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SammyAnn 02-21-2012 10:36 PM

I need help with my heard-bound mare!
Like my title says I need help with my heard-bound mare. Every time I lead or ride her away from my other horses she tries to turn back and I feel like I'm dragging her behind me. When I ride or lead her towards the other horses she pratically runs me over or yanks my arms out. I've asked my friends what I should do and their methods work for about a week then it's just back to the same way it was before. If anyone has some advice I'd appreciate all the help I can get. Thanks!:-)

sierrams1123 02-22-2012 01:35 AM

you need to seperate her from the heard as much as possible
when you take her out or ride firm, don't give up or give in, keep calm, and make her listen.....

if you can keep her alone for a while that would be even better.

I would.....

pasture her alone and try and work with her daily by taking her out of the pasture and leading her away from the barn both on the ground and on her back
after she starts to do this with ease I would add a horse in the pasture with her

then repeat the proses

I do not know how many horses you have but I would continue doing this until she is out with the amount of horses she is with now, if she ever starts to go back to her buddy sore ways I would start over at square one.

this is the best advice I can give you
this is not a quick fix, it will not happen over night, this is something you have got to be dedicated to.

yadlim 02-22-2012 01:11 PM

I am in complete agreement with the above. But I might add one more thing. Make being around her buddies HARD work. Any time she is around the hear, she needs to be working so hard she is in a full lather. When she is away and calm, it is all easy does and calm. She gets wanting to be next to the other horses? WORK her HARD in and around them. Have someone hold a good natured horse in place and canter around them for an hour - she wil get the hint...

hoopla 02-22-2012 01:25 PM

What you need to do is just get on with the job and treat her as you would any horse that's likely to misbehave when leading.

Get your gloves, hat, strong boots on and get him on a long rope (I use a long lunge line that's about 30 feet long) attached to a good fitting head collar and get her marched out briskly. Just coil the extra length of rope loosely in your right hand and lead him with your left hand.

Some folks recommend a whip but I don't think there's any need. You can just use the end of the long coiled rope)

If you prefer you could put her in a lungeing cavesson, that'll bite more and give you more leverage and control especially if she tries to turn back and change direction, the ring will just flip the line for you, as well, a snug cavesson means no head collar shifting on the face and all that.

I have one especially for this sort of thing and it's double riveted for young stock so there's no change of them breaking. Got to say though that I've never used any of those special halters that some folks recommend nowadays. I just use good quality strong old fashioned head collars or a lungeing cavesson.

Walk at her shoulder or just slightly in front of it and if she prats about then turn her to face you. You let him go but then dig in your heels and jerk her head sharply towards you. Let the rope slacken and only then reward her with a pat and "good girl". She has to have a clear message that "here's good and slack rope is right". You have to dictate the pace, NOT the horse.

Riding is slightly different. But to be frank I'd suggest you get your leadership established on the ground first.

If you lead her on the off-side then it might make a difference and she may concentrate on what you're doing more.

Other thing you can start to do is just walk her slightly away so she's out of sight and do something nice e.g. grooming or even feeding but ONLY if she behaves himself.

Get it sorted though because separation anxiety can be a real pig to fix if you avoid the issue.

Remember shee needs to trust you and rely on you and at this point in time she's not.

She's found a friend of her own and she's not wanting to leave him and go with you.

You need loads of confidence and assurance and stride out thinking "GET ON AND FORWARD" That will pass to your horse.

SorrelHorse 02-22-2012 01:34 PM

Agreed. Work her HARD when she is around her friends, and let her rest away from them. Make her associate her friends with hard work. Then even if you can only get ten feet away at first, just build on it. Go fifteen feet the next day. Then twenty. Then twenty five, etc.

Palomine 02-22-2012 08:47 PM

Herd, not heard.

To some degree you might not ever get this completely whipped. Much depends on how much you mess with this horse, and also how dependent she is.

Make sure you are the leader here though, and also make sure her manners are good, and that she listens to you well.

SammyAnn 02-22-2012 09:45 PM

Thank you for all the advice! I already tried what sierrams1123 said but thanks anyways. I will try hoopla's method. I'm working with my horses at least a half an hour everyday each so I'll start working with her asap. Thanks again!

Cherie 02-23-2012 12:05 AM

We always start with tying a horse to a safe place and let them stand there until they get over it. Some will paw, stomp, whinny and fret for hours. BUT -- they all get over it, stand still and relax -- eventually.

Some take a couple of hours, some take two or three days. Tie them out in the morning, offer them a drink at noon (most won't drink and it does not hurt them a bit), put them up in the evening and do it all over again the next day. The good news is that they all get over it.

Once they figure out that there is life and a return to their herd, they get over it. We have found that this is so important to their training, that we do not even bother to try to do anything else as long as the horse is still reactive and acting silly. They learn little except how to fight you and be worried about their herd.

We raise and keep all of our horses in pastures with other horses. So, they all have some degree of separation anxiety when they go into training. We just let them stand tied until they settle down and then they learn other lessons very quickly with little resistance.

We are convinced that if every training session with a frantic horse that is throwing a fit, the horse is only learning to fight training and people. As 'creatures of habit', the habit you want to instill is one of quiet learning and working sessions without resistance or aggression on the part of the horse or the human.

I have seen hundreds of horses that get 'on the fight' every time they are worked with. I think this is the last thing everyone should want to become a habit.

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