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Odd behaviour in 2 year old filly

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        08-29-2013, 10:45 AM
      #11
    Weanling
    When my mare was 2, she would get aggressive with me in her stall, but be as sweet as honey everywhere else. So I understand completely. It was like she was saying, "Hey! This is my territory! And mine only!" While she was in her "castle", she "ruled."
    Thankfully when I moved her to a different barn, she got a stall with an outdoor run. She'd get very aggressive at feeding time (like, "Give it to me and get out!"), so we took a whip and chased her out. I've gotten her to the point where she cannot take a step inside the stall without my say. The stall is "my territory", and I'm graciously letting her use it. She's very good about it now, and isn't aggressive in the least anymore. When I took her to a driving trainer, she had just a stall, no run. The trainer's wife would do feeding every morning, and commented to me how unusual it was that my mare would "turn around, go to the far corner, put her head down, and wait until the feed had been put in the stall, and everyone was out before she started eating." I figure this was my mare's way of getting out of the way, as she was never aggressive, and never turned around until the feeding person had left the stall.

    My Mom's gelding also had a habit of turning his butt to me in his stall. I hated doing it, but all I could do was hit him on the butt with the whip until he turned around. He never kicked, but it did work, and he always keeps his eyes on me now.

    Hope you figure this one out soon! Be careful!
    Skipka likes this.
         
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        08-29-2013, 12:55 PM
      #12
    Super Moderator
    If she wasn't putting her ears back at you then I'd be thinking she just wanted a good scratch - I have one that will actually back up to you ask for this and also will lift up her back leg to be scratched under there but there is no malice in it and she will move over with just a light touch
    I have seem mares do this to other horses when in season and they can get a bit insistent and irritable looking about it when they don't get the attention they think they want
    Not allowing it to happen is the best way the break the habit and you have some good advise on not going in with her unless you have her headcollar and lead rope on and making her move her backside over and away - but do be careful if you use a whip or your hand to do this that you aren't in the firing line if she does decide to lash out
    Skipka and terry6970 like this.
         
        08-29-2013, 02:00 PM
      #13
    Foal
    My mare does this when she needs a good scratch too. There is nothing aggressive about it, she is just asking, "please scratch me". She gets so itchy around her udder and between her back thighs, especially in summer, and she can't get to that area herself. It just could be a miscommunication between you and her. Make sure it's aggressive behavior, and if so address that as people have mentioned above. Just look for all the signs, and sense the situation completely. Since she is so respectful otherwise, it is odd.

    Good luck :)
    Skipka and jaydee like this.
         
        08-30-2013, 07:31 AM
      #14
    Started
    I agree with the others on training her to turn to you when you enter a stall. It's just "best practice" with all horses.

    When I was still a teen on a TB farm, a neighboring horseman came to visit. I opened a stall door to show him one of our better mares. Her rear was facing the door and I began to enter. The gentleman took my arm as I entered and asked "Boots! What are you doing? She hasn't turned to you." I said "Oh, she's okay." He replied "Yes, maybe this horse, this time, but you are always safer if you teach every horse to turn to you every time you approach."

    Over the years I've seen a few episodes when a rider/handler would have been wise to practice this. Usually on an otherwise fine horse. Safety makes for happy in my book.
    smrobs, flytobecat and Skipka like this.
         
        08-30-2013, 08:18 AM
      #15
    Started
    I agree with Smrobs....if you already have a relationship where she respects you, maybe she is asking you to scratch her butt??? My mare LOVES her belly scratched and will walk up to me and put her side into me for me to scratch her. However, if it was another person who doesn't understand what she is doing, they may think she was trying to turn into them to kick them. I don't always allow her to do this, so she doesn't become pushy and think she can get what she wants whenever she wants and will often push her away and chase her off too. I will only let her do it if I say it is ok to.

    Are your mare's ears pinned back when she does this?
    Skipka likes this.
         
        08-31-2013, 03:05 AM
      #16
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oldhorselady    
    I agree with Smrobs....if you already have a relationship where she respects you, maybe she is asking you to scratch her butt??? My mare LOVES her belly scratched and will walk up to me and put her side into me for me to scratch her. However, if it was another person who doesn't understand what she is doing, they may think she was trying to turn into them to kick them. I don't always allow her to do this, so she doesn't become pushy and think she can get what she wants whenever she wants and will often push her away and chase her off too. I will only let her do it if I say it is ok to.

    Are your mare's ears pinned back when she does this?
    At first no, but after the first time I pushed her butt round and made her move, she started greeting me at the door with pinned back ears. Smrobs asked if I ever scratch her tail and yes, we used to when she was a foal and she'd come up to you in the field for just that. Then someone told me it was a bad idea - I didn't understand why at the time, but I guess I do now!

    Thank you everyone for all your great advice! When you are at home struggling to understand a problem, you sometimes feel like you're the only one who's come across it! Yesterday I tried moving her to a different stall, so that she didn't recognise it as 'her' territory. In the morning she was like a different horse - came to the door with ears forward and allowed me to put her halter on. I then went in and moved her about inside, asking her to back and making her move her butt round. I will keep this up every day and see how I get on. Once she gets used to this stable she might get pushy again, but I'll be ready for her - armed with a lead rope and some excellent advice!!
         
        08-31-2013, 04:12 AM
      #17
    Foal
    My boy only tried this once, he got a real whack and a firm and loud 'no'. Then I made him back up and get out of my space. He knew he did wrong and once I told him off he went very submissive and stayed out of my way. Since then he hasn't tride it since and is a real pleasure to be around in his stable.
         
        08-31-2013, 12:03 PM
      #18
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Skipka    
    At first no, but after the first time I pushed her butt round and made her move, she started greeting me at the door with pinned back ears. Smrobs asked if I ever scratch her tail and yes, we used to when she was a foal and she'd come up to you in the field for just that. Then someone told me it was a bad idea - I didn't understand why at the time, but I guess I do now!

    Thank you everyone for all your great advice! When you are at home struggling to understand a problem, you sometimes feel like you're the only one who's come across it! Yesterday I tried moving her to a different stall, so that she didn't recognise it as 'her' territory. In the morning she was like a different horse - came to the door with ears forward and allowed me to put her halter on. I then went in and moved her about inside, asking her to back and making her move her butt round. I will keep this up every day and see how I get on. Once she gets used to this stable she might get pushy again, but I'll be ready for her - armed with a lead rope and some excellent advice!!
    Good, that sounds like you hit the nail on the head! She may have pinned her ears in protest when you asked her to move from something she thought was normal (the scratching the butt part). Good of you to change it up now before she got too pushy with it. Always keep her guessing as to what you want from her....sometimes she may get a butt scratch, sometimes not....but it's always on your terms.
         

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