my discouraged rant - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #21 of 30 Old 10-14-2013, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 6,024
• Horses: 0
The worst behavior you allow is the very best behavior you have any right to expect!!!

You need to stop babying your horse. What happened is your own fault. Here's why:

Absolutely correct!

Originally Posted by iDressage
My horse has pushed me around for a while

So she is the "leader" in your herd of two. And it's been long-established that she's the boss, and not you.

Again -- right on!!

Originally Posted by iDressage
but it's always been small things

It does not matter if it is a big or small issue. Any signs of disrespect are huge.

There is no thing that is small. The horse took it as a HUGE win and a big step up the pecking order for her.

Originally Posted by iDressage
and overall she has had a good deal of respect for me.

She double-barrel kicked you. She doesn't give a rats @$$ about you, much less respect.

No she hasn't. The worst thing she does is the best you can expect!

Originally Posted by iDressage
She's had the little bad habit here and there, but nothing as dramatic as this.

Which means that all those little things over the months you have let her get away with, has now escalated to the point where she believes she can kick you to keep YOU in line. (Remember; she is leader in the herd of the two of you.)

She has built up to this because you let her!

Originally Posted by iDressage
This was really gotten to me and I'm done with the disrespect but now I'm nervous to correct it because I feel like I might be in danger!

You are right to be nervous. This has escalated to a point where she is dangerous and she will attack you.

It is only a matter of time until she escalates it even more. EXPECT her to whirl around and kick or even run backwards toward you kicking repeatedly. It is coming.

Originally Posted by iDressage
My mare's hind legs were DANGEROUSLY CLOSE to my stomach/hip bone, and then to my friend (who is a VERY experienced handler)'s face but instead broke her finger.

In order to fix this, you need to have only a few select people handle your horse with full knowledge of her dangerous behavior.

Absolutely right on!

Originally Posted by iDressage
This has been a total 360

Nope. Not a 360. You have just not been paying attention to the progression and have been letting her get away with small things all this time. She figures if she can get away with small things, well why not the big things?

Not even close. Horses are not 'unpredictable'. They are one of the most predictable animals anyone can interact with. She gave you warning after warning and you made excuses for her and gave her a 'pass' each time until it escalated to this.
My advice is to forget all Dressage training and work on the basics of horsemanship right now. Show training is useless if the horse is not respectful enough to handle and does not have solid basics down. It would help, I am sure, to have her running out on pasture and a change in diet might help, but these are not good 'excuses' and is not the reason she is bossing you around. Things like this can make a horse more obnoxious, but cannot be used to give any horse a pass on good basic behavior. The fact is that any horses being readied to be a show horse MUST be stalled most of the time and must be on a good enough diet to be 'fitted' and look like a million$.

My suggestion would be to get someone to help you that is very good at teaching respect. Since you are now afraid of her, I am afraid you will be taking a step back away from her when you should be going in making her think she might die if she does not back up. You need to learn to 'read' her body language and treat any 'little' lapse of good manners as if it were the most important thing going on that day. Do not make another excuse for her and do not let even the smallest little thing go unaddressed. Learn to jerk a lead-rope hard enough to make her back up when you just step toward her and smooch. Every time you are leading her, make sure you push her shoulder to the right and make her make at least one 360 degree circle to the right. Make sure you back her up several times every time you handle her. Back her up before you put her back in her stall. Back her up when you first take her out of her stall. Watch for little things like an ear laid back, a switch of her tail, a small push of her nose in your direction, or even a small step in your direction when you have told her to "Whoa!". Make her move her hip away from you when you ask, but I consider it much more important to make a horse move their shoulder over to the right when you step toward their shoulder and 'smooch'.

There is no sense in you trying to do anything else with this horse until you are firmly in the leadership spot in her pecking order. Nothing you do with any other training aspect will work any better than your basic manners are working. Get this fixed before you even think of working her again under saddle.
NdAppy, Kayty, Speed Racer and 8 others like this.

visit us at
Cherie is offline  
post #22 of 30 Old 10-14-2013, 05:48 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 7,494
• Horses: 3
Just curious: Is this aggressive horse in question the same horse as your 6-yr-old with osteoarthritis?

You are really going to have a can of worms with teaching her respect if she is dealing with pain on top of it.

∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
beau159 is offline  
post #23 of 30 Old 10-14-2013, 09:33 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,269
• Horses: 0
I am sorry you got kicked. It is no fun to be hurt.

I think the others are pretty correct. I think its a behavioral based problem that is the result of a spoiled horse. I also think that if this mare has osteoarthritis than dressage may not be her forte and pain could be a factor. Mind you pain may be like 10% and just plain spoiled the other 90%.

Stop thinking of this mare as your friend. Right now she is a horrible friend. Its like if you went to the movies with your best friend and they hit you with a crow bar, ate your popcorn and made you pay for all tickets and food. Would you still be best friends with that person? Don't be her friend, be her leader. Few and far between are the horses that tolerate a situation as socially ambiguous as equality.

Horses teach us a lot and one great lesson that this mare may teach you is how to be firm, consistent and assertive.
beau159 likes this.
rookie is offline  
post #24 of 30 Old 10-14-2013, 11:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 5,402
• Horses: 1
Originally Posted by iDressage View Post
My horse has pushed me around for a while but it's always been small things and overall she has had a good deal of respect for me. She's had the little bad habit here and there, but nothing as dramatic as this. This was really gotten to me and I'm done with the disrespect but now I'm nervous to correct it because I feel like I might be in danger!

My mare's hind legs were DANGEROUSLY CLOSE to my stomach/hip bone, and then to my friend (who is a VERY experienced handler)'s face but instead broke her finger.

This has been a total 360 and I don't even know. I've always felt like I was completely safe around my horse and now I feel like I might be in a dangerous situation and I'm afraid.

This is not a total 360. Your horse has been pushing you around in little ways and finally escalated it. She should not be allowed to get away with anything. Horses will test boundaries then push through them when they're ready.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
DancingArabian is offline  
post #25 of 30 Old 10-15-2013, 06:59 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 3,860
• Horses: 3
I am not a fan of NH for just the reasons you are having. Too many problem horses come from that.

Quit trying to be your horse's friend too. You are not a horse, nor is she human.

And again, most of the problems I see in horses are caused by that mindset too.

Horse is spoiled now. And will get worse too if this isn't nipped in the bud now.
Kayty, Speed Racer and bsms like this.

Horses make me a better person.
Palomine is offline  
post #26 of 30 Old 10-15-2013, 12:23 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 35,460
• Horses: 3
I'm going to assume that this current aggressive behavior is a new thing
I have 5 mares
I have owned them ranging from 20+ years for the longest to 1 year for the newest one
I do insist on clear boundaries for behavior but they do get treats, hugs and a I do fuss over them at times
They have all had to go through changes of routine and homes - 3 of them came here from the UK
They have all had to spend time stabled for long periods for various reasons
None of them would even think about biting or kicking
I mention all of this because if one of my horses suddenly changed character the way your horse has I would be calling a Vet out to have some tests done because horses should not suddenly turn like this for no reason.
jaydee is offline  
post #27 of 30 Old 10-16-2013, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 196
• Horses: 0
First of all, I want to thank everyone for all of your opinions and advice! You have all clearly put a lot of your time into helping me with this issue and I really appreciate it!

Things are going better with the adjustment. Today marks a week at the new stable and there's a big difference in behavior already. My trainer has already worked with her twice, and he is much quicker to correct the little issues than I am. I'm working on it also. I've been much more focused on respect and I already notice she is respecting me much more. Little things like pushing her head out of my space and making her back up and get out of my space when I lead her... they are making HUGE HUGE HUGE differences and I'm really happy that things are going much better for us.

Of course she isn't perfect with her ground manners yet, but we have come a long way from the kick in the leg to this. I have to be honest, I know the stable-switch doesn't justify the behavior, but it sure did accentuate it and I know my horse, I have to give at least some of the credit for her behavior to the switch.

This is a great reference tab for when/if I have issues in the future or when I need a refresher. Again I appreciate all of your insight and I hope my struggle was able to help someone with their own horse!
Sharpie and Northernstar like this.
iDressage is offline  
post #28 of 30 Old 10-16-2013, 10:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 110
• Horses: 0
I'm very VERY happy to hear that things are going better. I can tell u from my own issues with my new gelding that ground work makes ALL the difference.

I brought my new horses home on September 5th. The gelding challenged me DAILY in a variety of ways and I posted for help. Nearly everyone suggested just basic ground exercises and today.... Just a few weeks later.... He is a different horse!! And absolute joy to ride.

But I took the advice and I make HIM move his feet..... Leading him..... In the cross ties.... On the lunge line and under saddle. What I DIDN'T expect was the new level of TRUST he has for me.... And vice versa.

I honestly considered selling him a few weeks ago.... It was just a constant battle and quite honestly it wasn't any fun. Now.... I absolutely ADORE him.... And he is a blast.

I rode him in a dimly lit arena tonight.... Walked him quite a distance back to his pasture in the dark... And he was as solid as they come. Couldn't have been more proud. But consistency is the key. Your mare has GOT to respect you. Things will be so much better for both of you if u CONSISTENTLY make her mind.

Your off to a good start it sounds like!! ;)
Posted via Mobile Device
Lucky1inKy is offline  
post #29 of 30 Old 10-16-2013, 10:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 8,193
• Horses: 3
I certainly hope that the improvements continue, and that you are able to take a spoonful of cement and just get on with it rather than feeling like a victim. You created the problem, now you ned to fix it. It's time to buck up and own it.

As others have said, this is not a dressage vs any other discipline issue. I am a Dressage rider, and I'll be ****ed if I allowed any horse in my care to behave the way yours does. Even my now rising 3 year old, who is cheeky as all heck and very much needs breaking in before he turns into some kind of destructor tornado, wouldn't DARE put a hoof on him. If he so much as puts his ears back at me, he thinks twice and sharpens up super quickly.
A half tonne animal that comes equipped with solid muscle, a huge amount of power, hard hooves and sharp teeth cannot be given an inch when it comes to respect. They are not cute little play things, they can and do kill and seriously injure people on a daily basis. My own coach with 40 years experience and an accomplished FEI dressage rider, breaker and trainer, was kicked just above the knee once. Not even a hard kick, and she ended up with two knee caps and a femur almost poking through her skin. Not her own horse mind you!

Don't even think about Dressage training right now. If you can't get respect on the ground, do you seriously expect this mare to respect you while you're on her back, telling her to work for you? Good luck with that.
Get the ground work down pat, expect her to be a meek little lamb before you get on. Give her 'the eye' and she should back right off immediately.
bsms likes this.

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

Kayty is offline  
post #30 of 30 Old 10-18-2013, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 196
• Horses: 0
Hi everyone, I'm going to unsubscribe to this thread now because things are going much better. I appreciate all of the time and advice that has gone into this. Things are again going much better. The bolting issue in the paddock has subsided, the respect and minding her own space and giving me mine has gotten much better, and things are overall looking up. I got bucked off tonight lol but that was a spooking thing and I think I may have been the one to spook her with my hand. Although she should not have spooked I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt and as long as it doesn't happen again in the next couple of weeks I don't think it will be a recurring thing. I can't blame her for a spook.

If for some reason you would like to respond or have something else to say, please PM me because I won't see it here. Thanks!
iDressage is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Getting discouraged... Nickers2002 Plus Sized Riders 10 10-02-2013 11:58 AM
It has to be me ............I am so discouraged ARTEMISBLOSSOM Horse Training 25 07-02-2013 09:11 PM
Do you ever get discouraged? Boomer11 Horse Riding & Horse Activity 24 07-04-2012 04:19 PM
Discouraged again trailhorserider Horse Training 9 11-13-2010 12:58 PM
Discouraged MoonlightEm Horse Riding & Horse Activity 5 04-09-2008 08:35 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome