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I'm raising my first foal and she will be 2 years old in March. She stands tied, lunges, picks up all 4 feet, loads, etc. She has come very far in leading; when we first started training she would rear and pull back, not to mention walk so fast she'd almost drag you.

I'm hoping to start her EXTREMELY LIGHTLY under saddle in the summer, so I've been doing prep work with her. We've been focusing on ponying on trails, however we've hit a snag. When she gets rowdy or upset, she hits the end of the lead, thrashes, bucks, etc. During our last ride I was almost kicked. Friends recommended I take her back to the basics with leading, and oh my lanta what a brat!

She leads well, as long as you go where she wants. If you try to get her to do something else, she takes off bucking and rearing, hits the end of the lead and throws a tantrum. I'm taking her on walks a few days a week and my goal is to get her hiking trails, getting her listening to me on trails and not just the other horse during ponying. Normally once I wait out her tantrums (they normally only happen once per session, and last 30 seconds - 1 minute) she's an absolute angel, yields hind quarters and forequarters, supples, lunges, leads without pulling, etc. It just seems to take that one show that I'm serious.

All this being said; she's an Arab/draft cross who is 15 hands and 1,000 ish pounds. I have 2 kids under 5 years old and I'm terrified I'll get hurt during one of her immature tirades. My husband thinks she's a demon and wants me to sell her.

Is this a stage she will outgrow? Did anyone have a rowdy yearling that turned into a well behaved, quiet horse? What were the exercises you used to get through such tantrums? We're working on getting to hiking and ponying, I'm just at a loss for her bucking and carrying on.

She's my first foal I've raised and I'm learning as I go, please be kind.
 

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At this point with her age and size you need eyes and hands on the ground with you. Experienced eyes and hands. And that is being kind. She needs to go back to Basics 101 in all things. Considering the fits she throws it would also be a good idea to her evaluated by a body worker because I'd bet she's thrown something out of whack. She needs a firm, fair hand and a no nonsense attitude. Typically this is the behavior of a spoiled brat. In your case it sounds unintentional. Raising babies isn't easy. Cues missed can quickly become learned behaviors. I would not consider backing her at 2. She's not ready and mentally no matter how much she looks ready or you think she is big enough she still has growing to do she still has a ways to go emotionally. Some horses are like that. I swear palominos are the worst as in my experience they seem to mentally mature much later. Two, I didn't start until they were coming on 6 because they were still babies at 4. Hard to have people ask why they weren't ridden when they were both such big, stout beasties. They just weren't ready.


My son rides the same cross and he didn't really settle until he was in his teens. Still has have a job. A regular job. Time off doesn't do anyone any favors as he'll be full of himself.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
At this point with her age and size you need eyes and hands on the ground with you. Experienced eyes and hands. And that is being kind. She needs to go back to Basics 101 in all things. Considering the fits she throws it would also be a good idea to her evaluated by a body worker because I'd bet she's thrown something out of whack. She needs a firm, fair hand and a no nonsense attitude. Typically this is the behavior of a spoiled brat. In your case it sounds unintentional. Raising babies isn't easy. Cues missed can quickly become learned behaviors. I would not consider backing her at 2. She's not ready and mentally no matter how much she looks ready or you think she is big enough she still has growing to do she still has a ways to go emotionally. Some horses are like that. I swear palominos are the worst as in my experience they seem to mentally mature much later. Two, I didn't start until they were coming on 6 because they were still babies at 4. Hard to have people ask why they weren't ridden when they were both such big, stout beasties. They just weren't ready.


My son rides the same cross and he didn't really settle until he was in his teens. Still has have a job. A regular job. Time off doesn't do anyone any favors as he'll be full of himself.
Thanks so much for the input! Ironically she is a palomino!

I have a trainer who is going to start helping me after Christmas. The biggest problem, I think, is that I just don't have enough time to work with her because of my kids. I adore her and the thought of selling her makes me physically ill, but I also don't know when I'll ever have the time/skill to really bring her where she needs to be. I am also not huge on getting myself killed.

When you say basics 101, what kind of exercises are you referring to? If she was yours, at this point, what would you do?
 

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I'd treat her like I had no clue that she was handled in any way, shape or form and start completely over. Personally I feel that there are times when if you can just put the horse out and let them be a horse for a while it helps them tremendously. Especially if they are in a herd with a clear lead mare. Having kids puts you in a different place. If you have someone you trust that you have confidence in and know they have the experience to restart her then it is well worth the investment. That said if you don't have the time for her now - if you do have her trained will you have the time to keep it up? Not asking to be mean or for a public answer but that is something to give thought to. If she has good conformation and enjoys working then there is a market for crosses and this can be a really good one. But it is one that takes time. They tend to inherit the Arabian brain and don't realize the weight they have to throw around. Smart as whips and just as sharp. I'd love to see pictures.
 

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I don't know much about training babies, so this is not about that. My thoughts for you to consider is that you are feeling needlessly rushed, and perhaps that is coming out in your interactions with this baby. Your children are yet small. You have a lot of time to get this horse ready. A lot. There is no point is worrying. Keep your focus on your little children, and the filly will naturally outgrow this stage , while you aren't looking. That's my thought.
 

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I had an Arab/percheron cross gelding. Very big and strong horse, and one of the most flexible horses I have ever ridden!

I took my time starting him, but we did have a CTJ moment the first time I lunged him.

The thing is, the breeder was intimidated by him, and mostly let him get his way.

Even though I started him very slowly, he was so flexible and bouncy, that even a minor sideways jump was 15 feet or more. Fabulous suspension!

Anyway, my point is, the first time he did the famous spook-n-buck, I went flying far and high. Had a lot of time to think over things while in the air...landed in a roll and had my helmet on, so fortunately nothing broken. Walking was hard for about a week, but other than that I survived.

Someone mentioned an Arab brain in a draft body, yeah, that was quite true. He was kind, and we had a great partnership, but he needed gentle and calm handling. Just not a horse for beginners , ever.

This filly of your sounds similar, but having a bucking fit EVERY session is too much, way too much. It might just be habit by now, but it needs to stop.

I think it might be best to let her just be a horse for the winter, and then send her to your trainer as a three year old.

I wouldn't start her at 2 yrs old. The cross of the light and heavier boned parents can cause delays in skeletal development.

I bought my gelding at 3.5 yrs and started training right away, but didn't ride him until he was nearly 4. He was 14H as a three year old, and reached his full height of 16H as a six year old
 

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I'm apparently on a roll :)

Get her butt in a roundpen and work her until she is sweaty and tired every day.

Horses get this way because they have your number. They have learned that if they are tired, lazy and rude they can get you to back down.

Your horse is displaying all the bad side of a cold blooded horse. Lazy, gives you the left hand salute when you ask her to do something, disrespect, a little aggression to get you to leave her alone.

As I said above, the best cure for this is to get her working, hard. When that horse can hardly shuffle her feet, she's had enough. If you coddle a horse that is acting out, you can count on it getting worse. You would be amazed at how quiet and nice the hottest/coldest crankiest horse is when you get their respect by working them hard. In fact that horse will thank you for it.
 

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I'm apparently on a roll :)

Get her butt in a roundpen and work her until she is sweaty and tired every day.

Horses get this way because they have your number. They have learned that if they are tired, lazy and rude they can get you to back down.

Your horse is displaying all the bad side of a cold blooded horse. Lazy, gives you the left hand salute when you ask her to do something, disrespect, a little aggression to get you to leave her alone.

As I said above, the best cure for this is to get her working, hard. When that horse can hardly shuffle her feet, she's had enough. If you coddle a horse that is acting out, you can count on it getting worse. You would be amazed at how quiet and nice the hottest/coldest crankiest horse is when you get their respect by working them hard. In fact that horse will thank you for it.
I would dearly love to rebut this.

Will have to leave my comment at that so the moderators don't need to step in...
 

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You do you.

If this horse was in my program she'd be worked twice a day and a kid could ride her after a few months.
 

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I've gotten a lot of good feedback! I'm not going to try to reply individually but I'll try to address everything.

No offense, but working her to death definitely isn't something I'm going to do. I feel it would be way too hard on her development right now, and at any rate it's not something I could ever keep up. Certainly not something I'd want to rely on.

And some background I should have mentioned: this filly was born in my barn, she was imprinted with everything from day one; halter, touch, feet lifting, blanket on back, etc. She really is nice to handle. I believe her tantrums stem from being buddy sour. The one time she threw a tantrum and nearly kicked me while ponying was during her first ponying trot; the kick didn't seem to be vicious, but she got frisky and bucked like she would in the pasture. I did correct it and she hasn't done it since.

When she has tantrums while being led it's when I take her for walks. Here's why: she and her mother are the only horses I own. They are the only two on the property. They have been separated before - sometimes for months at a time - but they are still buddy sour as can be with each other. The filly normally does decent, until we get completely out of eye shot and her mama starts screaming like a moron. That's when she has a come apart, and if I stick through that then she's always amazing and compliant the rest of the lesson, even if mama is screaming.

I hadn't planned to start her until she was 4 or 5, however this past year she has had uveitis in her left eye twice. It was treated both times, and the second time it was not nearly as severe as the first, but obviously I am very scared she has ERU. My vet is still hoping it was a fluke and isn't chronic. However, I'm a "plan for the worst, hope for the best" kind of girl. I've spoken to folks with horses that have lost partial vision and they all recommended exposing her to as much as possible now, while her vision is still healthy. Hopefully it was a fluke and none of this is necessary, but I'm still trying to prep her as much as I'm able.

I've started using a rope halter on her (instead of her flat one) and that's helped quite a bit. I also think lunging her before attempting to do any work would be quite helpful, to encourage her to get the sillies out before I ask her to focus.

I am still holding out hope that she'll be a good horse! She's a brat at times, but she's also incredibly sweet and eager to be my girl. I am able to work with her a few times a week right now. I know that's not much, but I'm hoping it'll be enough to start correcting this and teaching her to ignore her mama.

Tips for breaking the buddy sourness?

*Attached two pics, they're not great but they're the most recent ones. She has very long hair and right now she's rocking a man-bun to keep her forelock out of her eye
 

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The one thing that really stuck out for me with reading your short story on her was that you said she was fine with being led as long as it's where you would want to go. I'm sorry, but she is not being led, she is leading you.

If you have an enclosed area (round pen) that you can run her around a lap when she acts up make her move forward while keeping control of her head on a lunge line. Practice leading her in there and when she starts her stuff move her forward fast, even if just a trot for one circle. She may buck, she may kick, so make her keep her distance with a lunge whip and then reel her back in when she stops her antics. Just expect these antics and stay calm and then start over. When she leads where YOU want to go even for a couple of minutes, end of session. The reason for the round pen is not to run her in endless circles but to contain her if she does yank away. You don't want her getting in the habit of yanking and getting away from you.

I will give the other poster who said "run her tail off" the benefit of the doubt that they didn't read that she was a yearling. In my opinion, that will certainly injure her joints to do this.

I would honestly find someone to help you with her. She is just being a baby but that will get someone hurt if all she learns is that she has all of this power over humans. She could easily turn into a dangerous horse. This would be sad for her.
 

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She's 2. She's a baby and lunging her to any extreme could well be harmful to development. She's not little and that doesn't help as she looks physically mature. Cherry Hill has a book of groundwork exercises. I don't have this one but have been given a couple of her others as gifts and find them useful. Ground driving can be something tho work on with your trainer. Keep her mind occupied and leave her out of the round pen for now.
 

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So, this further information clears up a few things.

Breaking a buddy sour habit is really hard, when it is the momma it can be very challenging! Possible, but hard.

Since she is fine until momma screams, your first step is calming momma.

Couple of different ways to do this:

One is have someone work momma separately, in and out of sight of the filly.

Second is to make momma really happy when the filly is worked. Put her in the stall with some food (maybe one of those treat balls) and some favorite hay.

Third is to move momma off property for a while, but this can backfire and make them more attached on the return.

Four is breed back the mare so she has a new baby to raise.

Also, some people use ear plugs with ear nets to reduce the ability to get distracted by the other horse.
 

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Update:

So this morning I binge watched videos from Clinton Anderson and other trainers about aggression and disrespect issues on the ground. Today we tried it again! It started by having her stand tied while I did chores, then we headed out to the round pen.

She started well; loose lead, pretty relaxed. But as we neared the round pen she bunched up and began to pull, and like Clinton Anderson recommended I didn't let things escalate, but nipped it in the bud. I instantly started moving her feet, reinforcing my personal space and making her back, yield, and circle. She pulled back a few times during the backing, but she didn't buck or kick at me at all.

We worked in the round pen a bit, lunging lightly. We focused on her turning on the inside to keep her butt away from me; all work was focused on keeping her rear end away from me, and any attitude was rewarded with more work and feet moving.

After a bit of time in the round pen she had a good mind set and so we set off for a walk; we walked in the hill to a hay pasture, which we've never been able to do before. She walked on a loose lead and was nice and calm, so when we got there I let her graze a bit. This whole time mama was screaming, but when she stopped to eat she noticed it again. I started walking her again, at which point she tensed and pushed into me. Once again, we lunged lightly for a minute or two, yielded, backed, and reinforced personal space and respect.

At the end of the lesson I was able to walk her on a loose lead all around the hay field, while mama screamed, without fearing for my life.

Was she perfect? Not by any means. But using what I learned in the videos I was able to keep her out of my space, correct the bratty behavior before it turned dangerous, and end the lesson with a calm and friendly horse.

Feeling so much better today! I see things getting better in the future! God bless YouTube.
 

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You do you.

If this horse was in my program she'd be worked twice a day and a kid could ride her after a few months.
The horse is a year and half old. So how many of your horses that were that age did you work that hard in your program end up breaking down when they got older?
Personally you gave the OP advice that could ruin her horse. If she was 3 1/2 or older that would be a bit different.
But to run a horse under two that hard in a round pen of all places is just wrong on all levels.
 

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A few things

Horses are running from birth in the wild to keep up with their mother. They don't take a couple years off because babies can't run. Running is their best survival tool in terms of finding good forage and water, competition with other bands and evading predators.

A long yearling can definitely work at the canter for 20-30 minutes. You may need to build up to that level of fitness with more rest as rewards but it definitely can be done. Unless you are working your horse on rocks or something it really isn't a big deal, unless you want to make it into one... Watch a long yearling on a cold windy day. What do they do when turned out?

You can definitely work a horse too hard at any age. That said, I think this is rarely a problem because horses are good at making people give up too soon and put them away. You just don't see many horses in practice in any discipline that are actually being worked too hard.

Go to a big working ranch and see how broke and quiet and educated their three year olds are. They have a ton of miles under their feet and have already done and seen a lot in their young lives. That said, its your horse do what you want.
 

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There is a difference between a horse turned out and playing and a wild horse cantering or galloping (short distances) on the range and working a non complying youngster into the ground in a round pen. A horse in the pasture or in wild is not going to sustain a canter, much less a gallop for long distances.



Just as an aside I do have a baby (9months) that loves to run. Will pick on any herd mate she can incite into a game of chase. Considering the size of the pasture and the amount of time she is on the go I'd say she covers close to 3 miles looping around and across but not all of that is covered at a gallop. She drops down to a canter or trot at times and after about 10 minutes she's done. She'll start it up again once she has a breather and it may go on for a half hour but none of it is on gait for an extended period and she does give herself breathers.



Can a long yearling canter? Sure. Should they be cantering for 20 -30 minutes? Would you expect a mature adult horse to do this? In a circle? Maybe if your pen was greater than 70' in diameter but even then you(G) wouldn't want to keep your horse at that gait for an extended time. Trotting for that time is not uncommon fitting a TB for sales at that age with some interspersed cantering but the difference is that they are worked on the straight or in a large area (large field) and ponied. At least that is how those I am familiar with worked theirs. Look at the Pony Express. Those horses covered a lot of ground at a good clip but it was a mix of trotting (mostly) and cantering and after roughly 10 miles they were switched off for a fresh horse. The riders would cover 75 to 80 miles.



Making their feet move, keeping them focused on you and earning, learning to respect does not get accomplished by working them to no end. In the long run you very well could end up with a very fit, very resentful animal.
 

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I'm apparently on a roll :)

Get her butt in a roundpen and work her until she is sweaty and tired every day.

Horses get this way because they have your number. They have learned that if they are tired, lazy and rude they can get you to back down.

Your horse is displaying all the bad side of a cold blooded horse. Lazy, gives you the left hand salute when you ask her to do something, disrespect, a little aggression to get you to leave her alone.

As I said above, the best cure for this is to get her working, hard. When that horse can hardly shuffle her feet, she's had enough. If you coddle a horse that is acting out, you can count on it getting worse. You would be amazed at how quiet and nice the hottest/coldest crankiest horse is when you get their respect by working them hard. In fact that horse will thank you for it.
I do and I don't disagree with jgnmoose's advice. I think that the above method of dealing with a horse can be both necessary and effective in the case of some horses regardless of age.


HOWEVER, having said that, it takes a lot of experience to be able to gain positive results. An onlooker with no understanding of what the end result of such a session is going to be will just see an animal being relentlessly bullied into submission, not understanding that the horse is being given choices moment to moment to end the session - if the person working the horse knows what they are doing. And one really needs to know what one is doing, with a clear end goal in mind - to achieve positive results.


I think that this is why I disagree with jgnmoose's advice, because it can be so dangerous to give this advice to an inexperienced horse person who thinks that running a horse around and around until it wants to fall over is a viable training method.(I'm really hoping that this is not what jgnmoose is suggesting and am crediting him with being a knowledgeable horseman who knows when to release the pressure).



I did have to do this to my 2.5 year old filly at the beginning of this year. As a result of her previous situation she was a very difficult, aggressive and anxious little horse. It took 3 and a half hours of intense work in a relatively small area before she finally conceded that I was her leader. It was really hard on the both of us, we were both sweaty and exhausted, I was getting scared thinking that I had missed her ques and therefore ruined the entire process. When she finally dropped her head and asked me if she could stop I felt like bursting into tears. It was a happy ending and she is a totally different animal to the one that initially started in that enclosure. Do I consider that was the easy answer? - hell no! If I could have avoided the ordeal would I have? - oh yes! Have I had to do it to her again? No, now that she and I have reached an accord on who leads whom, she is an intelligent and willing little companion who has had no no-go moments since.



So long story short, sometimes jgnmoose's method is a viable way to achieve results - and sometimes it is a recipe for disaster. If you don't know what you are doing - don't do it.
 
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First of all, I should thank you for the honest replies to this thread. You've given me something to think about.

Some things don't translate well on the interwebs unless you describe them in enough detail.

Let's talk about two kinds of horses and go fill in the gray area with our imagination. If I need to talk more about that with my *opinion* I will.

Cold:

Most of what I see that is on the cold side is something Foundation QH bred that is an 8+ on the conformation scale and super quiet. You can whip a lead rope over their head the first day. They don't care if you touch them almost anywhere with things, ropes, plastic bags, saddle pads. They just stand there and fall asleep.

The sacking out is never the problem with these horses. It is almost, virtually 90% of the time getting them to respect you and move their feet. Especially the babies who want to rub on you, be in your face and chew on almost everything.

Working:

Work them for a few minutes in either direction at whatever speed they choose until you want to stop and change direction.

Take off all pressure and just stand still, let the horse get the idea to stop. Tell the horse where to go, cluck, spank if needed and send them that way.

Get them to a canter, keep them at a canter, and then let them choose their own speed.

When ready to stop or change direction, just take all the pressure off and just stand there until the horse stops.

Hot:

Just do as little as it takes to send them off, let them go whatever speed, take the pressure off and just stand there for a bit before asking for a change in direction.

That is really of course, very rough. A video would be better.

Cold/lazy horses are practically sacked out when you get them. Your real challenge is getting them to move their feet and not want to be all over you. Hot horses in some respects are much easier in this stage because they almost want to do the things that a cold horse doesn't. Of course vice versa.
 
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