Soo..long story short, I bought a mare sigh unseen 2 months ago, aftre speaking with the trainer and and hearing all about this wonderful mare. 15.1 hh, 10 uyears old, broke broke broke...eyc. I informed her the horse would be for my beginner husband who has a great seat, but knows almost nothing; and would be used for advanced sort of trails...long, rough terrain, more demanding type trails. I take meticulous care of my horses and I have shown and riiden for over 20 years. However, I guess I have been really lucky, well I know I have been., with my horses. "Navy"(a blue roan previously called 'Blue' like every other blue roan) arrived incredibly ill and underwieght. I immediately informed her owner and I have never been able to get a hold of her since the day my check went through.
Okay, back to now....two months later, after almost losing her to "shipping fever" and pneumonia she is feeling good and ready to be worked lightly. I thought, great..new horse, so I will start with the basics. Right off the bat I realized she was head shy and worried...so we have worked a lot on that and its WAAAAY better, but still a work in progress. So, I put her in my new 60 ft round pen, and this mare is BESIDE herself. (remember she had been advertised as a "been there, done that" mare that had been shown in barrel racing by a middle aged woman..a broke mare with a great mind!) I had not so much as turned her loose and stood in the middle and she was dashing and darting every which way, climbing the rails and slamming into them. Rolling back, changing direction as if I was going to EAT her.
So, I just talked to her and thought I was going to let her settle a bit...then I thought no, move her feet before she really does climb out of here. So I began trying to get her to just to one lap around the pen without slamming into it, rolling back(hind towards me!), or climbing the rails. I did this for ten minutes, saw a tiny bit of progress so I stopped and turned my body away from her. She took soem time but did face me eventually....
Can soemone tell if I am on the right track. I have started two babies in my life and I still have them and they are wonderful...they were so easy to teach this stuff to. Now I have a ten year old that has clearly never lunged(I DID try the lungeline outside the pen as well...HECK NO!!! Runs mad as far as she can go!!)
I did some Cinton Anderson type stuff with her then just with a lead rope to teach her soem direction and body language; she is super sensitive but so very willing. Not a mean bone her, only a major sized PANIC button!
I rode her for about 10 mins....NO BEND, No Give to the bit, NOTHING. I could not get her to jog a circle! So we just walked around and got used to one another...then I got off and gave her a long bath and stared in amazement,
I need ideas...start from scratch?
Here are some pictures, she still needs quite a bit of weight and some muscle, she is truly kind once you get close to her.
What a pretty girl. I would definitely start from square one to identify the holes so you can begin to try and fill them. Is that something you are comfortable doing? If not, it may be best to send her off for training. In the meantime, I would start looking for the horse you THOUGHT you were buying when you got her.
Good luck, no advice, you're doing fine, she looks like a nice horse. From the picture, it's looks she has some bone spavin on her left hock, she is not sickle hocked, so that is work caused....might be a clue to her behavior.
My gelding one day tried that crap, out of the blue. I put a bit in his mouth, I don't have a stud chain. And I'd move him. And well guess what happened when he tried to turn away to face the pen xP he quit that quick.
Janna, this isn't a situation where a broke horse suddenly decides to act like a butt. This is a situation where the buyer got a horse that is clearly not as advertised and has some fear issues to work through. Popping her in the mouth with a bit while lunging would only serve to exacerbate those fear issues.
OP, I think you are on the right track, just start from scratch so that you can find the holes in her basic training and correct them. She sounds like she really wants to be someone's friend, but just isn't sure how to go about it. She is absolutely stunning and I'm sure that you'll be able to get her turned around.
If it was me, I'd use a halter and lead rope when turning her loose in the round pen. At least until she quits acting squirrely. With a rope, you can keep her from changing directions and jumping out. Might cut down on the chances of her injuring herself. Just stand in the middle with the rope and pull her head toward the middle of the pen when she gets silly.
Be ready to defend yourself when you pull her around. Some horses will freight-train you when they panic.
Honestly I wouldn't put her in the round pen loose. I'd work on leading her to follow my shoulder and work on walking next to me, trotting next to me, disengaging and yielding her body to me (face, neck, shoulder, barrel, hip, hind end, front end, etc.) halting, backing up, "sending" her somewhere" just little simple things. Then as she gets better and more comfortable, you increase the length of the rope and ask her to do the same thing but with more distance. Once she's comfortable with all of that, then I'd have her loose in the pen.
I think the round pen loose is too much for her.. she feels she needs to just run away or try to escape. She's not understanding why she's there, and overwhelming her isn't good for her at this point.
Have you tried throwing some hay in there or having someone hold her (or tie if she can to a piece of hay bailing twine) and brushing her? Letting her know it's not just a place for work, not something she needs to worry about.
Then I'd try and work with her out of the round pen. If there's a nice grassy area, work on some ground work with her on lead.
That's just what I would do, be aware of what she is doing at all times.
I totally agree with what you suggested, start from the begining and find out what she knows & doesn't know. That will tell you where the holes in her training are. I do this with every horse I buy anyway, unless I have a good history of the horse.
Something to keep in mind, not every horse has been worked in a round pen, even though it is the "in thing" to do currently. Or they could have had a really bad experience with it.
My guess would be that she has been ridden by people without a lot of knowlege, so she maybe has experience riding on trails, but doesn't know about a riders leg, seat & hand aids. This is only a guess on my part, but I have riden alot of horses with this kind of history. Then the horse does something to scare them so the horse gets sold.
She is a very nice looking mare with a kind eye, and should do fine with your TLC based on what you have done so far.