GRR, mares - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-10-2008, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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GRR, mares

I wasn't sure where to put this, but this seemed like the best place...if not, the moderators can move it

I am pretty sure the problem is just her getting older and being a mare, testing her place in the "herd", so to say. But I thought I'd ask if there was anything else it could be or if anyone has suggestions.

I have a 19 month old filly (mercedes) and ever since I've had her she has been wonderful, easy to work with, very easy going. Anything I ask her to do, she picks up very quickly and is such a joy. But lately she has been acting like the SPAWN OF SATAN!

I lunge her maybe 2-3 times a week, 5-10 minutes at the MOST(only walk,trot)...usually she is very good about it. But for the last couple of days she will just take off at a dead run, bucking, spinning...whatever the heck she wants. I have to make her change directions quickly just to get her attention back to what I want her to do. I am not very comfortable with this part of her behavior as I don't need her goofing off on the lunge and hurting herself. After one of these "episodes" she had heat her leg. I haven't lunged her since then.

And today...the farrier came out and she was terrible! Usually she just stands there and dumbfounds him for being such an easy girl for her age. She would not let him hold her legs without pulling away every second.

She is really testing my patience.

So what do you think I should do?
ilovemydun is offline  
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-11-2008, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Can it be her 1st heat cycle by any chance? I may be wrong, but my feeling is that about 2 years old is the time they can be bred (although it's too young, of course), but I mean that about time stud can show the interest. Both my youngsters are very jumpy when in season so I just go slowly those days.
kitten_Val is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 01-11-2008, 11:41 AM
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She may just want to play! On the lunge line, not with the farrier lol. Although I'm sure it was a game with her with the farrier For being so young you can't just demand demand demand "calmness" or anything like that because she's so young. Youngsters like to play and we have to allow them that freedom. We don't want them to be robots. That doesn't mean that she should be able to be snotty or rude, but what you want to aim for is for her to have exhuberance (sp?) with obediance.

Have you just played with at Liberty with no halter or line on her? That may be something fun for the both of you. You want to engage her mind with puzzles like going over tarps, weave in and out of cones, stand up on a tree stump, go over a ditch, navigate some ground poles in different patterns, imaginative things. This will build her respect for you but at the same time allow her to express the curiosity and exhuberance (again sp?) that she has.

Another thought is that she may be acting up on the lunge line because it's boring. Circles and circles can get very boring very quickly, especially with young horses. So try mixing it up.

As for the farrier, you might want to start back at square one with her with picking up her feet and standing quiet. If she gets snotty with you and you KNOW FOR CERTAIN it's not fear back her up while keeping your feet still until the expression on her face changes to a softer one. The reason you want to keep your feet still is because in a herd of horses, the horse who moves his feet first loses the game. So by her moving her feet more then you, that shows her you are dominant over her.
Spirithorse is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 01-11-2008, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Spirithorse - What exactly is liberty? lol I've seen it at midwest horse fair...but all's they do is chase the horse around the arena with a whip to show it off? That doesn't seem like what you were talking about.

Also, what can I do on the lunge to mix it up so she's not bored? Usually when I lunge, I'll walk her, trot, walk, trot. Stop her, trot. Change directions. And start over. Sometimes I will change directions more often to keep her attention on me. Is there something else I could do?
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-11-2008, 12:56 PM
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Playing at Liberty with a horse is with no halter or lead on the horse. You'll want to start in a round pen but you certainly don't chase the horse around lol. You want to PLAY with her. See if she will follow you around, trot when you trot, stop when you stop, back up and come to you. It's very low key and it's fun! But, you want to have a good foundation on a line before you jump into liberty work. So on the lunge line so things don't get boring, try using obstacles like I said in my last post. Sorry, I wasn't clear about what to do at Liberty and what to do on a lunge line You'll want to do the ground poles, going over tarps, etc. ON LINE.

One thing you can start to teach her is a game I LOVE to play with my horse called "stick to me." You'll start on line to teach. Basically you want her to mirror your every movement. Stand at her shoulder, bring your energy up and make it obvious in your body and walk forward. If she doesn't follow, reach back and lightly tap her with your whip to say "Hey, follow me." For this game, it's best if her head is a little in front of you or you are at her shoulder, but don't let her get too far out in front of you otherwise you will lose control. When you stop, exhale big and bring your energy down. If she doesn't stop wave your whip in front of her to tell her that "door" is closed. Then stop and rub her. Once that is good, then start this at the trot. Get your walk, trot and stop good. Now is when the fun begins!! You can trot, stop, back up, trot off immediately, stop, spin around, turn, etc. and she will be right beside you. But it all builds on itself, so take your time. Oh, and when you ask her to back, tap the ground with your whip in front of her as you are backing, and if she doesn't respond put a feel on the halter to ask her to back. When she does, release and praise. Then at some point you can even do this at the canter! Remember to use your whip like a mare's tail. If she doens't follow or turn with you, lightly reach back and tap her or swing the "string" end of it at her butt, but be careful that it doesn't snap her with you swing it!

This is such a fun thing to do with your horse! Once it's good on line you can then do it at Liberty. My horse really gets into it, I'll trot off, stop, back, trot off again, then canter, stop, back up, spin around and go the other way, and he's right there having a blast! Let me know if you are unclear about something.
Spirithorse is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 01-11-2008, 01:08 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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Spirithorse, I haven't ever done that with that in mind (I of course work with that in leading, but not so much as a game). That sounds like a lot of fun...I can't wait to try that :)
AKPaintLover is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 01-11-2008, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Lol, I will probably enjoy that more than my horse :P Just kidding, but for real, that sounds like alot of fun. I don't have access to a round pen though...and I don't have enough barrels/poles to section it off.

But I will def. start the lunge work!! As well as the stick to me. I've actually kind of done that with her, but obviously not as a fun game, so that should make a difference

THANKS SOOOO MUCH I will keep you updated. If I have any other questions is it alright to message you, spirithorse?
ilovemydun is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 01-11-2008, 02:26 PM
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Yep, when you turn it into a game it's so much more fun for the horse and for you!

Feel free to send me a message anytime :) Good luck and have fun!
Spirithorse is offline  

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