Unhappy horse?
   

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Unhappy horse?

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  • Unhappy horse
  • Horses that are unhappily ridden

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    09-20-2013, 04:31 PM
  #1
Foal
Unhappy Unhappy horse?

Lately Tijuana, the horse I ride every weekday during lunch hour, has been randomly grumpy. Sometimes we have no problem tacking up (western, either with a halter/lead or with the actual bridle), but when we get on, she tries to turn around and bite my/Susie's legs (Susie and I take turns riding Tijuana and Jenny). I know Tijuana loves her personal space (She's quick to pin back her ears if Jenny is too close), but why does this only happen on random days? Note that Jenny seems fine all the time, so its not that the tacking-up is done improperly or anything.
Today, we decided not to ride because of the recent rain. The grass/dirt is still too slippery and wet to be safe on. So we were just wandering around the yard, and Susie's younger siblings were following us. Susie and I walked into the pasture to pet the horses a bit, and at first Tijuana seemed fine, I was massaging her neck and Susie was gently removing mud from her back. A few minutes later, Susie's little sisters show up, and when Aggie (age 7) tried to stroke her face, she pinned back her ears threateningly. Note that me and Susie were still touching her. Then Lena (age 5) tried to touch her, and she did it again. I laughed and was like, "Gee, Tijuana doesn't like kids today!", and as if on cue, she turned around to try and nip/bite me! What is wrong with her?
Both horses have access to the walk-in shelter, 2 acres of land, lots of water, and occasional treats. There have been no recent changes to anything. Why is she suddenly like this?
     
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    09-20-2013, 07:01 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilkittie7991    
Lately Tijuana, the horse I ride every weekday during lunch hour, has been randomly grumpy. Sometimes we have no problem tacking up (western, either with a halter/lead or with the actual bridle), but when we get on, she tries to turn around and bite my/Susie's legs (Susie and I take turns riding Tijuana and Jenny). I know Tijuana loves her personal space (She's quick to pin back her ears if Jenny is too close), but why does this only happen on random days? Note that Jenny seems fine all the time, so its not that the tacking-up is done improperly or anything.
Today, we decided not to ride because of the recent rain. The grass/dirt is still too slippery and wet to be safe on. So we were just wandering around the yard, and Susie's younger siblings were following us. Susie and I walked into the pasture to pet the horses a bit, and at first Tijuana seemed fine, I was massaging her neck and Susie was gently removing mud from her back. A few minutes later, Susie's little sisters show up, and when Aggie (age 7) tried to stroke her face, she pinned back her ears threateningly. Note that me and Susie were still touching her. Then Lena (age 5) tried to touch her, and she did it again. I laughed and was like, "Gee, Tijuana doesn't like kids today!", and as if on cue, she turned around to try and nip/bite me! What is wrong with her?
Both horses have access to the walk-in shelter, 2 acres of land, lots of water, and occasional treats. There have been no recent changes to anything. Why is she suddenly like this?
Ulcers?
     
    09-20-2013, 08:17 PM
  #3
Showing
You're letting her get away with what you may consider small things. Unfortunately these small things escalate into big issues. If she's biting at your leg when in the saddle, it may no longer fit her and she may be trying to tell you it hurts.
     
    09-20-2013, 08:24 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
Please be careful. As a mom, the thought of two teens (you and Susie) and two LITTLE girls mobbing one cranky mare has me seeing visions of someone getting stepped on or bitten. Be 10 times more careful when you have two children out ther. In fact, I'd have them visit her over a fence, or when you have one mare out of the pasture tied up and by herself.

If you decide to do any kind f reprimanding , make it when the wee kids are NOT there.
     
    09-21-2013, 12:52 AM
  #5
Yearling
Don't you have days when you're randomly grumpy? Or happy, energetic, lazy? So why should horses be different?

Does seem like you need to do some work on teaching the horse that there are acceptable and non-acceptable ways to express feelings, and also on teaching those younger siblings that horses aren't soft, fuzzy toys.
     
    09-21-2013, 02:13 PM
  #6
Weanling
It sounds like her saddle does not fit properly, or her girth is too tight. And she has a serious lack of respect on the ground. Pinning her ears back and biting is a sign of dominance, and she is trying to put you in your place. This is dangerous, and needs immediate correction.
EvilHorseOfDoom and CowboyBob like this.
     
    09-21-2013, 02:26 PM
  #7
Yearling
I'd suggest getting a vet out, just to rule pout any health issues, if after that it's still an issue, check your saddle and cinch , if the saddle doesn't fit or the cinch is too tight, Tijuana is uncomfortable and is trying to tell you.
     
    09-21-2013, 09:19 PM
  #8
Weanling
Yes, check your tack. But another issue is she is biting when you are off her. My gelding had started doing this, but I bop him in the nose with my elbow when he turns in. Now he knows better. He still does it to others tho, and I keep telling them, give him a good bop!

But Tiny is right, if you reprimand, don't do it with the little ones around.
AZRJ likes this.
     
    09-21-2013, 09:45 PM
  #9
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Please be careful. As a mom, the thought of two teens (you and Susie) and two LITTLE girls mobbing one cranky mare has me seeing visions of someone getting stepped on or bitten. Be 10 times more careful when you have two children out ther. In fact, I'd have them visit her over a fence, or when you have one mare out of the pasture tied up and by herself.

If you decide to do any kind f reprimanding , make it when the wee kids are NOT there.
This is great advice!! Take a look at saddle fit, and start working on your horse and how she responds to people. You might need a trainer to help you get started. Its not hard to fix with just a little time and paying attention to what you horse is doing all the time when you are around her. Someone said it already "its the little thing", the ears, moving or even just leaning into you, looks. It all is very important to see and stop. But you need to get on this soon don't wait. The longer she gets her way the harder she will push and soon or very soon someone could get bit or kick.
EvilHorseOfDoom likes this.
     
    09-22-2013, 10:13 AM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf    
Don't you have days when you're randomly grumpy? Or happy, energetic, lazy? So why should horses be different?

Does seem like you need to do some work on teaching the horse that there are acceptable and non-acceptable ways to express feelings, and also on teaching those younger siblings that horses aren't soft, fuzzy toys.
I would say that in all my years of owning horses and I keep them for ever they have been consistant in personality. They are not happy pone day and then trying to bite me the next. I think something else is going on.
     

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