Moving stress.

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Moving stress.

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  • Moving a stressy horse
  • Stress in moving a horse

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  • 1 Post By Valentina

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    06-04-2012, 08:25 PM
Unhappy Moving stress.

Hello everybody! I haven't posted for a long time, but I have been learning a lot by reading you guys! I have an 8 year old mare, Yapa, who has been mine for a year now. She has always been cranky, specially on the ground. But we have certainly come a long way. Or at least we had come a long way.... Until the School where she is boarded moved into a new place a week ago. She is really nervous now and crankier than ever! I cannot come close to her on the ground to groom her without her pinning her ears and giving me the evil eye and threatening to bite me!!! When I ride her, she is definitely more edgy and nervous and aware of her surroundings. She tends to speed up more than she used to too. I guess it is possible for her to have suffered some kind of stress due to the change of place, even though she moved with all her herd. What do you think? Does this sound possible? Have you been through something similar? Anything I could do to ease the way through this? Thanks!!!!!
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    06-05-2012, 08:16 PM
I don't want to be a pest, but any ideas... Anyone...?
    06-05-2012, 11:53 PM
My guess would be that the move has unsettled her slightly. It sounds like there are some holes in your relationship particularly on the ground that existed before the move.

How confident are you on the ground? How do you correct these behaviors?

Again only a guess but I'd say the move has strewed her which has worsened existing issues. She could be really looking for you to take charge in this new place or she will!
    06-06-2012, 12:07 AM
She may have ulcers or something "out" in her back. Have you considered having someone to come look at her?

Moving is stressful but my boy, who is HIGH stress, has moved twice in my care. Once 2 hours away, and the other 2 days away (different state) and he wasn't freaked out or anything. So I'm guessing there may be an underlying problem.

Maybe it's a behavioral problem (not accepting you as a leader) or a pain problem.

Best of luck
    06-06-2012, 09:17 AM
She is definitely reacting to stress, although your post makes it sound like she had issues before the move and the move has only made them worse. To help relieve her stress try to find time to work with her every day. During that 30 minutes (or more) establish a routine that gets her focused more on YOU, not herself or her surroundings. That means getting her mind on what you ask her to do and then "mixing" things up enough to keep her mind on you.

In this case I would also suggest feeding her a magnesium supplement - which helps calm some horses. Maybe Quiessence? My mare was magnesium deficient - grouchy like yours is when she hadn't been that way the first 7 years of her life. Once I decided to try supplementing her - initially I didn't give her enough - and I gave her a high enough dose, it has even helped her during "that time of the month".

One other thing - when she pins her ears immediately get on her case and correct that behavior. By not establishing dominance (i.e. By allowing her to act threatening towards you) she has slowly gotten worse - so get a whip and or your hand and next time she pins her ears on good whack to let her know YOU are boss mare. (If she was in the pasture with another boss mare and pinned her ears at that mare, the boss mare would threaten, bite and/or kick to put your mare in her place, so you must also "discipline" your mare. She is not (yet) attacking you so make the punishment fit the crime - don't over do it. On the other hand ignoring her is not a good idea and will get you in trouble down the line.)
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    06-06-2012, 07:48 PM
Thank you all so much for your answers! I agree that there already were some holes in our relationship... I am new with horses and I am sure I am making mistakes. Thamk you so much for your advice on magnessium, Valentina, I will definitely look into that. I am planning to start a Parelli programme with her, the seven games namely. How does that sound to you? I tried Monty roberts' join up last year and it worked fine with her. I guess it would do no harm to do it again. Again, thank you very much, and any other comments will be more than welcome!
    06-06-2012, 09:37 PM
I use the 7 games extensively when working with anything with 'issues' BUT you have to be very careful not to fall into the trap of going step by step. Read your horse and her reactions.

Make sure she's actually working with you not doing what she has to to make you stop. By this I mean look at the quality of your yields really disengaging the hq in a hq yield. Don't get to repetitive! I guarantee your horse will get bored and cranky if all you did for an hour was backups!

Remember these are tools that can be used in your day to day dealings with her. Very handy being able to tip the hip and have prin hq yield around a gate!

Hope that helps!
    06-08-2012, 08:40 PM
Thank you for your advice Prinella! I will definitely be careful about that. I wish I had a trainer here, experienced in Natural horsemanship to give me a hand! But that is really hard to find here. I'll keep you posted!

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