Uh-Oh.... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-24-2011, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oregon
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So I bought my first mare a couple of weeks ago. She's 13 and has been trail ridden since age 2. Have been SO eager to go on the trails, but hadn't had much opportunity because it rains here alot and it's muddy and I don't want her slipping. We do arena work instead, and she's kind of a brat sometimes but she's good once I remind her who's boss. But today was beautiful and more dry, so I took her on the trail for the first time. She tried HARD to go everywhere BUT where I wanted her to go -- it was a constant battle of wills! Finally we got to a shallow incline and she decided she didn't want to do it, kept turning around. So I'd turn her back around, try to get her over it. We did this for a good 5 minutes, and she even started hopping a little. I think she would have tried to buck if I hadn't had her under control.

WHAT is with this? The funniest thing about Lil (actually not so funny though!) is that she is the biggest sweetheart EVER when you aren't on her....gentle, affectionate, attentive, good listener. But then you get up there and she can be such a brat! The previous owner talked about her like she's the easiest horse ever to ride, does whatever you want, etc... but I'm finding that not to be the case. She hasn't been under saddle for several (and by several I mean 9) months with the exception of a few rides here and there (mostly by trainers showing her to a prospective buyer). Think maybe that's part of the problem?
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-25-2011, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Idaho
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I'm far from an expert, but it might be that she just needs to be ridden several times to get her settled down. It's also possible that she thinks you're a push over and she doesn't have to listen to you--I had that problem with Mr. Big until we got him straightened out about Who's Boss. He still challenges me on occation, but not as often and not as hard--just checks to make sure I still won't let him be in charge. I won't!

"Don't just feed it! Ride it!" And the People said "AMEN!"
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-25-2011, 12:03 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2009
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I agree with that^^. I would guess, at having only had her a couple weeks, she is still in the trying to feel you out stage and see how much she can get away with. Make sure the answer is nothing!

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post #4 of 12 Old 02-02-2011, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Out West
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Where in Oregon do you live? I live in Glide, outside of Roseburg.

The trail is the thing....Louis L'Amour
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-03-2011, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oregon
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You guys are totally right. I've been working with my BO to see what's up and she thinks Lilly is just being a butthead ;)

Traildancer -- I live in Eugene, about an hour and a half away from you!
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-03-2011, 08:10 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Dakota, USA
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Didn't you ride her before buying her? Or did you buy her on the owners word? The owner could have been feeding you a bunch of BS so you'd buy her. Other than that I would say that you don't have her respect under saddle and to ride her for a while where she would be comfortable like an arena or close to the stable/barn. Then when you feel like she is going to listen, start expanding where you ride her.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-03-2011, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oregon
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I definitely think it is more of a respect issue. I did ride her before I bought her, but not on the trails. I finally moved her and have been keeping her (starting last week) at a barn with a great family atmosphere, and the people who run it are so horse savvy and willing to help out. When I ride her in the arena, the BO will stand and watch me and give me pointers. I feel like I'm learning so much so quickly, I feel stupid for posting this thread in the first place. I think I just needed for someone to tell me exactly what was going on. Now that I know for a fact that she's just being disrespectful, and we're working on it :) She's improved SO much. I'm very proud!!
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-03-2011, 10:18 PM
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Don't feel stupid for posting. We get to answer, and that makes us feel smart.
Next time I will have a dumn post and you can feel smart straightening me out.
( (I am kinda crooked)

Along with your new mare testing out your worthiness to be her leader, she is probably just plain old scared to go out alone. New place, new leader, all alone, sounds scary to a horse mind.
Go out next time to where you know things will get difficult and turn for home BEFORE she makes the decision to go for home. Or, go kind of a different direction, not away, if that is possible, like parallel to home.
Anyway, I always encourage people to not get into thinking of their horse as being a brat when usually the horse, from his /her equine brain, has a perfectly good reason for doing what he is doing, and it usually isn't to make trouble for you in a bratty way.

Your mare is really cute and I bet step by step she will prove an excellent trail horse, but it doesn't happen overnight.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 12:16 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Southeast Texas
Posts: 3,391
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I agree with the others. She may just need time to adjust to you and new places. Keep at it and hopefully she will settle down and you and her can have Happy Trails!

Enjoying my Garmin and mapping trails
Visit my trail riding blog at
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Idaho
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Originally Posted by cascanastargazer View Post
Lilly is just being a butthead ;)
I love descriptive language in the morning! heehee

"Don't just feed it! Ride it!" And the People said "AMEN!"
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