8 year old mare with Attitude NEW biting issues and bucking
   

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8 year old mare with Attitude NEW biting issues and bucking

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  • Mares attitude
  • Horse turns around to bite foot while riding

 
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    03-15-2011, 07:56 PM
  #1
Foal
Question 8 year old mare with Attitude NEW biting issues and bucking

Okay so we buy this well broke 8 year registered paint mare that has been trail ridden and worked with. The owners talked her up to how well mannered she was and we witnessed her behaving by visiting her at there farm. She loved our kids and loved attention. Now all the sudden 2 weekends ago I saddle her up and went to start riding her. She didn't want to ride wanted to go back to the barn I wouldn't let her so she did buck some at that time. I rode her in circles and when I was done noticed she had an attitude with me even when I un bridled her. My wife and girls can be around her and she is fine.
This past weekend I saddled her up and rode some and she was fighting with me then too!!! Didn't want to ride, wanted to turn around, and started bucking when I went to lope her. She would turn around and bite at my leg too.
This evening I went to feed her and she immediately came in the barn with her ears pinned and nipped at me. I kept petting on her while she was eating and she would still nip at me and kept her ears pinned back!!

What is going on???
     
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    03-15-2011, 08:04 PM
  #2
Foal
Im curious as to whether she likes females better? A lot of the time a horse can just tell when it is a child either riding or caring for them, and will be sweet and understanding towards them. I ran into the same situation when I bought my horse.

I found her as a 3 yr old who was "green broke" and ready to finish. I showed up, rode her, spent time around her, she was a doll. When I got her home she was a completely different horse. I later found out she had only had about 4 rides and had behaved because someone was walking around next to her so she was distracted. I spent months and months working with her, gaining her trust (she wouldnt pick her feet up and she had a nipping problem) and when she realized that I was not going to bite her, she stopped biting me.

I think it sounds like she just needs time adjusting to new people and a new home? Keep spending time with her when you are not planning on riding, just to gain that trust and let her know that she is not in danger. If she does nip and bite and kick etc, punish her but ALWAYS remember: do not hit your horse in the face and if you do hit/shove/correct her in any way, always come right back around and pat her down, scratch her and love on her so that she does not associate being smacked with abuse etc...she will soon realize that if she doesn't bite then she wont be popped on the neck.
     
    03-15-2011, 08:18 PM
  #3
Foal
WOW thanks for the quick response. I have deffinentally got aggarvated and pooped her on the neck for a couple of these fits but, I have talked to her and petted on her afterwards but this all seems strange when we first brought her here she didn't act this way. She was getting fed alfalfa cubes everyday instead of hay I have switched her to hay and she is eating fine. But I hope I havn't put her into some sort of shock and pissed her off at me.
     
    03-15-2011, 08:33 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by apharoxie    
WOW thanks for the quick response. I have deffinentally got aggarvated and pooped her on the neck for a couple of these fits but, I have talked to her and petted on her afterwards but this all seems strange when we first brought her here she didn't act this way. She was getting fed alfalfa cubes everyday instead of hay I have switched her to hay and she is eating fine. But I hope I havn't put her into some sort of shock and pissed her off at me.
Yeah, I think she is figuring out that she isn't at "home" anymore, no longer has her old buddies, and is now trying to establish her dominance and figure out what she can get away with where she is now. It is complicated, and yes strange sometimes, but just give her some time. If she really isn't shaping up and continues these nasty habits after about 2-3 months, I would consider either calling up her old owner and asking if she dealt with it before too, or have a trainer check her out.

Another thought, have you had her checked by a vet since you bought her? I always suggest a vet check if not before the purchase, then asap after she is brought home. If she is in pain or discomfort for any reason, these snaps towards you could be her release. Have her teeth checked/floated? If she switched hay and her teeth haven't been floated within the last year or so, then she could be having problems with that. I would also suggest a physical, my vet usually will do a consultation for a new horse with an all around physical for around $150, and anything after that (teeth floating, rectal exam, etc) will most likely cost extra from there. It is a thought, and either way is something that should be done both for your knowledge and her safety/health.
     
    03-15-2011, 08:35 PM
  #5
Yearling
If the horse is really new to you, it might be one of several things. First, she just might not be as sweet as you think if the previous owners had planned your visit so that she was tired, just got fed, and was happy when you visited. But even if she is a perfect horse for them, there might be some new things going on, especially if she's fussy under saddle at transitions like from a trot to a lope. If she's a weekend warrior, at this time of year she just might be out of shape and working all those muscles makes her tired and sore. If that's it, just warming her up, getting her in shape, and taking it a little easy until she's nice and conditioned will help. The thing she does with biting your leg and bucking at a canter makes me also think she might have an ulcer - my young horse did that when we moved him to the trainer and he got an ulcer from being away from home, in a stall, etc. Everytime we girthed him up or he really started working it hurt his ulcer and he acted like a beast. Normally this horse is a sweetheart and really tolerant so that was a big clue for me.

So, bottom line - rule out pain first and if it's not sore muscles, sore belly, or sore back from a new saddle, then you probably have a respect issue. The cure for that is time on ground work. There are a lot of threads on HF about that. If you're new to ground work, it's a good idea to check out the methods of some of the trainers like John Lyons or Clinton Anderson or Ray Hunt (deceased). Getting her attention and respect doesn't require force or punishment; it is based on pressure (asking for a behavior, like lowering her head or moving her feet) and rewarding the try. Good luck!

Edited - APHAforlife posted right before me - agree with all that he/she said!
     
    03-15-2011, 11:29 PM
  #6
Green Broke
It could be a saddle fitting issue too.
     
    03-15-2011, 11:48 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
I believe I agree most with the advice posted by Ladytrails.
If you have no experience or exposure to those trainers yet, take some time to get a book or video or enlist someone who knows to show you the basics. They are valuable skills to know whether your horse misbehaves or not.

While you are doing that, let your horse do nothing for awile. Coming to a new place can be hard on a horse. Does she have pasture mates? Turn out daily?
Changes like this are very disorienting for many horses, and I think more so for mares. Just basically ignore her for abit. Yes , hang out at a distance, but don't pet her while feeding her. Just let her have that time to herself.

However, when you enter the barn or bring feed, you will NOT allow her to come at you for that food with pinned ears. Absoluetely a no go!
You will shush her off with whatever means works. Don't worry if it upsets her. And don't apologize. Stand your ground. If she moves off but keeps a nastty face on and comes back with NO change in her approach, shush her off again. She will not be fed until she stands off away from you while you put her food in the bin. OR, she stops pinning her ears, puts her head off to the side and lowers it submissively OR she prickes her ears forward, but stays politely off away . You will NOT feed her until she makes a real , noticeable change in her attitude. Then put the food down and turn away from her/it. Done.

Do this every time you feed. Never feed her or let her approach you with that kind of ear pinning.
You cannot win her respect with petting. Sorry. But once she does what is asked, you just remove the pressure. So you do NOTHING. Or a soft, "good girl" is enough. She may not be the cuddly type, so you trying to pet her is almost "punishment" to her, rather than a reward. Her reward is peace and being left alone.

There is a lot of info on other threads about nipping and bad behaviour at feed time. You have some work to do, and she may not like men , but I think it is too early to make a judgement on her total charachter.
I hope this helps. Good luck and check back with your progress, ok?
     
    03-16-2011, 08:49 AM
  #8
Foal
Thank You

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I believe I agree most with the advice posted by Ladytrails.
If you have no experience or exposure to those trainers yet, take some time to get a book or video or enlist someone who knows to show you the basics. They are valuable skills to know whether your horse misbehaves or not.

While you are doing that, let your horse do nothing for awile. Coming to a new place can be hard on a horse. Does she have pasture mates? Turn out daily?
Changes like this are very disorienting for many horses, and I think more so for mares. Just basically ignore her for abit. Yes , hang out at a distance, but don't pet her while feeding her. Just let her have that time to herself.

However, when you enter the barn or bring feed, you will NOT allow her to come at you for that food with pinned ears. Absoluetely a no go!
You will shush her off with whatever means works. Don't worry if it upsets her. And don't apologize. Stand your ground. If she moves off but keeps a nastty face on and comes back with NO change in her approach, shush her off again. She will not be fed until she stands off away from you while you put her food in the bin. OR, she stops pinning her ears, puts her head off to the side and lowers it submissively OR she prickes her ears forward, but stays politely off away . You will NOT feed her until she makes a real , noticeable change in her attitude. Then put the food down and turn away from her/it. Done.

Do this every time you feed. Never feed her or let her approach you with that kind of ear pinning.
You cannot win her respect with petting. Sorry. But once she does what is asked, you just remove the pressure. So you do NOTHING. Or a soft, "good girl" is enough. She may not be the cuddly type, so you trying to pet her is almost "punishment" to her, rather than a reward. Her reward is peace and being left alone.

There is a lot of info on other threads about nipping and bad behaviour at feed time. You have some work to do, and she may not like men , but I think it is too early to make a judgement on her total charachter.
I hope this helps. Good luck and check back with your progress, ok?

I appreciate all the input, I'll work on this. When we have fed her before my girls which are ages 10, 5, and 4 can talk to her and pet on her and she has been fine. My wife said she acted wierd to her this morning when she fed.

She is turned out, and has horses all around her. There is a stud in one section of fencing about 100 yards away that she is always interested in and they talk back and forth alot. Her barn yard is connected to the barn so her she is turned out all day and comes in her stall to get water and eat.
     

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