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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I posted a week or so ago about my new mare who has a bit of a bucking/rearing/crow-hopping problem. Long story short I got her from a feedlot and don't know much about her other than she bucked someone off and thats why she went to auction. Fast forward 3 months and were on here 5th or 6th ride, she's been doing great, then out of seemingly nowhere, she explodes (see video below).

Thankfully no serious injuries, but when I walked down to the end of the arena she was petrified, whites of her eyes were showing and she was shaking like a leaf. This is what led me to believe that this is something fear based, and was not her just trying to get me off.

Went back to square 1 and started working on everything from the ground again. She lunges fine with a dummy in the saddle, even send her over some small jumps with the dummy on, I can hang cones and stuff off her to flop around, tied plastic bags to her to make noise, nothing.

So I started doing everything I could to try and replicate what happened when I was on her, it took a while but I was finally able to set her off again. I had cones tied to either side of the saddle to bonk against her, and was lunging her towards the wall, when she got close I stepped forwards and cut her off so she had to go straight for the wall and slam on the brakes. Boom. Explosion.

So now my theory is it's something to do with feeling trapped, and maybe how the weight shifts in the saddle when she stops hard on her front end (she usually has a really nice stop where she sits back on her butt, I believe she was probably started by a reined cowhorse trainer, and was maybe taught to stop by running at a wall.) I've been trying to expose her to as much as possible but she's very different from any horse I've trained before. Looking for suggestions on exercises to do with her that might help her move past this fear.

Edit: I am a very experienced rider, I have been training horses for other people for the past 5 years, and it has been my full time job for the past year. I bought this horse with the expectation she would be a project and I am fully prepared to deal with that.
Secondly, I’m not looking for opinions on wether I should keep her or not. I’m simply looking for people who may have dealt with horses with similar issues and how they worked through it.

 

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Wow .. Sounds like you figured out her problem. I do not have any real advice for that. Maybe go toward the wall at a different angle and direction but stay far enough away that she is not feel cornered ? put cones in between her and the wall so there is a visual space ?
 

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Ug. Sounds like you figured out why she was at the feedlot.
I assume she has had the full vet workup? Back xrays to look for kissing spines and sore spots? Saddle fits perfectly?
I have seen a horse do this when the saddle shifted forward and pinched and that started the whole vicious cycle. But I had also rescued an auction horse with kissing spines and this was what he looked like. He would go great until it would pinch in the right spot.
Barring that, if she has a clean vet workup and nothing pinches in the saddle, you need to find someone who maybe could stick her to see if she could be pushed through. The problem would be finding a trainer willing to ride it, but some may be young or stupid enough to try.
Can you keep her head up enough to prevent it?
 

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There's why she ended up at the feedlot. Probably been passed around because she's a bronc,that no one could fix. She wouldn't be staying in my barnyard she'd be back at the next auction.

She's dangerous and should of went to slaughter. Sorry but that's what I think and feel, can't save them all.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There's why she ended up at the feedlot. Probably been passed around because she's a bronc,that no one could fix. She wouldn't be staying in my barnyard she'd be back at the next auction.

She's dangerous and should of went to slaughter. Sorry but that's what I think and feel, can't save them all.
Im not sure what part of this post made you think I was looking for your opinion on wether my horse deserves to live or not but this comment was quite rude. I bought her with the expectation that she would have some issues, and I’m fully prepared for whatever the outcome is. If she ends up having too much baggage to work through she will become a pasture pet and I’m fine with that. Comments like these are both insensitive and unproductive.
 

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@rambo99 stated a common response in the horse world. It can sometimes be an ugly truth but when an animal is too broken to fix it becomes dangerous and a liability. I think Rambo is probably feeling strongly that this horse is dangerous. It may have come off as a harsh statement but I think it was more of a blunt opinion.

From what I saw in the video - I didn't see a spook. I saw an explosion. I know it could have been any number of things but that short of a watch is not enough to make any sort of educated opinion.

I'm going to assume this horse has serious holes in its training and should be started from ground zero.
 
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I’m not sure I can see a spook but she went from 0 to explosion so fast it’s easy to miss

The explosion thing I’ve seen in quite a few horses we’ve had over the years and all we’re triggered by the horse tensing up even for just a few seconds and that seems to be enough to create increased pressure around the saddle and girth. That sensation causes a panic attack.

The horses tend to start out with the problem when first introduced to the saddle, it’s a lot worse initially then fades away with constant work - I mean worked every day and turned out in a well padded surcingle when they’out how to deal with it - not before that point.
The downside is that when left unridden for any length of time they go back to square one.

We’ve had a good success rate - I still have one of the horses and rather lunge her in a surcingle then a saddle for a few days before I ride if she’s had more than 6 months off.

One sad fail was a mare that was found to have a tumor underneath her spine, it took a stay in a vet clinic to find it. She was getting worse not better so we were suspicious even though she’d passed a thorough vet examination when we bought her.

You should get a vet to check her out, that type of reaction is often caused by a sudden sharp pain as opposed to a cons
 

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Can you explain what it looked like this second time when you were able to trigger the reaction? How long did it last, did she rear first again and then do the crow hopping or did she drop or turn, etc?
You may have already done this, but did you get rid of the back cinch? It's good to desensitize horses as you are doing, but I have known a couple that simply could not tolerate a back cinch touching them. Quite possibly it could be contributing to the trigger.

However, more likely I believe you are on to something with the wall. In the first video, she is facing the wall when she gets the reaction. It is a good theory to begin working off of that the horse might have been run into the wall and now associates the wall with a very frightening thing happening.

On another thread we were discussing classical conditioning, which is where an animal makes a subconscious association between two things. If seeing the wall coming at her triggers a panic attack, your task would be to disassociate those things from each other. If that really is the trigger, you may be able to extinguish the behavior before getting into the saddle again, which would be excellent.

I might personally try to see if I could trigger the reaction by trapping her into a wall one more time, just so I felt comfortable that if I worked on that the behavior would be safely eradicated. That might not be necessary, you were there so might feel more confident that this is the problem.

Here's an example strategy that I might use:

I'd create a chute that did not go all the way to the wall, but left a space so the horse could turn and travel along the wall after reaching the end. Maybe poles on top of barrels or something like that for the chute. I'd make it very wide, with the sides of the chute far apart at first so the horse would have no feeling of being trapped. Then I'd lead the horse down the chute and turn to travel along the wall. The idea is to show the horse that even if we are facing the wall, there is a nice escape path and it's right here.

Next I'd begin narrowing the chute a little at a time, and continue leading the horse through. If the horse was ever appearing worried I'd work on it until she was calm. Eventually I'd move to where I was outside the chute and lunging the horse through it, as it narrowed down. I'd do this in a number of sessions and not in one prolonged session.

I'd still use things attached to the horse that made sounds and movement to try to recreate any additional triggers that might be causing the panic. Eventually, I'd hope I could run the horse through the chute and have her turn and exit at the end without feeling anxiety about facing the wall. I'd have the horse exit the chute to both the left and right, not just in one direction.

If being trapped and run into the wall is the association that has been conditioned into the horse, this type of strategy should extinguish the behavior.
 

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Not much advice here, that was some big bucking and I did notice that once she unloaded you it didn't stop, she kept right on so I wonder if there is something ( other than a rider I mean) that is causing her to buck I can't see if you have a back cinch on her and is she used to being ridden in one. I would check the equipment to see if there is any problem there but if she has a past record of doing this, I not sure if equipment is it.
I don't know what caused her to start, I couldn't see anything but she sure was upset.
I had a mare that would behave similarly, I guess when it happens you have the schooling opportunity to correct the problem but VERY difficult to do when you are airborne looking for a soft landing.😊
I hope you can figure out her problem
 

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Also after watching it again what does she do if you don't go so far across the ring, would she work ok if you stayed more to the centre and away from any walls. maybe something happened to her involving being slammed into a wall.
 

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Wow, that looked like a professional bronc. I've only one experience with a violent horse like this, way back when I was young. A beautiful horse was brought to the stables but we were told not to go near him. He was gone the next week. But about a year later, he was seen going down the highway quietly with the young guy who'd taken him, riding bareback. He must've been one of those unknown "natural" trainers. This, nearly 70 years ago. So yeah, maybe the saddle has a lot to do with this. The risks, though, of training such a horse are great.
 
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