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nvr2many 02-11-2011 12:31 AM

my horse fusses, dances and tosses her head when asked to slow down.
Ok, I have been researching this for days and finally have to bring it here! I just got a new horse on the 26th of January. We had her feet done and shod on the 30th so really didn't ride her until after that. Well, at first we could not get her to go! She is a 21 year old Paint mare and I thought I made a mistake with an older horse. Well, now I cannot get her to keep a slow pace or walk when other horses are around. I mean they can be riding with me or just boarders out for a ride with their horses and she needs to go go go. I am fine with training and holding her back but the way she dances around freaks me out! I had a bad fall off another horse in December and maybe im gun shy but I do have to add that last Saturday my boyfriend was riding Snowflake and wanted her to leave the yard after coming back just for training and well, long story short they both went down!!!! She fussed, danced and reared and backed into a sit and over they went!! I guess I am afraid she is going to do that to me if I challenge her too much to do what I want. I am as stubborn as the horse but I am smarter and do not want to get a horse over on me. Please helpppppppppp!! I cannot always control when others ride, I can control having them ride with me and pull ahead but she needs to get over this. Will she just work out of it?? I am thinking I need my round pen set back up but bf's dad has the panels with the cows until in the spring. Well sorry for the long jumping around post. Any help will be appreciated. Just to add, we had a good day yesterday when riding with one other horse keeping the same pace. But with the other two came by she started to toss but not as bad, maybe because I was with another horse, not sure. Today, she was horrible, from the time I tried to get on her to the time I put her away!!! UGH!!

tinyliny 02-11-2011 01:04 AM


A couple of things. she probably needs a good gallop to feel better, and was wondering if there was a time when other horses weren't around when you could get her moving and really keep her gong until she is winded and begging to stop.
When you ride with other horses, if you are riding in a line, then you do this: One horse leads for awhile and then that horse "peels off" and goes to the end of the line and "peels in" at the end. That makes #2 horse now the lead. and Then after a bit, peel off , go to back and keep doing this.
Helps in many ways, one because no one horse must lead or follow forever, and the action of bending (disenagaging the hind quarters) and going in a direction counter to the group getrs the horse's mind with the rider.
Do it alot.

If she starts dancing and cannot keep her feet still, understand that trying to hold them still means that she must go up instead. SO, get her moving in a circle. Let her move, since she feels compelled to move, but keep her circling or figure eights, and don't clamp down with Both reins; one rein tight, the other looser.

good luck, it will get easier, round pen will help and time. Get through this and it'll be smooth sailing!

nvr2many 02-11-2011 01:24 AM

Thank you so much for your reply. Its like one step forward and two back! I guess I should not say that because she had improved in so many other ways since getting her. I thought I had a lazy out of shape horse on my hands and boy did she change in just days!

Today I guess she saw the other horse leave, (I didn't I was inside) and didn't even want to wait for me to mount her, bucked and that should have been the first sign!! I made her go another way at a fast walk the way I knew they didn't go. We followed the gravel road for a bit then back, boy she was talking to the other horses in a distance and started to pull. Then when meeting up with them I decided to ride up the vineyard drive with them but when she started to speed up with out me asking I of course was nooooooooooo way and held her back. And the fussing began!! I turned her around and cooled her down leading her home. She didn't win but I didn't feel I did either! I just so happen to have gotten a call at that time and the sun went down so called it a day.

She was fussy and about ripped her halter off in her stall also when putting her away. There was another horse close by but I didn't notice what happened. Maybe just an off day?? I am not sure when the last day was that she didn't get ridden was. Maybe she needed a break? I don't keep her out long though, since I really don't think she was worked/ridden much for who knows how long!!

tinyliny 02-11-2011 02:24 AM

Do you have an arena where you can make her work into a good sweat? Mare's can be especially challenging in spring if they are coming into season.
I don't blame you for being nervous that shemight take off. Work on getting her to turn and disengae her hind and go in a small circle if she simply must move somewhere. Can't stop water from flowing, gotta give it somewhere to flow to.

nvr2many 02-11-2011 08:23 PM

No arena, lots of land though, 400 acres. I got brave and had my bf ask the vineyard neighbor if we could borrow some panels today and they said yes!!! OMG! I now have a 10x16ft round pen, lol. I was tired from moving and setting it up so only worked her a tiny bit just for fun in it but tomorrow we shall start!!! Cute thing happened too. When out having her trot in the pen a bus of elderly people came by and stopped to watch. It was so cute and cool when I had her whoa she stopped on a dime and came to me when called to the center of the pen. I was so proud, lol. They all waved and went on their way. Anyway, so season even in a 21 yr old??? Never thought of that. Maybe that is why she hates grace this other mare. Who knows. If anyone has any more comments on this matter I would love to hear them if only for support that I am not alone. Thank you so much tinyliny, I will not give up!! You have encouraged me!!

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