Problems with mare - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-02-2019, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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Question Problems with mare

About 3 weeks ago I got my 7 year old mare Bella. My first week with her was difficult, she bit me, kicked me, stood on my foot etc. then we got a lady who is kind of a horse trainer and she knows a lot about horses to come help us. She managed to get Bella's ground manners perfect. I then tried to ride her and she gave me so many problems. First she wouldn't move and when she eventually did move she would run towards her stable and I just couldn't control her properly. So I decided to just get off. I then decided to get Bella's previous owner to come and help me with riding and lunging and it was a huge mistake. Bella would just want to do her own thing and would suddenly take off and then keep eating the bushes and I just could not control her.
Ever since her previous owner was here we've gone back to square one, she is pushy again, still won't co-opperate when riding and is just being so problematic. When she doesn't get her own way she turns around and tries to kick me. She also hates being groomed, when I try and brush her she tries to move and again turn around to kick me.
A lady heard about the issues I was having with Bella and offered to do a straight swap for one of her very well trained calm mares as she wants a young black horse to train herself, We are going to look at her mares soon.
So I just wanted to find out if you think Bella is trainable and if we are able to fix her problems. I love her so much and it'll break my heart to see her go but she is becoming a danger to me and I can't look after her properly because of her unpredictable behaviour. She has been by herself without any horses all her life and she is still alone with me, do you think she is maybe lonely and that's why she is acting up maybe?
This might be a stupid question, but if I had to put her with a well trained and well behaved horse would she become better or not really?

Do you think I should swap her or does anyone have any other suggestions?

Your help will be much appreciated

thanks, Tayla
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-02-2019, 06:41 AM
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What happened to the trainer? Does she only do groundwork? Can you get another trainer to come help you and her?

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post #3 of 14 Old 09-02-2019, 07:07 AM
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Swap her if you can do so for a well-behaved horse. I assume you didn't try her out before you bought her? Try out any potential horse you might swap for. She is probably trainable, but you don't have the skills to do it yourself, so that means paying a trainer for weeks, maybe months of training. And she sounds like the type of horse that will take advantage of her rider, so even if you get her retrained, there's no guarantee she will stay that way when you start riding her and handling her again. Horses quickly figure out who they have to listen to, and who they can ignore. This horse won't be any fun for you.

And no, horses don't learn to behave around humans by being around other well-trained horses. Those horses might teach the horse better manners around horses by putting them in their place, but they won't teach it to behave well around humans. Humans have to do that. It's a lot of work, and should be done by a skilled person. I'm afraid you are in over your head here, and would be better off getting rid of this horse and getting one that will actually make the experience more pleasant.
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-02-2019, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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I did try her out when we went to see her and she was perfect, rode so well. I agree with what you're saying. The swap was meant to happen 2 days ago but the lady is sick so I have to deal with Bella for another 4 or 5 days. I'm beginning to become afraid of her so I also believe the swap will be best. Thanks a lot for the advice really appreciate it
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-02-2019, 07:19 AM
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My advice is to get the trainer to help you again and let her be trained for some weeks at least. She understood she can take the control of the situation with you.

Is that your first horse or do you have any experience in general with horses?

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post #6 of 14 Old 09-02-2019, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylalexia View Post
About 3 weeks ago I got my 7 year old mare Bella. My first week with her was difficult, she bit me, kicked me, stood on my foot etc.
I mean this in a kind way, so I hope you won't think I sound harsh. First, welcome to the forum.
Now to me it sounds like you may not have enough horse experience to be working with a horse on your own yet. I'll say it definitely sounds like you need a horse that won't take advantage of your lack of experience, and Bella seems to understand that you don't know how to handle her yet.
An example that makes me think this way is that you say she stood on your foot. Almost any horse will stand on anyone's foot if they don't know how to stay away from underneath where the horse is moving. One of the first things taught to people who handle horses is to make sure you keep your feet where they won't step on them. Basically, if a horse steps on your foot it is nearly always your fault.

In my opinion, it would be good to get a horse that is supposedly more well trained and docile if one is available to you. However, you should understand that horses will not go on "auto pilot" and will need guidance from any handler. If you do not know how to give clear, consistent cues, any horse, even a well trained one will soon develop issues. An example again is that you were unable to stop the horse from eating when you were trying to ride. That would be something you should learn how to manage early on when learning to ride, and also the fact that she objects to being groomed might also mean you could use some lessons on signaling to horses what your intention is, reading how the horse is responding to you, and using your body language correctly.

Although she may have issues from not being handled much or being alone, there still are things that seem to indicate some lack of training on your part also. Yes, both of you are trainable, certainly. She probably shouldn't be trained by you, but perhaps you could have your own training with a different horse that is better suited to a beginner.
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-02-2019, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
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The trainer is the one who organized the swap so I'm not sure if she is still going to be willing to help at a decent price
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-02-2019, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylalexia View Post
I did try her out when we went to see her and she was perfect, rode so well. I agree with what you're saying. The swap was meant to happen 2 days ago but the lady is sick so I have to deal with Bella for another 4 or 5 days. I'm beginning to become afraid of her so I also believe the swap will be best. Thanks a lot for the advice really appreciate it
With my mare I also had a difficult period at the beginning, when she figured my weak points. The only why we got over that was with the help of an expert because i definitely did not have the experience to do it by myself. Even if you swap her with another horse, keep in mind that not predicted situations can always happen.

If you have the time and possibility to work with her, do not give up immediately :) A lot of times difficult horses are the ones who can then give you the most.

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post #9 of 14 Old 09-02-2019, 07:25 AM
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Your horses sounds like she has many bad habits from her previous owners ability or inability to have the animals respect and willing attitude when interacting on the ground or astride.
A real trainer is needed to spend not a hour but a few weeks with the horse, then you to teach you both how to ask for and the horse react appropriately is probably where you need to be.
The horse is definitely testing you. Testing what you know and what the horse is going to be allowed to get away with...so far horse is winning the game now played.
Get the old owner away from the horse and work with someone who is a professional that deals with horses with problems and riders who need to be taught better animal communication and respect techniques.
Can you afford to pay a trainer to train the horse and you?
Can you take the time to do this as it will take time, not days but possibly weeks or a few months till you both have lost the bad habits and built a new, strong foundation....
Whether you "trade" this horse for another or spend the time to "fix", work with this one....if you don't have the experience to establish good basics of respect from the animal you will be heading in the same direction.
Only you know what kind of experience level you are, how much you can afford to now spend and how much you will lose to trade for another animal...and you will lose $$ every-time you trade you will need to find $$ to bring home another. That is the business of horse-dealing...make money.
Or, you have what you have...keep it and correct the issues now that have begun to show themselves.
All your decision....


WELCOME to the Forum!!
...
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-02-2019, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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That's amazing, I'll keep it in mind thanks a lot
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