Weird Behavior

My horse is being weird lately. I know part of it is inactivity. I haven’t been riding her lately. The main reason is that her teeth need to be done… badly.  The dentist keeps cancelling our appointments though.  I can’t ride Ava until her teeth are done. When I do, she immediately starts sucking on the bit in a weird way, and if I touch the rein she will fling her head into the air and shake it vigorously.

Obviously it hurts her, and I don’t want to cause her pain, so I haven’t been riding. And I hate lunging. She’s obnoxious on the lunge line, and it bores me to tears to lunge.

I know… I know.. I should work on her lunging behavior.  I should.  😦

It seems like Ava’s been in heat for three months straight. She’s giving the barn owner fits with haltering (it may be teeth related) and leading her in and out. I don’t have a problem with haltering and leading her.  Apparently Ava is a snot when the barn owner attempts to halter her, and is being very naughty when being led in from the pasture. Like rearing kind of naughty.  She’s a saint for me.  She might give me a little attitude, but if I even look at her in a stern way she toes the line. However, regardless of who leads her around I expect my horse to act appropriately! None of this rearing and being snotty with ANYONE. But how do I fix that?? I have worked for 3 years on her leading behavior so that she’d be the easiest horse to lead in.  She is better trained in leading than any other horse at the facility, by a mile, yet she’s bad enough for the owner that it’s becoming a real issue. And it’s partly because Ava can make herself appear to be 17 hands tall when she raises her head up to full Friesian height. She’s can be intimidating when she wants to be.

Ugh. I’m frustrated by this. Not that I ever want to sell Ava, but if for some unforeseen reason I needed to sell her, then I want her to go to the best home possible. Which means she HAS to be a well behaved equine citizen for anyone to handle. I’m not sure how to fix this problem other than working Ava more, and spending more time working her where she gives the owner the most problems (by the other horses).

<edit to add: I re-read my post and I see the problem now. hahaha>

Ava and me

15.2h horse really shows you how short I am.

On a funnier note… I’m at the barn last night playing with Ava (who hasn’t been getting the exercise she needs), and Ava is squealing every time I hold my hand up toward her face. Squealing and snorting like some kind of crazed beast. So I popped her lightly with the lead rope on the shoulder every time she did it (if you don’t it escalates). She’d stop for a second, look at me, then rear and bolt sideways while bucking, until she hit the end of the lead rope (about 10 feet). Then she’d stop and stand there staring at me. I’d pull her back, hold out my hand, she’d squeal, I’d tap her with the rope and say no… rinse and repeat. I put her on the end of the rope and asked her to walk around me, and she flings herself around like she’s violently opposed to the lead rope. She did this for a couple of seconds at the most, and then when I said trot she’d calmly trot around me. I’d say whoa and she’d stop on a dime. I’d ask her to walk off again, and she’d launch herself into the air bucking and squealing and rearing.  **roll eyes**

After all the histrionics with the lead rope, she’s standing at the end of the lead looking at me. So I pretended to run the other direction. I see her out of the corner of my eye bolt after me. After a few feet I slammed on the breaks and Ava slams to a halt next to me. I swear, the look in her eye was hilarious. I laughed for like ten minutes. Well, maybe you had to be there.  It reminded me of Fellah and that devious “I wanna play” look he’d get sometimes. My parents should get the reference (game of chase with the dog).  🙂

Afterward, I put her back in the grooming area and draped the rope over her back (not tied up). I asked her to stay and walked off to go get treats. She stood there watching me. Didn’t move a foot. I bring her the treat and say “OK” (code word for your free), and then she’s bouncing around like a kid at a candy store. Haha  Then she had to play with the ropes in the cross tie area (they weren’t attached to her, just hanging on the wall). And she’s swinging them back and forth by popping them with her nose.

I hated putting her back in her boring old stall after that, but it was getting late and my toes were numb.

I’m just saying… my mare is weird. I love her to death, but she’s weird.

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3 thoughts on “Weird Behavior

  1. My horse has been a crazy-pants lately as well.. I’m sure because of the cold weather and inactivity. But the barn owner swears he’s being good for her, so I’m glad… (although he did try to jump the fence the other day … ugh). But it’s hard to get a horse to behave for EVERYONE if the barn owner won’t reinforce what you’ve taught her and get after her. Horses can learn who they can push around and who they can’t! So yeah, not sure how you fix that :\ also sorry about the migraines! I had some terrible headaches for six months and it was the worst- finally found out I had just messed up my jaw and after PT everything went back to normal (mostly) but headaches can really be debilitating. Hope you feel better soon!

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    • I can’t wait until the weather improves so I can start riding more regularly again. Horse’s go stir crazy when you mess up their routines like this.
      Apparently my horse is doing a little better for the BO lately, but I’ve been spending a lot of time reinforcing good ground manners with my mare and also trying to get her at least 15 minutes of free time in the indoor if it’s too nasty to go outside that day. That seems to have helped some. Not the greatest, but at least she’s staying on all four feet now. haha
      And I hate the migraines. I’ve been wondering if maybe a chiro would help with mine. Ironically, riding regularly really lessens the number of migraines I get. I wish this weather would warm up so I can get back in the saddle again. I am so sick of this weather!

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      • I definitely concur on the weather!! And it makes it hard to keep a routine 😦 I don’t have an indoor either so its even worse! I was like that with my headaches- I never had them at the barn! Then I’d leave and they’d come back. They got debilitating and my Dr. kept trying to give me migraine meds that did nothing. They wanted to label it a migraine because it was a mainly one-sided intense persistent pain that sometimes caused dizziness. Told my dentist about it and he said it sounded like TMD so he sent me to a specialist who felt my jaw and said there were all kinds of balled up muscles- in my neck and shoulders too (later found out I have two bulging discs in my neck) but all of those balled up muscles can wreak havoc on your head! Not that that is necessarily what’s wrong with you, but its definitely worth checking out. I read somewhere that more than 75% of migraines are actually caused my structural/muscular issues and go under treated because of it! When I start to get the headaches again, it’s usually because I’m stressed and getting all my muscles wound up again! (Cold weather makes it worse too!) But I hope you find relief one way or another!!

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