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Mare is grabbing bit, pulling rein out of my hand

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    07-26-2011, 12:34 PM
Two thoughts:

The first is that they have the wrong horse. If they aren't going to be using a 2 year old regularly, no matter what you do, it will eventually revert since it will not have the time put on him that he needs and will be ridden by beginners (if I understand it correctly)

The second is that my current trail horse, Bonnie (my new Paint) is like that. She is 14, hates a bit but loves a "Little S" hack. I can do anything in the world with her in that hack that I can do with any other horse in a bit. What is their problem with a hack? Is it because they feel that there is no control? Obviously that is incorrect.
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    07-26-2011, 01:09 PM
Thanks for the advice horsinaround, that exactly what I did this morning, just stayed off and worked on the ground. She is an angel in a halter/leadrope situation, so I did all of her ground work in bit/bridle. I'm going to ride her this evening when it cools down a little.

Iridehorses- I have discussed that fact with them (they have the wrong horse) but she's the "pretty" one that they wanted "and she wont be young forever...." they just don't understand that the work from here to there is constant. This is a classic example of the difference between a horse-owner and a horse-person. I can only offer them the knowledge I have and hope they are willing to learn.... so far it hasn't been such, but I'm doing the best I can for the horse.
To answer your question, I have NO IDEA why they are opposed to the hackamore. I'm getting the feeling its because that's what they think it's "suppose to be like", they have no concept of the reality of horsemanship, just old westerns with a horse tacked up, bit included, and riding off into the sunset..... ::insert deep sigh here::
    07-26-2011, 02:11 PM
Sometimes it's all you can do just to keep some people from killing themselves. If I had that situation, I would walk away. If they aren't willing to understand or even listen to someone with experience, then no matter what you do, it will not be good enough for long; it's the horse who comes out the looser but the blame goes to you in their mind.
    07-26-2011, 02:21 PM
Originally Posted by iridehorses    
... then no matter what you do, it will not be good enough for long; it's the horse who comes out the looser but the blame goes to you in their mind.

You're so right.

Truth be told, that's why I offered to give them 30 more days for free, so that I could attempt to salvage any attitude toward myself that they might pass on to others. And in doing so, I had hopes for maybe getting a little extra time to teach them some things.
    07-26-2011, 02:29 PM
Just a small input with the anti-grazing suggestion. I tried something similar on my mare who has a very similar and annoying habit, it worked for a short time until she got wise to it. She then started to throw her head up instead so you might find it pushes the problem elsewhere if the horse is smart :) Good luck with it though, shame they can't see the hackamore solution staring at them in the face!
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    07-29-2011, 11:04 PM

Tried working mare with rope 4knot halter AND bridle on with reins clipped to both.... epic fail.....

Tried leaving lead rope on halter and giving her a stern, heavy correction when she started to tip her head before the "fight" as I've come to call it, she listened to that for about 2min, then started this game where she would let me correct her then she would spin toward the pulling side and again drop her head.

SOoo.... I looped the leadrope around the saddle horn with VERY little slack so that she couldn't get much if any head movement other than natural headset and it gave her the regular pressure of the halter that she respects..... es no workie......

To say the least I feel that I am losing respect from this horse. I was getting off of her before I lost my temper to frustration. I have never lost my patience before! So I put her back in the rope hackamore and got her listening again, going to try her in my Reinsman combo bit tomorrow.

My game plan now is to wean her from one to the other. Start with the combo bit (even though, Bubba, I know its harsh on the nose but I'm hoping that the harshest I have to get without getting harsh inside her mouth) then go to a half-breed side pull, then hopefully down to a plain snaffle.... wish me luck... I have less than 3 weeks.
    07-30-2011, 12:44 AM
Did you ever figure out why she is doing this? Is there any physical reason? Sometimes it can be really unexpected. Do you think it is only a work evasion tactic?
    07-30-2011, 12:50 AM
Tiny- I'm pretty sure it is. I personally took her to the vet and had her teeth checked, vet said her mouth looked great, wolf teeth have been pulled even. So I don't think its a comfort thing. She doesn't do this AT all in the round pen or arena, or walking down the gravel driveway because there is no grass to try to get to. I can line her up in the middle of the street and she's fine. It's just when a car comes and I have to move her to the ditch, the fight is on and then I can't get her back to the road. However, the owners want to trail ride and let the grandkids ride her around the pasture.
    08-02-2011, 02:33 AM
Originally Posted by farmpony84    
I would stop. Back up. And start from the beginning. If she is only a 2 year old then she isn't really ready for hours in the saddle. Also, if she is 2 and only has 30 days under her belt then you are skipping a ton of the basics. I would not concern myself with the bit just yet, I'd work on some of the more basic concepts. Just my thought. (PS - I think you have a typo on her height)
This is the best advice yet. This horse needs to go back to the drawing board & fix the holes in it's training! Trying out a bunch of new bits isn't fixing things. This horse is a late 2 yr old & has about a year of riding on her?? or did I read something wrong...
IMO,She has probably be ridden off the face for most of her training/riding experiences & now is pulling away grabbing bit in her way of taking control of it,pulling it away from rider who is on her face too much,rather than being asked to move off leg & seat for direction. Combination of lack of good foundation training,riders that need lessons & a young horse that has been asked alot,mentally not mature & is now rebelling. Need to back up & revisit some of that early training with this horse not try fix it with a bandaid, ie: new bit
    08-04-2011, 07:20 PM
Painted- as I've already stated, if she were my horse, that is EXACTLY what I would do. Take her back to the beginning. That was what I offered for her owners, but they wanted the "bandaid" fix instead. I can only do what I am asked to do, being as it's not my horse. They saddle broke her and started her riding training as a 20 month old, so yes, she has almost a year of riding on her. Again, I had no control over her training/upbringing. I know how it should have been done, but she's not my horse.

Update: She is riding well in a half breed sidepull right now, not grabbing the bit or yanking her head at all. I also started making her disengage hindquarters under saddle when she started to drop her head at all, that helped a lot, because all the sudden when her head dropped she had to move her feet and was less likely to able to get the bite of grass. She is a smart horse, just been allowed to get away with murder with her owners. Were doing some direction changes and trotting some polls right now, along with the disengaging and one rein stops, still keeping our rides to 30 min or less (too hot to do any more!) Keeps her moving and thinking instead of concentrating on grazing. She does listen to seat and leg cues, gets better every day. Stopping with the seat and leg cues have never been an issue, just the head thing so she could eat.

Thank again to everyone that has given me advice along the way. Even as backwards or "bandaid" fix as it may seem to MANY of us, I have appreciated the moral support. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person that thinks the owners are complete morons. =) As I stated before, I'm just trying to do my best, for the situation given, for the horse.

bit, pulling, training

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