Sunday, June 26, 2011

Barn Sour

                                  I am don't see me and either can THAT other horse!

This Sourness (the mare is having ) is  NOT what you think normally about this topic.It has nothing to do with riding off property, or away from her boarding herd.
 I have had some pretty bad behaviour with a "Barn Sour" mare-  ere now, at the former barn. She loved her herd and it's handsome gelding Romeo, and Alpha mare Panna. They  have shared her life for the past 5 years, on and off as we have ridden and camped and boarded together.

But this "Nappy" behaviour is NOT what I speak of now. No, my mare's sourness, continues for coming into the barn! An altogether weird occurrence that coincides with the  Red horse of doom  arriving, and my mare coming home from our beach trip ,to have him stare at her.

 He is actually kinda sweet, very needy, maybe proud cut as I heard he displayed some aggressive behaviour towards another gelding. WHATEVER the case with mare, she simply is un -nerved and it is NO FAULT of any one's and I am dealing with it best I is NOT dangerous, just severely strange to have my mare not respond to me the way she does meeting me at the gate to come in, or slowly walking down the long hill, away from the stable, as we ride off property.
Now, she actually wants to trot down the hill! At least I know her saddle won't slip and it does not cause her any pains!
 She also  is choosing to go all the farthest places away from the stable in her turnouts to hang in and at the quickest, most forward paces to leave the area, as we ride. I am blaming this frantic behaviour on a recent lost shoe. Her turnout buddy herded her and ran her off recently in the back lot turn out. And she tends to run as she gets turned out there as well.
 I suspected that area could make for overreaching and ripping off of the EWshoes. It is not the first time a horse has overreached and pulled a shoe there.  It is sinkhole city and uneven.NORMAL for the winter we had and the grounds that got mashed with 1,000 lb horses! The  plan is for grading it and graveling it...yea!
I LOVE MY PBO's for how conscientious they are!
Less mess for retrieving the horses (wintertime)and less chance hopefully, of the overreach situation.

 I noticed a gouge in her heal last Monday, and put some protection on her...'cause if she is hitting heself in the heal, she may also rip the E.W. shoes off!
I use BELLBOOTS for just this reason. Well, oops..someone thought I forget them on her, and took them off. She is ripped one of the E.W. shoes off by the time I got back to the stable, after the work week. BLAST!
Last year, in 3 sets of shoes, this never happened, thankfully...but the terrains were very even and flat where she was, plus I kept the BELLBOOTS on her always for the protection of overreaching.
 Her hoof wall did not look bad, as I called the farrier to reschedule the shoe to be reset, the farrier had asked that question.

Today -SUNDAY- I got it reset and went out for the first ride since last Monday( when I actually wrote this post...was waiting to see if anything ahd changed in the mare's attitude for the barn- NOPE) Procede reading and nothing has changed...sigh...they dislike whom they dislike, just as we do.

I did an experiment  with the mare, after I finished my Monday Ritual of making her feed grain packets up for the coming week, and  then, after I  held my sissy's mare Pantz, for the new Barefoot trimmer we found for our two mares, I got back to my place to find...the mare hiding...wayyyyy in the back of her run. She apparently has muddied it up good  by running into so much! She would not come to me. For the second time, I trapsed back through her muddy place, brought her in and cleaned her legs off, to put her leg boots on.  I decided to put the hot-tape up (making it smaller and therefore easier for me to reach her) in her run, so she could not avoid me... but I know it is not me, she actually was avoiding the Red horse of doom.
She stood...not allowing her backside to be towards him...look at how far away he is!

Hangover looking mare..not getting her beauty rest!

I again, had to groom her facing the opposite direction...there is something wrong with this picture...the nice rubber matting  is NOT under us!

She was very pensive..showing me that she did NOT like her backside to him....

 But,  when I turned her to face his way, she relaxed , snorted and sofened her eye...and that was what was needed to continue. amount of time, standing in the ties was going to change this.. human reasoning of "let her deal", may get her hurt as she wanted to flip around to avoid him. Common sense made me just turn her, so she could see him. She snorted relief,  and so did I!

Look left, look right

For me, it is not worth picking a fight ..those I choose -so I may accomplish a  move forward with her trust and willingness. I know her well and this kinda thing will just have to settle on it's own, without me FORCING the issue.

We went out to ride, the normal way...she wanted to trot..I allowed her to, if she stayed lower relaxed. She was in a nice self carriage, on the buckle. She wanted to trot down the hill too..but I did not, so we walked at hyper speed.

Walkin' kickin' !!!!

Once on the road, my experiment of "lets see where she goes" started and...I was impressed that she was so long and low with her back under me... so-we remained on the buckle.
She  was wow-so moving out in the kickiest, swinging  walk ever!  I decided to influence by body weight only, and not picking up the reins. As I  looked down into the woods left..she went there. Then, looked up the road, she went there. I LOVE her sensitivity to  my weight and slight bump of calf. She went all the places I "looked" to go plus-all the places she normally does not wish to go...farthest away from the stable!

We stayed out for some 2 hours..doing this..and I can say- she would not have asked to come home...A bit sad truly. But home we did stride towards, eventually.
Again, she asked to go an opposite direction once up the last Long hill..we did so and came in on the opposite side of the stable-still, the mare being somewhat reluctant.
 Funniest thing too....she was so en rapt with looking ahead for the Red Horse (even outside the fence line) she and I were taken unawares...when A bicyclist announced himself, as he glided very stealthily up behind us!! She paid him no mind, as he whizzed on by..I laughed and she kept her focus.

 I am not sure(when?) she will get over this ultra vigilant behaviour .Though not many, if any, can see any difference in her-She always tells me the truth!   As someone asked me recently..."do you talk to your horse?"  Yes, not in common language, but by a horsey sort of lingo of subtulty and stance. The more important thing is to me is: my mare talks to me, all the time. I hear her language, I see her's is so obvious to me!
 Lovers of equines learn this  language ~from their own.


  1. Fascinating what she's telling you - but at least you can ride and she's happy to go away from home. I agree about not picking fights - let her stand facing the way she wants, why not!

  2. Wa, she is so sensitive! I hope she gets through this, poor girl. Horses, they do have a language all their own. So glad you and she have that special bond!

  3. Very interesting. Must be all about body language????

  4. Really interesting! Poor Wa Mare, I hope she soon realizes he can't get to her.

  5. Poor Wa. I hope she gets over this soon. She should feel safe and happy in her own home. Poor sweet girl.

  6. Val has bell boots on 24/7 or else he'll step on his own feet, and pull chunks out of his hooves.

    I think Wa knows something not everyone else knows about the red gelding... to be announced. ;) Bless her heart - she's extra sensitive!

  7. Yes KATE
    It's not bad having the mare so excited to go away just sad- she's uncomfortable in her own place. She even holds her breath,when he whinnys!

    You and me with the fearful horses!

    I've been telling her he can't get her...but she insists on making sure herself.

    Unwanted attentions...I mean, if someone insisted on watching Me and talking to me, even though I paid them no interest and actually ignored them...I'd say they were obsessed or a stalker. In horse..he's "cat calling" her or obscenely whistling!

    I do hope she settles disturbs me knowing she dislikes her surroundings

  8. I totally agree, this is not something you need to fight with her about.

    I'm super curious about that red horse now. Do any other horses respond to him that way or just Wa mare? Maybe she had a bad experience with a horse that looked like him. Or maybe she had a bad experience with HIM many years ago. Very interesting.

  9. Have they been introduced (in hand)? Maybe if they could smell each other they would get over this?

  10. Oh poor Wa. Is she the only one who is so unsettled by the new guy?

    And yeah, you're right in turning her around while grooming I think. No point in letting her get even more upset. Give a little, take a little is my horse riding philosophy. Simple, but it works for me and my mare.

    I hope she'll be herself again soon.


  11. Hey my gorgeous friend ....I finally seem to be able to comment. Have loved catching up with all your news ....horsey adventures. I love the little video clips.SO nice to see the green and know you have the sun beaming down on you and Wa mare. She is a funny soul isn't she sensitive but lovely. As long as the rides are good .....and that saddle ...are you still in love?

  12. He's a stalker (lol)!

    I don't blame her one bit, glad you're taking her needs into account so sensitively.

    Hope the intensity for her fades soon.

  13. Kacy,

    I think you need to let her do what feels comfortable like you are doing. Let her face the way she wants, walk at the pace she wants, trot, etc. Ride and groom and reward her good behavior. She will adjust to this new horse if you allow her that extra time she needs. You are such a good horse mom. Relax and ride and groom and breathe - it will be ok!

  14. Did you go meet the red horse? Maybe you can determine if he is safe and with permission from his owner, let them meet in hand? I like this idea better than letting your mare continue to feel anxious.

    When my horse is scared, he has to touch or smell the thing that scares him and then he relaxes.

  15. Hi AHS! Sorry have`nt posted for a while. 2 Tell the the truth, i`ve been a tad busy. But finally caught up and read this continuing story of poor Wa mare. Poor ol` girl!

    Maybe he is a stalker?Lol, god forbid! I was donig some latent thinking about this, and some research, seems that he must be an Alpha male (herdwise) or has been an Alpha male. Could be that his mere presence is all it takes for other horses to acknowledge his "power"?

    Their body language is something else, I stand and watch my four, and still cant figure it out, its really unnerving at times. But i`m convinced she will settle down, good luck.

  16. I can feel your worry, as though it's an echo of Wa's. I'm with the others who want to know more about the Red Horse of Doom. What is it he's saying to her that only she can hear, I wonder? Are any of the other horses troubled by him?

    Still, just a deep and interesting post. You always take us along with you, and I really appreciate it.

  17. Was Wa ever bred? My friend had a mare who had been bred, with hobbles used, and had a bad experience with a stud. Ever since then, any gelding that even remotely oozed any leftover testorone, she would put up a fight to get away from.
    Horses know horses. My geldings have gone to measures to avoid certain other horses for whatever reasons over the years.
    Wa is obviously uncomfortable with this guy's energy.

  18. Well thanks you all! I kinda do wish to allow her to "meet him"..but she has NO desire AT ALL..she slows her walk and makes me pull her near him. So, like mostly all said..i'm just gonna give her the space- the room-and all the time!

    I think the mostly good thing about it she is not standing in the sun waiting to come in...she is retreated to the scary wooded parts of her turnouts..standing in the undergrowth/overgrowth and shade!

  19. Your photographs really tell the story, and I love the one of her silhouette with "him" outside in full color. What if they went "trail riding together"? I will have to come back tonight and read the other comments... I'll stay tuned.

  20. Poor mare hope this all settles down soon, I agree with your other commenter have you considered going on rides with the new horse, obviously keep a safe distance, but it might help. You could try in the menage first, anyway I am sure it will work out, and your mare will be back to normal in no time with your love and care.

  21. Some geldings really can be a danger to mares and can even kill them. Maybe Wa has got good reason for worrying about him, especially since he showed aggressive tendencies to another gelding. I think 'riggy' types are more of a risk to mares than others. If she thinks something is wrong with this guy, then maybe it really is. I hope she will relax when she learns he can't get to her. Otherwise he or she might need to move yards to put another horse between them. She is going to get an ulcer if she keeps worrying all the time.

  22. I lead a very sensitive mare at the riding for disabled centre. The boy that rides her has cerebral palsy and she is so well behaved when he is on her. But there is one gelding in particular that she really does not like. If he invades her space then her ears pin back and she really gets unhappy. Some mares just don't get on with certain geldings, I have seen it happen many times before. But so long as they keep their distance then usually they are ok. Wa must get really bad vibes from this red horse, but hopefully she will settle down a bit in time. I doubt they will ever be good friends though! Abby

  23. Hi again! Edward told me you were having problems commenting on my post. I think a few people are having the same problems too. I will change my settings to "pop up commenting" and see if that helps. Abby

  24. If the gelding truly is proud cut he still has hormones raging through him...mares can smell that and she could very well be reacting to him the same way she would react to a stallion when not in season. Be interesting to see how she responds to him when she IS in season.

    She is such a gorgeous mare!


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