The horse I ride now was easy to handle on the ground, but scared riders to
death. He is so quick and has a lot of tricks. The stable where I bought
him celebrated when I drove away with him. My trainer and I determined that
Star likes only women, gets upset with whips and spurs, and feels trapped
with tie-downs and curb chains. I ride him with an eggbutt snaffle, use
voice commands and leg aids to move him and he is a dream to ride. It took
us a few months to settle him down, but he is a very willing learner.
I agree that this filly needs some round pen work with a trainer who has
seen it all and the alpha mare would probably help too. I hope somebody
takes her. I'm not in a position to right now.
At 08:32 PM 12/23/97 PST, you wrote:
>I have an "alpha" mare, Rabbit, now 25 yo., who is a wonderful teacher
>for young aggressive horses. I just turn the brats out in the pasture
>with her, and before you know it, she has them acting sweet, kind and
>submissive. This old mare has always been aggressive and dangerous
>herself, in the wrong hands. You cannot turn a timid horse out with her
>or she will ravage it. I have to warn the neighbor kids to stay away
>from her. Even though, if she trusts you, she is so kind and sweet, you
>could not ask for a better friend.
>She is also the most loyal and loving mother. She has raised wonderful,
>kind, gorgeous offspring. None of her young have her aggression to the
>extent she does, but they were all handled from the first hour of birth.
>Plus, she does not take any guff from the youngsters, but loves them,
>The irony of it all was last year when I took her to my trainer. (Yes,
>I took a 24 yo mare who had not been ridden in 10 years to my trainer
>and actually paid $ to have him work with her). My trainer is a kind
>old cowboy who has trained horses for 40 years or more. He learned his
>trade directly from Tom Dorrance.
>This trainer could not believe I was bringing him a 24 yo mare to train,
>either. I said, "Johnny, this old mare is no longer fertile, I can't
>breed her so I'll have to ride her or take her to the killers". "The
>killers won't have her", said Johnny, "she's a grey". (Actually, he
>just told me that because he didn't want me to take her to the killers).
>Since, no one had been on her back for 10 years, and she'd been pretty
>much doing as she pleased all that time, I thought Johnny's expertise
>would save me time and $ in the long run. (Not to mention the fact that
>when I rode her 10 years earlier, she nearly killed me numerous times).
>So, I dropped the old mare off for a week. I explained to Johnny that
>this old mare was the dam of most of those other horses he'd started for
>me. I explained that she had a problem with some arthritis in her hip,
>so to take it easy with her. He just looked at her swayed back, grinned
>and shook his head.
>You see, Johnny is the type of trainer who treats a horse with nothing
>but kindness. He get's their attention right off the bat. Shows them
>he is "alpha", in the round pen, with his body language and shaking of a
>whip with plastic rattles on the end. Once he has their attention, he
>shows them what he wants in ways they can understand. He gets highly
>upset with people who use any harsh or angry ways with horses.
>A week later, I came to pick Rabbit up a Johnny's. He met me at the
>barn door with her in hand. He said, "She is the smartest mare I have
>ever worked with. No wonder she has such good babies. These mares who
>are smart like this, they take charge. They are great mothers, and
>great teachers. It's too bad she can't have more babies."
>Johnny's statement gave me new hope and respect for this old mare. I
>rode her in dressage for the next 3 months. She taught me a lot. I
>just hope I can find some time to work with her again this winter.
>Right now, she is just babysitting a 7 month old colt, who was a bad
>brat until she became his pasture mate 3 weeks ago.
>Maybe you can find an ornery old "alpha" mare like Rabbit who can put
>this filly in line. The filly is probably just too smart and untrusting
>for her own good.
>I hope something works out in the filly's favor.
>Lindavan, Buhni, Sunny, Fiddler, Rabbit & Rain Maker
>2921 Moore Lane, Fort Collins, CO 80526
>Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com