Got my first horse! Would love some advice. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 53 Old 10-22-2014, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Location: North Carolina, USA
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Got my first horse! Would love some advice.

Hello! After a lot of research I've finally taken the plunge and bought a 11 year old appaloosa mare a few days ago. We've been working on ground work as she's been really pushy and testy being in a new place. I'd like some opinions and advice on her and I have a few questions aswell if anyone is willing to help. :)

She paces, and has been since she got here, I dont know if she did this at her previous home. I know she chooses to sleep outside and not in the shelter. She's not afraid of it and will go in it but wont sleep in it.
I'm wondering if she was stalled up for a long amount of time in her life or something? She paces one side of the fence. Anyone have any ideas on this?

She has improved so much just in these few days I've had her and worked with her but today she tested me in a way I wasn't expecting and I want to make sure I handled it right. I've always been taught since I was young that you make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard when it comes to animals.
She's always been amazing about being caught I'd just go up and grab her. Well I fed her and everything and decided I wanted to groom her today so went to catch her and she went to pacing. I walked up to her speaking to her so she knew I was there and reached out for her halter and she trotted off from me and pinned her ears back. I stood still and she paced my way again and as she approached me she pinned her ears and started trotting again. So I got a long stick and made her run, I dont have a round pen yet so I just free lunged her. I didn't touch her with the stick I used it like you would lunging a horse with a whip and I made her run. After a bit of running I'd let her stop and calm down and I'd drop the stick and wait then talk to her and walk up to her again to try and get her she'd pin at me again so I'd make her run more. We did this about ten times and after the tenth time when I stopped and talked to her she came up to me and let me catch her. Did I handle this how I should have? Could I have handled it better? How?

I'd also like to know when a good time to get on her would be? She's broken and ridable I rode her before I bought her. I'm just not sure if I should wait until she is totally comfortable or not.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 53 Old 10-22-2014, 07:01 PM
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Congrats on your new mare! pics please....

Are there other horses where you have her or is she all alone ?

Sounds to me like you handled her challenge pretty darned good! Just to be on the safe side, I'd make sure I always had a stick/string-lounge whip-or at least a rope with a leather popper on the end, so you don't have to find a stick to use if needed. Good for you for making her move her feet until she showed a respectful attitude. That spoke volumes to her about who is the leader and who isnt.

About the riding,,,jmho, but until I had some consistent ground manners, could make her move her feet , yield fq and hq, lead with me in front or beside and keep up with me, stop when I stop--no crowding or shoulderin int, etc...I wouldnt even think about getting on her back.

Good luck!
FAy
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Respect......rapport......impulsion......flexion.. .
Be as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary--Pat Parelli
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post #3 of 53 Old 10-22-2014, 07:10 PM
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Sounds like you handled it well! She's stubborn, but if you keep it up, she'll come around. Maybe she'd like some herd members. Do you have any other horses you could keep her with? My girl is always calmer when she has some buddies.
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“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #4 of 53 Old 10-22-2014, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: North Carolina, USA
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I'm glad to hear I handled it well I was worried I'd done it wrong because she is my first.
I'm also stubborn as you can tell and I dont give up easily lol!
She seems to have a new challenge for me every day.

I dont have other horses, I have two goats who she so far has taken a liking to. She is able to see and hear my neighbors horses aswell and talks to them.
She seems pretty comfortable except for her pacing on that side of the fence, she lays down to sleep, she rolls, she's acting like a normal horse. Except she just paces that one side of the fence constantly. I'm wondering if it's a old habbit or something.

I haven't taken her picture yet and it's dark out. I'll get some tomorrow morning though. :) She's a bay marble roan I think or a bay blanket roan
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post #5 of 53 Old 10-22-2014, 08:40 PM
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She wants a horse friend. Her pacing indicates a high stress level.
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post #6 of 53 Old 10-22-2014, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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I cant afford another horse and was told horses do fine with other herd animals by multiple people. She's only been here a few days so I imagine she is still stressed, it was a long move.
I respect your opinion and thank you though.
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post #7 of 53 Old 10-22-2014, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon View Post
I cant afford another horse and was told horses do fine with other herd animals by multiple people. She's only been here a few days so I imagine she is still stressed, it was a long move.
I respect your opinion and thank you though.
Some horses do fine, others do not. Maybe she'll settle down with time but if not I would be looking for a boarder or offer an inexpensive retirement home for someone's beloved horse or pony.
I board a retired horse, the owner lives out of State & is very happy to pay for full care of her 'heart horse'. There are people who will do that for peace of mind. Win win for you if you have the space.
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post #8 of 53 Old 10-22-2014, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natisha View Post
Some horses do fine, others do not. Maybe she'll settle down with time but if not I would be looking for a boarder or offer an inexpensive retirement home for someone's beloved horse or pony.
I board a retired horse, the owner lives out of State & is very happy to pay for full care of her 'heart horse'. There are people who will do that for peace of mind. Win win for you if you have the space.
I will keep a eye on her, thank you that is a very good idea! I only have a acre fenced in right now but I plan to fence in a couple more.
I'll look into getting her a equine friend somehow if she doesn't settle in.
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post #9 of 53 Old 10-23-2014, 07:54 AM
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It took my horse a while to settle in and not be nervous anymore. Same with my daughter's horse. I would give it a solid 3 months before you'll see your horse's "real" behavior. Anything before that could be settling-in issues. Others will disagree with this, probably many with lots more experience than me, but this has been my experience.

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #10 of 53 Old 10-23-2014, 09:11 AM
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She sounds like my mare when I first got her xD
Horses prefer to sleep outside with the rest of the herd so that's nothing to worry about :) About the running away when being caught thing, my mare used to do that. Your horse does the same thing as mine when I first adopted her. She'd run away from me whenever I tried to catch her and it would take FOREVER just to get the rope on her neck. What I did was I circled her and made her uncomfortable that way, and when she looked at me, I took a step back and turned around so my eyes weren't locked on hers. That way she learns when she looks at me she gets release from the predatory pressure (circling her like she's prey when she isn't looking at me). Eventually I got to the point I could call her name and she'd look at me, and let me catch her, but I always want my horses to come to me in the field, not wait for me. To train that, I get close to her and yes, bribe her with a treat. When she comes, praise her, give her the treat, and make a big fuss over her. Do that for a while and then progress to doing it farther away, and eventually not even showing her the carrot, just calling/whistling or whatever you do to call them. When you take her out show her it's better than being in the pasture. Let her hand graze, lead her up to other horses so those are the same thing in the field, but also show her you'll pet her, grain her, and spend time with her when she's not in the pasture so she starts to believe outside the pasture is better. Seriously it's like you're describing mine when I first got her, but trust me in a few month's time she'll be the best horse you've ever had.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon View Post
Hello! After a lot of research I've finally taken the plunge and bought a 11 year old appaloosa mare a few days ago. We've been working on ground work as she's been really pushy and testy being in a new place. I'd like some opinions and advice on her and I have a few questions aswell if anyone is willing to help. :)

She paces, and has been since she got here, I dont know if she did this at her previous home. I know she chooses to sleep outside and not in the shelter. She's not afraid of it and will go in it but wont sleep in it.
I'm wondering if she was stalled up for a long amount of time in her life or something? She paces one side of the fence. Anyone have any ideas on this?

She has improved so much just in these few days I've had her and worked with her but today she tested me in a way I wasn't expecting and I want to make sure I handled it right. I've always been taught since I was young that you make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard when it comes to animals.
She's always been amazing about being caught I'd just go up and grab her. Well I fed her and everything and decided I wanted to groom her today so went to catch her and she went to pacing. I walked up to her speaking to her so she knew I was there and reached out for her halter and she trotted off from me and pinned her ears back. I stood still and she paced my way again and as she approached me she pinned her ears and started trotting again. So I got a long stick and made her run, I dont have a round pen yet so I just free lunged her. I didn't touch her with the stick I used it like you would lunging a horse with a whip and I made her run. After a bit of running I'd let her stop and calm down and I'd drop the stick and wait then talk to her and walk up to her again to try and get her she'd pin at me again so I'd make her run more. We did this about ten times and after the tenth time when I stopped and talked to her she came up to me and let me catch her. Did I handle this how I should have? Could I have handled it better? How?

I'd also like to know when a good time to get on her would be? She's broken and ridable I rode her before I bought her. I'm just not sure if I should wait until she is totally comfortable or not.

Thank you!
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