Serious help....too dependent on other horses - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-15-2013, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Michigan
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Serious help....too dependent on other horses

So I need some serious help because our last show went pretty bad because my mare is WAY too dependent on other horses :/ So if we are in the arena at our barn alone, she gets really high strung and nervous about everything, if she leaves her stall and pasture buddy she gets upset. SO pretty much if she is alone she is nervous upset and really high strung. If i decide to take her on a trail ride alone, she literally every ten feet will become afraid of something and stop and do a 180 degree pivot and run the other way.

Even if we have another horse on our trail ride she refuses to take the lead. She will get upset and nervous even if she can hear the other horse behind her.

Any tips on how to get her less dependent and needy of other horses?

All I pay my Psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay and she'll listen to me any day <3
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-15-2013, 09:50 AM
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She's herd bound, and pretty badly from the sound of it.

Plus, if she's not a lead horse there's nothing you can do to make her one. Some horses are born followers and don't ever want to take the lead when out riding.

You need to work with her on separating her from her buddy more often. Are there only the two of them? I find that a herd of three is optimum, so you can take one away and the others don't go insane.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
Speed Racer is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 05-15-2013, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Michigan
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we have seperated her and this other horse. But i have in a high standard barn so it has a lot of other horses. We had her pastured and boarded next to my best friends horse but recently seperated them. So now she is just concerned about being around other horses in general. And when she and I leave for a show alone, she gets majorly upset

All I pay my Psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay and she'll listen to me any day <3
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-15-2013, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Well its easy, and you might not like the answer. Do more of what she is not good at. That's it.
You're the Boss. I think most of these kind of problems are due to people being scared to make their horse do what they tell them to do. In a way a lot of the time we teach our horses to act this way. You need to ride with confidence and determination. There really is no "big Trick" to fix this kind of behavior other then confident determined riding and lots of it. This is not a one time ride fix your horse need to learn she can and must do what you ask. Because, if she doesn't live is hard.
Think of it like this, Poor behavior gets worked, Good behavior get rest. Its that easy, when she reacts poorly life is hard, when she responds correctly there is rest/peace.
For you stay clam, when she is reacting poorly and you are fighting with her STAY CLAM, there is nothing to get worked up about. I have found that when I am having a "fight" with a horse, (like your or with other problems) when I am clam and matter a fact about it the fight is much shorter and peace is found much sooner. If I am mad and fighting then it all just gets bigger and bigger and I become part of the problem.
So all that to say, ride your horse. Put her into situations where she will reacted poorly, this will give you the opportunity to teach her how to respond correctly. For me a horse that "doesn't like" to do whatever, ride in front, ride alone, let horses pass, ride close to another on and so on. Whatever the horse doesn't like that is where that horse is ridden and we ride there until he/she is clam and responding correctly not reacting poorly. People make big big mistakes protecting and excusing their horses poor behavior (not saying this is what you are doing). Its all up to you, set your expectations high and demand that your horse live up to them.
I know this kind of horse is "not fun" to ride, "but I just want to go for a nice trail ride". Believe me I get it, But this is your horse she is yours to fix or she is your to pay someone to fix.

This is not a fun problem to have, BUT its is very fixable. Its not hard, you don't have to be a "master horse trainer" to fix this you can do it. It just takes time. good luck
CowboyBob is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 05-15-2013, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Sounds like she needs a one way ticket to the "patients tree." Tie her to a tree away from the other horses and let her do her thing..once she is standing calm she can go back to them. This may take hours... as for the riding you need to stay calm, relaxed and make her do what you want.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-15-2013, 12:42 PM
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My mare is about to meet the "Patience Tree" in a few weeks. It's dangerous and embarrassing and it has to stop before I take her off with me.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-15-2013, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Michigan
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Thanks ill try all of this ! Our biggest problem is the trail rides where she gets reallly weird when she's alone. She'll stop dead in her tracks and really bracey then if i urge her forward she'll do a 180 degree turn and go the other direction, and the process continues. So pretty much when we're alone we walk a ten foot strip 200000000000 times

All I pay my Psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay and she'll listen to me any day <3
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-15-2013, 02:08 PM
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Groundwork groundwork groundwork. She is herd bound and doesn't respect you as leader. I'd recommend Clinton Anderson as a starting point since his stuff is pretty accessible.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-15-2013, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Michigan
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Already do tons of ground work. I'm being trained in Natural Horsemanship in general and have a trainer for it. I havent seen him in a few weeks ( i will be this weekend) so i havent had the chance to ask him about this. But I wanted to seee if I could get a head start on this and waste less of my money on going over things that I could find solutions to myself

All I pay my Psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay and she'll listen to me any day <3
HorseCourage is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 05-15-2013, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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Originally Posted by HorseCourage View Post
Already do tons of ground work
QUALITY over quantity.

I just met this mare a few weeks ago.. a complete jerk of a mare in terms of not liking people to do anything she didn't approve of (hoof picking, scrubbing legs and tummy, poking her side to get her to yield her hind, etc.) and in ONE session of ground work, she was better about it. In TWO sessions she was reading my body language and looking to me for guidance. THREE sessions she didn't swish her tail and happily yielded over and didn't try to stomp if I scrubbed her belly.

We just finished our fourth session last week and she can be "sent" and lunged off of voice and body cues.

Quality, over quantity.
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