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BM is afraid of my horse. What to do?

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  • BM is afraid of my horse. What to do?

    I have been at my current barn for over a year now and BM is becoming more and more afraid of my horse...but ONLY the BM. When I moved to the barn I was VERY upfront about my mare having a history of rearing with new people. She does not strike or attack, just pops up on her hind legs. In almost 4 years she has only reared once with me while turning her out (and granted my dog had just run under her legs)...I put her in her place and that was that. She has never tried it since with me.

    At the last barn I was at I gave the same warnings, told the BM they fully have my permission to do whatever they think necessary to reprimand this behavior. Horse would rear with a new handler, punishment followed, and mare never reared with that person again. Handlers had no problem handling horse knowing her behavior and had no problem issuing punishment.

    At the current barn I have been very diligent about asking all the handlers regularly (there are 4 or 5) if they have had problems with her. Most say no problems, one said she reared one time but has not since (and I know this person is a confident handler and would have put her in her place). But the longer I am at this barn the more the BM complains about her being a safety risk. BM currently is hardly willing to turn my horse out (full care with daily turnout). She is only willing to turn my mare out in one of ten paddocks because it is the closest to her stall. Mare does not get to go out on grass because of how far away the grass paddocks are and BM says “she can’t be trusted” and she “can’t take the risk.” BUT…I hand walk this mare ALL over the farm, at all times of day, and NEVER have a problem. I come early in the morning, before they’ve been fed, take her out, no problem. I take her around when other horses are out and ripping around, no problem. I take her out of pasture and hand walk her while the other horses are coming in and being fed dinner (this is the when they usually get riled up the most) and NO problems. Yes, she a fit horse and bound to act like it, but I cannot get this horse to rear or even act up…The other night BM even asked the most timid boarder to bring my horse in (because I have been giving boarder lunge lessons on the mare) and boarder had NO reservations about it or problems with the mare.

    The absolute LAST thing I want is for anyone to get hurt handling my horse and I have offered many times to handle the horse for the BM. I have even adjusted my schedule so I can “conveniently” be there to handle the mare….

    So, I guess my question is: is this my problem and tough cookies? Do I say something to the BO about it? Is it the responsibility as the BM to learn to handle these horses? What is going on between BM and Mare???

  • #2
    the long and the short:

    start looking for a new facility.

    It is starting to look like the horse is slowly being set up to fail.


    • #3
      I'm going take the other side and say that your horse is a huge liability risk.
      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


      • #4
        I think your BM is wrong.

        You fixed the mare yourself. In fact, you can't get her to make the rearing mistake with you so that you can train her again.

        You told everyone. You gave them permission to handle or train her as they saw fit so that she would be safe with them.

        Other people have figured out this mare.

        Your BM seems to be the one person unable or unwilling to do this with your mare.

        Why do you think that is? Can you help the BM get over this? BM handles the horse with you there telling her how to make a correction that will stick?

        I'd start with the BM-- on how to fix the problem with the mare first. No accusation, just "what's the solution? I'm sure we can find one."

        I think people, especially pros, who feel challenged by horses eventually come to resent them. If your BM has already tipped over this threshold, you may have a problem. Do you get the sense that the BM takes orders from the BO? In so, you can try with the BM and then ask the same question about fixing the problem with the BO, too. Do your best to listen to what they say, not just defend your mare.

        If this creates animosity, then I think you have your answer. It will continue as is until your mare gets an undeserved reputation.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat


        • #5
          If the BM is allowing your horse to rear and not reprimanding her when she does it, than he/she is teaching the horse that rearing is the answer and therefore making her MORE dangerous. I'm on your side, they should be helping you fix the problem instead of making it worse, as well as neglecting to give your mare the turnout time she needs.

          I would be outta there if you depend on full care. If you don't and everything else is good, stay and take care of her yourself.


          • #6
            The other night BM even asked the most timid boarder to bring my horse in
            somehow I missed that in the OP...

            a special reason to get a timid boarder to bring in this horse?


            • #7
              You can go to the BO, but what is he/she supposed to do? If the BM is frightened, there's no amount of bossing that's going to change that. You have three options: do all the handling yourself, schedule handlers other than the BM, or move.
              "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


              • #8
                Sadly i would say the BM has 'the right' to not handle any horse she/he feels is dangerous. You've already asid your horse rears on occassion, while most horse savvy poeple won't have an issue with it, BM obviously does and doesn't want to risk being injured (which I can TOTALLY understand).

                I would move.
                I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


                • #9
                  Its her barn her rules. If she doesnt like your mare you need to either fix the mare or move. I love my BM but shes a chicken.

                  I live in 2 barns. I switched 2 of my horses because I needed an indoor for a few weeks last winter. "Roy" was taken to chicken BM.

                  "Roy" wasnt turned out by Chicken becuase the weather was nasty and the water would freeze. So Roy was energetic. OK more than that. He was nervous . He didnt like the dark barn where he was. He pawed and bucked and kicked, he went nuts when the horse next to him left to be worked. We came in and set him strait every time and let him loose to play. The BM wouldnt even go in to clean his stall. Was he a danger? Nope. But I know this horse and my kid rides him. So I know why he was acting up. But she was scared of him. Really scared he would kick or rear or hurt her. She swears he kicked at her with both feet I know this horse. My kid wouldnt be near him if he kicked. But she swears it.
                  “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


                  • #10
                    While I think she sounds like a weenie, I can understand why she would want to be extra cautious with her job. You can't exactly work at a barn if you're busted up. However, the fact that she had a *timid* boarder bring in a horse that has a history of rearing with new handlers and who she herself is scared of? That is absolutely not okay and leads me to question her judgment.
                    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


                    • #11
                      I would find a new barn if possible. If BM is that afraid of your horse what will happen if there is an emergency and your horse must be moved immediately?????


                      • #12
                        Wouldn't it be best if he horse could be on 24/7 pasture/paddock and a BM would only have to feed and water through the fence? You could even offer to build a portable stall yourself.

                        Might even find another boarder willing to keep her horse with yours, out 24/7 with some kind of shelter.


                        • #13
                          In your BO's defense, it seems that a lot of owners have a sort of 'barn blindness' about their horses. For example, I board one mare who would viciously charge at the bars at the front of her stall whenever another horse went by...I mean barring teeth and slamming the bars. Most learned to ignore her, but the last straw was when I was leading a new timid mare by and the mare freaked (the one I was leading) and went down in the aisle, with legs flailing.

                          That was the last straw, and the witch was moved to a back corner where she can't scare anyone.

                          The owner, when informed, said 'really?''she does? as if she'd never witnessed this (yeah right, after a year?) the burn marks on the rubber mating kind of backed me up.

                          I don't think most owner's see their horses during times of stress (ie turnout in the morning, bringing in a night), when the horses are a little anxious....that's when the true colors come out. Or more often, live in denial....not saying this is the case with the OP, but I've seen it so many times.


                          • #14
                            I have to agree with the horse being a liability.

                            No, it is not the BM's responsibility to "learn" to handle your horse, especially with its past history of rearing on its handlers.

                            Your best bet is to move where hopefully you can find a barn where the BM doesn't have an issue with this.
                            I don't always feel up to arguing with your ignorance


                            • #15
                              Given the OP's name "Dangerhorse" it sounds like he/she is very aware of her horse's behaviour. The tough thing is that your horse is random, so your opportunities for teaching the horse are limited. I would say that if you are not worried about your horse being dangerous then you need to get a bunch of your friends (because your horse isn't dangerous - right?) and get them to lead the horse in and out and in and out, so lots of "new people" are handling the horse and hopefully providing learning opportunities.

                              If you weren't concerned about your horse's behaviour you would never have alerted the BM when you moved to this barn.

                              It is not her responsibility to take risks or teach your horse manners.


                              • #16
                                I can sympathize with the OP. It's really hard to 'discipline' your horse for behavior it never, ever displays with you. Honestly, the longer I am around horses, the more I realize there are an awful lot of people out there who "love" horses, but who are deep down (and sometimes, not so deep down), scared to death of them. They are fine with the super quiet, totally non-reactive animal, but cannot handle even the slightest 'deviation' from 'equine saint.'
                                Donerail Farm


                                • #17
                                  Find a new barn.
                                  I have a perfect gentleman of a TB, but he was by far and away the biggest horse at my old barn at 17h. He was put in a stall with limited turnout (as opposed to field board) due to an injury, and naturally became agitated (pacing). The BM refused to touch him. I left shortly thereafter. What if she was the only one there and: he was cast in his stall?? Got loose and was running merrily around? Got caught somewhere and was panicked? I didn't want to wait to find out.

                                  That being said, good manners on the horse's part are necessary if someone else is going to be handling them. My oldest Morgan was a jerk and would routinely throw his shoulder into the lead rope and take off. A few months of a chain fixed that, and until he learned how to walk like a gentleman, no one else touched him.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Kate66 View Post

                                    It is not her responsibility to take risks or teach your horse manners.
                                    Ditto this.
                                    Alis volat propriis.


                                    • #19
                                      If the BM feels he is dangerous, it sounds like time for a new barn.

                                      I have one that goes up when he's afraid or very nervous (never under saddle). We don't let many people handle him because of it. Unfortunately, which I'm sure you know, OP, horses read people very well. If OP is afraid, it's probably upping the anti.

                                      Right now, with AniMed VitaCalm, and as long as you stick to a fairly consistent routine, he's the calmest horse in the barn. Go figure.


                                      • #20
                                        Something doesn't add up here. While I can understand BM being afraid of a horse that rears, it shocks me that BM would send a boarder to get a horse that BM considers dangerous. I'd want to have a serious convo with BM to see if there is any solution, and make clear that if the answer is no that you'll be looking elsewhere. Like others have said, if BM is letting the horse get away with bad behavior, its just creating more of a problem for OP in the long run. Maybe an offer to be there while BM handles the mare so you can assist if an issue comes up?

                                        And I really sympathize with OP because my first horse would similarly test the waters with new people and rear on the lead. We were at a self care facility at the time though so pretty much only myself and my trainer handled my horse which made it easier to reprimand for bad behavior.