Help she is back to her old ways
Last year I rescued a 4 year old paint mare that was emciated, had a broken jaw which was abcessed and a bad case of rain rot. Last year she kicked me 3 times, kicked at me several other times, charged my neighbor and was generally a major witch! Anyway, after a lot of treats, time and patience she became an excellent trail horse and a horse that I felt safe around until recently. A few weeks ago we brought in a weanling filly and Rayne (the paint mare) has been acting up since. Last week I was petting the filly and I had my back to Rayne and she bit my arm. I decided that she was biting at the filly but now I am not so sure. When I go in the field to get Rayne she lays her ears back and walks away and I have to trick her to catch her and I haven't had to do that since last year. But in the past few days she has kicked at 2 of my friends and she never had a problem with them before. Could this be a jealousy issue? She hasn't acted right since the filly came in. What can I do to correct this behavior? If worse comes to worse we will get rid of the filly but do not want to do that. I have been trying to spend extra time with Rayne, taking her out of the field and letting her graze in the yard, grooming her and lots of love and treats but it doesn't seem to be helping. Rehoming Rayne is NOT an option!!! I love this mare and I know the horse that she can be. Any advice greatly appreciated!!!
How many times have you meant to bite something and missed? I bet not very many. If your horse bit you she was aiming at you. Quit with the treats and luvs for everything and use some discipline. It really doesn't matter why she is doing the things she is doing. They need to stop and they need to stop NOW. Don't let her put her mouth close to you and if she pins her ears move her away. Don't be her buddy be her leader and you will get along much better.
Agreed with Kevin, and I am proud to have a suggestion he did not cover. Woohoo me. (I say this because Kevin is awesome and gives great advise).
Stop taking her out to hand graze and be groomed, and work her. Work her rear off and be the boss the whole time. You are not helping her by giving her things she likes, like grass she cannot normally get to or itches in places that feel good.
Be the boss and stop rewarding her.
Ahreed with the above. This mare needs a boss, not a buddy. She needs to know that no matter what horse is in the pasture with her, YOU are ALWAYS the alpha. Period. They can work out the rest of the hierarchy, just make sure you are at the top. If you need to, bring a dressage whip out to the pasture with you to help aid you in sending her off.
Lastly, she is not going to correlate the extra grazing and treats with anything. Horses cannot reason, all she knows is she is grazing and getting treats.
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i agree with kevin she needs to know u are in charge, i use to lease a horse that would always try to bit, kick me so i would carry a crop when i was with her and if she tried to get me i would give her one wack and she learned and after i didnt need the crop anymore
Another thought is that young horses test you a lot. I have a 5 yr old, who is well trained and well behaved. Today for the first time since I have owned him (over a year) he tried to nip at my arm. I had the farrier out (again) as he has an abcess, so he is no doubt sore, but I whapped him on his nose hard all the same. If I fall off him and break a leg, I would not lash out at him, and I expect the same from him. Sure the farrier was hurting him, but it is not ok to bite me.
Less than half a second later, he still loved me.
I will be the first to agree that I am a pushover with Rayne and a lot of that has to do with her history. In her previous home she was tied and beaten with a bat which broke her jaw. I will do my best to be more strict with her.
omg thats terrible! how could someone be that cruel! poor girl
Bringing in the filly is definintely the reason why Rayne is changed. Your place in this changed hierarchy needs to be redefined. Don't worry, Rayne isn't keeping a tally that says "since I was treated for years extra bad, I now have to be treated extra good". Just treat her with the same discipline, dignity and fairness that you would any horse.
I think that things will settle down in a bit on their own , too. The girls will work things out. It'll go back more to what it was before. But you are going to have to be more of a leader in a herd of three than YOU were before.
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