She turns on me! Help!
so i have recently (five months ago) got a 8yo QH mare from a man that used to beat her. she used to hate ppl now she is the first one at the gate, she used to buck and kick now she docile as can be.she was MORTIFIED to trailer now she jumps in without hesitation but when i lunge her she keeps her head turned away from me, and when i tell her whoa she puts her but to me instead of squaring up! i have tried join up but she wont even hint that she is giving into it. i tried for an hour, no ear lock, no licking or chewing, no head turned in. WHAT DO I DO!:-(
Join up is going to take longer for someone who is not so in tume with a horses behavior/langauge. I really have no other advice, except don't expect join up to work in an hour, or any specified time period really. And you said this was when you were lunging, were you trying join up while lunging or loose in a round pen?
Definatly do join up in a round pen or something with no lead attached if you can. Keep your shoulders square and keep constant eye contact to keep pressure on her and keep her moving. This is important. You can use a rope or lunge whip to swing at her to keep her going but don't hit her with it. Try not to stop till you see her head down and licking and chewing. Usually this can be done in 30 minutes or less but all horses are different. Then you can take the pressure off of her by going passive and rounding your shoulders and averting your eyes. This will make her comfortable and that is her reward - horses seek comfort and will do almost anything to achieve it. She then should be happy to join up with you and lunging should be much easier.
When she puts her butt in on you is it because she is purposely being aggressive or disrespectful? or is it because she is scared (not frightened out of her mind, but a little unsure)?
If she is disrespecting you, then you need to establish yourself as heard leader by doing groundwork and getting her to move her feet where you want her to and making sure she respects your space.
If she is scared, then you need to convince her to trust you and know you aren't going to hurt her and you are on her side. You can do this by slowly and gradually desensitizing her. Start by gently lobing the lead rope over her back and then all over her body in a rythmical way until she relaxes. Then you can introduce her to other things like a plastic bag on a stick. This way she will become more sure of herself, less scared, and will trust you more.
I know you said she hated humans, but I wasn't sure whether she was just scared or disrespectful. If you could give me more details I'd be glad to help. feel free to PM me
Don't tug if she's keeping her head forward or tipping her nose toward you.
Don't keep pressure on the lead, this gives her something to pull against.
If she is really pulling against you, though....forget about the tugs and just take out the slack in the line and tell her hip to move away (back feet cross and the hip moves away)....when the hip moves away, the head comes toward you.....when that happens, then let her stand for a moment, and send her out again. Repeat til she's not pulling on you anymore. This is hip control. It's what you're missing.
When you tell her "whoa" don't give her the chance to turn her butt to you....instead....say "whoa" AND take the slack out of the line and look at her hip....you're putting pressure on the hip to move away from you and when she does this and ends up stopped and facing you, this is where you put the release.
Repeat this way of telling her "whoa" with this hip away cue....until she does it on her own (when you say whoa, she does it)
You don't have real control of the HIP and this is the key to all of that stuff.
Send her out on a lead only a half circle and stop her ("whoa" and HIP away: back feet cross, and the hip moves away and she is stopped and facing you).....change directions....repeat...
The more hips away you do, the faster and easier she'll get the idea:
She's to face you and her butt is to stay out of your face = this will lead to the "join up"
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