Mare Attacks Violently When Saddling

LeahK

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There is a grey Arabian/QH mare named Sassy at the barn where I ride. She is owned by the barn owner and no one will ride her because she can be so dangerous, so the owner keeps having me ride her. The owner is older and out of weight and no longer rides, their horses are just retirees or meant for lessons. She seems perfectly sane from the outside of the stall, but inside it she will randomly bite for no reason or occasionally kick. Perfectly nice and well behaved if she's eating or you have a handful of treats. She cannot be cross tied because she apparently panics and will break the crossties and bolt, taking out anyone in her way. So when grooming and tacking, some people tried to keep her in her stall with a halter and lead rope to try to deter biting or a second person to hold her, but as I said she can be slightly mean in a stall in general. I also don't like being in a confined, poorly lit space where she could corner me, so instead I always take her out on a lead rope and halter and let her graze while I groom her. Then, she doesn't care at all that I'm there and I can groom everything except most days picking her hind feet. Bridling is normally slightly difficult because she cant be cross tied so when you move the halter to her neck it's harder to keep her head up and prevent her from grazing forever. Sometimes I put her back in her stall to bridle her. One day I was helping new riders, so I was on the opposite side from the barn as usual and she was acting normal, but when I had the lead rope around her neck and unbuckled the halter to move down her neck, she pinned her ears, shoulder checked me slamming me to the ground, and bolted. It turns out she just ran back to her usual side of the barn to see some of her mare friends. So now I always make sure I'm on that side of the barn when bridling.

Now comes the bigger problem part. I always have to have a second person help when I start saddling. The owner recommends each of us having a crop to fend her off, but i usually just have whoever is holding the lead rope use the end of it and my hands are too full of tack to manage a crop generally. Sassy keeps her head down grazing even once you put the martingale, and saddle pads on. You can even approach with the saddle and most days put it on her back and she doesn't care. She has a worse side, so I always buckle the girth on before hand and drape it on top of the saddle beforehand. Doesn't usually react to letting the girth drop and hang either. When I reach under her for the girth she still is just grazing, but once it's in my hand and I'm pulling it through the martingale, Sassy reacts. She simultaneously lunges with brutally angry biting (full on teeth bared with intent to hurt - not a warning or playful bite at all) while also cow kicking out to the side as hard as she can. This is why it takes two people to saddle her because I can't keep her still, defend myself from both sides, and manage the tacking process. On her grumpier days she will result to bucking, bolting, or pivoting to swing her butt closer and has very nearly landed some of her kicks that way. She has been examined by the vet and chiropractor and it's not a pain issue. She's had time off, infrequent leisure rides, or a frequent consistent schedule. The girth isn't too tight as she attacks before it's even pulled up near the buckles. She wears a 48 girth and to further ensure it wasn't a tight fit issue, we've put on a 50 or 52 instead. It doesn't matter. Sometimes I try to give her a chance to work it out after I get one buckle done (so she can't dump the saddle as she frequently does) and then I simply point near the girth (no contact at all) and no matter how many times i do that or poking near it or putting my hand underneath her reaction doesn't lessen. She also reacts if you adjust your stirrups. Between every hole I let her graze a moment to calm down, though I also tried not giving her a break at the owner's suggestion. The weirdest thing is once you get to the last hole or two her reaction finally does decrease and on her best days 2 times she didnt react at all for the last hole which further suggests it's not a pain or tightness issue. Not only is this dangerous (and usually the people helping me are less experienced and terrified), but it's also very frustrating and time consuming. So I was wondering if anyone has any tips or advice. The hard part is it's not my horse and the owner doesn't seem interested in giving her any additional training or investing time in it. I'm an upper intermediate rider and lots of horse handling experience from horse rescues and a prior job, but I am not experienced at training at all. And I don't have the most time to invest in this horse as I ride up to 5 different horses per week, work full time, and have graduate course work. The owner says I can lunge her and see if that helps, but she said that in response to Sassy being difficult at the mounting block (a less frequent problem only in response to time off and she's perfectly fine under saddle or post ride). The problem is I have to wait for her to find time to teach me how to lunge (I'm planning to watch youtube videos too) and at this barn everyone lunges their horses in full tack, so that would be after going through this exhausting violent process anyway. So any advice? It's a very difficult situation and I doubt anyone can really help, but I thought I'd throw it out there and see.
 

Shay

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It sounds like an entirely unsuitable situation. Is there nowhere else you could ride? There is no way that a horse with issues like this should ever be used for novices. If this is the in the UK the owner is highly unlikely to have been able to get a riding school license - certainly not honestly - and may well not be licensed and therefore not insured. If you are outside the UK standards are different - but still this is dangerous.

Whilst this could be learned behaviour from something that hurt her before and she now does it out of habit it really is necessary to rule out any current pain. The fact that she gives up at the end does not mean it does not hurt. It may well mean that she has learned that trying to tell you it hurts gets her nowhere so she shuts down.
 

mule

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I'd move to another barn. The mare is probably sore but that's up to the owner to fix, meanwhile you or someone else could get seriously hurt. The barn owner is putting you in danger. That's not acceptable.
 

DabDab

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Poor bloody horse :(
Yep this. OP, can you imagine being restrained every day while someone does something to you that you find so upsetting that you scream and thrash and fight every time but they just won't stop?
I would go to a new barn, I couldn't watch and be part of an animal being treated like that.

Oh, and I would merrily bet you my house that she is in pain.
 

Theocat

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This is a horse that the owner has told you needs two people to get a saddle on - and that both of you need to be armed with a stick.

You are a long way past the point that you need to walk away and find a new yard: the owner is ignoring signs that the horse is almost certainly in pain, clearly unhappy and dangerous either way, and she is happy to put inexperienced clients in a position where they are extremely likely to get hurt.

Give your money to a yard that cares about horses and riders.
 

tallyho!

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You sound like a caring, communicative and open minded rider. I think you know in your heart of hearts this mare is in pain and is distressed. Happy, comfortable horses just don't do that. This horse needs attention and time. You're not the owner so it'll be hard to do that.

I would speak to the owner about your concerns. If she doesn't respond and try and help this poor mare, you may need to walk away, sad as that may be for you.
 

irishdraft

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This is not normal behaviour sounds like the poor mare has developed strategy to avoid being ridden . There will undoubtedly be a pain related reason but not sure what you can do as she isn't your horse unless you can persuade the owner to have her thoroughly checked out .
 

LeahK

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I've never heard of ulcers being a source of pain for tacking up so I guess it could be that then. I don't know what tests have been done, I've tried running my hand down her back (like a light pinching type of thing) to see if any spots have pain myself and she doesn't react to that or touching her chest, girth (body part), belly, legs, or anything. The owner is not the most responsive to concerns. I believe she has gotten lazier as she got older, but she is by no means inexperienced or uncertified. She's nationally known and had positions like president of the region and trained riders who have placed at nationals. I will be moving away in May, so I was hoping to try to stay there. I also ride there for free because I help out with beginners, blanketing in cold weather, keeping her less popular horses in shape, and so on. This is not the first time I've disagreed with her on horse care. There was a TB gelding I absolutely adored but his sheath was massively swollen beyond the size of a football or even a rugby ball. I pointed it out and was told this normally happened for him and another gelding whenever it gets warm and they wait until it's truly gigantic to treat it because of something about the medication raising their body temperature when it's already very hot. Sure enough the other Belgian Warmblood gelding's was slightly swollen, but went down after almost 2 months. Meanwhile the first gelding's sheath stayed completely engorged for at least 6 months. I repeatedly brought it to the barn owner's and barn manager's attention and they said it was fine. Finally, after 7 months they got him a prescription salve so either that and/or winter weather took care of the swelling. He also had small melanomas, an edema near his sternum that came and went, and when he got really swollen ankles all they did to treat it was not let him get ridden so I took him for walks to help with circulation since he simply stood in a stall all day and I asked about wraps or they have those cooling horse boots/wraps for the lower leg, but they wouldn't use anything on him so it took months to get better. I got the sense he wasn't worth the money to them and they started trying to sell him, so I sort of made it my mission to help with that and got him very in shape and bathed him extra, pulled his mane etc. and luckily a few months ago he found a great new home who will hopefully get those things checked out and taken care of. The same Belgian Warmblood also is a 29 year old retiree who was looking too thin and I suggested he get added to the list of horses that got fed 3 times a day and after 2 months they did decide to do that. A beautiful paint mare was perfectly nice but not well trained and was having occasional pain in one of the soles of her hoof that didn't get well treated, so I was one of only 2 people to ride her and she also got a new home. There was a thoroughbred with a lot of rain rot (that she didn't have before coming here.... :/ ) so I helped bathe her and treat that and she also found a new owner. A 26 year old former puissance Hanoverian gelding was having problems were basically he dribbled urine when he walked around or if he coughed, but he still occasionally would pee normally. I asked a lot about that and they told me they'd spent at least $2,000 getting the vet to check it out and it was just something that he does and had no cause or treatment. Come to find out, he doesn't belong to the barn owner but instead is someone else's horse who they let her use as a lesson horse for free in exchange for free boarding and horse care. So, they were deciding it was time to retire him and what do you know... NOW there's actually a medicine to put in his food (I believe it was antibiotics, don't remember) which completely stopped his dribbling pee problem. They were just trying to clean him up to go home (which makes me suspect they never told the owner about the problem anyway), but she decided to instead just pay the barn owner to keep him there. So when the 2 week prescription ran out, he started dribbling pee again. :(

So I guess I'm hoping that the Quarab mare Sassy can also get rehomed to someone who cares enough to get it fully checked out and solved, but she is not currently trying to sell her. >.<

To be fair, this is a large barn with on average 75 - 80 horses at a time (half or a little more boarder and the other owned by the barn) and most of them are perfectly happy and healthy getting adequate food and plenty of turnout. Anyone who needs stitches or colic care gets it immediately. You've mentioned ulcers and there have been 3 (one owned by the barn owner) to get full treatment even involving surgery and up to 3 medications. It seems to just be a couple of the owner's less popular horses that wind up in these situations. Other than that, the worst thing you'll see is a retired horse who needs a good grooming. But their owners care enough to pay monthly boarding even from an hour away and just make less frequent trips to check in on their horses. Out of probably 100 horses I've seen come through here, there's only 7-8 that have these problems, but it's still enough to get my attention and make me sympathetic to the horses.
 

ycbm

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Leah, you seem not to be aware of the absolute horror with which many of us will read your last post about your barn. I assume you are in the US,, from your terminology? In the UK several of the situations you describe are illegal and could result in a criminal conviction for failing to provide veterinary attention to horses which need it.

7-8 in 100 is 7-8%. It's a horrific figure.

And what is happening to the poor mare which you originally wrote about is completely shocking to people here in the UK. Such treatment would be reported to one of several welfare agencies.

Somehow, your yard owner has managed to convince you that this level of neglect and mistreatment is both normal and acceptable.

It's not.
 

Pearlsasinger

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That is 10% of all the horses in the barn which go untreated and frankly, that is a disgrace. I realise that you are doing the best you can for them and are worried that if you don't look after the horses, no-one will but they really are not your responsibility. I wouldn't want my good name associated with such poor care. I don't know if there is an organsiation that yu can report welfare concerns to, where you are but if there is, that is the route I would go down.
 
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I'll bet it is.

Your description of doing up the girth one hole at a time is a shoe in for ulcers. Has she been scoped? Have any x rays been taken of her back?
Just what I was gonna say.

FFS this poor mare is in PAIN. She's saying it loud and clear. Sooohh clear that if someone doesn't listen and do something soon then someone's gonna get hurt!

Such a shame, as this mare will doubtless get a bad reputation because of this and be labelled "dangerous".
 

dixie

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I've not read everything as its a lot to take in but I would agree with the others about ulcers.
Mine, who I bred, became increasingly bad termpered at about 12yrs I think. It culminated in my not being about to tack up or rug up safely and whilst he was fine riding and had no other symptons I had him tested for ulcers - which he had.
Have a look at this video and you can then test the mare to see if its how she reacts.
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...A5B1C5F4A14AE4F19F1AA5B1C5F4A14AE4F&FORM=VIRE
 

Shay

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Is there a welfare orgainsation you could contact OP? As ycbm says - this is horrific reading. Failing to provide adequate vet care as you describe is a criminal offense in the UK.
 

mule

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The story about the gelding who's having trouble peeing makes me sad. My gelding is currently being treated for cystitis, I can't imagine not getting him treated. It's upsetting that this barn owner won't do the decent thing. I would tip off the geldings owner. You could do it anonymously.

I would also definitely leave the barn. You can only do so much to help the horses when the barn owner is neglectful.
 
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Snowfilly

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The mare is in pain, probably ulcers, and your barn sounds like a horror show. That is blatant cruelty and neglect that in this country could easily be a criminal charge.

Try and push having the mare scoped, report to any sort of watchdog or association you have over there. There must be equine charities out there? And if you've got any sympathy, don't ever sit on the mare again.
 

JFTD-WS

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Poor mare - that's truly awful, and she clearly has an underlying problem. The situation at your barn - you need to report that to someone. There must be a charity over there who would take it seriously. A lack of appropriate veterinary attention is completely unacceptable.
 
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You either need to run as fast as you can away from that barn and the horrible, irresponsible barn owner or report this appalling lack of care to the appropriate animal welfare organisation and do not let it go until they take action.

That sounds like a barn from hell. Poor horses.
 

LeahK

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I've not read everything as its a lot to take in but I would agree with the others about ulcers.
Mine, who I bred, became increasingly bad termpered at about 12yrs I think. It culminated in my not being about to tack up or rug up safely and whilst he was fine riding and had no other symptons I had him tested for ulcers - which he had.
Have a look at this video and you can then test the mare to see if its how she reacts.
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...A5B1C5F4A14AE4F19F1AA5B1C5F4A14AE4F&FORM=VIRE
Thank you for sharing, that was a very informative video (and with beautiful horses). I will definitely test these out. I did already do some general feeling around for sensitivity, but I'll try those specific locations when I go to the barn this week.

The story about the gelding who's having trouble peeing makes me sad. My gelding is currently being treated for cystitis, I can't imagine not getting him treated. It's upsetting that this barn owner won't do the decent thing. I would tip off the geldings owner. You could do it anonymously.

I would also definitely leave the barn. You can only do so much to help the horses when the barn owner is neglectful.
I reeeeally was upset by that too. I would tell the owner if I knew who it was :( all I know is it's a woman who lives within a few hours distance but she doesn't come to the barn (as far as I know). They don't broadcast which people own which horses and for a while I thought he belonged to the barn owner because he was a lesson horse.


As for all the recommendations that I report it, I will try and look into this. But from what I've heard, the conditions have to be horrific and entirely unsafe before any action is taken. Like barb wire fences, tiny areas, living in complete muddy filth, not enough food or water. That sort of more severe thing with malnourished, sickly or even dead animals. If I can find information about an organization that might be willing to get involved then I absolutely will report it. I don't agree with the way they selectively treat based on the worth of the horse. That's probably why they aren't doing anything for the mare is because they got her for free and she is now seen as dangerous so no one will want to ride her anyway. Meanwhile the most popular horse at the barn can get private turn out, daily treatment, chiropractors, farriers and vets just because he seems a little off. In my opinion, if they can't handle the extra 7-8% of horses that they are overlooking then they need to rehome them and stay at a lower number of horses. Although like I said, I don't believe the authorities would find it neglectful enough to do anything about it even if they were to inspect it. Those other horses have been rehomed so all there will be is the one gelding who is having trouble peeing and if they took Sassy out and tried to saddle her or if the pressure points to test for ulcers actually cause her to react. Everybody else would be completely healthy and they could simply say they have tried treating the gelding once and that the mare's behavior is just a training behavioral problem. I'm really not sure how strict the standards are around here for horses and I'm always afraid of the possibility of the horses going to a worse home or being sold to a kill buyer at an auction. Having volunteered at rescues, I've seen the condition that some horses wind up in.
 

ycbm

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Where is 'here' Leah? Most of us are in the UK with an active welfare culture. It would help us understand if we knew where you were.
 
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Pearlsasinger

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Thank you for sharing, that was a very informative video (and with beautiful horses). I will definitely test these out. I did already do some general feeling around for sensitivity, but I'll try those specific locations when I go to the barn this week.



I reeeeally was upset by that too. I would tell the owner if I knew who it was :( all I know is it's a woman who lives within a few hours distance but she doesn't come to the barn (as far as I know). They don't broadcast which people own which horses and for a while I thought he belonged to the barn owner because he was a lesson horse.


As for all the recommendations that I report it, I will try and look into this. But from what I've heard, the conditions have to be horrific and entirely unsafe before any action is taken. Like barb wire fences, tiny areas, living in complete muddy filth, not enough food or water. That sort of more severe thing with malnourished, sickly or even dead animals. If I can find information about an organization that might be willing to get involved then I absolutely will report it. I don't agree with the way they selectively treat based on the worth of the horse. That's probably why they aren't doing anything for the mare is because they got her for free and she is now seen as dangerous so no one will want to ride her anyway. Meanwhile the most popular horse at the barn can get private turn out, daily treatment, chiropractors, farriers and vets just because he seems a little off. In my opinion, if they can't handle the extra 7-8% of horses that they are overlooking then they need to rehome them and stay at a lower number of horses. Although like I said, I don't believe the authorities would find it neglectful enough to do anything about it even if they were to inspect it. Those other horses have been rehomed so all there will be is the one gelding who is having trouble peeing and if they took Sassy out and tried to saddle her or if the pressure points to test for ulcers actually cause her to react. Everybody else would be completely healthy and they could simply say they have tried treating the gelding once and that the mare's behavior is just a training behavioral problem. I'm really not sure how strict the standards are around here for horses and I'm always afraid of the possibility of the horses going to a worse home or being sold to a kill buyer at an auction. Having volunteered at rescues, I've seen the condition that some horses wind up in.


Sometimes ending a life is the kindest thing to do.
 

Widgeon

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Where is 'here' Leah? Most of us are in the UK with an active welfare culture. It would help us understand if we knew where you were.
Surely from the terms the OP uses it's fairly obvious she's in the US? That's not meant as a snarky comment, apologies if it comes across that way. And obviously I might be wrong - but it seems like a reasonable assumption.

OP wherever you I'd agree with the other posters here, do try to move - it sounds like there's not much more you can do to help here so if possible you should just protect yourself and find another barn with an owner with a better attitude towards horse welfare. These all sound like medical issues that you can't fix - that has to come from the owners or manager. Staying here will not improve the way the barn is run and you will just get sadder and sadder, and potentially badly hurt. Keep trying to report it but if you were my friend I'd tell you to just get out.

Pearlsasinger is right too - keeping horses going in the state you describe, with no treatment, is more irresponsible than having them PTS.
 

hopscotch bandit

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She cannot be cross tied because she apparently panics and will break the crossties and bolt, taking out anyone in her way.
This shows that the owner has never bothered to teach her to tie up.
The owner recommends each of us having a crop to fend her off. This is a horse not a Bengal tiger.

I feel really sad about the whole thing. I would suggest don't get involved and walk away. She sounds like she is in pain and if the owners attitude is that you need to have a crop in order to fend her off she is not going to be very understanding about getting a vet involved to see what is wrong with her. I've not read the rest of your post because I suspect I won't be able to hold my temper or tears with the idiocy in respect of the owner of the barn.
 

ester

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Our active welfare culture isn't really that active when it comes to medical treatment a lot of the time either. And unless it was covered state by state I can't seem them having similar legislation in the US re getting veterinary treatment when some people have very little if any vet cover due to distance (although that doesn't seem to be the issue here).
 

mule

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Thank you for sharing, that was a very informative video (and with beautiful horses). I will definitely test these out. I did already do some general feeling around for sensitivity, but I'll try those specific locations when I go to the barn this week.



I reeeeally was upset by that too. I would tell the owner if I knew who it was :( all I know is it's a woman who lives within a few hours distance but she doesn't come to the barn (as far as I know). They don't broadcast which people own which horses and for a while I thought he belonged to the barn owner because he was a lesson horse.


As for all the recommendations that I report it, I will try and look into this. But from what I've heard, the conditions have to be horrific and entirely unsafe before any action is taken. Like barb wire fences, tiny areas, living in complete muddy filth, not enough food or water. That sort of more severe thing with malnourished, sickly or even dead animals. If I can find information about an organization that might be willing to get involved then I absolutely will report it. I don't agree with the way they selectively treat based on the worth of the horse. That's probably why they aren't doing anything for the mare is because they got her for free and she is now seen as dangerous so no one will want to ride her anyway. Meanwhile the most popular horse at the barn can get private turn out, daily treatment, chiropractors, farriers and vets just because he seems a little off. In my opinion, if they can't handle the extra 7-8% of horses that they are overlooking then they need to rehome them and stay at a lower number of horses. Although like I said, I don't believe the authorities would find it neglectful enough to do anything about it even if they were to inspect it. Those other horses have been rehomed so all there will be is the one gelding who is having trouble peeing and if they took Sassy out and tried to saddle her or if the pressure points to test for ulcers actually cause her to react. Everybody else would be completely healthy and they could simply say they have tried treating the gelding once and that the mare's behavior is just a training behavioral problem. I'm really not sure how strict the standards are around here for horses and I'm always afraid of the possibility of the horses going to a worse home or being sold to a kill buyer at an auction. Having volunteered at rescues, I've seen the condition that some horses wind up in.
I think it must be so difficult to be in your position. I understand you want to help the horses but you can only do so much. I don't think it's likely that the barn owner will change her mind about getting a vet out and it really sounds like that's what's needed.
I think if you stay there you'll get more discouraged and it will be harder for you if/when the horses health deteriorates further.

I do think it's worth letting welfare organisations or even local media (on the quiet) know what's going on because it may force her to clean her act up. I think you're probably right about the welfare organisations not being likely to do much. I would still try it though. It's not fair that you've been put in this position. I hope you can come to a decision that's right for you x
 
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East Lothian
There is a grey Arabian/QH mare named Sassy at the barn where I ride. She is owned by the barn owner and no one will ride her because she can be so dangerous, so the owner keeps having me ride her. The owner is older and out of weight and no longer rides, their horses are just retirees or meant for lessons. She seems perfectly sane from the outside of the stall, but inside it she will randomly bite for no reason or occasionally kick. Perfectly nice and well behaved if she's eating or you have a handful of treats. She cannot be cross tied because she apparently panics and will break the crossties and bolt, taking out anyone in her way. So when grooming and tacking, some people tried to keep her in her stall with a halter and lead rope to try to deter biting or a second person to hold her, but as I said she can be slightly mean in a stall in general. I also don't like being in a confined, poorly lit space where she could corner me, so instead I always take her out on a lead rope and halter and let her graze while I groom her. Then, she doesn't care at all that I'm there and I can groom everything except most days picking her hind feet. Bridling is normally slightly difficult because she cant be cross tied so when you move the halter to her neck it's harder to keep her head up and prevent her from grazing forever. Sometimes I put her back in her stall to bridle her. One day I was helping new riders, so I was on the opposite side from the barn as usual and she was acting normal, but when I had the lead rope around her neck and unbuckled the halter to move down her neck, she pinned her ears, shoulder checked me slamming me to the ground, and bolted. It turns out she just ran back to her usual side of the barn to see some of her mare friends. So now I always make sure I'm on that side of the barn when bridling.

Now comes the bigger problem part. I always have to have a second person help when I start saddling. The owner recommends each of us having a crop to fend her off, but i usually just have whoever is holding the lead rope use the end of it and my hands are too full of tack to manage a crop generally. Sassy keeps her head down grazing even once you put the martingale, and saddle pads on. You can even approach with the saddle and most days put it on her back and she doesn't care. She has a worse side, so I always buckle the girth on before hand and drape it on top of the saddle beforehand. Doesn't usually react to letting the girth drop and hang either. When I reach under her for the girth she still is just grazing, but once it's in my hand and I'm pulling it through the martingale, Sassy reacts. She simultaneously lunges with brutally angry biting (full on teeth bared with intent to hurt - not a warning or playful bite at all) while also cow kicking out to the side as hard as she can. This is why it takes two people to saddle her because I can't keep her still, defend myself from both sides, and manage the tacking process. On her grumpier days she will result to bucking, bolting, or pivoting to swing her butt closer and has very nearly landed some of her kicks that way. She has been examined by the vet and chiropractor and it's not a pain issue. She's had time off, infrequent leisure rides, or a frequent consistent schedule. The girth isn't too tight as she attacks before it's even pulled up near the buckles. She wears a 48 girth and to further ensure it wasn't a tight fit issue, we've put on a 50 or 52 instead. It doesn't matter. Sometimes I try to give her a chance to work it out after I get one buckle done (so she can't dump the saddle as she frequently does) and then I simply point near the girth (no contact at all) and no matter how many times i do that or poking near it or putting my hand underneath her reaction doesn't lessen. She also reacts if you adjust your stirrups. Between every hole I let her graze a moment to calm down, though I also tried not giving her a break at the owner's suggestion. The weirdest thing is once you get to the last hole or two her reaction finally does decrease and on her best days 2 times she didnt react at all for the last hole which further suggests it's not a pain or tightness issue. Not only is this dangerous (and usually the people helping me are less experienced and terrified), but it's also very frustrating and time consuming. So I was wondering if anyone has any tips or advice. The hard part is it's not my horse and the owner doesn't seem interested in giving her any additional training or investing time in it. I'm an upper intermediate rider and lots of horse handling experience from horse rescues and a prior job, but I am not experienced at training at all. And I don't have the most time to invest in this horse as I ride up to 5 different horses per week, work full time, and have graduate course work. The owner says I can lunge her and see if that helps, but she said that in response to Sassy being difficult at the mounting block (a less frequent problem only in response to time off and she's perfectly fine under saddle or post ride). The problem is I have to wait for her to find time to teach me how to lunge (I'm planning to watch youtube videos too) and at this barn everyone lunges their horses in full tack, so that would be after going through this exhausting violent process anyway. So any advice? It's a very difficult situation and I doubt anyone can really help, but I thought I'd throw it out there and see.
The horse is a danger to yourself and those around you.The horse obviously is unhappy and has probably pain issues somewhere.If you were badly injured you could be off work or getting about for weeks.As others have commented its not your responsibility so dont risk handling it, the owner should be getting proper treatment for it.
 
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