Angry horse - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 20 Old 07-08-2013, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Angry horse

Hello, my friend recently bought a new horse. The horse has been moved to our barn and ever since, she's been angry.

She is a mare, and we understand that she can be moody, and once you're on her, she's very nice. She has to adjust to her new home and we were wondering on ways to help her feel safe and happy. She's fairly young, no older than 15 and she wasn't moody at all at her old barn, according to my friend. It's nearly impossible to tack her up. She bites and is just very angry. Once she is out of her stall and in the ring, she's alot nicer. Even on the cross ties, she's very angry. She doesn't seem scared, she just seems very upset that she has a new owner and is in a new barn. I don't deal with this horse very much, but my friend just wants any advice from some people who have dealt with a horse horse who is upset that she moved. She has been here for about a week and a half now. From what I know, my friend has stood outside her stall for hours, getting her used to having my friend be around. My friend also Gives her carrots and grooms her as best as she can, but she won't let anyone touch her, and you can't hand feed her. She wasn't abused, my friend knows the people who used to have her for the past 5 years and they said she never has this problem, even when they first got her. We understand that she's upset that she's here, and we've been trying to comfort her as much as possible. We called her old owners and asked them what she liked to eat, or do. A vet checked her out before and she isn't in heat. What are some things we can do to help her warm up to us? The only person who can tack her up is the main groom. He has lots of experience dealing with rough horses, but he still tries to bite and kick him. The farrier has issues too, but again, he is very experienced dealing with rough horses. My friend has experience too, but she's only 17 and is kind of small.

The instructors say for her to just try to sit near her stall, and when she's out of her stall, try to pet her.

She's only nasty on the ground

Thanks
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-08-2013, 10:19 PM
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It honestly sounds like she is testing her new owner, who is sadly failing the test and thus the mare is becoming unruly.

Any horse, including Mares, require a firm leader. If your friend is trying to be besties with her by hanging with her in her stall.. that won't change this mare's behavior. It may even make it worse.

That aside, though, has she been checked for health issues like ulcers?

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-08-2013, 11:51 PM
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Is she used to being in a stall or did she have more space and a pasture at the former owners place?

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-09-2013, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
It honestly sounds like she is testing her new owner, who is sadly failing the test and thus the mare is becoming unruly.

Any horse, including Mares, require a firm leader. If your friend is trying to be besties with her by hanging with her in her stall.. that won't change this mare's behavior. It may even make it worse.

That aside, though, has she been checked for health issues like ulcers?
She has been checked thoroughly, and I assume all health issues such as ulcers aren't an issue.
And I know, I hate to see my friend have such a hard time with her.
She asked how can she be a firm leader? She sits by her stall so that the mare can get used to her
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post #5 of 20 Old 07-09-2013, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustbunny View Post
Is she used to being in a stall or did she have more space and a pasture at the former owners place?
Yes, she is used to being in a stall, if anything she has more room here. But she still doesn't like it
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-09-2013, 07:11 AM
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#1 thing I WISH people could be taught about horses.

We CANNOT train a horse by comforting it.

Calling it sweetheart, honey bear, darling precious, baby talk does NOT endear them to us.

Horses are NOT 4-legged humans. They have a brain the size of a WALNUT.

They do not have a lot of capacity to hold past events against us. They meet a new "leader", they move on with their life.

Take the horse out of the stall, walk where YOU want to go. Do not allow horse to go elsewhere. Make instant corrections, and keep doing your task. Groom with the leadrope over your arm, or in one hand. EXPECT horse to stand in one spot. Put it back if it moves. OVER and over. Snap leadrope if she gives a nasty face. Do NOT allow it. Do NOT count to 10, or 3, or whatever...A bigger threat(hoof lift, etc.) gets a BIGGER correction. Then back to the spot to resume your task. OVER and over. Fair, but firm. That's the start of a leader.

Think about your friends. Some of them are leaders, some not. If there was an emergency, who would you follow? The one who acted like they nknew where they were going, or the one who said ummm, honey darling sweety pie, maybe we should go over here...or over there, ummm. You would die in that fire!

Nancy
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-09-2013, 08:28 AM
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Greentree said it beautifully.
The horse needs to be made to listen. Yes perhaps it's sightly unsettled but that in no way excuses the behaviour.
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-09-2013, 11:48 AM
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My four year old son is allowed to be upset about things. He is NOT allowed to sulk, throw a fit, or otherwise take it out on anyone. He has a higher level of reasoning than a horse.

Boundaries and cues must be clear, concise and consistent. Raise the bar and expect her to behave as the horse you want her to be. There is no 'hurt feelings' on either side. There just "Is". Basic cause and effect.

No one ever raises the bar high enough... for the animals or their kids. Burns me up.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-09-2013, 12:34 PM
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I agree with what people have been saying. When I first got my horse I didn't realize the importance of making sure you are your horses leader and my horse got to the point where he was rearing, biting, etc. It took me over a year of working with a trainer to get him to behave himself. Don't let it go that far; stop it now. It will take more effort in the short run but trust me, it's a lot better than having to deal with a monster later....
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-09-2013, 12:51 PM
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Let me explain the role of leadership with horses. In the herd situation, one horse is the leader, usually an older mare. The stallion is never the leader, his job keeps him on the lookout for other stallions that would challenge him to steal his ladies. As for the rest of the herd, their job is to watch the leader and if she decides to suddenly start running, the rest of them follow her without question. This is how horses have survived for thousands of years. This horse is not in a herd but gets separated and put in a stall where she does not feel safe. As long as she can see and hear, she thinks she's fair game for predators because she has no escape. Now, if your friend doesn't wish to take on the leadership role and set boundaries, then she will be stuck with a horse that bosses her and this is already happening and it will get worse- guaranteed.
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