Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/Behavior of a new horse

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Question
I recently purchased a new mare, I leased her for 2 months before. We work very well together, we click. I have two questions:
1: I was free lunging in the area where I board. She ran towards the hay pile. I cracked the whip and kissed a few times. She came running over, and reared infront of me. Not striking out, just reared and came down. She then stood there, and I walked towards her. I'm just wonder what that would have meant?

2: What are some good ground work exercises to form a better trust and bond?

Thank you

Answer
Hi Paige,
Concerning question number one. When you say "running over" to you, I'm not sure if you meant "running" or "trotting". I never like a horse to "run" straight to me. I would much rather they trot to me. As far as "what it means", it could mean any number of things. It's hard to tell without me actually witnessing the event. I surly do not want the horse to rear in front of me. That is a major concern. The horse may have just been feeling good and a little frisky or she would be showing you a sign of dominance. However, I would not tolerate it. I would suggest when you do walk up to her to walk up at and angle and not straight towards her. This would place you in a much safer position when approaching your horse in case she should rear in front of you. It also presents you in a more passive frame to her.
The best way in my opinion to gain more trust with your horse is proper ground work. I would do this in a round pen. A horse is a herd animal and WANTS a good leader. So, that is what you must become. The way to become a good leader for your horse is to move and get control of her feet. It's almost like a horse's feet and their brains are hard-wired together. If you control the feet, you control the brain. If your ground work involves moving the feet forwards, backwards, left and right, you will find the horse wanting to be with you and more passive towards you. Simply because she sees you as her leader. And that is just what she wants as a herd animal. Above all, do not spend your lunging time sending her around in mindless circles. That accomplishes nothing except boring her and building up her stamina. Concentrate on moving her feet in the direction you wish her to go and you will find a better partner.
I hope I have been of help to you. Good luck and please stay safe.  

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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