Jerk Mare just started kicking at other horses

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by LeenieBean, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. LeenieBean

    LeenieBean Senior Member

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    My mare has learned a new nasty habit. I've had her almost 3 years and in the last couple of months she's decided that its appropriate to kick at other horses when they are walking by and she is either tied, or on lead.

    She pulled this stunt last night after I'd stopped lunging in the arena to pick up poop. It was kind of busy in there with a trainer and some people using their horses as lawn chair watching. I'd just picked up her poop and was waiting for the doorway to clear. She was relaxed, head down, chill, with a loose lead. One of the other girls brought her horse in to ride, and walked him past her, he wasn't super close, but my mare, totally relaxed, suddenly springs into action, backs up, squeals and boots him for no apparent reason. She's been in close quarters with this gelding many times, leading past him in the isle, or using the outdoor wash rack together, and never once had a problem. Never laid an ear or mare stare at him.

    She has threatened at one of the other geldings when he is loping past her in the arena a couple of times, swung her hip at him while I was riding, and obviously got a hard boot and a swat and growl to correct her. 2 weeks ago she was tied in the isle, and decided to back up at her pasturemate who was walking back, but I assumed its because it was her herd mate that she tends to pick on in the pasture. She got corrected and swatted for that too.

    Lately she has been trying to assert her authority in pasture with the others. she is out with 7 other horses, and is somewhere near the top of the pecking order. Its like she is boss mare in training. When she came to the barn, she was the bottom of the pecking order and got picked on all the time. its like she suddenly has had enough and now chases the others. She has backed up and tried to boot at them when they crowd her at the gate (ok, makes sense, they are in her space and trying to get towards the gate (or her person at the other end of the lead) and she also tries to chase the others away from me. She always gets a hard correction and a swat with the lead, but its clearly not enough.

    there was no indication that she was a) in a bad mood, b) in heat, c) in pain when she booted this gelding. It just happened out of the blue when she looked completely relaxed. In all instances she does not like horses coming up behind her, and used to get bit on her bum all the time but it seems she got fed up and isn't having it anymore.

    HOW DO I STOP THIS? I feel like I have corrected her, but not hard enough. obviously I was unconcerned about her kicking and wasn't prepared for it when she did it, but I would like to know that I can get it in her head that this is NOT acceptable. the horse she kicked is worth 10 x more than her and has a career. She's just my pain in the butt that I amuse myself with.
     
  2. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Punish her right when she does it.
     
  3. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

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    up the level of correction. she needs to think her life is going to end
     
  4. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Yep and immediately.
     
    waresbear likes this.
  5. endurgirl

    endurgirl Senior Member

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    Yessssss!!!! She'd be begging me to let her rest had I been on her and kicked another horse. She needs to think she's going to die when you're getting on to her. That's a dangerous habit and will escalate, what if she misses and kicks a human instead?? You get after her and make her think that's the worst thing she's ever done, and get a friend to walk/ ride their horse near her and at any inkling she's thinking of kicking, make her die all over again.
     
  6. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    Agree with the above. Also, in the pasture, there should not be any crowding at the gate by anyone if a person is getting a horse. Bring a lunge whip and insist on everyone making room for you. Get your mare and again, if she even remotely looks or feels like she's going to kick someone - swish of the tail, movement of butt - she needs to think she's going to die a very painful death.

    Bella used to rear. She hasn't in about 5 years. The other day, she was very frisky with the wind and weather and she popped her front feet up about 2 inches off the ground. I was all over her like a cheap shirt. You would have thought she killed someone. But I'm willing to be it will be another 5 years before she does it again. And if we hadn't had that conversation you can bet she'd be experimenting to see how far she could take it.
     
  7. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    FIRST, get her checked by a Reproductive Vet. She could have developed a problem with her female parts, is just in discomfort and doesn't want any horses near her.

    If it's not from that, then you need to put her out by herself in turnout and quickly correct the behavior when she does it in hand. You have to catch her BEFORE she moves, not after.

    Since it just started I would suspect it has more to do with a physical problem than her suddenly becoming schizophrenic~!!
     
  8. LeenieBean

    LeenieBean Senior Member

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    this mare is regularly "randomly" schizophrenic.Although she is much better. I had checked her back and what not really well before I worked her, she didn't flinch at all in her loin even with more than average prodding, but I may run this by the vet when her teeth are done in a month or so. Manes you may be correct something has changed. One thing is a rotation of new horses coming into the field, and a number of geldings, not everyone gets along, and perhaps some have gotten rowdy. She has gotten increasingly angry with the others horses, but has maintained a chipper demeanor with me. The barn owners say she is a pain in the bum at turn in, there is two they bring in for dinner and she bosses the others around. She was not like up until summer-fall last year.

    I talked with a couple friends and did some googling, and it seems the consensus is a come to jesus moment, which, I should have known, since that seems to be the correction for just about everything this horse pulls. My immediate response in a group public setting is not to beat my horse, and she pulls out these new ones every time I'm around a bunch of people and I hold back what my response level I think I should be at, in favor of a less terrifying swat or growl. I had a lunge whip in my hand when she pulled it, but it was not my response to go at her with the whip, though its certainly what she deserved.

    The next time this happens she's going to get a whomping.
     
  9. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    I never touched Bella when she threatened to rear and I don't recall actually "whomping" her at all. Instead, the other day when the feet went up, I bellowed at her, "DON'T YOU EVEN THINK OF LIFTING THOSE FEET OFF THE GROUND MISSY!" while I simultaneously backed her up so fast it nearly made her head spin.

    Then I stopped and just stood there and let her think about it for a couple of seconds. Then walked on quietly as before, expecting her to come along nicely.

    I've never really found actually hitting to be as effective as being big and loud and decisive.
     
  10. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    You do NOT use a whip to correct this.

    You get the horse's attention back to paying attention to YOU by the use of the equipment you have attached to her head.

    Do not go whipping her or else you could likely get a quick turn around and need some facial reconstruction

    Get the VET to check her out first before you do anything else. Talk about how this is new behavior.

    Horses don't do stuff forno reason. She HAS A REASON, and it's up to you to find it. If she were schyzophrenic, she would NOT be nice to you and not nice to other horses. You'd get the same treatment they do, so she isn't “off in the head“.
     

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