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post #1 of 5 Old 08-28-2008, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Copper Canyon
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my mare is seven years old, and she has such a way of munipulating you into getting what she wants. she is a complete sweet heart and is very lovey, but she is such a stubborn mare. at first when i got her she wouldnt get on the trailer, only she wasnt scared to get on the trailer. i made a pin around the trailer and put her food in there, she wouldnt get on it until i tured around and walked in the barn, after i did this she would walk ino the trailer and eat her food like normal. it took a month until she wouold get on a off the trailer with out problems. i have learned that unless i inforce ground rules, such as backing her up and spinnign her around, then she wll listen to what i am asking her to do.

does anyone have any ideas of some ground work i can do with longing in order to inforce dominance over her. she's not an aggresive mare at all, she is just stubborn, and has no respect for me, no matter how hard i work with her.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-28-2008, 07:00 PM
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Girls/Women seem to have more trouble with ground work than men do (and I see this in myself) because they value the relationship they have with the horse, so give in easier. You CANNOT give in. With my boy (who was a terror on the ground when I first got him), I had to put a stud chain under his chin to get his attention. Yes, it hurts, but your horse won't make the connection that YOU are hurting her, but that the action produced an effect that hurt.

Start with this: Put the chain on (I prefer underneath the chin) and attach the lead line to the chain. If you don't know how to use a stud chain, ask someone who does. Walk beside her shoulder (where you should be when you lead her anyway). First, try to whoa. Start slowing your pace and stop (to give her plenty of warning that you're stopping). Ideally, she should slow down with you and stop when you do. If she does not, yank the lead rope. She will most likely throw her head and pitch a fit (because it doesn't feel nice). As soon as she stands quietly, stroke her withers. I would keep this on until she stops when you stop walking (without pulling the lead rope). As soon as you reach this point, put her away and return to it the next day. Short, effective lessons work better than beating it into her for hours on end. I hope this helps! If not, PM me and I'll try to make better sense!

Don't give in! You can teach your mare ground manners! As soon as you get her ground handling under control, the trailer issue will solve itself.


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post #3 of 5 Old 08-28-2008, 09:35 PM
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I agree with Steph that females tend to give in more to their horses, cause I know I do it.

But I don't think a chain in necessary...simply using rope halter would do the trick. Depending on how you like your horse to lead:

*Behind you (my personal preference): using a 12-22 foot long leadrope, hold it so the horse has probably 6 feet of give to the lead rope, and start walking forward....try not to look back to check on the horse...if possible do it so where you can check the shadow to see where she is standing. If she gets too close. Immediately stop and start walking backwards doing the chicken dance. Now normally a horse will back up. But if she stands her ground walks forward give her a kick in the chest. Then continue until she backs up. If you have to do the kick, and she doesn't move then it's definately a dominance issue and you'll need to be a little more drastic in your approach.

By your side: put make 3 feet of slack between you and your mare. Ask her to walk forward with her by your side. Slow down and then stop (again as Steph said give her enough time to realize that you are about to stop). If she continues....QUICKLY turn in a sharp circle...walk a few steps then slow down and stop. If this doesn't work, then instead of turning, raise your hand up and yank it down, this isn't meant to hurt the horse, just to get her attention (your simply saying "hey pay attention here, I am stopping and you must also).

I'd say simply work on groundwork. Do some different excersizes on the ground to get her to respect you more and look at you as the herd leader.

*The kick is supposed to be quick and sharp...enough to get their attention and to realize they are not following orders. It's the same way the lead mare would do to someone else that gets out of line...they'd bite/kick that horse quickly, then move on. But if they won't listen, they'd do it again but this time with more force.

Try doing the Parelli 7 games. My gelding was really dominant with me and after doing them they not only helped him calm down, but made him realize that I am the pack leader and that he must respect me.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-29-2008, 09:11 AM
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yeah, depending on how severe the lack of respect for you is, you might start without the chain. I tried (thinking it was unnecessarily harsh), but after a particularly scary trailer incident including rearing and striking at me and the trailer, I had to get more than a halter and lead to get my ottbs attention when we went back to work on ground handling again. At any rate, my big oaf of a horse figured it out within a few minutes, although every once in awhile I have to put the chain on again to remind him who is the alpha.

Google ground handling and you will find a plethora of info. Also if you google mythunderstandings you can find some great articles by the guy who runs Meredith Manor.


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post #5 of 5 Old 08-29-2008, 10:25 AM
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Women do not have any more trouble with ground work than men do, nor does a man value their relationship with their horse any less than a woman does. What women tend to do is nag a horse or nitpick instead of backing up their request with appropriate measures. Men are more apt to ask, tell, then demand, which, IMO, is what should be done. Training is really nothing more than putting meaning to an action, cue, verbal command, etc. If a horse understands what you are wanting, but chooses not to comply, and you continue asking over and over, then you have taught the horse that the cue/command, etc. means nothing and should be ignored. This horse isn't being aggressive, lashing out or demanding you "stop it or I'll make you stop" she's just doing what she's been taught and that seems to be ignore certain things you do/say. Repeated asking without compliance will teach a horse to be stubborn.
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