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Unpredictable horse

I purchased a mare a year ago she is 21, I have been working with her as much as time permits. She was broke to ride and trailer but she has always and still does have a very aggressive attitude. One minute you couldn't want a better horse and the next minute she pins her ears back tries to swing her hind quarters at you and kick you. Especially when you want to ride her it is a fight to get her saddled, and she dances all over the place when you try to get on her. She will take the bit fine and will halter fine. On some occasions she will pin her ears swish her tail and act like she is going to buck and rear when on the halter and lead rope. I really want to see it work for her and I but I am not an expert at horses for she is my first.

Please help.

Thank You, Joyce

Hi Joyce,

As this is an older horse, she is very habituated to her attitude and ways. What may seem unpredictable to you probably occurs within a prescribed set of circumstances. Sounds like she is in need of strong, confident leadership. In the absence of this leader being present, the mare fends for herself because she feels she has to and because she can. If you were able to handle these episodes appropriately, they would probably go away for the most part. The hormonal changes that occur repeatedly in mares could also be a contributing factor. There are medications that may help your horse be more steady in temperament. Please consult your veterinarian on these specific possibilities.

How good are your ground training skills? Consistent and repeated ground work (lunging with a short and long line, leading, sending the horse, backing, yielding the front and hind quarters, flexing, a lot of circling, stopping, changing speed and direction) are what is required for the mare to accept you as her great and confident leader. In the wild the horse's always have that leader present, they look for that leader, protect, revere her and go where ever and do whatever she asks of them. She is their survival plain and simple. In the absence of that leader the horse fends for itself and does things simply because it can as there is no leader present. If your ground skills are not up to speed, so to speak, you will need to find a gentle trainer to show these skills to you. I am free to travel should you care to host me in your area for any type of clinic to teach these techniques and much more. Please let me know if this is a possibility. Meanwhile, let me know you feelings about your ground skills. They are very important and can help resolve numerous behavioral problems.

I hope I have offered some useful suggestions. Thanks a lot for your question. Keep me posted.

Sincerely, Franklin

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