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Working with my mare

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  • My horse is going fine, then stops and will not go further?

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    12-21-2006, 09:49 AM
Went down to Nick's (trainer) last nite to visit with TJ. Groomed her up and then nick showed up. He said "well, are you ready to ride her?" (actually I wasn't, had on tightest jeans I owned) I said sure!!

Took her into the round pen first and he showed me all she has learned. Boy is she a different horse.
Very slight pressure on the reins, she responds!!!! I went to stop her in the old way and she did a sliding stop!!!! Bout fell off her backend. I honestly thought she was going to sit down and I would slide right off.

I took her out into the field and rode around. Did very well. Then I took her around the barrels and poles at a walk and one time a trot. She responded very well there also.

I was extremely nervous and told nick I was. He told me I "sit a horse well" and that after watching me, he felt I will have no trouble riding her in the future. He told me again that she mostly needs lots of miles put on her and that the best thing I can do, when I get her home, is to ride her down the road, mostly walking. Both days over the weekend, he took her road riding (which is what I do most) and said she did everything as asked. Said he's done just about everything he can think of, that I would be doing with her, except he hasn't taken her into water (like a creek). Said he would try to work on that this week.
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    01-07-2007, 05:19 PM
Re: Working with my mare

Have you ever thought about putting your horse on some kind of mare suppliment that stops them from going into heat. That might have been why you have some good days and some bad ones
    01-07-2007, 05:59 PM
I don't think supplements would help... :roll:

I think the best thing, just like the trainer said, is miles.

I think you found a great trainer also!
    01-08-2007, 10:04 AM
TJ is home now and doing good. At first she was very upset about being all alone, but she is adjusting fine. Was even off her feed for a few days but she has started eating normally now.

Last week my friend came up with her two horses and we went for a 12 mile ride, my daughter riding my friends other mare. We did really good. had a couple of small episodes where she wanted to go back home but we worked through them quickly and off we went. Had no probs otherwise. We even cantered some, so I was very pleased.

We are settling into a good routine and she is starting to see me as her buddy now. Meets me at the fence everyday at feeding time and will even stop eating to get a few rubs/loves in. She is accepting the dog and the peafowl really well, to the point of trying to make friends with them, even though they're not into her at all yet. you should see those peacock run when she tries to nuzzle them.

Overall things are progressing very well. I am sure pleased so far.
    01-08-2007, 03:31 PM
Thats Very exciting, I am very happy to hear of the improvement in your mare! She Is even taking a liking to you and gets excited when you come to her!
    01-25-2007, 09:39 AM
I have a problem.....need help........any advice?

I saddled up tj yesterday to go for a ride down the road. Everything was going good until we got to the end of our driveway. She wanted to go left, I wanted to go right.

So I thought, we will be relaxed today, lets see where she wants to go. (first mistake) she will go calmly and quietly to the left for about a 1/4 mile. Then she stops and will go no further. So I turned her in circles, and she went a little further.

I decide its time to go the other way. She goes as far as back to my driveway and will go no further. So we go in circles again until she will go a little further. We did this quite a bit. Just a short ways from my place is a bridge over a creek. She has gone over this bridge several times with no problems. But yesterday she would not step on it at all. We get as far as the bridge and she stops. Nothing I did would get her to cross it and go on.

We had the head throwing, rearing, snorting and the whole she-bang. So we did circles.

Finally, after becoming quite frustrated and getting angry, I decided it was time to stop before I lost control. So I had her do something that I KNEW she would do, so that we could end our session on a positive note.

That done, I rode her to the dreaded hitching post and tied her up for awhile. (she hates being tied up and left) as long as I stayed right by her side, she was very calm, sleepy-eyed, and stood still. If I walked away, even 5 foot, she started the pawing and even a couple times tried to take a hunk out of the wood hitching post. (sorry guys, but I smacked her nose for that) she even started on the rope, chewing on it, like she was trying to get it untied. So back I go to her side. Calm, cool, relaxed.

Ok, I get all that. She just wants me there beside her. That I understand. But I don't understand why she will only go 1/4 mile in one direction, stop, and about 1/16 mile the other direction. Is it because my place is her safety zone and she can't/won't leave it??

How do I get her to go further?? I am at my wits end on this one. I'm not a novice. I've been riding since 10 yrs old. But this has me baffled. Is there something i'm missing??

Sure I could probably get off, walk her across the bridge, mount back up and MAYBE go on. But at this point, I doubt it.

    01-25-2007, 04:09 PM
Mommadog, it sounds like you are dealing with a very insecure horse with little confidence. But, it also sounds like she has gotten her way a bit. I think at this point in time, she really needs to understand trust and guidance. I also think with her personality, (I am guessing) it would be the best option.

Do things your way. Everything. This does not! Have to be done forcefully or negatively, it just simply means you are the boss and all decisions are up to you. Allowing her to make the first move grants her control and a feeling of being the leader; make every choice for her.

You will get resistance. Be calm and patient. Patience is something I can not stress enough for this situation. It is key. When you become tense and angry, she will feel the tension, sense the frustration and resist more due to fear and an unsure leader. When she follows through and does what is asked, praise her. Build her confidence up and really act as if she just defeated the world. Set small goals. Tackling what she thinks is the world in one day can be over whelming.

A lesson I would possibly consider for one day:
Head out to trail. Go the direction you know she does not want to go. If she resist and will not go further, push her along. Have a mindset of moving forward constantly. Don't anticipate her stopping. If she stops and will not move forward, stand. This may take a bit of time, but make it the point that if you aren't going forward, you aren't going anywhere. If she prances or turns toward the house, pull in a small circle, and ask to go forward again. Repeat if she does not move. She will understand that you will not be backing down. End the lesson when she is moving forward on her own will. If you become angry, stop her, make her stand and collect yourself. This trail ride may be short in distance. When you get back to the house, tie her up. Walk away. If she resist or pouts, only come to her if she is in a dangerous situation. Do not baby her when she resist. She must learn patience. If she has separation anxiety, tying her and walking away will benefit her on the trail and when being tied. She will understand to accomplish her anxiety with time.

Trail ride her again. Choose either direction, reach the point she stops and ask to go forward. Repeat exercise above. Remember BIG praises. (She just saved the world, right?) Have a quiet body and hands. Try to be as calm and relaxed physically and mentally as possible. End trail when she is moving forward. Go back to the house, pick a spot and work her. She sounds incredibly barn sour. Going back to the house, being untacked, turned out, able to graze and socialize sounds wonderful, there is no reason she wouldn't want to return to the house! Make a point that returning to the house does not mean the end of work. Try not to feed her when getting back to the house. Try keeping in mind to keep the trail being as desirable as possible and the house not as desirable. Perhaps you could even graze her on the trail to make in more enjoyable.

I hope this helped a tiny bit. Just remember quietness, patience, big praises and eventually she will get the hang of it =)
    01-25-2007, 04:29 PM
The only thing I can say is that if she acts like that, be the boss. You are the one who controls her, not the other way around. You allow her to be under you and to pay attention. If she bucks and runs, just turn her in small circles, and work with her. NEVER get off if she bucks(good job gettin back on!) or rears. If she rears, pull her head to one side. If she buck's, HOLD ON!!! Just keep playin with her. She needs to learn to be able to do things with you alone, no other horses.
    01-25-2007, 05:05 PM
Ok kristy, i'm going to try to address this in the order you posted your response. LOL

We bought this horse at a "horse sale" in oct. She has had several owners, between the original breeder and me. I'm sure that most of the sales were because people couldn't/wouldn't work with her. She is appendix reg. QH, now 5 yrs old. She was sold as (your fav term) "green broke". Ok no prob for me. But in reality what I got was an extremely barn/buddy sour horse, that had virtually no training. She didn't know how to respond to a bit, and all she knew how to do was follow other horses (her buddies) around, doing whatever they were doing.
So yes, I would have to agree with you that she is probably very insecure, little confidence, and spoiled.

Now let me interject this side note:
Once I bought her I HAD to take her to my friends' house and keep her there for awhile. She had 3 horses, and of course, tj latched onto the alpha mare there. They became great friends and she followed libby everywhere she went.
I sent her to the trainer for 5 weeks. He worked very hard with her and I am comfortable and happy with the results from his work.
THEN, she came home to my house. Main reason? The trainer (NICK) said that because she was so buddy sour, she needed to go to my home where she would be ALONE and have to learn to depend on ME for companionship and that she could survive alone. So we brought her home and I do ALL care of her. My hubby (even though he can) will not feed her or help with much of anything (he did help me blanket her last weekend), so that she has to depend on me. Somedays I will go to her several times throughout the day and just visit with her. Rubbing, brushing, talking, etc. other days I just go down twice for her feedings.
Throughout everything, her main focus(NOW), almost 24/7, is the cows across the road from our place. She will stand at the south end of her pen and just watch them. She will even stop eating to turn and watch them. There is nothing I can do to stop this, because right now that is the only location for her to be. Later on this spring, we will be fencing in a larger pasture for her, but even there she will be able to see the cows. THERE ARE NO OTHER Horses here. There are some drafts 1½ miles west of us, but she can't see them of course.

Now back to my main problem.....

I do not anticipate her stopping because somedays she will go on. So I never know from one day to the next which one will happen. When she stops, I will turn her in a few circles and then attempt to get her to go forward. Sometimes she will, other times she will not. Its those times (not) that she will get angry and start rearing. She will turn circles all day (till i'm dizzy) BTW, she doesn't like to stand still either, and will start her rearing then too. OR she will start backing up. One day she backed over 100 yards.

When she starts the rearing, I will grab one rein low and start turning her.

Let me add this......the SECOND she does good, I release the rein pressure and start praising her abundantly. I know it is so important to release when they do what you want. And I love how Ken McNabb says to take them where they want to be and work the crap out of them. I have tried to do this anytime I have a problem with her. That's why yesterday when she only wanted to go east, I said ok, and then I worked her as much as I could in that location. And then when we got home, I didn't put her up. I tied her to the hitching post that she hates the most. She stood there for at least an hour. I already posted above what happened there.
Once she was standing like a good girl (alone) for several minutes, then I unsaddled her, groomed and put her away.

With all that said, I think you have her pretty well figured out. so I will do what you have suggested and see what happens. Hopefully I can do this tomorrow afternoon. Thanks for all the help.
    01-25-2007, 07:44 PM
Goodness mommadog, you've had a tough time. :( I wish she were "green broke" and you didn't have to go through what you didn't expect, BUT, I think this whole situation will result into a great, deep and trusting relationship. I am excited for you when things.. um.. calm down.
I have to admit, she is such a character. Longingly starring at the cows.. too funny. My horse is terrified of cows, yours.. wants to become one.
Anyway, cut yourself some slack! I think you are doing a great job as it is by devoting so much time to her. That's really wonderful. Pat on the back to you. I also don't think you're so much of a novice after all!
Anyway, I have an appendix quarter horse whom has had time for about every training issue in the world after being around for 22 years. The things he conjures up... :roll: But, I do understand the barn sour problem, as well as resisting to go forward and for some reason unable to physically stand in one spot for a brief period of time. I just wanted to add that when you ask her to stand, any movement she makes should result in a sharp circle. I make sure I am not asking them to move forward in anyway when in the circle. They eventually realize the unnecessary work and stop. How long they stop is uncertain.
Anyway, I think you got it down. =) Please do update!! If this falls through and doesn't work, we can always make a plan B.

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