New horse doesn't like me - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-01-2014, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy New horse doesn't like me

I got a QH mare about 4-5 months ago and what the owners failed to mention was that she was a kicker. Their daughter broke her of her kicking habit but as soon as I went on my first trail with her, she kicked the horse behind me (and since we have had 3 kicking incidents) I don't like going on a 'relaxing' trail ride when I'm petrified she'll kick. I tried to ride her bareback twice, the first time it took about 10 minutes to get on due to her not standing still. The second time she bucked me off. What was I told when I first bought her? "I ride her bareback all the time! She loves it!" She won't come to me in the pasture and often pins her ears around me. Winter barrel racing starts soon and i'm terrified to run her due to the waiting area in the arena being tiny. Other horses around my mare's backside is a recipe for disaster. How can I bond with her? Or does she just generally not like me?
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-01-2014, 07:26 PM
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I'm running out as I post this, but here's a short answer. I'm sure others will follow with more information :)

Sounds like you need to take some time out of the saddle and ground work her. She needs to respect you on the ground before she will ever do so under saddle. Clearly she doesn't respect you by the pinned ears and behavior. Lots of groundwork/lunging!

We broke kickers with a sharp swat to the rump, but in the meantime, red ribbon when riding in a group!
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-01-2014, 07:40 PM
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Agree with the above poster.

The horse does not respect all, seemingly. You need to do some serious groundwork with her. Backing, yielding hind and forequarters, leading with you and not lagging behind, etc.

I will say though, that pinned ears don't always mean the horse doesn't respect you. My mare has the utmost respect for me and will move the moment I start to ask, but she will pin her ears the whole time. It's called being a mare, just like myself, she's most likely just acting like either a hormonal teenager or a menopausal woman, LOL.

I retrained a kicker..Not only horses she would kick at, but ANYTHING anywhere near her hind end would have hooves flying at it. It's either an insecurity (right now you aren't her leader..if she doesn't respect you as such, she isnt going to trust you to protect her..which means she has to protect herself) or attitude. Regardless of what it is though, you need her respect on the ground and then move to undersaddle and correcting the kicking problem (if it's still there).
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-01-2014, 07:54 PM
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I don't know how to fix a kicker since I haven't really had to deal with one before but I will suggest you putting a red ribbon on her tail when you are in a group of people.

As for her not standing still for you to mount, that's ground work. Her bucking with you bareback, not sure what happened there. It sounds like she's a moody mare though. After you rule out any type of pain issue, I might suggest trying some mare magic or quiescence type of product...

Her not coming to you in the field... some horses just aren't lovey dovey. Is she running from you or just making you come to her?

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post #5 of 6 Old 01-01-2014, 08:17 PM
Green Broke
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I agree with all the above. My new guy stands and waits in his paddock for me to come get him. I am used to my old guy who used to nicker and come to the fence. I have come to realize that this is the way he is. He totally respects me on the ground but often has his ears back when grooming etc. Just don't take it personally and yes ground work and then some more ground work'
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-08-2014, 06:40 PM
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If you do the proper ground work with her, the kicking should fix itself.
I worked with an older gelding over last summer that hadn't been worked with in years. When ever you would go in the pasture to catch him he would just run away bucking, sometimes he would pin his ears and charge at you. By chasing him away when he ran, he eventually learned it was a lot less work to just stand there to get haltered that to run away all the time.
After I got that dealt with, there was still the fact that he is pushy and tends to try to nip at people when they are doing something he doesn't like (like taking up). By doing lunging exercises for about 3 weeks he was more well behaved. I'm guessing if I had never worked with him on the ground he would have bucked me out of the saddle before I was even seated, if he would have even stood still.
Just go back to the basics with her for a week or so and she will learn to respect you.
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