The 3-4 months of training I put into ST are GONE, not to mention her deadbroke personality. I have never had her act this horrid, it seems as though she's a completely different horse.
I'm going to have to go completely back to basics..as in, ground manner basics. She tried to drag me around the field after I managed to wally my ass 2 miles to the end of the pasture (HUGE, I tell ya). She wanted to shove me off the path I was walking on (very muddy and slippery, mind you), tried dragging me, tried taking off three times (in which all I could do was yank her head around and bring her back around me to my shoulder), and she threatened to rear up twice (Without a chain!)!
This is the mare (in season or not) that I would put a 2-yr old on..or even my boyfriend who has not a clue about horses. She fidgeted the whole time I had her in the cross-ties, which she normally stands stock-still for. She refused to stand for me to mount (which she usually did, and even if not, it was never to the extent that it was) and tried to take off as soon as I got on. She wouldn't stand still while I adjusted myself and let BO know that I was up and riding (shouldn't have been an issue, she usually stands like a statue), and she pranced our whole ride with periodically trying to take off. She's never offered to move into a canter on her own from a walk or trot (we only walked).
I'm just extremelly shocked...I (and it doesnt matter since I wasn't paying to lease for 2 months) have a feeling someone else was riding her..someone with extremelly hard hands (she also has a bit sore on her mouth, which I KNOW is not from me), someone who didn't walk her very much, and someone who didn't discipline her for dragging them along. This mare use to rather follow behind my shoulder than beside my shoulder, nevermind trying to plow ahead of me. She was extremely sensitive to the bit (ANY bit, snaffle, 3-piece Reiner, etc), and took a bit of encouragement to get more than a walk or jog out of.
I took this horse out of pasture from all winter/spring (without being touched aside from feed) and didn't have all this nonsense to deal with...I'm not sure if I want to buy her anymore if I'm going to have to retrain her completely if I let her go for two months because I were to get an injury or something..not to mention, I don't want to put another $3-500 into her just to get her back up to par and start showing...
But, after my rant..question is: If she wasn't this bad coming out of pasture for 5-7 months, is it most likely that someone rode her and ruined my 4 months of training as opposed to her just forgetting it after 2 months?
Also..I know for a fact that it was ST I got out of the field and not the new horse that looks similar..BO told me to make sure I got the right one, and I know ST's details more than the only appy in the field, lol.
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This is unusual behaviour for being pulled out of pasture. Usually they are not quite as responsive and may be very bit sensitive but not the behaviour you're experiencing. I does sound like someone else has applied their "skills" with her. I was share leasing a TB that started out with a nice wtc. After a few weeks his behaviour became almost intolerable. It was the other person who was sharing the lease, very heavy handed, just a cruel rider. When the BO learned what was happening he put the run on the guy.
It does sound as if she has been allowed to get away with things and been messed up a bit with her riding. However if you know what you are doing then it should all be sorted within a couple of days handling and riding her. They do not forget!
As for problems when riding her because she wants to go - walking is not the answer. Trot and then trot more and further, get some action into them until they are listening and then walk.
I completely agree with you on the trotting instead of walking part! I wanted to, but the paddock/"arena" has a mini in it now..so I'd rather not put her in there to work with her since she quite literally went after the mini multiple times (she doesn't like her, at all). So, the only place we had to ride aside from walking (a must, no if, ands, or buts) a mile on the road to get to the fallow fields and trails was on a ring with high weeds and possible groundhog holes around BO's fields, which were already replanted and NOT fallow. I had to make sure we didn't come across any groundhog holes and break a leg, so I was hesitant to go much faster than a walk. At the end of her driveway/this track I was on, there's also two pastured horses that the neighbour owns..I've never seen her spook when another horse came up behind her (especially when she can see them), but she took off and hauled ass down the rest of the length of that side of the track before I could get her stopped. I was really surprised, and I was rather annoyed that I had to haul on her mouth to get her to stop as well.
I know I can bring her back to where we were and then continue, but I'm not sure if I should just ask to lease one that I won't have to invest all winter into (I only ride 2-3 days a week, not everyday) before we can even go to a show to practice.
But, this also means I'll have to find a double jointed snaffle with a roller to buy..she definitely doesn't like the jointed snaffle, and I'm not going to keep her in a curb if she wants to be a pig and have to go all the way back to groundwork.
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You said that the BO ran out the last person who was abusive to the horses. Have you asked the BO if someone else has ridden the horse in the last two months? If so, did the BO watch the person ride the horse? I'd talk to the BO about the past two months, see if someone actually has been working the horse, and if the BO has any first hand knowledge on what occurred while that person handled the horse. Or talk to whoever owns the horse and find out the history on the past few months.
Either way, I would definitely talk to the owner of the horse. Even if no one else has ridden her, the owner should know that the horses behavior has changed significantly in the past two months. It could be pain related, or dietary changes, etc. Speaking of diet. I would check on whether the horses diet has changed lately. Even switching from grass hay to alfalfa can sometimes cause a horse to really feel it's oats. Also changes in herd dynamics (new horse) can cause stress for the horse which can create anxiety, tension, and spooky behaviors.
I don't think you can have a diagnosis without knowing the horses history for the past couple of months. It could be a new rider, could be diet, could be the new horse, could be hormonal imbalances (how old is the horse?), could be pain related (slip and fall in the pasture), could be anything at this point since you don't have any context to frame the behaviors with.
Horses do not 'forget' anything. They can certainly have negative experiences change their behavior but they do not forget.
Either an idiot has spoiled her or she has become very herd-bound to other horses in that big pasture -- or a little of both.
When we bring in a horse that has not been ridden in several months or years, we just tie them up and let them stand and settle for a while. We let them digest that they are separated from their herd and we assess what they may need to get them back to their previous level of responsiveness.
One thing we will NOT do is just get on a reactive horse and hope for the best. It just will NOT be a good outcome -- as you have found out. If a horse is upset and reactive, that horse will be tied away from all other horses and that is where it will stay for a good while. This will be repeated the next day or how ever long it takes to get that horse back to being responsive.
If you just went ahead and got on a horse that was acting that reactive and resistant, you set yourself up for failure.
If the horses look that much alike could someone else have been confusing the two?
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Alright..back to her background since I didn't explain it well enough. ST was rescued by Heather during a seizure up in (I believe) Westmoreland county years ago. Heather put weight back on her and took 5-6 years to get her to not bolt away if a man came near her and to be ridden pretty decently, and absolutely amazingly on trails. At Hookstown fair 2011, my dad had died and my mum decided we might be getting me a horse (since he was going to buy me Lucky, but there was no way I would spend $2500 on a ruined barrel horse), Heather overheard me talking to a friend about it and she said that she had ST for sale for $750 because she was downsizing (fine now, she sold her gelded colt and another mare). So, this mare had occasional (like..once every two months) trail ride and was otherwise completely out to pasture. I got on and she was extremely responsive and listened to everything, even though she threw her head a bit (rope hack, I tried to be gentle, lol), was told she's never cantered (hasnt seen her run in the field and never cantered her on the trails), so after we established a turn, stop, an back I had to canter her, lol. Well, we experienced a bit of crowhopping and bucking during that, but she did have a cue for it somehow. But, you have to keep in mind as well that the little fit was probably out of the norm since she was stuck in a stall all week since no one rode her (handwalked for a bit at night). Well, my mum went back on her word so I let Heather know that I couldn't afford her, sadly.
Come to this spring, Lucky was bought by S (CRAZY lady) and ruined. Was told I could use spurs on the trail (but could in the arena), couldn't whack Lucky if she bit or kicked a me (real funny), and was told that I made her headshy (which is BS, because I could do anything around her face and she wouldn't flinch). So, I texted Heather and asked if she'd be willing to let me lease ST. I liked her when I rode her at fair and didn't have an issue with having to pattern her and teach her how to canter and such. After a month, she was turning out beautiful, I put her in a 3-piece Reiner with a copper roller and she loved it and stopped chewing my bit, also very responsive in it, and I started taking her to shows, in which she did amazing, never spooked, but was still herdbound and had the occasional fit (I also don't think she's herdbound now..totally different behaviour). When I left for trade school, I stopped leasing her (I was living 4 hours away, no reason to pay for it), though I rode her twice (came home every 3 weeks) on trails and she was less responsive, but not horrible like this. Fast forward that last month to now, I'm leasing again because I dropped out of college. I'm working off my lease this month and then I'll start paying cash again (just started working yesterday), and Wednesday is when this all transpired. I did my work for her (and thought the pigs were going to kill me, lol) and ventured out onto the giant pasture, where I found all the horses in the very back, about 2 miles out.
And now we're back here.
Core, you're correct aside that I saw and rode her twice in those 2-2 1/2 months I was in WV for school. I believe you're mixing up another poster's post with the abusive rider though, Heather has never dealt with an abusive rider on her farm (I probably would've run em off, haha). But, I do plan on asking her when I see her next (should be soon, I still have to do the rest of her yard). Diet is exactly the same (had to look in the bins to get a treat in case she didn't come, I didn't walk 2 miles for nothing, lol), she seems to be higher on the totem pole than the new mare, from what I saw, and she didn't seem to be in pain anywhere (I actually groom her before I ride, don't just brush saddle/bridle areas and go) either. She's also around 11-12yrs old.
Cherie, I don't believe she's herdbound, because it isn't anything towards the other horses like it was when I first started riding her and she was for sure herdbound. I also didn't just hop right on, she stood tied for about an hour while I finished some other stuff up and we did groundwork until it was acceptable to where she was when I started riding her the first time before I got on. I don't care to hop around on my tippy-toe hanging off the side, so we worked on the ground until she'd stand for mounting. She wasn't spooky or overreactive when I got on. She obviously had some energy, but not anymore than she usually does when we trailer to a show. But then again, I have access to an arena with good footing at a show, where I was stuck with either mud, mini horse distraction, or weeds and groundhog holes then.
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Oooh, I hadn't even thought of that, DA. To me, they look completely different..but then again, the baby that looks identical aside from a smaller star looks completely different as well. There's 3 sorrel mares in there now, ST, Baby Rose, and the new one. I think the new one's a lot lighter and has White on front right as well as hind and a stripe instead of a star and snip with a right hind (like ST does).
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If the horse had a bit sore, then someone has been - at the least - bitting her up. If it wasn't you then you should start with finding out why the bit sores are there...
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