Debridling acting up
We are in a new barn and now my mare who has been in a pasture for 10 years is stabled at night. She comes from being ridden to a stall with grain and hay. Before this arrangement, she was in a paddocks, had round bales all day and grain in the evening.
Since we have been in the new barn, she has been outrageously acting up when I take her bridle off from riding, today to the point of taking off down the barn isle to another horse's stable to eat her hay! I was mortified... I guess I will be super careful, putting the lead rope around her neck before taking the bridle off, but do you all have any other suggestions? Have already slowed down her approach to the barn with circling, backinig up, etc. Any ideas??? Thanks.
Can you give her the grain before you ride?
Sounds fairly normal to me, if a horse can get at another horses hay and they want it, they will.
AlexS I would never accept a horse breaking away from me to get to its food appropriate behavior. My mare used to bolt away from me the second I had unhooked her halter in the paddock to get at her hay so I started by taking the hay out of her paddock and throwing it over the fence once she was calmly inside. Everytime she rushed through the gate I made her work by circling then I'd exit the paddock and try again as many times as it took before she was calm. Then once inside I had a long rope around her neck, I would take the halter off and if she burst forward I had the rope to make her work, then we'd try again. She definitely learned its easier to be calm the first time!
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Take the bridle off in the stable with the door closed?
Is there a possibility your horse's hay and grain could be given to her after she is in her stall?
Wait. Let me get this straight. You come in from your ride. You take off the bridle. You then tie the horse up?
Couldn't you just change the last two steps around, problem solved?
Yep, my horses too would say "Ha, ha," and run get the hay if I unbridled them and left them "headless" in the aisle. But they don't because I buckle the halter around their neck before I take the bridle off. Basic safety rule.
First off, you should either keep a halter on under the bridle, or have the halter/leadrope around her neck when taking the bridle off. But you could also try taking her for a walk or working her after you get off and take the bridle off. Teach her that taking the bridle off isn't a dismissal. It's just like when kids in school hear the bell, they want to leave right away. But teachers will say "the bell doesn't dismiss you, I dismiss you" and will make them stay longer. Rather than it becoming a habit to leave at the bell, the students will start to stay untill the teacher dismisses them if the teacher is consistant.
Pretty much the same concept to be applied here.
Thanks everyone for your advice. I will tie (rope) halter around her neck before unbridling. Maybe I should get a buckle halter, too, as that would be more secure.
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