12 yr old adopted mare bites and corrals - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 42 Old 01-15-2013, 02:28 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
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Time to start networking with fellow "horse folk" in your immediate area so that you can get some help in learning some horse sense and starting to build the foundation this mare needs to become a respectable, safe member of society. If you don't already have friends who are horse people, you can find them at the feed store, tack store, etc (places you will be anyway now that you have a horse to shop for). If a paid trainer is not an option right now, you can avail yourself of the help of someone who might be willing to help you and this mare get started just for the sake of helping (yes, there are those of us out there who will do that).
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post #32 of 42 Old 01-18-2013, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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an update. I went to her field with a broom handle hidden in my pants and under my shirt...walking a bit funny. Filled her water and then set up the sting.

I had only one carrot, she is used to several carrots at least. I gave her the one carrot and when she finished eating it and nuzzled me for more I said NO loudly and walked away. She immediately circled and did a body block. I whipped out the handle and saying NO loudly again (so she would associate the word with the possible consequence) I brandished it, preparing to land a solid wallop. She jumped a foot in the air and scampered backwards about 12 feet. Apparently someone has used a stick on her before. I immediately put the handle away, said Good Girl and walked back to the house.

I know there is much more to learn and I still have to exercise extreme caution but I think that was a tiny step into my reclaiming the alpha female title. In the future I will carry the hidden handleand the minute she intrudes on my boundaries, out it will come.

Thank you all so much for your advice. Will keep you posted.
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post #33 of 42 Old 01-19-2013, 11:00 AM
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No doubt she knew you meant business!

I must admit I did get a chuckle out of the mental image of you whipping a broom handle out of your pants and shirt. If I tried that I would be a flurry of arms and clothing in all directions, which, that alone, would scare any horse.
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If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #34 of 42 Old 01-20-2013, 01:37 PM
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It is honourable to want to save a horse from slaughter and so I completely understand why you did so but it will be very, very hard work. I have not owned my own horse very long, he is young and so a handful even though I know his full history, have the benefit of trainers to assist me and friends at the yard. It's hard work even then and so I seriously hope you do not get injured and that this works out well for you and the horse.
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post #35 of 42 Old 01-22-2013, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by chile888 View Post
an update...I gave her the one carrot and when she finished eating it and nuzzled me for more I said NO loudly and walked away. She immediately circled and did a body block.
The mare's reaction shows that she doesn't respect you AND she doesn't have a working relationship with you. The carrots are spoiling her and the stick is frightening and challenging her.
Horses react VERY QUICKLY. Well broken horses react quickly only to their training, such as quickly taking cues for walk, trot and canter and movements in a particular discipline. Otherwise, they are calm AND obedient, and this is what you want to achieve, NOT getting her to jump quickly away from you.
We continue to train and correct the little disobediences. I have trained my 16'3hh, 6yo gelding to put his head over the stall gate and he holds it there until I halter him. I walk him out and we "halt" at least 2x on the way out. Often I walk him through the 32" human door, then back him a few steps, especially if he isn't paying full attention to me. He knows "around", and he walks around the gate, I shut the gate, he puts his head over the gate with the lead hanging, and I take my time unhaltering him. Often, he wants me to scratch his face, and, since he's not using me as a scratching post, I do this ONLY at this time. Anyone handling my gelding has no trouble with my 1,400 lb horse bc he doesn't drag you out of the barn. THIS is the training that makes a horse usable.
YOUR mare would NOT behave like this.
Aggressive behavior will make a dog submit. Aggressive behavior will challenge a horse. If you horse wants to get into a fight with you the horse will win.
Watch Intl. x-country, where the jumps, like at 2012 Aachen, are only 4 ft. wide (4 ft. high) are they are jumped coming OUT of the water. THIS is the obedience that we all train for, and it takes years to accomplish.
You are in WAY over your head, and fixing to get hurt. There are many, many, trained horses out there with owners who have lost their jobs and cannot keep them any longer. Get your ego out of the way, and dump this problem horse. Find a better animal, or don't be a horse owner until you invest $ in lessons, so you know what a horse's training is supposed to be.

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman, Amazon.com
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did! http://www.horseforum.com/general-of...queens-617793/

Last edited by Corporal; 01-22-2013 at 12:00 PM.
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post #36 of 42 Old 01-22-2013, 12:24 PM
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The situation is what it is already for the OP with no turning back. I can't say it can't be done. I was told the same thing with my crazy QH and my having no horse experience.

I will say that it will take lots of time, patience and consistency. You also will have to be extremely careful and always on guard for a long time. Baby steps. You at least have the internet to learn by reading and watching videos. You also need to be a person with common sense be, or learn to be sensitive to the smallest tries from the horse. You will also need to learn the fine line of pressure and release. Too much pressure can get you hurt or killed with a horse like her. Too little pressure will allow her to take advantage of you.

Take your time, keep a notebook and go very slowly, not expecting too much too soon.

Please do not give this horse treats until she shows more respect to you. Respect is earned and is lacking right now, big time. DO NOT do the 'pooky-doo'....she is a poor rescue horse thing. You can do that later after you gain her respect. If you don't gain her respect, you are wasting your time and hers really....you will never get anywhere, but spiral downhill and get hurt/killed.

You need to also need to develop a change in your body language which she will learn to read a mile away. You don't need to 'hide' a stick. You should be able to have it in plain view. She will react accordingly once she knows the difference in your body language. If you are calm and passive you would be able to touch her all over with it like it's nothing. If you demanding and raise your energy like you mean business, the object will mean a completely different thing to her. Don't tiptoe around her, but know/learn when to use a passive or more aggressive body language with her. If you have to use a more loud, aggressive body language with her, be sure to let it all go, like she is the love of your life, once she is behaving...pressure and release.

Educate yourself, use common sense, be safe.
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post #37 of 42 Old 06-25-2013, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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an update. I never had to brandish a stick again. A forceful firm NO does the trick. A few times a week I do a training session where she stands still in the open field with all the distractions of birds and rabbits etc, and I brush her all over. She stands quietly. Then I get her to raise each foot for 30 seconds by tapping on the foot. She does this perfectly. When she does, she gets a carrot.

Everyday I go into her 24 hour meadow to fill the water and to open another gate that leads to the daytime pastures. Even though she is enthusiastic to get into the daytime meadow, she stands aside and follows me the 600 feet to the daytime pasture gate at a respectful distance. I did not train her to do this. She just started to follow me slightly to my right and about 2 feet behind me. When I stop, she stops. She seems to know that is the right distance and way to follow. Before she would be trying to get in front of me.

I have 4 dogs, 2 are puppies. The puppies run in and out, between her legs, barking and growling and acting like puppies. She looks down on them with a maternal look and does not try to kick or step on them. Same with the cat. She walks very carefully around the cat. She does not harm the 9 chickens who love to peck away in her pasture. She seems to know she is much bigger and could hurt these smaller animals so care is needed. I did not train her... she just does this of her own accord. Is it possible this horse is basically gentle and compassionate or am I giving human attributes to her?

Every evening, I call her from the day pasture so she can spend the night in the 24 hour pasture. She comes running because she always gets a treat. First I have to close the gate to the day pasture and walk the 600 feet over to the other pasture gate near the house. She is often glued to the pasture gate near the house because she knows the treats come from that direction. Instead of walking behind her, I get between her and the gate and push firmly on her chest and she steps backwards so I can open the gate. And when I open the gate all three dogs go racing by to go through the gate. She stands there calmly and waits. I go through the gate, get her evening treat and give them to her through the gate.
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post #38 of 42 Old 06-25-2013, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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She knows that I do not harm her. She knows I gently remove burrs from her mane. She knows I give good treats. She knows I groom her. I sometimes stand with her in the evening and watch the sun go down. Is it possible she actually likes me and that is why she has become such a gentle easy-going horse?

So I know the neigh-sayers will say " the poster will end up in the hospital because she is an inexperienced horse person" and that is why I am giving this update. So you know I am okay. And perhaps with love, firmness and common sense and the accumulated wisdom of all you horse people gathered on this board... well perhaps it is possible to help a dominant horse become more sociable and less aggressive. In retrospect, I think she saw a hole in my leadership qualities and until I was ready to assume the role, she decided she would fill that gap. Yes, I realize that at any time she could turn on me but for the last 6 months she has been quite calm and a pleasure to be around. Will try to figure out how to post before and after photos.
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post #39 of 42 Old 06-25-2013, 10:14 AM
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Chile, don't assume the horse was abused. Horses read people in a heartbeat and very quickly figure out what they can get away with. We hear of this all the time with newbies. Horses are often sold at auction and they hope is that they will find a good home. They aren't necessarily destined for slaughter. An auction is where one can view many horses in one day. No more hand fed treats as you are giving her mixed messages. She gets a treat then becomes demanding so you drive her away. It's best to not set the situation up in the first place. When dealing with horses you need to be one step ahead ie. if I do this, what could the consequences be.
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post #40 of 42 Old 06-25-2013, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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thanks Saddlebag,

she hasn't misbehaved in 6 months, that is why I give her the treats.
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aggression , biting , bullying

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