Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/Stubborn Mare


I've been working with a 3 year old mare. My trainer broke her and has asked me to teach her to jump. I've dealt with difficult horses before and have taught others how to jump so I wasn't too concerned. The only real problem I've run into is her deathly fear of our mounting block. It's pretty big and sits in the corner of our arena for our therapeutic riders. It has been there for years so it is nothing new for this mare. No matter what we have tried she remains deathly afraid and will run past it or refuse to go near it all together. When she refuses to go near it she plants her feet and begins to buck. This can last for up to 20 minutes of her just flat out refusing to move. I've tried everything to get her over her fear and I've absolutely run out of ideas. She'll go into the corner once in a great while and then just as quickly throw a fit about going anywhere near it. I have no idea what to do, if it's my fault, or if she's just going to be a problem child. I really don't want to let my trainer down, especially because this could be great experience for me, but I'm ready to give up.

Hi Breanne,
The first question you need to ask yourself is, "Is it absolutely imperative that she need to stand next to the mounting block?" If not, then why bother. Don't get me wrong here. It's not that I would be trying to get out of work. But, my old Granpaw always told me, "Ya gotta pick yur battles, boy". Are you wanting to solve this problem for a good reason, or are you wanting to do it for the principle?
If it is very important that the mare stand next to the block, then I would start on the ground. You would use the tried and true pressure and release method. With your lead line, make her work her tail off away from the block doing fast and hard changes of direction.....and get her release and rest standing next to the block. This make take quite a bit of time. But don't give up.
Good luck with it and please stay safe.

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Bobby Passons


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


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.


degree in prehospital medicine.

©2017 All rights reserved.