Horse that throws "hissy fits" - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-24-2011, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Horse that throws "hissy fits"

My 14 year old QH mare Shadow explodes like a volcano if she is asked to do something she isn't to keen on doing. For example. We were out for a rail ride wih my mom and her Quarab. My mom was infront and Shadow( my horse) wanted to pass but I made her stay behind. After she aknowledged what the situiation was she went into a rodeo horse bucking spree and threw me and then galloped back up to the barn. She dpes in the riding arena and in the round pen if I drive her forward...I have no clue what this "Hissy fit" thing is and I would like it to stop... Any tips would be GREAT!!!! It in some cases can be halarious but it's a very unexeptable behaviour...And I dislike it strongly but I don't know hwat the problem could be. I have not changed her feed or her saddle and she has never moved stables... Pain and every other factor has been ruled out....
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-24-2011, 02:19 PM
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You have to be prepared for her hissy fits before they start. It doesn't sound like she's doing this completely out of the blue; it's a reaction to not getting her way. So you should have enough warning to predict what's about to happen and head her off at the pass. You can stop the bucking by flexing her around to the side. That's the immediate prevention. But beyond that, every time she thinks about acting like an ass, I'd make her start longtrotting circles. Put her to work and make it less than fun. She needs to listen to you. If she resists, don't be afraid to get after her with crop or your legs (not spurs, though). If you keep her moving/working/circling/trotting/flexed, she can't take off or buck, and she'll start to learn that acting up isn't worth the extra work.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-24-2011, 02:29 PM
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I agree with Bubba. And about not spurs -- I don't have anything against the proper use of spurs. It is just that they tend to encourage bucking rather than stopping it in a horse that wants to buck.

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post #4 of 7 Old 11-25-2011, 05:32 PM
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She is defying you. That's why she does that. She's like "Oh yeah? I can't do whatever I want? Well, check this." As the others have said, as soon as she starts acting up, do circles. LOTS of circles. And if she starts bucking, keep hold of the rein. She might throw a temper tantrum the first few times, but DON'T let go. She has to understand that she can't get her way by bucking. My mare does the same thing but she rears. As soon as I see that she is too light on her front, I ask her for a circle. Twice now, she started rearing with me trying to make her turn. Repeatedly. At first it was small rears, maybe 2-3 feet or so, but at the end, she went up high. But when she saw I wasn't letting go, she stopped. And I was able to continue riding normally. x) Your mare is probably the alpha female in the field right? She's used of having her way. That's why she acts up.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-25-2011, 08:15 PM
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Yes to the above, but first, more ground work. I know, everyone says this, dont' they. But a hrose that throws a hissy fit in the round pen when asked to move forward, really move forward, and do it Now!, this horse needs you to work through that in the round pen first.

Let her have her fit, at first. She buck her little heart out in the round pen, you will NOT be dissuaded by it. LIke a parent that will not let a tantrumming child get their way, you will not forget that you asked for forward, and by God, go forward. So, dont' let her bucking distract you. Just keep asking for forward and dont' accept anything that isn't honest. Don't accept her pinning her ears , dont accept her bucking or kicking out at you. keep asking MORE! until she leaps forward at a good cante when you ask with the whip (free lunging in the round pen) and get her so happy to go forward that you can do it with your body language. Once you get that. STOP totally for the day.

YOu need to get her to bust throught this logjam. I bet she'll be far more willing to move when you say so the next time you either roud pen or ride her.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-25-2011, 08:53 PM
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I agree with everything above as well. I occastionally have this problem with Cinny when he gets bored with an exercise or doesn't want to do something, except that he will rear 80% of the time and give a buck the other 20. I found that it is best to never stop asking until you get what you want, even if you end up on your rear on the ground. It will only teach her that she was able to get her way by doing that.

But I do have another question. Does she only have hissy's while riding, or does she have them on the ground, or even in her stall? The reason I ask this is because (although this isn't super common but it happens) your mare could have a hormonal imbalance as well. My friend's mare used to have hissy's out of nowhere once or twice a week, except when she was "in season." She busted halters and leads when tied, she busted bridles, she is a higher level dressage horse and my friend was losing money at shows because if her mare was having a "bad day" they'd have to scratch all her classes for fear she might explode in the warm up pen or during her run. A couple of months ago they did some bloodwork on her to check out her levels and her hormones were way out of wack. She's on therapy for it now and has completely changed back to her old sweet self.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-25-2011, 09:00 PM
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Get after this horse, listen to the above advice & take it very seriously. This little witch has figured out if she dumps you, she can go back to the barn. Very dangerous. Get after this behaviour, don't let it continue for even a nano second.

Last edited by waresbear; 11-25-2011 at 09:06 PM.
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