Cheyenne Update & Needed Advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-24-2012, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 347
• Horses: 2
Cheyenne Update & Needed Advice

Hi everyone,

For people who have not seen my posts, I own a 5 year old mare. After buying a saddle that was too big for her, the chiropractor told me to do heat/ice for a month and no riding, just ground work (she had mod-severe back pain). Chiropractor came back and said she was 85% better and to go ahead and start riding her.

The day I planned to ride her, took her out to groom her and get her ready before my trainer came out. She has ALWAYS been a little touchy about grooming since I got her in October. She just doesn't like it and it makes her angry. I can saddle her/bridle her no issues whatsoever. Just brushing. The barn owner always tells me to just go at it full force and if she tries anything to discipline her then. I've tried other things like brushing her neck, then going to the places she doesn't like, then back to the neck...etc etc. My trainer tells me to just do it really quickly and get it over with for her. On this day, the barn owner was outside and Cheyenne was extra agitated by the brushing (she may be going into heat pretty soon). I tried a few different things and then decided to go at it full force as I did not have time for her stupidness. About 20 seconds into brushing she reared up multiple times on cross ties (bumped her head real good, has a little cut above her eye). I was in a very tight spot between her and the stalls in the isle way, not much room to get away but I did manage to get away. I stood back and let her figure things out. Barn owner came over and Cheyenne was kind of hyped up and nervous after the whole thing (her head probably hurt really bad). The barn owner took my brush from me and started brushing her down (she flinched A LOT). He said I was going at it too gently but it was the opposite I went at it full force and she reared. Anyway, we got her brushed - with her opposition but still got it done.

She was spooky the rest of the night, which makes sense to me as I'm sure the whole situation freaked her out. She was like this one other night and that is the night that my trainer fell off of her. My trainer got there and went to get on her (first time in ~1.5 months) and Cheyenne backed up. Trainer had to inch her way up but eventually got on and just rode around a little...walk/trot/switching directions nothing major for the first ride....she was on her about 20 minutes. Trainer goes to get off....Cheyenne freaks out again. This is not a behavior issue - she was frightened by something. We have never had a problem mounting/dismounting in the time I've had her.

Barn owner asks me if he can ride Cheyenne a day after my trainer rode her. I said sure. She did the same mounting/dismounting stuff with him. I wasn't there for his whole ride, unfortunately, but when I arrived he was on the ground and Cheyenne was taking off on the other side of the outdoor arena. He said he had a great ride (just walk/trot) besides the mounting/dismounting.
He got back on her, she tried to take off.
Tried again. She stood quietly. Walked her around.
Got off. She took off.
Got on again. Stood quiet.
Got off. Took off.
Got on. Stood quiet.
Got off. Stood quiet.

He patted her down the whole time he was riding. There are no "spooky spots." It is mainly dismounting, she stands still more times for mounting.

So I am wondering if anyone understands what the mounting/dismounting problem could be about? Also, what do I do about the grooming issue? I've tried everyone's suggestions. Could it be a "mare" problem as she gets more sensitive around the time she goes into heat?
Kelly22790 is offline  
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-25-2012, 01:08 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 209
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I'm not sure about the dismounting problem as I would have to see her do it, but it might be that she is still in pain from the previous saddle or she is expecting pain from the saddle. She may look frightened, but she may very well be in pain. Teach her to flex to both sides from the ground first and when you mount her flex her to the side you are mounting/dismounting from. If she tries to bolt it will be very difficult if not impossible . Just be sure to release the pressure when she stands still and if she doesn't, just keep flexing/holding her nose to your knee until she does. Be sure you have a very nice bit in her mouth (no curbs or anything with a chain) to avoid any injuries to her mouth.

As for the grooming- You said that you think it might be because of her heat cycle? It could be that, but does she do that all the time? If it is only during/near her heat cycle, you could try putting her on Mare Magic. It has worked really well for me. It helps calm them down and reduces pain in the cycle. You also mentioned that you brush her neck, then brush a spot she doesn't like, then go back to her neck where she is comfortable. From what you wrote about how she flinches/over reacts to the brushing, do you think it's possible her previous owner abused her? That could be part of the problem, it would make sense as to why she gets so flinchy. Do she get flinchy with other objects or just the brush? I would suggest desensitizing her to all these areas with a lead rope, rag, etc until she is comfortable with those and then try the brush on her in those same areas. Be very aware of her body language, as she may rear again. Do this in an enclosed arena or round pen for safety.

Last edited by sporthorsegirl; 03-25-2012 at 01:11 AM.
sporthorsegirl is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 03-31-2012, 05:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 109
• Horses: 2
What kind of horse is your mare? It sounds like she is having or anticipating pain. Does she freak out with curry combs, shedding blades, sponges, or when you wash her? Since she has had back issues, it really sounds like it is all connected to that, although the dismounting and grooming could be two different things. The unhorsemanship way to try to troubleshoot would be food. Treats, carrots, whatever. Does she still pin ears, flinch, and spook at dismount? If so it almost has to be pain or probably the anticipation of pain. Is she on bute or banamine? When was her last heat cycle? Who owned her before you, someone reputable?
94broncoxlt is offline  

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