Problems with moody but not stressy mare

Joined
26 August 2018
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Hello everyone, I’m hoping for some advise or ideas on how I can help my almost 8 year old chestnut mare. In the saddle she’s fab, a little ploddy but super safe and not spooky at all but on the ground, she can be horrible. I’ve had her bloods checked by the vet, just in case there was something untoward but nothing came up. The latest thing is going to catch her in the field to bring her in to her stable. Sometimes, she’s a pain to catch, turning her bum, tail swishing, ears back etc. When I do catch her, when I try and put her head collar over her ears to fasten, she darts around, ears back and goes in to bite me( she’s managed it a few times too!) I’ve had her for over 3 years and sometimes, it really wears me down. Help!!!
Read more at https://forums.horseandhound.co.uk/threads/moody-but-not-stressy-mare.771994/#QlcCYX519wj0TbLh.99
 

Pearlsasinger

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It sounds more like bad manners than moodiness, tbh. Some horses really don't like having the headcollar strap flicked over their ears, can you use a different style or a halter instead? The handler really must insist on good manners, for every-one's safety.
Sometimes these super safe types (is she a cob?) like to think that they are in charge, they have to learn that they are not. I am not saying that you need to bully her but when you ask her to do something, you need to insist that she does it, don't let her ignore you, be persistent and then reward her when she does what you asked for.
 
Joined
26 August 2018
Messages
7
It sounds more like bad manners than moodiness, tbh. Some horses really don't like having the headcollar strap flicked over their ears, can you use a different style or a halter instead? The handler really must insist on good manners, for every-one's safety.
Sometimes these super safe types (is she a cob?) like to think that they are in charge, they have to learn that they are not. I am not saying that you need to bully her but when you ask her to do something, you need to insist that she does it, don't let her ignore you, be persistent and then reward her when she does what you asked for.
It sounds more like bad manners than moodiness, tbh. Some horses really don't like having the headcollar strap flicked over their ears, can you use a different style or a halter instead? The handler really must insist on good manners, for every-one's safety.
Sometimes these super safe types (is she a cob?) like to think that they are in charge, they have to learn that they are not. I am not saying that you need to bully her but when you ask her to do something, you need to insist that she does it, don't let her ignore you, be persistent and then reward her when she does what you asked for.
Yes, she is a cob type, she used to plant herself when I used to bring her in from the field, she just wouldn’t move at all, so I now use a Monty Roberts headcoller and she moves a lot better but I appreciate, she probably doesn’t like this headcoller compared to her nice soft fluffy one. I try the old one on her now and again and she still turn around to give me a nip. She’s also a bit girthy and I have to take my time with the saddle, lots of rubs and girth up a little bit at a time. She is very treat orientated and although I do give her little treats here and there, I’m wondering if this is encouraging the nipping. I’ve just bought a tub of oestress as the reviews are really good. Thanks for your suggestions, I appreciate it
 

Pearlsasinger

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IMO, there is no reason for not giving treats as rewards for doing what you have asked but just handing them out at random can encourage nipping. It might be worth you researching clicker training, I think you can find it on You Tube, although, it actually only made sense to me when I saw someone introducing a dog to it. Doing the girth up gradually is good practice but i wonder if the behaviour might be a symptom of gastric ulcers. It might be worth discussing that with your vet. Is she on an ulcer-friendly diet? I found that Aloe Vera juice helped my Draft mare when she was grumpy about girthing (and life in general). Along with making sure that her tack fitted well, of course.
 
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I have tried clicker training and she quite liked that, although I only did very basic stuff. I give her low calorie balancer nuts, turmeric and some garlic (garlic to try and build her immunity to the pesky flies in the Summer, they swarm around her and me and she hates them) As her blood tests came back ok, I didn’t do further tests, I’m wondering if that should be the next step. What do you think about using the ostress? Have you heard anything about this powder? Thanks
 

Pearlsasinger

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Stop the garlic, it can upset the gut flora and make ulcers worse. It isn't true that it helps to repel flies. I would also look very carefully into the make-up of the nuts, if there is any kind of molasses/moglo stuff in them, that could be attracting the flies. I have no experience of using Oestress, although we have had a lot of mares, we have never need to try the supplement. Is there any evidence that her grumpiness is linked to seasons?
 
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Well this is the other thing, she doesn’t seem to come into season regularly, not often at all, is this normal do you know? She’s definitely no moodier, she’s the same most of the time. I have noticed,she’s always quite happy after being ridden and has her ears forward then, ready to go back into the field.
 

Ellietotz

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Well this is the other thing, she doesn’t seem to come into season regularly, not often at all, is this normal do you know? She’s definitely no moodier, she’s the same most of the time. I have noticed,she’s always quite happy after being ridden and has her ears forward then, ready to go back into the field.
Just briefly looking at what you've said, I would say get her ovaries checked and scope for ulcers. Ovaries being checked are the easiest option to go with first and if nothing then definitely scope for ulcers.
 
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I highly recommend Oestress - my mare was spooky - nappy - excitable and I also had problems getting her in from the field and pulling faces in the yard! The change was amazing - she has been on it for over 4yrs now and down to just one level scoop a day making it affordable - I would definitely give it a go - you'll know within a couple of weeks if it works for her.
 

Pearlsasinger

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Messages
22,280
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Well this is the other thing, she doesn’t seem to come into season regularly, not often at all, is this normal do you know? She’s definitely no moodier, she’s the same most of the time. I have noticed,she’s always quite happy after being ridden and has her ears forward then, ready to go back into the field.

Some mares don't show much difference in their behaviour at all (not even lifting their tails towards other horses) but I would be surprised if any of them needed Oestress. If there was a problem with her ovaries, I would expect her ridden behaviour to be grumpy at the very least. What is her behaviour on the ground like for other people?
 
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26 August 2018
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Sorry for delay, her behaviour is the same with most people, although with a good friend of mine, she is more lovable. I put that down down to the carrots and apples she gives her when she sees her though ,!!!
 
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