or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Need horse people's opinion please - it's kind of long
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Need horse people's opinion please - it's kind of long

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Seems I'm having no luck with animals this year, first my cat seemed to hate me, now this. The kitty's loving me more now, so that's okay.

After a long search I found the most beautiful, and, I thought, most wonderful temperamented mare. She's 4 and green broke. She had quite a bit of ground work done in a round pen and was backed 4 or 5 times with no problems, so I was told. I went to look her over twice, both times she was worked in the pen and seemed quite willing to go for her old owners, who, incidentally, raised her.

Now I've had her for a little over a week and she's showing some real attitude. I let her settle in for a few days before trying to work with her. She only wants to move out in the round pen when she wants to, won't stand still after she's told to whoa, seems resentful of any form of control on my part. It's almost like I'm dealing with a spoiled brat. She'll either walk directly behind me or try to get ahead of me when I lead her. She's pushy as well, always trying to ram me out of the way when I open the stall door, she was taught to back up, but not with a verbal command, they would shake the lead until she took a step back, then stop, so I'm having a bit of difficulty keeping her out of my way when I go in to get her. I really don't think the previous owners did much with her other than a bit of round pen work, it appeared she was calling the shots most of the time when I observed her. I think until this year she was left to her own devices in the pasture. I'm certainly not pushing her in any way, knowing it's all new to her, so all I'm really asking for is a stop on command and leading nicely as I familiarize her with her new home. But tonight was the kicker, literally. I was doing her usual grooming, which she's always seemed to enjoy, and suddenly not only were there teeth coming at me, but a hoof as well. This is heart breaking, she seemed like such a nice animal.

So, fellow horse people, has she simply been spoiled and doesn't like someone telling her she has to stop or back up even when she doesn't want to, or is all this simply because she's moved and should I just back off for awhile longer.
I've had 5 other horses of various levels of training and age before this one and not one of them acted in this way.

Would sure love some thoughts on the subject. Thanks.
post #2 of 6
Hey Dawn-

She sounds like she hasn't been worked from the ground much at all. I would do a few things with her, first, I would stay off her back, and work her just from the ground. Make a rope halter(they are easy to make) and I will find the link on the interet about how to make them, or buy one if you can. Starting from the ground, lead her around. Make sure she is at the right distance from you, walk rapidly with her giving her no choice but to follow you. If she balks, take a riding crop, tuck it under your arm, and if you are leading with your right hand, then take your left hand behind you with the crop and tap her lightly on her rump to move her forward. If she still resists, then back her, keep backing her then go forward. To get her to stop as you are walking (I hope I can explain this correctly) turn suddenly to her and stop- tell her HOLD. It is a fluid movement for you, but it startles her and she should stop. You do it quickly to get her attention, she will stop. I trained two young ones, had them since they were 6 months old, and an old cowboy showed me this trick, it is quite effective. It is like a pivot?

When she went to bite and kick you, do you remember where you were touching her at? She could have a sore spot and you hit it.I would get a vet out to check her over.

From now on, when you groom her, tie her to a post with an old inner tube attached. Tie her to the tube, so if she fights (and i bet she will) she won't hurt herself.

You want to be careful, horses can kill you in under 5 seconds and won't even know they did it. The first time Racer kicked me, he was 7 months old and I was wearing my hard boots, I kicked him once square in the chest. He never kicked me again.

If your horse is biting, you want to curl your fist up when you see it coming, and take your thumb underneath your first finger to jab if you have to, or swing your elbow around. Wear heavy long sleeve shirts, and gloves when you work with her.

She is telling you in her language that she is Alpha Mare, you have to tell her in the language she understands, that YOU are the Alpha. You don't beat her for a long period of time-(I'm not saying you do) If you have to smack her or get after her, do it for 3 seconds and no longer. I watch my neighbor beat her horse almost daily. He won't do anything for her now. She gets on, he throws her off, she hits him, he bucks and runs, she goes after him, she gets on, he throws her off...it is really sad. She has now taken to tying him to the round pen for 2 hours while she goes inside and watches television. I have given up trying to help her with him, I just feel sorry for him, she doesn't understand him at all. I am just waiting for him to tear down the round pen in his frustration.
You have to take the upper hand, but you don't become cruel, and you have to have patience. If it is getting to you, just walk away. Don't play the game that you have to have the last word with her. Just walk away until you cool out, then go and try again-

Good luck!
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hissy, I knew I'd catch your attention and from reading your cat related posts, know you have a lot of common sense.

I attempted grooming her again today, but this time, when I reached that particular area, near her rump, and saw the ears go back, I stopped, rubbed her neck in front of the withers (saw that on a video last night), and got her to relax. Although I didn't get to give her a good brush off, I did manage to do both sides with no mishaps. I think perhaps she's touchy around the tail, maybe her herdmates in the last place did some chewing and biting in the area. I'll play it slow for awhile until she relaxes about it all. Plan on doing the inner tube thing very soon as well.

Also, this afternoon I got her moving in the round pen with the aid of a longe whip. No, I did not touch her with it once, in fact, only needed to tap the ground with it to keep her moving out for me. About a minute into the exercise she decided she was done and when I pushed her, she put on quite a show of aggression, rearing and pinning the ears. I simply remained where I was and when she was finished with her tantrum, made her go again. She didn't try to stop again until I told her to whoa and allowed her. I think that's progress considering she was being quite stubborn about it before I got the whip, and was like this with her former owner to a degree. Like a friend of mine said, people don't want you seeing them having trouble with a horse they're trying to sell you, so they simply let her stop whenever she pleased. Let's face it, if all you've got in your hand is a lead, or nothing at all, they seem to want to ignore it most times, at least she did. I would never strike a horse with a whip, great way to get yourself hurt, but am glad I made that purchase now.

So today was better, hopefully tomorrow will be better still. And no, do not intend to back her for awhile, she needs a lot of ground work done beforehand. Although the previous owners did ride her, they never used a bit or bosal, so she's got a long way to go before I get on her myself.

Thanks again, would love to know more about your horses and may ask you questions in the future.
post #4 of 6
It's good you have a round pen. Make her think when you work her, step toward her as she is circling you to force her to turn, and tell her sharply turn- keep your distance as she sounds like a challange, use the whip as an extension of your arm. But step toward her and make her change directions until she is finally paying attention. Her soreness near her tail could mean she is loaded with parasites. I would run a fecal to your vet and have him put her on a worming program. I have geldings, and they were a handful once upon a time. I remember way back when having to chase them around the pasture to get them haltered. Thank God those days are long behind me!

If you can, get some books by Mark Rashid. Mary Twelveponies is another good author, her one book There are No Problem Horses will also help you. Also check the colleges near you. Ours runs a really decent horsemanship class. Good luck- I know all about pinned ears and turned rumps. It took months of patience and slowly working, but thankfully both my boys would move heaven and earth for me, as I would for them. But there were times when I just wanted to run screaming into the road going "What was I thinking??!!" LOL

Racer will be 6 years old soon- he is a Mustang cross. Traveler is a Breeding Stock Paint, he will be 5 in April. They are my first horses, and I got babies!!! LOL
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Ooo, great advice because I was having some difficulty with the turns today even though I wasn't pushing for them as yet, just wanted to get her to move until I said she could stop. Will go looking for those books you mention.

She's a quarter horse. Pretty little roan, I do love roans but that was a bonus, I don't look at color as a rule. Apparently her mom was always eager to please so I think she'll come around eventually. Forgot to mention, during her workout today, I got a lot of that lip smacking/chewing activity which is supposed to be a good sign.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Sorry Hissy, also forgot, she's been on a regular worming, needle, farrier schedule and I have all the records. If her touchiness isn't associated with past herd mate activities, then it may be she was simply not groomed very often and finds it annoying a bit. I do tend to like grooming a bit too much sometimes, most likely my fault so I'll take it easy in that department.

A mustang cross. Interesting. I've read that mustangs get very attached to their owners and almost become like big dogs. Is this true?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Need horse people's opinion please - it's kind of long