Is this ear pinning something I need to be worried about? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By A knack for horses
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-13-2010, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Location: South Carolina
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Is this ear pinning something I need to be worried about?

When I put my mare in the round pen she will sometimes pin her ears and stare at me while she's trotting. It's not all the time, maybe once every couple of laps around the pen and it only lasts a few seconds. There isn't anything specific that triggers it.

I flick the whip at her and stand my ground when she does this and she will quit. However, I'm obviously not correcting her hard enough because she continues to try it.

She has good ground manners, she will respond to my voice ques in the pen even though she has an "ear fit" sometimes, she is not an aggressive horse by any means but this looks like a very aggressive action from her and I don't want to let it escalate to anything worse.

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post #2 of 6 Old 08-14-2010, 12:10 AM
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Are you sure its ear pinning? I had the exact same problem and I worked out that I was talking or making a noise and Ricky would put his ears back and listen. I think the momentum of his trot made it look like his ears were pinned back.

I think that you just need to keep correcting it though if she does it out of aggression. A simple 'Uh uh' or 'No' and perhaps create a little bit more impulsion in her trot. Its important you correct it as soon as you see it and stay on top of it. Once you start correcting this behaviour, you've got to stick with it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-14-2010, 12:15 AM
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Are you sure it isn't something around the roundpen that is making her show agression? There may be an object or other horse that she is not particularly fond of, and she may be reacting to it in a way she feels she needs to. If this is the case, I would try to remove the object causing the agression at least out of sight from the roundpen.

My other suggestion is to bump her up to a lope when she pins her ears back. Only make her lope 2-3 rounds, or until she stops her unwanted behavior. She will soon learn that getting nasty in the roundpen just leads to more work.

Hope this helps.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-15-2010, 02:02 PM
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From what I know of her from your other posts, she's a tough nut. I bet she's just trying to mess with your head. If it hurt, she'd refuse to trot. Like knack said, make her work harder when she does it for a few steps until she's backs down.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-15-2010, 06:38 PM
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I have a half arab mare who does this exact thing, and has for years. She does it more when she's unfit, and i am certain (for her anyway) it is just a grumpy, "why-do-you-make-me-work?" thing. I wouldn't worry to much. keep correcting it. She could be sore, but i'm sure that if she were, things would have worsened by now. Check her legs and feet after lunging for any heat, swelling, or discomfort. Checking a horses legs after exercise is a good habit regardless.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-15-2010, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I'll make sure I get her moving faster when she starts pinning at me.

MyBoyPuck, she is a tough nut. I keep telling myself that an easy horse wouldn't help improve my horse skills as much as she has. Then there are times when I tell her I'm gonna sell her on dreamhorse to the first person with a dollar. It doesn't work. She knows I'm bluffing.
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