Horse quiet w/other - crazy alone - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-31-2006, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Horse quiet w/other - crazy alone

I have a 16 year old mare that I bought in October. I went and rode her where owner had her stabled before I decided to buy here, and she was perfectly quiet and did everything I asked. I would have considered her bomb proof. I rode her around other horses she knew and some she didn't. I worked with her alone and she was great. There was one horse she had been with for 6 years, and I was told she was particularly attached to that horse. However, when I separated them, she was fine as long as she saw other horses around.

When I got her home, she was introduced to another mare I've had for years. They get along just like all mares - if too close they fight, but otherwise fine. The new mare is still very quiet and gentle when she can see the other mare. I even caught my 4 & 5 year old granddaughters in the back lot with both horses loving on them - which the girls were told never to do again without grandma or grandpa with them.

My problem is, when I separate the two mares to work with them individually, they get really crazy and almost un-manageable. My older mare will calm down and listen to me after a while. The newer mare will eventually calm down if she's in an area she's familiar. If she's not familiar with the area (front of the house instead of out in back of the barn), she's hard for me to handle - stamps her feet, rears, throws her head and snorts. She's a little over 15 hands and I'm not, and she's strong.

Since she calms in familiar territory, it makes me think I can break her of this bad habit. However, I'm not sure the best way to "train" her so she's calm and can be ridden alone. I'm trying to separate the two a little at a time every chance I get - sometimes several days in a row, unfortunately other times I can't work with them but on weekends due to my job.

I don't want to have to always ride the two horses together as my husband and I have very different schedules. We need to be able to work with both of them separately. My husband's very willing to help out, but has never owned hoses before. I'd appreciate any help I can get from experienced horse owners & lovers out there.
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-31-2006, 05:40 PM
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If you had two separate areas where they can be kept (and not see eachother) I would take them apart for a week or so. Maybe towards midweek I would take one of them out for a long ride. (Remember not to let the mare rush you back to the barn) Once you can ride her without having the other mare be an issue. I would put them back together but only for a day. Continue taking them apart and putting them back together till they both realize that "She's not going away forever"

just a suggestion
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-31-2006, 09:43 PM
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I agree with amanda, I would not even put them together for a day though, just lead the newer mare around the other every couple of times.

Keep this in mind. I was told by my companion animal science teacher that a horse has an amazing memory and can remember every single horse and person that it has ever met...( dont know if its true...)

Try to develop a bond with the newer horse that surpasses that of its bond with any other horse. Natural Horsemanship may come in handy...
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-01-2007, 06:56 AM
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How long has the new mare been at your house?
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-01-2007, 08:19 PM
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When I started working with my young horses, I learned they were VERY herd bound to the rest of the herd. If I took them out of sight of the herd, they became very hard for me to handle. Kicking and rearing.

I decided it wasn't worth getting hurt over. Both the colt and the filly will lead and beahve just fine, if other horses are along. I've even ponied them along and some pretty good all day rides. Behave just fine. Just not when being lead out of sight of the herd.

So I loaded them up in the trailer, one at a time and took them off to trail with NO horses around. They whinnied and search for another horse, when none was to be found their attention focused on me and I was able to do some ground work with them. They were still a handful, but not near as bad as when they could see or hear the herd at home. As they learned the cues that I was asking them, I brought them back home. The herd instinct is still there, but I have some leverage with the training that I gave them to make them manageable.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-02-2007, 08:52 AM
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Try natural horsemanship, The idea is to be in the herd but to be the boss mare.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-03-2007, 11:25 PM
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All horses are herd bound to a certain point. Some however are more extreme. Horses are social animals and find security when with the herd or other horses that they have formed an attachment with. When she lost her old friend of 6 years she had to adjust. When she leaves the comfort of her new stall, she probably senses the possiblity of another loss. So I would not think that she would respond normally/calmly.
If you want to know a bullet proof way of correcting a herd bound horse find the post in the Horse Training section call HERD BOUND. The use of NH has great techniques in correcting this problem teaching the horse that first you are the dominate personality in the herd, second that there is safety when with you, And lastly that it is actually fun to leave the herd and go riding. Of course I am speaking of the horses perspective. I have corrected several herd bound horses in this manner, And although every horse is unique, these techniques seem to work on all of them.
One note: it is very difficult to tell if the horse is being dis-respectful or just plain stressed because of it's removal from the herd. This method will work on either case.

Good Luck!
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-03-2007, 11:35 PM
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Well put WILD!
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