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My 9 month old filly strikes out at me

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  • My 9 month old filly strikes out at me

    I am in desperate need of advice... my fiance recently bought me a just 9 month old filly as my wedding present, we got her January 13th. I was the only one to handel her at 1st because I wanted to be the one to bond with her.
    January 9th I went out to her pasture alone in hope to bond with her. I had some treats in my hand that I gave her right away- as soon as they were gone she reared up and stricked out at me, hitting my hip, and continued to chase me right out of the pasture (which I know, your not suppose to back up from them but I had nothing with me to defend myself).
    Since then- she has stricked out at me twice (these times my fiance- Mike, has been around). She also pins her ears back at me all the time. Mike has now handeled her a couple times and she respects him and seems to like him (never pins her ears at him)- she even chews when he is around, which he tells me is her thinking and wanting to be part of his heard.
    Since last time she stricked at me (just Thursday the 14th 7am) I have got mad- I now make sure to have a rope or something with me to get after her. I chase her away from me if she runs up to me, repremand her for kicking her front feet out at the ground, etc... I'm mad now- so I'm starting to demand respect to.
    But she still pins her ears back at me- I honestly feel as if she just hates me. Any advice? Mike's great at giving advice and knows foal & heard behavior- but he takes what he knows and has for granted. I know I have to be tough around her- but feeling like she hates me, is very depressing for me. This is my 1st foal and I expected a different experience. This has just been a aweful experience so far and I want to make it better. I need her to respect me and know I'm in charge but I also need (for me) her to like me and not pin her ears. I guess I don't understand why or how to fix it.
    Any advice would be SO much appreciated!

  • #2
    You need to find a trainer who is very experienced with young horses who can help you learn how to handle your filly. She's doing what babies do ...

    Being friends with her will come later. Right now she needs to learn that you are the boss and these are the rules. Period. She will be much happier (and so will you!) when she learns that there are things she is not allowed to do while being handled and that there will always be a consistent correction when she does those not-allowed things.

    Often turning out youngsters with older horses who will not put up with their nonsense is a good way for them to learn manners. You don't want a bully babysitter, just one who will be fair and mete out discipline to baby when she gets too big for her britches.
    Full-time bargain hunter.

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    • #3
      Welcome to the boards. I would copy and paste this into a new post on "off course". This is more for "farm stuff" (i.e. building a horse barn, farm life, etc.) and there is a lot more traffic on Off Course. Good luck.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thank You both! I reposted on Off Course and am slowly learning to take charge with her- it's just not what I expected I guess.
        Thanks for the replies!

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        • #5
          She will love you the way you want (which I assume is that she is cuddly, and whinnies at you when you show up sort of thing) once she's established herself. She doesn't really know how to act around people and mares in particular can be aggressive as they sort out their place in a new herd.

          Please have a trainer show you how to interact with her - it's not 'hard' but it takes some practice and a lot of timing.

          My mare went through several stages of "what happens if I.....bite you in the head/strike at you, refuse to lead etc" but she also "loves" me and whinnies at me. (and she doesn't bite or kick or strike)

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          • #6
            How did her last owners handle her? Because that sounds like a foal that wasn't taught what we call "four on the floor" and was allowed to get away with anything. XD If she's going after you in the field, maybe you should keep her inside, or in a small paddock until you can get control of her.
            Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
            Thank you for everything boy.


            Better View.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by onelanerode View Post
              You need to find a trainer who is very experienced with young horses who can help you learn how to handle your filly. She's doing what babies do ...

              Being friends with her will come later. Right now she needs to learn that you are the boss and these are the rules. Period. She will be much happier (and so will you!) when she learns that there are things she is not allowed to do while being handled and that there will always be a consistent correction when she does those not-allowed things.

              Often turning out youngsters with older horses who will not put up with their nonsense is a good way for them to learn manners. You don't want a bully babysitter, just one who will be fair and mete out discipline to baby when she gets too big for her britches.
              and OneLaneRode has a very well mannered young mare so I'd take her advice... particularly about not being friends right now!
              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
              ---
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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              • #8
                Ditto. My young horses over the years have tried all manner of things. It's all a matter of them trying to establish herd position, and you are one of the herd...that they want to be dominant to. Sorry, but if I'm the sucker paying the bills, then they're the ones who are going to listen to me.

                If you aren't comfortable in responding, find someone who can teach you how. So many people make the mistake of thinking that by disciplining them, they are somehow damaging them. Proper discipline for the action is healthy. Waiting until you get pissed and beating the beejeebus out of them isn't.

                My own method for strikers is to nail the offending leg (above the knee)with the leather lead line end while they are in the action, coupled with pushing them backwards and off balance (and a stern NO). Obviously, that won't work if you don't have ahold of them. Ditch the treats for now too. That only complicates things.

                Young horses still have to work to stay balanced. You can use that to your advantage. But, be careful and get someone who can show you the tricks safely.

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                • #9
                  Ditto to all above. I'm learning all the same things with my (first) filly. She is working out who is boss mare. I still halter her and give her lots of happy rubs and scratches, but I also carry a lunge whip when feeding to make my personal space safe. Not to scare her, just so she knows not to crowd/buck/strike/nip. All of which have happened before.

                  Note on the above advice to smack her offending front leg - I think it depends on your horse. I tried that and my filly decided that was a challenge, not a reprimand. It has worked better to go back to basic personal space lessons.

                  If you don't have a good horsemanship trainer nearby, try looking at the Parelli info. It's a take what you need thing, the showmanship/delivery can be a bit much, and I wish they talked less about "playing" with your horse which could be dangerous if misunderstood, but good information about HOW to nicely establish personal space (Seven Games DVD).

                  My girl actually stood patiently with ears perked 15 feet away while I delivered her hay this morning. And still nickers & comes for lovin.

                  Learning more than I ever thought, and I hope you find the same satisfaction

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MMavin View Post
                    Ditto to all above. I'm learning all the same things with my (first) filly. She is working out who is boss mare. I still halter her and give her lots of happy rubs and scratches, but I also carry a lunge whip when feeding to make my personal space safe. Not to scare her, just so she knows not to crowd/buck/strike/nip. All of which have happened before.

                    Note on the above advice to smack her offending front leg - I think it depends on your horse. I tried that and my filly decided that was a challenge, not a reprimand. It has worked better to go back to basic personal space lessons.

                    If you don't have a good horsemanship trainer nearby, try looking at the Parelli info. It's a take what you need thing, the showmanship/delivery can be a bit much, and I wish they talked less about "playing" with your horse which could be dangerous if misunderstood, but good information about HOW to nicely establish personal space (Seven Games DVD).

                    My girl actually stood patiently with ears perked 15 feet away while I delivered her hay this morning. And still nickers & comes for lovin.

                    Learning more than I ever thought, and I hope you find the same satisfaction
                    Sorry, this girl needs an honest to god trainer, not Parelli DVDs! Check the thread on off course, she keeps changing her story. Don't know if she's completely in over her head and doesn't want to admit it, or is just a troll.

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