Hi & welcome to HF... can we call you Psycho for short??
First & foremost, I do understand & sympathise with where you're at(been about there personally, albeit a long time ago & my first horse was a rearer, not a bucker, with 'experts' who advised 'show him who's boss' type stuff). Most of us didn't go into horses already understanding horses & training well, we have all made many mistakes, due to the knowledge & skill we had - or didn't have - at the time. Many of us also don't have the best of support, end up with some... questionable attitudes & practices from the helpers we can find, and many of us don't have $$$ for exxy trainers either. So, this is by way of explaining, I'm not trying to judge or 'come down on you' for what you've said/done, just that there are lots of 'issues' I see here. I'm going to comment with my opinions on specific bits of your post as I go thru...
Originally Posted by MymareIsSweetButPsycho View Post
First off all, my mare got checked nose to tail. Nothing is wrong.
The tack fits just fine, how do I know? Had 2 experienced friend and the barn owner look at it.
Great that you have tried to check out that side of things, as 'bad behaviour' is very often due to pain/discomfort, or fear. I wouldn't be so quick to assume you have ruled out anything physical or tack related from what you've said above though.
How was your mare 'checked nose to tail'? By a good equine vet? Has she had any bodywork such as a chiropractic vet, esp since having the foal? Why I ask is that even vets may miss things, that 'general' equine vets, unless specialised may not have good knowledge about body issues, so may not be qualified to find/fix those type issues like a specialist chiro-vet for eg. Also regardless of whether she had previous body issues, it's common for mares to have pelvic issues after foaling.
And tack... Just how *knowledgeable about good saddle fit* were these experienced friends? IME - and it seems many, many others here & elsewhere I've discussed with - even 'professional saddle fitters'(whatever that title is worth) are often incorrect/mistaken/don't understand all the factors of *comfortably* fitting saddles to horses. I personally trust my chiropractic vet to assess saddle fit, but have only had terrible experiences with hiring 'pro saddle fitters'("trust me, he's not bucking because of the saddle...") So... not saying it is of course, but I also wouldn't class it as ruled out. There are a few here with good knowledge on the subject, particularly a guy,
who is very knowledgeable & while pics & measurements don't allow for real accuracy, he could give you some sound advice if you wanted to make a thread on that.
Now, assuming it is all behavioural...
She's is know to be very very stubborn and also she is notorious for her killer bucks.
'Stubborn' means a horse has learned that resisting works for them. IOW, people have inadvertently taught her how to 'out persist' them. In order to 'untrain' this, you must make sure resisting NEVER works again(if it works occasionally, like the pokies for people, her belief in 'being stubborn' and resistant behaviour will get even stronger!), and you need to make the 'right things' - ie. responding to soft cues - easy *& rewarding* for her.
Known for her 'killer bucks'. Whether it is or not now, IME I believe either pain or fear was behind this behaviour originally. If she was great until one day... then I'd say pain was the likeliest, but if she's always been like that since first started, and as a lot of people 'break' horses rather confrontationally and they are fearful & reactive(bucking) when first saddled, it is likely fear based 'habit'.
So... as well as ensuring nothing is hurting her now, I'd 'restart' her from scratch, to ensure that there was no fear/reactivity at any step of the way. And again, if she does buck, be it from fear or otherwise, if it works for her at all - gets rid of the worry on her back, or at least causes them to quit asking for something she doesn't want to do - she will do more of it. So if you're not quite sure you won't come off, I'd find a (considerate, if that's not an oxymoron)bronc rider to help break her of the habit. **As she has apparently done this successfully for some years, I would not assume she will ever be 100% 'broke' of it tho, so I wouldn't allow anyone but an experienced rider who knows how to handle it, to ride her.
We moved to another barn, at this time the foal was 7 months and ready to be weened. The mare was pretty chill about it but I waited a few weeks before I back on. I started riding her again and for the first few times nothing major happened, however I did notice she was more nervous and spooked a bit.
One time she bucked pretty hard, I chickened out and let my friend ride her through. I though this was a one time thing and the next day I decided I asked to much from her and I restarted groundwork.
1. you moved to a strange environment. 2. foal was weaned. Means, aside from other factors, her nutritional & calorie requirement has changed, which may have also had a bearing on her attitude. 3. she was understandably a bit spooky under saddle - what did you do to *help her regain her confidence*?
When she bucked & you 'chickened out' does that mean you bailed? Of course, don't try to hang in there if you feel unsafe, but do realise every time this happens, you are strengthening her 'training' that bucking... & bucking harder if it doesn't work to start with, is the Right answer.
Yes, you may well have asked too much of her at that point in time, and yes, groundwork may well be a good move for her too. But realise that this will not change her ridden behaviour. Horses learn from instant, direct association, so to change her ridden behaviour, you need to do so while riding.
She was a disrespectfull nasty idiot who just ran off dragging the lunge line through my hands.
The kind of trendy term/theory about 'respect' and 'disrespect' of horses grates on me quite a bit personally. That she 'disrespects' you is an obvious 'no brainer' & unhelpful, IMO, just like saying "your problem is she wasn't obedient - you need to gain her obedience & then she will be obedient." I don't subscribe to the opinion that you can force 'respect', that it entails fear(of punishment or otherwise) or that the horse should be 'obedient' to whatever you ask or they're being a 'nasty idiot'.
How respectful are you
attitude & feelings? I ask this because to me, 'respect' is something you *earn* through being trustworthy, considerate and clear and consistent on everything. IOW it's a 2 way street - you can't earn respect without proving to the horse you're respectFUL of her. So, when you called her a 'disrespectful nasty idiot' it suggests you are probably not respectful & understanding of her, so therefore her not respecting you is a given.
As for what exactly she did, I'd first ask whether she has lunged well in the past, and how well she understands the task *& all the 'ingredients' of that task? Was it that she wasn't 100% sure what you were asking, that you weren't clear, that she has not learned how to *respond* rather than react
to what you were asking? If she did understand all that well and if she has lunged well & reliably *for you* in the past, perhaps she was reacting to your attitude, or perhaps due to her nervous disposition ATM & that you weren't being a respectFUL leader, she was worried & reactive, or perhaps, because of the above, she wasn't actually nervous, but was effectively telling you 'you & who's army?' - that you don't have the right to tell her what to do. From what you have said, I sus there is at least a fair bit of fear & confusion involved tho.
Today I decided to lunge again.
Well, I saw every corner of that darn arena. Again a friend helped me out and he is very very experienced and he has seen many "problem" horses.
He got dragged around like a lil' piece of paper by this mare.
I decided that I was done and I whooped her bum and used a heavy bit(normally against it but I could not think clearly at that moment)....
One more thing about lunging is, I use it to teach/reinforce a horse responding to 'implied' pressure - eg bodylanguage, a pointed finger, a raised arm, swung rope/stick/whip... signals at a distance. It's important to have a good understanding of where you're at & where you're wanting to go with it. So I'd ask *why* did you decide to lunge & what were you wanting to teach/reinforce? What made you decide she was ready for that step? What was your reason & method for this?
Sounds to me like your friend may have a lot of experience with seeing
'problem' horses, but he's not very knowledgeable or experienced with actually training
When did you 'whoop her bum'(I gather than means you hit her with a whip/rope?) exactly? And what exactly
for? And what exactly
did you use a heavy(I presume you mean harsh, painful?) bit for? Do you understand that horses don't think rationally, cannot understand abstracted ideas? So they need *INSTANT* consequences, to link cause to effect. So... for eg. if you 'whooped her bum' *as* she was running backwards, in order to make her come forward, then quit the *instant* she jumped forward, that would be potentially productive - you punished the behaviour that was Wrong. If however, you walloped her after the event, whatever she was doing at the time
is what you effectively punished. If you put a 'heavy' bit in her mouth so that *when* she was dragging you/your friend, it would be painful for her, then there is some value in it. But if you just got stroppy with her & handled her harshly because of what she had been doing, you're being harsh & stroppy for no reason in her eyes.
So, my mare with a stubborn personality and a known bucking problem went nuts.
Yep, as I hope I explained, as she wouldn't have had a clue what YOU were 'going nuts' on her about, it's not surprising she 'went nuts' even more with this treatment. Perhaps we can anthropomorphise for a minute... Imagine you were taken by foreigners who's language you couldn't understand, then made to do something that... seemed unsavoury to you. Imagine you also don't understand what is wanted of you, and the foreigners are yelling & gesturing, unintelligibly at you. Imagine then they started 'walloping your bum' and put a bit of sharp metal in your mouth & got rough with it. Would the last things help you better understand & trust what they were asking? Would you 'respect' them for all this? Or would you perhaps 'go nuts' trying to escape?
I think, respectfully, that it sounds like you could do with some lessons in equine behaviour/psychology, and the *principles* behind training, before you practice more of it, esp with an already 'difficult' horse. If you don't know what you're doing yourself, especially as it sounds like the mare was already dangerous & messed up by people before you got her, if you can't afford a trainer(maybe you could barter with one if you don't have the cash - maybe work for them & they can teach you as well as the horse??), for safety's sake, as well as not adding to her 'wrong training', sounds likely best to find this horse a home(if you can) with a good, experienced trainer, or just keep her as a 'pasture pet'(tho you still need to ensure she is able to be managed safely for hoofcare etc). Because trying & failing with others who don't know what to do either is only likely to make her far worse, more dangerous, more difficult for even a good trainer to be able to 'recover'.
Currently considering tying her nose at her breast, taking my spurs and 2 wips. Just "kindly" saying "hey, I'm done do nor try me again"....
Glad you are asking for advice before doing anything of the sort, as, as I hope I've explained clearly above, horses don't think like people, so she wouldn't have a clue what you were being cruel about even.
I only have a big arena and no round pen or small paddock, she just smashes through wire so I cant section off a smaller piece. She just gives zero care about pressure, she just turns her head and bolts.
If she either hates/is frightened to stay with you so much that she 'smashes through wire', I think that is somewhere you can start safely, without help from others. Work on getting her to *want* to stay with you, to trust you not to get after her. THEN you can start to teach her that to *respond* to your 'pressure' is something she will be rewarded for, so she will learn to respond rather than react, and want to stay with you even when you 'put pressure on'. I do not believe this horse 'gives zero care' about pressure - on the contrary, I think she either hates or fears it & doesn't understand, or is not reinforced/rewarded for *responding*.
With riding, I hopped on a few times during this whole groundwork ordeal. She was very very very tense but wasn't mean.
Horses are not(with perhaps extremely rare exceptions, of which I've never met) innately 'mean' or such, but they can be made
to be, by people - including well meaning people who just don't know what they're doing. I would definitely NOT be getting on this horse at this point, if you value your safety, and also if you want to get her happy & confident about being ridden. If she is tense about you just being near her, 'very, very tense' about being ridden, you're only asking for her to 'go psycho' on you if you insist on riding.
Boy... started this answer this morn before there were any other replies, but had to come back to it between 'life' a few times, so sorry if I've basically said what others have said already.