Mares not riding together well - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By Dreamcatcher Arabians
  • 1 Post By Ace80908
  • 1 Post By thesilverspear
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-04-2012, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Mares not riding together well

I have a mare, and I have been looking for a new pony for my daughter. We are doing a free lease right now with some people that have a GREAT pony, but she and my mare HATE each other. I've given them about 2 weeks to get to know each other, and so far not much has changed in their feelings. I have tried to go on rides ponying either mare (since this is somewhat necessary for trail riding with my daughter), and so far they just try to kick each other's face off. I thought it would get better with time, but it is not. I am not sure if there is something I can do to mitigate this. My mare's always been a little fussy about a horse on her hiney, but it does depend on the horse. I have tried riding the pony and ponying my mare, and that is a recipe for disaster. The pony squeals and kicks worse than my horse! Obviously, this would not work for my daughter to ride with me. What I am wondering is, I suppose, is there anything I can do to improve the situation, or is this a lost cause? I like the pony and my daughter rides her well enough in the arena, but we can't even begin to go out on the trail together, which was, well, the goal of getting the pony! Is this a mare/mare issue? My mare does OK with our slow poke gelding behind her, but he is HUGE and my daughter doesn't like riding him because he's so enormous and somewhat intimidating. I feel like, in my gut, I should give the pony back and look for a new horse, but I thought I would see if anyone has any suggestions to improve the situation before I throw up my hands and quit.
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-04-2012, 11:44 PM
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Two weeks isn't a lot of time. I'd put them in side by side corrals or stalls, so they can get used to each other but not kill each other. I'd give it about a month. Then I'd put them in a BIG pasture so they can get away from each other, but keep them separate from other horses. Then a smaller one and you should be fine. I'd also have a CTJ with both of them about kicking while someone is on their back. They'd be catching a crop on their A$$ everytime they squealed or kicked until they quit.
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-05-2012, 12:22 AM
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I second a "butt whippin" if they have the nerve to act up when you are on their back. Whiskey is an alpha mare and can be very dominant in the field, but she knows that when I am riding, it is MY RULES... and that means she ponies anything I choose, even ear pinning or a pissy look gets a reprimand from me...

she kicked out at a horse that got too close at a show once when I was getting ready to go into halter and I ran her backwards the length of the warm up arena smacking her chest with the lead... never had another problem.

That would probably be the safest way to teach her ... have you and another experienced handler lead her and the pony. Walk alongside each other and gradually shorten the distance between them and take turns being the leader with a crop in your hand - if either pin their ears or get tense, give them a verbal warning and move their feet - if they actually go to kick, turn into them, scream at them and run them backwards about 20 feet - then resume the walk... once you can get them to lead alongside and in front of or behind each other then proceed to ponying...
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There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Nelson Mandela
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-05-2012, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for the advice! I am going to have my friend come help me work with them and work on ponying in the arena for now until I can get them to go without any kicking.
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-05-2012, 06:56 AM
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My mare is so horse-aggressive when she's on her own time in a field that she has to be on individual turn-out. But when she's ridden or handled, she knows she's not allowed to kick or bite because I can be scarier than she is. I've ponied off her, done quadrille, and she's all sweetness and light; you'd never know she was the type of horse to chase others into corners and kick the crap out of them.

So do what Dreamcatcher said -- make clear that she's not allowed to get into fights when you are in the picture.
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