Is my horse accepting me

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31 March 2019
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I've recently got my new horse she is a cob mare. On day 1 and 2 she completely ignored me little interaction so I observed her in field and made my presence known by frequent visits on day 3 we attempted some ground work and got off to a great start. Recently as soon as she sees me she raises her head ears pointed forward. She comes over to the gate nice slow walk where we greet each other, she sniffs my hand and gives a deep breathe or sometimes a nicker as I leave the gate she then goes to the wall where we meet for feed time and after she feeds she raises her head to be stroked. Today we had a moment where she placed her head to my tummy and allowed me to kiss her forehead. Tonight as we went through the same routine she was being stroked but she turned her back and pressed her bum right up against a wall so I ignored as I was unsure as she's never done this she wasnt in front of me she was to my right hand side. When she realised I ignored her she walked away and then I called her back for further stroking and she came.

I previously had a gelding and my new horse Katie is very different.
I'm not sure if we're building acceptance and a relationship or is there something wrong?
 

be positive

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Mares in general are more sensitive and can be rather aloof until they know you, it certainly sounds as if she is letting you into her life in stages so go along with it at her pace although the partnership may develop more if you start riding her, assuming she was in work previously, many like to get back into a similar routine they were in before to really know what is going on.
 
Joined
31 March 2019
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Thank you. I feel like we're starting to have a connection she does as I ask and we're establishing boundaries. Unfortunately at the moment she cannot be ridde as I've found she is painful along her withers and the trainor thinks it's been poor fitting saddle. Yesterday while stroking her eyes were closed and there was a tractor in the background she turned to look and then pointed her head straight back at me to allow me to continue grooming her. I'm hoping it's all positive signs. It's a very new experience as my previous horse I rode him from a young age and when I took over his ownership I had already been riding him, he never moved yards and was already familiar with me.
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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One particular piece of info in your post says it all, basically your old horse was a gelding!!! Ahh haahh! Welcome to the Moody Mares club!!

I was in a similar position up till a few years ago, i.e. always had "boys". Then a friend lent me her mare, who ended up staying here!! I didn't know what the heck I'd taken on!! It's a whole new different ballgame with a mare!! Welcome to that world.

The most crucial thing you can do is give her time, and very importantly, sort out her physical issues like saddle - and also I would be inclined to get the physio out to look at her back if she's been wearing a badly fitting saddle. You may need to rest her for a bit. Use the time productively to do some groundwork with her, nice easy stuff like picking up her feet, grooming her, pampering her, and making her move around politely in and out of the stable, and leading her around. You can then progress to doing some "carrot stretches" with her (ask your physio when they come), and that sort of thing.

You could then progress to perhaps some gentle lunging and/or long-reining; all of this will help build your bond together, and it is vitally important that she learns to trust you as her Herd Leader, coz being a mare she will be wanting to be Herd Leader herself! - and she needs to learn to relinquish that when you're out and about together, and be assured that you can look after her. That is important.

Good luck!
 
Joined
31 March 2019
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Thank you soo much. I may be misreading signs like the welcome in the morning when she sees me she focuses on what I say. She loves to be groomed we've started ground work to learn manner she no longer cuts me off. Only issue is backing up but we're working on that, however this morning I felt she was a bit close so I lightly put pressure on her chest and she backed up. I just hope our progress is good as I said it's all very new lol
 

Nasicus

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I think it's important to know not to be offended or upset if you turn up one day and she decides she doesn't want to know you. That's just how mares can be, contrary creatures that they are! Doesn't mean you've 'lost the bond' or ruined anything, they're just more likely to blow hot and cold on you than a gelding haha! Chances are she'll be your best friend again in a couple of days. My young mare usually loves me, loves to follow me, get scratches and cuddles etc. But some days, she just doesn't give two hoots that I'm there :p
 
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Feel so much more relieved to read this lol. Some days she follows me around and wants lots of scratches and cuddles, other days it's as though she's like not her again 😂 from when I first got her to where we are now I can see a bond definately established no more high head when have her head collar put on she has a low curled in head towards me and allows me to kiss her nose
 

splashgirl45

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sounds like you are doing a good job, yes mares are more sensitive on the whole but i have had 4 mares and 1 gelding and i found the mares were more on my wave length even though i did love my boy....it can take a year to get a proper bond with a horse so dont worry if you dont always feel you are making progress...also make sure you still treat her as a horse and dont put up with any barging or other bad behaviour, mare still need boundaries but dont like being bullied or treated roughly(not saying you would as you sound very caring) welcome to the forum and we would love to see a pic of your girl...
 
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Thank you. Yes some days I feel I take a step forward and other days 10 back lol. We have a very good trainer on board to help build our relationship. I go up and sometimes just sit in her field and speak to her. I liked to see how I would feel from Katie's viewpoint as well ( I know very sad) lol. But to acknowledge my behaviour as well as geldings are very different lol. I've had a horse communicator in and I've found out Katie's not had the best of life's and the horse communicator asked if I would like Katie to know anything and I said just to now she's loved forever
 
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Tries to upload a lovely photo of my girl with her daddy ( my partner) after we found out about Katie's 'colourful' past. Will try upload again as says files to big?
 

Rumtytum

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Really looking forward to your
Tries to upload a lovely photo of my girl with her daddy ( my partner) after we found out about Katie's 'colourful' past. Will try upload again as says files to big?
Really looking forward to your pic!
Try taking a screenshot and post that - the file is a lot smaller
 

windand rain

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She sounds like she likes you which is always a start with mares. They are very special with a lot individuality each one will react in a different way I have always found them much more inclined to be with you unless there is a better offer ie new grass. With any new horse you need to find what makes them tick. They are not like puppies and adore you with devoted loyalty you have to earn their respect and connection. You need to be firm but fair and have boundaries that are immovable or eventually a cob mare will walk all over you. The chances are she turned her bum to have it scratched an annoying habit a lot of horses seem to enjoy
 
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