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Difficult mare

We recently bought a 9 year old Morgan mare who has been corralled alone most of her life. She is dead broke and was ridden once a week. When we brought her home she was introduced slowly to the two current mares where we stable her. After the initial squealing and getting familiar with each other they now get along great. The first couple of days she was a great ride and listened well. Now however, she is ornry, moody and doesn't want to be taken away from the pasture and her new friends. The dominant mare of the three is also acting the same way. They have even resorted to biting anyone who gives one or the other any attention. It makes any ground work nearly impossible now and riding is just about out of the question.

Does she need more time to adjust, or do we work it out of her? There is a 26 year old stud corralled near by who is indifferent to any of the mares, which may be part of the problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Hi Dan,

You need to give all your horses a healthy dose of ground play and be consistent with it. Sounds like the horses are just in pasture, and ridden occasionally and that's about it. It is to be expected that your relationship with this horse will take a big back seat to the relationships the horse is forming in her herd. To remedy this you need to be willing to begin to work these horses more on the ground doing lunging, round pen play and other fun and right action to get connected. It does sound like there is not much of that going on and until there is, you will continue to have this problem.

Respect and trust are things earned over time with horses. They are earned through you being the consistent, kind, firm when need be, confident leader. If you cannot begin to fill this role, your problems will continue and worsen. There is no magic bullet or substitute for guidence, relationship and leadership for horses. The riding part is the icing on the cake and should never be the only focus of the human for the horse. Horse/human relationship are developed over time thru right action on the ground with the horse. You have to figure a way to do this to improve your situation.

Good Luck, Franklin

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