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InsaneDino 10-29-2012 07:10 PM

Mares: The dreaded ear pinning?
Sooo, is it just me, or do mares seem to just hate being told what to do?
I ask my mare to trot and she pins her ears back. However, she does start trotting, so I don't think it's a total defiance issue.

Note: she pins her ears when asked to trot both on the ground and under saddle. However, out in the field or when she is free lunging or free jumping, her ears are pricked and listening to me.

The pinning of her ears isn't accompanied by any head tossing, snapping, pulling, etc.

One thing that I seem to notice is that if we're trotting fast and/or towards something of interest to her (other horses, paddock, new object) her ears are up. I don't think they would be up still even if she was in pain from just trotting. When she is asked to slow down or remembers who is asking her to trot, she pins her ears again.

1. Is this just a mare thing? Does she just feel like saying "I don't want you to tell me what to do, but I'll do it anyway with this grumpy look on my face"?

2. Is she trying to be boss over me when I'm holding her reins or leadrope, but not when she has nothing restraining her?

3. Maybe she doesn't like trotting, even if I have her go over jumps and such?

Any advice, guys? It's nothing serious, since she still goes ahead and does what I ask, but I don't want there to be something I'm missing.

I just don't get that she only does this when she has a leadrope or reins attached to her. /:

Endiku 10-29-2012 07:30 PM

I wouldn't rule out pain and would personally get a chiro out, if possible. Sometimes horses are weird like that and its hard to really tell if they're in pain or not.

It does seem to be a 'mare' thing though, I have one who's permanent expression is cranky. My rule for her though is that she can make whatever kind of crabby face that she wants as long as she doesn't act on it. If she wants to be a sourpuss, I'm not going to stop her. I'm not going to tolerate any stupid behavior though.

InsaneDino 10-29-2012 07:46 PM

I don't know any chiros nearby, so that would be an awful expense to have somebody travel here if there isn't anything wrong. That's why I want to check more with people on here if they experience something similar or feel it isn't something to worry about.

I've worked with her back some to feel for pressure points before and after rides, after she's been broncing in the field, etc. and she doesn't seem like her back is sore. However, I know I'm ignorant compared to a good chiro, so I won't completely rule out pain.

Some more added notes that I just thought of:
I've been riding her bareback with her turnout blanket on (just walk and a little trot) and she doesn't pin her ears. With the blanket on her, it's less strong of a leg cue to get her to trot (granted, she is already sensitive to touch on her sides... brush of my leg = GO!).

Could it be the cue to get her to trot when I'm riding her that she doesn't like?

And as far as leading her at the trot goes, could it be the way I'm leading her? When I run in front of her (not like... in FRONT of her, but farther ahead of her) she seems fine. When I try to get her to trot when I'm running along side her, she pins her ears. This seems like a dominance issue here. She is the lead mare in every field she's been in...?

corgi 10-29-2012 07:50 PM

My mare is the Queen of ear pinning. She does it all the time. I call it her "b@&$hy" mare face. She does it anytime I give a different command. But they don't stay pinned.

Muppetgirl 10-29-2012 07:56 PM

Haha sounds like your describing one of the mares at the barn! When I'm in cleaning her stall and ask her to move away from her hay for a minute while I move it and clean around it she gets the ugliest look on her face! As soon as the hay is relinquished she goes back to normal.....some mares are like this, some are not!

I certainly wouldn't rule out pain....check your saddle fit too:-)

InsaneDino 10-29-2012 07:59 PM

I guess it seems to be a mare thing...
haha and she does seem to perk her ears back up after she's trotting for a while. Maybe she figures she's not going to get her way?

And I'm not too worried about the saddle fit.
1.) Her sweatmarks are even, she moves out fine under it, and her back isn't sore after riding.
2.) I tried multiple saddles on her to get the best fitting size
3.) She does this even when she's bareback or on the ground without tack on.

I know that pain is probably the general rule to post on every thread about cranky horses though.
Bad fitting tack can definitely be a pain both for the horse and the rider (specifically his/her wallet). D': :roll:

Endiku 10-29-2012 07:59 PM

Could it be that her saddle doesn't fit well?

JustaSkippenJess 10-29-2012 08:00 PM

haha sounds like my mare... you look at her ears are pinned, touch her ears are pinned, etc. she has just always pinned her ears. she is adjusted on a regular basis and it isn't a pain thing it is just her personality. She never tries to kick or bite when she pins her ears. the older she gets the more lovey she wants to get thought.

InsaneDino 10-29-2012 08:12 PM

Endiku- I'm pretty sure it isn't her saddle fit. I maybe ride her in a saddle 1/5 of the rides. I usually ride her bareback or with her turnout blanket on. Even with her saddle on while free lunging her, she is fine. Every test I've done, every opinion I've had from other riders, and everything I've researched seems to be that the saddle fits her fine.

I don't mean to sound like a cocky, know-it-all, because I know I'm not an expert saddle fitter, but I just don't see how the saddle fit could play into her trotting with her ears pinned while being led without any tack on.

JSJ- haha! I can't wait until she ages then. Maybe, just maybe, she will lose the mare'tude. c;

Saddlebag 10-29-2012 08:23 PM

If her ears are flat against her neck then she's pinning her ears. If they are turned back then she's paying attention to you.

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