Mean, klutzy, or untrained???? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-04-2012, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Mean, klutzy, or untrained????

My daughter purchaed a 6 year old Haflinger mare, that was supposedly very sweet and calm when broken to ride and drive as a 2 year old. (Many people said this, not just the owner) The mare hs been in a pasture, totally ignored for the last 3 years. We have been working on ground work and respect issues, but it is hard to make her really 'pay attention". It seems as if a lot of times her mind just is elsewhere. My daughter rode her the other day and the mare spooked big time at something, and my daughter came off. The horse spooked up a small hill, then came back down, trampling my daughter. The horse never tried to avoid her. I don't think she was TRYING to trample her, but she just didn't care. After she went over her once, se went over her again. The horse stepped on her ankle, both thighs, stomach, upper arm, lower arm, and head (Thank God she was wearing a helmet.) My daughter is OK - just bruised, but I have NEVER seen a horse that did not at least TRY to avoid a downed rider. She wants to keep this horse, qnd ai told her we need to work A LOT on groundwork and isssues, and she agrees, but I don't knw whether ai will ever trust this horse. INUT??????????????

On a positive note, My husband was riding my 2 yeqar okd Nibbles, who behaved like a trooper - she didn't sppokm atg all, stood ground ties when he jumped off to help my daughter, and calmly ponied the excited masre bck to the barn - none of which we had ever worked on!!!
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-04-2012, 09:28 PM
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Oh, boy, I'm so glad your daughter is OK! I had a horse that fell with me, and when he was trying to get up he stepped at my ribs big time several times (I had troubles breathing deep for couple weeks). So it does happen.

My advice is get the trainer and lessons for both - horse and your daughter.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 10:21 AM
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I have to agree with the last poster Send the horse to a trainer At least then you can keep the horse or find out if its worth keeping They do usually try to avoid a rider. But one never knows whats going on in their heads. Becareful
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 10:29 AM
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Barring behavior that appears intentional that may hurt your daughter, this mare may turn out well. If you are wondering about your daughters safety, though, I agree with the suggestions for getting a trainer's opinion.

Guy I work for picked up two mares last fall that had been pasture puffs for several years after barely being started. They seem to get the notion that they are the center of the universe and nothing and no one else matters. They had worse instinctive manners than the BLM horses we've had, who at least had some herd manners that gave me something to build on.

One of the mares he bought was a big klutz and quite lazy. She was not happy with limits on her behavior, but is coming along with lots of effort on our part.

The second was also self-centered, but too aggressive for him to have in his situation. She went to a sale.
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 10:31 AM
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I own a haflinger and while he is a sweetheart he can be a real space invader and if you let them have a inch they will take a mile. Haflingers need to be handled with a firm hand, they need to know you are boss. My haflinger will come running at me and I do not take a chance that he will stop, so I take control before he does something stupid. I'm not surprised that she ran over your daughter mine has little respect for the space of humans. They can be very mischevious little buggers and mouthy as well.

If you take her to a trainer you need your daughter to be very involved in the process. A trainer will make her better but she will take advantage of your daughter regardless unless your daughter takes control of her. A friend of mine was treating the horses and our haflinger chased him around the field trying to get more from him, he thought it was funny but in reality its not funny when you are trying to feed and they become pushy. Try not to treat from the hand with them either they are pretty terrible obout mouthing you

Hope all goes well, and your daughter feels better.
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 10:41 AM
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Sounds to me like she has no respect for your daughter, on the ground or on her back.

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post #7 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 12:35 PM
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Have you had this mares vision checked by a vet? I certainly would.
- Not paying attention to a handler
- Spookiness
- Not seeing a person and running them right over

Those 3 things are not something to mess around with. Get the mare thoroughly checked by a vet. If she checks out clean, send her to a professional trainer.

I personally feel, your daughter should not be anywhere near that mare right now.

Your daughter's life is on the life every time she goes near that mare. Why risk that?

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post #8 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 06:35 PM
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That behavior wouldn't surprise me after 3 years of sitting in a pasture without being touched. Especially if she was without another horse, which I'm assuming was the case...
Horses are like people- if you keep a person isolated for a very, very long time, they won't know how to interact with others. I completely agree with the above posters- I'm very glad your daughter is okay, but I wouldn't risk it without a professional opinion on the situation and the horse, and if you keep her, proper professional guidance. You don't necessarily have to send the horse away- in my eyes, its better for your daughter, if this horse is going to be hers, to be active in the training process and to use the professional as more of a guide as she works with the horse. But I feel that a professional would give a much better perspective on this situation, because they could assess the horse in real life and your daughter's level of ability, etc. Good luck.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 11:31 PM
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This horse hasn't been touched in 3 years, so her behavior doesn't surprise me. I wouldn't have even considered putting anyone of little experience on or near her without sending her to a trainer for a minimum of 30 days, and then would have worked with that trainer for another several sessions to know how to keep the horse's respect.

You have little respect on the ground, and you have no respect under saddle (given that she dumped your daughter in the first undersaddle experience), so now you really need to find someone to work with you hands on to gain respect and keep it; that should have been obvious from the fact that you weren't able to 'keep her attention'. If you don't trust her, now, her behavior could grow worse, since the horse will sense that fear every time she is around you, even if you aren't the one handling her! Your number one priority here is your daughter, and regardless of how much she loves this horse, if you don't trust it, you have to ultimately make the decision between the safety of your daughter and the outcome of the horse. There are more experienced handlers for a young talented horse, but there is only one of your daughter.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-06-2012, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you alll for the advice. I had told my daughter not to ride her yet, but unfortunately my daughter is stubborn and I wasn't there. I used to train OTTB's and jumpers so I beleive I can help her even though I can't ride at this time, but if we run into problemswill definitely bring someone else in. As for me being frightened of her, I definitely am not, just was not happy with her running over me daughter without thought. My daughter is handling her fine on the ground and they have made progress. Part of the problem is she was in a pasture with 3 - 4 other horses (just as she is now), and the pasture she was kept in is within sight and hearing of her. SHe is continually looking over there. I think it will take time for her to become usdes to her new home and in the meantime, lots of groundwork!!!! Hopefully she will start to pay more attention with lots of work. Thanks again and sorry this post was lkate - I ws in the hospital again
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