Moody, Stubborn horse - when does the exercise become unproductive - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 06-17-2013, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Moody, Stubborn horse - when does the exercise become unproductive

Hello from Wisconsin :)
I am a new horse owner. 36 years old and the only horse experience I have began within the past two years. My horse was given to me by my MIL who has thirty plus years of experience. Twice now, during her heat, my mare has acted up in the round pen - showing complete disrespect and refusing to come to me. She is completely obstinate running and running until she is dripping with sweat - tossing her head and turning out to the fence! My MIL is concerned that she is worked too hard when she has this kind of behavior and I refuse to let her behave that way because she knows better! Mind you the longest we have carried on in this situation is 45 minutes. The first time she did this, I literally had to leave her there - run to the grocery store and return in an hour. She then went willingly in. Last night I invited my spouse in the round pen to assist in cutting her off while she was running away from me and she then stopped almost immediately. So, I have two questions: When is a horse worked too hard, and am I wrong to continue my ground work when she is in heat?
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post #2 of 33 Old 06-17-2013, 11:42 AM
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Hello back from Wisconsin.
I would use a lunge line until she settles & figures things out. You'll also be able to rate her speed & direction in a quieter manner than cutting her off.

I'd be suspicious of any horse given to me by my MIL.
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post #3 of 33 Old 06-17-2013, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your response! The last time this happened I used the lunge line for at least 3-4 days to make sure she would stop and come to me and it didn't happen again until yesterday... Lol. She's clearly in heat and not her usual pleasing self :) Maybe I ought to automatically use the lunge line when I know she's in heat (?)
Ha! She's really not a bad horse, the MIL has a few too many horses and she needed some financial relief.
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post #4 of 33 Old 06-17-2013, 12:03 PM
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Try some raspberry leaves or Mare Magic, that might " tame" the hormones a bit.
Btw, this is exactly why I prefer geldings..lol
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post #5 of 33 Old 06-17-2013, 12:36 PM
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I prefer my mares. when she is acting like a brat, do tons of direction changes, at random. pretty soon she'll clue in that she has to focus on you. Disrespect occurs just as much in geldings as it does in mares, although it may show up more with mares around the time they are in heat, due to hormone issues..

also, instead of round penning(which I think is incredibly overused by many, and easily becomes a crutch) try doing some alternate ground work, like some of the exercises recommended by Clinton Anderson.
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post #6 of 33 Old 06-23-2013, 02:16 PM
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Agreed with natisha. The lounge line seems to work in these types of situations:)
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post #7 of 33 Old 06-23-2013, 06:04 PM
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It's pretty hard to overwork a fit horse--they can go for far longer than most people can. If she's out of shape though, when she starts heaving is generally a good time to let up. That being said, I always make sure to end on a good note.

If you know she's in heat and you feel bad about running her too much, you might try in hand exercises instead. Choose things that she's more likely to be agreeable to--maybe something like carrot stretches. Always set your horse up for success :)

Good luck!
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post #8 of 33 Old 06-23-2013, 07:27 PM
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A lot of running in a circle strains the tendons/joints if the outside isn't banked. The weight is displaced to the inside of hooves/legs.

Agreed with others that something else besides liberty'd be better at her period. How about riding? Seems to me that carrying you'd slow her down, & then you could keep her busy doing things like tit-for-tat (she chooses a direction, you let her go there for a bit, then turn her 90 degrees in the opposite direction for a bit, repeat.) Make it fun for her so that her attention is with you.

The true purpose of horsemanship is to cause one's horse to be deeply ok inside, especially during hormonal changes. :)
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post #9 of 33 Old 06-24-2013, 08:24 AM
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Are you working her in the round pen for a specific reason?

Or just doing it?

Horse may also, if trained to ride, be sick of the round pen deal too.

And if you need someone to help you cut her off and turn her? Then you are doing something wrong.

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post #10 of 33 Old 06-24-2013, 08:29 AM
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When a mare is like this - hormonal - I'd just leave her alone for a week. She just going to sour and pretty quick if an issue is pushed when she's hormonal and not herself. JMO.
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horse sweating , mare in heat , moody , stubborn , working too hard

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