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post #11 of 14 Old 11-05-2013, 03:48 PM
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I'm sure that a lot of this mares problems are all down to settling in stresses - a totally different way of life for her. On a racing yard she would have always been with other horses though maybe not turned out in a field with another horse and always ridden with other horses. Suddenly she's in a strange new place and being asked to live in a very different way.
I think her buddy issues stem from her seeing him as a bit of a security blanket right now and given time as she gets more at ease in her new surroundings might go away naturally - when we first got Jazzie she went hysterical in her stable every time another horse was turned out but after a week of us ignoring her she stopped doing it and will now happily stand in on her own, go in the paddock on her own or ride out on her own.
You might need to step back and allow your mare to get adjusted and gain more trust in you
As for the handling - on most big yards the horses are treated in a very firm no nonsense sort of way, the chores have to be done in a fixed period of time and there is no room for drama queens. I would think your mare knows exactly how to behave - she could well just be playing you - you can be dominant without being rough and abusive. Just don't allow any unacceptable behavior.
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-16-2013, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Manhattan, KS
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I'm going to try and answer all your questions/comments. If I miss one, please let me know.

I couldn't tell you how long she's been off the track. I know she came down to Kansas from Michigan last November. Before that, a kill buyer's girlfriend fell in love with her, and saved her from slaughter. Anyway, when I bought her, I was told that she had been in a pasture by herself and not really handled since April/May. And she still paced the fence line that entire time. Sometimes it would be running, sometimes just walking back and forth, but she could see the horses in the pasture across the road and was not happy being alone. She lost a lot of weight and condition, so I have been trying to avoid completely separating them.

Onto my pasture issue. These are the only two horses there. It is one 10+acre pasture, separated into two sections (essentially), with one stall for shelter attached. There is a smaller, .5 acre fenced pasture outside the stall, which opens to a larger pen. Theoretically, I could separate them, but they would still have nose contact and such, because of how the pastures line up. It is not my property, so I can't do much in the way of electric tape (even though I'd like to). I'm a poor college kid lol

I can only see them around 3 times a week, so they are just on pasture right now. Buying hay soon, but I am unsure how to address the feeding issue. I know they need x/y/z in their diet (Animal Science major), just not sure how to do so without disrupting their system. I don't feel comfortable supplementing so much with just the 2-3 feedings a week they get.

She has been with him a month, so the stress factor is no longer there. I can catch her fine, and she's better about letting me lead her away from him, as long as we're just in the pasture

On tying her up- There is a pipe tying post in that smaller .5 acre pen. I tie her there, and ride the paint around the bigger pasture, so 1) if she breaks the lead rope, she still can't get to him 2) it is the pasture they both stay in, so I'm hoping there is a comfort level there

Leading her- I would agree, my word choice is poor. She does become more 'frantic' when away than just stubborn. In all the older pictures I've seen, they always had a chain on her, which I'm just not comfortable doing (until she has a major freak out/disobedience). I use a rope halter, and it works better than the chain. The whole trying to calm her down doesn't work. She gets even more frantic if I try to stop, back her up, and stand still. She just starts whirling around to see him, I try to make her listen by finishing the circle, backing, and petting her, and it doesn't help. She gets to the point that she is so set on just being with him, she can't/won't calm down

AND FINALLY (hopefully) the trailering issue. I have no ideas anymore on this. The first time she loaded in a trailer and I was there, she literally steps as close as she can with her front feet, then proceeds to move her back feet forward, to where it looks like she's standing on a box. And pulling, she gets resistant and freaks, goes up, and after that it takes quite a while to calm her down again. I've tried running a rope through the front of my trailer and around the side, so she can rear all she wants, but I have enough leverage that she can't move further away from the trailer. She has no response to the pressure to move forward, and she lets the halter get so tight that she cuts off her air supply. I don't think she has even been in such a small trailer, because she has no idea how to back out of one either. I try loading the gelding first, driving away a bit so she sees we're leaving, lunging her, putting a rope on her but and pushing/pulling from behind- nothing. And food doesn't work either. Any tips/tricks given to me have failed. I started just feeding her at the end of the trailer, so maybe she associates the two and can calm down? Other than that, no idea.

Thank you SO SO much for all of your advice, I will definitely be using all of these to work with her! Any other ideas/responses are also appreciated!
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-08-2014, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Manhattan, KS
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I have used the tying technique, and she has become MUCH better. She has come to the point she will vocalize and paw for about 20 minutes, then accept it. My gelding is a SAINT when I take him alone, which helps her calm faster.

The other way around, however... What is the best way to start riding her out in increments?

She will ride pretty well in the pasture, where she can see him for the most part. I'm thinking I need to work on more groundwork/leadership/trust building exercises before I can safely ride her out. Would Parelli exercises be appropriate?
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-09-2014, 11:56 AM
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If she trusts you enough to ride in the paddock then I can't see how Parelli or any other stuff like that is going to help - because you'll be doing that in the paddock too
If you don't know if she's ever ridden out on her own then I would start by just doing small bites at it, around the barn, maybe a little way up a trail etc - I prefer to stop just short of a confrontation with a horse like this because its better to keep everything relaxed and happy and if you push them into something you as a rider can't deal with then its only going to set them back
When I get a horse that's unknown to me or working a young horse I always ride them out with a horse that's good and steady on the trails until they've built up their own self confidence
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