Thursday, January 18, 2018

NO! Don't Pee There!

Potty training sucks, no matter what. However, there's a lot of articles out there to help you through the process with your baby, kitten, or puppy. There's experts to call, and established training plans that are known to work.
Pictured: My two hardest potty training projects. Ever.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of articles helping you potty train your 5 year old horse. This is especially unfortunate, because I need the help. Badly.
"That wet spot back there? Definitely did not pee there. Nope. Not I!"
Let me paint you a picture in pee. It's 8:45 on a Wednesday night, and I am standing in the barn. It's 19 degrees out, and everything is frozen solid. My baby racehorse is standing in the crossties, patiently waiting for me to make his evening snack and untack him. I walk away to prepare his grain ration, only to return exactly a minute later to him standing in a gigantic puddle of steaming urine with a contented look on his face. Some might call the look smug.
This is not the face of attrition, Bast.
I turn around and grab a shovel to layer sawdust on before what is now steaming turns to ice. Just as I finish cleaning up the yellow slushy mess and put away the buckets and shovels, Bast lifts his tail and deposits steaming pile of a different kind. He proceeds to put his foot in the pile, then walk around in the crossties.
"I would never make such a mess. All these wet spots are definitely not created by my bodily functions."
#liesalllies
It is now 9:00 on a Wednesday night, and I am over this shit... literally.

So, blogland. I have a problem. I need to train my baby racehorse to stop peeing in the aisles. While I know how to do this with a horse who has a stall, I am at a total loss with a horse who is field boarded. I do not have access to a stall, only barn aisles and wash stalls.

Help me! I need your ideas!

36 comments:

  1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA .... errr, sorry? :)
    I think he will quit doing it as he matures. Or maybe not.

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    1. 😂...😭 If it wasn't a thing he did anytime he's left alone more than 30 seconds, and has done since day one... I might believe you.😱

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    2. Yeah, no, Bobby did it all his life. You're fucked.

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  2. Do you have someone there to keep an eye on him when you leave him? My guy is pasture boarded now too, & he started dropping trou & peeing in the crossties about a year & a half ago. (he lost his former squeamishness about splashing his legs.. :/ )

    When he dropped, I would use the opportunity to pick flakes off his wiener which he HATES (haha!! too bad!), & if I had to leave him by himself, I'd ask someone to watch for him to drop & get after him. He hasn't done it now for several months.

    Hopefully you do have someone who can help you out, unless you stick by him in the aisles constantly, I can't think of any other way... :(

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    1. I am most often at the barn late in the evenings entirely alone or alone in my aisle. I don't really have anyone to watch him. Also, he's sneaky. There's no real dropping and posturing. He kinda just drops and goes at the same time!

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    2. ooooooooo, that is sneaky... What a stinker! I third the wash rack idea then! :/

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  3. not laughing not laughing at all. Poor baby wants to pee indoors :) LOL Sorry.....i am still giggling, He looks so cute tho in those photos...I hope you figure it out. I HATE when a horse pees in the aisle (My guy never has done it but I have had friends whose horses did it and one of my friends horse always does it in my trailer which irks me too!!

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    1. Pig always pees in trailers. I like to think he's helping me keep tailgaters at bay. LOL

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    2. I hope you figure it out for sure!! That does suck! I hate the clean up too. Poop is bad enough but pee. ICK :) HA he is a special snowflake Bast :)

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  4. I think the only thing that bothers me about a horse peeing in the aisleways is the splashing that inevitably occurs haha.

    Other than that, meh. Horses are horses *shrug*

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    1. Peeing in the aisleways is a huge time suck for me. The clean up is intensive, no matter how well you clean it up, there is always a mess for the next person. That's why it bugs me.

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  5. What about throwing a muck bucket under him so at least he pees in a confined area? My friend was trying to do that plus whistle train her ottb for a while (she claimed he peed on cue...I did not see evidence for this claim). My horse would never go for this, however, so...

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    1. Unfortunately, he only seems to do it when I've walked away for 30 seconds or more. If I stand there I can stop him by yelling or poking at him, so that's not an issue. And putting a bucket under him and walking away seems like a great recipe for a broken halter/horse/crosstie/barn.

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  6. I am no help with this because mine is the opposite. WILL NOT PEE until he's in his stall, unless he's absolutely about to die. Won't pee on the trailer either. I have to like... find suitable places for him to go pee when we're on long trips or at shows without stabling.

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    1. Omg, haha! I'll trade?! I used to have to remember to take Pig into his stall at shows. He would start to get grumpy if I forgot, and then immediately pee upon getting in. I always felt soooo bad. He did finally realize he would have to stand up for his rights to urinate on long trail rides, though. Thank god. Anything over 2 hours, and he would finally spread em and go.

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  7. Put him in the wash stall after a ride and then hose down the spot - simple.

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    1. Not as simple when it's below freezing, but I think this is a good idea!

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  8. Our gelding used to always pee in the aisle. He would hold it all day outside and wait until brough in then let go. It was annoying but I figured he is a horse and do as horses do.

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    1. Oh that's hilarious! When Pig was stalled he would hold it all day on turnout, and only pee in his stall. He never went in the aisles, though.

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  9. BAHAHAHAHA. OH dear. I second L's recommendation though - can you just tack/untack in the wash stall so cleanup is at least easier?

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    1. I can't really untack there, as they aren't set up for that and are pretty far from the tack room. I also don't want to block them when others need to use them. But I can sit him in there a few minutes post ride and try to teach him to pee there rather than the aisle. That would help untacking feel less like Russian roulette!

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  10. L's idea is a good one. I used to put a bucket under Irish to pee in. He hated that so stopped peeing in the aisle. Otherwise- maybe put shavings down before you leave him?

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    1. I'm trying to avoid having to do so much clean up. My time at the barn is really limited, so spending extra minutes spreading around sawdust (which I have to grab from other horse's stalls) and picking it up is not ideal. Plus, I'm really only using the barn to tack up with special consideration. As field board, I should be using my field board barn. Unfortunately, baby thoroughbred hasn't been able to mentally handle being tacked up while his pasture mates run around like yahoos. So, I am trying to be as fast and unobtrusive as possible while using the main barn facilities.

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  11. oh god i have no idea, i used to lease a horse that always peed when you brought him in. i just put him in a stall and let him pee while i was gathering up my tack.

    borrow a stall and clean it once he's done? flick his weenie when he starts to drop? i dunno???

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    1. Right?! Not having a stall is so complicated! Haha

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  12. Candy poops EVERY TIME she's in the cross ties. It drives me insane for reasons I can't fully articulate. Something about having to take an extra five minutes to scoop it up into the wheelbarrow and walk it over to the manure pile makes me crazy.

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  13. charlie peed on my coat (and other things) last week. and looked mighty tickled with himself about it. so uh, unless Bast wants insights on target practice, maybe charlie isn't the best role model here..... much luck!

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  14. Courage was like that. He almost never relieved himself under saddle but always did back in the barn. I did have a stall, so I'd just pull his tack, chuck him in the stall, and let him handle his business while I put my things away.

    So uh... sucks to be you.

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  15. We had another ex-racehorse at the barn who would pee IMMEDIATELY upon being put in the cross ties. It was a racehorse trained thing- look you're in the cross ties, pee so you can go back to your stall. His owner just put him in the wash stall so she could do a quick rinse and be done. I have no idea how to break the habit, sorry :-/

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    1. Actually, reading this, I wonder since racehorses are trained to pee with a whistle if you can take him outside quickly and get him to pee in the grass before putting him on the crossties?

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    2. That was my thought while reading this. Replace the behavior with something else - redirect it in a positive way.

      A couple of ways to do this:
      - see if he was ever trained to pee to a whistle, and try to get him to do so outside on the grass
      - hover just out of sight when you leave him and when you catch him start to pee, make a loud, off-putting noise. then grab him off the cross ties and take him outside to the grass, immediately.
      - when you can (on weekends?) take a longer and more complicated route to untacking that involves, perhaps, keeping him on a lead rope with you the entire time, and doing as much of it outside as you can. copious amounts of praise for peeing outside. you can try pairing this with a clicker or whistle training.

      I'm not sure anything but time and close observation will alter this behavior. :(

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  16. Whoa - never heard of training track horses to pee on command - though it sounds like a convenient skill to have. :D Don't know if you researched this already, but it doesn't sound too hard lol...

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    1. http://www.proequinegrooms.com/tips/grooming/whistle-and-pee/

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  17. HAHAHAHA!! Sorry no advice here, but his cute lil face is the best! And I agree, I think he will quit doing it as he matures.

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  18. Alexis's TB, Hennessy, did this every ride...and he was in his teens when we bought him. A boarder at a previous barn used to put a muck bucket under her gelding, and he would pee in it :)

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  19. Ugh, hate cleaning up pee in the cross ties! For weeks after I got Maestro he didn't pee in the cross ties (maybe he was shy, lol) then one day after a lesson I left him to go to the tack room and came back to pee. Ever since then I have to stay on my toes and not leave him too long or he will pee. One time I was picking his hind foot and he even took it away from me to put it down to start peeing. WTH!
    I've taken to giving him a cookie and saying "go potty" when he pees in a good place. I have been able to take him to his stall after my ride and tell him "go potty" and he will go and get a carrot but bets are off if there's hay in the stall. I also try to make my after ride process faster versus my pre ride since I love grooming. The worst part is he likes to leave his business hanging out whether he has to pee or not so I have paranoia, lol.
    Hopefully you can teach him to go on cue. Is he willing to go in the arena at all? If that's allowed at your barn.

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