Filly and Mare Problems
 
 

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Filly and Mare Problems

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  • How to halter train a scared broodmare
  • Problem filly

 
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    01-05-2009, 02:56 AM
  #1
Liv
Foal
Filly and Mare Problems

I breed Tennessee Walkers, and on May 28th my broodmare Angel surprised me with a filly a few weeks earlier than expected. Boss Lady was in perfect health, and Angel was shadowing her every step. As I went through the process of halter training her, she was incredibly smart if a bit stubborn. She refused to go in a straight line, would not follow her dam, and would only back up and turn left. At about two months, she became impossible to catch and had to be cornered to get a halter on. Her formerly sweet and willing personality took a huge turn for the worse. When she was about 4 months, I turned my ancient Anglo Arab gelding Beau (aka the Babysitter) out with the pair because he and Angel had never been separated until Boss' birth. Instantly Boss' personality changed. She became a bit more friendly, and the more time she spent with the gelding, the easier it was to catch her and work with her. I was able to fully halter train her and lead her easily, making up months of missed work in only a few weeks and days.

When it came time to wean her (no other foals on the farm) I decided to put her in the pasture with another young mare, a 15hh QH/App with a club foot. The personality flip that happened with her dam happened all over again. I couldn't catch her, she was running the mare off (imagine that out of a 5 month old) so badly that it was hurting the mare's club hoof so I had to separate them. When I was leading the mare back into the other paddock, my Walker gelding ran past me before I could catch him. I breed Tennessee Walkers, and on May 28th my broodmare Angel surprised me with a filly a few weeks earlier than expected. Boss Lady was in perfect health, and Angel was shadowing her every step. As I went through the process of halter training her, she was incredibly smart if a bit stubborn. She refused to go in a straight line, would not follow her dam, and would only back up and turn left. At about two months, she became impossible to catch and had to be cornered to get a halter on. Her formerly sweet and willing personality took a huge turn for the worse. When she was about 4 months, I turned my ancient Anglo Arab gelding Beau (aka the Babysitter) out with the pair because he and Angel had never been separated until Boss' birth. Instantly Boss' personality changed. She became a bit more friendly, and the more time she spent with the gelding, the easier it was to catch her and work with her. I was able to fully halter train her and lead her easily, making up months of missed work in only a few weeks and days.

When it came time to wean her (no other foals on the farm) I decided to put her in the pasture with another young mare, a 15hh QH/App with a club foot. The personality flip that happened with her dam happened all over again. I couldn't catch her, she was running the mare off (imagine that out of a 5 month old) so badly that it was hurting the mare's club hoof so I had to separate them. When I was leading the mare back into the other paddock, my Walker gelding ran past me before I could catch him. Now Maverick is not a little thing, he has a draft build and stands at 16.1hh, but he is one of the slowest horses I've ever met. I have yet to see him gait or even trot. Boss Lady chased him around the field going as fast as her little legs would take her with him running away from her for easily an hour before she gave up. Once it was obvious to me that she had the upper hand and he was actually scared of her (even though she could walk underneath him if she lowered her head), I let the pairing stand. It has turned out to be the best thing I have done with her. She is the first one to me when I walk into the pasture, she loves attention, picks up her feet on voice command, has learned to longe, can now be led from the saddle while I ride Maverick, and is a joy to be around.

The problem is, when I expose her to a mare for even a day (we had a corral fence break, we had to move her with them) she forgets all halter training, will not be caught, starts biting people, and I have to start her again from the ground up like she's been wild all these months.

Does anyone have any ideas on how on earth to deal with this? She has to be alone, with a gelding, and cannot be turned out with any of my mares. I'm hoping to sell her at some point, and this will not help things. Will she grow out of it? I've consulted trainers, friends, other breeders, no one has any idea or says they've seen nothing like it. Any advice is helpful, and if you need to know anything just ask! Thanks!
     

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