problems with my mare, please HELPP! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 09-01-2009, 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
Does a kick in the leg hurt less if the mare is in heat? I own two stallions and I would never dream of allowing them to act like stallions and just excuse it. No mare I have ever owned has been allowed to act like a mare when I'm around her. They will sink to the lowest level required of them. Put the bar high a require them to act like geldings and they will. Allow them to be disrespectfull because of gender or age or breed and you will have problems.
With all due respect Kevinshorses, you obviously have never ovulated. Hormones have huge influence over behavior. You have a great point, but because animals can't tell us in plain English what may be ailing them, we must be aware of behavioral changes and differences in disposition to clue us in to possible health issues. Yes, it is unacceptable to have bad stable manners, but it is really harsh to simply wright off behavior as "disrespectful" and discipline a sick or hurting animal.

For example, after I changed my horses' diets, eliminating high starch and molasses feeds, I saw a HUGE change in their dispositions. They were calmer, less jumpy, and just at ease. Granted, they were not sick, but the true source of their jitters was diet - not bad behavior.

In fact, with this mare, it would be beneficial to look at a feed change - often when horses change ownership, the feeding changes as well. What changed about the feed? Higher starch feeds can really do a number horse disposition.

I don't think anyone is saying you should tolerate bad behavior, rather the owner is looking for ideas regarding the source of the behavior. You are completely right with having high standards for behavior. Respect is something you earn with horses (and people too). Disciplining a sick or hurting horse is abusive.

Last edited by aynelson; 09-01-2009 at 02:01 AM.
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post #12 of 28 Old 09-01-2009, 12:09 PM
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I'm having the same issues...

Samskye, I'm having the same exact problem as you are, I've had my gelding since May of this year and I decided early on to solely concentrate on ground work. It was all going VERY well until recently. I've just been out of town for about 5 days and just returned home yesterday. I went to spend the morning with Milo and have come home in tears telling my husband that it's time to sell him. I am so discouraged and am basically admitting defeat. It's to a point where he will not even allow me to lead him on a lead rope without some serious challenges..ear pinning, head up, eyes wide squaring off at me. He literally chased me out of the ring a few times while trying to lunge him. His challenges worked, my feet moved first. He has no respect for personal space and when asked to move it's another challenge (or worse, a charge) from him.

My problem?? He now knows I'm afraid of him. He knows I am not a calm confident leader, out of the 7 horses on the farm, he is the only one I have an issue with. The other ones know to respect me when I approach them, they lead just fine and do what I ask of them without a problem. With Milo it's a different story....I finally had a bit of a break through with the join-up method but it was short lived. I could just chalk it up to a horrifically bad day but I've never been quite THIS discouraged.
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post #13 of 28 Old 09-01-2009, 01:19 PM
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Sorry to hear that Milo. Although there are trainers who can assist you or your horse, sometimes there comes a time to say "horse for sale".

I have no qualms in selling one of my personal horses who does not work for me. My horses are for my enjoyment and if he becomes a chore or he simply can't do the job I expected, then he is put up for sale. Does that mean that he defeated me or that I can't retrain him? No, it just means he is not the right horse for my purpose.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #14 of 28 Old 09-01-2009, 01:29 PM
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My uncle had a mare who wanted nothing to do with you unless you were going to ride her or work her. She was not a lovey dovey horse and didnt want you around her at all. She would do exactly what your mare would do, but when you rode her she was awsome. But as soon as you were done she wanted to be put back and left alone, thats just how she was. She was a rein/cow horse and won lots of money, there was no physical issue she was just a work me type them leave me alone. I think different horses have different personalitys, some are lovey dovey others are just dont touch me unless your gonna work me. Well, thats my thought lol.

quarter horses.....simply the best
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post #15 of 28 Old 09-01-2009, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys all soo much for replying, it means so much to me to hear your advice and be able to learn from other peoples expierience and knowledge, its really helped to hear all these different views.
First of all i want to say thank you to Barry Godden for your reply, it was amazing to read what you wrote and how intune it sounds as if you are with horses, and the bond you are growing to have with your mare.
I totally understand everything (pretty much) you wrote, I posted this post after a day down the stables with my mare when shed been particularly tempramental and it just got me down, like you guessed right, i expected out bond to just 'click' from the moment i got her, and it didnt. I have always been close to geldings, never have i had a relationship with a mare as they were never the horses i rode, so having had my mare i have realised the complete different in personalities just because of her sex, and i need to get to know her, and gain her trust. I realise now how little time has passed since ive got april, and how long it does take for many horses to really start to get to know their owner and i understand that i need to give it time, patience and firm but kind caring for my mare, and i do hope that our relationship sucessfully grows in the future, i am looking forward to it and she definately deserves my time and effort as she is a star.
To answer your questions, she is a dominant mare in her field, despite being the new horse she is in charge of her field, and in fact many of the horses in the neighboring field, so perhaphs she IS being dominant around me too?!
She does have new tack, a new bridle, saddle and bit, all of which do fit her well but i guess its another change she is having to get used to that i looked over.
Thank you so much for replying to my message, it actually gives me so much hope and understanding for the future and i hope that one day my mare will feel the same way about me as yours does to you, i believe they have some similarities and i am willing with all my heart to try get that bond i am looking for, and a horse who is happy and content, thank you

and to the others who suggested my mare might be in season, i do believe that my mare is in season at the moment, and having never experienced her in season before, it is a bit of a different experience but something i will have to get used to, and while i will not tolerate mareish behaviour because she is in season, i do believe i have to be more considerate towards her as i cant treat her the same as i usually have.
She doesnt get hard feed at the moment as she is living out, she gets a haynet to nibble on when shes in and grazes a sparse field so no worries about her getting too much grass, but she gets enough.

And milo, thank you for telling me your story, it does sound like were going through something similar, and i know the feeling, the horse you love and care for so much doesnt seem like they care for you at all, but i think it is worth giving your horse some time to see if they change, and like many people have suggested on this post, there may be reasons behind these unlikeely behaviours
give your horse a chance, not so much as to be scares you and damages your confidence but your gelding is worth it, dont give him up that easily. I went down to the yard today and several things that happened gave me hope; i started doing the parelli 7 games with my girl and i think that if we persist, there really gonna lay the dfoundations towards a respectiful relationship, and im really looking forward to keeping it up and seeing how things go. Although there is nothing wrong with admitting that you cannot keep your horse if he no longer brings you joy or is able to do the things you want, and i wish you the best of luck with him
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post #16 of 28 Old 09-01-2009, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by samskye347 View Post
give your horse a chance, not so much as to be scares you and damages your confidence but your gelding is worth it, dont give him up that easily. I went down to the yard today and several things that happened gave me hope; i started doing the parelli 7 games with my girl and i think that if we persist, there really gonna lay the dfoundations towards a respectiful relationship, and im really looking forward to keeping it up and seeing how things go. Although there is nothing wrong with admitting that you cannot keep your horse if he no longer brings you joy or is able to do the things you want, and i wish you the best of luck with him
I too read all of the replies to your post (always love Barry's advice) and took a few deep breaths. My husband took me back out to the farm (I was very reluctant) and had me watch as he worked him. All he used was a rope in his hand and had that horse running perfectly around the ring, a few bucks and kicks, he got good work out and a few lessons about respect that he desperately needed. I've never seen my horse quite that animated! Milo was a different horse after that. Time, patience, authority, respect and love are the key I know but some days it's just really really discouraging. The horse people in my life who have the experience I lack tell me he's a good horse with great potential... I have to trust them and give it more time. I still believe he's a "man's horse" and responds better to men...time will tell I suppose... for now though I'm cutting back on the work and am just going to be another horse in the pasture and work on my own leadership skills. I'm too friggin soft!

Last edited by Miloismyboy; 09-01-2009 at 08:17 PM.
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post #17 of 28 Old 09-02-2009, 02:26 AM
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Oh my god. It's like deja vu for me!!! Reading this post is exactly what I went through with my mare, and have to keep on top of every day. I went through almost exactly the same... first horse, I didn't have a lot of experiance, I thought It would just be wonderful and we would ride off into the sunset together...

BANG I came down to earth very quickly!!! I have (since) learnt after taking my mare to a brilliant trainor, I am WAY too soft... I just wanted to kiss and cuddle and love my horses. But unfortunately for all of us lovey doveys girls (and maybe boys) horses don't think in terms of love. They think survival, respect, need. In a herd environment it is of the horses best interest to move up the pecking order (first pick of food etc), and horses constantly challange each other. If a horse senses weakness in you (as mine did, and as possibly yours is) then they will challenge you to assert themselves as dominant over you.

For your safety and your horses, you need to be the dominant horse. We as humans are the decisions makers (not that horses are unintelligent) but they often make decisions that aren't in the best interest of themselves. Eg, eating their way thru a entire bag of oats... resulting in colic, or running under a truck while out riding if they might happen to spook.

You seem like your already on the right track, and everyone's given great advice. You need to assert your dominance (obviously not by force) but through groundwork and establishing manners. You'll need to learn to be consistant. You can't let her get away with things some days and not others, this is unfair on her. And most of all you'll need to learn to be assertive! Like the alpha mare of the herd. Once she understands you're in charge, her life will be easier, because you're making the decisions. And your life will become easier because then you can get the enjoyment out of your mare that you want.

I wish you the best of luck!! Don't give up on her! I was so upset one day I called this trainor in tears, took my mare up there, and watched her work my mare in the roundyard for maybe 20 mins.. and WOW it was amazing! My mare was so quiet, responsive, submissive.. I have never seen her like that. My trainor didn't do any Earth shattering amazing feats, it was all basic, easy, and any one can do it, once they learn the principles of it. So don't hesitate to seek out help (which you've done here which is great!!) but seriously it was the best thing I ever did....

Good luck again with your girl, and don't take it personally, horses don't think the same as us. xxx

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post #18 of 28 Old 09-02-2009, 12:30 PM
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Sam. I am very pleased to see that your girl is no longer a wicked witch. By the sound of it, she has had a bad start in life. It is now your project to show her that some of us treat horses as companions and not as beasts of burden. As she gets to know you better then hopefully she will treat you better. She will also start to do what you ask, when you ask for it. Soft hands, a soft voice and a couple of horse bisuits work wonders. But patience and understandiong are the most important ingredients.

It is the intelligent horses with spirit which usually fight back but they are also the most capable and rewarding if/when they come round to realizing that they depend on humans. My mare Delta is beginning to realize that if she asks, I'll listen. In return if she hesitates in doing what I reasonably ask then I'll seek to find out why.

This horsey game is uniquely rewarding when it comes right and equally so distressing when things go wrong.
Few experiences in life equate to a early ride with your horse up through the woods onto the ridge on a bright summer's day - followed by a glass of red wine, a sandwich and a gossip at the local pub.

Say thanks again to whomever it was, bought your first riding lesson.

Barry G
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post #19 of 28 Old 09-02-2009, 12:50 PM
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Milo's mum.

Remember what was said "I am woman, I am invincible,"

You obviously have a character horse in Milo. But he hasn't hurt you physically has he? Somehow you are going to have to find a way whereby he wants to please you. He's got to have a weakness somewhere - you'll have to look harder for it.
He's crafty - you'll have to be cunning.
He needs you a lot more than you need him
- but you'll have to show him why.

In the old days folks took a lot from horses and nowadays some of us think about how to give back - then maybe the horse might give us more.

Barry G
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post #20 of 28 Old 09-02-2009, 03:31 PM
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Barry... thanks for the "I am woman" reminder :) I needed that. Yesterday was an awful day with him, and I'm pretty dang ashamed of my defeatist attitude. I'm not one to give up so easily but I was feeling SO beat. No he didn't hurt me but I certainly thought he was about to a few times. I'm sure most horse owners have "those" days. Yes, he's crafty and he currently knows he's got the upper hoof with me. His weakness? wow... I'm really going to have to think hard about that one and work harder to figure it out. I'm sure it doesn't include me being excessively soft on him though!

Thanks again for giving me a different way of looking at the situation... much appreciation for that. :)
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behaviour , moody mare , sour horse , trust issues

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