Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/mare issues


i have a 6 year old mare with a few ground issues. when i lead her she sometimes stop and wont move when i ask her to, she will either back up or try an nip me. when she does decide to walk on she sometimes tries to nip me or kick me. she also sometimes pulls back when tied up. also she runs away when i try and put her rugs on or saddle on her but she is fine when being groomed on her back. she also goes crazy and runs off if i ever take my coat of while being on her back like its going to hurt her or something. do you have any answers or exercises i can do?

Hi Grace

Hopefully we   will be able to work  out whats bothering your girl............... first the leading.

Now when you lead  do you walk at her side or infront of her or hang back and let her take the lead?  Only asking as  I have a mare that unless I walk right by her head she stops and  will not move until  I go back to the normal position.  But its the nipping and kicking thats a worry, sounds like a bit of a dominance issue here, if she goe to nip then a firm NO  is more than most times enought o deter, if she  tries it again then NO and a smal sharp tap on her nose, this has to be administered when she goes to nip  not later as an afterhtought, af ew No's and maybe a tap or two and she should get the message, puishment is not something I normally advocate BUT in some circumstances  after the NO then it is appropriate to give , but do it at the time the  nip  has been tried not later!  Kicking is the same thing, tell her No and mean it, again tell her No and mean it, you can;t smack her or kick her back when she does that  but  somehting said in a firm  vooice caries a lot of weight.

Pulling back when tied up maybe   I wonder has she had a nasty experience when being tied up, has something scared her or hurt  her  in the past, this is soemthing you will jsut have to work on, every time you tie her  up can you distract her with a smal haynet, take her mind off things a little.... I still ahve to do this with one of my  horses and she's now 26!

The running away when tacked up is something  I would not like  to have in any horse, is she trying to tell you that something in her back is hurting, has she had a fall or twidted herself and its painful, you say she is fine being groomed  but when tacked up she hates it, I  might be inclined to get the vet to take a look at her to just  put your mind at rest on this one.

The coat  thign again  maybe  because  she sees it as  something  thats going to hurt her, only thing i can suggest here is  either  keep coat on  or rifde without it,  and another  thing you can practice is talk to her in soft voice, tek her what a big brave girl she is and all the while slowly take your coat off in front of her, let  her see its not  going to hurt her or anything like that,  it will take a while to get her used to this, but  its worth it in the long run, then rpogress to taking the coat off while in the saddle  but have someone holding her just in case  she tries to take off and do it on a school the at least its a confined space, do NOT try it while hse is in her stable........... one  sure fire way of  making her scared of a space thats hers!

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training

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Christine Dickinson


can answer questions on training and showing, ring craft, english style riding, and dress for the sho ring


been riding since I was 2 years old, qualified as an instructor more years ago than I care to remember and has owned ponies and horses all my life, shown and won extensively

educated to PhD level

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