My Mares new habit - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-21-2010, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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My Mares new habit

My TB mare has this little 'vice',
Whenever we go to leave the paddock on a ride she gets fidgety, and calls out to her paddock mates. She has formed a great bond with them, and hates leaving them but for me this is very annoying. I don't know what to do about it, please help!

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post #2 of 9 Old 01-21-2010, 07:50 AM
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It sounds like she's a titch herd bound. My guy does the same thing sometimes if he hasn't been ridden for a while (he only has one stablemate, and they get attached pretty easily with just 2 horses, in my personal experience), and let me tell you that fidgety and calling out is the worst that you ever want that "little vice" to get.

What helps mine when they start doing that stuff is to put them to work a little. If she whinnies or fusses, put her up on a good forward trot and do some serpentines or loops; whatever you can do in the space that you have to get her feet moving and changing direction. When she feels more relaxed, has her ears in an "I'm listening to you, not my buddy" position, maybe licking and chewing with her head a bit lower, allow her to walk on and praise her. When she's behaving, continue on your ride. Usually one or two whinny-triggered workouts gets them to realize that they have to work harder if they don't pay attention to me.

I also like the method of working the herd bound horse where they want to be, and resting were I want them to be. Give her something to think about (trot work, loops, rollbacks along the fence if your horse knows that and your fence is safe to ride pretty close to; just get her heart pumping a bit) near her herd-mates, and when she offers you some signs of relaxation and/or is being really quiet and responsive, trot away and rest/praise farther away from the herd. After she's got her wind back, walk back to the herd and work again, trotting away to rest. This can be done as ground work or ridden. THIS WORKS BETTER FOR MORE INGRAINED HABITS. IMO, it doesn't sound like she's giving you too much trouble, just being a nuisance (please correct me if I'm wrong on that assumption).

Of course, if she starts really acting on her preference to stay with the herd (i.e. bolting back to the herd, balking when asked to go leave, etc), a good trainer on-site may be a good idea for the sake of safety.

Good luck, and ride safely!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-21-2010, 06:25 PM
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Your horse is herd sour. We have a mare who is majorly herd sour to the point that she starts crowhopping and refuses to focus or listen at all when you try to ride her alone. We don't really work with her for it, though, because she's old and pretty much retired...

We used to have a gelding who was herd sour... to get him out of it, I started walking him alone and getting on him after he calmed down and we were about a mile from the house... he eventually learned that if he went out alone, he got to stop more and it was just more 'fun'.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-22-2010, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. This really helped (:
Seeing as its raining today, ill take her out tommorow

To ride a horse is to ride the sky.

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post #5 of 9 Old 01-22-2010, 10:05 PM
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I don't know what your opinion on this would be because it really is something totally different but....not really.

Our stud used to have chats with other horses. This is NOT allowed in a stud. I don't know about other disciplines or whatever, but at NCHA shows we would get kicked out if a stud even made the littlest noise.

My step-father/trainer, would either move him forward in a very fast gait. Or, he would back him up hard. Theres really not much you can do while your on the horse. The reason I said use your own judgement on this is because my case is with a stud. Yours isn't I don't think. We were always in an arena too so it made it easy for us to move him fast. My trainer would reprimand him with spurs if he bowed up or anything. With a stud, we didn't want to back him up with a fear of him rearing and gaining a bad habit. If your on a trail I totally understand not being able to move your horse out a lot.

I don't know if this helps but it's all on you. What do you think. I think making your horse work immediately and get its mind off the other horses is the same concept. Obviously, a case with a stud is more of reprimanding rather that distracting the horse.

If my horse doesn't like you then I don't either.Deal with it!
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-23-2010, 10:38 PM
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I thought it might help you to understand WHY your horse exhibits this behavior. If you think that might set you on the road to helping your horse with the problem, I'd be happy to offer ideas.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-25-2010, 12:16 AM
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Sorry I am going to hijack this thread for a minute. The behaviour your TB is demonstrating really reminds me of my mare the other week. The only thing is she wasn't leaving a paddock mate. We were doing cattle work and the guy I was helping was riding a mare older than mine. Over the course of the day Phoenix developed a huge crush on Buttons and everytime she thought that she and Buttons were going to be seperated she began to fidgit, neigh and even did a couple of crow hops. The other thing that was strange was that another friend of mine had come along for the day, her horse Barnes and my Phoenny are good mates but on this particular day Phoenny got really pissy everytime Barnes got between her and Buttons.

Has anyone else had their horse become "herd bound" over a period of a few hours? It was the naughtiest I have ever seen Phoenix be, it was very strange. She got so attached to this mare really quickly,I have not seen that before.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-25-2010, 08:34 AM
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I have a mare who literally has panic attacks when seperated from her buddy.. to the point that she shakes and quivers and screams bloody murder. SO i don't bother. My two tb mares are very attached and my riding area is next to my paddocks so they can see each other. But when i bring her (ginger) in first (to her stall) she chest slams the door , poops right away and screams and shakes untill i bring luna in. This is something that wont change.. atleast no for mine. She was like this with my old gelding but not as bad. I tried keeping them out of sight of each other for FOUR DAYS and all 4 days she was miserable.. screaming all day and all night woulden't eat anything couldent ride her.. so yeah. its a tough situation and each horse is different. Good luck
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-26-2010, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks for all your tips and help guys(:
Yeah, she isnt that bad, but some days are worse than others.

To ride a horse is to ride the sky.

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