How to take my 6 yr old mare from green broke to the next level. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-12-2013, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Unhappy How to take my 6 yr old mare from green broke to the next level.

Hi everyone! I've got a 6 year old 15 hand quarter horse mare I bought with 30 days on her in May. She got injured in June and then had two months off.

She had just started giving to the bit and coming into a really nice frame in the walk about two weeks ago (I could only walk and trot her for a bit in October-she had a full winter coat and was getting way too hot... I clipped her a week and a half ago though :) ) After I clipped her, we were able to start working more without her overheating.

She's always been a little reluctant in the lope, but not too bad. Last week, she started running straight into the wall in the lope and coming to a screeching halt when we would circle. I would correct and continue as if it hadn't happened. Yesterday, her misbehavior got worse-instead of just stopping at the wall, she GALLOPS a diagonal as we come off the wall to circle, and is super unresponsive to my aids.

I use my inside rein to guide her, and balance with my outside rein while using my outside leg to keep her from running into the wall, but she will just run straight through my aids most of the time.

I don't believe in "punishment" unless it is absolutely necessary-I prefer the positive reinforcement method. I don't have money for a trainer or lessons at the moment, and this is driving me nuts.

Has anybody had a similar problem before, or any advice?
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-12-2013, 11:22 PM
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I'm not sure I get what you're meaning - running into the wall?? That sounds like... a bit of a problem!

It sounds to me as if she's getting panicky & reactive, either due to fear/confusion or pain. So of course, rule out/treat pain first. Back, saddle fit, bit, teeth, neck, hooves... what was the injury a few months back? I also recently read of a study done into pressure from saddles, that there is 3 times as much pressure from points of the saddle at the canter as at the walk & trot.

Next it sounds like you need to slow things down & get the basics going well before you start teaching collection. I'd be getting her yielding well & softly in all directions at walk, trot & canter before that.
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-12-2013, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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She got out of her pen and cut her leg on who knows what. It's been healed since the end of August-we took it slow getting back into work after that, I didn't want to push her too hard.

And that's a good point-she yields really nicely in the walk, but was getting confused and frustrated in the trot. She's quite intelligent, and gets bored really quickly, so I assumed it was just that and changed focus to circles. Maybe we will go back to yielding as our focus for a while.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-13-2013, 12:11 AM
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She's telling you at the lope that that is where her draw is. You need to eliminate that first. If you put her on a completely loose rein and don't steer with your legs or reins, where does she go? I suspect it's the arena fence. It doesn't matter why that area is appealing, just that it is. Make that area work for her, trot alongside the fence, turning back into the fence every so often and rest in the middle of the arena. Don't be content with a little jog either, make sure that she is moving out.

Next, don't get ahead of yourself, don't ask for something she doesn't know yet. Forget complicated aids, she has no idea what they are yet and you'll only be getting her more dull to them later on.

Once she can trot around the arena without wanting to go in any one place ask for the lope along the fence, again keeping up with that you taught at the trot, that the fence isn't such a wonderful place to be. From there, don't worry about loping circles, she doesn't steep well enough for that yet.

When you do steer, just pick up and take the slack out of that rein, once she goes that direction leave her alone. Now you should be off the fence and still on a loose rein. If she veers to the left, pick up on your rein rein and steer her way off to the right. If she then veers of to the right go left. Don't worry about her leads when you do this, just steer.

By doing this you will find that she will also get much more straight without any effort from you. She'll start to correct herself and just stay on a straight line. Since you'll be steering softly, you won't be wearing out any cues either.

If at any point she blows you off, bend her to a stop in that direction, making sure that she disengages her hindquarters before you com to a stop then go off again.
loosie, EmilyJoy and boots like this.
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-13-2013, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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that all makes sense-thanks for the advice! We are going to take a step back for now, go back to basics, and come back to this later!
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-13-2013, 07:05 PM
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It sounds like you're only steering with your inside rein and sometimes your outside leg.....

You should use both legs to steer, and hand to direct her nose if she gets out of hand, like you would for one rein stop.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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attitude , green , green horse , horse training , runaway

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