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sheawhittet 07-25-2010 04:17 AM

Need help with my Paso Fino
I bought my first gaited horse a few months ago. I really love her and love it when she gaites. The problem that I am having is she is VERY spookie. While I was riding her at the persons house that I got her from, she wasnt as bad, but now that I have had her for a few months she has been getting worse. :-( I have tried sacking her and using a tarp, but now she has started bucking. I have thought that the saddle I was using didnt fit her so I sold it and actually bought the one from the person I got my Misty from. It seemed to help for a while but she is now back to the same things. Is there a possibility that I am doing something wrong?? Or does someone know a good trainer that has reasonable prices that I could take her to. Any advice would help and would be appreciated. Thanks. :wink:

myhorsemylove101 07-25-2010 05:45 AM

have you asked a vet or someone like that it could be some thing in her head???

ChingazMyBoy 07-25-2010 06:06 AM


Originally Posted by myhorsemylove101 (Post 700557)
have you asked a vet or someone like that it could be some thing in her head???

This seems a bit far fetched.. it may very well be something mentally, like a past experience that has made her spooky or is there something in the area that you are working her in? Desensitize her too lots of things like cones, bags, ect.

FlitterBug 07-25-2010 08:07 AM

From the sounds of it, this has nothing to do with her. Your mare is showing defensive behavior, if its not for a physical reason, then it is mental, its insecurity.

I don't think that she feels you are her leader. By trying to sack her out, your probably made the problem worse. A horse that feels that they are in the leader position that is not really capable of it becomes more defensive, spooky, and when that is ignored or worked through, they resort to bucking and bolting. Sending her to a trainer may help temporarily, but you are the one that needs to make the change or she will revert right back when she comes home.

Paso are very sensitive, and tend to handle a unsteady energy a lot lighter than our stock type horses.

This may sound crazy, but set very firm boundaries for her on the ground and undersaddle. This will give her more security in your abilities. Stay calm with her, and remember to use your energy to change hers. Recognize when she starts to get uneasy, don't stop there, but be aware, that way you can slow things and avoid the blow.

I've seen this plenty of times. It won't stop until you realize that its not her problem and its not something that you can train her out of until she has years of experience behind her. Change yourself and she will change too.

AngelWithoutWings54 07-25-2010 08:16 AM

^ That's not always true though. My horse had some bad experiences in the past with a previous owner, and now he is quite spooky. And very flighty. :) It has nothing to do with me, for the most part, because I am a very confident rider and I know how to get him past things. But there ARE those occasions where it is me and then I don't blame it on him.

Basically my point is, it's not always the rider. Some horses atre just naturally more spooky than others.

dee 07-25-2010 11:00 AM

Shea's little mare did come from an extremely abusive situation. (She's a rescue) She was beaten with a baseball bat - you can see a couple of areas on her head/face where the bones were broken and didn't heal quite right. She has some very serious trust issues and is only recently started letting us around her. Previously, Shea was the only one she tolerated.

Shea can do anything she wants with Mystie on the ground - she only has problems in the saddle. I am thinking we may need to build a round pen and work Mystie in there where she feels a little safer for a while. Do you think that would work?

Shea's mom...

Jacksmama 07-25-2010 12:25 PM

I have experience with a similar situation. My good friend/barn owner got a filly in 3 years ago, a red chocolate RMH that had been blindfolded, saddled, and hit with a cattle prod to get her certified. It took YEARS to get her to calm down and trust me, and more patience than I realized I had,lol. She was unbelievably spooky! She had NO confidence at all. I am sure you have spent a lot of time bonding with your girl, build on that. I did a lot of work on the ground with Brandie, desensitizing to ropes/tarps/blankets/sounds etc.... I didn't punish her for her spooks, just reassured her and slowly worked through it. It's been a very slow process, but the result is a very sweet and willing mare that has unbelievable potential. Last year we took Tri State Show Pleasure Mares, she was up against big time trainers and horses and won.

I would make absolutely certain to eliminate and potential physical concerns(teeth/back), make sure the saddle fits because muscle gain or loss can change saddle fit quite a bit, do lots of groundwork and confidence building with her, and maybe try to work on your confidence if you think it could be contributing. Don't give up though, it may not happen quickly but I am sure perserverance will prevail.

sheawhittet 07-25-2010 02:02 PM

My mom is right, she was abused pretty bad by one of her previous owners (not the people I got her from, but the one before that) The people I got her from put a lot of time and effort into starting her rehabilatation, and I have been continuing with her. I agree that it has been slow going, but I dont want to give up. At first I was the only one that could mess with her, but she has started warming up to the rest of the family...except a few of the kids. She is a good girl on the ground and has good mannors. She is a real push over with the other horses, and it is kinda funny to see the four week old filly push her This mare of mine has done so much for me that I dont want to give up on her...we have a lot of the same issues. I have heard of giving a horse like her some calming supplaments, but am not real sure on them. I dont know much about them. As far as my confidence when I ride her, as long as I am having a good day (I have some anxiety issues myself) then I am fine and can pull her out of most of it, but I need her to be better...and myself

FlitterBug 07-25-2010 04:51 PM

The first post said nothing about abuse, however I stand by my post. I work with a lot of abused, neglected, and feral horses. It doesn't have to be caused by what you are doing, but more caused by what you aren't doing.

You stated that she has been getting worse, and this means that she is currently missing something that was previously there. I realize it is a process that takes a while. I still say that you need to set firm boundaries with her even if she is skittish and this will give her faith in you as the leader.

Some people think that a horse that lacks respect for a human is running them over or showing aggressive behavior. However, that same lack of respect can be shown by a horse that is spooking or showing anxious behavior. Giving a horse the label "well, they were abused" is the worst thing that you can do with them.

If I turned your paso mare out with my herd, she would be given the cold shoulder, they would not even try to interact with her and would actually push her away. They would not try to shelter her and they would not baby her because she had it rough, believe me, most of them came from the same situation.

Remember, your horse has no idea she was abused, she remembers experiences, and she may associate certain actions with people or pain, but she does not sit in the pasture and dwell on her past life.

Look at an abused child. The abused child tends to turn defensive, the best thing for them is not spoiling and giving them what they want, but they do best with love and good, fair leadership. They need to know where the boundaries are because that is where they will begin to find their confidence. Once they are comfortable, those boundaries can be extended.

Horses come with baggage, I am fully aware of that. As the handler, you can let them carry their baggage, show them where to go, and deal with the baggage as it interferes. Or, you can be the leader, carry that baggage for them, and have a horse that trusts you completely to the point where they check with you before they react.

sheawhittet 07-25-2010 08:02 PM

I fully understand what you are saying. The thing is, half the time now I cant even get into saddle fully before she tries to bolt. I have used the one rein stop on her and it worked. I made her stand there untill she relaxed and then tried to let her start walking, and then we started the process all over again. I am gathering that this is something that I need to keep doing with her? Believe me I dont baby her because of her past...I try to help her gain her confadence back. It is funny to see it when she finds something to spook over in the pasture and moms horse makes her settle down. I want to try and ride her tonight since it is relitavely cooler than it has has been in the upper 90s with high humitiy for the last several weeks and I have been afraid of getting her too hot.

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