Learning on a dominant mare - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 12-10-2018, 04:45 PM
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This is a challenging horse for you, but I think you can rise to the occassion.


one quick question; how many people in total are riding her? weekly.


I once part leased a mare who was a real goer. she was part arab and fast was her preferred speed. But, when the owner part leased her to two more persons, and occasionally rode her herself, we had 5 different persons riding her somewhat regularly. She finally rebelled, and when she did, she did it in style; rearing, and even striking out and threatening you if you were trying to 'work' her in a round pen. She had just had it! She put her feet down and said NO!


when the owner got her back to one or two riders only, she recoverred her good will.




The thing that might help is to watch her attitude. If you start to notice that she is beginning to 'sull up', which means she is thinking of resisting rather than going, you can sort of shake her out of that mindset by doing something new. Like, reverse directions. Or, come to a complete stop and let her have a long rein. Or, turn her 90 degrees and ask for a rapid depart into a trot , rather suddenly so she doesn't have time to think about doing anything else but going.
the trick is to knock her out of that mindset of resisting, but doing it BEFORE she really gets committed to that way of thinking.


you have to watch her, and notice if she is beginning to pin her ears, or if when you put a leg on, she sort of arches her back, and actually slows down, or she gives her head a bit of a shake. There is a feel that comes on even before these signs, that indicates you are 'losing' your horse into those thoughts.
Grab her back from them by doing something energetic.


I sometimes noisily slap my own thigh, or loudly hiss to break a horse out of this sort of thinking. I am always ready for them to jolt forward, and careful not to jerk them in the mouth with that. It's very improtant that once the hosre moves forward, in freedom, that it feel free to them, so you don't do anything, just let them move forward with energy, if you can ride that ok.
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post #12 of 20 Old 12-10-2018, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great advice. I will keep at it, there's not really another horse to lease. My trainers have done really well so far matching me with horses for what I need to work on at the time. So I'll try to not get too frustrated.
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post #13 of 20 Old 12-11-2018, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortyhorses4me View Post
Thanks for all the great advice. I will keep at it, there's not really another horse to lease. My trainers have done really well so far matching me with horses for what I need to work on at the time. So I'll try to not get too frustrated.
There is your answer, right there!! Frustrated. Horses do not understand frustration. Talk yourself down when you first begin to feel frustration, and work on solving ONLY the problem at hand. Then work on the next problem. You solve them one at a time, and the pony will understand and like having you work it.
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post #14 of 20 Old 12-11-2018, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortyhorses4me View Post
Thanks for all the great advice. I will keep at it, there's not really another horse to lease. My trainers have done really well so far matching me with horses for what I need to work on at the time. So I'll try to not get too frustrated.
You will become a better rider with the help of your trainer. In fact, because the mare is testing you, it give you opportunity to learn how to deal with it. I have gained a lot of confidence over the years with my mare, who is very similar in temperament to what you describe. I have learned more than one way to deal with the resistance of her Ghandi like protests (I'm just gonna stand here) and her little moving around at the mounting block, just enough that I can't mount. I have gone through bridling resistance, ignoring my inside leg resistance and a dozen other things she does to test me. Now, sadly, my trainer has returned to university to get her Master's and I am pretty much on my own, but with the tools I have been given I have found I am handling it just fine. I think it has also helped me bond with my mare.

Even though it may take longer for your equitation skills to develop because you can't practice without having to be correcting her, applying the corrections in themselves with develop your skills. It will be worth it so much down the road. It is actually a good opportunity!
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-12-2018, 12:35 PM
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If you are getting frustrated, she will sense that. It won't make your ride better. Easier said than done, I know.

I agree with the above. Get to know her, maybe even do some groundwork with her. Get to know her on the ground. Have your trainer help you with her too. Keep things interesting for her, try some serpentines/figure eights at the trot.

Be firm with her though. You may not be as confident as the other riders/trainers, and she probably notices it and thinks she can get away with stuff. I think you both just need to start understanding each other more, and think of yourselves as a 'team', if that makes sense. Let her know YOU are the alpha, but you need to work as a team. :) Don't give up! It's GOOD to have a challenge. Think of this as a good thing. It will make you a better rider in the end.
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post #16 of 20 Old 12-12-2018, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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My next lesson went better. My trainer helped me identify behaviors I should correct quickly by simply using the crop to have her go forward. So that's making things seem much less complicated. We both think ground work would be good and that she likely hasn't had much of it, it will be fun to see how she reacts. My trainer helped me also see positive behaviors she was doing towards me where she actually seems to like me. I am mostly the only one riding her right now as well.
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post #17 of 20 Old 12-13-2018, 11:10 AM
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That sounds like a good plan. Groundwork is very beneficial & it will all transfer to the saddle. I swear by it!

Ride more, worry less.
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post #18 of 20 Old 12-13-2018, 11:27 AM
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I'm glad things are going better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortyhorses4me View Post
My trainer helped me identify behaviors I should correct quickly by simply using the crop to have her go forward.
Please, ask with your legs first, even if it is just once. Give her a chance. This is what makes your "base-line." If you simply go straight to the crop, she won't get used to leg aids; therefore, you won't be able to ride with anything less.
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post #19 of 20 Old 12-24-2018, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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So things are a bit better, I'm also more used to her behaviors by now. My trainer started ground work with her and it is clear she never had much training in it. I've also worked with her a bit and she acts like a younger horse doing any ground work, but she's 14. I'm also trying really hard to use my seat and legs and very little rein and that is very helpful and what she wants. She really is very sensitive and I've gotten better responses through using my seat instead of reins to correct some things. So we both have a ways to go. Hopefully my saddle will come sooner than March like it's estimated, I'm trying to find something else I can use in the mean time, but it's not easy for an Icelandic. The one I'm using fits her but it's small for me and hard to balance.
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post #20 of 20 Old 12-24-2018, 04:07 PM
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There are lesson horses/lease horses whose past history puts them in that place where they test everyone and there is a balance between using what you know to get the horse forward (like the trainer) or needing to a smart tap with a whip to say "HEY YOU, I need your attention" followed by lightly asking (new rider on a horse that tests). This horse has already proven she doesn't think she has to listen. The trainer is there making the evaluation and recommendation to give the "correction" before the cue except in this case it isn't really a correction as much as it is a reminder that I need you to be of one mind with me and not have your own mind.
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