my mare developed a kicking problem? please help...
   

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my mare developed a kicking problem? please help...

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  • Mare circling behavior
  • Ideas for dealind with dominate kicking mare at feeding

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  • 1 Post By allisonjoy
  • 1 Post By Lakotababii

 
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    10-08-2011, 10:48 AM
  #1
Foal
Unhappy my mare developed a kicking problem? please help...

please help if you can!
hello, I would greatly appreciate some help on how to correct a bad behavior that my 4 year old American Paint mare has picked up. This problem I speak of, is kicking... my mare is the love of my life, I spent almost 2 years, and went through looking and trying out TONS of horses, but I found the perfect little girl. She is to be my contesting horse. Ever since I got her in may of this year she has had a problem with standing while being mounted. She was only trained to accept a rider so I had to train her absolutley everything. I knew her problem with not standing was something I needed to address, but for the time being I had believed that other aspects of her training were more important. I'm sure that was a big fault of mine, but what is done is done. Last sunday, I just had the idea that I WOULD NOT let her move while I mounted her. I wasn't wearing the most flexible of jeans, and I needed her to stop being a brat and just stand. She wouldn't do it, she just spins around and around and around and around. Usually I just jump on her, spin her a bit and take off. Well it was a somewhat chillier day here in Ohio, so she was feeling frisky about the third time I mounted her. I had mounted her 2 times before and got off. The third time I made it on her, my footing was bad and she was going towards this ditch on the side of the road so I grabbed the left rein and jumped off( didn't pull on her mouth when dismounting, they were long western reins that allowed me to dismount well, but then she kept going forward and when she got passed me I went to turn her around to face me and she kicked straight out and hit my elbow! At the point I was FURIOUS.she had never disrespected me like that. So at that point, i'm sure my anger didn't help the situation but I spun her around and around and around. Then just hopped on her and made her do reeeeeal tight little circles over and over again. She was pissed, I could tell. I knew it wasn't going to be a good day for her but I still rode her for an hour. Then today I was just messing with her in the pasture and while I was feeling her back legs (she wasn't tied and this usually isn't a problem) she kicked again! Then when I go near her to confront her persay on the situation she puts her butt to me! I am completely fed up with this and DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO!! I don't want this being a problem!

She is also alone in the pasture, we have 3 horses and the dominant older mare (who I just brought back in this month) doesn't want her around her or her "boyfriend, my other gelding. She literally builds a 10 foot radius around herself and my gelding. So the horses have kicked her outta "their" herd. And we also have two donkeys who stick together. She is alone in the pasture, and I feel as though she might be lonely? She's such an affectionate mare but I don't understand why she has turned so moody and is lashing out at me!

She is also harder to catch in the field, it takes about 5 mins, not too bad.she enjoys being rode after she's mounted but hates being caught.


     
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    10-08-2011, 11:53 AM
  #2
Started
That's a very dangerous problem and it'll become worse and harder to fix the longer she gets away with it.

My horse tried to kick me... once. I cracked his ass so hard he'll remember it for the rest of his life. It's terrible to have to scold your horse, but it should be enough to get the message across once and for all. Besides, you're not going to hit her any harder than horses kick each other. It's exactly how dominant horses keep the herd in line. Your horse won't fear you or hate you for it, either. Trust me.

As for getting her to stand, there's a pretty easy way to fix it. Have her on a lunge line when you try to get on. The second she moves, send her out in a few circles. Then try to get on again. If she moves, make her work again. Do that until you can get all the way on and have her stand still until you ask her to move. I did it with both my guys and it works like a charm. =] Good luck with your girl.
     
    10-08-2011, 01:12 PM
  #3
Foal
@ jessebel




Thank you sooo much!! && I always feel bad when I have to scold her, or hit her. But that's always my first reaction if the problem is bad enough. Thanks so much!! Im not a fan of lunging but that does sound like it would work. Thanks again!!!
Northernstar likes this.
     
    10-08-2011, 02:38 PM
  #4
Yearling
Sounds like she is just testing you. You took her head on, by not letting her spin when mounted, and she reacted with a blatant "NO!"

Which is probably the reason she keeps repeating the behavior. She needs to be taught who is more dominant, you or her.

My mare tried this with me, once, much like Jessabel stated. She was much younger, and caught me right in the knee. She had never done it before, but did it when she was excited. Unfortunately for her, she was in a roundpen. I literally cracked her on the a$$ with my whip, and made her run til she was really breathing hard. Never had that problem again.

I rarely ever hit my horses, but when they start something, I finish it. That mare had at least 1000 pounds on me, and I knew I would not hurt her by hitting her when she was the one who was disrespectful.

Whenever a horse tries to walk as I am mounting, I put my foot in the stirrup, and "hop" with them. Yes, I hop on one foot. Lol.
And then I circle them by pulling on the rein closest to me, bringing their head into me. They circle til they decide to stand still. I keep doing it until they get tired of circling. Just a thought if you don't like lunging.

Oh and PS, my mare was fine with me right after the incident. In fact I found the harder I was on her, as far as manners, the more she liked me. For a horse, having a leader is much more comforting than having a friend.
allisonjoy likes this.
     
    10-09-2011, 09:00 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakotababii    
Sounds like she is just testing you. You took her head on, by not letting her spin when mounted, and she reacted with a blatant "NO!"

Which is probably the reason she keeps repeating the behavior. She needs to be taught who is more dominant, you or her.

My mare tried this with me, once, much like Jessabel stated. She was much younger, and caught me right in the knee. She had never done it before, but did it when she was excited. Unfortunately for her, she was in a roundpen. I literally cracked her on the a$$ with my whip, and made her run til she was really breathing hard. Never had that problem again.

I rarely ever hit my horses, but when they start something, I finish it. That mare had at least 1000 pounds on me, and I knew I would not hurt her by hitting her when she was the one who was disrespectful.

Whenever a horse tries to walk as I am mounting, I put my foot in the stirrup, and "hop" with them. Yes, I hop on one foot. Lol.
And then I circle them by pulling on the rein closest to me, bringing their head into me. They circle til they decide to stand still. I keep doing it until they get tired of circling. Just a thought if you don't like lunging.

Oh and PS, my mare was fine with me right after the incident. In fact I found the harder I was on her, as far as manners, the more she liked me. For a horse, having a leader is much more comforting than having a friend.
thanks so much for this advice! You're right so is @jessabel, it is hard to scold them but tonight your advice rang sooo true. I walked behind her after I took her headstall off and had put her head in the grain bucket and she kicked out, not a cowkick, a kick and she hit the back of my legs buckling me down. There was no reason for it, so I hit her with the reins. She flinched but really didn't seem like she was terrified or anything. They can definitely take a harder hit than you'd think. Well I thought her maybe she learned her lesson, cause I thought it hurt bad enough. Well right after that I took her outside and was cleaning her hooves, when I applied pressure to the side of her rump she cowkicked me. This time I took the end of the lead rope and beat her into circles until she was working hard. So I spent 35 mins teaching her to ALWAYS move her butt away from me when I click. I thought she'd hate me because I had to be so rough, but she honestly followed me like a little puppy dog, even after I released her. She knows whose boss now. And she still loves me!!THANK YOU BOTH SOO MUCH!
     
    10-09-2011, 09:15 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessabel    
My horse tried to kick me... once. I cracked his ass so hard he'll remember it for the rest of his life.
I love this description

Allisonjoy, the fact that she has kicked you several times now and keeps doing it even after you punish her makes me think that you're not getting after her hard enough. If she had learned her lesson, she would have stopped kicking the first time and been done with it. Kicking is a very obnoxious, very disrespectful, and very dangerous habit. The next time she kicks you, she needs to feel lucky to be alive when you get through with her. She needs to believe that you're going to murder her, chop her body up into little pieces and then feed it to your dogs. It doesn't matter how affectionate she seems or how much she seems to love you; a respectful horse does not kick.

And for the standing still when mounting, I really have found that backing up works well. As soon as she starts moving off, back her up firmly 5 or 6 steps, then try again. Repeat. Over and over until she gets it. You said in the OP that you usually jump on, spin her and then take off. Don't. Make it a habit to stand still for 5 or even 10 minutes every time you get on her before asking her to move off.
     
    10-09-2011, 09:51 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by pintophile    
I love this description

Allisonjoy, the fact that she has kicked you several times now and keeps doing it even after you punish her makes me think that you're not getting after her hard enough. If she had learned her lesson, she would have stopped kicking the first time and been done with it. Kicking is a very obnoxious, very disrespectful, and very dangerous habit. The next time she kicks you, she needs to feel lucky to be alive when you get through with her. She needs to believe that you're going to murder her, chop her body up into little pieces and then feed it to your dogs. It doesn't matter how affectionate she seems or how much she seems to love you; a respectful horse does not kick.

And for the standing still when mounting, I really have found that backing up works well. As soon as she starts moving off, back her up firmly 5 or 6 steps, then try again. Repeat. Over and over until she gets it. You said in the OP that you usually jump on, spin her and then take off. Don't. Make it a habit to stand still for 5 or even 10 minutes every time you get on her before asking her to move off.
Backing them up is sound advice. They have to change modes. With horses physical changes and mental changes are often a hand-in-hand deal.
Kicking is defiance of your authority. Horses don't kick the lead mare.
It will likely take some time, but I'd recommend you:
First, become the lead mare (first or again, but have that position)
Afterward you can work on teaching her to stand while you mount. Backing her up if she moves is good. Also positioning her where she can't just shift sideways or spin her hind end might be a good idea.
But before you can be successful long term you'll need to become the "boss" again.
I've found that when they don't want to listen and move away when if I wanted them to stay I force them to keep moving. After a while they figure out that it's easier to face me and do what I wanted vs having to keep moving without a break.
Of course did they always act like this when you tried to mount or was it a behavior that came later? There can be external reasons that cause a horse to start acting up, cause behavior changes and a break down in training (e.g. Saddle becomes uncomfortable is something that can cause this).
Good luck. Has difficult as it can be, patience and perserverance help a LOT.
     
    10-09-2011, 09:51 PM
  #8
Trained
I think all of the above is good advice to try. The key is to not let her get away with ANYTHING. My guess is that going back to ground work to gain some basic respect and get her understanding who is boss may do you a world of good.

As for the mounting issue-I can only say that what I personally have seen work the best is the first idea. When you go to mount her is she MOVES A MUSCLE use one rein and make her do circles around you . Right then. When she decides to stop-make her do a couple more, then stop her and try again. If she moves-and I mean AT ALL-move her off again. Took me a while, but honestly, people now think my guy could get a job as parking attendant. Whether I am on, getting on, off or getting off-when I stay wait he knows he best not move. As a result, he also ground ties perfectly. I typically start this in the rope halter an 12 ft line. THat way I have enough line to have it smack him if he won;t move off at the speed I want after he tries himself.

I do realize how difficult it is to smack a horse after they kick you, since it hurts. Frankly-I don't tolerate ANY disrespect that is threatening (moving butt over, etc-just plain disrespect) But, if it does get to kicking again-PUNISH IMMEDIATELY. Just as you were told above-she should think she will die immediately, and briefly. THat is the only way she will remember. I know I will probably get flamed for this, but if mine ever attempt it-they get the toe of my boot in their belly. (along with loud yelling at the very least). I do not usually have something close enough to hit them with, and my toe is far less hurtful then another horse.....so that is what I do.

Good luck.
     
    10-09-2011, 10:49 PM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonjoy    
@ jessebel
thank you sooo much!! && I always feel bad when I have to scold her, or hit her. But that's always my first reaction if the problem is bad enough. Thanks so much!! Im not a fan of lunging but that does sound like it would work. Thanks again!!!
Just remember, this is NOT a big dog you are dealing with. This is a 1000 lb animal that can kill you if you don't address either of these issues in a way that SHE understands and quickly.

Right now, she has the upper hand, and she will quickly figure out how to use them to her advantage...that 'catch me if you can game' in the pasture could quickly turn into a 'come on, I dare you to get close enough to me, I'll give you a good thwack'...

If you don't feel you have the ability to correct her, then you need to find a trainer who can help you work with her, period. Kicking is one of the most dangerous habits a horse can develop.

My guess is she is not a bad horse, but she NEEDS a leader NOW, and you need to decide whether you are going to put away your feelings and be that leader or risk getting yourself or her injured because you don't want to 'punish your baby'.
     

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