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Need help with stubborn mare!

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    02-02-2014, 10:23 AM
But that just the thing... Winter seems to be a different horse when Tiane (my daughter) is around. She lowers her head and remain a respectful distance from T, follows her around like a puppy and closes her eyes for a nap when T pats her. She nibbles at T's neck with her lips - to T's great delight!

I've tried some ground work today, only to leave in tears. A trainer is unfortunately not an option since the nearest one is about 200km from me. Maybe I'm doing something wrong... Any tips on ground work then???
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    02-02-2014, 08:46 PM
Originally Posted by Heleen Strydom    
She nibbles at T's neck with her lips - to T's great delight!

I've tried some ground work today, only to leave in tears. A trainer is unfortunately not an option since the nearest one is about 200km from me. Maybe I'm doing something wrong... Any tips on ground work then???
Firstly, as 'loving' as your horse may be with your daughter, PLEASE do not let the horse do things like that!!! Even 'lovingly', horses nip eachother, as well as nuzzling - & a nip to your daughter, let alone on her neck will be a lot less 'loving' than it is to another horse! Please keep safety first & foremost in mind with your horse & daughter! I know you wouldn't knowingly put her in danger, but remember what big animals they are & that they can (even lovingly, unmeaning) do serious damage in a heartbeat!

Regarding your 'groundwork', what have you done/tried? What's happening? Sounds like if you have no one good to help you - always the best option IMO - you could do well from a 'package' approach, such as Clinton Anderson(don't know his stuff personally but others think good), Parelli or such. Watch DVDs, read books on horse behaviour & training principles, and take your time.

I know you're excited about getting back into riding, but sounds like you need to slow down, step back... Also know that things can change getting back to it after kids, mentally and physically! So another reason I suggest you don't just expect to pick up where you left off, work on where you're both at now, not where you were a year ago.
    02-03-2014, 05:41 AM
The groundwork I did yesterday - Whenever she approached me, I held the handy stick high above my head and told her no. She hesitated and then turned away from me. I wanted her to know to realize that I'd call her if I want her to approach me. After a while I whistled and she came towards me, much more hesitant than before. The I did some desensitizing with the lead rope as well as with the handy stick and string. So far so good right?

Then I tried to yield her forequarters. She pushed me with her head and refused to move. Not even after tapping her with the stick. But this morning I realized her (again) that this is going to take some time.

I am determined to make this work.
    02-03-2014, 09:18 AM
I think your mare has become barn sour and realizes she has the upper hand when you are in the saddle. I'm going to suggest you start moving her hindquarters (groundwork). This will start causing her to keep two eyes on you which means you have her full attention. As for space. Stretch your arm out. That is as close as she's to come. Don't discourage her from approaching but do teach her how close. You might have to pop her on the chest to back her away. This will ramp up her respect.
    02-03-2014, 12:36 PM
For those interested... I am happy to say I've made some great progress with Winter today!!! She kicked out real bad when I tried yielding her hindquarter, but understood eventually what was required.

Thanks so much for the advice and replies!!!
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    02-06-2014, 08:39 PM
Awww good ol' mares. Haha
Glad to hear your making progress.... Does sound like the only way to get through this is tough it out like you are ... Retrain. Reinforce.

I feel your frustration , I also have a stubborn mare( not her fault , just off the track and been spelling) ....
It's like teaching a child from scratch, I just assume she knows very little and go from there 😉☺️
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