Mare misbehaving - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-31-2009, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Mare misbehaving

I recently purchased an AQHA mare. She is GORGEOUS and so sweet on the ground. When I go to ride her she is unresponsive. I kick, tap her, etc... to get her to move. She stands there doing nothing for a while. After a few minutes of this she eventually gets annoyed and starts kicking out with a hind leg. I eventually got her to move when I brought her out into the pasture to ride, but then she acted up and started rearing slightly. She lunges great, but when someone gets on her, she is a completely different horse. I'm really not sure what to do for her. Any suggestions or tips?
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-31-2009, 09:53 PM
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I posted a reply in the "Gone Stubborn" topic that would apply to your mare as well. I don't have time to re-type right now, so it's under there if you are interested :)
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-01-2009, 06:02 PM
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How old is this horse and how much training does she really have?

Either she's VERY green and therefore has no clue as to what a leg cue or any Go Forward cue means = your kicking, etc won't mean anything to her = she stands there = you need to train her to have a response to pressure.

Or your saddle doesn't fit her and it pinches her withers and she says, no way. Or her teeth hurt and she feels pain and says no way.

I'm putting my money on her being too green to know. If you have never started a horse before, you might want to find a trainer who can give you training lessons with your horse. For example, I have clients who have the same problem and we work through it together. I get the horse going and then I teach the owner how to, as well.

A short How to:
Squeeze your calves
Spank (use a set of Macate reins, it's easier than a crop. you simply flip the lead line part of it over and over from your left to your right, spanking her with rhythm, not a solid whack!, a little harder and a little harder each time

The moment she moves out, release all of the pressure. Be sure to leave the reins on the mane so as not to stop her forward movement with the bit at all.

Repeat until she moves out and stays moving out. And until she moves out at all gaits with just the squeeze. It'll take several repetitions for her to get the pattern and respond as you want.

More details, please?

Last edited by Calamity Jane; 06-01-2009 at 06:06 PM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-01-2009, 06:12 PM
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Have you talked to her previous owner about her previous riding experience? If her old owner had no problems maybe you could talk to the owner about what they used for aids and what style she was ridden. How long have you had her?
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-02-2009, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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She was used as a cutting horse for many years. She is 12 yrs old. She has also been used as a broodmare and has not been consistently ridden for about two years. She is being boarded at the place where we purchased her. The previous owner only rode her once and said she didn't have any problems. i have only had her for a week.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-02-2009, 02:49 AM
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I bought a mare from someone I knew who was also unresponsive under saddle - I had my vet visit to check her over only to find out she was pregnant , when I bought her I was told that she was not. Might be a long shot but have you had her vet checked .
Still got my mare and she is now one of my better horses .
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-02-2009, 03:24 AM
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Looks like I lost my bet on the Green part....ha! Well, that's good news! This horse does know things and is well trained. Great.

She was used as a cutting horse for many years. She is 12 yrs old. She has also been used as a broodmare and has not been consistently ridden for about two years. She is being boarded at the place where we purchased her. The previous owner only rode her once and said she didn't have any problems. i have only had her for a week.
Ah ha! Okay, if you can rule out any pain issues (pinching saddle, teeth, painful cycle, etc)

Then, how are your riding skills?

I had a client horse do the exact same thing...she would just stand there when the client would climb aboard...the problem? The client was just SITTING in the saddle.

There was no energy from the rider. She didn't know how to use her seat/her body to tell the horse to bring up her energy for moving out.

Do this:

Sit up straight with a line from your shoulder, your hip and your heel. Be sure to have your heels down slightly and your toes pointed forwardish....relax your body.... ROLL your hips (squeeze your butt cheeks and release, over and over again).....then send that energy down to your calves and squeeze as you roll your hips and then "kiss" and spank (over under motion with the lead part of a macate rein).....or a crop (tap...1...2...3...4...getting louder with each tap)

Soon as the horse moves forward, release all pressure but keep your hips moving slightly with the rhtyhm to keep the horse's a signal to the horse that you wish to keep riding.

Soon as you stop rolling the hips and squeeze and hold for a stop, the horse learns to stop.

Add more squeeze and such for a trot and more for a lope...

Once my client learned to use her hips and move with the horse and not simply SIT in the saddle....the horse moved off and she was walking, trotting and loping without any trouble every time she asked.

That was was her lack of use of her seat. Might be your problem, too.
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-02-2009, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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I wish it was just me! I have actually ridden for many years. I had a trainer working with me on day one to get the horse to respond. She did not respond well. The trainer also got on top of the horse and couldn't get her to move. She does well with lunging with full tack. Except she went down and tried to roll on the saddle. She did that once and hasn't done it since. It seems like every session she tries something new. Today she did well. She followed me around the round ring with someone on her back. I don't believe it has anything to do with pain because she will follow somone walking on the ground while someone is on her back. She just doesn't listen to the rider.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-03-2009, 04:19 AM
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I had ridden horses like that. This is what has worked me form. Make sure you have the time to see it through. Mount up and give your horse the cue to advance. If there is no response it is time to apply gentle, yet unrelenting, pressure until you get a desired response. Mine would be, at this stage, to engage the hindquarters. Gently pull your horses head around until it touches your left stirrup and apply left leg pressure to push your horses hindquarters to the right. Keep it going until you get a movement and then reward with a pressure release. Repeat right and left sides. Ask for advance, if the answer is no, repeat the exercise over and over again until you get a proper response to your cue. Be keen to your horse and make sure your pressure relase reward is on time so she can associate it as a reward for her efforts. This slight hindquarter movement will eventually result in her doing small circles. Keep her so busy that she will eventually see that moving forward is alot less work than not.
I once had to do this with a horse for several days for more than an hour each session but it worked. I've also used backing up as an option also. Just be kind and patient and have more perseverance than her and good luck. Be determined to beat her in the game as she is likely "testing" you.
If hope this technique can work for you.
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-03-2009, 08:42 AM
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Just because she walks forward with a saddle on doesn't rule out soreness. You can run your hands along her back and hips looking for tender points. Always keep an eye out for soreness.

It sounds more to me that this mare is just taking you for a ride (not literally since she isn't going anywhere). She sounds like she's having a little fun with you and you are not pushing her through it. My mare will do the same this when she gets a little pissy and doesn't want to work. All I do is push her though it. If she kicks at my right leg, for example, I use the right leg more to push her hip around while keeping her forward. You want her to keep going forward.

I've also used backing up as an option
I wouldn't do too much of this since she has been rearing slightly. This will transfer her balance on her hind end and may make the problem worse. You can do some backing, but you want her to go forward, forward, forward. I agree with QrtHorse in that you need to take your time and she sounds like she's testing you =)

Good luck.
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