Mellow to Mean in 2.2 seconds.

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Mellow to Mean in 2.2 seconds.

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    06-28-2012, 03:24 AM
Red face Mellow to Mean in 2.2 seconds.

I recently have aquired two Quarter horse/ Draft cross horses, They have been wonderful, lovey, mellow horses, great with kids..ect..however today, myself and a 9 yr old girl were out visiting them in the pasture and the mare struck out at me with her front hoof for no apparent reason. She was half asleep while we were petting her. I stopped for a moment to light a cigarette and she struck out with her front hoof and knocked the lighter out of my hand, broke a blood vessel in my finger, and came too close to hitting me in the face. I immdiately got after her for it (got her moving) but now am very concerned that it may happen again... I have kids and I have lost that trust with her. Why would she randomly strike out at me? Could it be jelousy over me not petting her? Was she angry I was talking to the child? Is it testing my leadership? Or.... does she want me to stop
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    06-28-2012, 03:28 AM
It sounds as though she wasn't enjoying the petting but tolerating it. She was probably sending you "leave me alone" signals which you didn't see, so she decided to "reprimand" you after you didn't respond to her warnings.

If that was the case, then she probably would not do well around children and will have to be corrected more so as that's very dominant behavior.

You said you recently required these horses.. are you a horse person yourself? How old are they? Have they been trained? What's their history like?

Also welcome to the horse forum :)
Jana in Canada likes this.
    06-28-2012, 03:29 AM
Just out of curiosity, how was your hand low enough for her to get it, and the lighter, with her front hoof? Were you sitting on the ground?, or was your hand hanging down by your side? But then, it wouldn't have come close to your face. Sorry, just trying to visualize this.

Many horses can never be 100% trusted. It will be good for your kids to learn the basic rules of safety to deal with these horses, as if they were the dangerous ones, not the mellow kind, because they certainly can become dangerous , fast!

I have no idea what caused the kick, but would guess that she was actually kicking out at the other horse, and you just happended to be between the two? Could this explain it?
    06-28-2012, 03:48 AM
My first thought would be the fire, perhaps she's had a bad experience?
Just throwing out ideas (:
loosie and Jana in Canada like this.
    06-28-2012, 03:58 AM
Well, im 5'10 in height, and I was standing in front of the horse talking to the little girl (About horse body language...strangely She is a big horse, 16'2 hands. We aqquired both horses in Febuary from a friend of a friend who was going through a divorce and could no longer keep them, the last owner did not spend alot of time with them for nearly three years..:(. However they did have professional training before that. They are gelding 10yrs was a trained cutting horse and the mare is 8 yrs old with less training yet had professional training for over a year, they are brother and sister.
    06-28-2012, 04:00 AM
I thought that too, it might have been the smell of the lighter, but I didnt have time to actually light the lighter I only raised it to my face.
    06-28-2012, 04:37 AM
Thank you all for your imput, :) Just thought I should add, The Gelding is usually the more dominant one chasing the mare out of the way, but he was about 15 ft away from us at the time. The strike was aimed at me with out a doubt. She was mellow, lip hanging down and eyes half shut. I took a couple steps back from her shoulder to the front of her, half taking to the 9 yr old, grabbed a cigarrette and raised my lighter to my face, the mare let out a squeal and a ninja kick with her front hoof knocked the lighter out of my hand. I can't really explain in any more depth than that. I may never know what caused it but I thank you all for you advise. :)
    06-28-2012, 04:41 AM
So you've had them for roughly 4 months, maybe 5.

Are you new to the horse world or experienced with horses?

It sounds as though they haven't warmed up to the idea of you as a herd leader because when your focus was elsewhere (on the cigarette) they chose to get after you. It would benefit you to work with them and nip any ill behavior in the butt.
Jana in Canada likes this.
    06-28-2012, 05:23 AM
I personally, am fairly new when it comes to horses...but im trying. :) I would say intermediate. My husband is the horse guy, he used to train horses for people. I am a very "non-dominant person" by nature, so its hard me to give that vibe. I think that's the more plauseable reasoning for her behavior. "Sally-Anne" the mare has ALWAYS been such a suck, especially to me, I think im more heart broken by her behavior than any thing else. .. Round pen tomorrow for her... Thanks Skyseternalangel! :)
    06-28-2012, 05:55 AM

Hi I aquired a 2 half year old arab x welsh in Feb this year. He is a lovely boy and let my 5 year old son go right up to him to pat him feed him out of his hand. The pony was ever so gentle and friendly with us all for the first couple of weeks. Then he started to show agressive behaviour toward us when he was eating. He would turn his hind quarters towards us and put his ears back, looking ever so nasty. He was fine when he wasn't eating. I came on to this forum to ask for help. The advise I got was great. I learnt he was showing dominance over me and I was being way too soft with him. Today I watched a you tube video about curing agressive behaviour. Its about making the horse move his feet away from you and getting out of your space to respect you and your space. I did this exercise this afternoon and it worked very well. I had him lunging the best he's ever done for me and listening to me. He seemed to love the fact that I took control and leadership. He was following me all around the yard after the exercises but moving away when I asked him to get out of my space. I still won't trust him with kids when he is eating. We just have to teach the kids to stay out of the yard when he is eating until they can get older and show to him they are the boss also.
Skyseternalangel likes this.

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