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  1. #21
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    But I bet the bad habits are getting ingrained pretty quickly now
    which is why I suspect the owner will also be interested in resolving this as painlessly (ie quickly) as possible - obviously the owner would prefer the resolution outlined in the contract, but if this is outside of the leaser's financial ability, then plan B needs to be sussed out.
    As OP did not misrepresent her abilities, owner needs to accept that some of the judgement error lies with herself & just act in the best interests of the horse & get this sorted.



  2. #22
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    Oct. 6, 2002
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    Philadelphia PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    which is why I suspect the owner will also be interested in resolving this as painlessly (ie quickly) as possible - obviously the owner would prefer the resolution outlined in the contract, but if this is outside of the leaser's financial ability, then plan B needs to be sussed out.
    As OP did not misrepresent her abilities, owner needs to accept that some of the judgement error lies with herself & just act in the best interests of the horse & get this sorted.
    Agree, call to the owner is overdue!
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  3. #23
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    Jun. 12, 2007
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    Westchester County, NY
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    1. Call the owner and keep her up to date on the issues.
    2. It is very common for a very easy to handle 3 or 4 year old to go through the teenage hormones stage at 5 and become a hellion. There is a very good chance the owner was telling you the truth. I would caution you against a young horse, regardless of apparent temperment at the time. By 7, a good citizen is likely to remain that way.
    3. Going along with 2, this sounds like common 'teenage' horse behavior that has been let out of control as a result of your handling on the ground. If you aren't comfortable addressing her ground manners issues, you need to get some help ASAP - whether its a trainer, or just a more experienced friend. The longer you let it go on, the harder it will be to reverse.


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  4. #24
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    Dec. 4, 2002
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    Alpharetta, GA
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    Forgive me if I'm making a wrong assumption, but it sounds like you're not a trainer, but an owner that keeps a few horses at home? Truth is, a young mare may not be a great fit for that situation. Sometimes keeping just a few horses is way more problematic than keeping a big group. The herd dynamics are much stronger is those smaller situations.

    Young horses in general and young mares in particular need an experienced hand. Talk with the owner and send the horse back if she's not right for your situation. It's not fair to either one of you.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
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    Apr. 25, 2007
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    Did not read all replies so sorry if redundant. It really sounds like she is an alpha mare and you are not. So she has your number but good. You need training on how to deal with her. My alpha mare would act like this to anyone that she figued she could get away with it. She is a perfect angel with me but she sees me as a boss mare.

    That she was able to make you run into a stall by cow kicking at you just reinforced her idea that she is the boss of you.

    Any reputable trainer should be able to work with you. Emphasize that you want to work on ground work in addition to riding.

    I know lunging my mare, not chasing her around in circles, but serious lunge work with a surcingle, side reins, transitions , real WORK, really reinforces my mares willingness to listen to me and look to me for instructions. Best of luck to you.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #26
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    Oct. 27, 2009
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    Petaluma
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    My first instinct would be to find out if she had been receiving Depo/Medroxy/Regumate previously... or even if she had not it would be the first thing I tried... just to make sure before you try everything else.
    www.jazcreek.com
    Specialized Equine Rehabilitation and Fitness in the Wine Country



  7. #27
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    Jun. 9, 2003
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    Alabama
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    It does sound like this mare has stressed herself out and probably does need ulcer treatment. Moving from her home to another place with a stranger can sometimes be a big deal for some horses -- especially a younger one. She is relying on her pasture mates for security and obviously does not have respect for you or feel secure with you. I do think the groundwork like Buck Brannaman does would help her -- but ONLY if done by a trainer who really knows how it works -- it's not that easy! I have a trainer here locally who is very good with it and has used it on my girls, but she can also really "read" a horse. It's a shame for both of you, but you are not the person to deal with this horse and you could get hurt. This mare will only regress more and more in your situation. Turning her out 24/7 would make her happy, but not when you take her away to handle or ride, so it won't really resolve anything. She obviously lacks confidence and has found a way to be a bully when she doesn't like her circumstances --- not a good combination. Not sure what the best answer is for your situation and the owners being out of the country, but my advice is don't handle her and leave her out 24/7 (w/shelter) until the owners return if someone else can't take her. I feel for the mare because if the right trainer doesn't get their hands on her, she won't have a prayer. Good luck!
    PennyG


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  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2009
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    FL/ON
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    Let me just say, thank you for all of the responses!!!

    I have never been nervous on the ground around horses, my confidence was shaken over fences. Mare was never hard for me to handle, always respected me. It's only progressed over the past 6-8 weeks. I had surgery and was not able to work around the barn. In that time frame I had people helping me with all the chores. One of the people helping out was 100% intimidated by this mare. I suspect that is when she figured out just what she could do and the reactions she could get.

    Since I have been back she's mostly been good for me, but does have her horrendous moments that are dangerous. I have always disciplined her and corrected with good results. Now she gets worse with the disciplining. So yes, it is pretty intimidating when a 17.1 solid warmblood mare turns and tries to kick you with both hind feet. And yes, you would run if you were crouching mid polo and see a hoof coming at your head! I wish it was recorded so you could see what exactly happened. I smacked her and the fit that ensued was one that I have not seen before! My goal was get out of the way.

    No, I am not a trainer. Never have been and have no interest in it. My coach doesn't have much advice except that I'm stuck and turn her out 24/7. I have noticed that in my smaller herd they are more bound to each other. But, the owner knew this was my situation before agreeing to send her to me.

    I was never intending to not include the owner, just wanted to talk on here as well. I have since heard from the owner who has agreed to 24/7 turn out but I don't think that is what's best. This mare needs constant handling and correcting. I do not want to send her back, but it is always an option. My main concern is that she gets worse with disciplining and is 50/50 good/bad. How do I change her reaction to disciplining? This mare is quality that I'm lucky to be free leasing. I don't think the horse was misrepresented to me, but then again I don't think these issues are completely new. One of the first times she acted up the nearest thing was a broom. I have since had a whip with me and she most definitely recognized these "tools"!

    I think right now I'll be working with her exclusively and every thing she does will be with my permission, so to speak. I'm also looking at boarding her out as an option. Thanks for all the help thus far, keep the stories and advice coming!

    ETA - Someone had asked if she could see the other horses while on individual turnout. Yes she could, it's across the driveway from the group paddock.
    Last edited by SherwoodAcres; Nov. 6, 2012 at 08:01 PM.



  9. #29
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    Nov. 15, 1999
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    Middleburg VA and Southampton NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jsalem View Post
    Forgive me if I'm making a wrong assumption, but it sounds like you're not a trainer, but an owner that keeps a few horses at home? Truth is, a young mare may not be a great fit for that situation. Sometimes keeping just a few horses is way more problematic than keeping a big group. The herd dynamics are much stronger is those smaller situations.

    Young horses in general and young mares in particular need an experienced hand. Talk with the owner and send the horse back if she's not right for your situation. It's not fair to either one of you.
    Agreed.

    Maybe not such a dangerous horse, as a dangerous situation. Youngsters (5 is still young) and in particular, young mares can easily learn how to take advantage, and if you are lacking in confidence, this will absolutely be perceived by a horse. The dynamic that is now going on doesn't sound good--if the owner is at all knowledgeable (not given, unfortunately) she will likely agree that maintaining the status quo is not in anyone's best interest.


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  10. #30
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    Oct. 6, 2002
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    Kudos to you to want to work through things. It wasn't clear to me earlier that you did.

    She needs proper CONSISTENT (emphasis on consistent) handling with no mistakes. From now on, ONLY people who can handle her appropriately should--- no one else. With whatever tools are necessary (chain over nose maybe) and she cannot be allowed to get away with even small transgressions. Pretend she's a foal. Consistent, correct, fair, and firm ALL THE TIME.

    I also don't think it's a bad idea to have a powoww with you, the vet, and the barn manager to best manage her situation re turnout/turnout buddies/feed/ulcer treatment is necessary. Come up with a written program. Everyone agree to it. Stick to it. Get her in a real regular program and working a bit more to get out her energy.

    She sounds very nice and nipping this in the bud is doable but you have to commit.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  11. #31
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    Nov. 6, 2009
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    Based on what you have said, I don't think this is working out and I don't think that you should risk your safety and confidence on this horse. It would be great if there were some magical supplement/turnout regimen/feeding program/natural horsemanship program/saddle adjustment/ulcer treatment that would solve all of your problems, but I think it is unlikely.

    The question is, how much time and money are you willing to spend and how much are you willing to put yourself at risk for the honor of training someone else's difficult (dangerous?) young horse. Even if you felt perfectly comfortable dealing with the mare's issues, I still think it is a bad deal for you.

    If I were you, I would call up the owner and try to have a reasonable discussion:

    The horse is behaving dangerously. Her staying with you isn't good for you, but it isn't good for the horse either. The owner has a vested interest in her potentially nice young horse not being ruined by getting away with bad behavior for the rest of the year. The owner also has a vested interest in her horse not earning a reputation as a rogue. I also think it was misleading of the owner to represent a five year old warmblood as a "packer." Such a thing may exist, but a healthy and athletic five year old WB, no matter how well behaved, is still a fairly young and most likely pretty inexperienced horse. Her behavior alone proves that she really isn't a "packer type" after all. I don't think it is fair for the owner to expect you to pay training fees or to continue financially supporting a dangerous horse, it isn't like the horse is just being a little tricky or a little mareish or not quite as fancy as you had hoped. Because the horse is behaving dangerously, I think there also could be a potential serious liability issue for the owner. Basically I think there are a number of good reasons any reasonable owner would want to end the lease as much as you do.

    Now, you also have some fault here. I don't mean this harshly, but was probably not great judgement to sign a lease deal that locked you into a long term financial obligation for someone else's young, green horse. I think there was a decent likelihood from the get-go that this wasn't going to work out. Green horses are a poor choice for leases because they most likely are, in fact, going to act like they are green, and it puts you in the position of investing time and money into someone else's green horse.

    So, I think it would be fair to discuss the above issues with the owner and see if you can't work something out where you send the horse back and maybe pay for an additional month of board on her, but then end the lease there. I think it might even be fair (depending on how your lease contract was written) for you to pay for a basic vet visit to have the horse checked out, because people leasing horses DO typically take responsibility for routine vet bills and also it would document the mare's state of health and soundness prior to sending her back. I would also be sure to send the horse back in good weight with her feet in good shape, etc.



  12. #32
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    Jan. 4, 2012
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    71

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    Alpha mares are the most likely to have bad herd bound behavior. This is because their mentality is telling them that they have worked hard to stay on top, so they have the most to lose if they have to start over.

    You need to establish RIGHT AWAY that you are the alpha and she is to obey you. The first thing I always do when I start working with a new horse, before I ride, pet, feed, etc. and no matter what breed, sex, age the horse is, is work her on the ground. I focus on her feet- the intention of alpha mare is to always move the surrounding horses (and in some cases, humans) feet. Carry a whip and, on a short lunge line, make the horse side step, back up, turn around and so on, all very quick, fluid movements. Push her as far as you can without irritating her. Pat and let the horse graze for a minute and then when YOU are ready, make her stop right away and continue pushing her around. Shuffle. Her. Feet! Anytime the horse flexes against you, refuses to move, tries to kick, etc., send her out IMMEDIATELY, no second chances, on the lunge and make her work. Not just trot around the circle once, but work. It will only sour her attitude and make her dangerous behavior worse by repeatedly striking her, scolding her, chaining her and so on. She has to figure out that by listening to you, her life is easier. Disobey and she will do a whole lot of what she doesn't want. Do this everywhere. In a field, in the ring, in the barn if you have the space.

    Same concept when you are separating her. If you take her away from her buddies and she starts to get anxious with you, take her back within sight of the other horses and start shuffling and working her. Walk her away from the sight of other horses and let her graze. If she won't graze or doesn't settle, take her back within sight of the other horses and shuffle and work her. Continuing until needed, but remember, this is not going to be solved in a day. This will take a lot of time and even more patience.

    If you are not experienced in this kind of work, I sincerely recommend having a professional come out to help you. It's no longer surprising to find that a horse who someone has claimed to be sweet and docile will try to strike out at me while doing this first exercise. Horses will always test you! Just stay calm and cool- you can't punish a horse for being a horse, but you can change the way they think about you.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  13. #33
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    Mar. 20, 2011
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    Default mare antics

    Quote Originally Posted by JazCreekInc. View Post
    My first instinct would be to find out if she had been receiving Depo/Medroxy/Regumate previously... or even if she had not it would be the first thing I tried... just to make sure before you try everything else.
    I would seriously try treating with Doxy for 10 days to see if it is Lyme, and if you note a change for the better, keep her on it for 4-6 weeks. I just bought a 4 y o a few months ago and found that while she only tested mildly positive/chronic exposure (raised in a field in CT - so duh!), the treatment worked miracles. I had another young mare that I gave monthly shots of Depo to keep her minding her manners, not get girthy, etc.



  14. #34
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    Dec. 20, 2007
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    This sounds EXACTLY like a mare I took on trial when is was looking for a horse. The situation went from bad to downright dangerous within 5 days, and the horse was unmanageable on the ground and under saddle. She almost kicked my barn manager in the head at turnout time, and that was the deciding factor for me I would never want to be responsible for another person getting injured, and would certainly want to run the risk of getting hurt myself. It's just not worth it. The market is a buyer's market right now, I'm sure you can find something more suitable and SAFE. Why pay the bills to fix someone else's horse and it's problems?



  15. #35
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    Jun. 15, 2010
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    If she is a pain-free alpha mare you have to go in guns blazing and prepared for a fight. If she is a pushy alpha mare you will reach a point where she tries to really push back (like the polo incident). You need to be prepared to react and make her think her whole world is about to end for 5 seconds. Come at her so hard that she thinks you've gone insane. Then go back to normal and act like nothing happened.

    I've handled a couple of mare (mostly ponies) who pulled something like this. With all of these cases it only took one or two incidents to establish that this behavior would never fly, ever. My sister's mare once pulled this undersaddle. In the end they attracted quite a crowd as the mare bucked and my sister cropped in a seemingly endless cycle. My sister stuck it out and at the end of the 10 minute battle the mare shook her head and stepped off into a canter and hasn't crowhopped in the 2 years since.



  16. #36
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    Apr. 1, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by SherwoodAcres View Post
    Now she gets worse with the disciplining. So yes, it is pretty intimidating when a 17.1 solid warmblood mare turns and tries to kick you with both hind feet. And yes, you would run if you were crouching mid polo and see a hoof coming at your head! I wish it was recorded so you could see what exactly happened. I smacked her and the fit that ensued was one that I have not seen before! My goal was get out of the way.
    Just wanted to note that many times horses - especially young alpha mares - will act out when you discipline them. It's no different than children that throw a big fit when you give a punishment. My young alpha mare threw some seriously large hissy fits when I began to deal with her ground manner issues. One in particular lasted at least 30 minutes. We worked through them and she is now much improved, but I do still have to stay on top of her.

    My recommendation would be to have someone who can competently handle that behavior help you work through this on the ground. Her throwing a fit when being disciplined is exactly the reason to address this - now before it's too late.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)


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  17. #37
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    Feb. 25, 1999
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    San Ramon/Castro Valley/Brentwood, California
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    There has been alot of great advice already given. One thing to remember with young horses...........no matter what, they stay on their side of the bed at ALL times. And I mean ALL times!! If you have to carry a jumping bat with you (the noise can make quite a remarkable difference), do it....at ALL times. You are higher on the food chain. ;-) Big pushy mares are big pushy mares....the opportunity to be a big pushy mare cannot present itself....not ever. Sometimes a come to Jesus meeting is the cruel reality. I am short, I have my weapons...acrylic fingernails work wonders! Remember how horses discipline each other within a herd situation...it's vicious, it's quick and quite painful...usually only takes once for the others to learn their place. So she has to learn her place with you but not at the expense of your safety. Owner has agreed to all day turnout, then do it. I run into big pushy mares often, the cow kicking, the turning of the butt to me in the stall, the hopping of the butt...all of that. I grow bigger than they are! I am the mountain lion, I am GOD....but only when I need to be! ;-) Best of luck....remember....she stays on her side of the bed...NO touching! ;-)


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  18. #38
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    Jun. 9, 2003
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    Alabama
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    YOu have stated you are not a trainer and have some medical issues, which could be compromising in a physical and mental way. REgardless, this mare has no respect for you and she will accelerate her bad behavior because it works. Unless you really understand what to do, how and when and CAN -- you will only make it worse. Your own self-confidence is a huge factor. You have to pick your "fights" and make the situation where the deck is stacked for you. But having a good game plan and the skill, experience and confidence to make it work is essential. Being just rough and disiplinary is not the entire answer. She has to feel secure with you so she can stop worrying and work alone. Good luck!
    PennyG



  19. #39
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    Dec. 4, 2002
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    If this were my horse, she would be turned out alone until she was weaned from her herdmates. This may take a while--the worst herd-bound horse I had was an unbroke eight year old mare that had literally grown up with this gelding. I needed to break her out, and couldn't do a thing with her she was so horse-tied to this gelding. I turned the mare out in a field where she couldn't even see the gelding, and turned her out alone, and left her during the day (it was winter, so she was stalled at night in a barn with other horses). She spent a week solid running herself into a lather during the day, screaming, etc.--I was worried about her doing it, but didn't know what else to do with her, so just let her act stupid. It took a week solid of her doing that before she was weaned away from that gelding, but after that I could actually work with her and do something with her. I got her broke, and she ended up as a youth horse.
    So, the way I would deal with her is initially to separate her from the herd until she learns to deal with it. I would also work on her ground manners--make her face the front of the stall when I went in to get her, probably by using a treat. I would work on her outside the stall, on x-ties if she x-ties where I would have more room to get around her, and also where I wasn't in her living territory, until she was behaving better. I certainly wouldn't try to work on her loose in a stall--she would be tied if I were putting wraps on, etc. I would want her to know that she was under my control, and it was time to behave.



  20. #40
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    Nov. 6, 2009
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    I agree with a lot of the suggestions as to how to handle bad behavior in a difficult young mare, but what I disagree with is whose responsibility it is to implement those techniques.

    I think it is unreasonable to expect an amateur leasing a horse to assume the responsibility of remediating dangerous behavior. That job and its associated risks belongs to the owner or to a professional trainer hired by the owner.



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