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babyruth1984 12-16-2008 11:11 PM

stubborn mare? or scared rider?
I just bought my first horse two months ago from a trail riding facility. I was told that the other horses picked on her and would not let her eat any hay. They said they didn't use her too much because she walked slowly. I rode her and she was a dream! I put down a deposit on her and was going to pay her off about a month after that. I wasn't able to get back up there again until I paid her off and when I did I could see her ribs. I had her moved to a pasture that the owner of the trail facility owned for about a month, then had her moved to a boarding facility. The past two weekends we went on group trail rides and each time something happened. The first time she did great until we reached a big mud hole, then she stopped and refused to go on. Everytime I would kick her to go she'd just turn to look at me. Someone tried to pony her across, but she refused to move. So I got down to try and pony her across, didn't work. Reins slipped and she walked off. She stopped a ways off in the woods and let me catch her and lead her back. Then me and another guy had to pull her across the mud while another whirled a whip behind her. After getting across she was fine. Then sunday we went on another ride and this time it was any type of water crossing, whether it was little or small. The first one she stopped at and refused to go. I would kick her to get her to go, but she'd turn to look at me. Then she started kicking when I kicked her or slapped her butt. Then she did a little buck. After 10 minutes of this I got off and tried swishing the whip around her butt, didn't work. Then the barn owner came back to tap her on the butt with the whip. Kyanne started bucking and kicking and then tried getting to the BO. Luckily there was a tree to take the blow. I had to go across the creek to pull her across. Then another time she stopped and refused to go on. When I kicked her she'd kick her rear leg. She started fighting me and kept trying to turn around to go the other way. I was shaking so bad so I got down (which I realize now I should not have done). Another guy tried ponying her across the water but she would not go, ended up breaking the bridal. I had to walk across the creek to ride with a friend. Once I was across the creek Kyanne came across just fine. The guy that walked her across lent me his bridal and road his horse in her halter. We had to cross one more really small creek. It was litterally one step on the side of the decline then one step up, but she still wouldn't go. Stupid me got off of her when she started kicking, but then I got right back on. She actually turned around to try and walk away, luckily I was able to get control of her and led her back to the "creek". Someone pulled her across again, getting slammed into the tree. The barn owner then said that we needed to go back over it because she learned a trick and if we didn't fix it that she would only be worse next time we go riding. So we followed the BO back through the creek and then back again. We then took a short cut through the woods to more creeks to try and undo what was done. We went through two creeks and she went no problem. It's something I don't get. What was I doing wrong? Last time she was fine with the creeks, the only problem was the mud hole. This time she did fine with the mudhole. And the last two creeks she did fine on. It was muddy out, but to make her act like that? What should I have done differently? Any advice is very much apprecaited.

booner 12-18-2008 03:20 PM

Boy I sure hope you dont give up on her.It sounds like someone let her get her way too many times. And shes never overcome her fears.
Horses are generally afraid of water(they cant tell how deep it is-scary business)Our two geldings were very afraid too, we go thru huge mud holes to get out to the woods and it takes patients and persistance.
We were happy if they got thru even on the edge then we made them walk thru them right thru the middle.We talked calmly and they soon trusted us.Everytime we go thru them they act uneasy but we just slow them down and take our time.Rushing thru any spooky situation is never good, someone will get hurt.She will come to respect you and trust you.
As far as her crossing some easily and some not, maybe it was a test, or familiarity or she just didnt feel like fighting.
The BO was right to take her back and forth to teach her nothing will hurt her and that you are more stubborn than she.LOL
Im a new rider again and learning all kinds of things.If you really saw something in this horse, keep with her and learn together.Its just so rewarding.Above all be safe.

NorthernMama 12-18-2008 09:52 PM

Ya, horses aren't always consistent. I would take any little opportunity to walk her through small/shallow/even water crossings... work up her confidence in you and herself with the little things. Water is a scarey thing to most horses. If I read your post correctly, she is better if you lead her through rather than ride her. My younger mare is the same way... more confident with me on the ground. You can use this to work her through water obstacles. Start and stay on the ground. Walk her through the water -- straight through, zigzag and stop in the middle.

Once that's not an issue, mount and work on it. Usually the problem horse is better if there are more horses that have already gone through the mud/water. If she is good in large groups you can try placing yourselves in the middle of several other horses that are good to go through the obstacle. Hopefully by the time she figures out she's in the scarey water, she'll already be mostly through it! If she's not reliable and calm in large groups, go in smaller groups and let everyone else go through. She can't join up until she crosses the water... let the others get out of sight even, but make sure someone else will hang around the corner in case you get into trouble. Keep at it... My older mare wouldn't go through water / mud on her own without a ka-nipchen fit until I took her out with just a couple of others... now she's a swamp donkey!

babyruth1984 12-22-2008 01:15 PM

She won't go if she's being ponied, she is very stubborn. The BO wants to take her out on the trails and work with her more without me there. I talked to the BM of the place I bought her from and he says that she's never had a problem crossing water before. So I really don't know, i'm trusting inthe BO and the other more experienced people. I'm just really glad that I wore a helmet that time, I bought my own. Never going riding without one again.

x3ethx 12-22-2008 04:27 PM

omg BabyRuth1984 lol is ur mare chestnut?

mine is and she is exactly the same as urz but she will walk thru mud and water :D how u get on good with her... and it is probably ur confidence becuz ii never used to have confidence and my horse did tht but as soon as i started beliving in her she soon stopped :D

good luck x

babyruth1984 12-22-2008 09:22 PM


Originally Posted by x3ethx (Post 215750)
omg BabyRuth1984 lol is ur mare chestnut?

mine is and she is exactly the same as urz but she will walk thru mud and water :D how u get on good with her... and it is probably ur confidence becuz ii never used to have confidence and my horse did tht but as soon as i started beliving in her she soon stopped :D

good luck x

She's a sorrel. I thought we were getting along good until our last trail ride. I'm having to try different bits with her though. I was told she was trained to use a hack, but she seemed confused by it. I tried the tom thumb because the trail place said that's what they always rode her in, that didn't work. Now i'm trying a D RING with rollers. we'll see.

NorthernMama 12-22-2008 10:15 PM


Originally Posted by babyruth1984 (Post 215654)
She won't go if she's being ponied, she is very stubborn.

I wasn't suggesting ponying her -- just going with other horses. But sounds like you have some hands-on help anyway. Good luck!

babyruth1984 12-22-2008 10:34 PM


Originally Posted by northernmama (Post 215940)
I wasn't suggesting ponying her -- just going with other horses. But sounds like you have some hands-on help anyway. Good luck!

I won't go out on the trails without anyone else there. I would have been up a creek without a paddle if I was by myself,lol. But thankyou, I'm going to need it.

shona&Fizzi 12-24-2008 04:01 PM

i was goin to say if she is scared of water and mud then its probly not the best idea to whip her. but if you went back to the place you got her from and they say shes been fine it must be confidence. You have to remember for all your horse knows that mud or water you want her to go through is a bottom pit therefore you both (horse and rider) need confidence and trust.

Shes a mare she bound to be stubborn at some point :lol:

My friend just bought a new horse and she can't make him canter behind other horses or next to them but everyone else that we ride with can so its a confidence issuse for her.

Just keep working at it:D getting more and more confident. if you or your horse tenses up around the mud/water you could just take her for a walk on your own and talking to her and stuff, and then when your relaxed take her back to the mud/water.

probly the advice i just put isnt the best. Just an idea :L

Good luck x

Dumas'_Grrrl 12-30-2008 10:06 PM

Sounds like you have a great BO... I'd go ahead and let the BO work with her and see what happens... Like was already said, horses don't always do anything.

Good Luck and congrats on her.

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