OTTB Mare HATES saddles - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-08-2012, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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OTTB Mare HATES saddles

I lease an OTTB mare, and she is AMAZING when you're on her, but on the ground not so much. She's been getting better about being groomed, but the second she sees a saddle shes like "OH HELL NO" and just tries to bite, has even tried kicking out. Her mom and I are firm with her and we get it on and she KNOWS we aren't going to hurt her but from her racing days she just has it in her head that saddle means racing I think? Recently I've been giving her treats while saddling, and not letting her have the treat till her ears are forward and shes giving me a "nice face". I've always tried letting her see my saddle pads/saddle and sniff and touch them and give her a treat when she doesn't put her ears back but sometimes that results in her trying to bite my very expensive saddle :(

I know she can't be uncomfortable in the saddle because she is great once your on...just saddling her up is terrible...Same with blanketing actually...Can't put a blanket on her unless shes in cross ties unless you want to risk getting bit/kicked :(

Any suggestions? She loves treats and isn't the kind of horse that will start begging for more but I just feel like there has to be something else I can try? I won't give her a treat either unless shes being at least someone decent and giving me a "nice face" lol.
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-08-2012, 03:24 PM
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I would try "desenstizing" her to the saddle by having someone hold her on a long lead while another person approaches with the saddle. If she starts to freak out, let her move around but keep the saddle (make sure it is a light one because this might take awhile) next to her. Be safe! When she stands still and acts calm, praise her and back the saddle away. Keep doing this until she realizes it isn't going to eat her.
Just my thoughts on it.

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post #3 of 16 Old 05-08-2012, 03:24 PM
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are you sure that the saddle fits her well ?
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-08-2012, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gypsygirl View Post
are you sure that the saddle fits her well ?

yes, we tried a bunch different saddles before I bought the one I use and she does it with my saddle, her moms saddle, any saddle :( And she acts great while riding, and if you run your fingers down her spine (like to see if she's sore) she doesnt flinch. Its just putting anything on her, saddle and blanket...she doesn't mind being bridled at all though.

I like the idea of desenstizing her to it, maybe I can get her mom to help me or my friend at the barn. That's kind of what I've been doing with treats with it, but the way you're suggesting will be good to try too
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-08-2012, 03:34 PM
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also, have you considered ulcers ?

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post #6 of 16 Old 05-08-2012, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Hm, like stomach ulcers? Thats defiantly something that hasn't crossed my mind I'll have to ask her mom about it...What other signs would their be? Her mom is pretty picky about her diet and keeps a very close eye on how she does with it
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-08-2012, 03:42 PM
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Evil, have you tried saddling her on the off side? Sometimes that works. Try blanketing on the off side as well.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-08-2012, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, I almost always saddle her on her offside now since we moved her to a new barn lol! Shes been much happier about saddling since the move (she gets to be outside more and what not) and I just don't have to walk around her and get her more anxious about it getting put on if I just do it from the offside
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-08-2012, 03:45 PM
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You said you were leasing her. Has the owner had similar issues when trying to saddle the horse? I would check with the owner and see if there is any medical history or behavioral history that you need to be made aware of.

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post #10 of 16 Old 05-08-2012, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Gastric Stomach Ulcers in Horses

Read through that about the stomach ulcers, most of it doesn't really seem to apply to her, she eats very well still and is only grumpy about saddling and blanketing. Her coat is beautiful still and she's actually been putting on a little weight (finally she lost a little from the move)
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