Advice needed for Training Abused mare! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 03-21-2012, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by KBparelli2012 View Post
Thanks everyone! Her incident with the round pen was about a year ago, and she has been out to pasture ever since. She was checked the first day i was out by a vet, and he checked for pain.
I'm going to push on the Chiro/Massage angle for just a minute. I sent a mare out to be started (at 55 I don't bounce so well anymore) and she reared up with the trainer and fell over a couple of times. Both times she got up and went on about her business just fine but I had the vet out just because. She was carrying her tail a tiny bit wry and that wasn't her normal way of going. Vet found NOTHING.

Fast forward 6 months to my first trail ride with her and as I'm warming her up I notice she's stiff to the right. Not a lot's there. When we got done with the ride I tried carrot stretches with her and found that she really had a hard time flexing right with her neck.

Over the next 6 months I had the Chiro out 3 times to adjust her and each time we'd get better and more flexion. In between visits I'd really work her on carrot stretches and lateral flexion. She's fine today and she never took an off step or bucked (her 'out' was in her atlas/poll/neck not her back) and it wasn't a HUGE off but she was off and all she did was throw a couple of little tantrums at the trainer's place.

So, if you still have bucking issues after a few months working with this mare, I'd really have the chiro out to look at her. Vets are not always in tune with the kind of thing that a good chiro can find.

You also said the owner pushed you into getting on the mare and got mad when you got off. If he tries that again, you need to establish who the trainer will be, you or him. What he wants at this point is only a small part of what is going on. While you need to be mindful of his pocket book and not take forever to either get this horse back to being a sound minded horse or to call it and say it isn't going to happen, you don't want to allow him to rush you.

Work with this mare for a few days and sit down and draw up a training plan with what you feel are achievable goals for the first month, the 2nd and so on and sit him down and give him the plan. Then each month touch on the plan and detail what goals you have reached and tell him about it, sooner if he is one to come around a lot. That way he can see with his own eyes where and what progress is being made. As you go along you can adjust the plan to reflect where the mare is, training & trust wise, and if she's going faster in a certain area be sure to emphasize that and also let him know if you hit a road block and define what you're doing to work through it.

With a horse like this, a lot of good communication will go a long way to keeping her owner happy. If he's a true horseman, and even if he's just learning to be a horseman, he'll be able to see you're not just taking his money for the hell of it.
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-21-2012, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ellisville, MS
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Thanks Dreamcatcher!

I went to lunch with the owner today, and he understands the need for patience. I explained to him what needs to be done with her, and that at the end of 30 days he can feel free to hop up on her...but that he will probably end up in the dirt.

He wants her to be his next roping horse, and is impatient to get started. I also told him today i did not know if she would ever be a "mans horse", because it was a man who abused her.

However, today she did lunge to the left and right, stopping and changing direction when i asked. She only tested me 3 times (sadly, her testing involves trying to kick me)...but three times is much better than the dozen she attempted yesterday in the same amount of time. She was also changing her gait as i asked her to (walk to trot, trot to lope, lope to walk, and whoa).

She seems to be gaining trust in me and confidence in herself fairly easily.
We are under a tornado warning for the rest of the day and it is storming pretty badly, so i cannot continue to work with her today.

And thanks for the chiro information!! If she continues to buck so violently after a month or so i will call one out. Although i do not plan to try and get back on her again for another couple of weeks...i want to do plenty of groundwork and get some respect and trust from her before i try again.
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post #13 of 14 Old 03-21-2012, 08:54 PM
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Horses know the difference between people irregardless of sex…they don't see "man" or "woman", they see YOU (the person in front of them). The "abuse" happened in a round pen and she doesn't seem to have a problem with being in one. I also think placing this horse in a category (ie. an "abused" horse or "not a man's horse") limits your thinking in a way that you don't even realize. You are thinking of her as damaged goods right off the bat, instead of letting her tell you what she is/isn't needs/doesn't need - and if you continue to think of her as damaged goods, then that is what she'll be for you.
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post #14 of 14 Old 03-21-2012, 10:25 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
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agree %100 with horse poor. step one is forgetting she was abused. Treat her like any fearful horse you just got in to start under saddle. pity wont help this horse, good training will.
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