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defiant behavior in young mare- YAY! Positive update! pg 3

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  • #21
    No Spinger it's not weird. This mare has your number and is the boss. I'm in Ireland where horses are not routinely handled bar the odd trim and worm until they are 3 years of age. Most of them end up solid citizens. When breaking horses for various people and various disciplines I learned to so "oh no" when an owner brought a horse over who was "well handled" but nothing done for 4 years. Well handled meant horse did lead to and from field and had his feet done every now and again. Basically they did what they wanted when they wanted end of story.

    Your mare just needs to know who's boss. Not having older company to put her in her place doesn't help. I never would have thought that had anything to do with training, but it can help believe it or not. I have bad minded colts that think they are the be all end all and won't behave on the ground. Fine you can go out with Frank for a few weeks. Easier to handle every time. When Abba was a yearling she ruled the roost with the other 2 yearlings and decided she could be that in every walk of life. Stuck her out with her two older siblings and she learned a bit more respect for the humans in her life too. I know it's not a be all end all solution, but it does help. But you have to make her understand you are the boss in a way she will understand.

    I hope I don't sound overly harsh as I am no superstar with horses, I get by at best. I have days where it seems like my 100pds is good for nothing but being a rag doll to horses who do not notice I am there. Personally I spend as much time with my babies as foals/weanlings without over doing it as possible. Yes, they have more horse time than people time, much more, but I can't start with virtually unhandled 3yo's and expect any sort of respect.

    Good luck. I don't asolutley think what she is showing you is a deal breaker as far as breeding, but you do need to spend more time with her if you can.

    Terri
    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

    "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by springer View Post
      I am just getting ready to send the breeding contract in for my mare, when last night we had quite the little episode in the paddock. It seems she did not want to be bothered. So she turned her hind end to me and just about nailed me. This wasn't the first time she's done it,either. In her defense she has had almost NOTHING done with her as she had a career ending injury as a yearling. So I haven't done much, if any, ground work or even much handling of her. (She is coming up 4 yrs) I've just started that recently and she behaves very well as long as she has her halter on and she knows it's time for her lesson. Figure that one out! OK guys, please be kind. I have to admit I am worried. I certainly don't want another one who behaves like this. Suggestions please.
      PS- I bred this mare and I know her history. She has had nothing but love and good care and turn out. She is out with another mare 1 yr younger than she is. She is in at night. She and my other mare turn their butts to each other all the time; they are constantly competing for boss mare status, but are very bonded. I'm just trying to give as much info as I can here-
      Unsure why there would ever be a second time????? I would have punished quickly and FIRMLY the first time. A more dominant horse would not have given her a "second chance"--whhy did you??? I would have been pissed that she potentially threatened my life or health. If I allowed a horse that I owned to have a second chance to behave this way, I would be very pissed at myself. A hand of grain or a grooming brush can even be effectively thrown if that is all you have at hand. Of course, ideally you would have control and have the proper device at hand, but no reaction at all is just an invitation to her further bad behavior.
      Chris
      Ladybug Hill--Hunters and Ponies
      WWSD? (what would Suerte do?)

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by Ladybug Hill View Post
        Unsure why there would ever be a second time????? I would have punished quickly and FIRMLY the first time. A more dominant horse would not have given her a "second chance"--whhy did you??? I would have been pissed that she potentially threatened my life or health. If I allowed a horse that I owned to have a second chance to behave this way, I would be very pissed at myself. A hand of grain or a grooming brush can even be effectively thrown if that is all you have at hand. Of course, ideally you would have control and have the proper device at hand, but no reaction at all is just an invitation to her further bad behavior.
        You can't take it personally though. In the end, it is better to earn the respect than to force it because 1,200lbs of muscle can't be forced when it really gets down to it. Your reaction (which should never have emotion behind it) should depend on the horse and the scenario however often no reaction IS suitable and is indeed NOT an invitation...if done correctly (ie, earning respect). Not picking an argument or anything, just offering up another pov because as a trainer I usually do not react and yet my horses and those I train are VERY respectful towards me. You have to take into account WHY the horse is doing it and solve the ROOT issue at hand. In this case, it sounds like a case of disrespect, plain and simple. But should you take the approach you mentioned with some horses (I've got several such of my own) you are either going to end up with a horse who escalates and retaliates out of disrespect and/or self-defense (the "I'll get you before you get me" mentality), or a horse who is very untrusting of your unpredictable behaviour.
        ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
        ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.

        Comment


        • #24
          After my experiences with a 3 year old QH mare, I can say, You HAVE to put time in to her. I agree with all the above who are telling you to work with her and keep the ground manners the main thing. She has threatened you in typical Mare display. My mare did that too. I told her to stop it. Loud and tough vocally. By the way the first day I got her after I unloaded her out of the trailer and tied her at the hitching rail, she kicked me. It was a glancing blow but I kicked her back. I told her she better not do it again or she would end up in an Alpo can. Well she didn't know what an Alpo can was but it didn't sound good. She pulled lots of stunts on me but I had to keep the " I am the Alpha here not you ", attitude. In the pasture she was the Alpha mare. But with me she had to learn I am the boss here. She did swing her butt at me again and I kicked her right in the rear. She was embarassed. and I was mad. I let her know it too.
          However I did work her in the round pen on word commands and hand signals every day before riding and that made a big difference in our relationship. When she did bad things I told her so. But when she did good I always rewarded her. Discipline has to be instant with in 20 to 30 seconds because they do not connect the punishment with the crime if it is not instant or very soon after.
          They are not capable of understanding what the punshment is for, if you wait 5 minutes to do it.
          Spend time teaching her ground manners and even some simple tricks. Something she will get a reward for and she will develope a more willing spirit.
          She will figure out what is acceptable and what is not. But you HAVE to spend time with her. Otherwise she willl become more and more bossy and rebellious.
          When she does real bad insubordination, She needs to receive real bad punishment. You can mold and shape her with time, training and rewards.
          JMHO
          sadlmakr

          Comment


          • #25
            I will not comment on the temperament part (since springer and i are friends and have discussed this privately already), but i will echo the sentiments of those who say this needs to be addressed before baby is on the ground.

            My broodie (maiden), who is due in May, has very good ground manners and has never tried to nip or lifted a leg at anyone. That said, sometimes she makes crusty faces and about 80% of the time it's not warranted, IMHO, and so she gets reprimanded swiftly and firmly and then all is well again. She is not allowed to get a treat if she's making camel faces.
            And even though there aren't any holes in her groundwork/manners, i am still doing "prep" work before foaling - every time i groom her, i reach under and play with her udder, gently cleaning between her teats, *bumping* her gently in that area with my fists, to simulate the foal's drunken search for the milkbar..

            At first this caused lots of ear pinning and tail swishing, but for that she got a bellowing "HEY!" and a slap on the hiney. She quickly went back to her sweet, agreeable self. Now when i do it i might get one tail swish or two, but her facial expression remains the same. She's used to it now. Which i know will come in handy when a wobbly, wet newborn is bumping around up there while her udder is big & swollen.

            Start working with her NOW. Do tons of groundwork, go into the paddock with a whip or bucket, and if she ever so much as pins an ear or swings her butt in your direction again, let her have it. It's not acceptable behaviour, period.
            www.jlsporthorsesales.net

            Comment


            • #26
              I have to say I am troubled by the word "defiant" applied to an animal that doesn't have the brain cells to form that concept. The word tends to color the approach a human is likely to take with the animal.

              Sometimes we think horses naturally know what we want. It's obvious, isn't it? To us humans, anyway. If they don't naturally fall into line, they are being mean or playing games with our heads. But actually, they have no idea.

              Originally posted by Go Fish
              She's just doing what horses do...I wouldn't read anything else into it.
              Exactly. This is what we all sign up for with the species 'horse.'

              Originally posted by naturalequus
              You can't take it personally though.
              agreed wholeheartedly

              Originally posted by sadlmakr
              You HAVE to put time in to her. I agree with all the above who are telling you to work with her and keep the ground manners the main thing.
              That's the deal. Humans created the situation, not the horse.

              It is wisdom and love for the horse if we can admit that certain situations are over our heads as owners. If I can't, or don't have the facilities, or simply don't wish to train an adult horse in the fundamental basics, the best thing I can do as a horse person is get help from someone who can do it properly. Some people don't want to spend money on professional training if they think they can manage it. But the benefits could pay back many times over. Just a general thought.

              Comment


              • #27
                Why not wait and breed her after she's had several months of real, intensive training? Nothing wrong with a fall conceived foal, and you'd have eight or nine months to work with her. You'd know a great deal more about her and about whether or not she is worthy to reproduce herself. You could still breed this year if you are so inclined.
                "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                Thread killer Extraordinaire

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                  Why not wait and breed her after she's had several months of real, intensive training? Nothing wrong with a fall conceived foal, and you'd have eight or nine months to work with her. You'd know a great deal more about her and about whether or not she is worthy to reproduce herself. You could still breed this year if you are so inclined.
                  Springer's dilemma is this - this mare cannot be put into serious under saddle training, she had a bad injury as a young filly that did not heal properly.
                  www.jlsporthorsesales.net

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by naturalequus View Post
                    You can't take it personally though. In the end, it is better to earn the respect than to force it because 1,200lbs of muscle can't be forced when it really gets down to it. Your reaction (which should never have emotion behind it) should depend on the horse and the scenario however often no reaction IS suitable and is indeed NOT an invitation...if done correctly (ie, earning respect). Not picking an argument or anything, just offering up another pov because as a trainer I usually do not react and yet my horses and those I train are VERY respectful towards me. You have to take into account WHY the horse is doing it and solve the ROOT issue at hand. In this case, it sounds like a case of disrespect, plain and simple. But should you take the approach you mentioned with some horses (I've got several such of my own) you are either going to end up with a horse who escalates and retaliates out of disrespect and/or self-defense (the "I'll get you before you get me" mentality), or a horse who is very untrusting of your unpredictable behaviour.
                    Some people NEED to get a little pissed in order to have that quick correction time to get results. Some people are just not natural disciplinarians. You almost need to give those people the invitation to get MAD to teach them to react quickly. There needs to be trust building and time spent also but even horses that I don't handle much need to respect first and foremost.

                    Funny how the vets and farriers always comment on how well behaved mine are. I must be getting results.

                    I don't think that reacting emotionally is altogether incorrect. I am not going to be calm if I have just been nearly kicked in the head. But being rational and systematic is the basis of a good training foundation I agree.
                    Chris
                    Ladybug Hill--Hunters and Ponies
                    WWSD? (what would Suerte do?)

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by naturalequus View Post
                      You can't take it personally though. In the end, it is better to earn the respect than to force it because 1,200lbs of muscle can't be forced when it really gets down to it. Your reaction (which should never have emotion behind it) should depend on the horse and the scenario however often no reaction IS suitable and is indeed NOT an invitation...if done correctly (ie, earning respect). Not picking an argument or anything, just offering up another pov because as a trainer I usually do not react and yet my horses and those I train are VERY respectful towards me. You have to take into account WHY the horse is doing it and solve the ROOT issue at hand. In this case, it sounds like a case of disrespect, plain and simple. But should you take the approach you mentioned with some horses (I've got several such of my own) you are either going to end up with a horse who escalates and retaliates out of disrespect and/or self-defense (the "I'll get you before you get me" mentality), or a horse who is very untrusting of your unpredictable behaviour.
                      I never advocated being "unpredictable". That is the worst thing you can do. The OP is already putting herself in a position of being unpredictable because she is now going to have to change her tactics to get results. She might find that her mare escalates initially. She might have to get quite strong to prove a point.

                      I have never owned or handled a horse in my own program that has EVER been aggressive twice. It is not acceptable. I would rather have a "lesser" relationship with the animal and know that I am safe. I have seen too may dogs, horses, etc injure humans when they have just not learned those lessons well from the beginning.
                      Chris
                      Ladybug Hill--Hunters and Ponies
                      WWSD? (what would Suerte do?)

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by ASBJumper View Post
                        I will not comment on the temperament part (since springer and i are friends and have discussed this privately already), but i will echo the sentiments of those who say this needs to be addressed before baby is on the ground.

                        My broodie (maiden), who is due in May, has very good ground manners and has never tried to nip or lifted a leg at anyone. That said, sometimes she makes crusty faces and about 80% of the time it's not warranted, IMHO, and so she gets reprimanded swiftly and firmly and then all is well again. She is not allowed to get a treat if she's making camel faces.
                        And even though there aren't any holes in her groundwork/manners, i am still doing "prep" work before foaling - every time i groom her, i reach under and play with her udder, gently cleaning between her teats, *bumping* her gently in that area with my fists, to simulate the foal's drunken search for the milkbar..

                        At first this caused lots of ear pinning and tail swishing, but for that she got a bellowing "HEY!" and a slap on the hiney. She quickly went back to her sweet, agreeable self. Now when i do it i might get one tail swish or two, but her facial expression remains the same. She's used to it now. Which i know will come in handy when a wobbly, wet newborn is bumping around up there while her udder is big & swollen.

                        Start working with her NOW. Do tons of groundwork, go into the paddock with a whip or bucket, and if she ever so much as pins an ear or swings her butt in your direction again, let her have it. It's not acceptable behaviour, period.
                        I am sorry that I keep posting but this is such a soap box for me.

                        Any horses that I have bred and animals that I have bought or boarded ALL get this type of treatment. ALL horses should be able to be handled in any way that you desire (as long as it is kind and firm and non-painful). Waiting until a horse needs to be handled to teach them that they must accept you in their space in a respectful way is too late in my opinion. Even if they are shy or unsure, I expect them to not retaliate. Yes, this might take time and many gentle repetitions if they are truly scared.

                        On the other hand, I don't like animals that are overhandled and not taught respect (stay in your own space).

                        It is soooooo much easier to do this with a foal. The last two foals that I raised did not get as much handling as previous youngsters because I was pregnant myself and busy busy busy, BUT the months from birth until weaning still involved leading and being touched EVERYWHERE. I literally spent maybe 3 minutes each day (and maybe not every day) but those horses are now accepting of touch anywhere and understand that I am the alpha.

                        I just wish more horses were raised this way. I have seen too many horses that need to be "fixed" and are never even close to trustworthy.
                        Chris
                        Ladybug Hill--Hunters and Ponies
                        WWSD? (what would Suerte do?)

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          She can still do ground work with her, can't she? Teach her good manners and tricks?
                          "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                          Thread killer Extraordinaire

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            None of us can change what has happened to our horses in the past...it is history and just is. BUT we certainly can change their future and the behaviors they show there. Since mine are stockhorses and many of them go to families with kids it is imperative that they have excellent manners even as foals. It takes work....sometimes lots of it. It also takes being the alpha member of my herd...I get to make the rules that way and to enforce them and the horses accept that since, after all, I'm the alpha. I had a friend a while back that made a statement that just about put me on the ground in hysterical laughter.....she said she was really very impressed with her young colt (I'd been doing some basic manners and training...leading, tying, foot care, trailering, yielding shoulders and hindquarters when asked to move over etc)....she had thought that his previous bratty and sometimes aggressive (not assertive...truly aggressive) behaviors were things she'd just have to live with as she thought horses were born either having manners or not. It never occured to her that they could be TAUGHT.
                            Colored Cowhorse Ranch
                            www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
                            Northern NV

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Ladybug Hill View Post
                              I am sorry that I keep posting but this is such a soap box for me.

                              Any horses that I have bred and animals that I have bought or boarded ALL get this type of treatment. ALL horses should be able to be handled in any way that you desire (as long as it is kind and firm and non-painful). Waiting until a horse needs to be handled to teach them that they must accept you in their space in a respectful way is too late in my opinion.
                              You quoted my post, so forgive me if i misunderstand, but - i hope you're not thinking that i'm only doing this with this particular mare cuz she's in foal. I totally agree with you that horses should be ok with being touched everywhere, and had i gotten this mare as a foal or had i bred her, instead of buying her as a (minimally-handled) 2.5 yr old, this lesson would've been taught long, long ago.
                              www.jlsporthorsesales.net

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Just my two cents -
                                I have a TB mare that had many severe trust issues when I bought her. She was hot and flighty and even though she could not be ridden or shown, I knew that I wanted to breed her at some point. I worked with a trainer and she became to trust me. She was a maiden mare and I bred her to Balta'Czar (I too LOVE his temperament) and got a beautiful filly (who is now a mare). Being my first foal, she was doted on quite a bit (by everyone at a large show barn), but also taught manners and shown quite a bit.
                                She has not been backed as of yet (through no fault of her own, just life's constant changes) and unfortunately, I have done much with her for about a year. Recently, she injured herself in one of those "freak pasture accidents" in which a tensile wire fence line snapped and sliced into her back leg. Thankfully, her tendons were not damaged, but we could not get stitches into either, due to the location. She was extremely painful for the first few days and infection tried hard to creep in, but we kept it at bay and did not have to sedate her to clean, scrub and re-wrap daily. She has to be kept in a stall, but is allowed to have some free "gentile" turn out every other day and really doesn't like being kept away from the rest of her herd, as she is the head mare - it's hard for her to keep everyone in line. We are now in our third week of scrubbing, cleaning, wrapping etc. and it's usually just me doing it by myself with just a halter and lead rope on her inside the stall, as there is no place to really tie her. She stands there patiently keeping tabs on the rest of the mares, taking a bite of hay and most importantly - NOT trying to kick or mis-behave (although I would understand why if she tried). As of a few days ago, the duties have fallen on the shoulders of my non-horsey hubby, due to me becoming very sick. I supervised the first few times, making sure there were no issues and truly believe that the time spent working with her when she was much younger has ultimately paid off...and even possibly some of Balta'Czar's temperament helped too.

                                I would implore the OP to invest in your filly - time and effort working with her and some basic ground manner training. It doesn't have to be long hours, just perhaps incorporating into her day. Consistency goes a very long way.
                                Anney Daugherty
                                Winsmore Farm
                                www.winsmorefarm.com

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Ladybug Hill View Post
                                  Unsure why there would ever be a second time????? I would have punished quickly and FIRMLY the first time. A more dominant horse would not have given her a "second chance"--whhy did you??? I would have been pissed that she potentially threatened my life or health. If I allowed a horse that I owned to have a second chance to behave this way, I would be very pissed at myself. A hand of grain or a grooming brush can even be effectively thrown if that is all you have at hand. Of course, ideally you would have control and have the proper device at hand, but no reaction at all is just an invitation to her further bad behavior.
                                  Originally posted by Ladybug Hill View Post
                                  Some people NEED to get a little pissed in order to have that quick correction time to get results. Some people are just not natural disciplinarians. You almost need to give those people the invitation to get MAD to teach them to react quickly. There needs to be trust building and time spent also but even horses that I don't handle much need to respect first and foremost.

                                  Funny how the vets and farriers always comment on how well behaved mine are. I must be getting results.

                                  I don't think that reacting emotionally is altogether incorrect. I am not going to be calm if I have just been nearly kicked in the head. But being rational and systematic is the basis of a good training foundation I agree.
                                  Originally posted by Ladybug Hill View Post
                                  I never advocated being "unpredictable". That is the worst thing you can do. The OP is already putting herself in a position of being unpredictable because she is now going to have to change her tactics to get results. She might find that her mare escalates initially. She might have to get quite strong to prove a point.

                                  I have never owned or handled a horse in my own program that has EVER been aggressive twice. It is not acceptable.
                                  Where is that cheering icon?!?!?!

                                  Yes!

                                  I have one mare that as a 3/4 year old kicked at both a young lady that worked for me, and my husband when he went in the paddock to feed her. The second I got home, I set her up. She spun on me, and I SLAMMED the bucket of food into her as hard as I could. Yep, grain went everywhere, and then I threw it at her. She never even thought about that again - TOTALLY trustworthy. She foaled a year or so later, and I have never had an easier maiden mare to deal with.

                                  Working with a horse is all fine and good, but what they understand is herd language. "Work" with them exactly how the herd leader would "work" with them. End of problem.

                                  Ok, I found them
                                  Attached Files

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
                                    Yes!

                                    I have one mare that as a 3/4 year old kicked at both a young lady that worked for me, and my husband when he went in the paddock to feed her. The second I got home, I set her up. She spun on me, and I SLAMMED the bucket of food into her as hard as I could. Yep, grain went everywhere, and then I threw it at her. She never even thought about that again - TOTALLY trustworthy.
                                    Yep, I agree with you and ladybughill. It only takes once and the plastic bucket makes an impression, but doesn't hurt them.
                                    Kris
                                    www.edgewoodmeadowfarm.com
                                    Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/edgewoodmeadowfarm

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                                    • #38
                                      The flat side of plastic pitchfork works well if that's what you've got on you as well.
                                      www.saraalberni.com

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                                      • #39
                                        The only time I ever have this happen is with young foals. I usually throw whatever I have in my hand at them, make a lot of noise, wave my hands around (basically freak out so it's obvious that they did something bad), and make them run away. Usually, it's a halter and lead. It scares the crap out of them, and they usually never try it again.
                                        Kim
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                                        • #40
                                          Do you really want to breed a mare who threatens to kick you now? It will only get worse after she foals, especially if she is very protective of the foal - she won't threaten then - just let fly!

                                          I would not breed her until I had resolved the behavior on the ground. Then after you've tried if you can't resolve the issues do not breed her.
                                          Now in Kentucky

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