goneriding24 I am in complete agreement!!! That is how she acts when loose in the roundpen. She totally checks out and will not look at me. I've never had a horse in all my 40+ years act like this. Other than this she isn't a "menace".
Ya know the saying, once you think you've seen it all with horses, along comes another who didn't read the memo...and prolly makes you look stoopid to boot.
Sometimes it does just take sticking it out. I worked with a mare who was similar -- not spooky, but easy enough under saddle, but on the ground, a b*tch who refused to acknowledge you. She would happily drag a person backwards across a parking lot for two hours without getting on a trailer. She was not afraid. Yours may be. Only you can tell.
But many times, if they are in the round pen and refuse to look at you, kick out, etc, you just have to make them keep working. You have to be willing to put in whatever amount of time it takes -- patiently and fairly. It's not a panacaea, but many many times, when I see failure, it's because results are expected too quickly. Yes, that first session may take two hours before she will look at you (NOT two hours of galloping) but the next one may only be 20 mins.
My OTTB (a quiet and solid worker type) was quite, mmmm, self-confident and his first few times in the round pen were quite theatrical in his assertion that I was NOT his boss, hooves flying and all. But when he used up all his tricks and failed, it was a literal 30-second change when he dropped his head, sighed, and said FINE....
It's impossible to know without seeing the horse, just some thoughts...
I always think, what would I do? Not knowing you or your horse some imagination has to go into it. You sound experienced and have come on here for some input. You say she is new to you and a bit of a worrier. You do not know all her background. I'm of the belief that quietness is better than the yelling and hitting. Again, I believe in the honesty of horses so she may just be telling you that this is just a bit too much too soon. I think I would work on what she is good at, since you say she otherwise a good ride, and then build up a relationship so she has confidence in me. I'd otherwise lower the volume and progress in small increments from there. She may have been harassed in the round pen by those types who have a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. I'm a mare lover myself, we get on, and she is probably
over stimulated? Good mares can be the best, if a bit tricky. Eventually, a lifted finger will get her to move on.
Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique
Watching what she does and then reacting when she is just thinking about being bad is much harder than it looks. That is what I mean about seeing trainers like Julie Goodnight, etc on tv. They know from a twitch of an ear what the horse is going to do. I am pretty good at ground driving and lunging in general and when this horse is in bridle and working she is okay. At liberty in the round pen is the problem. She simply refuses to acknowledge me and when I press her she will stop moving forward and kick directly at me (with both hindlegs). She's pretty damn fast at it too and it is obvious she is saying f u.
If I just continue to work in driving lines with control of her total body, will that ever get me ahead? I'm pretty sure I need to get someone here that can address this problem, or send her back and hope the barn owner doesn't turn around and send her back to me!!!!
I'd DEFINITELY stop worrying about catching tiny changes in behavior before she does something--that alone could be causing her a lot of frustration if that's what you are trying to do. When you have two hooves routinely coming at your face, worry about finesse later and just correct what she actually does.
ETA: Perhaps a more basic question: what is your reason for doing the roundpen work? Is it just to round out (no pun intended) her training, or is there something specific you're trying to solve?
BUT, anyway if you are already pretty sure you need help, then definitely get it. If your nerves are very shaken then she's got your number and you're probably not going to be effective in getting after this mare. My bad, I guess I didn't hear that message in the OP.
I don't understand the comment about BO sending her right back to you. How long have you owned her? I mean, obviously if you decide to return her, it would be based on the prior owner agreeing to buy her back, perhaps because you can show that they mis-represented her. Be prepared that might be a hard sell-- it's not like they're selling to a total newbie given your 40yrs experience, and a horse that's misbehaving in the roundpen but is fine otherwise and undersaddle doesn't sound like a reason for a full refund.
If you get a trainer--is there no one in your area who could come out a couple times a week to work with her, and then with you? This really doesn't sound like a problem that would take long to fix.
Wildlifer, you are right. When she first kicked I was surprised but pushed her on so we ended well. The problem now is that she does it every time. And it's a quick stop, flip hindend and kick. Very fast so I believe this is something she "knows" how to do.
I'm not needing her to learn anything in the round pen except to go forward when asked. A fellow boarder is getting me the name and number of a local Buck Branaghan (sp?) trainer. I've decided to let him handle it. There might be more to this issue than what meets my eye.
I once had an Appy mare (I think I've posted about her several times here, actually I still miss her, kind of sorry I sold her...) who was a knothead about the round pen, kicking at me and doing such a fast turn then again, going back the original way, so fast that you'd almost think you didn't see it, that quick.
One day, after a particularly frustrating day, I mean I almost went over the line with her, the BO came out to see if she could help me figure out what it was that was wrong, this mare cow kicked at me. I mean, the F U cowkick. Missed me by inches. Clear day and no wind, she saw me just fine, knew exactly where I was and did this F U cowkick. For some reason, I don't remember why, I had my bridle already on her, probably was saddling for a ride. She F U cowkicked and I took the ends of my split 1/2 inch wide harness leather (I only buy the best reins) and whopped her over the rear end as hard as I could. I mean the mother of all whops. So surprised was she, she went up and came down while looking at me like she couldn't believe someone would do that!! I mean that one whop set her down!! She wouldn't move for a bit after that, so stunned. Then she was the most respectful mare I had ridden in quite a while. We never had many problems after that. Someone had trained her originally quite well, but the in between owners had botched her all to pieces.
Aaaannnndddd...never did really have to go to the round pen after that either. Go figure.