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The Answer's Not Love

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She writes...

Hello Marv, I have been reading your website and I am SO happy I found your site.

I'm so happy you found my site as well!

I've been trying to find advice on how to correct a situation between me and my 19 year old gelding. Basically he is the love of my life and I think that I have spoiled him and now its my fault that he walks over me, and is respecting me less and less.

I'm slap et up with advice and some of it is even pretty good. Here is some in a nutshell, stop spoiling him, stop loving him.

Horses don't love no matter what anyone tells you. You can see this very quickly by taking your horse and your Labrador Retriever on down to the nearest. Leave them on the beach, swim out to the middle and when you have gone down for the thirteenth time call them. My money is on the Lab. Now, if you wave a feed bucket, that might, and I do stress "might" influence Ol' Dobbin, but I'd still go with the Lab.

Somewhere in the slug of pages on my website I go into the purpose of the herd. The herd does not exist for the herd. It exists for the benefit of the individual. All peace, all comfort, all safety is found in the herd. When you are in the herd there are more eyes to watch for danger, more ears to listen for danger and you can eat, drink and sleep longer. In the herd you never have to outrun any predators, you only have to outrun the slowest member of the herd. When you are alone, you HAVE to outrun the predator.

Now, all of these perks come with a price. That price is called the pecking order. The pecking order consists of one word - MINE! If you want whatever, you simply say, "Mine!" If you have the ability to claim and keep, whatever it is, then you have a place in the pecking order. All the horses in the herd who cannot overcome your ability are below you. All the horses who can overcome your claim, are above you.

If no herd member can overcome your claim then you are the herd leader. You are known as the Alpha. Few people know the term for the low horse on the totem pole who can't hold any claim it makes from any herd member. That horse is the Omega.

Even though the Omega is the low horse in the herd it is content. Why? Because, as we said earlier, all peace, all comfort, all security is found in the herd. Better to be in the herd than out of it.

Last night for the first time he bit me. I cant tell you how shocked and heart broken I am, I took him away from a barn where he was very unhappy and not treated wonderfully, and Ive done everyting I can to make him happy and its getting out of hand. Just to walk him around or take him for grass I have to chain him or he'll act up when I tell him its time to go home. I never had to chain him before. And last night I went to see him and I was talking to him while he was in his stall, I was outside his stall, and out of the blue his ears went flat back against his head, and he came at me and bit the crap ouf of my chest, and then stepped back and went back to his hay. I was so shocked that I just stood there for about 5 mins without even moving just staring at him. He never did it again, just acted as normal, ears forward, relaxed, as if it never happened.

Oohhh! One of the members of your little herd of two said, "MY SPACE!!!!" and was able to claim it and keep it. The other did nothing. Can you say, "Omega?"

I know that if he feels that he can bite me then I am definately in trouble if I dont fix this situation NOW. When I bought him I had a wonderful relationship with him, lead him around with no chain, lunged him no problem, even rode bareback etc. Now, when I lunge him he intimidates me because he'll stop all of a sudden, turn to face me and walk or trot towards me, I dont know if this is a challenge or not but my gut told me that it was not good, and it scared the crap out of me to the point that I dont lunge him anymore, which is pathetic. And, every time I take him for grass he refuses to walk back to the barn and leave the grass behind, after I make him walk with me he puts his ears back and gets all pouty, he hasnt lashed out yet, but after him biting me last night I think he will one day.

Now when you longe him?? Is this before or after he tried to take a chunk out of you?

Never mind, it's really not important. What has happened is that the pecking order of your herd has become reversed.

Remember how I said a couple paragraphs up, "The pecking order consists of one word - MINE! If you want whatever, you simply say, "Mine!" If you have the ability to claim and keep, whatever it is, then you have a place in the pecking order. All the horses in the herd who cannot overcome your ability are below you. All the horses who can overcome your claim, are above you?"

This is done by giving the horse a series of directions you know beyond a shadow of a doubt you can get the horse to obey until the horse says by its actions, "This being is presenting me with leadership actions and I'm obeying them! Therefore, this being must be a herd leader and I must be a follower."

The best way I've found to do this is to put the horse through the herd dynamics procedure that has come to be known as Marv Walker's Bonder. I'm assuming from you email you have already emailed Bonder@MarvWalker.com for a free copy.

I dont have an area small enough to use as a round pen, only big rings, so I dont know how I'm going to try the Bonder with him, I dont know if I should try it on a lunge line, or if it will make things worse.

The procedure works in a 10 mile square area. You just have to move more. No problem if you want to shed a few pounds. I have done the procedure in a wide assortment of enclosures. I have even slapped together enclosures using whatever I could find. Section off some of the big arena and go at it. Or, like I said earlier, if you want to shed a few pounds, go at it in the big arena.

Which one of your DVDS do you think would help me the most? I cant afford a trainer, as me and my husband are living on one paycheck, but I'll do anything I can to make my gelding and me have a good relationship. I know its my fault that he has changed, I dont blame him, I'm so pissed at myself for letting our relationship get like this.

Don't beat yourself up. Love got in your eyes. It happens. It's fixable. The key is to start acting like a lead horse and less like a loving human.

Based upon your already being jumped on I'd recommend "Mentally Connecting With Any Horse," "Gaining The Respect Of Disrespectful Horses," and "Dealing With The Aggressive Horse." The three of them should help you develop the knowledge and attitude you need. If not, my phone number is scattered all over them.

Thank you for reading, God Bless

Too late. He already has beyond my wildest dreams.

Click here to check out my very reasonably priced DVD inventory covering many of the subjects featured on my site's pages in greater depth.

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