Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/Behavioral Problems with my mare

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Question
I have seven year old quarter horse mare. For almost a year she has been living by herself because her horse buddy was sold. I had been taking weekly lessons with her but I had to put them on hold last May. (i still haven't been able to start my lessons with her again.) I know she has been a little lonely and I haven't been able to get another horse to keep her company. Lately she has been acting very unusual. She rears up and runs around wildly at random. She has even kicked out which is so unlike her. She is normally very calm and gentle. This is the first time I have seen her have this behavior. I was in the pen with her and she was just fine, but when i walked away from her to go dump some manure she started acting crazy by pawing at the manure pile, running around, rearing, and kicking. She was close by me though I don't think she was directing her actions towards me. I am wondering if she is doing this because she is lonely and bored or if I am doing something wrong. She has been having these crazy spurts more frequent and more violent. I have not noticed anything that could have alarmed her to act out violently. I am also wondering what I should do if this happens again.
         
         Thanks

Answer
Cooler weather will make them act up.  That is why you can almost count on one being squirrely under saddle, or even just handling one from the ground when fall starts coming in.  And again in spring when the weather turns nice.

Just part and parcel of being a horse.

Some horses don't act up, or not much, but most of them do.  They feel frisky and tear around having a good old time.

And this is not being crazy, nor violent, or acting out violently.  She is doing the horse equivalent of having a good time.  She feels good and is playing.  They all do this.

While she might be "lonely" to a degree, she is not going to pine away from it.  Many horses do quite fine just on their own.  Sometimes circumstances dictate that is the housing situation for a horse.  Nothing wrong with it at all.

Just be careful that while she is ripping and roaring, she does not get close to you, because those playful kicks can pack a good wallop.

If you are worried about her being bored, get her one of those big Jolly Balls to play with, ones with handles seem very sturdy and horses usually enjoy them.

I've also seen them play with a blue barrel, empty of course.

But nothing is wrong with her, nor are you doing anything wrong.

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training

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Melanie Rowley

Expertise

Questions relating to first time, or inexperienced horse owners. Other questions as needed. Questions on American Saddlebreds. Old fashioned training advice, riding advice for beginners, and general care questions. Behavior problems, with emphasis on thinking through aspects of problems that might not seem an issue at first.

Experience

About to turn 55. My father was a Saddlebred trainer, and I grew up around horses. I have also worked as a Master Saddlebred Show Horse Groom, working with Dale Pugh, Art Simmons, Sonny Sutton, and others. I also have worked with Quarter Horses, and Thoroughbreds on a mare and foal operation in Alabama. I have owned for years, and currently have two teenaged geldings. I also for many years have taught riding lessons, to adults and children, working with beginners just learning, and older adults who have lost their confidence, or wanted to get "back in the saddle." I was lucky to be around many of the best horsemen in MO, and AL and learn from them, and strive always to think through a situation and work to keep riders and horses safe. Those also include the many talented grooms, and farriers I met along the way.

Education/Credentials
Some college. General studies towards a nursing degree, which derailed due to divorce. Horse skills learned through over 50 years of watching, learning, doing and absorbing as I grew.

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