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bronson3000 10-19-2010 09:14 PM

Mare running/rushing.. issues..
Hi guys!

I bought my mare a few months ago, she is nice and sensitive but very level-headed and calm at the same time (5 year old paint). Before I bought her she was only being ridden maybe once a week or less, so she was quite green and her muscles were not properly developed.

Since then I have been riding her about 3x a week, with a LOT of improvement and she was still happily working.

I recently moved her to a better facility where she is much happier and gets to walk/run around all day at will, I find she has much more energy but normally it is easy to put it to productive use.

Today, however, I took her out and she had a nice forward walk but as soon as I asked for the trot it was the fastest trot she could possibly muster and she kept breaking into the canter. She was calling for the other horses once in a while which is NOT like her at all, she is very good about being alone. I let her get some of her steam out and do her thing until she was ready to come back to me and then I tried to regulate her pace with my seat and my posting but it only lasted for maybe a circle and then it was frantic running again..

I'm wondering if this could be caused by soreness? The last 2 weeks I have been riding her at least 5x a week (not overly hard but still) and also yesterday we went for a long forward walking trail with lots of hills which she is NOT used to...

I'm just afraid I'm losing my nice calm girl, I am hoping there is something else going on since after my ride I led her out on her own quite a ways away from the barn by noisy traffic, etc. and she was just fine without the other horses..

It's so hard not to let my frustration get the best of me when she is just going going going with no response to anything I am asking of her but I know getting strong with her will only make it worse..

Any help would be great!

racinmyself 10-19-2010 11:18 PM

I'm no trainer but maybe I can help a little. I hope this was just a fluke but incase it's not here a few things I've learned from the folks at the barn where I board. If she's doing this on a straight line you might try getting her to do some kind of pattern, change directions. This might help get her listening to you more. My mare had a lot of anxiety/ confidence issues when I first got her.

I tend to use a mix of natural horsemanship and old cowboy ways. Most people do around here. I love doing hindquarter disengagements whenever my horse isn't listening to me. Beyond that I hated her calling out when we were working. She would always freak out and pull some very crazy stunts every time she saw a friend in the pasture when she was working.

I started lunging her in sight of her friends and started reprimanding whenever she would call out to them. I never reprimand her when I'm not working with her. I like her talking to me. But I want her attention on the job at hand. Hopefully this was just a fluke with your girl. Hope this helps a little.

tinyliny 10-20-2010 12:10 AM

Could she be in heat? If she is rushing with her attention elsewhere it would not seem to be due to soreness. Were it soreness, I think she would put her ears back and maybe try to rush out from under you but would not necessarily be mentally "gone", but would in fact be perhaps more mentally there, especialy to changes in your posture that might affect the back.
I bet it's hormones!

Saskia 10-20-2010 12:59 AM

She could be a little sore and is trying to "run away" from the pain. But it could be lots of other things. She could be in heat. Or it could just be that there is a new horse in the paddock, or she's on a new feed, or fresh grass. Ride her again and see if it happens.

bronson3000 10-20-2010 09:27 AM

I was thinking it might be hormones.. about 5 days ago I was doing groundwork with her and she was really irritable which is unlike her and again, a bit more distracted.. this time she wasn't moody but just distracted and focused on the other horses. But it is so cold here being mid-october (in Canada) I was thinking she would be shutting down for the winter but maybe she is just experiencing the last little bit of it.. (hopefully).

jnoller 10-21-2010 02:55 AM

My guess is that she is beginning to shut down for the winter. I had the same problem with my paint a week ago. She normally will gallop and trot for as long as I ask her to, but last time she was lethargic and would either go from a trot to a walk or a trot to a gallop. She just had no medium speed at all. She is beginning to develop her winter coat and I think she is just in a transition right now

bronson3000 10-22-2010 07:30 PM


Gave her a couple days off and tried to ride her again today. She is in her own little world, rushing the trot and I can't even do regular transitions because she is clenching her jaw and ignoring my seat aids. I tried to let her get it out of her system but that didn't work, nor did alot of figures.. in fact, the figures made her break into the canter which felt the worst it ever had.. more like an off balance hand gallop.

I am so frustrated I just had to get off her and put her away because I was crying and starting to get hard on her mouth which I know is the LAST thing to do so before it got worse I wanted to end it..

I need help badly. She was doing so amazingly well until we went on a trail with another horse, at the end the owner let the horse trot home and my mare obviously wanted to follow so i was fighting her for the last ten minutes to not gallop and explode. (But this wasn't a big deal because I took her out for a 15 minute walk down the road afterwards and she was calm with her head down, etc.) Now, she is worse than anything she has ever been and I can't get her to focus.

BarnBratt 10-22-2010 07:44 PM

My mare used to be like that. She'd stick her head up, do a quick but short strided trot and then break into a canter almost every five steps. She also used to whinny to her herd mates. All of that was due to my lack of use of my leg(except for the calling to the herd, that's just a mare being a mare! Well, mine at least). I know your not really looking for riding critique and all. My instructor told me that if she does what your describing your mare doing, give her a kick and try to bring her attention back. Softly squeez the inside rein, bending her neck. Make her work for you! Do circles, leg yeilding her out and in. Remember to keep your leg on! Once I learned to put and keep my leg on, my mare's a completely different horse.

ilovemyPhillip 10-22-2010 07:45 PM

That sounds exactly like my pony.. I had no idea what to do. So, I started riding a long way from home, or ground work. He's still Mr. Speedy but its only bad after we canter a little bit.

bronson3000 10-22-2010 07:49 PM

Thanks for the advice, the only thing is she has NEVER been like this. She is ms calm and cool, nothing phases her and she isn't herd bound. She is usually a bit lazy to my leg if anything.. And we can ride away from the herd no problem. But all of a sudden she is rushing all the time and her head carriage is different but this just started between day 1 of an awesome ride and day 2: horrible. I don't know if it could be that she is sore because she isn't running with her ears back or looking irritated either. Ugh..

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