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Discuss How do you know if your horse likes his job? at the Horse Training forum - Horse Forums.

I see people saying that it's important that your horse like his job. I totally ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member+ DancingArabian's Avatar
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    Jan 2011

    How do you know if your horse likes his job?

    I see people saying that it's important that your horse like his job. I totally agree! However, unless it's very obvious, how can you tell if your horse does NOT like his job? Or even that he does?

    Example 1: Handsome OTTB gelding. Stunning jumper. Old owner said he hated jumping so she sold him as a dressage horse. He didn't refuse jumps and had won ribbons in jumping and eventing.

    Example 2: Handsome OTTB gelding (a different one). Owner says he hates dressage but loves being ridden as a show hunter. She is going to sell him because of this web though she loves him to death and talking about it males her cry.

    What are signs that a horse loves or hates their work?

  2. #2
    Senior Member xoxchickletxox's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    well, how excited they get.

    when jumping i can really tell.. chick does jumper and loves running, so she "speeds" up, even if theres jumps in the arena that i dont wanna go over.. also she only like little "fun" jumps, if the jumps are big (over 2 feet) she doesnt wanna do it, she will refuse or just go slowly and grumply over it avan though she can easly clear 4 feet ( she has a few times in the past, and can free jump 5 feet and clear it) but when we do "boring" flat work you i can tell.. she gets grumpy.. next day she doesnt wanna be cought.. and she gets bored and destacted easly

    peanut you cant really tell enless you know him.. he has just little things.. for barrels and jumping even though he SUCKS at them you can tell he like to do it, once again he gets more excited, his ears always look at the jump ect, and if you just walk him on a loose rein and let him go were he wants he will walk over the jumps that one comfuses alot of people because he does act like hes going to refuse but never does (hes just learning) same with trail riding his trail goes up when he gets to gallop (even though he sucks at that too) and just walking ect, he sees things and wants to check them out, he starts walking a bit faster and slowly drifts over to go see it.. but then again, arena work, and ground work he HATES! he will do it.. but theres just no "spark" in him at all!

  3. #3
    Senior Member+ FoxyRoxy1507's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Hawthorne, FL
    i can always tell if a horse likes his/her job by their reactions and their ears! if they never have those floppy bunny ears and never relax then they prob dont like what they are doing. if i dont feel they have spring in their step or they run from you when you try to catch them or just overall look unhappy doing what they are doing. if you ride a horse and do one thing and they seem fine but feel completely diff when you ask them to do something else then they prob dont like it (and i dont mean horses that are just being lazy or stubborn)

    for instance my eventer hates dressage but loves cross country, he'll do the dressage bc he has to but it takes a while for him to relax and get the bunny ears and i have to get at him a little to pay attention and focus more whereas if he sees a jump the ears prick forward and he gets a bunch springier step and pulls towards the jumps but not in a rushy way.

    for my jumper hes not too fond of dressage either but he'll do it, but he HATES xcountry. I can make him if i use a lot of leg up to the fence but he never relaxes and his ears are always rigid, if i try to much he will dead stop and not take one more step forward so i dont make him.

    i had an old dressage horse that was abused a lot during her show days and training, she was very talented so they pushed her too hard. anytime she got near a dressage ring or anything that looked like an arena with out anything in it she would jig and start sweating and panic.. so we turned her into a hunter. she was fabulous and you could just feel all the tenseness in her body just leave and she got very swingy in her movement and would actually breathe and get the floppy ears.
    Swoop- 16.1h TB jumper/dressage horse
    Petey- 16.3h TB eventer
    Look like a SUPERSTAR, Ride like a FOUR STAR, Win like a ROCKSTAR

  4. #4
    Senior Member+

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    Jul 2005
    Southern California
    The signs... the horse would have or display an positive attitude about it's working habits, in which would render an productive consistent performances over time.
    Horses with these type of traits of quality will sometimes be overly drilled to the point where they will possibly go sour because of the constant drilling of the training process from an trainer or rider.
    At times, these same horses would do good to be expose to other forms of riding or work every so often as a way to keep them keen on learning.

    It would be obvious when they hate their job.
    There would be an poor attitude with its performances filled with ressistance to any or all training instructions until a change can come about.
    Sometimes people will pick a chosen riding discipline because it really favors the owner and not the horse.
    Considerations should be made on what the animal does best in and that would call for an open minded owner/rider, trainer to help with this discovery.

    I hope this insight helps.

  5. #5
    slc is offline
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    Spinnaker likes this.

  6. #6
    Senior Member+ Rockyhorse's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    If they don't constantly call in sick or ask for a raise.
    "Training a horse is a rational gymnastics course." Nuno Oliveira

  7. #7
    Senior Member+ LiveLoveRide's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    North Carolina
    Nagi loves his job. Specifically, the jumping part His little ears are always pricked up, and if I don't steer him in the ring, he'll take me to the jumps

    I don't think he minds dressage, but I'm pretty sure he'd be happy if we could just run and jump all day every day. If he were pinning his ears, swishing his tail, bucking, being overly mouth, getting sour, etc. I would definitely think that he didn't like his job.
    2002 Thoroughbred x Paint Gelding
    Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

  8. #8
    Senior Member+ Silver Georgia's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    South Georgia
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    Of course Miss Angel would be the black sheep of the group... She pins her ears. She gets SUPER aggressive and focused on what she's doing. When we run barrels, get her in the chute and she has her ears pricked and wide eyes and is ready to go but as soon as I click to her she pins her ears flat to her head and takes care of business. And she KNOWS if she has a good run. She prances around and whinnies and sticks her chest out, has alert ears and DARES another horse to challenge her.

    She does the same when she works cattle.

    George on the other hand, is SUPER hard to read if you don't know him that well. He's so laid back you wouldn't think he got excited about ANYTHING. But he does. He LOVES to ride with new horses that he's never ridden with before. But he also likes to ride with horses he knows but doesn't get to see all the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by EventerNic6187 View Post
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    Wimpy's Silver Slide AQHA mare RIP George Grade pally gelding
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  9. #9
    Senior Member+ LiveLoveRide's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    North Carolina
    ^^haha she has to get aerodynamic!!!!
    Silver Georgia likes this.
    2002 Thoroughbred x Paint Gelding
    Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

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