The Dreaded Red Ribbon - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Question The Dreaded Red Ribbon

Im proud of my baby girl, Charm and the fact that her training has gone so well. I have trained her from the ground up and she has never given me a huge problem (just stubborn sometimes like a true mare). She has become quite the automatic horse.

This fall I have done two 7hr trail rides away from home and I could point her at anything and she would do as told: bridges, river, cliffs, hills, anything. Sadly, she has one problem that has recently cropped up (might be trainer error as well). She kicks, badly. The first ride she tried to kick out once and I quickly reprimanded her with a loud noise and a smack on the shoulder.She didn't try again. The second ride she literally tried to kick out at any horse that was coming up behind her or trying to pass her. Id try everytime to catch it before anything happened and make her swing her hindquarters around, but then she would try to bite them. Everytime she pinned her ears I would do a loud noise and if she hadnt stopped, I would smack her on the shoulder. Being as I was leary from the last time just in case it wasnt a fluke I put a red ribbon in her tail this time to be safe. I know she was in heat the second time but that shouldn't be an excuse.

If anyone has any other advice to offer me, please do so. My trainer says I have the right idea and that this is a hard problem to cure of a horse. Any opinions? Thanks.

" Horses are a humans wings."
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 09:09 PM
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I'd be interesting in hearing more ideas as well, my mare does the same thing with horses she doesn't know well, one time she literally ran backwards trying to kick at this appy mare riding in the indoor, the appy isn't in her field so they don't know each other well and I told owner to please not ride up Bella's butt but she said "she didn't care if Bella tried to kick her" and so she kept coming close(litterally nose to butt close!)That was one of the most stressful rides ever! I don't ride with her anymore! Sorry for the long rant on your post, hopefully someone will have some more ideas but I think what you are doing sounds like it should help, maybe carry a crop when you know you will be riding with other strange horses.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 09:10 PM
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Mares, gotta love them
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Rachel: At least I know Im not the only one out there! Like I said she is perfect (for me;) ) except for this little bug. Hopefully someone will have some answers.

Tianimalz: I know right!! I was thinking it mostly may have been because she was in heat that once. Stubborn, cranky mares.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 09:28 PM
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This is exactly what Lucky use to do. Except, it didn't matter if she knew the horses or not, she kicked at them all the same. We've finally gotten to the point of where she won't have an issue with a horse she's met before slobbering all over her butt now on the trail unless she gets really hyper/excited. I can normally get her calmed down at the "rocking horse" stage before actual kicks happen.

All I did was make her work harder or quit doing what she was making her hyper if she thought about kicking. I took the crop to her ass a few times, but she responded better with the work than the being hit for it.

What I noticed after awhile was, is that she's just never focused on her rider enough, so she gives all her attention to whatever it is that's around her. I started talking to her and making her listen to me by keeping her on her toes about what I was going to ask her, and the pinned ears and kicking stopped almost immediately.

I still toss a ribbon (shoe-lace) in her tail at shows (still has a bit of an issue here..since she gets super excited for those) and if I'm going to go on a trail ride with anyone that isn't from our barn and been on a trail with me/her before, but generally she's an angel as long as she's leading (typical mare, eh? Haha)

Though, I don't think this is a hard problem to fix at all. I only worked with Lucky once/twice a week for a month and had her as an angel at trail rides at the farm.(:

mwhaha
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 09:31 PM
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What worked with my mare was to make her work HARD every time she so much as made a nasty little mare face. She really was evil with other horses, and was starting to try to pull an attitude with me as well - threatening to buck, bunny hopping, and bad little attitude in general. I was being generous in thinking maybe it was a pain issue, rode through everything, and tried my hardest to figure out what her issue was.

Finally her breeder came out, and said "Well she's just like her mother, isn't she?!". If she tried any of her mare-ish stuff, he backed her up, turned her, circled, flexed her next, basically did anything to keep her very very focused on the rider. I'm very happy to say that we no longer have to put a red ribbon on her tail, so long as I'm very aware of her attitudes towards other horses. She's allowed to not like another horse, but she is NOT allowed to act upon it - when she is under saddle, she is working, and she better pay attention to me!
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Iseul: Thanks! Yah that's why I would try moving her hindquarters around and make a loud noise, just to get her attention. The smacking came after if nothing worked. That one day it just seemed at its worst.

" Horses are a humans wings."
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 09:33 PM
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Have you tried really making her hussle her feet when ever she shows a sign of aggression. Yield her hind quarters back herand or put her in a trot and do circles frequently changing directions. Do it for a few minutes and then let her walk. Maybe after repeating that she might realize that when she acts up she has to work hard.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Buckcherry: Think that's my next action. MAKE HER WORK HER LITTLE (well... slightly big) BOOTIE OFF! Hehe... she should come up with an answer pretty quick. Be nice or work hmmm....

" Horses are a humans wings."
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 09:42 PM
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The good thing in this situation is that most mares are pretty smart, and figure out pretty quickly that they'd rather play nice than work that hard ;)
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