trouble with a typical mare - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-22-2011, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Cambridge
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trouble with a typical mare

I've ridden the majority of my life and been brought up around horses so i consider myself fairly experienced and had no problem re-schooling my old tb, how was 17hh and had raced, but seem to have endless problems with a new mare. she's 15hh light cobby type and is an older horse. she hadn't been ridden for around 18months before i started riding her and was told she was 'fiery', but didn't expect to be thrown in the first 10 mins of ever riding her. she will now hack and walk, trot and canter whilst out, fairly calmly, only bucking/rearing if spooked. but in the field she is almost impossible, i've had her since september last year and have only just been able to ride her in the field without her going completly mental! but she will be constantly on her toes, headshaking, napping, bucking and being a very uncomfortable ride. she avaids me but tucking her head right up as if she had been ridden with tight draw reins all her life! but we know that isnt the case. she wont canter and will buck, leap into the air, rear and everything else to avoid cantering!
i have to school her in the field and i'm really trying to supple her up as she is extremly stiff and cannot trot a circle without difficulty and like always, will buck if she can't do it.
her behaviour is extremely difficult to work with and i was wondering if anyone had experienced the same thing and had any solutions?
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-22-2011, 02:30 PM
Green Broke
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This, to me, is not "typical mare" - it is indicative of something amiss. Did you have her fully vetted prior to obtaining her? How are her teeth? Have you eliminated all possible "pain" causes for the behavior? Are you certain of the tack fitting?
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-22-2011, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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there isnt any medical issues, all the tack fits (she's ridden in a loose ring snaffle and a caverson noseband so nothing strong that she could be uncomfortable with) and goes well out of the field, responsive if a little lazy and her behaviour is acceptable. its just in the field when she really plays up :/
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-25-2011, 05:13 PM
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If she is placing her chin on her chest the fastest way to stop that is to take ONE rein and do a quick "bump" with it - straight DOWN. This will cause her to raise her head quickly and bring her nose out.

Rider then uses a little leg to push horse forward into the bridle and into the riders soft and giving arms (elbows). Continue forward as if nothing happened. key is the rein that you did NOT use (usually "outside rein" remains the correct length and position as before the bump throughout the effort so she can figure out where you want her head to be.

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post #5 of 5 Old 07-25-2011, 05:22 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Hi there Jess, welcome to the forum!

I am not sure, as it wasn't clear from your post, but what makes you think that her behaviour could be attributed to being a mare? I.e. is it something to do directly with her cycles or does her behaviour change obviously around breeding season?

Purely going by what you have written, she just sounds like a badly behaved horse, regardless of gender. Seems to me that she might have a slight case of agoraphobia for want of a better term. If she only does it in the field then I suspect that she is concentrating on her environment and wanting to react to that, rather than the commands you are giving her.

I would start incrementally - work her until she is composed and thinking straight in an area that she is comfortable in. Then take her out into the field, perhaps just for a walk on the first day. Keep her focus on YOU, not on her surroundings. Of course she can look around (within reason) but she MUST be responsive to your commands. Practice exercises just as you would in an arena - spirals, serpentines, leg yielding, anything that keeps her mind occupied. Then move up to a trot. Same thing.

When you have the walk/trot exercises down pat with smooth and willing transitions, then move up to a canter.

If it makes you feel any better, I have dealt with many a horse that matches exactly your description (mare, gelding and stallion) and it just takes time, work, patience and consistency. Organise your workouts so that everything is a progression, rather than introducing too many new elements at once.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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