• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Not the right horse?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Not the right horse?

    How do you know a horse, that you are working with (or own), is not the right one?

    A little back story for me; I had to put my Heart horse down last Spring. Late Spring I bought a mare to replace him. I merely trail ride.

    The trail rides I do are light. So not a lot of expectations there. Mare is sound. She can be moody. She had tried to bite and kick on occassion, but luckily some tough love helped. The Main problem is when I ride, and not every time, she will either rear or be evasive. In one particular spot on the farm trail she will try to spin around every ride. I have had her checked out, but maybe again.

    The upside; Awesome away from the farm on trails, breaks trail, crosses water, good in crowd or by herself. When I ride her at home and she is good unless I take her on the farm trail. She is also an easy keeper.

    Any ideas would be appreciated!
    Strange how much you've got to know Before you know how little you know. Anonymous

  • #2
    Does she put a smile on your face at the thought of riding her?

    If she does, she may be right for you personality wise but the repeated rearing/evasiveness suggest she needs more training than you know how to give. Finding an experienced instructor to help you both through this is probably your best option.

    If you're just coming to dread your rides, don't want to work through the issues with a trainer, and/or want a horse that you can ride without issues right now -- she's probably not the horse for you.
    She Gets Lost


    • #3
      Some of what you describe may be fixable. I will also comment that when you've lost your heart horse, the next horse you buy has big shoes to fill. When my heart horse died three years ago, I already a second horse and I already had accepted that he was going to be a different type of ride -- but it still took me awhile to get over the fact that he was not going to act like my old horse.

      I would try putting her on one of the mare supplements for her moods (raspberry leaves are supposed to help but I own only geldings). There are plenty of "mare" supplements around and maybe someone here can chime in and say whether or not they work.

      It sounds like she has your number a bit on the on-farm rides and is trying to assert her desire to not work. The fact that she's better away from home suggests she's barn sour.

      I certainly second the suggestion to get a trainer involved because they can either ride her through it or give you some strategies to work through this on your own. However, here are a few things I would do if she were my horse.

      I'd start by working with her on the ground. Does she lead well? Does she stay right at your shoulder or lag behind. If she's not obeying you on the ground, start carrying a dressage whip and give her a tap to make sure she keeps up. Lead her all over the place, including the area on the farm where she traditionally gets balky. Do lots of halt/walk transitions and backing up.

      Rearing and spinning are absolutely no fun to ride through. Although some may not agree with this, I might try dismounting and leading her through the areas where she is being very difficult and you get worried or anxious about it. Use the same techniques as above. If she's resistant, back her up 30 feet until backing up is no longer fun. Walk her forward, halt, turn, back up again, rinse and repeat until going by the scary spot is easier than one you are asking her to do. Then just remount on the other side of the problem area and keep going. Sometimes just "getting through" an issue calmly is better than picking a fight and if you start to get anxious she will feed off it. I do this when I'm first introducing a horse to the trails and they are worried about something but it might work for you as long as you get back on and keep going (if she thinks that her misbehavior will get her a short ride, she'll keep doing it).

      Another technique to try when a horse gets balky on the trail is to ask them to move sideways before going forward. Getting their feet unstuck can sometimes do the trick and make it easier to go forward.

      I would carry a dressage whip as reinforcement but again, I'm not a big fan of having a big fight on the trail but sometimes a strategic tap behind the leg can be helpful.

      As said above, if your horse isn't fun to ride, she may not be for you. However, if you can establish that you're the boss in this relationship, she may become a lot more pleasant to be around.
      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


      • #4
        Sounds like she is just being a bit of a brat and is barn sour. Plus she has developed a "booger spot". If it makes you feel any better, had a friend with a pricey WB Hunter who was a big winner at the shows. One cold winter day in the indoor arena, somebody used the coke machine stupidly placed next to the in gate at the corner of the arena (non riding BO refused to move) just as the horse passed by.

        Horse jumped out of his skin when the can hit the slot, she got dumped and it was a merry time trying to round him up despite the fact he stayed at the far end of the ring.

        That less then the brightest bulb in the box horse spooked at that coke machine forever after...even when the barn moved to a new location and there was no coke machine in the corner by the in gate. Even spooked at that spot at indoor shows. Some of the best riders in the business had a crack at that...still spooked. Oh they stayed on and smoothed it out but it took alot of effort to minimize it and keep going-horse just did not "get" it.

        Solution? Try not to go right into that spot, cut the corner or avoid it completely and go up the quarter line. After they started doing that, horse sort of forgot, most of the time anyway.

        So, in your case with this still newish horse? Can you just avoid that booger spot she seems to have created for some reason known only to her (but I bet has to do with going back to the barn)? It may be you can just go 10 feet off the trail or cut a curve and it will derail her train of thought. Sometimes one will get stupid about it in one drecrtion and sail right past going the other-does she do it going both ways? Does she do it when you ride with a buddy or only when alone?

        Or, maybe, you will just have to take her farther out and away and avoid the farm trail for awhile. This is probably the worst time of year, when it warms up, she will probably be better.

        I don't think this is tragic if she is good elsewhere and see no issue with just trying to avoid it for awhile-you can't fix every little thing about them in 6 or 8 months and disgression is the better part of valor. Take your time, build your confidence and hers doing what you know she can do without any glitches.

        It's hard when you loose one and nothing will replace that one. Give this one, and yourself, a little more time and just do what she is good at, and that sounds like alot.

        Someday when it's nice and warm and you have ridden her the last couple of days so she is not fresh, take her the reverse way on that farm trail, see if she does it that way. Just don't go back to the barn right after and get off or you reinforce the idea barn is good because she can quit..and I think that's what you are dealing with here.

        ETA, having had my share of smart mares, at this point think having another rider take her on that farm trail? She is not going to pull that same stunt, OP gets on, she'll do it again so OP can stay on another trail for now. Not a bad idea to get some general help though. Couple of lessons never hurts anything.

        If this gets worse, she should get help or find another horse. But, for now, based on what I read here, I think OP might be able to get this straightened out.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


        • #5
          This is a tough one because there are a lot of things you can do for the trail issue she has, whether you work on it yourself or get a trainer involved. But the real question is, do you like her enough to want to put the time in? I have questioned myself with my horse a few times, and very recently in fact. I keep telling myself he is making me learn to be a better rider/horseperson, but there are days I just want to go on a ride and know I won't have to deal with crap. I sometimes dream about how nice it would be to have a horse without some of his issues, but there are things about him I really like, and I know the dream horse could have other issues that drive me just as batty. Plus, finding him a good home could be very difficult.

          Anyway, maybe you should take some lessons on her to see if that sheds some light. My DH adopted a horse and rode her for a year, but they just weren't clicking. He took some lessons over winter and it became very obvious that they were not a match. She did fine in lessons, but he just did not want to ride her. He's also not much of a lesson guy, but really likes his current mare.

          Would you prefer a gelding, or will you compare him to your heart horse even more? When you think about finding a new home for the mare, does it make you sad, or happy that you can horse shop? You haven't had her for a year yet (which I don't think is that long after suffering through the loss of a special horse), so are you willing to put in another good season of riding to see how it goes, or do you want to call it quits and find something else? Maybe the answers to some of these questions and those by other posters will help you decide what to do.

          Maybe you can determine if you are in the mood to work with her around home on any given day, and if you just want a nice ride then trailer somewhere, or avoid the area that gives her trouble. Save it for days when you feel like dealing with the drama. Good luck. It's a hard question because unless the horse is dangerous or too green for your riding level we can't just say, "Get rid of her."


          • #6
            Every horse has 'something' and I'm wondering if you are comparing her to your gelding.

            If you like her, keep her. If you feel she is dangerous, get a trainer involved. If you don't like her and/or she is more horse than you want, sell her and move on.


            • Original Poster

              I guess in a way I am comparing her to my heart horse, but he wasn't a trail horse initially. I had to work with him. He had a spinning problem and his involved bolting. Luckily the mare does not bolt and if she were to bolt she has a really enforced Whoa.

              The suggestions are really appreciated. Groundwork may be somewhat lacking. She has tried to lead me before, but I nipped that one too. She wasn't too keen on longing at first, but that is getting better. As for the "spot" its kind of only approachable one way from the barn. I think it either has to do with a deer jumping out there(at the bottom) of a hill or the fact that she can't see the barn anymore? Then again she has done it with another rider and alone. I primarily ride alone. I also have someone helping me, but he doesn't always have time.(not a Professional, but could be).

              Sorry so long.
              Strange how much you've got to know Before you know how little you know. Anonymous


              • #8
                Doesn't sound too bad from what you say and probably something did startle her there, they just remember getting scared, they don't remember why or work out that it is not there any more. So don't go there for awhile. It's OK, you are still relatively new to each other.

                I don't think you are scared of her either, which is good, if thats the worst thing she ever does? You are in good shape.

                Just keep working with her and making her mind and respect you and your space, sounds like one of those things you will just have to work around-as happens with all new horse/rider combinations. Takes a lot longer then some think to really get on the same page.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                • #9
                  I lost an easy/ uncomplicated gelding very suddenly three years ago , and the gelding I bought afterwards was pretty different physically and personality-wise... I waited almost a year before buying another horse, but we had some issues in the beginning because I think I was comparing him to the guy I lost.

                  He did rear and buck once when I first got him, threw me and I got hurt more than I had ever been from getting tossed before by other horses (nothing broken but a hairline crack of a rib, major bruising, lots of pain for 6 months...). He's a compact horse, so lightning quick in his reactions so was hard to gauge when he'd react...

                  Because of all that, *I* had some mental issues with him (Admittedly, I was afraid of him after the incident which is *not* like me concerning horses!), so I sought out a professional trainer in addition to a good horse friend to help the new guy get over the bratty behavior and, most importantly, help me get over my issues with him... With the stipulation I had made with myself that if I/ we couldn't work through these issues, I'd sell him and move on (which was a very hard stipulation for me to come to as I've never ever had to sell a horse).

                  Thankfully, with lots of hard work on my part and his, I was able to get over my issues and the new guy is a nice horse, most importantly we get each other now. Due to finances etc, it took longer than I wanted, but I've now had him for over 2 years and he's a cool horse, sweet and fun. Though he can try to get away with stuff occasionally (Very mild stuff - no more rearing etc, it's more like if he's had some time off, he might be a bit fussy about having to work, I compare him to a teenager "But... I don't wanna clean my room... ugh..."), I get him and know how to deal with him, and he gets me.

                  Hope that helps...
                  View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com


                  • #10
                    I would think about hand walking her to the spot, then just hanging out for awhile until she gets beyond bored. Maybe grazing or treats when she relaxes.

                    Sounds like a legitimate fear on her part due to a bad experience. She does need to know that rearing is not an option. Sometimes that can come with mileage and time together (to bond, develop trust, etc).

                    If the rearing isn't enough to get you off, really you're the only one who can know whether she's right or not. There's nothing here that screams that she can't work out. Greenness, and lack of trust still, yes. But just the wrong fit? Your call.
                    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                    • #11
                      I personally will never ride a known rearer so that part would be a no go for me.
                      McDowell Racing Stables

                      Home Away From Home


                      • #12
                        It sounds like the fairly typical barn/buddy-sour behavior that many people experience when riding on the property rather than trailering away from the property.
                        I just had this conversation literally an hour ago at my own barn with a fellow boarder whose (new) horse is "a handful" on the bridle path around the property but "perfect" out on the trail after having been trailered...

                        If your mare is good to go when you are away from home and doesn't pull these shenanigans elsewhere, you know it's just that - barn or buddy-sourness.
                        Your options are 1) not to ride on your property so you don't have to deal with this (dangerous) behavior, or 2) to work on it and work on it and work on it until she is really really bored with your farm trail. She most likely just "fake spooks" to get you to stop or turn around so don't let her get away with that.

                        Other than that - having an opinionated (Arab?) mare that tries to get out of work at home - she sounds like a catch: Just having a horse that will be okay alone on the trail (and you feeling safe with her), and also do well in a group, and one that crosses water and goes off-trail, is awesome. Give her a chance and be a smart and confident leader.


                        • #13
                          You have received a lot of good advice here. I'll just add what many others have said in other threads: it often takes longer for a mare to bond with her rider/owner than it does for a gelding.

                          But, once a mare does bond with you, she'll do anything for you.

                          You might just have to keep going for a while, nip some bad behaviors in the bud, and try not to compare her to your gelding.

                          Good luck.
                          "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                          • #14
                            If you're not having fun, then it's time for a different horse