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This is a discussion on Help? within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    07-18-2012, 02:16 AM

So basically the story goes: I have been volunteering at a rescue for almost 2 months now. One horse in particular has taken a liking to me unlike with anyone else. She is a 4 yr old mustang. She is broke to ride and has a ton of hours on the trail but never without another horse. A few weeks ago a trainer got her out to assess her abilities. She came from a good friend so we know that she has indeed been on the trail and was a joy to ride. She was antsy but stood to be saddled. She did not stand to be mounted though, someone had to hold her. She was antsy but cooperative untill she was in sight of the pasture. She tried to go to the pasture and was refused so she completely exploded and threw the trainer. In the process she also stepped on her own rein and scared herself even more, nearly toppling backwards. The trainer was pretty sore so she did not get back on and the mare was untacked and returned to the pasture. Since then she was brought out once into the round pen. She was lunged and proceeded to try and barrel kick the trainer who luckily saw it coming. The trainer corrected it and her behavior got a little better although it is obvious she doesnt like the trainer after their bad experience. I've agreed to work with the mare since we have that special bond. I would like any advice I could get. Thanks. Oh and one last thing she really likes her butt scratched and often completely turns her butt on you and I find that it is just bad manners for a horse. Any ideas on how to break this habit?
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    07-18-2012, 02:33 AM
If you want a really easy way to fix this, I reccomend HIGHLY doing the clinton anderson fundamentals. I've never had horses improve so fast with any other method. Sounds to me like your horse is totally disrespectul and needs to get an attitude adjustment and learn thet you are the leader and can move her feet anywhere YOU choose, and she shouldn't ask questions.

You can watch episodes online, order the kit/book, anything, at
    07-18-2012, 05:06 AM
Without being there or knowing her bodylanguage, don't know whether 'antsy' was fear or attitude, but considering she's new to you lot, I'd guess fear. Sounds like people have just gone too far, too fast with her.

It's unclear whether the trainer got to know her/asked anything of her prior to saddling, but I would have first, establishing basic behaviours & ensuring she was good with it. If she was 'antsy' to be saddled, I wouldn't have asked for more until she was fine with it. *Also worth double checking it wasn't the tack or her back that was the problem. Once I'd got her fine about saddling, then I'd saddle her up & teach her to stand for mounting. If/when she was 'antsy' I'd work through that before actually getting on too. Probably by the time she was in sight of the pasture, it had reached the final straw & she just snapped.

She was lunged and proceeded to try and barrel kick the trainer who luckily saw it coming. The trainer corrected it and her behavior got a little better although it is obvious she doesnt like the trainer after their bad experience.
Again, without more info, don't know why she's doing this, but I don't think she would have taken a strong 'dislike' to the trainer if she understood the lessons & 'correction' was clearly understood. So I suspect again it was fear based. What was she being lunged for? Has she been taught to lunge & other 'groundwork'? Again I'd start at the beginning & slow down, try not to be confrontational about it.

Oh and one last thing she really likes her butt scratched and often completely turns her butt on you and I find that it is just bad manners
I once had a horse I inadvertently trained to do that, because she loved a butt scratch so much. She's doing it because this behaviour has got her what she wanted in the past. So you have to a) make sure it never, ever works for her again and b) I'd also make it unpleasant for her to do - I'd give her a smack on the behind whenever she tries it - with a stick/whip or such, because you need to keep out of the way of those hooves.
    07-18-2012, 01:46 PM
The trainer knows the horse personally and has worked with her alot. She is fine as long as another horse is around. The antsy was attitude not fear. She knows her ground work and was in the round pen being lunged so that the trainer could get her focused and use to being worked again. Prior to the bad ride she was asked to do all her ground work. It wasn't her back or her tack either. She has never had issues with the trainer until the bad ride which the trainer feels bad about cause we pushed to hard to fast. Also we have had this mare for 4 months now and she came from a friend that we have all rode with so we know she is a great horse. She doesnt give me any problems just her trainer who is stepping back and handing me the reins. We know a few mistakes were made and the trainer knows her stuff and the horse very well. If you have another horse there she will do everything perfectly.
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    07-18-2012, 01:48 PM
The key is having another horse around her and that's what I want to change...
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    07-18-2012, 08:13 PM
If the key is having another horse around, then I think fear/security is an issue.
    07-18-2012, 08:24 PM
She is fine when she can't see them but it's impossible to ride here without other horses around. I know that it isn't fear. She just learned when she throws a fit that she gets her way. So she cops an attitude. I know what her problems are and what causes them and I have a few techniques of my own. I just wanted others advice that have dealt with the same issue. It is most definitely attitude and not fear.
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    07-18-2012, 08:59 PM
Oh sorry, I got the idea she was OK when there was another horse around. If the original trainer does know her stuff & the horse is 'giving her the finger', then perhaps she 'doesn't like' the trainer because she wasn't being firm enough? While, for safety's sake as well as other reasons, I'd have taken the riding business slower, as I explained, having the horse responsive & accepting someone's leadership is vital & that may mean getting stricter.
    07-18-2012, 11:10 PM
I don't think I've explained very well either so sorry for any confusion... If she is completely alone she is fine. If she sees another horse she acts up. If she has a buddy right there with her she is fine also. It's the seperation factor. She acts up when not allowed to go to another horse and it is nearly impossible to ride or work her without another horse somewhere in her sight. She has alot of attitude and no manners. She is a 4 year old mustang who has indeed been ridden and is well broke. I'm at a loss cause I can't work with her without a horse near by and I dnt want her dependant on a buddy horse. I know from working with her that it's a behavior issue. But with the bad ride she has regressed to step one. She doesnt even like the halter anymore. The trainer spent plenty of time with her and personally knows her last owner which is why she was so quick to ride her not to mention they did tons of ground work beforehand. It's definitely attitude though cause she learned she gets her way. If we didn't have so many horses then I would have had this nipped in the butt already. It's hard to explain over the computer ecspecially with horses
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barn sour, bucking, herd bound

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