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[RC] Update/further info on cranky mare - Marlene Moss

Well, I really don't think she is a "cranky" mare at this point, but
certainly has had socialization issues.  She was alone for 6 years
except for her human owner, who babied her and let her get away with
poor behavior like invading her space.

As suggested by someone, I took her into my arena with my alpha mare and
some piles of hay.  My alpha mare, Venesza, is very much the quiet
leader, no horse messes with her and she is a protector as well.  Abby,
the new mare, really isn't much into food (something I'll have to
consider as well, but she is not a hard keeper, just not concerned), so
she just wandered a bit.  Venesza thinks that food is the most important
thing in the world and ate contentedly.  I initially kept Abby on the
lead, they sniffed a bit and nothing else.  I turned them loose and they
both wandered, but kept their distance, since they weren't fighting over
hay.  

Venesza got a drink out of the bucket I'd put out, and Abby, who loves
to play with water, came over.  Venesza pinned her ears and squealed -
Abby hadn't done anything agressive, head was down.  But Abby then
reacted very big, spun and tried to kick and Venesza got out of the way.
They went back to calm meandering.  Later Abby came close again, Venesza
pinned her ears and Abby took one very small step with her hind quarters
and Venesza backed down.  Then they both moved on.

I thought this was very interesting.  I am not seeing Abby as the
agressor, but that she reacts very strongly to any sign of agression.
Not that this is good or ok, but I did see signs of establishing
boundaries that could be respected.

Later today I ended up moving Abby to a different stall.  The mustang
mare next to her that is also agressive (came with warnings as well)
gets very agressive when the horses next to her are eating and she isn't
(she's on a diet, needs to lose at least 200 pounds!) and Abby dinged
her legs up in matching that level of agression.  She's not next to
anyone, but she can see horses across the arena.  Not happy, but she's
paying more attention to food at least!  I'm hoping to continue putting
her with Venesza (who is ridden by my husband, so they'll need to ride
and camp together).

I also got a chance to ride her finally.  Her current owner is a little
heavy and lands heavy when mounting (otherwise an excellent rider) and
she humps up preparing for that landing.  It took her all of 10 seconds
to realize that I (and my saddle) would be different.  She doesn't steer
well, but I was using an S-hack which isn't the clearest communication
for her at this point.  Until she gets her teeth done, they haven't used
a bit on her and I haven't yet seen or heard of the device they're using
(she'll come with it if I want it).  But she calmed down fairly quickly
other than not enjoying the S-hack.  Next I'll try a sidepull, which I
tested on the ground with good results.  This mare has a great walk,
nice overstride with no interference.  Her trot is the smoothest thing
ever!  

Next time I'll pay attention to her heart rate, but I'm still liking
her.  I do apologize for this long winded note that probably isn't that
interesting to most, but as is probably obvious, I do like this mare and
I'm having visions of being a serious competitor on her.  Not that it
matters if all we do is mediocre or slow rides or only 50's, but I got
my first taste of a 100 last year and I want more!!!!  And yeah, I do
like a challenge and love it when I've made a difference in the behavior
or the life of a horse.
Marlene 
PS - thanks for all the great responses, all good food for thought and
I'm spending a lot of time thinking it all over!

Marlene Moss
Saddle Fitting - www.KineticEquineAnalysis.com
Boarding/Training - www.LosPinos-CO.com 


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