Need Advice on a Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-22-2013, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Exclamation Need Advice on a Horse

I will try to be as short but in-depth as possible here.

12 year old TWH
14.3 hands
Teeth floated month ago
Hoofs in good shape, and wears front shoes
UTD on all shoots
She has a very soft mouth
Gentle, no vices
Been ridden as trail horse extensively. Was the former owners personal horse. Rode her through two knee surgeries.

has plenty of pasture, and gets strategy ration (1/4 scoop a day)

We bought her 5 months ago. She started off good on trails. We bought another mare that had been with her. They are a little buddy sour, they want to be with each other.
She has gone from a good horse to a complete B**** of a horse!!!!! This is my wife's horse but I am really afraid to let her ride her right now. I was riding her at our farm and I did have a freak accident on. We were trotting and she just stumbled and she went almost to the ground. I went flying off and I have four broken ribs. I don't know what she tripped or stumbled on. I have looked and looked and thought about what was there but it was just grass and no holes or anything I saw. One of those freak things I guess.

The Problem:
This mare refuses to go down trials or be ridden. ( I don't mean a bad trail or anything like that. I mean if you leave the truck and just start heading for the trail opening) If you ride her at the farm she wants to go back to the barn and starts shaking her head and acting a fool.
We have taken her out two different places recently and she refuses to go down the trails she wants to turn back and go straight to the truck and trailer. She did that at two different locations. You can try to make her go but she fights you with head shake and starts turning around no matter how much you get in her mouth. She has a soft mouth. We have tried three different bits. If you keep trying to force her to keeping going from the truck she gets more agitated!

I am at a loss as to what to do!

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated!!!
Tau44 is offline  
post #2 of 8 Old 10-22-2013, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
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More info on this horse issue

she hasn't been ridden much in the last two months because everytime we get on her this happens at the farm or elsewhere. So if it was sore muscle I would think it would have had plenty of time to heal up.
Tau44 is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 10-22-2013, 01:10 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
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I would say that she is "Barn" sour. If she is buddy's with this other mare she could be acting up because she isn't with her, or she could be just remembering herself tripping and it could cause issues with her going on trails now. What kind of bits have you tried on her? Try getting off of her, give her a little smack with a crop, I would recommend to take on a hack, and then lead her towards where you wanna go. Make sure she does NOT get away with going to the trailer, if she tries to go back to the barn or trailer, just get off her and repeat the process. She soon will realize that it's better to listen then to get into a so called argument over going down the trail. Mares tend to be pushy when it comes to what they wanna do, you really gotta be firm with her and make sure she doesn't get away with things like that right off the bat.

Your Life can be saved with one Horse...
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Flashboy2011 is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 10-22-2013, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Also when she refuses go go she is with her buddy as well. The other horse will go on and she won't even follow or lead
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Tau44 is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 10-22-2013, 01:18 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
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The usual disclaimer pain should be ruled out first. Does the saddle fit properly? how are her teeth? is her back sore?

once the above is rulled out, I strongly suspect she doesn't want to go, so she puts up a fuss and doesn't have to. the horse is training you, very effectively.

You need to gain her respect. You can start on the ground(look up Clinton Anderson's ground work exercises). Then move to the saddle. If you are not comfortable riding her through her little tantrums, find someone who can. Once she realizes go means go, no matter where you point her, and that you deserve her respect, she will likely be fine.

one exercise that works is to work her near the trailer, hard. Lots of trotting and direction changes. Then ride towards the trail head and ask her to stop and rest, away from the trailer. Your goal is to create the idea that the trailer + a rider = lots of work, while the trail equals relaxation.
BlueSpark is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 10-22-2013, 01:20 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Texas
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This mare knows she can intimidate you and your wife.
I would send her to a trainer for 30-60 days .
Why is she shod only on the front? This may be why she stumbled. Ask your farrier. Good luck. Shalom
dbarabians is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 10-22-2013, 02:06 PM
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I would get a trainer to help you out. It sounds like your problem is that you got a smart horse who knows that she can get away with doing whatever she wants with you. She needs to be shown that that is not the case and for that you'll need someone experienced to help you out. It will take a while to fix and she will probably always test you - bad habits are quickly learned and never fully forgotten.
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TessaMay is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 10-22-2013, 06:23 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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I put the stumbling down to an accident if it's only happened once.

The rest (once you rule out pain) is just a horse that doesn't respect you and needs work. Some horses are fine being left in the paddock for weeks them pulled out for a ride, others need consistent work.

You can't let horses push you around, and I imagine that's what happened. You probably started off letting her get away with something little, like going into your space or pulling on the reins, stopping when she wants. Each time she refuses to go and you don't make her you're training her not to go. Once she's won once she'll try it again and again and get worse and worse.

On here you'll notice lots of people say "groundwork" and the reason is because if your horse doesn't respect you on the ground they likely won't respect you in the saddle. If you can work on that until she leads on a loose rope, backs and yields to pressure, lunges small circles then hopefully you'll start having "little wins" that will build on each other.

A harsher bit is not the answer. A horse doesn't naturally stop or turn with a bit, those responses are trained so if your horse isn't responding chances are it's their training that needs work. Unless you have to - keep out of the horse's mouth, that agitates them and escalates the situation. To get her moving forward you should need no mouth and all leg, if she goes to turn use one rein, releasing when she's facing the right way. Even if she's acting up always release when you get what you want, don't hold on because you "know" she's going to do it again.

I don't know what level of riding/handling you are, and it's probably best if you can get a trainer out for a few sessions to help you find safe ways to work on these problems.
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