Injured or Attitude Problem?
   

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Injured or Attitude Problem?

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  • Horse is jumpy under saddle and when a whip is out

 
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    05-24-2009, 03:36 PM
  #1
Yearling
Injured or Attitude Problem?

So, here's the deal: I don't own my own horse (sad day) so for my lessons I use one of my BO's horses. Her name is Becky and she's a 23 year old mare. She's adorable. But she definitely has old lady moments.

Once you get her going, she's a pleaser and a hard worker. But she never wants to actually get going. When I go out to get her from the pasture, she'll usually continually walk away from me. After a couple tries though, she'll usually just stand and let me put the halter on her. I have to click to her over and over to get her to even take a step. When she does walk, she'll bob her head and take short, jumpy steps. She's good standing cross-tied for grooming and tacking, but once I get her out of the barn on the road to the outdoor, she plants her feet and pins her ears. Even my BO can't get her to move without a good swift whack with a dressage whip (not incredibly hard. Just enough to startle her a bit). She's already been given a complete clean bill of health.

So, my question is.. Is this just an attitude problem? Like I said, once you get her moving, she's a picture perfect lesson horse. What do you guys think?
     
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    05-24-2009, 05:00 PM
  #2
Showing
Just going from what you have said, it sounds like to me that she is just sour. It is kinda common with old horses, especially lesson horses. If she is not giving any pain responses under saddle then I bet it is an attitude. Do you only ever catch her when you have a lesson? Sometimes it may help just to catch her up and chill with her for a little while. Take her to a nice patch of green grass and let her graze, groom her, take her for walks, etc. Something so that she will realize that being caught and going to the barn doesn't necessarily mean work. Sometime, tack her up and take her to the outdoor arena then just relax with her. Give her some treats and then take her back to the barn and untack. She has associated being caught, going to the barn, and going to the arena with work and that has made her go sour. What I have suggested should help but it will take some time before you see any improvement. Good luck.
     
    05-24-2009, 06:17 PM
  #3
Weanling
The only explination for head bobing would be that the horse is lame. I would get the horse checked out for soundness issues.
     
    05-24-2009, 10:18 PM
  #4
Weanling
I'm thinking of arthritis, a bit of stiffness that gets better with motion and careful warmups, but I'm just taking a stab, since you said the vet already passed her in a soundness exam. Arthritis can contribute to a sour 'tude, as well.
     
    05-24-2009, 11:20 PM
  #5
Yearling
Thanks for the responses, guys. All of what you said makes sense.

Smrobs, Thanks for the advice. The only time I ever go out to get her is for lessons; what you said makes sense. I think I might give that a try.
     
    05-25-2009, 11:36 AM
  #6
Green Broke
I also agree with arthritis. I would recommend to your BO to put her on some supplements.

As for her attitude, start taking treats out with you when you catch her. Ask you BO if you can work with her between lessons. Take her out and just brush or bathe her, then put her up. Take her on "walks" in hand. Ask your BO if you can go on a trail ride with her some time. Take Becky in the arena and just "play" some days, using treats to play "tag". She's just a little sour and needs some variety in her life .
     

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