocent bumbling" category.

    Were you silent when you tried to stop him swinging round? A growl, sharp "No!" or "Oi!" (without getting cross) at the same time as you prod him might be useful to get his attention, and would be a useful signal in future to use place of a physical counter.

    The other thing you could do independently (if you haven't already done so) is teach him to yield to pressure - to move over or back when asked. He'll understand much better what you want him to do (and not do) after lessons in yielding.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Bum swinging

    Quote Originally Posted by fburton View Post
    Thanks for the update, LHIS. From you description it sounds more and more to me like the behaviour is in the "innocent bumbling" category.

    Were you silent when you tried to stop him swinging round? A growl, sharp "No!" or "Oi!" (without getting cross) at the same time as you prod him might be useful to get his attention, and would be a useful signal in future to use place of a physical counter.

    The other thing you could do independently (if you haven't already done so) is teach him to yield to pressure - to move over or back when asked. He'll understand much better what you want him to do (and not do) after lessons in yielding.
    I half agree with you, but the fact that he knows he's bigger and stronger, and he has had bulldozer moments in the past (as mentioned previously he had evidently learnt his own strength before he came to me), and he's not stupid makes me think he knows full well what he's doing, and though its not aggressive it's him saying to me 'i'm in charge'.

    I have tried the odd 'no!' and 'oi!' and 'excuse me!' but I can't think that it's ever worked, once he's started the movement he nearly always see's it through. I have a dually headcollar for him, he understands yeilding to pressure, understands 'over', 'back' and I can move him to where I want him on the schooling ring. The bum swinging occurs when he's tied up on the normal ring (so not causing any pressure on the nose) so I can't use the schooling ring on him there. I have thought about holding him on the schooling ring and waiting for him to do it, and then using a sharp rap with the dually, but it seems too much like a punishment to me and I already know he will 'take' quite a lot so I'm not sure it will be of any benefit, plus I doubt he'd do it when I was holding him as he's only exhibited this behaviour when tied up to something. He will mess with the lead rope, tries to get the tied end in his mouth and lick it, can be fussy, but then at other times he stands quietly good as gold!
    Last edited by LHIS; 09-01-17 at 03:44 PM.

  4. #24
    Old nag fburton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bum swinging

    Quote Originally Posted by LHIS View Post
    I half agree with you, but the fact that he knows he's bigger and stronger, and he has had bulldozer moments in the past (as mentioned previously he had evidently learnt his own strength before he came to me), and he's not stupid makes me think he knows full well what he's doing, and though its not aggressive it's him saying to me 'i'm in charge'.
    Yes, clearly he knows that he can move and you will get out of the way without any consequences for him. One way or another you'll have to teach him that ain't gonna happen no more!

    I have tried the odd 'no!' and 'oi!' and 'excuse me!' but I can't think that it's ever worked, once he's started the movement he nearly always see's it through.
    It won't work on its own, unless it's so loud and/or unexpected you manage to give him a helluva fright. That wasn't what I had in mind. My suggestion is to pair the sound with an effective action, so that at some point he learns to respond to your voice alone without you having to get physical.

    I have a dually headcollar for him, he understands yeilding to pressure, understands 'over', 'back' and I can move him to where I want him on the schooling ring.
    Okay, but has he also learnt to yield to pressure at his hindquarters? Unfortunately, there isn't an equivalent of a dually for that end of a horse, but you can easily do this by niggling at the appropriate place with the end of a whip and stop niggling as soon as he moves. If he doesn't respond at all, you need to niggle harder - but just enough to get a response. The instant as he responds, release; timing is really important. Once he has learned to move his hindquarters laterally away from the whip, you can switch to using your fingers if you want. You don't need to drill this into him in one session; keep lessons short and repeat them from time to time.

    The bum swinging occurs when he's tied up on the normal ring (so not causing any pressure on the nose) so I can't use the schooling ring on him there. I have thought about holding him on the schooling ring and waiting for him to do it, and then using a sharp rap with the dually, but it seems too much like a punishment to me and I already know he will 'take' quite a lot so I'm not sure it will be of any benefit, plus I doubt he'd do it when I was holding him as he's only exhibited this behaviour when tied up to something. He will mess with the lead rope, tries to get the tied end in his mouth and lick it, can be fussy, but then at other times he stands quietly good as gold!
    That could work, but when punishing actions I think horses learn quicker the more directly related to their action the consequence is. So if swinging the bum leads to that bit of his body being uncomfortable so much the better. It does sound that the consequence needs to be quite severe in this case - which is why separate yielding lessons could be useful. They will make him pay more attention at the back end.

    Not sure if any of this is helpful, or goes beyond what you already know and have tried. I wish you success anyway!

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Bum swinging

    Thank you, it is helpful, if just to reinforce what I need to do. I will work on reminding the yielding to pressure tonight, will report back!

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Bum swinging

    Last night I spent 20mins or so reminding my horse about his obedience of the 'over' command. As mentioned previously he's clever, he instantly knew what I wanted and within about a minute I was able to move him over with just my voice and holding my arm out asking him to move away from it. He did it with ease on both sides, both turning on the forehand and as a lateral movement in walk. I'll keep doing this and introduce moving him around when he's tied up too. I'll report back once I have more news, wish me luck!

  7. #27
    Old nag fburton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bum swinging

    Sounds like you're on the right track. Hope this fixes the bum swinging!

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