Opinions on a miserable Arab? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 02:26 PM
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Okay, I'm curious, not bashing... but curious :p

We decided to lay her down as I was obviously getting nowhere with her. This resulted in a massive battle. She pitched multiple massive tantrums that would have put a Mustang to shame. She finally went down by rearing high enough to fall backwards. Shay-la had taken over and I had to walk away because I was in tears. We only use this method when we're at a loss, and my horse displaying DANGEROUS behavior is about as "end of the rope" as it gets. We finally got her down, she finally gave up and I spend the next while running my hands all over and having a "heart to heart."
What do you mean by "laying her down"? And what is it supposed to do to/teach the horse? I've never heard of that..

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post #12 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Eliz View Post
Okay, I'm curious, not bashing... but curious :p

What do you mean by "laying her down"? And what is it supposed to do to/teach the horse? I've never heard of that..
I think she means that she literally got the horse to lay down. I think it's supposedly supposed to put the horse in a vunerable position and therefore a more submissive or willing state of mind, help build a connection, etc. I think it's kind of similar in nature to people picking up day old foals and holding them off the ground for several minutes. It subconsciously instills the idea in horses that humans are dominant.
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post #13 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 06:17 PM
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How long ago did you start getting her back to work? I ask this because I had a similar situation with my mare...and REALLY had to be patient and wait for it...and I still am having this problem, it's by no means over, but its getting better. My mare was put up for about a year, only being taken out to ride a few times. Aside from those rides she got treats and scratches, that's it. She(mine) has also been shifted from home to home quite a bit and is 13 now. When I got her she basically gave me the "heck no I'm not doing that with you!" She bucked for hours on end with me on her, refused to leave the barn by spinning and rearing, snapped her teeth and kicked at me when I tried to tack her up, flipped her head in the air if I tried to bridle her, ran off with me everytime I did get her to leave the barn...the whole 9 yards. Long story short, things ARE getting a lot better even though they aren't easy. Every now and then one or two of those old habits will pop up and she'll need a reminder there. Mine is 1/2 arab.

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post #14 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Eliz - Yes, we mean literally laying her down. It's not supposed to be a massive fight, it's supposed to be a slow "battle of wills" where you lift one leg and ask them to bend their head and gradually wear them down into submission (laying down). It's a controversial method to be sure, but one we've found to work successfully in the past for horses who are bordering on dangerous behavior due to complete lack of respect. It's a "join-up" of sorts, it generally has the same mental effect on the horse of "you can give to me and I won't hurt you." The idea is putting the horse in a state of vulnerability where you can touch them and rub them and generally show them that you can have them "merciless" and nothing bad will happen.

Amlalriiee - Haha, that actually gives me hope! Ironically, I had made mention of someone "messing with her" and I was just told today that one of the idiot stablehands SOMEHOW managed to confuse Zierra for Rowan again (a chestnut GELDING with a stripe, not a blaze and a completely different blanket) and actually brought her inside for the night two weeks ago! Zierra HATES stalls, I'm amazed it's still standing! Although I'm sure getting a nice feed of oats that wasn't hers helped. :roll: Little things like this make me wonder though how much someone is messing with her and pissing her off.

Anyway, today was awesome again - Shay-la did groundwork and rode her while I worked with Jynx and they both did excellent. Shay-la is managing to get some nice groundwork done WITHOUT any ear pinning now so that's exciting!

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #15 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 06:41 PM
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I'm happy to try helping where I'm able, and I agree I don't think this is pain related. It's not JUST when someone's on her...it's groundwork as well, simple leading basics where she just figures she's old enough she shouldn't HAVE to practise it and just pins her ears and snakes her face out! As a bystander for years, it's been mildly amusing because that's where it ended...pathetic little threats that were nipped in the bud. Now however, there have been a handful of times where she's opened her mouth or kicked out so it needs to be addressed.

Laying a horse down is along the same lines as what RL said - a way that Zierra can understand she's in fact NOT top dog. Or well, top pony? JoinUp does not work with this mare. Most days, she craves nothing more than to come into the circle and snuggle...so like MM said, she fakes the signs to get us to turn our back so she can come in. Like head dropped, licking, and nose in 1/2 lap around...big - fat - faker! I wasn't having any luck with one of my filly's in using JoinUp last winter and found laying her down to be extraordinarily beneficial for her so we tested the waters with Zierra. Since then, she hasn't yet pinned her ears or turned her butt at me so there's been no need to reinforce that I'm alpha...cross that bridge again when we come to it, although with her front leg injuries, we're not hot on asking her to hop around on one leg. Will have to look at other options. What works isn't always the safest or best option...so time for some research again!

Very encouraging topic and responses, thank you!

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post #16 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 09:07 PM
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There's always hope! I started out riding in a kimberwicke and couldn't even stop her, but a million one-rein stops and transitions later, I can ride her in a snaffle all the time and in a rope halter if I'm in an arena...although not COMPLETELY under control in that yet. haha. She knows not to argue about leaving the barn, though she may voice her opinion in other situations...anyway, progress is being made! Where initially I was nervous with a saddle, I now ride her 90% of the time with a bareback pad. Progress is always possible, even with stubborn arab mares :) AND where arab mares tend to be super sensitive, I'm sure people messing with her routine REALLY didn't help you out any. Best of luck, lots of deep breaths! Believe me, I need them too. It sounds like having someone who is removed from the emotion of the situation is really helping out so keep up with that and start inserting yourself in some of the easier, less emotional tasks first, and work your way up into being the one who can challenge her. I think you stepping out for a "break" of sorts is healthy so that you two don't drive each other bonkers (you and the mare) haha. When you do get back into the full force of it, just remember to take a few deep breaths when you need them and to remain as calm as possible, don't take it personally!

A horse is the projection of peoples' views about themselves--strong, powerful, beautiful--and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existance.
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post #17 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 09:20 PM
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Here's my two cents worth... I think you should pick your battles and move carefully around her. Try to handle her in a way so as not to start a fight that you can't win. If she is sound then get on her and ride the crap out of her. I realize in your part of the world it may be hard right now but what she needs is hours under saddle. You don't need to ride her fast or particullarly challenge her physically but give her a change of scenery and engage her brain. Quit training for a while and just ride her.

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post #18 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 09:38 PM
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No advice here, others have given you plenty. Just wishing you good luck.

Perhaps a change of rider/handler will do the trick. If you are feeling sour with her she may be responding to that (especially an Arabian as they are so sensitive to human emotions IME) and it can be a vicious cycle when that happens. If someone else is having good results with her and you see that happening, you may approach her with a clean slate and find that you have different results down the track.

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post #19 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much guys.

kevinshorses - I think your advice is very sound. Watching Shay-la work with her, I realize now that I was developing an attitude with her that she was GOING to listen to me, regardless what I asked. I think it caused me to deliberately "push" her instead of accepting small steps (much along the lines of "you KNOW this, I already TAUGHT you this, stop pretending you don't know it!") At this point we're wanting to take it easy on her legs, but we DO have an indoor arena for the first time in our lives so she's being ridden now at basically just a walk and trot with not a lot asked of her except relaxation. It's going well.

sarahver - I agree! As I stated, watching Shay-la work with her has deflated me a bit and made me realize maybe I was being more stubborn with her then I needed to be. Shay-la is "picking" her battles, such as today she got some tail swishing and minor ear pinning but as long as she's not biting or kicking and obeying the command, not getting after her for it.

Haha, I feel like you guys have helped me though a psychology session I definitely take full blame for this and it's refreshing watching someone ELSE work with her and being able to actually identify where I was causing part of the problem! I really hope if nothing else, others can take something from this topic!

I really had to step back and realize how ridiculous my human emotions in this were. I'm looking at her and going "what happened to my horse?" and that is NOT going to get me anywhere - yes she's changed, and yes it's my fault, so I need to take steps to help bring her back to trust and respect instead of stomping my foot and whining about it. Shay-la is doing great with her so as long as she wants to work with her I will be grateful! I am hoping I can observe them some more and then hopefully get more interactive with her in awhile!

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #20 of 22 Old 01-18-2011, 02:13 PM
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MM, I want to acknowledge you for admitting to yourself the ways that you needed to improve your emotional fitness for this Arab, & admitting it on this public forum.
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