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Great to ride but vicious in the stall & to tack? Jekyll & Hyde horse!

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  • #41
    Originally posted by M. O'Connor View Post
    Chiming in here again to emphasize that you can spend all the time you wish in figuring out WHY the horse is acting this way. But even if you think you have it completely solved, NEVER let your guard down, and be extremely cautious about who handles this horse. So many of these bad actors are perfectly fine when handled by horsemen who are used to dealing with all sorts of behaviors, but a disaster in the hands of someone who has so much sympathy for them that they forget where the line is between horse and human.
    Yes. You nailed it.
    I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

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    • #42
      I have had a mare like this-the stall was her space, I also found having her come to you helped. For the girthing thing I started stuffing an apple in her mouth just as I was picking up the end to buckle it up, with the theory it's hard to look fierce with your mouth full. That helped, with the distraction and the positive reinforment for the bad thing made it a lot less of an issue.
      Fast forward many years and I do the same with my TB- he looks for his mint and it makes the girth less of an issue with him as well.

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      • #43
        My gelding started acting this way last winter when the barn I was boarding at just pretty much stopped turning out (like, the horses went out only twice in an entire month once). He was psychotic, really. He would charge, rear and strike, buck and rear in place, etc. He actually fell in his stall because of this once (and I moved him out to a new barn the next day). Throughout this whole thing, I was riding him every day and sometimes twice a day. He was mostly well behaved.

        He was so aggressive that I briefly considered putting him down. I hate to say that, but it is true!

        Anyway, I moved him to a normal facility where he could actually go outside, and the aggressive stall behavior disappeared almost immediately. He still occasionally will revert to it if he is very fresh or upset for some specific reason, but it is nowhere near as bad (knocking on wood right now!). My vet was absolutely stunned at how much better he is doing now that he is not boarded at that horrible facility. He's like a different horse.

        So, my guess would be that your mare hates her stall.

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        • #44
          M.O'Connor's post relates to any trick or behaviour - we had a marvellous pony once who at first would not load, she'd charge off with anybody in tow. Then, of course, she became the angel she really was and for years remained so. We let another kid ride her in Tetrathlon once. The child's mother was loading her - when she bolted - the evil side of her returned after all that time. She knew and she remembered. I was horrified! She then went off to the competition and was a star.
          They just never forget anything.
          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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          • #45
            There are just some horses that don't like to be messed with

            While in their stalls. I've found OTTBs the usual horses with this little habit, but frequently, it's horses that have gotten routine injections of something, usually done in the stall, that just flat do not want to be screwed with.

            The OP did the right thing. If Horseykins wants to go out, then she needs to stick her head out so I can put her halter on, and be nice. If not? She can stay where she is.

            I own a horse like that, he's been with me a year now. Draft cross, a complete jerk in his stall when I got him.. I've been on the backside, I'm great at reading body language, it was 3 or 4 months before I'd clean his stall with him in it, I usually just moved him to an empty stall until I'd finished. He is still really fussy if I groom/pet him on his left side, especially on the neck/shoulder, he's fine on his right side. He is much better now, was a nasty biter when he came, once in a while he'll act like he's going to nip, makes a quick "fake" then pulls his head back quick. The time he really nailed me, the retaliation was instant and severe, and he's never bitten me again. He KNOWS he's wrong, and when I just give a quiet 'quit it", then he gives a little sigh and behaves. That said, I'm a very confident, experienced horse person. It's taken me months to trust his stall behavior. He is the kind of horse that you just can't give one inch to,not on the ground.

            Under saddle, he is a dreamboat. Mr. Perfect Manners.

            Keep working, it'll come.

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            • #46
              I dealt with a mare at an A hunter barn like this. She terrified the workers - she'd bite, kick, strike in her stall, on the crossties, while being groomed, blanketed, tacked, etc. Then she was the most awesome horse to ride. Amazing jumper, light to ride, just wonderful.

              Unfortunately, she wasn't my horse so I never really could work on getting to the bottom of her behavior. She behaved better for me than she did for most, simply because I showed more confidence with her, but if anyone tried to reprimand her more than she thought appropriate, she lashed out even worse. It was a very fine line.

              Good luck with this one and always, always watch your back.

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              • #47
                These horses seem to have something in common - they are nasty in a stall, wonderful undersaddle...
                Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                • #48
                  If they weren't nice to ride, they'd probably all be dead because no one would put up with them. That may sound harsh, but I think it's the truth.
                  I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    When I was a teen there was a QH mare in my old lesson barn that was okay to ride but not the most pleasant to be around on the ground. Ears back all the time, snake face when tacking up, would take your fingers off if you tried to give her a treat. She wouldn't like strike at you or anything, but she was decidely not a friendly horse. I don't remember for sure but I am pretty sure there was nothing wrong with her and she didn't have a past, she was just a jerk. I say that because I remember commenting on her personality to my old trainer once and my trainer took offense saying back that "every horse you ride isn't going to like you."

                    Well now as an adult I realize maybe she is right, but I choose to not have a horse that just has a nasty personality. I don't care how well it rides...part of the fun of having a horse is just hanging out with your horse. I don't want a horse I can win national titles on, but have to suit up in armor and carry a whip or something just to get near it. Medical issues or past abuse issues are one thing but just bad tempered is another.
                    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by OreoCookie View Post
                      I dealt with a mare at an A hunter barn like this. She terrified the workers - she'd bite, kick, strike in her stall, on the crossties, while being groomed, blanketed, tacked, etc. Then she was the most awesome horse to ride. Amazing jumper, light to ride, just wonderful.

                      Unfortunately, she wasn't my horse so I never really could work on getting to the bottom of her behavior. She behaved better for me than she did for most, simply because I showed more confidence with her, but if anyone tried to reprimand her more than she thought appropriate, she lashed out even worse. It was a very fine line.

                      Good luck with this one and always, always watch your back.
                      Wasn't a bay tb mare with a fitting name who is now retired at a fairly young age by any chance, was it? Thats about word for word the story I got about a horse at my barn and WHY she is there now .
                      "I think animal testing is a terrible idea, they get all nervous and give silly answers."
                      -fry & laurie

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