Spooky Mare-Please Help! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-02-2013, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Spooky Mare-Please Help!


My 15.1hh cob mare spooks at everything. I'm worried about taking her to shows in the summer as I can predict clearly what'll happen!

When I ride her out in the countryside with others, She's as bombproof as my old horse, but when I ride her out alone she hates it. When I ride her in the school, sometimes she goes beautifully, and sometimes she can be really bad.

I can never predict what she's going to do next. She loves jumping and hacking out, and yet when I ask her to canter, she tanks off.

Please help!

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post #2 of 6 Old 03-02-2013, 02:25 PM
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its hard to say for sure, but I would say IMO your horse isn't brock. Yes she is ridable I can train a horse to be ridable and as long as I ride inside the boundrys of its training things are fine, but when i go outside if what I have trained it to do it no long acts trained. To break a horse is different. A brock horse no matter where or what you are doing it will responed in its brockenness. I have riden some very well trained horses they are alot of fun but when you do somthing that they are not trained to understand or do they are no longer a fun horse to ride. On the other side I have riden some very well brock horses, and when asking a brock horse to do somthing outside its comfort vone you can tell its nervice but willing.

I know that doesn't help a too much. I was writting in another thread about this same issue "trained or brock" the short of it is: It's about your horses "will" when ever you ride you need to ride with a "will" you need to expect your horse to submit to your will. You don't have to be a dictator but you need to ride all the time everytime. Don't let her take short cuts ever. Train/ride her that way all the time. Ground work can help with this to some degree too. You need to break your horse. There is a chance your horse will seem to get worse before it gets better. Keep working at it in every thing you do with her have a plan and then require her to submit to you will in all things feeding, grooming, leading, saddleing, mounting, dismounting, riding. Everything goes how and when you say. I brock a horse once with leading all I used was a halter and lead rope. My horse walked when I walked stoped when I stoped she stayed at my shoulder. as I worked with her I could get her to the licking and chewing just by leading. You can do this it only take be intentional in everything and expecting her to do what you ask no matter how little it may seem at the time.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-02-2013, 03:00 PM
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Sometimes the horse who has a history of spooking with it's rider will be more confident ridden by someone who is a confident rider and does not have any prior history with that horse. Reason being, since you know how and where she has spooked in the past, when you go out, you will be anticipating those things. no matter how much you try not to let it be apparent, your horse can feel your anxiety and thus it becomes a self -fulfilling prophecy.

get someone who is very confident to ride her out a few times and see if they cannot build the mare's confidence with being alone.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-02-2013, 03:07 PM
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If you haven't established yourself as a strong leader for your horse, then she's going to spook because she can't trust you to handle the situation. Think about if you were walking down a dark and spooky street with a friend who is nervous, and a homeless person jumps out and starts screaming about UFOs. You'd both probably scream and run away. But if you're walking with a police officer, you're going to stick around and feel a little safer because you can trust the policeman to handle it.

A good way to establish firm leadership is to do lots of desensitization. You should be able to throw a rope, lunge whip, bag, anything over your horse's back and all around and your horse shouldn't even care. But the main thing is you have to be consistent because that's what creates trust and leadership.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-02-2013, 05:19 PM
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I know this is easier said than done. Mac used to spin on me when out on the trail; very suddenly, with NO discernable warning. He spun me off FIVE time! I got kinda tired of that and started to "expect" it. So, I was not fully committed when we trotted down the trail. To this day, I know that my worry is felt by him, even when I try my darndest to cowgirl up and not show a whiff of fear. So, when Mac's owner rides him, someone who he has never spun off, she rides forward with the expectation that he won't spin her off, . . Voila! he doesnt.

My point being that it's very hard to erase the memories of bad experiences, for both horse AND rider. But, if she were ridden by someone for whom she spooks less, she would gain confidence and I think you'd do so, too and you each bolster each other.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-03-2013, 12:00 PM
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Has this mares' eyes been checked? Sometimes that's the problem. One eye is blinding and the horse is ok in a school or group situation, depending on the herd to see for him, but they are insecure alone. Once the eye blinds, the horse will accommodate but while it's blinding it's a scary thing and the horse will see shadows etc.

Either that, or she's a herd bound brat. Either way, it has to be addressed.
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