Hot Horse help, I am back

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Hot Horse help, I am back

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    09-04-2008, 12:43 PM
Hot Horse help, I am back

Hello, I posted on here a while back about a horse temporarily in my care and she became "hot" after being very docile her first few weeks with me. After posting on here decided the biggest issue was the alfalfa rich hay she was getting.

Well she has nicely gained weight now. She is getting about 1 scoop of feed am and pm and timothy mix hay. She is out 24/7 and gets ridden every few days. However problem is she is still having issues.

She calmed down a bit and was working better in the ring. Then she started acting up really badly. Rearing while I am on her and when I am lunging her.

My sister and her trainer (who actually owns and trained the horse) seem to think I need to be tougher. I agree that I am a much softer rider than the trainer, however I have tried smacking her when she does this but it doesn't even phase her.

She is a 7 year old TB and has been trained to jump and do dressage. She is beautiful and sweet for the most part but she has a hot streak that is becoming an issue.

She also is attached to her pasture mate, not a big deal but definitely adds to her being difficult.

She was eager to go out on the trail at first now she is adamant about not leaving even the barn area.

I feel like I have ruined this horse, but I have been riding for 35 years and have broken horses and ridden difficult horses a ton. I just don't know why she is acting like this. I know she was underfed most of her life and now is getting treated like a princess (good food, hay, grass, pasture, etc) and she seems to be feeling great. But now she is feeling so good she doesn't want to work or pay attention.

Sometimes she even scares me when I am on the ground leading her. I am having another good rider work with her also and he is doing okay but still has issues with her, (he is a very calm, patient rider)

We have looked for issues with saddle, etc, nothing there. She often just runs around in the pasture bucking and carrying on. Its like she has reverted to a 3 year old instead of a trained 7 year old.

My sister suggests lunging her into submission with side reins, but when I lunge her with side reins she gets very mad and rears and gets completely out of control. (I have the reins very loose)

I do think she is feeling great and letting me know, but I am just not sure where to go from here. I was supposed to just keep her for a few months and sell her cheaply so her owner could get a little $ out of her. I was told she was a perfect calm trained mare, but instead she is turning out to be a hot head and difficult.

Right now I am just trying to ride her quietly and am happy if we just have no issues.

Help, any suggestions?

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    09-04-2008, 12:51 PM
Why is she rearing? I mean does she do it out of fear, out of excitement, resistance, trying to strike at you? Usually one can tell from the "face expression" and ears (sorry for human associations :) ).

If it's a fear try to find out the reason. You cannot do much there (as punishing for that is the last thing I'd do personally). If it's a resistance or attempt to be the boss then yes, you have to be tougher. Whenever she does it make her loose balance and put in work right away such as moving her hindquarters around (that's what I use and they both hate it lol!).
    09-04-2008, 12:52 PM
Just wanted to add, seems I have lost her respect some how. She is used to a very aggressive demanding trainer. I have never let her get away with anything (meaning I have always corrected her bad behavior with a smack, yell, etc) but apparently she is laughing at me, so how can you gain respect without resorting to getting extremely physical-which you can't win against a 1,000 lb horse
    09-04-2008, 12:54 PM
Hi Kittenval. Rearing seems to be a reaction to her getting mad. It first started when we were on the trail and we would turn toward home and wanted to speed up and I made her walk, she tried to barely rear. Then it started to happen after I finished lunging her and was walking back to the barn. Now she seems to do it whenever I try to dominate her when I am on her back. (for instance she wants to go one way and I want her to go the other) I definitely don't think its fear
    09-04-2008, 12:56 PM
Dang, I feel so bad for you. :( And honestly, more of what I'm going to provide here is empathy, not so much with the advice.

It does sound like she's taking advantage of you, and sweetie, you haven't "ruined" this horse at all. Don't bear yourself up; being a kind, patient rider/trainer is a good thing in some circumstances. In this one, however, this mare needs to be shown who's boss.

The horse I lease gets at me like that. Yesterday, for example, she was full of it after not being worked since last Friday. I had her in the round pen free lunging and she came at me charging, rearing, striking...not fun. I used to get terrified by this behavior (and still get scared, honestly) but I don't think my mare nor yours really has the intent to hurt. They're just trying to say "I don't want to do what you're asking and I'm going to scare you so you'll leave me alone." The best advice I can offer is persistence and do not back down. She hates the side reins and throws fits? Too bad. Let her throw fits, let her run around on that line until she's tuckered herself out. She needs to know that her behavior isn't going to dictate what you're doing. Yesterday when Spree was pissy and coming at me, I growled, took a big step toward her, said NO and actually tossed the line at her (holding onto one end). The end with the snap hit her in the chest, startling her, and then she started listening and being more respectful.

I would give the same advice under saddle as well, but it sounds like you two need to go back to basics on the ground. If you're scared of just leading her around, that's a problem. Lots of people in here have wonderful advice for gaining respect on the ground, so I'll let them handle that.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this though-it's frustrating and can feel like you're doing everything wrong. Good luck!
    09-04-2008, 01:01 PM
Thanks Missy, its so weird because I have always been fearless around horses, even crazy ones. She seems to know how to push my buttons and she knows it. I guess that is what I need to do just lunge her with the side reins and let her tucker herself out. She has been better leading her lately but the last time I rode her (tues) she started rearing and pawing and backing up, etc. I have to admit as much as I didn't want to get nervous I was !!! I stayed on her and made her calm down and walk around in circles until she was behaving

I really thought it was me but then when this other guy got on her she was bad too, (not as bad as with me though)
    09-04-2008, 05:45 PM
For a rearing misbehaving horse, what do you all think is best way to cure?

Ground work?
    09-04-2008, 05:53 PM
I forget, are you talking rearing at you on the ground or under saddle?

If Spree rears at me on the ground, I wait until she's coming down and them move forward toward her, making throwing motions with my arms with the lead in my hands, and back her up.

I haven't dealt with horses rearing under saddle, but I've always read that a horse can't rear if they're moving forward, so send her forward the best you can.

I wouldn't advocate FORCE. You want to be boss, but I don't think you need to resort to force for that. Just my $0.02
    09-04-2008, 07:14 PM
Thanks, she has done it both on ground and when I am on her, when I try to move her forward she backs up
    09-05-2008, 06:30 AM
Be careful lunging with side reins and I highly suggest not doing it if the hose is rearing. Force meets force horse trys to overpower force, horse rears, fights, flips over and cracks skull on the friend has seen it happen before.

Mega groundwork for her on the ground teach her to move out of your space sideays, back, away from you in every direction. You need to show confidence, because you are the boss and at the moment she knows she's scaring you so so far she's ahead of you.
If she rears with you on board do whatever you can to stay on, spin her to throw her off balance so neither of you flip etc. and just KEEP her moving forward, don't give her the opportunity to stop

Hope this helps in some way

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