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SorrelHorse 08-12-2011 10:12 PM

Training Bottle Baby horses. [Selena Rant]
So early this fall we bought a little reining mare named Selena. Selena is five years old now, has won close to $1,000 when only showed twice. Fantastic, we ride her at their place she was a sweetheart. And she continued to be a sweetheart during the "Honey moon" phase.

Well now, she's turning into a spoiled brat. She's always shown signs of resistance (We have worked through problems like that before) but eventually we found she kept getting pissy everytime there was a spur touching her, or a crop, or a whip. Any form of discipline she would freak.

During our reining pattern at the first show I took her to, she was bucking on the rundown, rearing into her spins, REFUSING to slide and just grabbing the bit and transitioning down to a halt when we were running down to the gate (She slid when we were running away from the gate)

Now, we have already checked her for pain. But she's always been very disrespectful, in your lap, lovey-dovey, play with you, etc. When she is at the trainers she is okay, but if she gets too much time off she reverts back to her she-devil nature.

The thing is, its unpredictable. Sometimes she is doing great, sometimes she turns into a saddle bronc. And disciplining her just makes it worse, but not doing anything makes her think she's getting away with it. Shes been babied her whole life (She was a bottle baby, as the title says) and has never really had anyone getting after her for the bad behavior.

I just need help....We were making progress when we sent her to training, but we got her home and the first time I put the saddle on her back and climbed aboard she went nuts again. And I had ridden her while she was at the barn, and she had been an angel. I can't figure out if I'm doing something to set her off. The trainer says I'm not, but I'm wondering.

Please excuse any typos, my laptop is doing this wierd thing where it moves my text to differant places o.o Taking it to be looked at tomorrow.

Cherie 08-12-2011 11:53 PM

Are you working with a good successful reining horse trainer?

The problems you mention are all caused by rider error -- mostly putting too much pressure on the reins and ribs. If she has won $1000.00 in reining competition, then you are probably the problem.

Reining is a group of maneuvers that are never practiced together.

Patterns are never run except at shows.

All maneuvers are done by 'cue' rather than by pressure. If a horse is rearing in its turn-arounds, then the rider has been putting many times more pressure on the reins than should ever be applied to a finished horse.

If a horse that has been taught to slide quits sliding, then the rider has been trying to stop the horse rather than asking the horse to stop and letting it stop. If you want to take the stop and slide out of a horse, just say "Whoa!" and then pull on the reins.

What you are saying is that the horse has become a 'brat'. What I am 'seeing' from your post is a horse that has not been ridden by a rider trained to ride reining horses. I see a horse that is not being kept in a good reining trainer's barn.

Reiners and cutters just don't stay trained unless a very good rider that knows how to train one and keep one tuned is riding them. Non-Pro horses just have to have a trainer or a VERY experienced Non-Pro rider that is a trainer in their own right.

As for being a bottle baby -- most people do not know how to raise them. Then let them identify with people instead of horses. We have raised 10 or 12 orphans and all trained just like any other horse but we were careful to get them into a group of weanlings as soon as we could and we never made pets out if them. I am riding two older horses (6 & 8) that were raised as orphans and both have been very nice to train and ride. Neither is pushy or obnoxious, but we know how to raise orphans.

I would say that when she really needs to be punished, she should be punished severely. Then, the rest of the time, she should be left alone. She will never respond well to being pecked at.

SorrelHorse 08-13-2011 09:34 PM

I have ridden many reining horses in my lifetime and I a working with the trainer who has helped me with problems since I was just a little kid.

When I'm spinning, I have absolutely zero contact with her mouth. Same with everything else. I know my legs and spurs aren't on her sides unless I'm cueing her for something with them.

I ride her the same way every time. I still punish her because I know I have to, even if she's getting to be bratty about it.

And like I said, this is unpredictable. There are days when she is very quiet and just does everything with a "Yes Ma'am" attitude, and days where she's being a total snot about everything. I've never had a reining horse act like this to me, which is why I am asking. Normally when I encounter probles like this I can fix it with getting after them hard, and they will not challenge my dominance again.

This are just continues to baffle me.

RD11 08-14-2011 12:22 AM

Maybe all this show work is putting too much stress on her. Why don't you just take her on a few trail rides now and then? I'm sure it would cool her nerves to get away from the arena for a bit...

RD11 08-14-2011 12:39 AM

Maybe all this show work is putting too much stress on her. Why don't you just take her on a few trail rides now and then? I'm sure it would cool her nerves to get away from the arena for a bit...But before you ride anywhere i would start her on some ground work focusing on respect and control(Clinton Anderson, i reccomend)...Now i know next to nothing about reining, but i would think that if two are to have a successful showing career you need to build a solid relationship with her first and what better ways to start then ground work and trail rides?...good luck!

Katze 08-14-2011 01:28 AM

It's called P.M.S = pissy mare syndrome, some have it worse then others.:lol:
Ok no seriously, I have no idea, just thought i'd lighten up the mood with a wee bit of humor. Good luck on finding her "issue" and resolving it.

SorrelHorse 08-14-2011 06:09 AM

Thank - I actually have been trying to get her out on the trails more. Too bad she's a spooky nut, lol. I think I'll start ponying her behind another horse instead.

We've actually been working on a lot of clinton anderson stuff lately. There had been times (During lunging with respect) that whenever I even remotely moved the stick towards her she would rear and strike at me. Oh-ho, can you say punishment needed? My instinctive reaction was to make her wish she was never born. She's gotten better but still threatens with the groundwork.

I'm really just hoping this is a phase, and that we're just making slower progress than I am used

RD11 08-14-2011 09:43 AM

Was your horse abused(or trained excessively hard,etc...) at any point in her life? because rearing and striking at you on the lunge when you move the stick towards her sounds like she may have been hit with it before and/or she has some serious disrespect problems. Also i realized you metioned she acted up when ever crops and spurs were used that could be sign that those instruments were mis-used on her...

pintophile 08-14-2011 11:17 AM

I don't necessarily think she was abused. Perhaps she was or is just being pushed too hard. Maybe her brain is just...fried, and she needs a break-something totally different from reining.

SorrelHorse 08-14-2011 11:42 PM

I've been thinking about that too....I was thinking about literally getting on, walking a circle or two around the arena, and then getting off just so she doesn't anticipate a workout everytime theres a saddle on her back.

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