Obstinate (?) horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 11-20-2014, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Obstinate (?) horse

I am a rancher and brought a 5-year old mare back from an outpost where she had been ridden by a ranch hand. He must have inadvertently hurt her every time he mounted as she was very uncomfortable and spooky at that point.
We have cured her of that but I have another problem:
She walks off comfortably but after a while just stands still, refusing to go forward. It could be that it is all unfamiliar terrain (open country), but no amount persuasion or turning in circles gets her moving. I am reluctant to use a switch and, when I do, she just kicks out.
I cannot see that she is in any pain and is otherwise good natured.
Please advise.
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post #2 of 18 Old 11-20-2014, 02:07 AM
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You may not be able to see any pain, but that doesn't mean it's there.
I'd have her back and saddle fit checked out to rule it out before training..

If its a training matter, she does sound like she has the better of you. Can you take her out with another horse? Pony her?
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post #3 of 18 Old 11-20-2014, 02:14 AM
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Could you put her in the round pen and just wait till she ready to move forward instead of forcing her?
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post #4 of 18 Old 11-20-2014, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input so far. She does go out with another horse but at the same time was happy to ride alone in her previous situation.
Some round-penning should help, but advice on what to concentrate on will help.
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post #5 of 18 Old 11-20-2014, 04:34 AM
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Pardon if I got it wrong, but I get the idea you're not very experienced with horses. She will know this. Also, she is a prey animal who needs a trusted, respected leader to be comfortable leaving home with. If she's not confident of you, she will be more inclined to need to take charge herself. So I think it's best getting a good relationship going with her at home first. Do you have any trainers or experienced horsepeople around that can help you?

Also agree with Daffy that first & foremost I'd want to ensure she wasn't in pain first. A good Chiro vet could come check/treat her & also check saddle fit & such.
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post #6 of 18 Old 11-20-2014, 05:55 AM
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First make sure it is not the fit of your saddle, or pain. Are you using the same bit? Maybe pulling on her inadvertently? I too would suggest a trainer to help you assess what the issue is. Sometimes another set of experienced eyes helps. Then, there is the possibility she "has your number" and is just being ornery and wants to stay at the barn. I have one of those, and they can be a real challenge. I needed a professional to help. You need to learn how to make her go forward without pushing her to go up….which many of these types tend to do.

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post #7 of 18 Old 11-20-2014, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karoo View Post
I am a rancher and brought a 5-year old mare back from an outpost where she had been ridden by a ranch hand. He must have inadvertently hurt her every time he mounted as she was very uncomfortable and spooky at that point.
We have cured her of that but I have another problem:
She walks off comfortably but after a while just stands still, refusing to go forward. It could be that it is all unfamiliar terrain (open country), but no amount persuasion or turning in circles gets her moving. I am reluctant to use a switch and, when I do, she just kicks out.
I cannot see that she is in any pain and is otherwise good natured.
Please advise.
To discern the reason for certain behavior, one must pay careful attention to the circumstances not only at the exact time of the behavior in question but, also, the circumstances leading up to this moment.

First, congratulations on helping this horse become more better for mounting. I hope the horse stands comfortably while waiting rather than simply standing rigidly still. There is a difference, and the difference may be an indication of the reason for the behavior in question.

When you say, the horse "walks off comfortably", do you mean she begins walking in a relaxed manner -- regardless of speed -- or simply walks off readily? Again, there is a difference.

Pay attention to what happens "before" she stands still and refuses to move forward. Does she first slow her pace? Does she look in a certain direction? Does her breathing change? Do her ears point in a certain direction? Do her muscles become more tense?

All of the above signals may indicate growing anxiety over the environment.

Pointing her ears backwards or looking back at you or her own body may be signs of discomfort. These are not the only signs, however. These signs may also have difference causes. Many subtle indications must be viewed together for successful diagnosis.
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post #8 of 18 Old 11-20-2014, 11:23 AM
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Although I currently interact with 23 horses daily on various levels and ride 2-3 times weekly, I am very new to horses and have fallen very hard for them and that may well be the reason for my following comments.

I am really troubled by the use of derogatory terms to describe a horse's behavior. I have the capacity to be obnoxious but I'm not sure the horse does. I believe the horse has a better reason behind his behavior than just being obnoxious.

And where a derogatory word is used to describe or think about a horse, there could be a derogatory attitude toward the horse. And if that were the case, I have become persuaded that the horse would not only know but react also.

Please do not take any of this as personal. During the last several months I have wrestled deeply with the light in which I have viewed horses.

I post this in the comfort of knowing if I am off base there will be others more experienced and knowledgeable than I who will set me straight. And I will have learned.

I just wanted to mention this angle.

Harold
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-20-2014, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
Although I currently interact with 23 horses daily on various levels and ride 2-3 times weekly, I am very new to horses and have fallen very hard for them and that may well be the reason for my following comments.

I am really troubled by the use of derogatory terms to describe a horse's behavior. I have the capacity to be obnoxious but I'm not sure the horse does. I believe the horse has a better reason behind his behavior than just being obnoxious.

And where a derogatory word is used to describe or think about a horse, there could be a derogatory attitude toward the horse. And if that were the case, I have become persuaded that the horse would not only know but react also.

Please do not take any of this as personal. During the last several months I have wrestled deeply with the light in which I have viewed horses.

I post this in the comfort of knowing if I am off base there will be others more experienced and knowledgeable than I who will set me straight. And I will have learned.

I just wanted to mention this angle.

Harold
I don't disagree with what you have said, but am confused where you're getting the negative tone from the OP and I don't get one at all. I Don't see her using the word obnoxious, she said obstinate which isn't what I would consider derogatory.
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post #10 of 18 Old 11-20-2014, 12:27 PM
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Have you been petting/rubbing the horse, speaking to her in soothing tones? If so, you'll have to stop because if the timing isn't right she's sees it as a reward. Never allow her to put her head in your space which is a circle about 3' around you. You may go into hers. When you saddle and bridle her do it in a business like manner, no hesitation, just saddle her up. Keep running the thought thro your mind "Mess with me and you'll die". Horses surprising pick up on this and can be more mindful. It also shows leadership. If she locks up again, bend her nose around toward your boot and rather than turn the front end, move that heel back and make her move her butt around. This is harder for the horse to do. When you've completed a circle ask her to move on. If she won't, repeat and repeat until she will. She's getting so far from the barn and wants to go no farther.



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