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gallopingfrog 02-27-2011 03:21 PM

Mare Wants to Kill Me...
 
Hi there!

About a year ago, I purchased a mare with Easy Jet on both sides of her bloodlines, as a barrel prospect. She was only green broke and I knew she was going to need work when I bought her, but personality-wise, we clicked; which is something I definitely need with a horse. I rode Cocoa several times after we brought her home, and she actually did really well. She didn't understand back up cues, but understood the basic walk, trot, canter and stop. No buck, bite or rear. Just a sort of curiousity about what we were doing and why were doing it. Her only real vice was being terrifed of the horse trailer. I found out a little later that she had been "trained" the mean way....beat on her until she breaks.

A few months later, I decided to take her to a trainer in our area. We did a walk through of the facility, as well as see them work with one of the mustangs that they owned. Being one (and I know it's silly) to hate seeing a horse "hurt", I was a little iffy on their round pen style with the whips. They weren't really hurting the horses by any means, but it just seemed unneccessary. But we ended up taking her there because the references we checked all came back pretty good.

We had her there two months and I pulled the plug. Sure, they got her in and out of a trailer, and she still does it pretty well, though I've had to change the direction on how to get her in (using pressure and release as opposed to just yanking her in with a lunge whip at her butt). She backs up now. She still will walk, trot and canter. Her stop went away a bit and I had to bring it back. But then she started rearing and bucking when I got on her back. I checked the saddle and bridle/bit for pinching, hooves for abcesses, and any other things that might be causing the bad behavior.

About 8 months ago we moved out to nine acres, where we could have lots more room for our five horses (three Drafts) and I finally aquired a round pen. Fortunately, I am one of those people that can read something and put it into action near precisely. Working off Charles Wilhem and Clayton Anderson training styles, I've been working with all the horses with great success - with the exception of Cocoa.

I get her in a round pen and run her out, and she'll stop and turn when I ask her. However, she'll also stop by the gate and want out (which I know is probably pretty normal, I understand that). She'll kick out at me several times before I can get her to get going again. It really scares the heck out of me because she gets really, really close, but I try not to let it show. Only a week or so ago, did I get her to make full circles both way, just once - but at least it was complete without kicking or stopping. I felt some sort of success with it. But after that one time, she never did it again. It's all kicks again.

I know this is one heck of a long post, but I wanted to see if anyone had any advice or knew of any reasons why she might be acting up this way. Like I said, I think I'm doing all right with getting the training down because of our other horses (one a Belgian gelding that I even have under saddle now, when he'd never been before). Cocoa's the only one that doesn't want to cooperate or listen.

So long story short, Cocoa took five hundred steps back after coming home from the trainer and I've got to fix them all. I'm not giving up - selling an animal is just not something we do at our house. I'm determined to shape her into a loveable riding horse. Any insight would be 100% appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Audrianna

Starlite 02-27-2011 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gallopingfrog (Post 943329)
Hi there!

About a year ago, I purchased a mare with Easy Jet on both sides of her bloodlines, as a barrel prospect. She was only green broke and I knew she was going to need work when I bought her, but personality-wise, we clicked; which is something I definitely need with a horse. I rode Cocoa several times after we brought her home, and she actually did really well. She didn't understand back up cues, but understood the basic walk, trot, canter and stop. No buck, bite or rear. Just a sort of curiousity about what we were doing and why were doing it. Her only real vice was being terrifed of the horse trailer. I found out a little later that she had been "trained" the mean way....beat on her until she breaks.

A few months later, I decided to take her to a trainer in our area. We did a walk through of the facility, as well as see them work with one of the mustangs that they owned. Being one (and I know it's silly) to hate seeing a horse "hurt", I was a little iffy on their round pen style with the whips. They weren't really hurting the horses by any means, but it just seemed unneccessary. But we ended up taking her there because the references we checked all came back pretty good.

We had her there two months and I pulled the plug. Sure, they got her in and out of a trailer, and she still does it pretty well, though I've had to change the direction on how to get her in (using pressure and release as opposed to just yanking her in with a lunge whip at her butt). She backs up now. She still will walk, trot and canter. Her stop went away a bit and I had to bring it back. But then she started rearing and bucking when I got on her back. I checked the saddle and bridle/bit for pinching, hooves for abcesses, and any other things that might be causing the bad behavior.

About 8 months ago we moved out to nine acres, where we could have lots more room for our five horses (three Drafts) and I finally aquired a round pen. Fortunately, I am one of those people that can read something and put it into action near precisely. Working off Charles Wilhem and Clayton Anderson training styles, I've been working with all the horses with great success - with the exception of Cocoa.

I get her in a round pen and run her out, and she'll stop and turn when I ask her. However, she'll also stop by the gate and want out (which I know is probably pretty normal, I understand that). She'll kick out at me several times before I can get her to get going again. It really scares the heck out of me because she gets really, really close, but I try not to let it show. Only a week or so ago, did I get her to make full circles both way, just once - but at least it was complete without kicking or stopping. I felt some sort of success with it. But after that one time, she never did it again. It's all kicks again.

I know this is one heck of a long post, but I wanted to see if anyone had any advice or knew of any reasons why she might be acting up this way. Like I said, I think I'm doing all right with getting the training down because of our other horses (one a Belgian gelding that I even have under saddle now, when he'd never been before). Cocoa's the only one that doesn't want to cooperate or listen.

So long story short, Cocoa took five hundred steps back after coming home from the trainer and I've got to fix them all. I'm not giving up - selling an animal is just not something we do at our house. I'm determined to shape her into a loveable riding horse. Any insight would be 100% appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Audrianna

I don't have any advice for you, but i just wanted to say I am sorry for what you are dealing with. You must feel a lot of disapointment. Have you contacted the trainer and talked to them about her new behavior?

gallopingfrog 02-27-2011 03:33 PM

I haven't tried to...but we'll put it this way. After we brought Cocoa home we found what felt like millions of people that didn't agree with their way of training (oy...if only we'd run into them sooner!), and it was apparently different from what they showed people when they toured the grounds. I haven't tried to contact them because I definitely don't want to take her back - and I pretty much just want to cut off all contact, ya know? Thank you for replying, though!

mbender 02-27-2011 03:43 PM

Hi, back up and go back to the round pen. She has no respect for you and sees you as a follower and not a leader. One question. How do you get her to move around the pen?
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gallopingfrog 02-27-2011 03:53 PM

I use a lunge whip ONLY as pressure, with kissy-noise cues. I don't touch her with the whip, but rather put the pressure on her by using it to make sound and close contact. I haven't stopped using the round pen - just haven't been able to make progress. Thanks!

mbender 02-27-2011 03:58 PM

Try to understand horse dynamics. (How a horse acts in a herd.) When a dominant horse wants another horse to move, what does it do? I'm leaving that open for you to answer.
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gallopingfrog 02-27-2011 04:02 PM

I could be wrong, but a dominant horse would kick, bite, etc. to make another horse listen to it - and the horse should submit without much dispute at all....right? LOL

mbender 02-27-2011 04:04 PM

Exactly. So for you to be hesitant on using a whip is way softer than what that horse would get in a herd.
Posted via Mobile Device

mbender 02-27-2011 04:06 PM

So here's my advice: if you feel that you are not a leader or can take on a leader position, it will Never get better for you. She will Always have the upper hand and you will not get past this. Can you be a leader?
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gallopingfrog 02-27-2011 04:09 PM

I think I can. I mean, I won't like it by any means, but I'll do it. I know that she can't be happy this way, and neither am I. Like I said, I'm not giving up...

Thanks.


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