14 year old rearing, spooky mare
   

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14 year old rearing, spooky mare

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    09-23-2007, 04:48 PM
  #1
Foal
14 year old rearing, spooky mare

I just got a 14 year old QH mare. I was told that she was a little spooky but that did not deter me from getting her. I am constantly with her to gain her trust and respect. She does not have a mean bone in her body. She is very quiet in her stall (except for feed bags, she is terrified of feed bags!) She has not been ridden in about two years or better as she was used for a brood mare. I am not sure of any other previous history on her but she is fine with her halter and lead line. I have put a saddle, and bridle and reins on her just to take her out for a walk to get used to the saddle on her back again. I find that she is very spooky and dances around over nothing. I walk her in her pasture first for a while until she is OK and then I take her out and she does it again. I recently left her halter on with her bridle and put on her lead line under her chin. Again she was OK in the pasture but I got her out and she reared up to the point I had to let go of her so I would not be hurt. She is not trying to hurt me or come at me but it seems as if she is rebelling against me. What can I do to get this 14 year old mare to stop this or is all of this at loss?
     
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    09-23-2007, 10:45 PM
  #2
Trained
Re: 14 year old rearing, spooky mare

Quote:
Originally Posted by cherbear
I just got a 14 year old qh mare. I was told that she was a little spooky but that did not deter me from getting her. I am constantly with her to gain her trust and respect. She does not have a mean bone in her body. She is very quiet in her stall (except for feed bags, she is terrified of feed bags!) She has not been ridden in about two years or better as she was used for a brood mare. I am not sure of any other previous history on her but she is fine with her halter and lead line. I have put a saddle, and bridle and reins on her just to take her out for a walk to get used to the saddle on her back again. I find that she is very spooky and dances around over nothing. I walk her in her pasture first for a while until she is OK and then I take her out and she does it again. I recently left her halter on with her bridle and put on her lead line under her chin. Again she was OK in the pasture but I got her out and she reared up to the point I had to let go of her so I would not be hurt. She is not trying to hurt me or come at me but it seems as if she is rebelling against me. What can I do to get this 14 year old mare to stop this or is all of this at loss?
sounds like a handful! I was reading this really interesting article the other day about horse behaviour etc and while I don't remember the details of a lot of it, I remember finding even some of the basics quite interesting. I will try and track down the site I was reading it on and post a link.

Another thing I thought I might mention is Vitamin B1. Im no expert on this as I have only just started using a B1 feed supplement on my mare. One thing I have repeatedly heard and read since using it myself, is it does a great job at calming nervous/fizzy horses. Just a thought ;) im feeding it in the form of equilibrium b1 cool mix. It does a number of things as its a mineral supplement but when it comes to calming nervous horses it is supposed to be brilliant. My mare isnt nervous so I can't say from personal experience though.

Check it out on their website www.equiaustralia.com.au it is only supplied to australia and new zealand but you may be able to get some good information from the site anyway as he explains a lot about all the supplements and what they are good for etc

Good luck :)
     
    09-24-2007, 09:56 AM
  #3
Foal
I know exactly what you're going through. My gelding is very spooky and hadn't been ridden in over a year when I got him. I did a lot of ground work and riding in the pasture, which was his comfort zone. When he got more confident, I led him out in the yard with a lead and chain over his nose for extra control.

I'm now trail riding him by myself and he still has some issues, but I find that talking or singing to nevous horses usually helps takes their minds off what's scary. I'd slowly bring her out of the pasture, allow her to graze for a minute or so, feed her treats then return her to her comfort zone. That way, she'll think of going out as a positive and not so scary experience.
     
    09-25-2007, 01:38 PM
  #4
Started
My horse was abused and he was soo spooky when I got him and he spooked at everything but I found that talking softly and reassuringly to him made a world of a difference so while riding try talking in a nice easy normal tone like nothing is going on and if you are nervous try to make it sound like your not cause she will be able to tell and that will get her scared. Also watch her body language so you can get ready to know if she is about to spook so you can do something about it.
     
    09-28-2007, 07:51 PM
  #5
Showing
I say get to a trainer! Either find someone to rebreak the mare or better yet you and your horse go together. I am afraid you will end up getting hurt or worse. The cost is nothing compared to any harm you may come to. My husband took his horse (and himself) to be retrained a few years ago and really enjoyed it. It made for a better safer horse and him a better rider. If you are in a place where trainers are scarce I suggest you invest in some training dvd's Clinton Anderson is great as well as John Lyons and the Parelli's. Good luck and BE SAFE
     
    09-28-2007, 08:42 PM
  #6
Started
I noticed in your post that you said she "spooks at nothing." You have to realize that she is a prey animal. An animal whos first instinct is to fly from fear. Spooking is an instinctual response, and the horse won't spook "just beacue" or "to get out of work." They spook because they precieve the situation to be dangerous and that something is going to kill them. Point being: she doesn't feel safe.

I also would not put a chain over her nose, under her chin, or over her lip. That could make things worse, because pain would then be a factor, or you would just be managing her behavior, not helping her gain confidence in you or in her environment. I would however, invest in a good quality rope halter and a lead rope that is at least 12 ft. Long.

Now, the thing you need to become aware of, and sensitive to, are her THRESHOLDS. As you lead her out of the pasture, position yourself where you are at her shoulder. This way when she hits a threshold you will be able to "feel" it. You will feel her hesitation or when her body tenses up. When she hits a threshold DO NOT PUSH HER PAST IT. She is telling you she doesn't feel safe going forward anymore. Stop and wait with her. Maybe even back up away from it a few steps. You will know she is ready to go when she blows, lowers her head, blinks her eyes a lot, licks and chews, cocks a leg, lets out a deep sigh, etc. I would do this for many, many days until you hit very few, if any thresholds. Let her graze in between as well, if she wants to. This is all about building her confidence. She will respect you and trust you more if you do this consistantly with her. Good leaders do not push the other party into situations where they are afraid. Good luck!
     
    09-30-2007, 06:28 AM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidaloco
I say get to a trainer! Either find someone to rebreak the mare or better yet you and your horse go together. I am afraid you will end up getting hurt or worse. The cost is nothing compared to any harm you may come to. My husband took his horse (and himself) to be retrained a few years ago and really enjoyed it. It made for a better safer horse and him a better rider. If you are in a place where trainers are scarce I suggest you invest in some training dvd's Clinton Anderson is great as well as John Lyons and the Parelli's. Good luck and BE SAFE
I have to agree with Vidaloco here. This horse needs training and it sounds like she needs it from the beginning! Rearing is a very dangerous thing to do. Even if you think it's not intended towards you the horse still should not do it.

I have to wonder if this horse was even trained at all. Some less-than-honest horse traders will say a horse was trained and has been a broodmare for a couple of years when in fact the horse wasn't trained at all!!!

Even if she has been trained, she needs to go back to basics. Lots of groundwork first before you even think of putting a saddle on. If you can't afford a trainer, or don't know one, I agree with the dvd's. I especially like Clinton Anderson myself, but, I SERIOUSLY encourage you to go to a professional trainer. The things you describe are very dangerous!
     
    09-30-2007, 05:50 PM
  #8
Yearling
WOW. Yes, at this ,moment you need to gain trust!! If this means 2-3months on the ground, then let it be. If you ride her now, she does something really bad to you (not saying she will) and you get hurt, whose going to ride her then? Sorry that's being very dramitic but I have seen it happen.

My best advice would be, if you have a round yard?? Get plastic bags, tie them to everypost of the yard. Get softdrink cans place them everywhere. When you first start off make sure it isn't a windy day, give her 2-3days to get use to them, but I know mother nature has something planned, that hits unexpicted!!

So yes, please try that. Lunging her, touching her all over. Helps alot. Parelli may help too. Just be safe sweety.......
     

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