Pacing and Pawing when tied 17 yo mare - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-11-2012, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Pacing and Pawing when tied 17 yo mare

Any tips or advice to help me prevent or stop my mare from pacing and pawing when tied. I have tried almost everything I know to do, having other horses tied near does not prevent her from doing it. Practicing being tied for short period hasnít helped, I was advised to briefly take her out once a day and tie her where we usually do for about 5 minutes then return her to the pasture and not make her do any work. I was told this would help her????? Haven't really seen improvement. We never leave her tied out for any unnecessary amount of time like I have heard about other people doing. From talking to other owners of this horse she has always done this, itís not something that has recently developed. So far this is as bad as this behavior has ever been, she never sits back or rears never breaks lead ropes, she just paces and she is a rather big girl. Generally its more pacing than pawing, usually she will paw once or twice and I can verbally reprimand her and she will stop but the pacing I have had little luck with. Usually itís more when you are not at her side, for example she doesnít really move a lot while grooming or saddling. I will attach a pic of her in the act and you can probably tell by the ground how much she paced in that spot the maybe 5 minutes she was there while I was catching my other horse. I have pictures and videos of more sever times she has paced but couldnít find them. I have a 8 yo daughter, as well as dogs and other horses this to me is a somewhat dangerous behavior that I would like to fix if possible.
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-11-2012, 05:03 PM
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There's two things that I'll suggest.

1) Set up a way to tie her over her head to a sturdy tree branch or a pole made for this purpose. Leave her there until she will stand quietly and then let her stand quietly for a while.

2) Find someone to help you hobble-train her.
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post #3 of 18 Old 08-11-2012, 05:25 PM
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I second what spurstop said. Find a good sturdy place to tie her and then tie her up after a good workout (when she's tired, not just after a 20-30 minute leisurely ride). Leave her there until she stops pacing and stands calmly, then untie her and turn her out into her pen/paddock. Do this every single day and don't ever untie her until she's calm and still. It will get better with time.
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post #4 of 18 Old 08-11-2012, 05:28 PM
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Work her. My mare used to pace and paw constantly when tied (she had 0 patience) until i started doing groundwork exercises with her.
Untie her and take her off a short ways. Work her hard in circles, make her back up, yield her hindquarters, etc, until she is paying direct attention to you.
Then tie her up and let her relax.
If she starts again, go through the whole process of working it out of her.
Soon she will discover that being tied means relaxation, not stress.

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #5 of 18 Old 08-11-2012, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Will try this I like the theory. Thanks u
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-11-2012, 05:59 PM
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Tie her up and leave her for a couple of hours. Don't chat with her, or talk to her, or even stay in sight.

She is continuing to do this more than likely because it has not been long enough for her to get over herself.

She could stand quietly if the lead mare told her to, guarantee it. They would not put up with it in herd situation, and neither should you.

Our horses stand hard tied for hours, if need be. They got that way by being left tied, and ignored.
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-11-2012, 07:39 PM
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I tie them. And leave them.
And if they wanna be stupid, that's fine. They can do it all day and night, but won't be going anywhere. All my horses will stand quiet for any length of time I leave them.

Like the others said. Tie her somewhere sturdy, and get out of her site.
And leave her there till she's absolutely standing quiet for a bit, then put her up.
it can take all day and night if she don't wanna quit. I don't care.
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-11-2012, 10:11 PM
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Dragon used to do that when we first started him camping and trail riding. So I would find a sturdy overhead branch and tie him there and just left him, mostly all day. Every now and then one of us would take him for a ride, or to get some water, etc. then bring him back and tie him again. (He did have a hay bag full of hay). Now he ties like a dream and will stand quiet.
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-11-2012, 10:56 PM
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I used to tie them and make them move the hindquarters laterally, first one way then back. Lateral movement is tiring as the horse is built to move forward. After a while the horse was happy to stand still. Now I teach the horse to stand while at liberty until I can make a 50' circle around him or leave the paddock momentarily and return. By then being tied is no different from being at liberty. Neither have figured out they can't leave as they haven't tried. They are never tied if I'm not nearby.
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-12-2012, 08:49 AM
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By only tying for short periods, your horse has come to learn when he misbehaves he gets his release...untying and releasing into the pasture. A high line might work in this case as well. She could move around all day long and have nothing to get tangled in. Let her paw til her heart is content...then let her stand some more. All of my horses would paw in the beginning. I found it best just to ignore it and continue on with what I was doing. After a while, they realize it is easier to just stand and patiently wait on me to come untie them. Now I can leave any of mine tied and they will just fall asleep.
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