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Very naughty and spooky BUT lazy mare?

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  • Very naughty and spooky BUT lazy mare?

    I bought a what i thought to be a packer of a mare about 6 months ago. She was absolutely a dream for about the first 4 months - quiet, brave, respectful and good on the ground. She's a WB so she's always been a bit lazy and not the most motivated to work but if told her to do something she would say yes m'am. But over the past 2 mo she has become SO naughty and "spooky". She pretends to be afraid of things she sees everyday, rears out of no where, charges me while she's in turnout or on the lunge, tries to kick me etc. She takes every opportunity to spook and then run off and buck, and has got me off a few times in this week alone, sending me to the hospital twice. I thought it could be a me problem so i had my trainer ride her for a bit but she pulled the same stunts. We've been trying to just keep working through it but it hasn't improved at all. I'm wondering if a calming supplement could help her (keep in mind she is quite lazy) or if it's a training issue? Thanks!
  • Original Poster

    #2
    (saddle fit and health issues have already been addressed)

    Comment


    • #3
      I dont think a calming supplement is going to touch that type of misbehavior. I would strongly suspect ulcers with that big of a change in personality - have you already treated for those?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by cccbb View Post
        I bought a what i thought to be a packer of a mare about 6 months ago. She was absolutely a dream for about the first 4 months - quiet, brave, respectful and good on the ground. She's a WB so she's always been a bit lazy and not the most motivated to work but if told her to do something she would say yes m'am. But over the past 2 mo she has become SO naughty and "spooky". She pretends to be afraid of things she sees everyday, rears out of no where, charges me while she's in turnout or on the lunge, tries to kick me etc. She takes every opportunity to spook and then run off and buck, and has got me off a few times in this week alone, sending me to the hospital twice. I thought it could be a me problem so i had my trainer ride her for a bit but she pulled the same stunts. We've been trying to just keep working through it but it hasn't improved at all. I'm wondering if a calming supplement could help her (keep in mind she is quite lazy) or if it's a training issue? Thanks!
        OP, is this your first horse?

        Are you saying your trainer can't make her behave better? Maybe get a new trainer.

        How does her current lifestyle compare to past? If she had lots of turnout and work before and is now in a stall getting ridden 4 times a week then she needs to blow off energy.

        I also would want to look at ulcers and saddle fit.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

          OP, is this your first horse?

          Are you saying your trainer can't make her behave better? Maybe get a new trainer.

          How does her current lifestyle compare to past? If she had lots of turnout and work before and is now in a stall getting ridden 4 times a week then she needs to blow off energy.

          I also would want to look at ulcers and saddle fit.
          In the past she got worked around the same amount we do, but less turnout because they just didn't have the time. She gets turned out/ lunged twice a week and gets ridden the other five days. With the multiple trainer i have worked with, she pulls the same stunts with all of them, and just proceeds to become increasingly angry when you attempt to correct her. I've had her scoped for ulcers and my saddle custom fit in an attempt to solve the problem, niether ended up helping.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by ClassyJumper View Post
            I dont think a calming supplement is going to touch that type of misbehavior. I would strongly suspect ulcers with that big of a change in personality - have you already treated for those?
            Got her scoped but there wasn't anything

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by cccbb View Post

              In the past she got worked around the same amount we do, but less turnout because they just didn't have the time. She gets turned out/ lunged twice a week and gets ridden the other five days. With the multiple trainer i have worked with, she pulls the same stunts with all of them, and just proceeds to become increasingly angry when you attempt to correct her. I've had her scoped for ulcers and my saddle custom fit in an attempt to solve the problem, niether ended up helping.
              Well something has clearly gone wrong on your watch.

              Have you done a repro exam, looked at ovarian pain? Was the horse on anything long acting when you bought her like Depo?

              However I have seen alot of less experienced folks buy well behaved horses and have the horses come bit unglued because the owners don't have the skills to safely handle them on the ground.

              OP can you specifically list the medical check-ups you've done on this horse?

              If things are as bad as you say you should not continue riding this horse and if you can't handle her safely on the ground, you shouldn't be longeing. I'm guessing that this is a mix of horse in physical discomfort plus newbie rider without enough ground or saddle skills to keep her in manners.

              What kind of trainers have you used over the past 2 months? How old are you and what's your riding experience?

              Comment


              • #8
                The rule of thumb is: if the horse is better each time you ride it, go ahead you are doing the right thing.

                If the horse is a bit worse each time you ride, get help yesterday because things go downhill quickly.

                I would say cut all grain, grassy hay only. If in the realm of over fed and under worked it will take her as long to get out of it as it did to get in to it.
                It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by cccbb View Post

                  In the past she got worked around the same amount we do, but less turnout because they just didn't have the time. She gets turned out/ lunged twice a week and gets ridden the other five days. With the multiple trainer i have worked with, she pulls the same stunts with all of them, and just proceeds to become increasingly angry when you attempt to correct her. I've had her scoped for ulcers and my saddle custom fit in an attempt to solve the problem, niether ended up helping.
                  Move her somewhere with more turnout.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Also consider feed changes. Are you using a different type or quantity of food?

                    There is a risk she doesn’t respect you. You’ve ‘untrained’ her by allowing her to get away with tiny inches that have now multiplied into miles. Your trainers should be able to show you how to be a calm and confident leader on the ground so she doesn’t have to spook and worry. If they cannot, consider hiring a young horse trainer or starter who can help you restablish these basics.

                    This is fixable. You just need to draw very clear expectations on what is and is not permitted. Good help can show you how. Sounds like she’s a smart one so she will be a great one when you sort this out!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      hindgut ulcers don't necessarily scope. 'succeed' is your friend there. Agree with others - be the leader on the ground and start there for behavior correction.
                      Forward...go forward

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I had a mare that had sudden serious issues under saddle. Ended up she had an engorged ovary - the US looked like old 1950's television snow. And it was huge, swollen. Ouch that gave some excruciating back pain. I gave her the winter off and the next spring went to re-US and voila she was even ovulating on that side and it was completely clear,
                        The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Like others, I always suspect a pain issue first. Or that the rider is over horsed or not enough turnout.

                          I had a young horse that went NUTS if he didn't get a little turnout at least 5 days a week. He wasn't hot, didn't even play very hard in turnout. It was more mental. Work wasn't a substitute for his time and freedom turned out.

                          I also had a pony years ago that suddenly turned very aggressive. It turned out he suddenly went blind in one eye (long story there.) He was normally very sweet but he was terrified from not being able to see! He was very aggressive as well. It wasn't first apparent that he was blind either.

                          Other suggestions for a horse suddenly spooky and aggressive would be to check for Lyme disease and ovary issues.

                          If that clears, you could send her to a trainer that specials in "difficult" horses, maybe a western type (make sure they aren't a tough cowboy though!)
                          Good luck!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Troll alert!
                            Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                            Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                              Troll alert!
                              I was just about to yell Troll Bingo, but I think I'm still missing a few squares.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Regardless of the fact that she’s getting out more now than she did in her previous situation, getting turned out only two days per week is very likely not enough turnout. That said, charging you while she’s turned out is pretty aggressive and dramatic behavior... I don’t think a lack of turnout is the full story here.
                                ***
                                The hardest to learn was the least complicated.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Test for Lyme disease
                                  "Do what you can't do"

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Where are you located? My first thoughts would be ulcers, Lyme, EPM depending on specifics. My old mare used to get very spooky and aggressive with ulcer flareups. The younger mare I have now gets (we suspect) hind gut ulcers in certain circumstances, and also has strong heats that made her seem almost like she was tying up. I'm no newbie, but I enlisted pro help with her for a while as she was frankly dangerous. I've figured out her feed (Buckeye EQ8 Sr. is the only complete feed she tolerates for some reason) and management and put her on Regumate, and nowadays she's a mellow doll to work with. Opinionated and sensitive, but those qualities I like and can work with as long as the horse isn't trying to kill me!

                                    Several friends and acquaintances here in the SE US have had horses develop EPM this year. May be worth looking into if you have possums in your area (and really, where doesn't??).
                                    Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!
                                    http://www.etsy.com/shop/PellMellFeltPads

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      OP will you provide an update?

                                      Also, what did you know about the mare before you bought her, and what did you do for a pre-purchase exam? Do you have any contact with her prior owner to find out if these issues ever showed up before?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Just to add - OP, horses do not have the mental capacity to fake spooking. They do not spook on purpose, to spite the rider, etc. A sudden change of behavior like this is most definitely caused by some sort of legitimate issue, be it health, tack, environment, diet or rider/training related - others here have already provided you with many valuable pointers to consider. Good luck!

                                        Comment

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