Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian View Post
Sounds like she understands discipline, but resents it. This post isn't meant to argue, bsms, I like your posts. Agree with most of em. Just want to make people think
What I'm saying is that some horses need to develop more tolerance. They need to be more forgiving so that they're safer to be around. Would you let kids ride your horse? If so, are you constantly hollering instructions like "don't do that" or "she doesn't like that"...
She accepts some forms of discipline with no resentment. Others, she resents. If she feels she is being bullied, or forced into submission, she's likely to fight back. She isn't a bucker, but she can become quite agitated - and that is no fun to ride.
She is a "Please & Thank You" horse. Treat her with respect, and she'll give her best. Start cussing and demanding she obey or else, and you're going to get a fight. When that happens, she is no longer listening. She came up for sale because she was in a field with 2 large geldings and she wouldn't submit. They were 1500 lbs each, and she started at 900 and dropped to 750...but still refused to submit. I don't weigh 1500 lbs, and there aren't two of me. I had another Arabian mare like her. Lilly weighed about 750. She wasn't much for starting fights, but she would take on a horse twice her size if provoked hard enough. Some horses aren't inclined to accept "My way or else!" Not if they perceive it as being bullied.
However, my son has only ridden twice in his life, and both times were on Mia. And she behaved beautifully, although his riding was like someone on his first time. My oldest daughter has ridden Mia as a beginner, and had no trouble. I learned to ride on Mia. I had ridden a few times in my late teens, and then gone 30 years without getting on a horse. I learned to ride by riding Mia bitless...who probably hadn't been broken at all, but that is another story. Suffice it to say that 3.5 years later, the trainer I hired had to start at the very beginning.
Horses, like kids and dogs, respond well to discipline that is understood, timely and proportionate
. But they get to determine what 'proportionate' means. I had a dog once that you could beat on with your fists for 5 minutes, and at the end he'd say, "I'm beginning to think you are upset about something..." Another dog I owned couldn't handle anything harsher than a stern glance. Both were excellent dogs, but that was in part because I treated them differently.
My son hated being sent to his room. My youngest daughter doesn't care: "You can't turn off the TV in my head". So as a parent, I needed to find punishments that THEY cared about, and thought were proportionate.
With Mia, if you "tried smacking her with a crop on the leg" (OP post), you'd have a scared and angry mare. Punch her in the ribs with your elbow, and she'll straighten out ASAP. Lots of people will turn a horse in tight circles or disengage her to convey the idea that XYZ wasn't right. Do that with Mia, and you'll have an agitated horse that is NOT listening. But back her up in a straight line, and she'll take it to heart.
Why? I don't know. Disengaging works well with Trooper. It apparently works well with a lot of horses. But it doesn't work with Mia - so why would I do something that doesn't work?
For the OP, her horse needs discipline, but she may need to experiment with what the horse understands as a fair and proportionate response. And the horse may need the lesson Saddlebag recommended. It was an important one with Mia. Mia was never a kicker, and she would let anyone pick her feet, but she would panic if something unexpected touched her hind legs. She needed to learn that her hind legs could be touched or moved anytime without it causing pain or trouble.