MeTooRadical

Mare Makes Riding Difficult! Help?

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I have a mare by daughter rides for 4H. She's typically a nice, quiet, great moving, and easily shown mare. In the past she has had bad trainers. But, we had to brake to spookiness and everything you could think of to make her safe again. Anyways...

She likes to go against the bit, cow cut into the fence really fast when you're still moving, occasionally bucks, spins, tosses her head, gets spooky to get you off dispite doing different things to keep her mind on you, Goes nuts at the canter, extremely affraid of backing out of the trailer (will shove you out of the way to get out if you try to get her to back out), locks her legs, neck and head, hates to pivot during showmanship, and get angry easily.

That wasn't her till we moved our gelding and another mare (gone now) into the pasture. Before, she would listen to you, and defend herself against other horses, just be a good girl. The gelding used to be a push over and now he'll kick, bite, attack, and show his dominance attitude to her in the pasture. He's attacked my daughter as well. My daughter is 18 and we need help. When the mare is in heat, she would push her butt under his chest and he'd mount her! I'm confused. It shows he was gelded as a yearling on his papers. Neither of them used to be this way before they were put together. He was put in with another dominant mare and now his attitude is horride. We have to whip him to stop him from rearing being tied. I dont' understand.

Today she gets very agressive at the canter when you que her. She'll tense up and pin her ears back and take off like a rocket. She has to hold onto the saddle and ride it like barrel racing to keep ahold. You can either kiss or kick her with the inside foot to canter. She's lost confidence in riding past a trot. The mare isn't listening to her very well. One minute she'd learn a leason and use it, the next she'd completly forget it no matter how many times she teaches it. I've ridden her and everything possible. She tries to go fast riding, but at the lunging, she's slow collected and more content most of the time. Should we send her to a trainer to a trainer to break it out of her or what should I do? I'm not interested in selling her because other wise she is a very nice mare. A naturally child proof horse otherwise. I need some advise fast.

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I just have one question is the same mare you want to breed? [Question] and why is it you still want to keep her? My kids are more important than ANY horse! doesn't sound like a good situation at all! and Just because you send her to a trainer doesn't mean she won't revert back to her "WITCH'Y ways"

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OK, first off, in many situations, mares and geldings together doesn't work. Especially if you have a very demonstrative mare and a dominant, willing gelding. That said, we have 1 pasture with 3 mares and a gelding -- and we can NOT add another gelding to the pasture. And we have 1 pasture with 4 geldings and 1 mare. She's boss so not a big issue there either.

Secondly, since the gelding has been mounting the mare, have you checked the mare out for pain, like in her hips, back, poll, withers? Repeated "breeding" could be causing her pain or he could be getting rough with her and hurting her.

Every gelding we've had gets a stiffy. Maybe they watch our stallion too much? I don't know but I do know they all get hard. Jake has tried to mount a couple of times but only because the mare was such a pest! She gave up when she figured out he wasn't capable of much!

So, get a chiropractor out to check your mare. And if your gelding is charging you and/or being aggressive or protective? Either separate them, get *extremely* aggressive and do the "3 seconds of death" thing or get rid of him. Just not acceptable in my book. We have several "dominant" horses but every single one of them absolutely KNOW they best not even THINK about being aggressive towards people! I have NO aversion to rapid, severe reprimands for things like that, with whatever is close at hand!

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The mare has never been like this before. we've thought about taking her to the chiropractor. She does seem sore. We're talking to our vet about checking her teeth as well. She'd never hurt anyone on purpose. when she's away from the others, she's better. She seems stressed with the other horses herding her off and just needs to be taken away from the group i think. i'm sure i made her sound horrible, but she's not all that bad. things changed after the gelding came into her domain. She was a pure Angel. I've talked to professionals and they clame she needs out of there as fast as possible. There was a more dominant mare with her and aparrently the gelding has learned well. He NEEDS to be taken out of there. He tried to bother the stallion tonight. Obviously he needs to be in a pasture by himself.

Not the same mare i'm trying to breed. The gelding is completly jealous as well. He'll bite her when we get her back in the pasture. He's gotten out of line only twice. We never litterally whip him. It's a crack on the ground to remind him it's not alound. Stops in a couple secs. (Prior owner never taught ground manners). He has a buddy system problem too.

As far as the mare goes she doesn't like the gelding one bit. She lost her confidence as her old self after a severly "Witchy" pony mare kept picking on her. She was given away sense we couldn't do anything with her. At least this mare lets you on. She likes to show in halter, showmanship, horsemanship, contesting, and western pleasure. It's the canter, I have all these problems with. Never used to. I think she needs to be separated from them. All three of them need their own pasture space. I've had enough of them fighting. My daughter had to do a leadership leason with her tonight and it went quiet well. followed her around like a pup at the fairgrounds. Stops on command and goes on que. only had a bridle, halter, and lead attached to her without a single finger on that mare. Did what she was told. I just think she needs away from the dominant horses. Looked like her old self after that. She pulled an old trick on the mare and got her full attention. This horse will not kick, bite, rear, or anything to hurt you. It's a message. But, I just need help with the canter. She gets nervous or something. Would it be that it reminds her of when the gelding bites her on the flank or belly that get her going. I've trained my own horses for years and I know there has to be a solution for stopping this. It's not in her nature to be this way. I'm getting her teeth checked and her back checked to make sure nothing is wrong. If anyone knew this mare the way my daughter does, you'd want to find every chance of finding a solution. My daughter is very experienced in training for pleasure and contesting. The mare has done both without any problem. Everything fell apart after the gelding came in. I'm just going to have to send my young stud to the trainer and separate either her or the gelding. I'm thinking the mare. (2 mares + 1 gelding= 1dominant mare & 1 Dominant gelding & an upset mare= Chaos). She may go back to normal. She isn't stupid. I could tell you all about how great she is, but everyone's definition is different.

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I have a gelding myself. I moved him from a barn that was far away to a closer barn to my house. He was very calm and laid back at the other barn. Moved him to the new barn and he turned into a different horse. He was dominant and not as friendly. After 6 months I moved him to another barn. Again, I see a totally different horse. The other horses picked on him and were super obnoxious even with people. I had to take a whip out to the pasture just to keep the other horses away while I got my horse. And he was terrified if any of the other horses moved toward him at all. He would try to run even if I had him on the lead. He always had excellent ground manners so this was frustrating to me. So 6 months later I have moved him again. He loves this new barn! He is back to the horse I knew and loved originally. He is laid back, happy and content.

So, I completely believe that the other horses and the atmosphere contribute to the attitude of your horse. If this gelding is a bad influence and the mare seems stressed then at a minimum she needs to be removed from the pasture. You will probably see a huge improvement in both horses.

Lastly, I also believe that she has some pain issues. Everything you are describing indicates hind in/hip pain to me. Definitely have her checked by a chiropractor. I think it will be well worth the money.

Edited by LMK1975

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This sounds like quite a mess MTR. Have you considered putting the gelding in with your stud? You obviously have two pastures I must assume. There are many things wrong here but it certainly sounds like the mare and gelding should be separated right now. Depending on your facility you might even consider alternating the mare and gelding's turnout time if they have adequate stalls available? I'm not usually one to suggest separating horses because I honestly believe they require socialization for optimal mental health but going just by what you've written this seems to be an exception.

What is the story on this gelding? Is anyone working with him regularly? Giving him corrections as needed but otherwise not giving him much of a job is not a very good way to keep him. Can he be given more of a useful routine to channel some of his energy productively?

William (historyrider)

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We have about 8 different turnouts at our barn. My gelding is really easy going and I like to switch pastures every now and then. I put him just about anywhere. Oddly enough when he is in with the group of geldings I find that I have more trouble with him than when he goes out in his normal pasture (my husbands mustang mare, another mare as well as one other gelding)

When he is pulled from the gelding pasture it takes a little longer to get his attention on work. He calls and looks around and seems generally more antsy. When I take him from the mustangs pasture he is a walk in the park. He seems to just be more clingy with the geldings.

I would guess it depends on the herd dynamics and the individual horse. If you have the turnouts to switch it up a little I would definately try some experimenting. Of course making sure to acquaint them with eachother first. Usually we put new horses next to the other horses pasture that they will be moving into for a few days to see how they get along with a fence between them. Good luck.

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We try to work with him as much as possible. He's a whole different horse at shows. He doesn't get agressive toward her at shows. It's rather he's like afraid of her leaving for a class. We have to take him everywhere to make sure he doesn't do anything dumb. He used to be a stall and pasture horse with regular turn out at the boarding place we bought him from. Couldn't afford their upped price. As for my stallion, he's not an aggressive horse. The gelding bites him across the fence. My 3Yr old stud only moves away unless really threatend. He's that layed back. Wont fight. He needs away from the others. We have three pastures. The stallion's pen, an agressive gelding's, and the three. I don't all these horses. They're my sister and mom's horses. Not much of a choice. I'll figure something out fast. thanks for the ideas. the gelding gets longed and ridden for two hours, sometimes longer because he has too much energy. We don't abuse them though.

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Hello MTR.

Horse's are always seeking the chance to become atop of the pecking order which will sometimes include being over their human owner, if allow.

Your horse on horse behaviors sounds fairly normal, and they do stuff like that and others, but I wouldn't worry about that for the moment. The real attention needs to be place on whats going on with your daughter and her horse having aggressive tendencies.

Some people want to be view by their horses as an buddies/friends.

Not understanding the horse is not seeing the same thing.

They are looking for a leader type, which will control the action and teach them where they rank, whats acceptable and not acceptable, when and where to go and how to do things, which makes them feel secure within their well being knowing that they have some one to follow and count on and to steer them pass and thru any scary situations.

My suggestion would be about getting some help from an experienced horse indivdual or services, someone that can remedy those behavioral issues, and teach you and her how to perform effective counter corrective actions and how to properly establish yourselves atop of the pecking order, etc.

I hope this insight helps.

Edited by BW7

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I agree with BW7

Horses always have their own pecking order when at liberty, and will work it out, providing they have enough space to avoid the aggressive horse

Their interaction with each other should have absolutely no effect on how they respond to people or work under saddle. Somewhere along the line the horses have tested your leadership and slowly moved up the the line.

I don't mean to be harsh, but you need some professional help, esp, if you now also want to work with a stallion, no matter how gentle he appears at this time

Taking off at the canter somehow has me wondering how this mare is good at western pleasure, or anything else under saddle

Besides worrying whether the horses will get hurt when turned out together (a reason to separate them ) you need to look elsewhere than the gelding causing this change in your mare while being handled or ridden. You need to look at what respect the mare has for you, in your 'herd of two'-who is pushing who ???

After sating what this mare does, I had to go back and read if you actually said she was a kid safe horse ! She doesn't even sound adult safe at the moment

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