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Tell Me Your Stories..

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  • Tell Me Your Stories..

    about hot little mares that grew up to be great! My little Connemara x TB is giving me the blues lately and I need some encouragement. TIA!

  • #2
    can I ask what she is doing? my mare is driving me crazy right now too!


    • #3
      I just keep plugging on!! My conn/TB GELDING is giving me fits right now, he can't seem to do a right lead canter and training level test a is nothing but right lead canter!!! The good news is that the jumping is awesome, so I guess you need to find the positive things she does and think on those to help overcome the things that are driving you mad and remember, in a month or a year it will all change!!!


      • #4
        My hot little mare grew up to be great, and it was mostly just a matter of finding the right feed. She can still be an idiot sometimes in the winter when I don't ride as much, but she no longer even resembles the scary young thing she once was! It CAN happen!


        • #5
          My Paint was very hot when she was 4-10 years old (le sigh), but will be 14 this year and the last 4 years or so have just been bliss. She is generally sweet, but has a bit of a loose screw, I had to find what she liked (eventing, she was my cow horse before that), and then had to quiet my riding, find the right tack, and then get out from under trainers who told me she was a "bad horse". And there were a lot.

          She CAN be a bit neurotic, but I've accepted those things as part of her personality and upon accepting them, they seem like non-issues now, and she has gone on to be my best friend, maybe so much like me (about the neurotic thing, ha) that I see her as an extension of myself. Riding her is bliss now, and while every couple years now we have a major meltdown moment, our relationship is strong enough that major healing need not take place from it. Minor ones are easily ignored.


          • #6
            I got my TBxTrak Liver CHESTNUT mare when I was 14 and she was coming 4!!!! I had very naive parents... but I learned so much from her and made it through. She has alway been SUPER spooky and then she learned how to rear and I had a terrible accident as a result. Without going into details, she got over the rearing, we were very successful on the AA hunter circuit, she went to college with me, foxhunted, learned dressage and then did some low level events. She is 16 now and she is fabulous! She's like a member of the family and I will NEVER be able to sell her due to all that we have been through together. It hasn't always been easy and recent trainers have remarked at how hard she is to ride (she expects you to be perfect before she will try) but I am used to it and it has made me a very accurate and clear rider. It has ALL been worth it!
            "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant


            • #7
              Not sure where to start, but after a few trainers and one telling me to think about another horse, I got help from a "cowboy." I refused to give up and now 2 years later am really glad I didn't. I recently finished a jumping lesson and my trainer came over to me and said "Know what, this mare is now taking care of YOU!"

              It's been a long and winding road, but totally worth it. I feel like the rollercoaster ride is over, although she still has her moments, it's fine because she will never be for sale and I can work through the difficult things.

              I've also been through a number of supplements and nothing seems to stop the " temper tantrum moments."
              RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

              "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


              • #8
                Sue- Possibly it's not a mare problem but a conn/tb problem I own one and although he is a gelding he needs a program to keep his butt in line. It took many years for me to get him on the right track and now he is an awesome mount for less than perfect riders but for a long time every ride was a fight. I have a lot of patience thankfully and we made it past all his antics.


                • #9
                  Once upon a time there was a little chestnut TB mare named Shasta. My MIL owned Shasta and I met Shasta when she was 2 years old. I despised Shasta. You would be riding along in a pasture and she would gallop up to you with her ears pricked, looking very sweet, and then would spin around and try to kick the crap out of the horse you were riding! She was hell on hooves to the other horses, alpha mare to the nth degree, and she was only 2 and barely 15 hands! My husband and I nicknamed her Shasta McNasty after seeing a TV pilot show with the same name. The name fit her like a glove.

                  Late in her 3 year old year my MIL sent her off to the cowboy trainer she had been using for the last 20 years to break and start all of her babies. This guy wasn't fazed by much and was a man of few words. When my MIL picked Shasta up at the end of 30 days he called Shasta a "belligerent b!tch!"

                  When Shasta came back from the cowboy, my MIL asked if I would like to ride her and start showing her. I... agreed! (Probably b/c Shasta had the most beautiful chestnut coat of any horse I have ever seen- you know those Akhal-Teke horses that are metallic looking? Shasta had that kind of coat. The kind that would cause complete strangers at horse shows to come up and comment on throughout her career. So I'm a sucker for "pretty" I suppose!)

                  Shasta grew on me. As evil as she was to other horses, she was an absolute kitten towards people. She was a 1,000 lb Barbie doll and loved to be doted on and would stand still for hours to be groomed and have her mane and tail worked on.

                  Riding her was a different story... Think of a hot tense little TB mare and that's exactly what Shasta was like. I learned how to be very quiet and how to ride her telepathically- if you, God forbid, used an actual aid like you would on another horse, that was too much. You had to ride her from your brain. And it worked. She would jump anything that you aimed her at and she grew an ego that was as big as a mountain.

                  However, despite the ego she was probably the most insecure horse I've ever met. At shows she would be a mess. At her first "real" horse trial she refused to go into the dressage arena by laying down. We missed our ride time. The incredibly generous show secretary worked us into a time later in the day, riding "HC." I had to lead Shasta near the entrance, mounted her in front of A, and then galloped into the ring! I got her in though!

                  Fast forward a few years... She ended up going preliminary and we did a training 3 day. Our dressage at shows always sucked (at home it actually got quite nice, but she just couldn't handle doing it at shows) but she almost always jumped quadruple clean. She was a blast on xc- quick and adjustable and smart- never got herself into trouble because her brain and feet were so quick. Despite her size we almost always made time- possibly even because of her size! She didn't require any time at all to set up for a fence and you could make tight turns that would have been harder for a bigger horse.

                  I can safely say that she was my once in a lifetime horse.

                  I lost her 3 years ago in a freak accident in the barn. I was icing her hock b/c she had jumped out of her stall (a favorite trick of hers) and had hung her back leg on the stall door. She started fussing about the wrap and started kicking, slipped and fell in the washrack and broke her leg. :sad:

                  Picture of Shasta:


                  • Original Poster

                    These are awesome, keep them coming!

                    This is EXACTLY what I was hoping to hear!

                    She is not "BAD" really, just naughty and too smart for her own good. She is 4 going on 5 in March and only 15.1. She lives with an ID mare who is close to 17.2 who is terrified of her. She can be a real bully with other horses. A real Alpha mare.

                    The problems I am encountering with her are as follows (in order of annoyance):

                    1.) Can't catch her (She is getting progressively better, but it still appears to be one of her favorite games).

                    2.) Won't let you mount (from the ground or a block, she can spin around you until the cows come home! ) We have been working on this all week (since it finally dried up here a bit. Its an issue she had last year that we resolved, but since being off all winter with little riding (due to weather and work) its back again. On the bright side this week it's only taken maybe 5 - 10 minutes when two weeks ago it took me three (3) hours!!!

                    3.) She is the Energizer Bunny under saddle. Forward will never be an issue for her, its getting her to slow down that is a problem. I realize its probably a combination of her being a sensitive (hot) mare, but I also think its a balance/strength issue. I try to ride her long and low and get her to relax her back, but it takes quite awhile to get her there and I hate to ride her for longer than 40 - 45 minutes (unless we are trail riding). I may start to lunge her a couple of days a week to build up her muscle strength, however I fear if she gets too fit I'll have another problem.

                    Anyway, that's really about it, let me tell you what I love about her though because she really is going to be a great little mare!

                    She NEVER says no! She is a bit spooky, but she manages to always overcome her fear and do what I ask of her. The first time I asked her to her to school a few cross country jumps she was afraid of the water, but with a little verbal encouragement went in. She'll jump up and down banks, go through pretty much anything and jumps the moon. So I love her and I just know she is a little diamond in the rough!

                    Please keep your stories coming and I welcome all suggestions!


                    • #11
                      She sounds like my once in a lifetime hot little mare Bonnie - I remember many frustrating tears before I found a trainer and attitude that worked, then when we were a team, I felt I could face ANYTHING on that mare. (Lost her 3 years ago, and I miss her terribly, sniff)

                      Anyway, if you can keep the patience & tact at the forefront, I predict you will end up with a mount you wouldn't trade for anyone's! All hail clever tricky mares!

                      For the difficulting mounting, I have found the "Half Tap" to be your friend - it seems to be a controversial technique, but after I looked into it, I found it to be just the tool for some brick wall situations, like the clever horse refusing to allow mounting. Look up Endorphin Tap or "Endospink" in COTH or even just Google for more info.

                      Originally posted by SueCoo2 View Post
                      This is EXACTLY what I was hoping to hear!
                      2.) Won't let you mount (from the ground or a block, she can spin around you until the cows come home! ) We have been working on this all week (since it finally dried up here a bit. Its an issue she had last year that we resolved, but since being off all winter with little riding (due to weather and work) its back again. On the bright side this week it's only taken maybe 5 - 10 minutes when two weeks ago it took me three (3) hours!!!


                      • #12
                        My 6 year old is a 15.2 1/2h, chestnut, TB mare. She has had her moments.... used to throw her head up and charge from three strides out, will occassionally decide that she would rather leap into the air and/or rear instead of doing reinback or turns on the forehand.... in her particular case, tough love did the trick. She is running Training with mid-30s dressage, is very businesslike at shows, and has had one rail and no stops (knock on wood) in the last twelve months....

                        Third Charm Event Team


                        • #13
                          Look up Black Points Tilly Go Bragh :-)


                          • #14
                            My first horse was a 15.2h trakehner mare.

                            she was a hottie for sure. she was a bucking pro too.

                            I had to do my trot work with a XC vest and draw reins in order to maybe make it back to the barn alive.

                            she is here. Sigal

                            I had a bit of touble with her SJ and then finally I found a coach that told me to stop listening to what every other coach has told me and go into SJ and rider her like I do on XC.

                            After that day I won every jumper show I did with her and I began placing in the top 5 consistantly at Training Level HTs.

                            She eventually started jumping the hard stuff (ditches and triples) and I was actually thinking about moving her to Prelim.
                            But then she broke.

                            Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                            • Original Poster

                              Oh these are so GOOD!! Thank you!

                              I've just returned from the barn and I had a really good and productive ride on her. It only took 3 minutes to mount and she pretty much relaxed after about 15 minutes. We worked on a large 20 meter circle in both directions for 5 minutes each way. We did this with intermittent walks of 5 minutes between. I also did some frequent transitions to stop and stand because she HATES to stand still. After about 35 minutes, I dismounted and remounted straight-away and she wasn't very pleased about that, but tolerated it well. I walked her out of the arena and headed her to the big field for a short cool down and she gave me the biggest buck going there to convey her displeasure, but went and behaved brilliantly after that. I just walked over to a small log I like to jump and then walked her back. It was a good ride.

                              PurpNurpl - though you aren't exactly "near" me, I've been thinking of contacting you about maybe meeting up with you at a schooling show and getting a lesson. I really admire what you've done with both Scary and Kaboom and would love to get a lesson from you. I don't have a formal trainer and it would be great to find someone Kikki and I can click with. Plus your student Susan Cooper (yes, I'm Susan Cooper too ) says you are a GREAT instructor. I'll have my trailer in a couple of weeks and could meet you anywhere. PM me if you'd be interested.

                              Again, thanks everyone for the encouragement and suggestions as it clearly made a difference in my riding today!
                              Last edited by SueCoo2; Feb. 20, 2010, 08:23 PM.


                              • #16
                                I love this thread, I feel like I belong to a club now. . .

                                I would like to add that it's really really important to find the right instructor. All my instructors were great, just not the right one for us. I almost gave up and on a whim decided to email a really BNT about 2 hours from us, I never expected to hear back, but I got the nicest email from his wife and I ended up training with them for 6 months. They went
                                to Florida for the Winter and I am now with Bonnie Mosser who moved 10 mins away from me.

                                IMHO I will tell you that training with someone who has tons of experience and I mean tons like Boyd Martin, Bonnie Mosser, Leslie Law, etc , you can get so much farther so much faster. This is especially important when you have a really difficult case.

                                I hear people telling other riders to not spend the money on a BNT until you reach a certain point and I'm here to say wrong, wrong, wrong. It was actually Lesley Law that was our first permanent instructor and in the first 10 minutes she told me things that were absolutely spot on. She also ignored my fear and made me ride through it. This is not an advertisement for Bonnie or Lesley & Leslie, but I wanted to give you my 2cents on getting the right instructor for this kind of project.

                                In re reading this I realize you may already have the right instructor and I don't mean that a non BNT can't help you, it's just that if you haven't found the right one, try a BNT.
                                Last edited by Eventer55; Feb. 21, 2010, 09:52 AM. Reason: clarification
                                RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                                "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


                                • #17
                                  Some mare love...

                                  Originally posted by Eventer55 View Post
                                  IMHO I will tell you that training with someone who has tons of experience and I mean tons like Boyd Martin, Bonnie Mosser, Leslie Law, etc , you can get so much farther so much faster.
                                  Boyd has a whole string of home-bred mares (including Shatzi & Fair Fiona) that are up and coming and her dotes on them like they are daddy's little girls! He get them. It's very cute.

                                  I had a trainer who I think said it best: "The trouble that mares out us through is worth it because when they are 'on' they are unbeatable!"
                                  "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant


                                  • #18
                                    I've had 2 - one of them never really chilled - she was as hot at 20 as she was at 4. Well, maybe a little bit more predictable, but still hot and GO GO GO. She was always looking for the start box. Morgan/TB, born chestnut but turned that lovely silverwhite. Jumped whatever you put in front of her but her dressage was simply something to endure for 2 minutes (fortunately she was so quick most dressage tests lasted about half the normal time).
                                    She just took a lot of patience.

                                    Then there's Star, about whom I've posted before. My homebred.

                                    One day on the lunge of her 4 year old year she discovered she could buck. I stood at the end of the line thinking "what have I done" as she got more and more air, began grunting and squealing with a glint in her eye that said "yee ha, this is fun, look at me go"

                                    When she finally stopped she snorted at me, shook her head and took off to do another circle or two.

                                    In addition to the athletic bucking she spooked at everything, noises, movements, you name it, she took issue with it - spooking entailed a 180 spin, 2 bucks, a 20-30 foot bolt, and another 180 spin to stare down what she's spooked at. At least she was consistent. I came off about once a week when she was 4.

                                    When she was 5, she'd toned it down to 1 buck and a 10' bolt. I only came off every 2 weeks.

                                    Last year, when she was 9, was the first year I stayed on for every ride. Now the spooks are reduced to a cutting horse-like duck and spin to the side.

                                    She couldn't cope with warm up arenas - she was terrified of other horses moving fast around her. We warmed up in the parking lot.

                                    She did not tolerate the use of a dressage whip until she was 8 - At the least she would kick out and at the worst she'd unload me. Nice. Finally I had to specifically train her to accept it.

                                    Clippers took a month of introduction. Shots were impossible without sedation- again, until I did a daily desensitization program (6 weeks). Now she's merely a pill.

                                    She spooked at the fence judges, the spectators, that rock over there, that Prelim fence - totally distracted on XC because she had to supervise everything.

                                    She's at Training now, despite still having difficutly concentrating for a full XC course - if there is an insignificant fence on the course she will spook at it and try to stop - I ride harder at a 2'6" fence than at the biggest table. She did the Training 3-day last summer and finally at the last event of the season seemed to click - I have figured out how to ride her (she's very particular about where I sit) and she has stepped up to do her job.

                                    She loves to be fussed over, but hates other horses. She's very pretty and she's an easy keeper with good feet.

                                    She has taught me to be patient.


                                    • #19
                                      I will agree with getting the right kind of help. I have to treat my conn/tb much differently because he has a stubborn streak a mile long. When he was in his bad phase I learned that giving him a good butt whacking really wasn't all that productive because then it became a battle of who could hang on better. What worked was patience and repetition. His issue was ditches and on a bad day we spent 1.5 hr but I just patiently worked around and around until he figured out I was going to just keep going so he better get it over with.

                                      I don't know about yours but mine is very hot and needs a program even more so than my ottb's. If you miss a few days it is like going back to square one. If you keep him in work he is wonderful. My guy's brain is always working at full speed so I have to be very pro active about keeping him engaged in work so he is thinking. You can't force them the connemara pony comes out and that is not the pleasant side

                                      I will tell you than when I got it right with my guy he was the ultimate ride and he has mellowed out a ton as he has gotten older. Now my husband and other people ride him and love him. Never thought I would see the day where he turned into a schoolmaster but if you stay out of his way and let him do his job he is awesome.

                                      I think mares are very similar to riding my horse. They want to be asked not told and if you can work with them you get a horse that trusts you and will do anything. If you fight them they can and will win.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        BNT in Area V?

                                        The only BNT I know of in Area V is Mike Huber. (* Please note that I don't know much, as I am coming from a hunter background) Anyone ever ridden with him? I've already reserved my spot in a Lucinda Green clinic in June at Greenwood Farm. I think Mary Darcy is here frequently though.

                                        Here is a question, don't people in clinics of BNT get annoyed with someone who comes to a "clinic setting" with a very young green horse? Wouldn't it cause the Clinician to have to perhaps focus too much on this horse and not as equally on others who's horses are more advanced and ready for such a setting? That's why I am trying to get her to a respectable level before taking her to anything.