have a big problem - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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have a big problem

hello..we are new to this forum..we have a 16yr old Palomino, Molly, which we have only had a short time..she rides with a hackamore..the problem is that for the first 30 mins or so of riding, she does really good..then she starts throwing her head like shes trying to throw the hackamore off..when she does that, the riding is pretty much finished cos we cant get her to do anything..she was tried in barrel racing but she didnt like that to well..all she wants to do is be with our gelding..we desperately need to know how to fix this problem...PLS HELP...thanks
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 11:50 AM
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Sounds like she's herd bound. You should take her out everyday and just bond with her: give treats, groom, sweet talk her, hand graze/walk, etc. for a couple of weeks and do some ground work with her, especially before you ride her. I wouldn't ride her for a week or so and just focus on bonding a little everyday and gradually increasing the time you spend with her. Good luck! :)

PS: Does her saddle/tack fit her properly? She could be trying to get away from pain if it doesn't fit.

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post #3 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 12:00 PM
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A lot of horses are herd bound, and it can range from being a small annoyance to a very large problem. Its important that you are firm with her when she tries to go back to him, never give in. I would try and keep them separate for part of the day if possible. I had a gelding who was very herd bound and that was kept in a paddock. Once I started stabling at night he got a lot better.

To me though, it does not really sound like her head throwing is because of her herdboundness, because otherwise she would do it from the beginning. Even though hackamores are bitless they can still cause the horse pain from heavy hand, and unless used properly can cause more harm than good. Perhaps part way through the ride something changes that makes her uncomfortable? You could always try her in just a basic snaffle bit. It is essential that if she is throwing her head you do not end the ride, because this may just be a learnt behaviour. Maybe after 20 mins after she has been take her for a 20 min trail ride away from the gelding and see if she acts the same.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 12:03 PM
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Was she always ridden in a hackamore? I'd find out what the previous owner used and go with that. It sounds like she is either getting a painful nose or is testing you.
You might step up to a bit and see what happens. If your fairly heavy handed a snaffle may be of help.

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post #5 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 12:18 PM
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I think the suggestions you have gotten thus far are all good ones but I just want to add that you should never end on a bad note. If you let the horse get away with acting naughty and end when she starts then she will figure out that if I do this I get to go back! And that's not good! (For the horse maybe, but you, no! lol)

If she starts up and you have to get away, make sure you just collect your thoughts and try to regain control and make her do something you guys do well together. This just reinforces that you are the leader and she needs to listen to you

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post #6 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 12:52 PM
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Do you do the same routine every ride? Maybe there is something in particular that happens around that 30 minute mark that is confusing her, hurting her, scaring her.... a command, a location, a movement...
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 03:55 PM
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Since it has not been mentioned yet, you want to make sure that all of your tack fits her properly and is not rubbing or pressing and causing pain. You might try a simple loose ring snaffle bit on her (you can probably get one at your local tack store for less than 10 dollars). If nothing else helps, have the vet come out to ensure that it is not a pain response to some health problem. It wouldn't hurt to have her checked out by a chiropractor too. Good luck and keep us updated.

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post #8 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 04:32 PM
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Welcome to the forum. I think these members have already given some fantastic suggestions.

I too feel she's herd bound and possibly testing you. I'd make sure the tack fits properly and switch to a loose ring snaffle and see if she'll ride out. Often times horses act up because they just want to go back home. Perhaps going home but tying her (with halter & lead) away from the other horses will help her to realize that she's not going to get her way (go back to the gelding).

I would be firm (not harsh) and consistent. I wouldn't give in to her when she starts throwing her head. (like the kid in wal-mart that's tired of shopping so he throws a fit in hopes mom will give up and leave) I'd keep her going for a while longer until it's your choice to head back home. Even then I would work her doing some ground work before I put her straight away back into the pasture.

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20

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post #9 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 05:09 PM
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I'm not clear on a couple things. Are you riding her alone on the trail, you say "we"? Or is more than one person taking her for trail rides and your both finding the same thing at the same 30 minutes? Where is the gelding, back at home? What do you do when she acts up ? Is the 30 minute mark at the point when you've turned for home?

The other thing no one has come out and said, is that hackamore's in the wrong hands ( I'm not saying your hands are wrong...) can be very harsh. Are you and whomever else is riding her light with your hands?

I agree with Andi, this really doesn't sound like herd bound. A herd bound horse would be having a fit as soon as you turn your back to the barn. Something else is going on.

Maybe can you expound a bit more........
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 05:38 PM
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I was just coming back to reply along the same lines that G and K's mom and Andi did. the more I thought about this the more it sounds like an issue with the hackamore..

More info would be great.

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20

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