I feel AWFUL

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I have just been hacking on my TB mare, who decided to be an all round drama queen and was rude all the way. Part way through the ride I asked her to turn to turn left. To which she swished her tail and backed up. I kicked her forwards and this continued until she began reversing more dangerously, almost coming off a bank into a ditch. I gave her a few taps with the whip but she refused to listen and continued napping, spinning, semi rearing ect. At this point, after remaining as calm as I could for as long as I could, and had given her sharp kicks, a few whip swishes and raised my voice. I gave her a sharper hit with my crop on her rump. She stopped fairly quickly after this. After I've come home and brushed her off, I've noticed its left a mark on her rump and swollen slightly, the hair hasn't come off and she's not bleeding nor in any pain but I still feel like the worst mummy ever! Is there anything I can do to ease the swelling, and has anyone ever done this before/ had similar experiences. Any ways of dealing with it any other way next time?
 

Sugar_and_Spice

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aloe vera gel is good for reducing swelling but it'll probably be gone by the time you get to the yard tomorrow anyway. I wouldn't worry too much about hurting her, she'd have hurt herself more falling into a ditch. You did the right thing IMO and hopefully there won't be a next time.
 

rowan666

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If this abnormal behaviour for her I would be inclined to listen to her and accept that something ahead or with her was wrong and not push to go forward but if she has a habbit of this I would get off and lead her forward for abit and assess her behaviour before getting back on rather than kicking or whipping (I am aware I'm very soft with mine but they are all well behaved anyway) and maybe get back to instilling some boundries/manners in the school then out with others before hacking out alone again for your own safety aswell as hers
 
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Thankyou very much. If the swelling hasn't gone down I'll take some aloe Vera down tomorrow. She's quite often nappy but she's never spun or been as silly as she was today. She was pretty adamant she didn't want to go left even though we've done it countless times before. Sadly I can't hack out with others as she's kept at home and I have nobody nearby. But thankyou for the advice, I'll try leading her on next time, if she lets me get back on again after!
 

Wagtail

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If this abnormal behaviour for her I would be inclined to listen to her and accept that something ahead or with her was wrong and not push to go forward but if she has a habbit of this I would get off and lead her forward for abit and assess her behaviour before getting back on rather than kicking or whipping (I am aware I'm very soft with mine but they are all well behaved anyway) and maybe get back to instilling some boundries/manners in the school then out with others before hacking out alone again for your own safety aswell as hers
I agree with this. One of my biggest regrets with my first youngster, was listening to other people's advice regarding her napping. They told me to carry a long schooling whip and to use it. I am ashamed that I took notice of these people who had far more experience and years than I. It didn't take me long to realise it was totally the wrong thing to do, but I still bitterly regret it. Horses are not rude. They nap through fear and insecurity, or pain. Get off and lead her the next time and build up a trusting relationship on the ground so that she totally trusts you. I never felt comfortable using the whip on my mare for napping and as soon as I decided to go against advice and get off her and lead her past scary things, we turned a corner in our relationship. She stopped napping completely and would go anywhere I asked. Jump anything or into anything. It just took a bit of empathy from me.
 

Bilbo_Baggins

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Arnica gel is also good as long as the skin in not broken. It's obvious your intentions were not to beat your horse and hurt her and in the circumstance you are in I agree a wee swollen patch on her bottom is preferable to her walking backwards into a ditch! I may have jumped off and lead her on for a while until she settled down, but maybe next time you can try that? I always try and approach horses with an open-mind. If you didn't like the way something worked out. Try something else next time, and keep trying different approaches until you find something that suits you and your horse :) this is what you are doing so don't beat yourself up too much about what happened.

I agree with this. One of my biggest regrets with my first youngster, was listening to other people's advice regarding her napping. They told me to carry a long schooling whip and to use it. I am ashamed that I took notice of these people who had far more experience and years than I. It didn't take me long to realise it was totally the wrong thing to do, but I still bitterly regret it. Horses are not rude. They nap through fear and insecurity, or pain. Get off and lead her the next time and build up a trusting relationship on the ground so that she totally trusts you. I never felt comfortable using the whip on my mare for napping and as soon as I decided to go against advice and get off her and lead her past scary things, we turned a corner in our relationship. She stopped napping completely and would go anywhere I asked. Jump anything or into anything. It just took a bit of empathy from me.
I agree with this. I am considered extremely soft with my horse, but in the long run I have found listening to him stops extreme reactions. I tried pushing him, and all I got was a scared horse who reared and span. I now encourage him to stop if he is worried. Standing still is a good thing as far as I am concerned, it allows me to assess the situation and see if I can see what is bothering him. If it's a vehicle approaching then they can pass while we are stationary more easily. If it's something else, plastic bag, a sign, a walker, e.t.c. then I can assess and deal with the situation. If I can't see what the problem is I might ask him to walk on and keep re-assessing. I have found he is much more relaxed now and happy to come out with me. (Hacking alone is really something I never thought I would be able to do!!) I am happy to get off and take the lead when he is worried and in the early days it was difficult to get back on, but he wasn't settled so I would keep walking a try again. I would never give up and just lead him home (unless I was already headed home, what I mean is I would not just go back) I now feel our relationship is much stronger and he looks to me for guidance in a situation, I can read him and know if he's seen something he's a bit worried about and I can encourage him forward or whether he really is concerned and it would be better for me to go lead him past and get back on after. I rarely get off to lead past something now (except for lorries which we are still working on!)

I feel I have his trust and he looks to me as leader and I would rather my horse feels comfortable telling me something is wrong than keep struggling on and giving himself a huge fright or hurting himself and/or me!
 
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Thankyou both. Hopefully next time I'll have a few more ideas to deal with her. Thankyou very much, I really appreciate all the advice
 

muckypony

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If she is usually nappy then you do need to nip it in the bud, whichever way you do it is up to you but don't feel bad for what you did today.

My boy initially started by 'being a bit nappy', I got off a few times to lead him and he would eventually go past. But he then started being worse and worse and before I could really do much about it I ended up with a dangerous horse on the roads... I got off him once to lead him past and ended up running down the road with him trying not to let go - not something I'd ever do again! He needed me to be firm from the onset, I don't think it would ever have had the issues if I had been.

They're all different though and if you can deal with it in a kinder way then try that first.
 

applecart14

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I wouldn't worry too much. If she does this next time a good idea is to turn her away from what she won't walk past and walk her backwards. Its like reverse phychology (pardon the pun) and it really does work on my horse, although I don't think I've had to use this tactic in the last 2 years. At the one yard I was at he refused to hack down a particular road and I had to do this with him every time. It was because there was a farmyard the other side of the high hedge and he was 'scared'.

Horses are thinner skinned in the summer so if you have left a welt its probably due to this and not the fact you hit her very hard! The time to worry is when you see spur marks and bleeding sides (seen this a few times on other peoples horses) and its horrid. Again its sometimes because the horse is thin skinned.
 

molly7886

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I have just been hacking on my TB mare, who decided to be an all round drama queen and was rude all the way. Part way through the ride I asked her to turn to turn left. To which she swished her tail and backed up. I kicked her forwards and this continued until she began reversing more dangerously, almost coming off a bank into a ditch. I gave her a few taps with the whip but she refused to listen and continued napping, spinning, semi rearing ect. At this point, after remaining as calm as I could for as long as I could, and had given her sharp kicks, a few whip swishes and raised my voice. I gave her a sharper hit with my crop on her rump. She stopped fairly quickly after this. After I've come home and brushed her off, I've noticed its left a mark on her rump and swollen slightly, the hair hasn't come off and she's not bleeding nor in any pain but I still feel like the worst mummy ever! Is there anything I can do to ease the swelling, and has anyone ever done this before/ had similar experiences. Any ways of dealing with it any other way next time?
This exactly how mine started to behave when he had gastric ulcers...
 

ihatework

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The vast majority of horsey people will have done something at some stage that they are not proud of, I know I have. The thing is going away and reflecting on it and deciding if you should have done something differently or not.

I can't tell you if you did the right thing or not. I do think there are a percentage of nappy horses that do just need a good b0ll0**ing and told to get on with it, so it might turn out to have been just the ticket. I do however support that more often nappy behaviour is actually an underlying symptom of either a physical or more complex mental issue, in which case a good crack up the jacksey won't solve anything.

It would be interesting to know how she behaves over the next couple of weeks out hacking. Don't beat yourself up (excuse the pun) too much, but at the same time do be mindful of the bigger picture
 

Bilbo_Baggins

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I can't tell you if you did the right thing or not. I do think there are a percentage of nappy horses that do just need a good b0ll0**ing and told to get on with it, so it might turn out to have been just the ticket. I do however support that more often nappy behaviour is actually an underlying symptom of either a physical or more complex mental issue, in which case a good crack up the jacksey won't solve anything.
This is the difficulty of horses full stop I think! You can only try and second guess them and it's inevitable that you will get things wrong! Hence why I try and keep an open mind and if a technique isn't showing any improvement in behaviour try something else. The difficulty is you can make things worse before they get better because you don't know whether they are just being stubborn or whether there is something else going on. (pain/discomfort, seeing something that looked like a monster but doesn't stand out to you, e.t.c.)
 

Luci07

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I have had a genuinely nappy horse who used it as a get out attempt. Being nice didn't work, his behaviour simply escalated. It wasn't until he did get a massive wallop that he stopped messing around so much. My current horse jumps around a little when he sees things he is worried about and smacking him would be the completely wrong thing to do. He is always worried about new things and needs confidence from me. So, you know your horse, you were potentially about to cause or have an unpleasant accident and you took an immediate course of action. The only question I would ask is that if this is such an unusual behaviour, then I would look further to see what is the cause. I have had a sharp bright mare who would have had a meltdown and hysterics if she was told off and a young idiotic gelding who couldn't case less... horses for courses!
 
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Thankyou very much for all of advice and help. She's quite often like this but I feel it was more because she just wanted to go home and knew that turning left would make the hack longer and not be going home sooner. I don't think she was in any pain, she was just being a queen as usual. I'll have a look if it happens again and try to see if there are other ways of dealing with it. Thankyou so much everyone :)
 

Bilbo_Baggins

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Thankyou very much for all of advice and help. She's quite often like this but I feel it was more because she just wanted to go home and knew that turning left would make the hack longer and not be going home sooner. I don't think she was in any pain, she was just being a queen as usual. I'll have a look if it happens again and try to see if there are other ways of dealing with it. Thankyou so much everyone :)
I rode I mare who was like this and would throw a massive strop when I tried to turn her onto the "long" route. She would go backwards, throw her head around anything to avoid the long route. I would get off and lead her and then get back on further up after I had made the turn and she would still play up. I eventually just sat there and did nothing when she was facing the direction I wanted to go, but would turn her back if she tried to turn around or ride her forwards if she tried backing up (even turning her around and walking her backwards in the direction I wanted to go). I was there for HOURS. Eventually she walked forwards and I gave her lots of attention and praise for being a good girl. The next time I tried to go that way I had the same problem. I did the same thing and she walked that way on her own eventually and it didn't take as long as the first time! Eventually she would wistfully look in the direction of the shorter way and take the long route without question. She preferred the easier way out and I like to think she was clever enough to realise that she was going the longer way anyway and messing around would just mean she was out even longer!)

(I would also like to add that I had her tack, back and teeth checked as well just to be 100% it wasn't a discomfort thing. I was fairly confident that she knew it was longer and wanted the shorter route, but as she was fairly new to the yard it was worth getting everything double checked anyway!
 

Charlie007

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O bless you. Being Tb you probably wont have to tap her too hard to make a mark. I once slapped my horse on the bum, not hard, and a perfect hand print appeared!
 

Goldenstar

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It's not the end of the world .
And while I am the first person to tell people to check their napping horse is not in pain lots of horse are spoilt by whimmy whammy handling of them napping .
I never get off ,
I either them them an almighty whack into a open rien or I sit it out I think over three hours was the longest I sat it out on a nappy horse ,finally the horse just sighed and walked on
Or I avoid the issue for a while by only hacking in company while I sort the training out.
It's likely the mark will have gone tomorrow .
 

MagicMelon

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We've all done it at some point. Just learn and move on
Umm... never have I ever caused a welt on my horse, in fact I dont even carry a whip these days even for competing. OP, I think you need to ask yourself WHY your horse was "misbehaving", perhaps there was a reason she didnt want to turn left or was napping - something could be sore?! Sorry, but it horrifies me how many people turn to hitting their horses when the horse may be trying to tell you something but people fob it off as simply "misbehaving". A horse IMO does not do something in order to WANT to get hit for it.
 
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Aside from MagicMelon, thankyou all for your advice, I really appreciate it and I've been using different tactics to deal with her napping. I didn't need to be made to feel worse than I already did thankyou. I could not disagree more with your statement, horses do not think the same as humans, my horse misbehaves, as do others, some horses manners are impeccable, but I do not believe for a second that any horse is perfect, especially not mine.
 

MagicMelon

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Why is me suggesting your horse may have a reason for napping so obscene OP?! I'm not trying to make you feel worse, I'm trying to suggest that your horse may have had a reason for it and that punishment may not have been acceptable. Of course horses don't think the same as humans but I'm pretty certain they don't go out of their way to be smacked, they dont want to be hit. I dont believe many horses misbehave purely for the enjoyment of it, there is usually a reason - be it pain or bad training. I am not saying for a second my horses are perfect either and I don't believe in pussy footing around them as of course they are big animals and you have to keep respect but I do believe too many people are quick to reach for the whip as opposed to just stepping back from the situation and asking yourself what might be going on.
 
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I am pretty definite that I had said that I had ridden this route several times before and she never had an issue. Her saddle fits fine and she wasn't in any pain and I had put up with her nothing for as long as I could have I could have. Gently in the beginning, speaking to her and calmly asking her to walk on and she was simply being dangerous, walking backwards almost dropping me into a ditch. The only way to get her to move forward and away from me or her potentially being hurt was to give her a good smack. I'm not making this are normal thing to do but I was just asking some advice as to what to do next time bearing in mind I've tried everything I can think of at the time .
 
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