Horse Herd Bound Issue- Ideas?
I have a 14 year old, 16hh Chestnut Thoroughbred mare (just so you can get a picture in your mind) who is extremely herd bound.
Currently she is pastured with a 9 year old mare and that mares 5 month old filly. Sassy, the TB is top horse in any pasture. We cannot separate her from the others.
Last weekend my mom asked if I wanted to go for a ride/walk. She wanted to walk as she doesn't ride horse, and I rode. The first about 1/4 of a mile she walked fine. She suddenly stopped, so I gave a firm nudge forward, she just stood there. So I gave her another and she started backing up. My mom had a lead with so I asked her to lead her, she walked fine again and my mom eventually took the lead off so I reasurred Sassy she was fine and petted her, worked for a while. Then she stopped again, and did the backing up. On our way home she crow hopped the entire time because I wouldn't let her even trot.
The reason I need to ride down this road is about 1.5 miles away from my house there is a stable and I'm going to be taking lessons there. There is no point in trailering a horse 1.5 miles, it would be a nice walk warm-up even though I do live in Minnesota. She had trailer issues when we got her, I fixed them and she loaded fine but we hadn't trailered her in over a year so she kind of forgot. The last time we loaded her it took about 15 mins (not force), but it took 5 of us at the vets to get her in. I'm going to be working on trailering next week. So I kind of want to leave the trailer option out of the idea.
She has a lot of groundwork on her. Our best riding horse except for this issue. She moves mostly off leg. We believe she was in race horse training but she never raced. She just had her teeth done, chiropractic work, vet exam, saddle fitting, hooves trimmed, etc... done a few weeks ago.
She also always wants to ride in the field, why I have no clue. I ride her on the shoulder/frozen grass part. She would be over belly deep getting into the field and the grounding is horrible in the ditch to get to the field. She isn't ouchy on the road, she just doesn't want to leave her buddies. She has always been like this except when we have had her pastured alone, but at the moment we can't do that.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
First off your avatar picture kind of alarms me...
But on topic, work her next to her friends and at home. Work her til she's sweaty, bending, flexing, circles, figure 8s and then give her a loose rein facing away from the others and walk off. Let her relax only when she is away from them.
Everytime she resists, take her back and work her. Don't get off her next to them either, get off elsewhere and walk her back. Don't unsaddle her there, unsaddle her away from them and carry your tack. Make nothing pleasant happen there when she is being used by you. Make her happy, relaxed place out and away from them.
Some days you may only get ten feet away and that's fine. Build on that in each session, to fifteen feet, thirty feet, just don't give up. It may be a long process. And when you get back from a ride, work her hard again as soon as she gets back. She won't want to hurry home if she gets worked there.
How does my picture alarm you?
How about when she balks up, stripe her butt or stick her with an iron. There's no excuse for a herd bound horse, and you need to let her know that..
Yes Mam!. ^^^ Over and under her butt with a heavy pair of harness leather reins. This is more than herd bound. This is barn sour and spoiled. Rearing will be coming soon if she is doing this now. Warming up her butt is a one day cure. It makes leaving look really good to one.
If a herd boss wanted another horse to leave the herd, would it use lengthy psychology lessons or would it take a hunk out of the offender's a$$? I'm betting that the herd boss would have them on the run before the count of 3.
Thank You So much!!
We went for a walk today for about a 1/4 of the way to the stable. I just grabbed a halter and lead and lead her. She walked down there fine just a bit hyper. So a bit of a improvement. Now just under saddle.
On the backing issue I see a lot of riders that for many reasons their horse will stop and not walk forward, the rider trys this or that to get the horse moving bu the only direction the horse will go is backwards. I few ideas (just ideas seeing as I have never seen you ride)
When your horse won't go farward, make sure your nerves are getting the best of you and you reins are getting tight.
The other thing that your nerves will do is cause you to lean forward, your horse don't want to go forward you lean forward and you horse will back almost every time. So when you horse want go forward, keep your weight in the saddle. If they won't go forward try sideways. pull her head one way to get her feet moving, have someone lead them a short ways is not a bad idea but I would say thats a last resort. Your getting good advice on dealing with your mean problem. One thing I would say is herd bound issues can be hard to fix. But not impossible by any means,
Remember this when the horse you are riding is getting "herd bound" and starts trying to "go home" stay with it but I assume you are a younger rider I would so don't push really hard this can trun into a good size fight if you try to ride them through this. If you can could take the horse some where the seperation will break the herdness also seperating them for large parts of the day everyday will do some good also. Think of it like weaning, you are weaning the two horses from each other.
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