Nipping, Naughty, out of control Horse
I have a 4 year old Arab mare (Kalila), she was a rescue, I had her doing great and handled all her issues and went from not having her trust me and not able to groom her to a loving mare I can actually wash, brush and trust behind me. I have recently brought in an older mare for my husband to ride(Mariah),she is 15 and was an alpha mare where she was. Since bringing in this mare I have been demoted in Kalila's eyes and it's all about Mariah. I cannot ride her, she has to follow Mariah, and she has been nipping a lot lately. She just mouths me with her lips but actually tries to bite my husband. The new mare I got for him from a friend, he actually learned to ride on this horse (Big city boy).He hasn't been very strict with his horse and she walks all over him and my mare sees this and responds in like.
I have tried to tell him it can get dangerous if he doesn't start becoming firmer with her. My horse now rears at him and pushes him around if I'm not there and is trying it on me also(fat luck on her part). I think he is afraid of her now and she senses it.He lets his horse do whatever she wants while out riding and sees nothing wrong with it.
How do I break her of nipping everyone and get control back. Also how do you tell a headstrong man with no horse knowledge what to do before someone gets hurt. My friend who sold me the horse has tried, this is a well trained show horse, so she knows the ropes. And also any suggestions on getting my horse to go riding without Mariah, I get into a fight everytime, and if one of us just rides Mariah she goes nuts, I guess that's buddy sour. She will try to break throught the fence when Mariah is led out of sight. She acts the same with me sometimes, did I mention she was a rescue who had been starved and ignored, figured would be helpful. Helllllp! :-(
First of all, what have you been doing so far to deal with these issues yourself?
When your horse rears at your husband is it during specific times, such as feeding, or when they're out together in the pasture and he's trying to catch her, or what?
My, you do take on challenges don’t you. There is so much psychology, human and equine, in this scenario that it is impossible to make off the cuff some helpful suggestions as to how to cope with all the jealousy and ranking issues going on between three females and one kindly novice city boy.
It seems that most of your problems focus on Kalila, whom you have rescued. My guess is that her wanting to be with Mother Mariah won’t go away and neither will her aggression towards your man until he learns how to cope for himself with the horse - especially a disturbed Arab mare. If in the meantime your man becomes too frightened of Kalila - or worse, he gets hurt then sooner or later he will turn away from all horses.
The only suggestion I can make is for your man to have some lessons from a knowledgeable man as to how to work a horse from the ground - lunging, work in hand ie all the basic stuff. He needs hands on tuition. He must create his own relationship with Kalila and she must come to respect him or he must stay away from her. A fit man can be taught to ride a school horse but it is not enough. He also has to come to learn how to handle them confidently and that takes time.
But ideally you the dominant horsewoman should ride the alpha mare Mariah and he should have a mild mannered mature gelding on which to follow along. But my guess is that you know that already.
She is only dominant toward him when I am actually present, he went out yesterday and she was fine with him, I had locked up Mariah in the paddock. She charges and I turn her away, he just ignores her and I told him he has to turn and be bigger and badder than her, not just let her run to him, move her feet if she charges him.He is a little afraid since he was bitten by Mariah's daughter, Hoki at my friends house, he got between her and Kalila.
I had him watch some video's on horse language by Chris Irwin, but felt I confused him more. I cannot ride Mariah, she has decided she is my husbands horse and will become lame, or limp everytime I ride her and picks up when he mounts her. He has a natural seat and I have been getting him to be more assertive towards her, but he is too soft with animals, I have a 75lb lab mix who behaves for me ( been training her secretly) but goes nuts when he's around, my Jack Russell is well trained. I think I will enlist the aid of a trainer to train my husband and Kalila to interact, she is already a handfull for me but getting there, I have control when I'm there but I don't need an accident when I'm not, he has no ideal what can happen, blissfully unaware.
P.S. Barry Godden: Yes I love a challenge, just don't want to hurt anyone, horse or man.
Mr. Gordon has a good suggestion in that your hubby might feel better able to take direction from another man, instead of his wife. You know how it is.
You don't have to react to every time the mare charges at you if she is on the other side of the fence. I mean, you can ignore her. You cannot run away from her, tho. So, if you are in the same paddock and she starts at you or hubby, you have to meet her with as much force as she puts on you, but the minute she is repulsed, you just wait to see if she will do it again. Don't chase her and try to punish her. If she charges at you and there's a fence between you, you can either smack the fence good and hard and scare her off, or just ignore her. As long as she in no way MOVEs YOU.
If it were me, I would probably get rid of one of the mares and get a nice gelding. YOu would have it a lot easier, I think.
Have you ever worked with her in a round pen?
The first thing you need to do is take some lessons yourself. It does not sound from your post that you are very experienced yourself. Then you need to forget about her past. Deal with her like she is any other horse. The only thing worse than an abused horse is a spoiled, abused horse. When people make excuses for an animal or human that has been mistreated they are not doing any favors for them. Your horse needs clear boundaries and discipline.
She is only dominant toward him when I am actually present.
probably because she is chastised by you whenever 'soft' hubby is about - the arab blames him for coming between her and you. Remember, firm hands and a soft but positive tone of voice.
I cannot ride Mariah. You mean you don't want to ride Mariah.
I think I will enlist the aid of a MALE trainer to train my husband and Kalila to interact. Good idea.
I have control when I'm there but he has no ideal what can happen, he is blissfully unaware. He has a natural seat and he is too soft with animals.
"I have control" is an expression used by a pilot taking over from a copilot.
Hubby must learn to be in control at all times - even when you are about. Being soft with horses is not necessarily a sin but not knowing when to take back control is dangerous.
Missy, I sense from a 1000s of miles away over the internet that your problem, as written, might be about the heirachy of your tiny herd of two horses and two humans. It would seem, your hubby has the lowest slot.
But you need some experienced hands on help at home to sort this scene out. I have been told that arab horses are strong minded and very intelligent. I still reckon your hubby would be safer (and happier) on a mature and placid gelding.
Why are you talking about me!!!!
Sorry for the randomness. My name is Mariah BTW. LMAO!!:D:lol:
Well here's an update, did sorta hire a male trainer, found a link on another thread for Chris Irwin, My husband gets him! He has been learning to interact with the girls, they even let him feed them without pinning their ears. I told him it's working with the girls or selling Mariah for a gelding so he's cooperating, he loves that girl. I'm very impressed with his progress, he even almost won the fight of putting her flymask on, I only had to help a little,( & they look like giant bugs). He has been trying to be more dominant towards the girls, he's just so soft. And yes I try to ride Mariah, have ridden her in the past, awesome endurance horse, rode her in the Pine Island reserve and she put the younger girls to shame. But since John has been riding her she has decided that she wants only John to ride her and goes out of her way to fake injuries when I do ride her. She also acts up when her old owner tries to also ride her, and she raised her from a newborn. Girl Knows a good thing. I have faith and we will win, by next summer we will be riding in harmony or Hell, God willing!! Thanks for all your input and I did listen, I'm sure I will be posting more dramas, so stay tuned
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