Some Issues with my new mare
 
 

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Some Issues with my new mare

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  • Problem with mares throwing down on ground
  • Equine training problems + mare will not give her head.

 
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    11-26-2009, 10:58 AM
  #1
Foal
Some Issues with my new mare

So far, my new mare Juliet has been much more work than I really expected. However, I do not want to just give up on her, like alot of her prevous owners have done. When I first got her around a month ago, she'd race around the ring. Now I have gotten her to stay are a more consistant pace, and she's relaxed some. One main issue I'm having with her is she cannot stand you touching her mouth. She tosses her head and resists the pressure. (we checked with the vet, theres no teeth issues) I started on the ground, using 1 rein and turning her head in towards her shoulder, and holding until she releases. She's gotten that down fine now, and I can do that under saddle too. She's actually now ok with contact on circles, and serpintines, but as soon as we are on the rail, she starts up again. I have her in a snaffle, with small rings in the mouth piece. Its not a twisted, hmm It's just like as if it had rings around it? (ha, sorry made no since) Also, alot of times, when I pick up the contact after a loose rein walk, she immediantly tenses up. I usually work on some circling to settle her. At the canter, she is constantly trying to buck (no health issues) so I have to keep her head a little higher than I'd like, and keep her foward. Circling at the canter is pretty hard, because if she slows, she'll use it and try to buck. Ultimatly, in the spring we'd like to start her over fences, but if we to right now-I my, not a pretty sightt. Thanks guys!
     
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    11-26-2009, 11:21 AM
  #2
Weanling
Have previous owners had the same issue? If so she may just not be a rail horse. Sometimes it just overwhelms them, ie. The tensing. I would have a trainer evaluate.
     
    11-26-2009, 11:30 AM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macslady    
Have previous owners had the same issue? If so she may just not be a rail horse. Sometimes it just overwhelms them, ie. The tensing. I would have a trainer evaluate.
Shes always hated contact from what I've heard. She at one point was beaten with a crop by a previous owner, and her history hasn't been great with owners. (they had just given up) What exactly do you mean?
     
    11-26-2009, 11:31 AM
  #4
Started
Have you checked saddle fit? You might want to consider getting a chiro out to look at her.

Is your bit single jointed or double jointed? If it's single jointed that might be a large part of your problem. Single jointed bits poke and pinch the horse's mouth and a lot of horses have trouble with them. It can cause a horse to invert (high head, hollow back) and not come through their backs. A double jointed bit will be ten times more comfortable. Once you get that, focus on getting her to stretch into the contact. She needs to be confident with contact before you can expect her to do anything else. Stroke the reins in a hand over hand motion, starting at the halt, and the higher she puts her head the more drag you put into the reins. Do NOT do this at the canter, only halt, walk and trot. Once she is stretching into the contact, to get her head up don't pull on her, simply do serpintines and figure 8's and ask her to lift her shoulders and really bend through her rib cage. Her head will come up naturally and you just bring in the slack in the reins.
     
    11-26-2009, 11:40 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirithorse    
Have you checked saddle fit? You might want to consider getting a chiro out to look at her.

Is your bit single jointed or double jointed? If it's single jointed that might be a large part of your problem. Single jointed bits poke and pinch the horse's mouth and a lot of horses have trouble with them. It can cause a horse to invert (high head, hollow back) and not come through their backs. A double jointed bit will be ten times more comfortable. Once you get that, focus on getting her to stretch into the contact. She needs to be confident with contact before you can expect her to do anything else. Stroke the reins in a hand over hand motion, starting at the halt, and the higher she puts her head the more drag you put into the reins. Do NOT do this at the canter, only halt, walk and trot. Once she is stretching into the contact, to get her head up don't pull on her, simply do serpintines and figure 8's and ask her to lift her shoulders and really bend through her rib cage. Her head will come up naturally and you just bring in the slack in the reins.
Thanks, I do have her in a single jointed snaffle. What kind would you reccomend for a double?
     
    11-26-2009, 11:45 AM
  #6
Showing
Spirit I think she described her bit as having a "lifesaver" mouth piece - similar to a French Link but with a ring in the center.

Having had many owners who have had the same problems leads me to believe that she has learned how to get out of work or avoid the mistreatment and when she acted up in the past, previous owners just yanked on her mouth.

It's going to take time and patience as well as consistency. There will be no shortcuts with her. A light but firm hand and a whole lot of ground work will go a long way. Don't canter her for a while, at least until she is going soft in her W/T.

If you feel that she is going to be too much work, it's best to sell her now before frustration sets in and is seen in your training methods. This is a long term project. Good luck with her and welcome to the forum!

EDIT: correction on the bit. It sounded like a lifesaver but OP says single joined.
     
    11-26-2009, 12:48 PM
  #7
Foal
I am not sure what you mean by a rail horse, ( it's not an english used term) so my advise might be vague, but it seems to me that she is sensitive in the mouth from what you say, and I would suggest that you try her in a loose ring straight bar bit; its very mild, and it does not have a nutcracker action like a jointed bit. Some horses really do not like the jointed bits, and although a straight bar bit looks unweildy it is one of the kindest type of bits. Go for a thicker one rather than a thinner one. I would also go right back to basics with her so that she has a chance to relax. So I wouldnt be doing any canter work at all, just walk and trot in a very relaxed manner. It sounds like she is apprehensive of pain in the halts, and I would also as someone else says, get a chiro to check out her out and get the saddle fit checked. And I would give her time to adjust to you and her new home, especially as it seems that she has been mucked about my owners in the past.
     
    11-26-2009, 01:29 PM
  #8
Foal
When you are on the ground press between the ears and get her to lower her head about to your belt and make her stand like that for ten minutes. Keep your hand by her ears and if she puts her head up push it back down then try to touch her mouth if she puts her head up push it back down. Put her headstall on stay on the ground and make her bend her head to the inside and outside but keep her walking while you do it. When she gets good do it under saddle. After a loose walk pick up the reins and stop her if she tenses up back her until her head goes down even if it is a centimeter reward the smallest try. Eventually ask her head to go a little lower and soon she will set her head perfect.
Good Luck!
     
    11-26-2009, 09:39 PM
  #9
Banned
"not a rail horse" would mean that she doesn't like being on the rail, she likes the middle of the arena where its wide open--she's probably a little claustrophobic. My gelding is the same way, he's an OTTB so he's fine with having one side of his body blocked off, but there's a portion at the back of our arena where we can go in between some jumps and the rail....he gets very tense there.

I do agree though, at this point she might be testing you. Since you've had her for a month, she should be pretty comfortable with you and with her surroundings, so now she's going to see who she can bully. However, have you considered that maybe she just has a sensitive mouth? I knew an Appy who would absolutely FLIP OUT if he had any contact from the bit....the owner just rode him in a hackamore and he was fabulous.
     
    11-27-2009, 12:03 AM
  #10
Green Broke
Sounds to me like she has had some pretty bad experiences and is just afraid of contact.

Maybe try using an unjointed bit to see if she is uncomfortable with the nutcracker of the snaffle.

Maybe she doesn't like how the rings feel in her mouth? Sounds to me like the bit has those rings for busy mouths and tongues(?) and some horses just don't like that.

Id get a trainer to evaluate her and see what a professional says before you throw her away. Obviously if you spent the money on her you like her. Give her a chance, you might just have to move really slow and not show her next spring...

Oh yeah and if her previous owners beat her, that could be a BIG issue too could be whay she is acting wierd, she probably was never properly trained and then just beaten for "being bad" when it was really rider error, that could be causing her fear issues...
     

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