Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/Rearing horse

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Question
Hi,
I have been having trouble with my mare for quite some time. I bought her about three years ago, at that time she was almost unrideable. After about a year my Fox Trotter mare, was doing much better. I can do almost anything with her now, but she has one main problem. Whind Dancer does fine in the field I ride in as a training place, but whenever I take her out onto our gravel round she goes buzerk. The problem started as pushy, "I want to go home" and is now a rearing, nasty problem. She has never won a fight on that road, but she still tries every time I take her out there. It is getting dangerous for me and my horse, as she had more than once almost keeled over. This problem is also now cause me back trouble. :(
I can lead her down the road without a problem, I can pony her off another horse with out a problem, but whenever the rider is added she becomes nasty. I have tried ridding with a another rider, and by myself, but it makes no difference. I had someone else ride her for me a few weeks ago and she through the same problem. The only way I can get her to stop rearing and listen is if I "beat" her. I don't like doing this for many reasons, but I can't find anything else that will get her to just chill. So I have simple stopped riding her down that way, but it is still a problem that I do not want to ignore. To tell my horse no on almost any matter, means that at the end of the lesson she will be drenched with sweat and I will be exhausted, which is also a challenge.   
Any advise or help would be much appreciated.
Thanks,
Bethany

Answer
Hi Bethany,
It sounds like your horse has a severe case of "barn sour" and she has gotten away with it for some time. First and foremost.......BEATING your horse accomplishes nothing. In fact, it makes things worse. Never...I repeat....never...beat your horse. They have no concept as to what a beating is for except it instills fear and mistrust. Instead, you must become the leader. She has learned that if she acts out, you will stop making her go down the road and take her back or take her to a place (the field) that she is familiar with. She has trained you instead of you training her. Your mare has become the leader. Here is my suggestion (and it has worked for me time and time again).
The next time you ride your horse, start riding away from the barn down the road. Alone, with no other horses. When she gets to the point that she even starts to act out in the slightest and wants to go back, LET HER!!!!!!!. That's right, I said let her. Let her ride back to the barn. BUT...once you arrive at the barn, ride the snot out of her right then and there. Don't even get off. Make her trot hard and fast around in small circles (not big circles). I mean trot her hard and fast in small circles until she's huffing and puffing and lathered up. Then without stopping, simply walk her back down the road as if nothing has ever happened. Don't worry that she is tired and lathered. That is her problem. If she acts out again, let her go back to the barn and repeat the process. Keep doing this over and over. Don't make a big deal about it. What you will be doing is simply, making the "wrong thing hard...and the right thing easy". She will soon learn that acting out and going back to the barn is just too much work and too hard. That just easing down the road is so much easier and pleasant. This may take a little time and you might have to repeat the process over and over again until she gets it. But, she will. Horses are lazy by nature and all they want is to be comfortable. You are simply making her uncomfortable and have to work too hard when she acts out. You will be saying, "You want to go back to the barn? Sure. Good idea. But you won't like it when you get there!!!".
Make the wrong thing hard...and the right thing easy. This is one of the basic concepts of horse training.
I hope I have been of help to you. Please ride safe and remember why you got a horse to start with...to have fun.

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training

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Bobby Passons

Expertise

I can answer questions concerning horse training, foundation work, colt starting, western riding, rider confidence and problematic horses.

Experience

20 years in horse training. Starting colts, problematic horses, rider confidence and Western riding. I have specialized in training good/safe trail horses. Shown in western pleasure, halter and trail classes. I worked in West Texas gathering wild cattle.

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AQHA, APHA, NREMT

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degree in prehospital medicine.

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