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Evasion / Avoidance Issues

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  • Evasion / Avoidance Issues

    Need some help with a training issue.

    My mare: When she is "done" or doesnt want to do something, she'll go sideways. Its VERY effective, bc turning her or attempting to circle her, she can still blow out her outside shoulder. In an arena, she'll half pass towards the gate, and just plant there. Its VERY irritating. Out in the open, she'll get barn sour and start going sideways towards the barn. She's learned that is it very hard to stop her from doing this, and by bending her head around to her side and running sideways, she gets out of things. Ideas?

    On the same note.. my friends horse drops his head and runs backwards. Its a very similar problem - when he doesnt want to do something or go somewhere, he'll just run backwards.

    How do you retrain a horse like this? I'm not a beginner by any means and neither behavior is particularly "scary" - but its VERY annoying!


    ETA: Mare was vetted every way from Sunday about two months ago after a long layoff to have a baby. She vetted 100%, so she probably isnt sore or "burnt out". She's totally fine until she decides she's 'done' and starts acting bratty.
    Rural Property Specialist
    Keller Williams Realtors

    Email Me for Horse Property!

  • #2
    Ok, you got 2 issues here. One is ignoring the forward aides. The other is behavioral and has to do with boredom and punching the old time clock. That means you did it a few times and your 40 minutes is up. She is off, file a grievance if you don't like it.

    On the first, she needs to learn to go forward. You need to be consistent in applying the forward aides and disciplining when they are ignored in a fair and consistent way. Pulling in circles is just you getting suckered into her little game. That is where she wants you. The only way she should be going is forward, even if you have to walk or back up in that direction. That is the right answer and the only answer.

    Think about why she does this. What happens when she does go out that gate? You get off is what happens. So ALWAYS get off in that ring away from the gate and lead her out. NEVER ride out of the ring and get off.

    Lessons in basics, like dressage, and practicing what you learned. Stick behind the leg and spurs to reinforce. See if you can't get another, stronger rider on her a few times to get this started.

    And understand she is also responding to the same old same old. Break it up. Do not always ride xx minutes, always start to the left, always do the gaits in the same order and then quit after you canter the second direction. And never do flat, then jump and then hop right off or jump=done in her pea brain. Canter around twice after you are done jumping. Good thing is they have no attention span and forget in about 30 seconds, just do something for about 2 minutes after the last jump.

    Mares. Makes you appreciate a dumb gelding that just bucks instead of all the drama...
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


    • Original Poster

      I think you're totally right about the "ending after jumping" thing. You jump some and she's like, Great, all done!

      I think you're on to something in regards to jumping a bit, then doing something else before we quit, so she's not sure we're "done"...
      Rural Property Specialist
      Keller Williams Realtors

      Email Me for Horse Property!