My mare will not ride out alone

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My mare will not ride out alone

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    09-15-2010, 09:00 AM
My mare will not ride out alone

Until recently I have always went riding with a friend but unfortunately she has moved and now I can't get my mare to go out by herself. She will go so far and then she will start tossing her head and backing up, eventually she will start popping up and she refuses to move forward even if I try leading her. What can I do to get her to ride out alone? I refuse to stop riding my horse because she is buddy sour but not sure what to do so any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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    09-15-2010, 09:04 AM
Green Broke
I started taking my horse for walks out, first few times he starting having a fit, but I just led like nothing had happened and he followed.
I havn't actually been able to do it much but the few times I did he was walking fine and sometimes I even got on him for a bit.
The only thing really that will help is time and patience
    09-15-2010, 09:20 AM
Green Broke
Start out slow again. Back to basics. What I am thinking is when you ride, ride out and before you get to her uncomfortable zone, back her yourself. Alot of backing. Then move her forward again and repeat until you can get thru. Make more work for her where she wants to be and rest her where she doesnt want to be. Reverse phyc. On your off days, not riding, walk her and do the same. Try each time to get her past her scary zone. But go slow and have patience. Horses are herd animals and she needs to now trust in you for guidance. She had the other horse for her saftey. Now she will reliy on you. Make sure she is safe and doesnt get hurt in areas she is afraid of or wont go. Talk to her gently, and watch your own body language. If you get tense (on or off) she will feel it and take it as a sign to run away. Breath deep and eyes forward to where you want her to go. If you feel you can't get her past her point, or if you feel you are loosing confidence, Stop, and get help. Always safety first. Try to have fun with her and make everything you do a positive experience. End on a positive note. Good luck and keep safe.
    09-15-2010, 09:58 AM
I have just recently gotten over the same issue with Jack. He acted like a complete idiot every time we got more than a few hundred feet from the farm. I started riding him up to his freak out point, but no matter how much he crow hopped and tried to turn back I would make him take at least 3-4 steps past that point, then I would turn him back. Gradually the freak out point got farther and farther away until it disappeared altogether. I don't like using a crop, but I started carrying one. I would tell him NO firmly and a tap on the neck when he really started to act up, I could see the thought process "I don't wanna, I don't wanna, Oh Ok." Now we can go all over the place alone, he actually loves to go out. Ears are up, he doesn't spook at the horse eating blades of grass or creepy shadows on the ground, he's safe around traffic and construction equipment, and he doesn't want to turn back home anymore at all! Imo the key is being calm and assertive with them and not accepting a no from them, but at the same time avoiding getting into a fight with them over it.
    09-15-2010, 12:11 PM
Ugh. I hate this problem...but it's soooo common in horses!

The minute your horse starts acting up, put her to work. Circles, serpentines. Turns. Stops. Back up. Leg yields if she knows how. Just keep her feet moving and don't give her time to worry about where she is. Do this until she's feeling it...getting a little tired...then ask her to move forward in the direction you want to go. If she won't budge or tosses her head or tries to go the other way...repeat. Move her. Move her quickly. Change her directions. Get her moving and not thinking about where she is but rather where she's putting her feet. Then ask her again to move forward in your direction. Go as far as she will go willingly, then repeat.

This is a sloooow process sometimes. If it takes an hour to get her to go 10 feet further than she normally would, call it a day of progress, but make that point your new "standard." End each day on a positive note with her moving further than she would when you started. Eventually, she'll realize that moving in HER direction is hard, but moving in YOUR direction is easy!! Horses tend to be lazy and she'll get the drift. It just takes consistency and oodles and oodles of patience!!!
    09-15-2010, 12:12 PM
Also, when you return to the barn, don't immediately reward her by getting off, grooming her, and putting her back in the pasture. Sometimes leave her tied for a long time with her tack on. Sometimes do more riding work down in the barn area. Don't make the barn or pasture the happiest place to be all the time. Give her something to consider..."hmmm...why am I in a hurry to get back to that barn?? I may not have what I want in store for me there, either!"
    09-15-2010, 12:28 PM
Originally Posted by kimber769    
Until recently I have always went riding with a friend but unfortunately she has moved and now I can't get my mare to go out by herself. She will go so far and then she will start tossing her head and backing up, eventually she will start popping up and she refuses to move forward even if I try leading her. What can I do to get her to ride out alone? I refuse to stop riding my horse because she is buddy sour but not sure what to do so any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
She's herd bound. I take my babies out on walks away from the pack. Bring a brush with you and take her out for a walk. Don't ride her, don't do anything demanding, just take her out for a walk. If she is really bad, then be gradual and start off by heading to a point where she starts to be fussy. Have a sit in the grass and spend time with her, or let her graze while you give her a grooming.

The problem with her behavior, is that she doesn't see you a her pack buddy. Until she trusts you and builds that bond where she learns and realizes she has nothing to worry about when with you, she won't settle with leaving her group of buddies. It will take time, and to be honest some horses are impossible to break from that issue.

Take your time, be gradual and make her realize its actually fun to head out for a good graze and scratch.
    09-15-2010, 08:25 PM
Drunken walk. Trick her into moving forward. When she has her backing up tantrum, let her back up as far as she wants but keep her facing in the direction you want to go. When she stands still, sit square, ask NOTHING with your legs. Using alternating reins, let one go slack and use an opening rein with the other one until she starts to follow her nose in that direction. After a few steps, let that rein go slack and open the other one. Your horse will look like she's drunk as she zig zags down the path, but it will get you there. If you always keep her facing the direction you want to go not matter what tantrum she's throwing, eventually she'll realize that her only solution is to go forward. I'm assuming she'll take much longer to give in than a gelding would, but just be calm, clear in what you want and patient, and eventually she'll move along willingly.
    09-22-2010, 09:35 PM
UPDATE!!! Rayne rode out by herself today! I am so proud of her!!! Thanks everybody for the advice
    09-22-2010, 09:39 PM
That's great news. How'd you do it?

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