Troublesome mare - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-07-2012, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Troublesome mare

hey everyone,

As some of you may know, I have recently gotten a dun half arabian 6 year old mare. She's a gorgeous mare, with a great temperament and lovely movement.
However the other day I was riding her in a new saddle I have gotten and she did a small buck. I had lost my reins and so I fell off. So now my mum has started working with her while I ride another horse to improve my riding. Anyway, so mum was lunging her the other day and Melody was behaving resonably well. But then mum said, 'canter' and mel started galloping. She said, 'woah' and mel stopped. Mum bent down to pick up the lunge whip and mel started galloping and bucking and rearing. Mel has never been a problem horse, but now she has started playing up whenever we work with her. Mum is much more experienced than me, so mel is going resonably well with her. But I was wondering is anyone as any good ideas on how to work with her. We are getting into the natural horsemanship and so if anyone has any particular good techniques for handling her, that would be great :)
Thanks!

Kayla :)

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post #2 of 11 Old 09-07-2012, 02:30 AM
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I wonder if her seeing the lunge whip caused her to act up, if she had been whipped by a previous person or something.

I don't know what type of barn or boarding arrangement you have for her, whether she has a turnout and sufficient exercise or is stalled most of the time, whether she has any companions. Changes to feed as well are also potential stressors and can contribute to behavioral issues. I don't know what, if any of these things, may factor into her behavior, but generally horses need some time to adjust to new environments and owners, and learn new routines and such. She may just be having some difficulty adjusting and need a little more time.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-07-2012, 03:40 AM
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Hi, without more info, can't give you much more than guesses. Eg. The 'small buck' under saddle could have been that you frightened her or frustrated her by doing the wrong thing, that the new saddle or something else hurt her, or that she was telling you.... where to get off! She could have learned previously to fear the lunge whip, or that 'canter' on a circle did indeed mean gallop! Bucking & rearing while running sounds like it may be 'attitude' rather than fear though. Is she an... assertive character?

If the horse is getting worse, it is likely that it's something you're(&/or your mum) is doing or not doing, so finding a good trainer to help you work through it is my advice.
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-07-2012, 09:19 AM
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Desensitize her to the longe whip until she is non-reactive when you beat the whip against the ground all around her and rub her all over with it on both sides of her.

Then, start longing her on a very short line when you start.
Go for complete control and respect.
Stop her by 'pulling her around' and changing directions.
Pull her around and stop her that way every time she goes too fast or tries to get out of control.
Only smooch and go from a walk to a trot when she is being quiet and obedient.
Again, go from a trot to a canter only when she is trotting quietly and sensibly.
Frequently stop her and rub her all over with the longe whip rather than do a direction change.
Make sure she never anticipates and never does anything (including a transition, direction change or speed change) without you asking her first.
Stop her and make her stand quietly, while rubbing her with the whip, any time she does.

If you follow these rule for longeing, you will have a respectful horse that knows how to longe properly and lets you use it for a training technique and tool rather than 'out of control' exercise, which it should never be.
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Last edited by Cherie; 09-07-2012 at 09:22 AM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-07-2012, 05:37 PM
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Is your mom lunging her in the new saddle? Could be that saddle doesn't fit and hurts. Could be the whip agree with desensitizing her to that thoroughly.
I'd also lay off too much lunging, cantering on the lunge is just asking for a horse to act up, it's tough on their joints and many horses are not balanced on a lunge line and frighten themselves. Especially Arabians who are such thinkers, if they feel off balance they aren't going to stand for it. Get it so she knows how to do it then stop.
I'd practice line-driving her all around through and over everything, desensitizing her to all sorts of objects while line-driving her at the walk and jog. This is a great way to see how she'll be riding before you get on. It's also a great way to get the horse used to things without risking yourself so much.

Good luck
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-07-2012, 05:46 PM
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Since it started with the new saddle that would be a good place to look, something pinching could be enough to set her off.
Cheries advice is all really sound. She's associating the whip with something that's been used to make her race around before I'd imagine - rather than as an extension of your mums arm
My mare used to go bonkers if I made the 'kissing' noise to ask for canter - pinged us both off the rails the first time I tried it so that must have meant something the same to her as the whip does for your horse
It doesn't bother her any more so you can work quietly through these things if you keep everything settled and controlled.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-07-2012, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRichmond View Post
I wonder if her seeing the lunge whip caused her to act up, if she had been whipped by a previous person or something.

I don't know what type of barn or boarding arrangement you have for her, whether she has a turnout and sufficient exercise or is stalled most of the time, whether she has any companions. Changes to feed as well are also potential stressors and can contribute to behavioral issues. I don't know what, if any of these things, may factor into her behavior, but generally horses need some time to adjust to new environments and owners, and learn new routines and such. She may just be having some difficulty adjusting and need a little more time.
a good idea, but no. She has never been whipped or mistreated.
She is kept in a paddock at my nans place. She gets excised twice a week. There are 3 other horses at my nans place. She has had no changes in feed. We have had her for a few months now, and I have been riding her every week with not problems until she bucked me off.

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post #8 of 11 Old 09-07-2012, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Hi, without more info, can't give you much more than guesses. Eg. The 'small buck' under saddle could have been that you frightened her or frustrated her by doing the wrong thing, that the new saddle or something else hurt her, or that she was telling you.... where to get off! She could have learned previously to fear the lunge whip, or that 'canter' on a circle did indeed mean gallop! Bucking & rearing while running sounds like it may be 'attitude' rather than fear though. Is she an... assertive character?

If the horse is getting worse, it is likely that it's something you're(&/or your mum) is doing or not doing, so finding a good trainer to help you work through it is my advice.
I don't think I frightened her in any way. It may have been the saddle, we think it might have been pinching her a little. She is supposed to be very good to lunge and she is very responsive. She is assertive sometimes.

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post #9 of 11 Old 09-07-2012, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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thanks all for your help. Mum has been lunging her in the new saddle. We will try some of the things you have suggested

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post #10 of 11 Old 09-09-2012, 05:41 PM
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It could also be she just felt like running and bucking too. Not every thing a horse does is out of fear or confusion. They have "oh, I feel GOOD" moments just like we do.

I see this in ours daily when lunging them, some of them are "here we go again" and then one day they are WHEE!!!!

Nothing major happened, they just feel great that day.
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