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Seahorseys 11-16-2009 08:54 PM

Mare suddenly won't come out of stall
 
My mare has always been sociable and normally greets me at the gate whenever I call her. Even when she's out to pasture in the middle of the day, she responds to her name. Frida is in training, and we haven't had our first ride yet. Normally, when I put her in her stall to eat at night, she'll finish up and then I'll take her out again to groom her. Lately, because of the time change, I'll put her in her stall to eat some hay and then take her out after about 10 minutes to do some lunge work. Since I've started doing that, she now won't come to face me in the stall, ignores me, eating hay, and throws her head up/turns hindquarters when I try to put the halter on. She does this no other time than at night. She also makes this weird whinny like she does when shes out flirting with geldings. So how do you deal with them not coming out of their stall? I presumed that you should train your horse to come to you, and to avoid going in the stall with them as much as you can.

justsambam08 11-16-2009 09:12 PM

My gelding had a similar problem (minus the flirting), he would completely ignore me and just continue eating his hay, and when I approached him he would pin his ears and face away from me. What he was doing/what it sounds like she was doing is a combination of being food aggressive and being disrespectful. Unfortunately both are going to require some in-stall work for her to improve.

I went out and bought a crop, and every time he went to put his head down to eat his hay, I'd smack my boot or smack the ground near the hay with it. Once he picked his head up, I'd hold the crop out to prevent him from putting his head down. Basically I made it so that he could either stand there looking at me all day, or he could put his nose in the halter, and then I'd let him grab one last bite before leaving the stall. If you don't want to use a crop, use your foot and your body language and a lead rope, similar to what you would do during free lunging to say "this is MY hay" or "this is MY grain" and that they can't eat it and she certainly can't turn her butt to you.

Spirithorse 11-16-2009 10:28 PM

This is a dominance issue. She's basically saying, it sounds like, "No, I don't wanna!" Even though this is a dominance issue, the worst thing you could do is go in, guns blazing, and smack her just for the sake of "showing her who is boss." She won't respond to that.

So, what you really need to do is make her more curious about you. Open her stall door (have a lead rope with you) and stand just outside the door. If she ignores you, crouch down and very.....very.....very....slowly, inch toward her hind end (but stay out of the kick zone!) and when you can, take the lead rope and flick her on the gaskin, under the flank, under the belly, etc....you don't want to hurt her or cause pain, but you do want to irritate her....enough that she looks at you like "WHAT do you want??" You'll have to use enough umph to cause an effect. When she looks at you, stand up, turn away and walk to the door. As soon as she looks away, crouch down again and repeat the process. The reason you go slow is because you want everything about you to be intense.....if someone approaches you quickly, it's kind of predictable, but if someone is slow and seemingly sneeky, you don't know what's coming and you want to keep your eye on them...same with a horse (a confident, dominant one). You want to get her curious about you so that she will offer to come over to you...then you can put the halter on. And make sure when you lunge her that you make things fun and interesting, not just boring circles.

kevinshorses 11-16-2009 11:06 PM

Why so you feed her then take her out of the stall? Why not wait untill you're done with her then feed her? Don't make issues where there doesn't need to be any. We all have a laundry list of things that we can improve on our horses without creating unneccisary ones.

flamingauburnmustang 11-17-2009 07:31 AM

How long has this behaviour been going on for? I think it may be with her being in heat that is causing the moodiness, or it could be the change in the way you are training her that is making her moody and difficult.

I think maybe don't have a set routine with her. Some days go to the stable, give her hay and then take her out for a nice relaxing groom or run in the field. Make her day unpredictable, so she can't guess "Oh no, it's time for training". Instead add more interesting things, and if you can try and change the feeding times. Maybe every now and then enter the stable with a treat, give it to her and go away. Work in the stable with grooming or even just sit there and read a book or something, so she can see that this isn't entirely her own place. It also belongs to you.

That's just a few things I can think of. Let us know how it goes with her. :smile:

bubblegum 11-17-2009 07:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justsambam08 (Post 463530)
My gelding had a similar problem (minus the flirting), he would completely ignore me and just continue eating his hay, and when I approached him he would pin his ears and face away from me. What he was doing/what it sounds like she was doing is a combination of being food aggressive and being disrespectful. Unfortunately both are going to require some in-stall work for her to improve.

I went out and bought a crop, and every time he went to put his head down to eat his hay, I'd smack my boot or smack the ground near the hay with it. Once he picked his head up, I'd hold the crop out to prevent him from putting his head down. Basically I made it so that he could either stand there looking at me all day, or he could put his nose in the halter, and then I'd let him grab one last bite before leaving the stall. If you don't want to use a crop, use your foot and your body language and a lead rope, similar to what you would do during free lunging to say "this is MY hay" or "this is MY grain" and that they can't eat it and she certainly can't turn her butt to you.


i tried to do this with my foals and i got a bucking frenzie for about 5 mins before he got the picture the hay was mine, now i do it every day to ensure im boss. it does work well

waterbuggies 11-17-2009 09:24 AM

Change your routine, she knows whats coming and don't want to leave her hay to go work. (I'm the same way, I don't want to leave my supper to go work out) Feed her after your done for the day that way she doesn't have to hurry or leave any feed.

SavvyHearts 11-17-2009 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spirithorse (Post 463618)
This is a dominance issue. She's basically saying, it sounds like, "No, I don't wanna!" Even though this is a dominance issue, the worst thing you could do is go in, guns blazing, and smack her just for the sake of "showing her who is boss." She won't respond to that.

So, what you really need to do is make her more curious about you. Open her stall door (have a lead rope with you) and stand just outside the door. If she ignores you, crouch down and very.....very.....very....slowly, inch toward her hind end (but stay out of the kick zone!) and when you can, take the lead rope and flick her on the gaskin, under the flank, under the belly, etc....you don't want to hurt her or cause pain, but you do want to irritate her....enough that she looks at you like "WHAT do you want??" You'll have to use enough umph to cause an effect. When she looks at you, stand up, turn away and walk to the door. As soon as she looks away, crouch down again and repeat the process. The reason you go slow is because you want everything about you to be intense.....if someone approaches you quickly, it's kind of predictable, but if someone is slow and seemingly sneeky, you don't know what's coming and you want to keep your eye on them...same with a horse (a confident, dominant one). You want to get her curious about you so that she will offer to come over to you...then you can put the halter on. And make sure when you lunge her that you make things fun and interesting, not just boring circles.


Agreed
Also if all you do is come at that time to take her out and lunge her, she is associating you and you being there at that time trying to take her out, to being worked. At that time, you are nothing more than a work monster.
Have you tried just sitting with her in the stall or sitting by the stall and not asking her to do anything?

justsambam08 11-17-2009 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SavvyHearts (Post 464143)
Agreed
Also if all you do is come at that time to take her out and lunge her, she is associating you and you being there at that time trying to take her out, to being worked. At that time, you are nothing more than a work monster.
Have you tried just sitting with her in the stall or sitting by the stall and not asking her to do anything?

Since her problem seems to be a dominance issue/food aggression putting herself in a confined space with the mare wouldn't be a smart idea. If she wanted to do that, it would be better to move her to a round pen where she has plenty of space to evade being kicked or bitten as well as push the mare away if she gets too space-aggressive.

kevinshorses 11-17-2009 02:13 PM

The horse wouldn't have a problem if she would feed it after she had worked it. Imagine if I took you to dinner and you ordered your verty favorite food. After three bites I said " come on lets go clean stalls". The first time you might not get too aggravated but the second time on you would be relectent to leave your delicious meal and resent soing the work. If I ask you to clean stalls then took you to dinner you would be much happier with the whole process. Why even worry about this problem when you can eliminate it with zero effort?


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