I’d like some advice on a problem I’m having with my mare. After nearly a year of being the only horse on my property, I moved her to a nearby boarding stable. I went on a few short trail rides, but she was very unhappy–she wanted to go back to the barn. Since the feeding schedule was very erratic, I figured that was why she wanted to go back–she was afraid of missing dinner. I moved her to a much smaller barn where she goes out in a field with other horses twice a week. In many respects it’s ideal, except the owner has two youngsters, now yearlings, that she plans to train and sell. I knew my mare had a foal a few years ago, but it never entered my head that she might decide these foals needed a mother. Well–that’s what she’s decided. Now every time I ride outside the gate, even with another rider, all those foals have to do is neigh at her and it’s Katie bar the door. We did circles until I was dizzy, mostly to no avail. All winter we’ve been working on the basics in the round pen, first on the longe, and once she knows and obeys those cues every time, I’ll ride her in the round pen. What I want to know is, what do I do after that???
My horse a mare has the same issues in the field with a filly we acquired. When I trailer her away the issues seem to disappear but when riding around our acreage with the filly she is excited especially if things are happening around the filly. She was also doing some small bucking.
On my last ride on the property with one of our other horses she seemed more relaxed. Maybe it just takes time. Try working her and gradually increasing the distance over time or trailer her away for a ride.
Thank you very much, bnelrod. I especially like the “trailer her away” advice. She is boarding close enough to us that I could take her home for a long weekend and ride her here. I think that will solve a lot of her problems. Meanwhile I’ll do as you suggested and stick close to the pasture my first few times, and gradually get farther and farther away. She doesn’t buck–maybe crow hops a little, but mostly she violently shakes her head from one side to the other and strikes out with a foreleg. Not too pleasant, but I don’t think she’s trying to get me off. She’s just lodging a protest.
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