Bad habits

Smith88

Member
Joined
18 October 2015
Messages
29
Visit site
Recently I have had some difficulty with my mare, she has developed another bad habit and I want to nip it in the bud ASAP. It started about two weeks ago when she got spooked by one of the builders, who came too close with his digger, when I was tacking her up. She went crazy and managed to break the twine and went running down the field, I calmed her down caught her and tacked her up in a different place, we went on to have a lovely ride. Anyway she is getting worse and worse every time I tack her up she constantly thrashes around pulling back, trying to break the twine, I have tried different places and it makes her slightly better. I've tried food it doesn't help, each time I have managed to tack her up and as soon as I get on her she is great, but it's very stressful and time consuming,and is becoming dangerous I'm really worried she's going to really hurt herself. does anyone have any ideas ??
 

be positive

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 July 2011
Messages
19,396
Visit site
This is not a bad habit as such but a reaction to a fright she had which probably hurt her as well as giving her a real shock, you need to go right back to basics and teach her to tie up safely in a place that does not hold bad memories, I would start in the stable where she should feel safe, I would not tie her up but just pass the rope through the ring while you teach her to stand still while you do what is required to get her relaxed and tacked up.
If you have no stable use the same method, get everything within reach and do her while you hold the end of a long rope, if she starts to pull back maintain the pressure until she relaxes, you may need to teach her this pressure, release in an enclosed area if she does not already understand and gradually you should get her confidence back but it may take a while before she will tie up happily where the incident occurred, the other thing that would be worthwhile is to get her checked by a physio as she may have damaged her poll the first day and that can make them very sore and tense about any pressure being on the area.
 

EQUIDAE

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 August 2015
Messages
1,999
Visit site
Someone came up with a brilliant idea a while back - tie it through several pieces of baling twine in series so if one snaps they are still attached, then if that does they are also still attached and so on.
 

Makemineacob

Well-Known Member
Joined
24 August 2015
Messages
429
Visit site
Tying up through a few pieces of bailing twine whilst a good idea for a horse who has "learnt to snap the twine"through boredom/mischief etc, it isn't a very good idea to do with a horse who has had a bad experience and wants to bolt. All you are doing is trapping the horse and elevating its stress levels and potentially you will end up with a very bad accident indeed. Be positive hits the nail on the head. You have to take her completely back to basis and sort the problem out for the horse's and everyone else's safety.

I would be having a polite word with the digger driver (or YO) and making sure they understand how to work around horses. I would also be tempted to see if you organise for the digger to be put into a location that you would allow you to take your horse safely to see it and do some groundwork around it (approach and retreat works well and lots of praise).
 

be positive

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 July 2011
Messages
19,396
Visit site
Don't tie up. Tack up loose in stable.

That is avoiding dealing with the issue, it may help with the tacking up but there are times a horse needs to be tied up so it must learn to do so even if it takes time and patience, it will be worthwhile having a confident horse that can be tied when required.
 

Smith88

Member
Joined
18 October 2015
Messages
29
Visit site
I agree, I did some work with her this evening and I can see it's going to take her a while to get over it, but it's not impossible she has started to respond. So I will be patient and positive with her and buy loads of treats x
 

JustKickOn

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 November 2006
Messages
16,994
Visit site
Someone came up with a brilliant idea a while back - tie it through several pieces of baling twine in series so if one snaps they are still attached, then if that does they are also still attached and so on.

Please don't do this. I've seen a horse go up and slip over backwards on a concrete yard when someone tried this method :( horse was ok but it was horrific to see.
 

EQUIDAE

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 August 2015
Messages
1,999
Visit site
Please don't do this. I've seen a horse go up and slip over backwards on a concrete yard when someone tried this method :( horse was ok but it was horrific to see.

They mustn't have frayed the baking twine - if the horse pulled in a panic all of the loops would snap
 

TwyfordM

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 December 2013
Messages
4,785
Visit site
We had this problem with one of our mares, she spooked at the fly spray and pulled back but ended up taking the whole wooden panel with her which then "chased" her around until the leadrope broke. Which shows just how strong bailing twine can be.
We slowly got there using a lunge line through the ring with us holding onto it and releasing the pressure if she panicked, she's absolutely fine to tie up now. :)
 

hypopit

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 July 2015
Messages
67
Visit site
I agree with the lungeline and pressure release method, short sessions of not even getting the tack on. Maybe just do this and give her a brush or a scratch where she likes it. Give her her bucket feed there on the lungeline , make her associate the place with really nice things. Take your time, be clam, if you still feel a bit wound up over it get someone else to do it for a bit who is really clam, speak to her all the time. she will come right pretty soon and think of that place being tied as somewhere where good things happen, go on from there. Good luck with it all.
 

Smith88

Member
Joined
18 October 2015
Messages
29
Visit site
Thank you so much everyone you have been hugely helpful.I've been using the lunge line technique and today I managed to put her rug on whilst she was tied up !
 
Top