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  1. #1
    HorseFeeder Guest

    Question Mare with "Only Child Syndrome!"

    I bred a mare that is now 6 years old and I am proud to say that she jumps around 2'6" and swaps her leads....BUT....we have a problem! She is ready to start going to some local shows, but she the Queen of Snarky! I leased her mother and ever since she hit the ground it has been just her and me. It just worked out that she has always been by herself in the ring and now whenever another horse comes in she plants herself and starts making ugly faces! Nevermind if someone wanted to pass us or jump around while we do...she squeals, jumps in the air, kicks out.....just plain naughty! She can get used to having one of her buddies in the ring with her, but the minute anyone new walks in we are back at square one. I really want to avoid using any type of medication for "mareishness" as I assimilate it to putting my 15 year old on birth control for her attitude. I accept full responsibility for her actions and I should have had her out sooner. I just never thought about it until now when we're thinking of going to shows. I don't think they make a red bow big enough for her and I don't want to get anyone else hurt! Suggestions??? Anyone else ever have this problem??



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2003
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    Tennessee
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    Default

    Do you get after her when she does that? It's one thing for a horse to make snarky faces if another horse gets too close; it is another thing all together when they start the behavior you're describing. For the safety of everyone around her, this has to stop ASAP.

    Unless she only does it when she's in season, I doubt that hormonal manipulation would make any difference.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 19, 2002
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    recent FL transplant from IL
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    You need to practice riding her with as many other horses in the ring as possible. If others are unable to ride with you, can you even turn 1 loose in the ring while you ride her? My young horse needed more exposure to others horses in the ring as well & I would turn my older guy loose while I hacked (he just walked around & sniffed jumps & poop piles) if I had nobody to ride with.
    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2004
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    I understand that you are reluctant to use the horse show as the place to work on this issue as you are concerned about the safety of others.

    If you don't think the horse shows are the route for you, I would try contacting trainers or simply other barns in your area and see if you could arrange to bring her there. Some sort of "controled craziness" might be better than the overwhelmingness of the show. If you get really lucky, maybe another barn would help you out by starting out with only one or two knowledgeable and quiet horses in with her and then gradually build up to more. Of course, I would offer to PAY them for the use of their facility, and their inconvenience.

    If that's not an option and nobody will let you come to them, do you have any friends with horses that could come to you?



  5. #5
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    Nov. 8, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giddy-up View Post
    If others are unable to ride with you, can you even turn 1 loose in the ring while you ride her?

    I would be really careful with this idea. Might work, as did for the poster, with a really mellow older one you know well. However, I think you would be setting yourself up for disaster if the loose horse didn't keep to himself and mind his own business. From your original post it sounds like you don't have any other horses at your place, and for safety of everyone involved I wouldn't even consider it with something I didn't know REALLY well.



  6. #6
    HorseFeeder Guest

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies...I don't have anyone else to ride with and I agree that is has to stop ASAP....its something that I have only recently been aware of because we have just gotten to the point where we are ready to venture out. I usually issue a growl and a spanking which gives me more antics in response to my punishment. She couldn't be easier by herself and was a dream to break and get to this point so it is a totally new set of issues for us



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2007
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    lexington KY
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    I am i the exact same boat as you right now, although I have a geldign who thinks he is a mare.

    Anyway, you need to school her, A LOT, with other horses. I found that we got no where if I just threw us into a ring and expected to work through it. I tried a different tactic and started riding with just one other horse.. then 2... and 3.. and 4.. and so on. It seemed to work for the most part. We still have "moments" and I have to try to avoid being ridden up behind on (he had a accident on the track in the starting gate with a cattle prod, so he hates closeness with other horses). But for the most part, it is just a matter of exposure to it all.

    Ideally, you do not want to use the show ring as a schooling session. If at all possible, try to arrange sessions with other riders (although I know that is not always feasible). If schooling rings at shows are her issue, get there early, before anyone else... you can make your own schooling ring then to get her settled before introducing other horses.

    IF your schooling sessions at shows are anything like the ones around her, I would NOT throw your mare into one. They can be CRAZY and never a good place for a fragile little baby mind
    True love is taking their pain away and making it yours
    ~rest in peace momma (7/5/08)~
    ~rest in peace thomas (6/2/11)~



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie16 View Post
    I would be really careful with this idea. Might work, as did for the poster, with a really mellow older one you know well. However, I think you would be setting yourself up for disaster if the loose horse didn't keep to himself and mind his own business. From your original post it sounds like you don't have any other horses at your place, and for safety of everyone involved I wouldn't even consider it with something I didn't know REALLY well.
    Obviously I hope some good judgement would be used. If the turn out horse is a crazed lunatic that runs the fence line screaming for his friends, that would not help the situation.
    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2008
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    3,118

    Default Doesn't have to be a crazed lunatic to result in a bad outcome......

    FWIW, last night someone turned out a mare while I was schooling my gelding in our ring/2 acre pasture with jumps. No biggie, or so I thought as they are pasture mates about 1/2 the time. Then as I was trotting around after a small crossrail, mare decides to charge us and then wheels around and kicks out right at gelding's side/my right leg. No warning and we weren't even that close to her so she had no excuse. Thank goodness my gelding didn't drop a shoulder when he ducked away from mare's hooves or I might have gotten tossed right onto her.

    So if you do decide to pursue having someone turned out while you are riding, please pick someone old and unathletic or at least pretty passive. A better option IMO would be to have the other horse get lunged or some other sort of activity that way your mare can learn that multi-horse ring activity isn't bad and to pay attention to what you are asking.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2007
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    lexington KY
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    please dont ride a horse like your in the ring with a loose horse. that is just a recipe for disaster, ESPECIALLY with a horse like yours OP. Even the oldest, calmest horse might get playful or fearful if you horse starts acting up. What if that happens? there is no one to control the loose horse to avoid them trying to remain instinctive and be with "the herd" (aka you on your greenie). NOT a good situation to be in.. ever.

    If you cannot find mounts to ride with, then I suggest finding a trainer who you can schedule lessons in a group with if you cannot already do that.
    True love is taking their pain away and making it yours
    ~rest in peace momma (7/5/08)~
    ~rest in peace thomas (6/2/11)~



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2001
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    Maryland
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    1. Get a good trainer
    2. Realize that she's a bossy mare and try Regumate. If it solves the problem or diminishes it, then welcome to the world of alpha mares . . .



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by jen-s View Post
    FWIW, last night someone turned out a mare while I was schooling my gelding in our ring/2 acre pasture with jumps. No biggie, or so I thought as they are pasture mates about 1/2 the time. Then as I was trotting around after a small crossrail, mare decides to charge us and then wheels around and kicks out right at gelding's side/my right leg. No warning and we weren't even that close to her so she had no excuse. Thank goodness my gelding didn't drop a shoulder when he ducked away from mare's hooves or I might have gotten tossed right onto her.

    So if you do decide to pursue having someone turned out while you are riding, please pick someone old and unathletic or at least pretty passive. A better option IMO would be to have the other horse get lunged or some other sort of activity that way your mare can learn that multi-horse ring activity isn't bad and to pay attention to what you are asking.
    Agreed and think unless you have the perfect situation to try this (not likely) I wouldn't even think about going there.

    I'm in line with the idea of getting yourself into some group lessons somewhere, but be honest with the trainer about your issues before you go.

    Good luck. It's always frustrating when you have horse that is so good about everything but "X".



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