Odd behaviour in 2 year old filly
Can anyone help me with a baffling problem I have with my 2 year old Quarter Horse filly Rosie?
Background: I live in the UK, I'm in my fifties, have been around horses for many years. I currently own 3 mares - two of them in their teens and this 2 year old (currently standing at 14.2hh), who I bred from one of the mares. During the day they are turned out together on grass and at night they are stabled. In the pasture Rosie is at the bottom of the pecking order. Her mother is the dominant mare.
I weened Rosie slowly when she was about 8 months old and her progress has been going really well. I have had a couple of youngsters before, so know they can be unpredictable at times, so whenever I have encountered a problem, I work round it or ask advice from a respected trainer that I know. She leads beautifully, trailer loads, stands for the farrier and vet and is generally the model of good behaviour. She has been away a couple of times for halter training and recently went to her first show, behaving perfectly the whole time. I was able to move about her stable with no problems.
Problem: A few months ago she began behaving differently in her stable (this is before she went away for the first time). I opened the door and went to put her head collar on and she slowly turned round and backed up, pushing me into a corner and pinning me there. She wasn't aggressive and didn't kick, just kept me there! If I moved, she moved with me. I eventually managed to slip out, but the incident unnerved me. She tried it again next day and it only happens in the mornings when I go to get her out. Next time I tried going in and pushing her butt round before she could do it. This worked for a while, then she got wise to it and was ready for me, pinning her ears back and turning before I can open the door. I now go with a long lead rope, throw it round her neck and once I do that she 'gives in', comes to me and is back to her normal self.
I like to try and think round a problem and work out why a horse is doing something, so that I can try and find a solution, but this one has got me, and those I have asked, stumped! I think she is trying to dominate me (she is growing up and hormones are kicking in and I guess she is challenging me) but how do I tackle the problem safely in a small confined space? As I said, she only ever does this in the stable and once I have her on the lead rope she becomes a different horse - willing and obedient.
Sorry to write so much, but I am baffled :cry: Has anyone come across this before? Can anyone suggest anything? I want to sort it out before it becomes a bigger issue.
She is absolutely showing you disrespect, and you need to do what the alpha mare would do get after her and let her know in no uncertain terms is turning her butt to you acceptable. By putting the rope around her neck your keeping her two eyes on you so at least she cannot kick you. I would not enter the stall when her butt was turned to me. I would carry a training stick and put pressure on her until she gave me two eyes. You can do it from the door so she cannot pin you against a wall, when she turns her butt to you whack her and tell her that is not the right answer. Be safe.
You need to be working in all areas of handling this horse to make sure you are keeping respect too.
Leading, grooming, tacking. Rarely does only one area, in this case stall behavior, come without others included.
I would also try working on the problem outside of the stall since you are worried about the tight space. Make sure she has eyes on you whenever you handle her and just get her used to being moved around by you. That way when you ask her to move her butt in the stall, you are just enforcing what has already been taught.
My suggestion would be to look up information on round pen training, it's a great way to earn respect. JMO
Thanks guys for all your help on this. I am going to try your suggestions and I'll let you know how get on.
my mare was ill/injured for a long time. i had to give shots (antibiotics) everyday for a week. she got downright nasty about the shots. 5 a day, who wouldnt! but, the last day, she turned her butt to me in the stall and was acting aggressively. i took the halter/leadrope i had wrapped up in my hand and i wailed her butt with it. she jumped forward, turned around and snorted with ears perked right at me. after that, i haltered her, dealt with the shots and then let her go.
she has never turned her butt at me since in a stall.
all my horses come up to me when i am unlatching their doors and walking in. noone turns their butt at me, i wont allow it. 3 of my horses ive had since they were babies (over 10 years) and then i have a 5 month old too. ive never had a problem with them in a stall. my 6 year old (that i bought at 5) is the only one i had an issue with.
if the pressure on her butt to move her over aggrivates her or she doesnt listen to it. take a longer whip (dressage or lunge) and whack her butt with it. this is dangerous and she needs to be put in her place now before her hooves start flying at you.
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I agree with Gssw and CLaPorte, take a whip with you and make her move her butt away from you.
Another thing to consider, do you ever scratch her butt or tail dock? If so, you might want to stop. If not, have you checked her udder? It might be needing cleaned and she's looking to scratch on you.
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