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Sheepdog 09-05-2012 12:36 PM

Mare threatening to kick when being caught
My seven and a half year old Appy Sport horse mare has developed a disturbing habit. She has suddenly started to threaten to kick, swinging her but towards anyone who's holding a halter when approached with a halter. This started recently, a few months ago. The first time was when we wanted to catch her for the dentist, her teeth had been floated three months ago, but needed cleaning. She was in her stable camp - my stables have a little camp in front about the same size as the stable. She decided she didn't want to see the dentist and threatened to kick the worker who went to catch her. I immediately went over, caught her with little fuss.
Since then we've had a bit of trouble catching her, but nothing too serious. Then Yesterday the horses were brought down from the hills for work today. She had a bunch of burrs in her coat and tail so I walked over while she was loose and started picking them out. No fuss, told one of my workers to bring me a halter to take her somewhere I can remove the burrs from her tail in peace - we're surrounded by 9 other horses who all want their share of attention. The moment she sees that halter all hell broke loose! She tried to avoid us at any cost and when cornered she swung her butt towards us.
She has no reason to have negative association with being caught, she is not a regular work horse, so being caught doesn't neccesarily mean work.
I know whe probably should have had us one of THOSE meatings right there, but I needed to get the other horses checked over, brushed out (shedding out winter coats) and tack put out. She was caught by the workers while I was catching another horse they were having trouble with, brushed out and released. We have never left her alone if she threatened to kick so no reward there.
What can I do to fix this waywards horse?

JustaSkippenJess 09-05-2012 12:59 PM

My mare developed this same habit when she was about 4, she is 9 now. she does it every now and then when i go out to get her. One thing that helped with her doing this was she was trained when lunging or round penning her that when i duck down and say whoa by stepping towards her hip she is to front face me and stop until i approach her. So out in the pen when she decides to swing her butt towards me and take off or kick i position myself so she can see and hear me and duck down and say whoa... her training kicks in and she front faces and doesn't move.

when i do catch her out in her pen, i do a couple exercises before i take her out. I always ask with the lead rope and my body position for her to move her hind end away from me when i step towards it. it has helped a lot because now she knows that she better keep her hips moving when i am coming near them. We have gotten into a couple scuffs that ended with her getting her butt popped with the lead rope a few times, but overall it has really helped with getting her caught with no problems.

natisha 09-05-2012 01:04 PM

Teeth need cleaning?:?

kait18 09-05-2012 01:04 PM

sounds like she got away with it the first time and is now seeing how far she can go.

in all honesty i would start with keeping her in a small pen and going out to catch her. the first sign of her putting her ears back or threatening to kick i would run her off and keep her running. until she gives into you. eventually she will settle and realize the more fuss she puts up the more she has to work.

when you master this is a small field or roundpen then i would turn her out with the others and see if she continues. if she does i would run her off. and continue to give the other horses loving. eventually her being chased away from the herd will show her your in the boss.

either way she is getting away with bad behavior now and it doesn't seem from your post you are doing any punishing. your just trying to slide it under the rug so to speak..

Cherie 09-05-2012 01:59 PM

She needed her butt kicked the very first time. Throw the halter at her; throw a stick at her; heck, I've thrown a bucket of feed at one. Make them pay on the spot for the disrespect. Chase her all over the field with a handfull of rocks. You do what it takes the very first time it happens.

Horses do not think like:

She has no reason to have negative association with being caught, she is not a regular work horse, so being caught doesn't neccesarily mean work.
They think like "Gee, I got by with that. I better try that again!"

peppersgirl 09-05-2012 02:12 PM

I'd put her by herself, because trying to work with a horse like this with a bunch of other horses is a pain in the butt. I do like cherie does, if a horse turns their butt to me, Ill take the lead and wack em with it (or throw whatever is in my hand at them if they are threatening a kick)- make her move her feet, and dont let her stop until she gives the apropriate response of turning to look at you. she just has no respect, and you need to make your boss status known.

JustDressageIt 09-05-2012 02:40 PM


Originally Posted by natisha (Post 1672547)
Teeth need cleaning?:?

Are you asking?
If so - they need to be floated (evened out and sharp edges filed down) on a regular basis, absolutely.
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peppersgirl 09-05-2012 02:53 PM

I know about floating (as im sure most of the ladies on this thread do aswell), but have never heard of a horse getting its teeth cleaned..... is this something they do in other countries because i have never heard of it being done in horses.

Sheepdog 09-05-2012 03:18 PM

Teeth cleaning - the lady dentist used a thing that almost resembles one of those old fashioned glitter ball necklaces that used to be fashion about 10-14 years ago. The ooutside of the teeth, especially the front ones were cleaned. For some reason she can't explain to me Kentucky's teeth get very dirty. Physically dirty. Almost like when you eat one of those black ball sweets and your teeth go black, except hers is greenish colour from the grass she eats. Yes they do need cleaning again, They were floated a tthat time too, of course. But I rather doubt if that's the reason for her bad attitude.
Kentucky was orphaned at the age of a few days and hand-raised so I suppose little respect for humans should have been expected.
Thanks for all the answers ladies, I guess I knew the answer, but sometimes you need it spelled out to realise htat's what you need to do. Just one more quick question, She was extensively trained at the lunge for a showing career as a yearling, how might that affect her when I put her in a round pen to teach her her lessons? Might she think we're doing lunging and just run in a circle vs "joining up" giving in and submitting?

BarrelracingArabian 09-05-2012 03:32 PM

I have never heard of cleaning a horses teeth haha but alright. I agree put her in her place.
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