Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/BIG Problem with half arab


Pandora English
Pandora English  
QUESTION: I have an 11 Year old mare named Pandora. I bought her as an 8 year old. When i bought her all she really knew was rear and run. she was also stall aggressive and i soon found out didnt not back off trailer.

I knew she had problems when I got her. But i was willing to put the work into her I love project horses just never had one like her.

After I brought her home I began to work with her. She would rear and buck and just all around freak out. I had her vet checked and had her teeth checked. Turned out she had a huge wolf tooth that I had pulled. She did alot better after that but still reared. I started barrel racing her and she did good but would rear and enter and exit ring on hind legs. Pretty much anytime you held her back from running she would pop or rear.

Well I decided to take her to college. But it was an all English college. So i began to ride her in english and she was doing good but would still blow up sometimes. Then i brought her back home for second semester of college and went from riding her 6 time a week to maybe once a month. I thought she was gonna be bad but when i went home to ride her she did amazing i rode her bareback with halter and lead rope. when i cam home for summer i moved her home from boarding place. When i went to ride her exactly how i did there she freaked out all 4 feet off the ground blow up.

So i thought well maybe just had off day but she started doing it more and more. this whole summer i have only been able to ride her like 2 or 3 times this summer.

So i was wondering what i could do to help her so she doesn't do that or what i could do to help fix it??? Because I hate to have to sell her but I might not have a choice due to 2 bulging dicks in my back and a curved spine

ANSWER: Hi Dominique

Well done for sticking with her this long, a lot of people would have given up on her.  

From what you have described,  would say that this is either a hormonal thing, or pain.  Get her back and shoulders and hips checked by yout vet or an equine physiotherapist, if pain is ruled out, ask your vet to check her hormone levels....maybe she just needs rebalancing.  My young mare was being funny with me a few weeks ago, turns out she was in severe pain from a trapped nerve and muscle spasms in her right shoulder.... now it has been sorted out, she is back to being a sweetheart to ride.  

Most behavioural problems stem from pain somewhere in the body.  Get a full check up on her, just double check fit of saddle and bridle, make sure her bit is correctly fitted...and nothing pinches or is pulling.  

Good luck, and please let me know how you get on with her.

Emma xx

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Pandora and I
Pandora and I  
QUESTION: Thank you so much I didnt even think of hormones...duh...good idea but i will def get her checked out though. Oh now that you mention about bits she is super weird with them. I use to barrel race her for a lil and i use a sweet iron wonder bit she loved it in less than 6 months she started to rust it out, so I bought her a new one and when i switched to the new one she no longer responded the same to it. I have tried many bits and none that work that good for english i use a 3 piece myler with copper roller she seems to like it alot but she still has her moments so for a whilei was riding her in her halter and reins. So i considered bitless but then after a random really bad blow up and almost crashing threw a fence i stopped riding like that.

And i also thought maybe she was just spooky but shes not scared of like anything....loves dirt bikes she even let a moving back hoe roll right pasted her and she loves cows, and i can even rope off her just the random unpredictable blow ups.

but do you have any advice on bits or something that may work?

I was lunging her in a lose ring snaffle and using lose side reins to start to teach her to give to bit a lil and it worked cuz the one time she let me ride her english she responded amazing to half haults and offered a lil head set as well. But still unsure on bits.

Thank you so much and im terribly sorry for all the questions I just dont know what else to do for her to make her happier.

ANSWER: I would try something like a very mild hanging cheek french link bit, preferably the copper and sweet iron one (they are meant to rust that is why horses like them) and also make sure that her bit is properly fitted...a pinching bit can be very painful.  

Forget the side reins, I hate them! if used incorrectly they can give horses the equivalent of headaches. To get her to give to the bit, use leg pressure and send her up into her bridle...really get her to move forwards.  Also, if she is going forwards, there is less chance of her rearing, as she will be using her back end to produce the power to drive her forwards.  

I know, from bitter experience, that Arabs are smarter than the average horse, my 26yr old mare, who I have had for 18 years was a total nightmare at the beginning as she was unbroken when I bought her as a 9yo.  They are tough and resilient, and if you don't treat them with respect they will come back at you.  I was always told be their friend and partner, and they will give you everything..that was said to me by the man who bred my old mare's grandsire....and those words have helped me ever since.  Never try to boss her, be her friend and partner...if she is telling you that something is wrong, listen to her....make it a 50/50 really will surprise you.  

If I can help with anything else, let me know, and good luck with her.

Emma xx

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QUESTION: Ok that's another thing I cant really use a lot of leg pressure because she throws her head in the air and will kinda bolt and she is just super sensitive to leg pressure and I also can not kiss or click to her while on her cuz she takes off on the ground she is wonderful but its just riding.

The lady that had her before me when she was selling her would allow ppl to come out and run her so when I bought her that's all she knew. It took me taking her to college with me just to get her to actually trot.

But she is super leg and sound sensitive when on her I have to use words like walk trot canter easy stuff like that

thats a good thing! use half halts to bring her back and gentle but consistent leg pressure to send her on til she gives to the bit.  Don't force it, and if you have to, use the voice commands....that is always quite a good thing.  Use your leg to give the aids, but say it as well...then she will get used to going from your leg as well as your voice. then you can gradually phase out the voice commands so she goes from your leg.  

Sounds like she has had a rough time before you got her.

Emma xx  

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Emma Dickinson-Gater


Anything about Showing, english style, dress, ringcraft. Difficulties with Arabians, rearing, schooling issues.


I have over 20 years experience in the showring, and have broken and schooled on all my own horses. I have schooled on many horses that have been classed as difficult to handle, or dangerous to ride. These horses havre gone on to be calm, well mannered, and are successful in showing homes, and as happy hackers.

BHS stage 1 and 2. Experienced in breaking and schooling young horses.

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