Shriest

A Broken Mare

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Thanks to those who actually gave me advice on training, instead of just telling me to ship her off to slaughter or make her someone else problem.

I am keeping Black Magic and will be working with her.

Edited by Shriest

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If your content on keeping send the horse to a trainer.

If it were my mare? I never would have brought her home in the first place. Sell her. She is spoiled and has many more problems.

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I say get rid of her. There are way too many nice horses out there to waste your time on one this spoiled. Sure, she was free, but how much as she cost you in medical bills and time off work?

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She has cost quiet a bit with bills and all that. But is there any way that i could train her out of this. I know that she is older and that this isn't an easy thing to fix but I would like to try before I give up on her.

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Okay. You are in a bad place. Obviously you're hurt now and you need some time for that. You have a "free" horse. I love that term because there is no such thing as a free horse. What kind of a horsewoman are you? Now I already know a bit just from what you offered but what I am after in asking this question is, where do you want to go from here? Are you good enough to fix this, and make a useful horse out of this "unwanted" animal? Do you have a facility that includes an enclosed riding area and the TIME to commit to the reeducation of this horse? Do you have patience, a sense of feel, good timing for pressure and release and the experience and knowledge to honestly know what you are doing?

If you are nodding, I will keep helping. You have a handfull of horse and in my opinion you have been rather cavalier and reckless in handling her. Mistake made. Now, are you willing to learn from all this or would it just be better to send her down the road and start again with a better trained horse? You are the one who needs to make that decision.

William (historyrider)

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I really would like to work with her. I think a lot of my mistakes were simply because I got a little cocky. A lot of the horses that I have ridden have been very easy going well trained horses. I have the room and the time to work with her, and the patience, but I will admit I have little experience when it comes to actually training. I simply would hate to see her do this to someone else and have them send her to slaughter. She does have a sweet personality it just seems that she gets annoyed with me.

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quote Shriest:

"but I will admit I have little experience when it comes to actually training."

This horse is not a horse for an inexerienced trainer. This horse is going to challenge the MOST experienced trainer.

The woman who sold, er, I mean, pawned her off on you, likely knew, full well that this horse was a monster, had been bucked off herself by her and knew if she told the truth she'd NEVER get rid of her.

Call a kill buyer and take what he will give you before she seriously hurts someone else.

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Take this one piece of advice if you take nothing else.

Do NOT try and do any trianing on the back of this horse. I have seen horses made like this horse by inexperienced trainers, ie, riders who know not the first thing about training, who go and get themself a horse and try to break it themselves. The horse gets so sour because they make so many mistakes, make the horse miserable and confused that the horse loses all patience and figures the only thing to do is give everyone a hard time til they either get off and quit riding or they buck them off.

You were very naive believing that the horse doesn't like men and only bucks with the woman's husband. You need to get a REALLY experienced person with you to go looking at potential mounts. Whomever was with you knew no more than you did about horses. You both believed whatever the owner told you.

When you go to look at a horse and he bucks, you walk away. You do not take the horse free. That is telling you the woman just wanted to get rid of that horse and would give it away to anyone who would take it. People don't give away nice horses for free if they are nice enough to sell. Even in this market. This is not a good riding horse and even with retraining by a VERY experienced trainer, it would then only ride nice for the experienced trainer. When you got on, the horse would revert back to doing exactly what it did to you the last time.

If you can't afford to send it off to training and want to keep it as a yard ornament, then resign yourself to not riding.

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At this point you dont have many options. HEAL please. Personally I think this horse is too much horse for you to handle right now. You broke your leg, once you heal...trust me, you are not going to feel confident on this mare. You just will not. She will know this & she will throw you again. I would try to rehome her & be honest about her problems, or just pasture her for now until you can get professional help. A horse who bucks is not always a lost cause but it's not what you need to be dealing with on your own, especially if she's older & well versed in misbehaviour. If you do decide to get professional help, you MUST be extremely involved otherwise the mare will only behave for the trainer, not you. Good luck.

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You said she doesn't buck when being lunged? And she doesn't buck at JUST the saddle? So, she's only bucking when she's being asked to carry a load?

Have you ruled out pain? Before ANY training will be even slightly successful, you need to rule out pain. Does your saddle fit properly, and it's not pinching her anywhere? If it does, have you exercised the thought of a chiropractor? This mare may not be bucking for fun, or to get rid of a rider, but because she's in pain when asked to carry a load(person).

I would rule out pain, (Including her teeth), and THEN work on trying to train the buck out of her.

[smiley Wavey] Good Luck.

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Like Zeusyboy, my first thought was pain, especially from the saddle. The saddle alone isn't a problem, so maybe it is a pain issue that is only set off when there is weight in the saddle.

Did you have a vet exam before taking possession of the horse? In addition to the possibility of saddle fit issues (current or past pain that causes the horse to equate being ridden with pain), there is the risk of an injury or something else that makes the horse unfit for riding.

If you want to work on the horse, your best bet is to find someone who feels comfortable and willing to try to work through the known issues--someone who won't be afraid of trying to be bucked off and is able to stay sat and ride through it.

So basically, if I were you, I would do the following (if it hasn't been done):

1) Get someone in good physical shape (maybe your cousin?) to go out and thoroughly palpate the horse for pain. Make notes of the exam so you can journal it and see how things change.

2) Get an experienced horse vet out for a thorough exam. Mention any pain you have noticed so far. Let the vet know what you ultimately want to do with the horse and have it checked thoroughly for anything that could interfere.

3) Get a good farrier out to check the hooves, set up a plan for hoof maintenance, etc.

If all those three things give you a horse that ought to be sound for riding, you can move forward. If anything is wrong, you'll have to evaluate and make some tough decisions.

4) If you plan to keep the horse as a pasture ornament in any case, get working on ground work and build up a good relationship with this mare. Safety first! Wear a helmet and steel-toed boots. Make sure someone knows where you are and when you will be back. Things can go wrong.

My point is that even if you want the horse just as a companion animal, it needs to be healthy and you need to be comfortable handling it. This can also help you build up a relationship with the horse that can help you if you try to move forward with riding.

5) Treat the horse as if it were totally green and start over from scratch. You'll need someone to do the actual riding in the earlier phases until you can determine it is safe to do this. Again, put safety first. Helmet, eventing vest or whatever it is called that can help protect back, ribs, and stomach, etc., etc.

I'm not saying it will work. I'm not there and don't know the horse. I definitely don't have the health or the nerves to take on that sort of project. But if you have the time, the nerves, and someone willing to work with you who can understand the risk...

If the horse is in pain, it will never be able to learn. You need to rule out pain and prevent it from recurring to have ANY chance of rehabilitating this horse.

It can also help when trying to ride out with this sort of horse to have an older, stable horse as a companion on the trails. An older horse in front can help show the inexperienced horse that things out there aren't dangerous. But it can backfire--if the older horse DOES startle, the reaction in the other horse will be MUCH worse. And vice versa can occur. But our own experience has generally been that seeing another horse handle something helps an inexperienced horse have the confidence to try.

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I know its not pain. we have tried different saddles, checked everything over before and after the rides and there are days where she will act great. She wont even try arguing about going back to the barn.

I dont think my cousin can work with her. She lets him lunge her but she wont let him touch the saddle once its on her, thats another reason why i dont think she cares for men. She just seems annoyed when they are around.

When she goes to buck, other than the day she really threw me, she seems to get board. Like shes thinking "your not doing anything worth my time so get off".

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I am sorry that you are in this situation with this mare. It does sound like she is too much horse for you. It also does not sound like you have the experience or confidence to train her out of this.

She sounds spoiled. She has bucked people off and gotten her way (ride over, no more work). I don't think that ground work is going to get her over this, she needs educated saddle time with someone that can either keep her from bucking or can ride her through it.

Maybe you could find a local "cowboy" to come and ride her? If this is just spoiled, several consecutive rides where she does not win could be all she needs.

Good luck with her and be safe. I hope you are healing well!

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I am going to try to put this diplomatically, but I suspect you are putting way too much effort into being concerned about how this horse "feels" about things.

I don't care if a horse's head is falling off, it should never buck or be rank when it is in pain, that means the horse gets angry when it is hurt or frustrated, THAT IS NOT A GOOD ATTRIBUTE IN A HORSE. Especially for a green horse, it means, to me, that she is likely not very trainable - she cant stand pressure.

I garauntee you that she has absolutely no problem with men, she is just rank, she doesn't like leading or being ridden - that is not a useful horse.

Dont waste your money ruling out pain or on a trainer - do you really want to deal with a trainer that would take this mare? Is it kinder to donate her to a university or have her euthed or send her off to a trainer that is going to have to BREAK her, in a real way?

Just because you got taken on this horse does not mean you should have to feed, trim her, vaccinate and worm her till she dies, cut your losses.

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Thank you equintis, bex DK, Zuesyboy, betr2drive and hisoryrider for your help. I am going to keep her and work with her. I have done some more research and I think that with some time and a little discipline we can get her out of this. I will post updates for anyone who would like to see how she does. I?m not expecting miracles here, but I am expecting her to stop these little fits.

I talked to my cousin a little bit and he told me that every time she tried to buck him he got fed up with her and just put her back with my other horse King. I think my cousin, though he has tried to help, is just making things worse. So its been agreed that he isn?t to try and ride her. I?m hopping once I am better to work with her, on both ground work and then a little in the saddle.

I may not be an experience horse trainer. Though I have trained plenty of predatory animals. I own 7 high content wolf-dogs, and all of them obey every single command out of the 10+ that they know. I know horses are very herd animals, and that you need to be boss. Well it?s the same way with my wolves. I just need to remember that I am now working with prey, not predator.

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As Manes said this mare sounds like she was "made" not born. That can sometimes be fixed.

If she were mine, i would examine her quality and make a decision based on that. If she is a top quality mare worth the time and money to fix her .. then i'd consider it. If she is "just a horse" with a bad attitude, i'd ship her before she hurt someone else.

At some point the bottom line comes into play whether we as humans like it or not.

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Amen to Exes and Manes.

This is a useless P O S.

All you are equipped to do is keep making her worse and get yourself hurt -- again. She has trained everyone that has ever touched her. She does not deserve your 'loyalty' or your feed and you, my dear, deserve better than a broken leg.

She does have a sweet personality it just seems that she gets annoyed with me.

Excuse me? She does NOT have a 'sweet personality'. Of course she gets annoyed with you or anyone else that tries to make her do something that was not her idea. She has been 'in charge' for so long that she is not willing to give up even a tiny bit of her control over people.

Get rid of her and let the chips fall where they may. You do not owe her a lifetime of feed and pleasure. That same feed should be going into a useful horse with a good mind that wants to please you instead of cripple you. You should feed a horse that wants to give YOU pleasure.

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I dont ditch things just because they dont work out. Thats like getting a pet for a kid and because the kid doesn't want to take care of it the pet gets shipped to a shelter or diched on the side of the road. When I took her I took full responsability of her. Yes shes spoiled, and yes I'm going to work with her. I dont blame her for breaking my leg. I knew she buck and I climbed on her anyways.

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I dont ditch things just because they dont work out. Thats like getting a pet for a kid and because the kid doesn't want to take care of it the pet gets shipped to a shelter or diched on the side of the road. When I took her I took full responsability of her. Yes shes spoiled, and yes I'm going to work with her. I dont blame her for breaking my leg. I knew she buck and I climbed on her anyways.

That's a crazy comparison! There is a BIG difference in a kid with a pet that is lazy and doesn't want to take care of it, and a menace dangerous horse that has already broken your leg! Just by that statement alone I feel you are really too inexperienced to 'retrain' that horse (if it is even possible) and you or someone else is going to get seriously injured. I hope you have a good, high-quality helmet!

That woman who gave her to you ought to be ashamed of herself. She basically unloaded a rank horse on an unsuspecting novice and that is really wrong!

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...your not seeing this mares true personality........

It IS HER FAULT that SHE bucked YOU off. She did it on purpose and with serious malign.

Yes you had a responcibility to be a bit more intelligent, but that doesn't excuse her and her dangerous behavior.

She does not have a sweet personality, in any way shape or form. She cares nothing for your well being or safety. A horse with a sweet personality with try their darnest if they feel you getting unseated to try and get back under you! Because that is their job.

A horse with a bad personailty cares nothing for her human conterparts. She does not want to work, she does not want to be ridden. Anytime someone tries to ride her, she tries to buck them off, because she has a piss pour sour attitude.

You had your chance the try and rehabilitate this mare. You ended up with a broken leg and THOUSANDS of dollars worth of medical bills. Anything further than having her go is a bad idea as you or someone else is going to get hurt, even worse could be killed.

This is a bit more severe than just "not working out" this is a bit more severe than "a pet getting shipped to a shelter because a kid doesn't want to take care of it"

We're here giving you this advice because we care for you, your health and others around you. This horse seems much beyond your said capabilities. And trying to fix her is only going to get you hurt more.

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I dont ditch things just because they dont work out. Thats like getting a pet for a kid and because the kid doesn't want to take care of it the pet gets shipped to a shelter or diched on the side of the road. When I took her I took full responsability of her. Yes shes spoiled, and yes I'm going to work with her. I dont blame her for breaking my leg. I knew she buck and I climbed on her anyways.

I think in this comparison, the KID would be shipped to the shelter. Ya know, if we're making an accurate comparison. I mean, it's the kid that isn't working out here, not the pet

ETA: I do want to say, though, that you didn't create the issues this mare has and you should not feel responsible for them. You were duped by a person who should have known better and should be ashamed of herself.

Edited by t_air_e

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You are taking a noble and likely expensive stand here Shriest. I won't fan the flames under your feet but I do agree that you have your hands full. You need a program and I do like the study at home courses offered by the big name clinicians if you have enough patience to learn the exercises and develop the feel to apply them. If you can't get an experienced horseman to help you live then this is your only other option if you are keeping this horse. Don't try and just pick and experiment through this process. Horse training can be dangerous and horses can kill you. Most training programs begin with laying a foundation of personal space and respect. Until you have that you are not even equiped to begin training. Get healed and for now leave the horse alone. She isn't getting any worse. Take this time to study and make a lesson plan concerning your goals and how you will achieve them. Then when you are ready, take it very seriously, while being patient and consistent.

Please keep us updated as you proceed and we can TRY and assist you. It is outside of this forum to give you complete instruction but we can certainly help you tweek a technique or two.

Best wishes on a speed recovery.

William (historyrider)

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She has you well trained, that's for sure.

While it's not her fault that her previous owners spoiled her and made her the monster she is, it shouldn't be YOUR problem. She is what she is. However, if you insist on riding her and "fixing" her, i hope you have really good insurance. You'll need it. From everything you've said, you don't have the skills to "fix" her. She's a prime candidate for the slaughter house whether you believe in that or not.

Though I have trained plenty of predatory animals. I own 7 high content wolf-dogs, and all of them obey every single command out of the 10+ that they know.

That has absolutely nothing to do with training a horse. Few if any parallels can be drawn from training dogs to training horses. And i'll refrain from commenting on the "wolf dogs" beyond that.

You are in over your head. I wish you luck and keep the hospital on speed dial.

Bumper

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First let me say I don't know you, but the photo you included says a lot. Just seeing that photo tells a story.

This horse needs to be restarted, snaffle bit, saddle that fits, and ground work, (not lunging in circles to tire her out) and she needs to learn responses.

You need to learn to ride, and you need to learn to read a horse so you can avert problems, to feel her body change when she is about to bolt or buck, and know what to do. You need to learn a one rein stop (correctly) and practice it until it is automatic for both you and horse.

OR

You need to sell this horse and find an older tolerant horse that will put up with errors you make.

I'm betting this horse has had little to no training, and has some big 'holes in training' it's not really either you or the horses 'fault' it's just that one of you needs to know what to do.

PS many horses will not buck with just a saddle, sometimes it's sensitive sides, pressure from weight in the saddle, pulling on two reins, etc. that makes them buck with a rider. Not an excuse just, some horses are like that and some are not.

Good luck!

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I know you have medical bill to pay after the horse bucked you off, but I would not suggest that you try to do any of the training she needs. The mare not only has your number but you cousins as well. If you are dead set on keeping her she needs to go to a trainer that isn't going to take no for an answer from the mare when asked to work. She needs to have a come to Jesus moment by a very experience horseman. Then many west saddle pads and miles put on her.

We have hunting dogs that we train and it is nothing like training a 1,000 lbs spoiled, ranck, bucking mare, that has already put someone in the hospital.

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The mare not only has your number but you cousins as well. If you are dead set on keeping her she needs to go to a trainer that isn't going to take no for an answer from the mare when asked to work. She needs to have a come to Jesus moment by a very experience horseman. Then many west saddle pads and miles put on her.

We have hunting dogs that we train and it is nothing like training a 1,000 lbs spoiled, rank, bucking mare, that has already put someone in the hospital.

ditto to duns

my question is, what are you going to do when she bucks you off again and it breaks your neck?

a picture does speak 1000 words. right off the bat, yes i was being judgemental based on your pic, i thought "THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE GOOD, NEITHER HORSE NOR RIDER HAVE A CLUE".. after reading all you have been thru, it was spot on. everyone starts out green, but taking a free horse that bucked when you/cousin went to test her out, clearly shows how green. if their is no pain, then its all an attitude problem. an attitude problem that could very well kill you next time.

sorry for being blunt, but its the truth. if you would have passed on her (what an experienced person would have done), you would have been able to afford a much better horse.. but sadly, your stuck with a spoiled horse and lots of medical bills that could have been prevented. the money spent on your medical bills could have bought you a VERY nice horse.

Edited by equi-librium

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I'm not going to be as quick to write this mare off as some have been on here. Without seeing you ride, and seeing her go, there's reallyno way to know whether she's being malicious or not, or whether she meant to or not, or whether it's something else entirely. Horses can start bucking (and continue bucking) for all sorts of reasons, and the first one I generally go to after pain, is not-so-great riding.

If you really want to work with this mare and try to fix her, then the VERY best thing you can do for the both of you is scrimp and save until you have the money to send her to a qualified professional who can really evaluate the behavior and has a better chance at fixing it. Make sure you can watch sessions and be involved in the training, so that YOU can learn how to train for future situations.

Many people find excuses not to do this - that's just what they are, excuses. You don't have to do it tomorrow, or even next week. If it takes time to come up with the resources, that's what it takes. But if you're serious about working with her and making her into a solid citizen, I think that's what it will take.

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