horse doesn't trust me

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Pintaloosa powerhouse, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. Pintaloosa powerhouse

    Pintaloosa powerhouse Registered

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    I've been working with this sweet little Arabian mare at my barn for a couple months, she's so willing and always paying attention to me when it's time to work. Last week did some groundwork with her, just thinks like yielding her hindquarters and shoulders, backing up, and lunging. After the lesson, I went to turn her out and she took off while I was unclipping the halter. My hand got caught behind her chin and she panicked, thankfully the halter snapped when she reared. Since then she's been super head shy around me, running from me in the pasture, she's not as willing to listen anymore. I feel like I lost her trust, I've been walking her in hand and just doing relaxing things. What can I do to help, why is she reacting so badly?
     
  2. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Just go back to the beginning and be consistent. Redo your groundwork. It's not tragic. Most of all, stop worrying. You are likely stressing now and it's being transferred as well. Horses aren't "that" fragile, it happened, but it was a small thing. You just back up, and move on.

    Don't release her that way ever again though. Throw the lead around her kneck and hold her with it (loop) take her halter off, put it back on etc. Never let them do that, take off like that. I got my leg nearly broken by a ticked off stud because mares were in estrus nearby that he couldn't get to and he wheeled and kicked me in almost the same way, save for getting my hand caught. You never let them get into a habit like that or let your guard down, you actually should never relinquish control except on your terms. Sounds authoritarian, but it's for our own safety, period.

    You'll be fine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  3. palogal

    palogal Senior Member

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    She's not a person. It's not "trust" it's respect. Arabians are wired a bit differently to begin with. They're smart and quick to react, in general. Keep working with her. Keeping in mind that she seems to be the typical "hot" Arabian, quick moving of the feet like you would do with a stock horse likely will not work and will just get her more wound up. Ask her for things she has to think about, lateral movement, turns on the forehand, pivots etc to get her attention. With an Arab you have to focus the energy. You're never going to get rid of the hotness like you can to some degree with a stock breed. A focused Arab is an awesome Arab. Provided the focus is on the correct thing.
     
  4. emali06

    emali06 Senior Member

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    Absolutely agree with @Alsosusieq2 of how to release her. I worked at a barn and had to deal with the worst mare ever. She would WHIRL rear and bolt when you undid her halter, barely giving you half a second to do anything. I whipped the rope around her neck and gave her a good shock when she realised she was still with me. It gave me slightly more time to protect myself. When you do this, wait a while before letting them go. Let them THINK and absorb and relax so they can collect their brain and then be let go.
     
  5. Bakkir

    Bakkir Senior Member

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    I agree with above. I would also add turning her back toward the gate before letting her go. Put the rope around her neck and don't let her move off before you say it is ok.

    For catching her. Slowly follow her at a walk. Stop when she stops, and walk when she walks. When she stops and turns to look at you, slowly approach her. Put the lead rope over her neck. Give her a treat or pat and then put the halter on. Do it slowly. This gives them time to think.

    Arabians are smart and sometimes you have to think outside the box. There are many ways to do things.

    My girl had an issue with putting the bridle on over her ears. This was something she was known for by the previous owners. She was good with me for a month and then had a fit and broke my new bridle. Instead of fighting with her, I bought a halter/bridle combo with bit hangers. Instantly solved the problem without any fuss.

    She then had an issue with the saddle pad slipping. She would turn into a bucking bronco. So I replaced my pad and again no more issues.

    May seem overly simple, but Arabians are extremely sensitive and smart.
     
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  6. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Well the first thing would be to change how you turn horses out. Take off the halter with the horse facing the fence. Some people do this with a rope over the neck so the horse doesn't jump backward while one's hand is in a vulnerable position.

    As far as working with the mare, don't do so until and unless you have some decent supervision instructing you while you work with her. Or else you're going to get hurt.
     
  7. magoo320mj

    magoo320mj Senior Member

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    THIS. Doesn't matter if it's the new 10 month old baby or my hubby's 30 year old deadhead gelding - ALL our horses get released with the rope looped around their neck. It's just a good habit to have. All it takes is one whirling kick to really get hurt.
     
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  8. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Definitely. As my hand surgeon(a horseman) would say, "I love it when people turn horses out that way, put my kids through college."
     
    turnnburnlynx and Alsosusieq2 like this.

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