Is it ok for your horse to put it's ears back while working them
 
 

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Is it ok for your horse to put it's ears back while working them

This is a discussion on Is it ok for your horse to put it's ears back while working them within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What to do when your horse lays it's ears backwards when asked to walk
  • Horse puts ears back when trotting

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    07-04-2013, 08:19 PM
  #1
Weanling
Is it ok for your horse to put it's ears back while working them

My mare, since the day a started working her, puts her ears back when i'm working her in the round pen or the arena, doing figure eights, small circles ect. Unless we are just running around or on the trail ,every time I ask her to do something, she does it, with her ears pack...The trainer that does our lessons just laughs and says we are just a lot alike lol but as long as she does what she's asked it's not a problem.

I just purchased a mare that i'v been working with for my step daughter and in personality she is a clone to my mare. So my question is is this behavior ok if that's all the defiance she gives or am I overlooking something that I should be correcting?
     
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    07-04-2013, 08:28 PM
  #2
Weanling
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    07-04-2013, 08:29 PM
  #3
Yearling
Many will say this is just a mare being a mare....some tend to be pretty opinionated. While it may not look pleasing, as long as she isn't being what I refer to as the devil incarnate, striking, trying to bite, being violent, and is doing what you are asking her to do, I wouldn't worry about it. Think of it as a three year old who is being obedient but doing so under duress. "Oh all right I'll do what you tell me but I don't want to do it...." Now, if she starts getting nasty about it, charging etc, then you have a training issue to handle.
     
    07-04-2013, 08:35 PM
  #4
Started
How far are the ears back? If they are just turned back, it's ok. It means the horse is listening. These are listening ears.
They coud even back farther than this.

But if the ears are pinned then it is not good. These are the bad ears which could lead to bad behavior, uncomfortableness, etc. These tpyes aren't really good.

These ears the the bad ears. You need to find what is bothering the horse. Check the tack, maybe you are cueing in an uncomfortable way. These ears usually mean something bad is about to happen and you should really fix it to make sure now one gets hurt.

Brisco does this when I ask him to do something and he doesn't like the way I am asking it. Usually shortly after he pins his ears he starts doing little mini rears and fancy spins.
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    07-04-2013, 08:36 PM
  #5
Trained
I would consider it a warning signal and not disregard it. Warning of what? Well, that she doesn't like doing what's asked of her. Why? Who knows? That's your job to find out. Pain? Confusion? Disrespect? Feeling threatened?

The good thing is that, at this point, that is the only way she is telling you she's not pleased. The bad news is that, IMO, it is likely to get worse if not corrected now.

Is she actually pinning her ears or just flicking them back? Read the rest of her body language to help interpret the message from her ears.
     
    07-04-2013, 08:47 PM
  #6
Yearling
Amberly made a very good post.

Indie often kept one ear forward and one ear back. However, she did seem to hate the pony in our group lesson and would pin her ears back just like Amberly's second picture. She was incredibly well-behaved and never got the chance to act on her displeasure, but I know lots of mares (and geldings as well) who would kick out without a second thought the moment their ears go back.

I prefer a horse who doesn't pin their ears at other horses while being ridden, but as long as they can still be controlled and get over it, it doesn't bother me too much. Indie was always quick to move on but I know a couple horses who don't have that self control, which isn't something I enjoy putting up with.
     
    07-04-2013, 09:34 PM
  #7
Weanling
Amberly they are turned back but not completely flat.. not just in the listening position but not in im going to freak flat out position. She has never followed with biting or bucking, will do It unsaddled doing ground work or saddled doing excersises..
     
    07-04-2013, 09:36 PM
  #8
Started
I think maybe she is just listening to the rider, a bit nervous or unsure, or maybe just a bit irritated. If you don't mind could you post a picture so I get a better idea of their position?? Thank you.
     
    07-04-2013, 09:43 PM
  #9
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernMama    
I would consider it a warning signal and not disregard it. Warning of what? Well, that she doesn't like doing what's asked of her. Why? Who knows? That's your job to find out. Pain? Confusion? Disrespect? Feeling threatened?

The good thing is that, at this point, that is the only way she is telling you she's not pleased. The bad news is that, IMO, it is likely to get worse if not corrected now.

Is she actually pinning her ears or just flicking them back? Read the rest of her body language to help interpret the message from her ears.

Her body language doesn't fit the ears, she does what she's asked, no fit at all just the ears, head not high but not on the ground. She is the lead mare in our herd. I've had her for 3 years now and this spring is the first time that I've got her to come to the center of the round pen after lunging her, prior when told to stop she'd turn her butt to me, if I really kept up the work she'd face me but not drop her head or come to me. This year I switched trainers, he uses the Clinton Anderson approach and I've been using it as well, just haven't lost the ear thing yet
     
    07-04-2013, 09:47 PM
  #10
Weanling
Ya, ill get someone to video us if I can but atleast a pic.. thanx
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