Buddy Sour Mare
I'm having some issues with my 17 year old TB mare, she is VERY buddy sour.
I bought her in July of this year and it had been 3 years since she was with other horses. Previous to those 3 years she had been with others. The barn I moved her to had a pony and a goat and she bonded well with the pony and got a little stressed when she couldn't see him but I could have her in the barn without him and she was fine. When the rest of the horses came back to the barn after being on pasture all summer the whole issue started again however it was WORSE and she would be freaking out if she was in the barn without them. In her stall she would pace and cry out and in cross ties she would be pawing and stamping and trotting around ect. It got to the point where it was getting dangerous and I couldn't even tack her up in the barn and she was in heat off and on at this time as well. She was particularly bad if she couldn't see one of the geldings who was an ex stud. If the others were in the barn she behaved perfectly. When I was working her she would be fine once she got into it and focused on me but she could also see the others from the arena. Anyways I have her moved to another barn now with 2 other mares and she is really bad again. I took her out of her paddock to lunge today and she was freaking out because she was away from them even though she could see the others. Also if one of the mares is in the barn with her and the other isn't she is still very upset. During the lunging session the other mares went inside and she was calling out and upset but at the end of the session she had calmed down but was still anxious to get inside. Its quite frustrating...
Whats the best way to deal with this situation? Has anyone been through a similar situation before?
It is very common. We usually leave a horse home alone while the others go to a show. Some people have asked, why don't you take that one? Because he's training, but you just left him, yep. He's training to be alone! Same goes on the property, catch two, leave one to be on its own. They'll get over it. It won't be fun but well worth it.
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So in other words just let her get upset and work it out?
Yeah pretty much. A good hitching post or rail is a great training tool. Also lounging as ther best buddies are ridding off seems to help. They have to get over the other horses and listen to you.
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also when i am leading her away she will try and trot around me in circles.... any tips for preventing the circling??
Horses are herd animals, so to demand that the horse stop being one is ineffective & unkind. (Sure, the horse'll eventually quit pacing & screaming when he's left alone, but he's only tolerating his situation rather than enjoying it.)
You want to REPLACE your horse's buddy with yourself, as his buddy (the leader buddy).
All of the ways that you become the predictable & respected leader is the whole book of horsemanship, as it were; hard to try & write that book on here.
You can stop the right-brain (fearful) circling around you by shaking the rope up & down (not jerking it on her face, but a shake which just causes commotion/demands attention to you.) Don't let her turn you around & around with her, interrupt the pattern with your feet still.
2 things in life, that I absolutely can not stand 1, a horse with no manners/respect. 2, a buddy sour horse.
It can get to a point where it is dangerous, for you, and the horse.
So she doesn't lead out? How often do you catch her?
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I've had this problem with one or two horses in the past. All I can say is INSIST they listen to you. Back them up - it gives them something to think about, make whatever you're doing interesting so they have to pay attention - when lunging change rein often, put poles down, get her mind working, change paces, move.
I think maybe she is just worried she won't get to go back to her herd. Natural reaction but what we are doing with them is more important (imo)
When she circles around you when leading...good luck trying to pull her to a stop...make her move! I get very offended when a horse decides to walk in front of me. For one they are a heck of a lot bigger and for another, if she's looking for her buddies, she's not going to notice your tootsies! What I do is say, fine, you want to move? Move. I make it into something I want her to do. Make her go around and around until YOU want her to stop. She'll get board with going around in a little circle and try to stop but you keep her moving one or two more circles and YOU make her stop. Then carry on as though nothing happened. If she tries again, make her work again. Going in circles is not fun and she'll soon get over herself.
This has worked for me and I hope you find out how to push your girl's buttons soon enough :)
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