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REALLY annoying mare... what to do?

This is a discussion on REALLY annoying mare... what to do? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    03-12-2009, 07:52 PM
I'm going to stick to what I said in the beginning. Go back to basic ground work. She's not accepting your authority.
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    03-12-2009, 07:52 PM
She sounds like she has confidence issues. When the other horse I behind her and not making any noise, etc. she gets nervous and starts looking for them and spooking at things.

I just have to say, I agree with the others. Horses don't think like that. To em it sounds like a confidence issue, not malicious intent!
    03-12-2009, 08:10 PM
Yea, it definitely sounds like confidence issues. If she was confident she wouldn't be acting spooky. So if you can get your friend to help you with this that would be good. Have your horse in front and ask your friend to ride the other horse up behind her and AS SOON as you feel her start to get tense or looky ask your friend to back off a little bit and maintain that distance. If she still is anxious have your friend back off a little more. This is another version of approach and retreat and it will help her build confidence. If things get too bad turn her toward the other horse, back her up softly and have your friend continue to walk toward you. Release her when she is soft and relaxed.
    03-12-2009, 10:53 PM
Ok spirit im going to try that but she's good around other horses and this happens when she is in front or back or side. The only time she wont do this is when she dances.
    03-12-2009, 11:09 PM
I think she`s trying to pertect you, and that she might not like horse`s so close to her. You should do some ground work to show that you`re in control and that you`re going to take care of her.

I currently had a wierd experience with my horse. I went on the trail ride with my friend and another girl decided to come along. I went infront and she pinned her ears back and then started kicking towards the horse. I quickly got her away and she never touched the other horse. She really hated him, I don`t understand why, but she would act like she wanted to go home and it started getting fustrating. As soon as the other horse was outta site my horse was fine. I think it was partially my fault because I didn`t like the girl that was riding the horse, haha.
So yea eventhough it may seem like ur horse is playing mind games.. well just work on the ground with her and get some respect then she should be fine. You should do it every time before you ride, not only does it teach her some respect but it also creates a better bond for the both of you. I definitely recomend it! Hope to hear how it goes.

I also think you should lung her with another horse, and eventually try ponying off of her to get her comfortable.
    03-13-2009, 12:06 AM
Horses are very sensitive to our energy (which is a direct link to our thoughts) so it's not surprising that a horse would seem to have a problem with another horse if the rider doesn't like the other rider....I've seen this happen before with one of our horses. It was very interesting to watch actually. When I did a clinic with my warmblood back in November there was one horse he couldn't stand, but you should have seen the look on his rider's face! Lol. She looked angry all the time (even though she was doing great). So my energy must have changed in some way, or my horse must have picked up on the other rider's energy...he's a very sensitive horse that way. It's all very interesting.
    03-13-2009, 01:26 AM
Well I sort of half agree with Charroit and half agree with everyone else. In my experience, horses have amazing senses of humor - they like to have a good laugh every now and then. I always get a kick out of seasoned trail horse that they use at Dude Ranches and the like because the cowboys will say the horse is bombproof, and anybody can ride them, but when an inexperienced rider is on their back, they do little things just for fun. They'll crow hop playfully or toss their head every once in a while. They'd never hurt the rider because they know better, but they're bored of walking the same route over and over, and they sure do get a good chuckle out of the rider panicking and saying, "Um... excuse me! My horse is crazy or something!" (Also, I'm not saying that Charriot is inexperienced - my comment was on horses being bored, lol.)

Maybe you guys have never had that experience.

My opinion is that horses get bored, and look for other ways to amuse themselves, be it antagonizing another horse or an inexperienced rider, or something more mundane like chewing on their halter/lead rope, or cribbing.

They're very similar to children in a lot of ways.

So, while I agree with Charroit that her horse might be getting a good kick out of spooking the other horse, it's my opinion that she's bored with walking the trails. You say she doesn't do it when she's "dancing" (a term I'm not familiar with, but it clearly isn't walking) so that leads me to believe that she's bored. HOWEVER, I do agree that this is a dismissal of your authority - you've asked her to walk, and she should. So I have to suggest doing some groundwork or lunging pre-trail ride, to establish that you're the boss on this ride. It may be something she already knows, but, and this happens with kids too (can you tell I work with kids a lot?), she may feel like you two are buddies, and she can push your boundaries. Doing a bit of ground prep before a ride might remind her that you're in charge.

Also try a change of scenery. I know when I take my horse (who HATES to walk - she looooves to go!) on a new trail, she walks quiet and is paying attention to ME - she doesn't know this place, and is trusting me to keep her safe and to direct her where to go.

I think people forget far too often that horses have senses of humor - we need to keep them amused!

I hope this helps. :]
    03-13-2009, 01:44 AM
Thank you Leah! That's exactly whats going on! Lol

I broke this mare, she lays down, bows spanish walk, etc. I dance her for quite a while so she's built up and all she wants to do is work and dance. When I ask her to do something, she wants to do more! Very willing but I think you are deffinatly right on her being bored on trail... she doesnt like to walk, she likes to dance in place or slower than a walk but very high. I guess I should jus let her dance? So a) she gets better at dancing b) stays in shape c) stays focused?

All my other dancing horses only dance when you ask them to but this is her passion so I guess i'll just let her dance lol. That way me and the newbie on QP wont get thrown and hermosas happy. Lol

I generally wouldnt let a horse get away with this but its good for her to dance. Lol

    03-13-2009, 01:54 AM
Ha ha, no problem. People always forget about horse personalities.

However, even if dancing is good for her, I would still do something to establish your authority before a ride - you can't ALWAYS dance. Lol. Sometimes, you're going to have to walk with her, and she needs to be able to do so on your command.

Remind her who's boss, and take her out alone for a while. Do some drills where you dance her for a minute, then ask her to walk for 5 minutes. If she tries to dance, hold her back. When she walks quiet for a time, let her dance as her reward. Soon she'll see that when she walks quiet, she will get to dance. Hopefully this will work, and you'll be able to ride out with Que Pasa and have your mare walk collected when you ask her - that way you can enjoy your ride.

I mean. I love to trot, lope, and run, and so does Daisy, but sometimes, we have to walk. There are narrow trails, things on the path, etc., and it's certainly good to have your horse responsive to your walk command.


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