My young jumper mare has recently decided that she cannot handle a single.hair from her forelock or mane touching her ears. Otherwise she erupts into insane head shaking that feels like she might fall down! This has just come up now, in the last few weeks. I tried everything, ear bonnet, ear plugs, ear bonnet+ear plugs, grooming her ears, wiping her ears, touching her ears, (for which she is fine) to no avail. Finally my assistant suggested I braid her forelock and mane, and voila, perfect mare again.
So now I have to braid her forelock and mane every.single.day. Hack, trail-ride, jump school, doesn't matter, maresy-poo cannot function without a braided forelock and mane. And she must have a French braided forelock, too, because as I said, not.one.hair can touch her ears!
Talk about prima donna, so funny! Anyone else's mares doing silly stuff this spring?
"A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
Well I don't know if I can blame the season, but my mare is kind of a diva too. She doesn't have any one issue but when she decides she doesn't like something she lets me know immediately. Sometimes there's too many bugs so she sneezes uncontrollably, sometimes she doesn't want to stop so she flails her head like a maniac and sometimes she just doesn't want to be ridden so she moans and groans the ENTIRE time I ride her. But no matter how annoying and out of control she's being I still have a blast because she is a total bad a$$. Don't forget the quirky ones are always the best!
This is not a mare story, in fact it involves something that could never bother a mare, but it is about a horse being fussy about something ridiculous.
My mother had a young stallion that she co-owned with someone else. It was supposed be an investment...what a joke that turned out to be. Anyway, he hated when sweat would run down over his testicles. He would dance & skitter all over the place. Sometimes he would even shake out one of his hind legs like a dog.
The good news for him was that he didn't keep them for very long :
I second the suggestion to just keep it braided. If she rubs it out at least there is less hair to annoy her
What does she do in turn out?!
We got a horse donated who always used to need his forelock braided before he was ridden otherwise he flipped his head and freaked out. Turned out he had head shaking syndrome which was worsened by bright, sunny days. Now he goes fine in a nose mask when its nice out (no idea how that was related to his forelock!)
Just a thought, did you change anything? My mare can't wear a fly mask with ears because when it removed and her forelock touches her she also starts shaking her head. I too had to braid it. So now she only wears a normal fly mask, so her forelock can still touch her ears at all times, so she doesn't forget that. She has a white eye and pink third eyelid, so depending on where she lives I keep her in a fly mask almost year round to protect her eye.
So if you possibly added a fly mask with ears then stop using it and get a normal one. Lol mares!
Thanks for all the suggestions! She is turned out 24/7 and doesn't shake her her head outside. I think the real problem is that she went to a big show in California a month ago which she got body-clipped for, and when we returned (to the NW) the spring wind is a tad bit chillier and she now has no hair on her ears. So when her ears were hairy (as in last spring) she didn't complain quite so much. And now she is much fitter and really coming into her own with her training and understanding, so she pretty much thinks she's hot sh*t! Total diva! She is a good mare, though, so I find it endearing.
Her ears are stuck being hairless for the season, (as it is warm and they are not really going to grow now) so it appears I will be stuck braiding her every day! Yes leaving them in a few days at least is a good idea. Next year I will remember NOT to clip maresy's ears!
"A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
I have a gelding, no issues, same thing over and over and over...
However the other day I was the barn and heard a MOOSE! I ducked and took cover, looked around for the dangerous beast. Upon doing that, my eyes tracked over to my instructors Arab mare kickin the day lights out of her invisible stallion, and she let out another moose call. Safety from moose, stay clear of Arab mare in season.
My mare has been spazzing recently when I tighten the girth before I ride. I was all concerned, brainstorming with my coach, calling the vet, etc. thinking she has some sort of horrible issue. Figured out that when tight, the girth pulls out some of her still-shedding winter coat when she moves, and until she's walked around for a few minutes (and presumably pulled out enough hair? Or gets used to the sensation) she is like sitting on a powder keg. Sigh....
My mare goes into similar fits, and she will also try and stop to get me to fix it! However, I finally noticed part of the problem, the brow band was high up and rubbing a little of the base of her ears. Now I always set the brown band extra low so theres no chance it will touch, and that helps.
I also worked through it by lunging. That way when she went into hysterics I could push her forward without being in danger of her throwing herself to the ground (...at least that's how it felt!). Now when she starts shaking her head I talk to her and then fix it when I take my next walk break, it's our compromise
Kissey will let me use a fly bonnet if her forelock is in a pony tail however. Although she doesn't like cantering with the fly bonnet since it thumps her little forehead making her brain rattle apparently, so we roll it up into her browband.
Most of the time she's fine with a "banded" forelock which is faster then braiding (rubber band half way, then another at bottom of whole thing).
This started the spring of her 4 year old year, about the time we started having on and off saddle issues (she's quite "reactive" when something is bothering her). I'm REALLY hoping that this new saddle will help.
Another thing that helps is keeping her bridle path longer then it should be since I can have her forelock as banded/braided/gooped as I want and her mane tickling her ears does the same thing...she also improved slightly with a monocrown bridle.