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Franklin Levinson's

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Cannot Trust Mare

We recently purchased a mare that is five months into foal, and the lady swore she had no bad habits. Wrong! When you go in the stall to feed her, she pins her ears back and acts like she is going to bite you. Well it does not stop there. Sometimes she will let you pet her. Other times she does the same thing, plus she grits her teeth. It is like she has not decided to like humans or not. I did contact the lady about it and she said she has always pinned her ears back when she was fed, but has never bitten. I am use to having all of my horses behaving the same way all of the time. I do not know what to do. She is a very nice well bred mare, but you do not know if she is going to let you pet her, or bite you. I would like to solve this problem before she foals this coming March, because the problem may worsen. My husband and I thought maybe she was abused sometime in her life. If you have any suggestions on how to solve this problem I would appreciate it. If possible could you reply by email?

Thanks, Brenda


Hi Brenda,

Thank you for your question. If this were my horse I would take her back to the basics for a little while (a month or so). I would do her ground exercises again and get her socialized to me. The more you can do with her on the ground the better she will become. Do not just interact with her at feeding time. Take her into your arena or round pen and play ground games with her. Spend some time with her, some quality time where you actually do something together. She needs to be doing something with you other than being fed. I promise this will help a lot. I think this will be an easy situation to correct if you begin to interact with the mare much more for a while. Even if she is a bit resistant at first, pay her resistance no mind and just be patient and continue to ask her to move as you request. Be consistent and kind, but be the leader of the dance……Please keep me posted.

Sincerely, Franklin

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