My mare is now really pushing her luck - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 08-27-2017, 09:06 AM
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One other thing to consider.....

Sometimes it's better if you get into an angry mood, to just recognize it and walk away for a day. I'm embarrassed sometimes when I look back my younger days when I sometimes carried my "bad day" mood to the barn and sometimes went overboard. I finally realized that horses don't intentionally set out to be "bad" (although they certainly will challenge and resist!) and some days it's better to win a few battles, walk away and come back later in a better frame of mind, especially if the situation is escalating.

Bear in mind also that dealing with mares is a slightly different ball game. They are smarter than geldings and have moods and heat cycles that effect their behavior differently-sometimes on a daily basis! Track your mare's heat cycles as you get to know her better and you'll start to see a correlation in her behavior. I had nothing but mares the first decades of my horse life and now have geldings. There is quite a difference in dealing with them. No matter the gender of the horse, there simply going to be days when it's better to win a battle or two and then end on a good note!

It sounds like you have a good instructor and are going down the right path. Just recognize that a bad (or less successful) session (for whatever reason) with a horse can escalate and get worse and worse. If the bad sessions are constant, the only thing you can do is break down the problems and work with them one at a time.
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post #12 of 21 Old 08-27-2017, 09:07 AM
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Your mare sounds really smart and is educating you in how to be alert and on top-of-your-game at all times.
Horses don't think like a human...
We though must think like a horse does, anticipate and react in positive ways before the situation arises.

You had a good ride sounded surprised.

I have a shirt I love to wear that is very fitting...
Simple words that mean much...

You can tell a gelding,
You can ask a stallion,
But you MUST discuss
it with a mare.

I have found over years of working and riding those simple words above are very true...
It is also a throw-back to years of horses being wild...
Mares are who run the herd not the stallion. He is only a protector and stud service.
Your mare is doing exactly what nature smart and on the look-out to rule.
It is your job to show her she can rely on you to lead and she follow...
Her "testing" to me means she is unsure of your ability to lead her she tests and you either pass or fail that test.
Those tests are daily and are every single time you interact with that horse whether it is on the ground or her back it is a learning experience for her and for you...
Learn to pass those tests with flying colors and the daily testing will lessen but remember this horse IS always watching to take back leadership from you....
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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #13 of 21 Old 08-27-2017, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by horseloveforlife View Post
Is she a young horse? Young horses tend to like to have a bit of fun. We have a young horse at the mo and she's the same, always has a new "trick". I usually ignore it and correct her when necessary and it seems to work.
Although I do have an older mare who does the same thing, just not as often. She panics when she thinks she will be hit too, so I started natural horsemanship, and over time the bad habits have gone away and when they come back I know how to handle them.
Maybe try to get a horse trainer (who is fair and kind, not abusive) to come look at her?
Best of luck
She's 15 :/

I do have a trainer and the barn owner is also very experienced and hands on. They are very kind and very patient, neither of them uses or tolerates harsh methods. I suppose I just need to keep at it and handle her tricks as and when they come up. It's just confusing, she is so good 99% of the time. Ah well, I suppose she keeps me on my toes.
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post #14 of 21 Old 08-27-2017, 03:07 PM
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Firm boundaries do not equate to harsh techniques. That is a totally wrong concept
Just follow this bit of wisdom I have posted before":
'be as soft with a horse as possible, but also, as firm as needed, to make the horse a 'good citizen'.
Many people don't get that balance, and are either not a clear enough leader, or, use intimidation to train a horse.. Nether extreme is good. If a 'whisper works, there is no need to shout' However, if that whisper does not work, you talk louder
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post #15 of 21 Old 08-28-2017, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
I suppose I just need to keep at it and handle her tricks as and when they come up. It's just confusing, she is so good 99% of the time. Ah well, I suppose she keeps me on my toes.
Yea that seems to be all you could do. As your bond with her grows stronger you might find that these annoying tricks disappear.
Best of luck
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post #16 of 21 Old 08-28-2017, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
It's just confusing, she is so good 99% of the time. Ah well, I suppose she keeps me on my toes.
& how are your moods?? Yes, it did sound like in your OP you often got angry with her & blamed her a lot of the time - so glad that's not happening - but of course we all have 'moody days'. Could it be that it is your moods that cause her to feel unsure & so 'try stuff out'? As someone else said, there are days when it may just be best to stay away from her...
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post #17 of 21 Old 08-28-2017, 11:19 AM
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The thing that just jumped out at me from all that was this "I'm still seething hours later" horses are 'in the moment' and as riders we should try to be as well. "I saw red and drove her forward hard" is also very worrying...

There is no place for anger, seeing red, seething on be effective you should be strong, clear and demanding, but not letting that spread to anger. I even get told off when my face or body shows frustration, because that causes tenseness, and that means things go downhill quickly.

I have learned not to let anger and frustration in, I am learning not to let fear in, it's hard, but you have to "let it go" when you are in the saddle

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #18 of 21 Old 08-28-2017, 11:21 AM
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Horses are never going to 100% perfect 100% of the time. That's just unrealistic.

They are always a work in progress.

The things you mention sound like a normal part of owner a horse. They're going to pull a foot away from you once in a while. Red pulled his foot away while the farrier was resetting the shoe he pulled at the barrel race. He knows better. They still try things.

Shotgun would fall asleep on me every day if I let him.

They sometimes try to reach down and snatch grass when I'm getting the two of them through the gate. They know better. They still try it (that green grass is just too tempting).

Last week Shotgun was being a stinker about picking up his lope, wherein he HAD to pick up a fast trot before he loped and I didn't ask for a fast trot ( I asked for a lope). He got pretty upset when I whomped his butt a couple times to get him to lope NOW. The next day he was perfect.

Last week Red threw a small buck when we were doing slow work on the pole pattern.

Two weeks ago, Shotgun caught his halter on the corner of the trailer, got scared, and broke the tie ring (although not all the way). This is the only the 3rd time in his life he has ever pulled back.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

You can choose to "see red" and choose to think that your horse is out to get you ...... or you can accept the mind frame that horses will be horses and just deal with it when it happens. Some of them will test the waters more than others, but they all will.

A lot of it just has to do with your mental outlook on the situation.

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It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #19 of 21 Old 08-28-2017, 12:07 PM
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From what you've stated it sound slike she needs to go back to the basics. Sometimes we get carried away with just tacking up and riding and we forget to keep working on the little things. I really think you should look into some ground work for a bit to re correct things like standing on the cross ties and gaining more respect with her hooves. I've helped a lot of horse owners with problems like this and 9 times out of 10, you just need to get back to the ground work and re establish the relationship.
For example, when you say she is not transitioning nicely, lunge her through the walk and trot/jog. Everytime she does it with no hassle bring her to a halt instantly and give her a minute to think. She will soon then begin to realize that its easier to do the right thing then the wrong thing.
And of course make sure her health is good. Maybe she could be acting up because she is experiencing pain somewhere. I always know when my gelding isnt feeling the greatest because he doesn't like to co operate.
Good Luck !!! :)
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post #20 of 21 Old 08-28-2017, 12:19 PM
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My daughter half leases a young mare who has been doing similar things (no problems on the ground though- she has awesome ground manners). Each time they worked through one issue another popped up. It didnt help that they had fewer lessons and riding time over the summer.

A previous poster mention softening and bending and that is what is being worked on with her right now. My daughter is only 11 and while she could work through some issues with help from her trainer she cant effectively work through others. Right now she is riding another lesson horse to get her better at the above while the instructors/owner work with the mare. The mare is testing every rider- she's young and being a mare. I hope they can work her out soon cause we miss her!
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