witchy mare problems - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-11-2015, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Talking witchy mare problems

Hi y'all!
I am not new to horses, however I am new to this behavior problem. I just got a 3rd horse, (a mare, if you didn't realize) she is only my 2nd mare, she lives with my gelding and he absolutely adores her, a little too much in my opinion. I however don't really like her, I'm used to my gelding and his puppy dog personality, so when my parents got her for me (gelding got injured) I was not so thrilled to find out that she is a little snot head when she feels like it.
•she pins her ears when she is turned out and stalled
•she opens her mouth like she s going to bite you when you pet her(turned out/stalled)
•she swishes her tail whenever I groom her
•she turns her butt to me unless I have treats (turned out/stalled)
•she has her ears constantly pinned at strangers (all the time)
•will kick out if she is tired of standing still while being ridden
•kicks in the trailer at every stop (getting a kicking chain, can't afford for her to hurt herself)
The funny thing is she has never acted like a mare to my gelding or squealed or been in heat that I could tell. She's incredible to ride, trained beautifully, she's fast, knows her job, never bucked. (She is my HS barrel and pole horse.) I don't think she's ever been someones main, so she isn't used to all the love my family gives her. But we are going on six weeks since I got her and she has gotten better, (really nosey when tied up) its just that at 5:00 in the morning(or anytime) when I feed her, the last thing I want to deal with is a grouchy mare.

Please share anything you think would help, or even your experience with anything like this. Thank you in advance for your wisdom.
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-11-2015, 12:11 PM
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She may be the type of horse who is "all business" and doesn't want to be fussed with outside of riding.

You cannot let the behaviour continue, however and I'm sure others will be on here with good hints and tips to nip it in the bud. But she may never be a lovely-dovey horse like your gelding.
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-11-2015, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kzurcher8 View Post
Hi y'all!
I am not new to horses, however I am new to this behavior problem. I just got a 3rd horse, (a mare, if you didn't realize) she is only my 2nd mare, she lives with my gelding and he absolutely adores her, a little too much in my opinion. I however don't really like her, I'm used to my gelding and his puppy dog personality, so when my parents got her for me (gelding got injured) I was not so thrilled to find out that she is a little snot head when she feels like it.
•she pins her ears when she is turned out and stalled
•she opens her mouth like she s going to bite you when you pet her(turned out/stalled)
•she swishes her tail whenever I groom her
•she turns her butt to me unless I have treats (turned out/stalled)
•she has her ears constantly pinned at strangers (all the time)
•will kick out if she is tired of standing still while being ridden
•kicks in the trailer at every stop (getting a kicking chain, can't afford for her to hurt herself)
The funny thing is she has never acted like a mare to my gelding or squealed or been in heat that I could tell. She's incredible to ride, trained beautifully, she's fast, knows her job, never bucked. (She is my HS barrel and pole horse.) I don't think she's ever been someones main, so she isn't used to all the love my family gives her. But we are going on six weeks since I got her and she has gotten better, (really nosey when tied up) its just that at 5:00 in the morning(or anytime) when I feed her, the last thing I want to deal with is a grouchy mare.

Please share anything you think would help, or even your experience with anything like this. Thank you in advance for your wisdom.
she pins her ears when she is turned out and stalled --- is she pinning her ears at you? ... if so -- bad behavior -- groundwork for respect

she swishes her tail whenever I groom her -- a sign of annoyance

she turns her butt to me unless I have treats (turned out/stalled) --- disrespect and potentially dangerous -- groundwork for respect

she has her ears constantly pinned at strangers (all the time) --- does she do this at you? ... either way, potentially dangerous to others

will kick out if she is tired of standing still while being ridden -- annoyance, disrespect, and impatient -- potentially dangerous, get her attention, work her until she is ready to enjoy sitting still for a while
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-11-2015, 02:50 PM
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If she's that irritable and fractious all the time then get her checked out for ulcers, ovarian tumors, encysted worms etc - all things that will make her feel that way
A lot of horses don't really enjoy too much fuss and petting but she sounds beyond that
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-11-2015, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Gate Farm View Post
She may be the type of horse who is "all business" and doesn't want to be fussed with outside of riding.
I think this may be part of her nature and also some horses need a longer time to adjust. You did mention that she is getting better.

I owned two mares that were very much like her. One like your mare was great under saddle but always remained a bit "unfriendly" The other had experienced some rough handling in the past and would constantly threaten to the point of snapping at my face then pulling back and expecting to get hit for her actions. Because I knew her history, I totally ignored her threats and worked on ground work. I always remained calm and positive, and once she realized that she wasn't going to be hit she came around and actually became a very affectionate horse. I know there are a lot of people that will think I am crazy for handling it this way.

I don't see a threat as a problem. I see the potential for a threat to escalate to action that is the problem. If she seems to be improving as time goes on you are going in the right direction.

Also, quit while you are ahead not the horse. If she doesn't like to stand for too long, move her before she gets annoyed but keep lengthening the time until she accepts it, or walk her in a circle and then go back to standing. Just don't let her dictate to you when it's time to move. Same with horses that fuss when groomed.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-11-2015, 06:24 PM
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My best training successes are, after taking care of my horse's physical needs, food and water and shelter, I make them wait on ME. Nobody gets turned out if he or she is disrespectful.
Today, after being stuck in their stalls for 2 days straight, they were haltered and tied to their outside tie spots, and got groomed, not the most thorough, but I got their manes and tails combed out and used a metal curry on their bodies to help them start shedding. I used to have problems with Sweet Cup&Cakes and his head and ears. EVEN THOUGH I finally got the mat of burrs out of his forlock, which is 10 inches long, btw, AND thick, he was dropping his head down for me, just as we have worked on every day since December. Now, I can play with his ears anytime, any place.
NOBODY acted stupid, they were all patient--although I still can't figure out HOW Buster Brown managed to roll on one side while tied up. =b
Every horse was led to the gate, told to go around, give me their heads and they patiently waited to be unhaltered without any fussing.
After he was free, Buster Brown turned, and 5 seconds later took off running.
If your horse cannot behave like this after confinement, you have some work to do.
I think she has gotten away with many small disobediences over a long period of time. It's either that or she has SERIOUS hormone issues.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-12-2015, 05:56 PM
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The vibe I'm getting from your post is that she's disrespectful towards you.

First of all, if you don't like your own horse don't keep her! You will both be happier parting ways and sometimes that's all it takes to create these issues.

Now I know plenty of "non snuggly horses". Which is completely fine as long as they are respectful. However, the fact that this mare does things like turn her butt to you is NOT being respectful and you made several other points that reinforced that. The conclusion to me is disrespect and I'm not convinced it is just her personality. No she may not be a super friendly horse but these issues are not a "mare" issue, she sounds spoiled and rude.

Now for "her personality" I would just say respect each other, but in this situation I would say to crack down on her. She sounds like one that will get worse though before getting better. Don't bribe her with treats. Carry a whip and if she turns her butt to you use it. Groundwork groundwork groundwork. She has your number. The fact that you don't like her is making her not like or respect you and sounds like it's working.

She's just being a b**ch to be honest.

Honestly reading your post my first advice would be to sell her. Doesn't sound like you want her so that's that. List her yesterday. If you do want to keep her work with a trainer, I think for "relationship issues" an outside person (trainer) can help get past that instead of just doing the work yourself (do this too though). If you still don't like her, sell.

It's one thing to say "we don't click" but you're flat out saying you dislike her and I can read that from what you wrote even if you didn't.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-12-2015, 07:16 PM
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I don't necessarily agree with some of the things said here. Not ALL of the items you listed need to be corrected by training, or corrected at all for that matter, in my personal opinion.

Horses come in all shapes and sizes -- and personalities. My mare is a horse who isn't too keen on grooming, snuggles, and just hanging out. Her ears are back 99.9% of the time when around people, since she is a "business" horse. Basically, "Put me to work or take me back to my pasture". She is happier being and after being ridden, and is an experienced horse with lots to offer her rider under saddle. She just isn't a big snuggle bear on the ground. I'd even go so far as to say she HATES hugs.

But that being said, you can't give your horse an inch and have them take a mile. Your mare has pushed boundaries - she has probably been with people who accepted her personality a bit TOO much, and as such she tested her way to being generally bratty.

Here is my perspective:
•she pins her ears when she is turned out and stalled - Personality
•she opens her mouth like she s going to bite you when you pet her(turned out/stalled) - Bad training
•she swishes her tail whenever I groom her - Could be personality if she doesn't act on her feelings. If she threatens in addition to the tail swishing, it may be a training issue.
•she turns her butt to me unless I have treats (turned out/stalled) - Bad training
•she has her ears constantly pinned at strangers (all the time) - Personality
•will kick out if she is tired of standing still while being ridden - Bad training
•kicks in the trailer at every stop (getting a kicking chain, can't afford for her to hurt herself) - Bad training


I'd start at the biggest issues and work down, because some of these may resolve themselves if you start to show her this type of attitude is not allowed. Kicking, biting, butt turned to you... All of those are respect issues. Treat them accordingly.

Maybe in time you will end up like me, with a horse who has pretty solid training but is always pinning at people and other horses. Some horses are just more independent and aren't big cuddlers.

This is just my experience though and doesn't necessarily apply to all horses. My horse couldn't keep her ears upright even if she tried I think, but some horses may stop pinning one respect is established properly.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-13-2015, 02:35 AM
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I am sure no one will agree with me here but.. here goes.

First vet check to make sure there isn't a hormonal issue or a soreness issue you don't know about.

Make sure feet are good as sore feet can make anyone grouchy.

Try Mare Magic.

Try different grooming brush, curry styles. My horse is very sensitive and will swish her tail if I use anything metal on her.

Watch your body language. People can be very disrespectful to horses without knowing it. If you watch horses together you will notice that not all horses are physically affectionate with each other. It can take a while for a horse to get to know you and you may be getting to up close and personal for her.

How is she housed? How is she fed? How often? Does she have any horse friends at the barn?

If you don't like her, find someone that does and get a horse you do like. She is going to know through your body language etc that you are not liking her and she in turn will mirror that right back to you.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-13-2015, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillowNightwind View Post
Horses come in all shapes and sizes -- and personalities.
So true! It's easy to want a new horse to behave like your other, well loved, "seasoned" horses... that you're used to... but one of the beautiful things about horses I think is that despite all your training they still retain, and display, so many unique personality and character traits--truly unique to this singular creature--that can only be understood by us humans over a length of time spent with the animal.

:)

Anyways, lots of great points/perspectives and advice in this thread so far, so my thanks to all the posters :)
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