Mare kicks my feet when riding - Page 3

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Mare kicks my feet when riding

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    11-19-2012, 11:11 PM
Originally Posted by Cherie    
Well, I hate whips. I very seldom ever pick one up. I have not even had a riding crop or whip for at least 5 or 6 years. I keep a 5' stock whip around but seldom pick it up either. If I do, it usually has a plastic sack tied to the end of it.

If a horse gets mad at a whip (one of the reasons I hate them) it is because the handler / rider just 'pecks' at the horse with it. Anyway, whips make things worse instead of better many times.

I use the long ends of my split harness leather reins. I will spank a horse's butt with an 'over and under' action and do it hard. I have never had a horse require more than one reprimand if I did it hard enough the first time.

Nagging and pecking and swatting a horse is the worst thing one can do. They just get mad and more spoiled. If I ever have to get after a horse, I want him to think that he is lucky to be alive. Then, I do not praise him or do anything else. I just ride on like absolutely nothing happened at all. I've never had to discipline one twice if I did it right the first time.
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    11-19-2012, 11:26 PM
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
I'd have the mare checked for ulcers. She could be reacting to the pain from the pressure of your heels.
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If she had ulcer's wouldn't she be having weight issues? She is a really easy keeper weight wise. She keeps about the same weight. The only time she's ever lost weight was around right before we weaned her colt. As soon as jet was weaned she bounced back immediately. Even with all the extra work I've put on her she lost a little weight but healthily and she has maintained around the same weight for the past few months. Also I think that typically occurs more when horses don't have enough roughage. She and my gelding have 15 acres to themselves so plenty of roughage. I suppose it can't hurt to ask my vet about it I'll get his input. I don't have any experience with stomach ulcers. But her bratty cow kicking has been a problem I've had to deal with a few times over the years of owning her so honestly I think this is a behavioral issue not a medical one.
    11-19-2012, 11:30 PM
It could be attitude - but I personally like to rule out all possibilities of pain before I punish them for something. It could be a number of other issues too. I suggest asking a vet what would cause her to be sensitive in those areas and check for those issues, when she's cleared - then you can kick her bum in good conscience knowing she's just being rude, not reacting to pain.
    11-19-2012, 11:42 PM
Not necessarily :) I know a mare who tried to bite in response to heel pressure and she turned out to have ulcers.

I think it's best to research every avenue of pain that could cause it and go from there.
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    11-19-2012, 11:59 PM
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
It could be attitude - but I personally like to rule out all possibilities of pain before I punish them for something. It could be a number of other issues too. I suggest asking a vet what would cause her to be sensitive in those areas and check for those issues, when she's cleared - then you can kick her bum in good conscience knowing she's just being rude, not reacting to pain.
Yeah I'll call my vet tomorrow and ask him about it. He's a very knowledgable horseman as well so I trust him to get a good opinion. I had her checked over by the vet before I started training though and had the Chiropractor adjust her, but I didn't ask about stomach ulcers. Being in a pasture for two years and not being ridden I wanted it to be safe for both me and her before we started out. But there's a history of her overreacting as well. Like giving shots for example it took a lot of work to get her to stand for those. I had to do a lot of work to teach her to give her head to the discomfort and relax. Let me tell you if she caught one look at a syringe be it wormer or for shots she was prepared to fight to the death. Also a history of her cow kicking when she doesnt like something before I got her to quit she would occasionally sneak cow kick me in the hand or knee. When she was young you couldn't touch your hand to her side or belly without her being a snot. We've had interesting times over the years I just try to work through each one has they come. Inconsistent handling as I was busy with school partly created a lot of these problems. Plus I'm the only one that rides in my family so most of my time was devoted to my barrel horse so she got put on the back burner a lot. Now that I'm out of college I can finally really do something with her get her going properly. My barrel horse is being given a much deserved break so nows the time to train her properly.
    11-20-2012, 12:28 AM
Do you wear spurs? I saw a rider using spurs excessively. Horse was always kicking at his feet. Rider seemed oblivious to the problem.
    11-20-2012, 12:33 AM
Originally Posted by cenproweb    
Do you wear spurs? I saw a rider using spurs excessively. Horse was always kicking at his feet. Rider seemed oblivious to the problem.
NOOOO spurs on her. That would be one sure fire way to end up hitting the dirt riding her lol. I use spurs on my barrel horse but spurs would send Joy over the edge.
    11-20-2012, 07:54 AM
For those on this thread who have said they don't like to use whips but do smack the horse with the end of the reins, what's the difference?
    11-20-2012, 09:00 AM
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There is a HUGE difference between using a whip or crop and using long, split reins to DEMAND a horse go forward.

It is not unusual for horses to learn when the rider has a whip. This is also true for horses on the ground, too. They learn to ride and behave differently when their handler / rider has that whip in hand. They literally learn to respect (or fear) the whip but have not learned any respect for the person. I cannot count the number of times I have watched horses ride differently with a rider with or without a whip.

The other problem I see is that most riders carry a whip in the same hand all of the time. Their horses quickly learn to 'duck around' and do a 180 away from the whip any time it is raised up or used for more than a 'tap'. They also get accustomed to not responding quickly to the leg but respond to the visual 'cue' or 'aid' of the raised whip. That is NOT a legitimate cue or aid.

The difference of using the long, heavy reins is that they do not rest in the rider's right hand like a 'cocked gun'. They just are there all of the time. The other big difference is that when you learn to use an ' over and under' type of spanking action, the horse does not duck around but goes forward quickly. The 'front door' is the only one open to the horse and about any horse will get their butt through the door immediately.

If you do not think this is true, just look at how many horses spin around rather than cross water when their riders try to use a crop or whip. Reins work nearly every time to get the desired response while using a whip just usually teaches a horse to duck around and go the other direction.

Obviously, there are steps that are necessary for the rider to take when they use the end of the reins for discipline.

First, make sure you are NOT holding the reins too tightly by pulling on the horse's mouth at the same time. You MUST leave that front door open. We only use 7 1/2 to 8 foot heavy weight harness leather reins. They are long enough to let you do this (but that is not the main reason we use them). They have enough 'feel' to them that just moving your hand a little (with slack in the reins) gives a horse a pre-signal of impending action. Well trained horses will respond to just the moving hand with the reins still slack.

Second, if a rider has to use the reins to spank a horse, then, as soon as the horse has gone on and done the right thing, the rider should repeatedly pick up the reins and swing them around so the horse does not think that every time the rider picks up the reins, a spanking is coming. We do this all of the time on every horse -- not just after a spanking.

Most importantly -- if a rider needs to spank a horse, do it hard -- never using little 'taps' or 'slaps' with those reins. Do it hard and it will be effective. If you have to spank a horse more than two or three times -- EVER -- to get forward impulsion, you just used the reins to nag and peck at the horse. You usually get a completely opposite response. The horse will get MORE obstinate and will have LESS respect for the rider's requests. If you are not prepared to spank one hard, don't bother doing it at all.
    11-20-2012, 09:06 AM
Super Moderator
As for ulcers -- really doubtful with a horse that is running out with access to forage all of the time. You usually see ulcers in stalled or penned horses that have no hay or forage available between 'meals'.

You also see other behaviors that show the horse is uncomfortable -- not just when asked to go forward. Since this horse has always been 'pissy' when anyone put pressure on her body, she has needed straightening up for it for a long time. Years ago she needed CA style groundwork using the end of a long rope to 'drive' her ribs and hips away from the handler when she acted 'ill'.

Ulcers do not always cause weight loss. As a matter of fact, you see them in some easy keepers. People frequently keep easy keepers on a diet and that means that they do not have hay in front of them all of the time. Horses on restricted hay are real common candidates for ulcers. They will sometimes be anemic, will begin cribbing or will act 'ill tempered' any time they are handled. If this is not the 'norm' for a horse, ulcers should be suspected or at least, checked for..

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