My Mare Won't Work.
 
 

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My Mare Won't Work.

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  • Mare doesnt like to be tacked up
  • Young mare won't work

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    06-06-2012, 11:23 AM
  #1
Foal
My Mare Won't Work.

Hi Guys,

I've down on my knees at this point searching for any kind of advice, even joining a forum that I think I'll stick around for :P. So, this will REALLY be long, but if you take the time to read it and maybe have a suggestion I will forever be thankful!!

I got my mare about 9 months ago, she is a New Holland Auction pull. When I first got her, after allowing her to settle in for a few weeks, I started seeing what she knew. I started by lunging on the line to find that someone did, indeed, teach her how to do that. I attempted cross ties - she knew what it was. I tacked her up slowly and she was a little spooky about it but nothing extreme. I lunged her under tack and she did it like she's done it all her life. So I figured that someone obviously had my mare at some point and taught her all these things, right? Well, after working with her and all that, I unclipped her lunge line and brought her over to the mounting block. As soon as I stepped my foot into the stirrup, that mare was long gone. She's only 14.2, but those bucks where so ridiculously high it was unbelievable. When I let go and hit the ground, she took off running. After literally ten seconds, though, she hit the breaks and allowed me to catch her. I put her back on the lunge line and she acted as though she were perfectly fine.

I spent the next few days having someone hold her and playing around with her, putting my weight across her, in the stirrup, and none of that bothered her. I had someone hold her when I stepped in and climbed on, no issue. She understood my leg aid for a walk and a trot, but not a canter. The vet said she had a pregnancy before, and it caused her to be off balance, so she can't find her balance to canter quite yet. (She's a lot better now! She canters perfectly while free lunging!) I figured we'd take it step by step until she started barrel kicking out at every horse I rode by. I rode for a half hour - hour everyday 5 days a week with another horse in the ring to get her used to the fact that she has to share. Eventually that came to a stop but something else I learned about her was that if you give her her head to relax, she will jump and buck and spin and once that starts, she will not give up twisting her body in every direction to dismount you.

I can ride her bareback for the most part, just a halter, and she'll be okay. Sometimes she pulls her crap, but not often bareback. But as soon as I place that saddle on her, her face changes and it's honestly like stepping onto battle field when we enter the ring. She still bulks when trying to mount. You can get off and get on and she'll be good one day, but tomorrow she'll bulk and it's like you never made any progress. She still spins and bucks when she decides she's had enough of you. I bought a western saddle, a nice synthetic one, light and easy, figuring maybe she would rather try a more relaxed discipline. I tacked up for the first time yesterday and mounted up and that mare fought me every step of the way. Eventually she relaxed a little but not much.

Her saddle fits fine. Her teeth are in great shape. Her bit is cleaned right after being used. Her bridle is clean. Her feet are cared for and if anything ever happens, my farrier is out the next day. She is in perfect health. When I free lunge her, she has a blast. But, she will decide she's done and then I have to start really pushing her. I just don't know how to go about this, and I love my mare. On the ground she will follow me to earth's end and do anything I ask of her. But when I'm up there it's like I lost my lovey-dovey, willing to please mare for a flat out b!tch. Anybody have any ideas or suggestions? Thank you !!!
     
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    06-06-2012, 11:29 AM
  #2
Trained
Have you had her back looked at ny your vet or a chiropractor? She could be out of whack and the saddle may be hitting the spot wrong.

When you say the saddle is "fine" that scares me. You should be saying my saddle fits great! Just a tiny bit off could cause numerous issues.

Also, it may be completely possible that the previous owners just never worked her much in a saddle. She may just need to be "started over" when it comes to the saddle.
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    06-06-2012, 11:34 AM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by CLaPorte432    
Have you had her back looked at ny your vet or a chiropractor? She could be out of whack and the saddle may be hitting the spot wrong.

When you say the saddle is "fine" that scares me. You should be saying my saddle fits great! Just a tiny bit off could cause numerous issues.

Also, it may be completely possible that the previous owners just never worked her much in a saddle. She may just need to be "started over" when it comes to the saddle.
Posted via Mobile Device
I have! Her back is okay! :( That was my first thought. I had a chiropractor AND vet out for her!

Haha yeah I realize how bad that sounds now. I'm just frustrated and eliminating reasons.. the western saddle I just got her fits beautifully almost like it was made for her.

That's what I've been trying to do. I moved her to another barn recently where it was quiet and she wouldn't get distracted and whenever I make even the littlest bit of progress, the next day it's like it's all gone! Like I said, she was pulled from a slaughter auction, so I was wondering if she always did this crap and that's how she ended up there. I just wish I could get inside her head!! Any suggestions as far as 'starting over'.. maybe you've got something I overlooked? :)
     
    06-06-2012, 11:47 AM
  #4
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hearts Song    
Like I said, she was pulled from a slaughter auction, so I was wondering if she always did this crap and that's how she ended up there.
Entirely possible, and she may not be able to be fixed. Some horses, like people, just aren't right in the head and nothing you do will bring them back to usefulness.
mls, GotaDunQH and FaydesMom like this.
     
    06-06-2012, 12:52 PM
  #5
Weanling
She has probably always gotten away with it. Only thing I know to do is to never end a session with her in control. When she pitches drive her till her head is draggin the ground then get back on and get off on your terms. Best I can say is this will most likely be a long frustrating process but with the glimpses of a well behaved horse you should be able to turn her from the dark side... Consistency and patience are your only true weapons in this war..
     
    06-06-2012, 12:56 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by longshot    
She has probably always gotten away with it. Only thing I know to do is to never end a session with her in control. When she pitches drive her till her head is draggin the ground then get back on and get off on your terms. Best I can say is this will most likely be a long frustrating process but with the glimpses of a well behaved horse you should be able to turn her from the dark side... Consistency and patience are your only true weapons in this war..
Thank you! A lot of people do tell me to give up on her but I can't :/ the fact that she has her days where she is completely different tells me that deep deep down there, she can be a good girl! Thank you for that advice!!
     
    06-06-2012, 01:13 PM
  #7
Weanling
You are welcome, this comes with a caveat though as Speed Racer stated, there are some horses that won't be fixed. Above that you have to set a limit on this and be ready to pack it in if she doesn't improve. Horses are natural psychologists and if she finds your buttons she'll press them like a lab rat at a food dispenser.. When I said consistency I mean ABSOLUTE consistency you can't budge..
waresbear likes this.
     
    06-06-2012, 02:48 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
I would say she is misplaced over her sacroiliac joint (loins)

If you imagine that this joint is / - \ what can happen is that it slips so that the - is above one or the other of the / \ or even comes above both.

Frequently this causes no pain reaction with the normal testing.

See if you can pick up her back feet and (one at a time LOL) stretch them out behind her.

Also feel her dock see if that lifts easily or whether she crams her tail down.
     
    06-06-2012, 05:28 PM
  #9
Guest
Hearts - just reading your words, I'd suspect she is in pain with you aboard - albeit spasmodically.
Herewith some random thoughts:

1/ A way to decide if it is a pain issue is to dose the horse with painkiller - say bute. Give her a day or two at rest and pain free, then try loading her back up and wait to see if she reacts to your weight. At the end of the week withdraw the bute, allow a day or so for the bute to leave the system and tack her up again and see if the old behaviour of bucking returns.
But take it easy - just because she might not be able to feel your weight or pain, it doesn't mean that the cause of the pain (and the daage thereby caused) has been eliminated.

2/ Look up 'kissing spine' on the internet.

3/ See if there is a Bowen specialist locally - they often can find a source of pain in the back. Backs are mostly all they work on.

4/ The other option of course is an x-ray but that can be expensive

In the long run, you can't trust a horse which occasionally wants to buck you off. So either you persist in looking or you give in but giving in would mean that the horse has to go.

To me it sounds odd that the horse will allow you to ride bareback, but won't allow you - at times- to ride under saddle. It does not sound like a behavioural issue so it must be a pain issue - but you have to find where.
Your weight when riding bareback is directed downwards closer to the wither than when you are sitting in a saddle. A Western saddle and blanket will disperse the weight more generally over a wider area and along the back - perhaps over the painful area.

5/ There is one other issue - do you usually sit upright and suddenly drop backwards - thereby digging the back of the saddle into the horse's back?

6/ Just maybe in the past perhaps an ignorant handler has beaten the horse across the back with a crop and thereby damaged the spine.

We Brits are careful about young horse's backs - and usually we do not break a horse to ride until the fourth year because the back has to be allowed to develop and the muscles to build up before taking the full weight of the rider. Agreed English saddles do have a smaller foot print than Western saddles.

7/ English treeless saddles 'wrap' around a horses back and there are no pressure points from a solid saddle tree. It might be worth seeing if you can borrow one to try.

Just a few thoughts. I hope they might give you some ideas. Keep looking.
Best of luck.
AHiddenStar and longshot like this.
     
    06-06-2012, 05:40 PM
  #10
Weanling
Hey Barry,
In your point 6 you state that a handler has beaten the horse with a crop and damaged the spine. Just clarifying here but how would an 18" fiberglass or rawhide rod with a leather tip damage a horses spine? Not being a smartalec just wondering.. unless our definitions of a crop are different we are talking about an animal that would be mounted by a stallion by age 3 in the wild.. not sure how a crop could damage a horses spine. Could you elaborate?
     

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