Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/Mardy Arab Mare
I hope you can help.
After being away from horses for about 15 years i recently bought a 3 and half year old, 16hh Thoroughbred mare. Unfortunately I have had to go back to basics with her and she is not ready to be ridden yet.
I'm not a nervous rider and I love a challenge so a friend of mine suggested that I got my feel for riding back before I tried back my horse and asked me to ride her 5 year old Arab mare.
She told me the last time Millie was ridden was about two months ago, so when i stated to tack her up last weekend I wasn't in the slightest worried about how she would react.
She was quite muddy so as i tried to brush her, she started swinging her back end round as a warning she would kick me if i carried on. No problem putting her tack on, but when I got on her she would not walk forwards, she kept backing up every time i asked her to walk on. She was lead round for a few minutes with me on her back, then we decided to let her go to see what she would do...as soon as my friend let Millie go she started walking backwards and then rearing up. I managed to stay on her back and I eventually regained control through voice commands.
I understand that Arabs are highly intelligent and if they are not trained properly they can be ruined. She doesn't really know me yet, so i understand why she was nervous around me as I was brushing her.
My question is do you think it is going to have to be another back to basic situation with her before I try to ride her again? Lots of lunging and long raining? Or could it just have been because it has been a while since she was ridden last?
Thanks for the question and I will try my best to help
Ok first yes Arabs are very intelligent horses, I have three of them and they are all very different characters, two are very laid back in that I can bring them out of the stable or field after a longish layoff and brush and tack them up and go and the third one will react differently every time, soetimes ok and sometimes doing exactly what Millie did!
However, I would question whether or not Millie was trying to tell you that she might have beenuncomfortable with someon her back, maybe she has ulled or tweaked som,ething ans she was trying to tell you that , or again it could be a case of 'hang on this isn;t my mum, lets see how much roipe I get before I have to behave myself'..................something they are very good at, it trying to bring a confident rider down to a nervous wreck...........the fact you rode her through it seems to suggest she was trying it on with you, the fact you rode her through it and didn;t give up says a lot for confidence and experience and the other fact you did not resort to hitting her is something I commend you for, many riders would have smacked her for that .................
The fact she is only 5 is another factor, she is still a baby, Arabs do not really come into maturity until about 7 years of age, I have a 26 year old one who still acts like a two year old most days! It might be an idea to try some basic schooling with her, not right to the beginning but just basic stuff to reinforce things, I still long rein mine from time to time as well, its a break for them to be doing different things.
It might be worth getting her back checked out jsut in case, and spend time with her, just quietly grooming her and talking to her, mine love the atention.