Perch cross PMU Mare Issues ...
 
 

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Perch cross PMU Mare Issues ...

This is a discussion on Perch cross PMU Mare Issues ... within the Horse Breeds forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Training problems with PMU horses
  • PMU mares and tatoos on hindquarters

 
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    10-08-2007, 08:02 AM
  #1
Foal
Perch cross PMU Mare Issues ...

I have two draft crosses: my stallion is a percheron x paint cross, and my mare is a percheron x ? Cross.

My stallion is perfect - an absolute gentleman, and a wonderful rider/breeder.

My mare, however, is a PMU rescue that we acquired through a trade with a friend. She is very sweet, wants to be loved and petted, but is deathly afraid of people. She's not aggressive, just very very flighty - rather than pin you to a wall while she's in her stall, she'll get in the corner with her hindquarters to you (though never kick).

She's never really been worked with until we got her. I procured her mainly as a rescue from the slaughterhouse, only to find out that she throws colts that are built like dozers. Her first foal (since we've had her) is standing at 14 hands and is only 7 months old. Mind you, the sire is percheron/paint. He's only 16 hands.

Now, my question is this: we've been working with this mare for two years steady. We're just now able to put our hands on her halter while she's standing still in a stall. Am I doing something wrong that is preventing her from accepting us? Am I going too slow? Are there any tricks that will help her to trust me? I've been standing with her while she eats, we can pet her neck and shoulders, but nowhere else.

When she had our colt (our now 7 month old, "Preacher"), we did something that really seemed to help - we have two stalls side by side with a barrier between them made of iron. We separated the baby so that we could imprint him (she wouldn't let us near him at first). We separated the two (with her being able to see him, smell him, and nuzzle him through the barrier) for two weeks. She was more accepting of us taking him away after only three days.

After two weeks, we could walk up to the baby in the pasture and pet him, love on him, etc. And, after she was comfortable with us handling the baby, she seemed more enthusiastic about getting closer to us on her own - if we're feeding, she'd get close enough to try to stick her head in the feed bucket, or when she's drinking water (outside her stall, in the open pasture) we can now pet her on the forehead.

I just feel like the mare wants to be petted and loved on, but she's still too afraid to "ask" for it or to "accept" it unless it seems like it's forced on her (which I won't do; I can't force affection on anything or anyone).

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get her to understand love/affection?
     
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    10-08-2007, 02:09 PM
  #2
Foal
I only have a few things I can say about this:

1: You need a round pen and you need to do some Parelli/Roberts/Anderson type stuff with her. She needs to learn you are the herd leader and you will protect her. That will giver her confidence. When she has confidence all your problems will be solved.

However:

2: I have a friend who took a Percheron x ? Cross from a PMU situation. She had her 4 years. She was NEVER able to do much with her even after 4 years. She did all of the Parelli type work, everything she could think of. She had experts come in to work with her, she tried everything. She was never able to vaccinate her, treat wounds, have her feet trimed, nothing. When they had to treat her for something once, they attempted to tranquilize her. They gave her an amount that would have KILLED most horses, and she never even got sleepy. The mare was impossible, and dangerous. She had originally wanted to use her as a broodmare as she threw tanks for babies and the babies were very kind. The mare seemed to like the company of humans. She would come up and watch people when they were working, she would let you stroke her shoulder with one finger, but on her terms and if she decided that was unacceptable, a person could get hurt. My friend decided that she would give her to a a home that could basically just turn her out and let her live out her days as she was so unhandleable. But no one could get her on a trailer. Trust me when I tell you this woman tried everything humanly possible, this horse was just not going to cooperate with anything. After 4 months trying to get her to load in a trailer, my friend decided it would be unfair to pass this horse's problems on to another person and she made the very difficult decision to put the mare down. I know, that sounds really harsh, but it was for the better for the mare. She could not be treated for illnesses, she could not have her feet trimmed, she would have ended up living her days miserably with people feeling bad that they couldn't help her. Not to mention all of the horses she could have injured or gotten sick from her not having her vaccinations and such. In this case it was the right thing to do. I am not in ANY WAY suggesting you put your mare down. I just find it interesting that you are having similar issues with the exact breed and history my friend had problems with. I think there may be something mentally wrong with these horses that goes beyond a lack of training or a severe fear. I question the equine version of schizophrenia (sp?) in cases like this. Horses that don't come around after everything that was put into my friend's mare, likely never will.

If you have not tried the natural training approach, I would take that route and give her at least 6 months. If you have... then I am sorry and I don't know what else you can do.

It saddens me that these horses come out of these situations like they do. People do all they can, but some simply can not be saved.

I hope I did not scare you too badly, I just want you to know that sometimes, they don't come around.

ACC
     
    10-08-2007, 02:11 PM
  #3
Foal
I only have a few things I can say about this:

1: You need a round pen and you need to do some Parelli/Roberts/Anderson type stuff with her. She needs to learn you are the herd leader and you will protect her. That will giver her confidence. When she has confidence all your problems will be solved.

However:

2: I have a friend who took a Percheron x ? Cross from a PMU situation. She had her 4 years. She was NEVER able to do much with her even after 4 years. She did all of the Parelli type work, everything she could think of. She had experts come in to work with her, she tried everything. She was never able to vaccinate her, treat wounds, have her feet trimed, nothing. When they had to treat her for something once, they attempted to tranquilize her. They gave her an amount that would have KILLED most horses, and she never even got sleepy. The mare was impossible, and dangerous. She had originally wanted to use her as a broodmare as she threw tanks for babies and the babies were very kind. The mare seemed to like the company of humans. She would come up and watch people when they were working, she would let you stroke her shoulder with one finger, but on her terms and if she decided that was unacceptable, a person could get hurt. My friend decided that she would give her to a a home that could basically just turn her out and let her live out her days as she was so unhandleable. But no one could get her on a trailer. Trust me when I tell you this woman tried everything humanly possible, this horse was just not going to cooperate with anything. After 4 months trying to get her to load in a trailer, my friend decided it would be unfair to pass this horse's problems on to another person and she made the very difficult decision to put the mare down. I know, that sounds really harsh, but it was for the better for the mare. She could not be treated for illnesses, she could not have her feet trimmed, she would have ended up living her days miserably with people feeling bad that they couldn't help her. Not to mention all of the horses she could have injured or gotten sick from her not having her vaccinations and such. In this case it was the right thing to do. I am not in ANY WAY suggesting you put your mare down. I just find it interesting that you are having similar issues with the exact breed and history my friend had problems with. I think there may be something mentally wrong with these horses that goes beyond a lack of training or a severe fear. I question the equine version of schizophrenia (sp?) in cases like this. Horses that don't come around after everything that was put into my friend's mare, likely never will.

If you have not tried the natural training approach, I would take that route and give her at least 6 months. If you have... then I am sorry and I don't know what else you can do.

It saddens me that these horses come out of these situations like they do. People do all they can, but some simply can not be saved.

I hope I did not scare you too badly, I just want you to know that sometimes, they don't come around.

ACC
     
    10-08-2007, 04:33 PM
  #4
Foal
I think I left it a little unclear, so I'll try to straighten it up.

The mare is about 7 years old. After the colt was born, we've accomplished several goals: we can effectively remove and replace her halter; we can put a lead rope on her and lead her just outside the barn; she has had her vaccinations; she lets us pet her (in conditions that she is free to turn and run if she wants to), and she allows us to go into the stall with her with no problems.

It's taken us 2 years, yes. But the most we've been able to accomplish with her came this past March when Preacher was born.

This mare, as I've said, is not aggressive in any manner. She's pastured with our stud and her colt (yes, we have the stud in the pasture with the colt, they're best buddies!). If I take the stud out of the pasture to work with him, she panics because he's not there with her. She will run herself to death up and down the fencelines until she can't run anymore if he's out of the pasture. She'll knock a stall door down to get out if he's outside the pasture and she can't get to him.

Now that tells me that she's very much a "social" and "dependent" horse - she needs her companion for comfort. I assume that there might be a way for me to convince her that I might be her comfort rather than him, but I'm still trying to find out the best method for doing that.

When we first got her, I had her in a stall with a stall door that was solid and stood 4 ft high. I walked into the barn where she couldn't see me approaching, and it frightened her. She freaked out, but couldn't run. She jumped that 4 ft. Stall door from a standstill. Didn't have room to back up, didn't have time to think about it. Simply jumped. It amazed me. I decided right then and there that I would NOT put that horse's patience to the test, because it would surely hurt to get kicked !

But, she's a sweetie - she really is. She has never offered to kick, bite, or hurt any of us, she simply shies away instead. I just didn't know if anyone had any ideas on ways I could improve my work with her. My stud came out fine, so I guess I'm not too bad with the creatures, lol!
     
    10-08-2007, 05:55 PM
  #5
Started
I'm an Anderson fan myself. Any of the natural horsemanship techniques might help you if you haven't tried them. AC's suggestion is good sense.

Just on a side note, its interesting to see an example of a mare learning from her foal for a change...so often, a well-behaved dam can really make training a baby easier; they learn from mom's example. For you, it seems like the exact opposite is happening.
     
    10-08-2007, 10:25 PM
  #6
Trained
http://horseforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=4303

Here is a link to a thread I made regarding my new warmblood who is doing some of the things you mention. Maybe it will help you too

For some reason the link isnt working so you may have to copy and paste or check out the thread in horse training. Its called 'a few bad habits I need help fixing' or something like that :)
     
    10-08-2007, 11:26 PM
  #7
Foal
I understand better where you are coming from now. I think you have made great progress with the mare. Do you have a roundpen? Dependence on other horses is a result of lack of confidence in humans. What you want her to stop doing, and what you want her to start doing, will come from the same process. My horse was EXTREMELY dependent on other horses until we had our "join up" experience. It will not only help her lose her dependence on other horses, but she will start allowing you to do all of the things you want and need to do with her. There are alot of videos that can teach you how to conquer this, and alot of people willing to help.

ACC
     

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