green mare terrified of the horse down the road? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-07-2012, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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green mare terrified of the horse down the road?

I've only had my four year old mare for a few months. When I first got her I took her to a professional trainer for six weeks to give her the basics. As far as I can tell she is a sweet natured, very intelligent girl who generally likes to please. She behaves quite well in the round pen and is picking up on new things like neck reining.

Since we don't have a trailer (yet... fingers crossed it'll be soon though) and we don't have anywhere to go except our own pasture or the road, I've been taking her for short trips down the road. So far she has been very good with passing cars, she does have her stubborn moments but usually we can work through them without too much trouble.

Yesterday... was unpleasant. We headed down a section of road that we have ridden before, but this time the wind was coming directly from the direction of a yard with a horse towards us. I think it's possible that she didn't smell him the last few times. He is an ancient gelding that doesn't whinny or get excited when we've ridden by before.

She acted totally terrified. She stopped, tried to turn around, and I could feel her quivering. She started doing that loud blow/snort and dancing around with her tail up in the air and generally acting like an idiot. I tried circling around, I tried getting off and walking her for a while/doing some circling and backing on the ground, and I would get a momentary respite but then she'd immediately go back into crazy fear mode. She did not buck or rear (thank goodness) but it felt like she was a hair's breadth away from it.

If we had been walking past a slaughterhouse or a snarling bear I could understand! I know her senses are sharper than mine so it's possible I missed something but I can so no reason whatsoever for her to act like this. I haven't had her long enough to really know how she is while she's in heat but she acted more terrified than flirty so I don't think that's it.

She has had some lovely rides where I swear somebody switched my green four year old with a been-there, done-that experienced trail horse in its teens. There is a group trail ride in a few weeks that I'd love to go on... but not if it's going to turn into some kind of rodeo.

Anyway... just venting I guess. If somebody has some advice or has been through this before, that would be cool... the next couple days the weather doesn't look great so I'll probably just do some groundwork at home.

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post #2 of 17 Old 09-07-2012, 02:02 PM
Green Broke
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So I know I replied to you before but I must have missed the part about her tail.

Now I know she is half arab but could she be in heat? Is the tail to the side, even just a bit?

Lizzy becomes a crazy hussy during that time of the month. (by the way she finally went back to a normal cycle, yay, no more constant heat cycles)

Edit: Lizzy also gets that wide eyed freak out look when in heat. She really loses her head.

Last edited by poppy1356; 09-07-2012 at 02:07 PM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-07-2012, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think her tail was to the side, she was dancing around so it was hard to say for sure. But I don't think so... to me it just looked like she was doing the typical arab "I'm excited/scared/showing off so I'm going to wave my tail around like a flag" thing. It didn't stay up the whole time, mostly just when she'd make the loud snort/blow noise.

My previous mares, I could barely even tell when they were in heat. I've never seen a horse act terrified, but it's possible I suppose.

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post #4 of 17 Old 09-07-2012, 02:20 PM
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Being in heat is no excuse for silly behavior. She's green and the wind was blowing and she's half arab? teeeheeeeee

Ride her through it ... she'll learn.

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post #5 of 17 Old 09-07-2012, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by texasgal View Post
She's green and the wind was blowing and she's half arab? teeeheeeeee
Haha yeah I guess that is a mix just begging for trouble. The wind wasn't very strong, I have noticed in a strong wind she'll get a little batty. The first ten minutes or so of the ride went beautifully, it seemed like as soon as she got a whiff of that gelding it all went sour.

Anyway. We'll definitely keep riding and I'll definitely make her go past that corner again.

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post #6 of 17 Old 09-07-2012, 03:07 PM
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Does she live alone?
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-07-2012, 03:37 PM
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My mare's greatest fear is The Strange Horse. We've been working on it, and she is getting better, but she still finds too many strange horses to be challenging. Last week we made it past several pairs of strange horses on both sides of the road. Just as we got past where the horses live, she decided she had enough. We spent the next half mile trotting down a dirt road with her blasting out a challenge to any and every horse - except there WERE no more horses. But she went down that road like it was 1876 & we were surrounded by Apaches...head up, looking around, blasting out defiance...

After a half mile, she decided it was safe to go back to normal. But for her, that is progress! After all, first we went THRU the Valley of Death: Strange Horses to the Left of Her & Strange Horses to the Right of Her, and into the Valley of Death we rode!

BTW - she's 11.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-07-2012, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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She lives with two miniatures. They are all very fond of each other, she is a tiny bit herd sour but not bad.

I think I'd rather her be blasting defiance than shaking with fear... anyway, things to work on. Life is never dull with them, is it?

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post #9 of 17 Old 09-07-2012, 03:58 PM
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It's definitely possible the mare smelled something other than the neighbor horse.
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-07-2012, 04:06 PM
Green Broke
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Hey at least she is scared of things that move and not some dang rocks. Seriously, I think Lizzy would have a heartattack if she ever saw a mountain lol.

Was the other horse doing anything, or just standing there? I've also noticed with Lizzy when she gets really excited or just being a twat she will shiver a bit.

I found the best way with her is to just not tolerate her crap. Not sure if that's how your girls personality works though.
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