Attacking, biting, rearing - HELP

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Cupcake

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My ~30" 17 months old mare thinks she's a 17hh stallion. I'm at my wits end and it's embarrassing to know I have a goofy 16.2 hh gelding that I have under control and this little girl thinks she can treat every human being like her personal punching bag. As I posted a while back, she has a bad accident a few months ago. She had to be on stall rest for a couple of weeks during the healing process. That combined with alfalfa and boredom has started her biting, and by biting I mean she waits for the moment you turn your back and she gets this goofy look on her face and charges at you going straight for your calves and bites (not nibbling, biting!). Now add to that the newly formed habit of rearing as soon as you turn around and you have a circus horse in the making. I've been working with her (Clinton Anderson method) since I got her at 10 months. She's a model horse when training, yields, backs up, changes direction, everything, follows me and turns as she should when I move sideways. Takes to new "scary" things really well, I can clip her without a halter on, entire body, no problem. Tarik, blankets, even over her entire head, no big deal. But enter her stall or pasture and she will come straight up and rear up in front of you,there's been times I was caught off guard and she nearly knocked me to the ground. She's anything but kid safe at this point and even a danger to adults, with all 30 inches. This girl is spoiled in the sense that I built her her own pasture within my gelding's pasture, her own access to her stall and she gets the best food and care. I treat her like a "horse", as one should and my gelding was spoiled and a little disrespectful when I first got him, but I got this guy in check, this girl.... Whole different story. If she was a big horse - no way I would keep her.

Of course I even thought of the possibility to "borrow" someone's older mare to throw in the pasture with her to teach her a thing or two about her bullying, but I don't know anyone with a mini that would match her size.

According to online articles there are two reasons for rearing, fear or not wanting to do something/go somewhere. Not in this case, this is attacking and bullying. What to do??
 

chandab

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I think I'd be inclined to carry a dressage whip with me when I went into her space and use it when she invades my space. A good spank or two on the shoulder (or possibly lower legs, if that's all you can reach) should hopefully bring her back to earth and reality. [the dressage whip would probably work on the calf biting too, as if you are carrying it at your side, it would be an easy motion to lightly pop her with it when she gets to your leg.]

My 3 month old colt bites my calves now and then, and I usually just raise my foot and pop him in the chin, not hard, but hard enough he's gotten the hint that biting is not acceptable.
 
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Matt73

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Sounds like she knows who's boss ;). I can guarantee you she'd learn respect at my place within an hour or so. She'd be a very different horse; you're welcome to send her over here lol. Seriously, though, she needs some very firm discipline...and quickly. I would not be using the whip on her lightly at all....she'd definitely feel it.
 
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Minimor

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For sure, carry a whip and when she charges or rears--let her have it. Give her a good crack across the chest, shoulder or side. When she charges and tries to bite your legs, be watching without letting on that you are watching and give her a good smack with the whip then too. She will very quickly rethink her actions and start behaving herself.
 

Cupcake

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I keep a small whip by her stall and have a dressage whip nearby. Thing is, if she's aware of me carrying a whip she won't try it as she respects the whip, not scared of it, just respects it as every horse should. But yes, I agree I should always carry a "weapon". When I was 12 my dad gave me a Shetland pony, stallion with all the stuff you don't want, biting, rearing etc. feels like she's the reborn version. Will implement a firmer discipline and let you know how it goes. I have pictures of her doing this, of course everyone else thinks it hilarious that I'm getting my butt whipped by this little devil. But it gets annoying.
 

FurstPlaceMiniatures

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Agreed with the whip, however, make sure its not overused. My guy is TERRIFIED of the whip when he's acting like a jackass, however, when he's being good, he definitely has zero fear of them! However, sometimes they only learn to behave when you carry a whip. You might need to use your hand. Don't over do that either though. One firm swat is more effective than a million little swats.
 

MindyLee

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My yrling started that too at one time. I did not show kindness and disaplind her and showed her I was not joking. When she bite, I slapped he mouth, when she kicked, I slapped her hip or sholder. I even kicked her back at times and every time she was disaplined, I yelled NO!!!!

She is now 3.5 yrs old and a very respectful young mare. Much a love bug too. I felt bad but will I not have a mean horse. Theres a differance between disapline and abuse. She may have thought abuse back then, but She learned over a few weeks that bitting and kicking was not acceptable here on my farm. I own 9 minis and not a one of them are bitty, kicky, or hard to catch! All are very respectful and well manured! All love bugs!

Good luck and dont give up! The teribble 2's will end!
 

Cupcake

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Thanks, that gives me hope that she's not a hopeless case and it is indeed, like I had suspected, "just" the terrible twos. I got tickets for Clinton andersons tour in October, maybes should take her along and show him what a mini can be all about and let him work his magic? LOL

Here are some pics of her "in action"... Funny to others but I'm starting to feel like a circus director...









PS:the advice of the grazing muzzle and alfalfa instead of grass and hay has finally put a "dent" in her potbelly and combined with the exercise she's slimming down and starting to look more like a miniature horse instead of a fat pony - now if I can get rid of her pony-tude, I'm good!
 

Cupcake

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This is her big boyfriend, acts a fool on the lunge line regularly, otherwise a goofy teenage boy... I REALLY feel like a circus director most days...

 

shorthorsemom

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I got a Clinton rope halter and always carried a whip with a youngster I had..he eventually quit. The crop hung on the post. He got the three second spaz from me everytime he got in my face and space. He stopped and was quite nice after a few months of training. Nevercould feed alfalfa. It makes my solid rock awesome sweet boy into a maniac. Some just cant handle it. She doesn't respect you..you r her toy. If she minds her manners in hand..then handle her as if she is always in training. Kind of like when I teach a dog student how to get their dog to come when called. Then they let the dog off lead and are surprised when it runs off. I then say..then keep the dog on lead and don't give the dog a chance to run off. Don't give her the opportunity to attack and eventually she will quit trying. Good luck and best wishes
 

Genie

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Cupcake-not...Devilsfood Cake - yes


I agree with the other comments.

In the pictures it seems more like she thinks it's playing or roughhousing, like horses can do with each other, except she thinks she can play with you.

I say that because her ears aren't "pinned" like she's angry? More like she's thinking you might want to play?

I had a friend who allowed the roughhousing and rearing and kicking when the baby was small and it was cute...the baby grew---and it was no longer cute. Took a while for the baby to realize the behaviour was not okay.
 

Cupcake

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Thanks, I feel you on the alfalfa, I can't feed my gelding more than a small handful (literally) a day, or he acts like a psycho on ecstasy. Only reason I'm feeding it to her is the problem with the potbelly. I would rather feed her hay, cheaper and also way less coarse than the alfalfa. But it may add to the excess energy she has. I can relate to the dog training as I went through professional (not clicker/treat - obedience) with both of my dogs, they're in training 24/7 and get corrected for unwanted behavior regardless of when and how. I can put them in a down stay for 30 minutes in the middle of the garden center with kids and strangers coming by and petting them and me standing 30 feet away and they won't move. If I was able to train a goofy great Dane and an overbred cocker with mental issues I should be able to handle this little devil right?? ;)
 

lucky seven

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Sorry that you are going through the same stuff that I've had with my gelding. Not fun to be mule kicked, bit or reared at when all you are doing is taking care of their needs. If they were being mistreated then that would be a different thing. My boy is 5 and this has been going on for 2 years. I have tried the crop whip and plan on going back to it. I have a 21 yo ott standardbred that is a gentle soul, wish some of it would rub off on the little devil. Good luck.
 

Cupcake

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Yep, I don't think it's evil aggression, to her it's fun and games, but "slightly" too rough for my taste!

LOL at the devils food comment! I own a cupcake cake business and she's supposed to be my "cute mascot" but she definitely represents devils food not "Blue velvet cupcake" which is the name I gave her based on her color. Whe. I see her, usually the name "evil cupcake" pops in my mind LOL
 

Knottymare

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I think I'd be inclined to carry a dressage whip with me when I went into her space and use it when she invades my space. A good spank or two on the shoulder (or possibly lower legs, if that's all you can reach) should hopefully bring her back to earth and reality. [the dressage whip would probably work on the calf biting too, as if you are carrying it at your side, it would be an easy motion to lightly pop her with it when she gets to your leg.]

My 3 month old colt bites my calves now and then, and I usually just raise my foot and pop him in the chin, not hard, but hard enough he's gotten the hint that biting is not acceptable.
Yep. Dressage whips have a bit of a bite without being too strong. super flexible. I would drive that mare out of my space with your energy and back it up with a whip if needed to her lower legs. You might also include a clicker... click as soon as she takes the first step back but in this case, no food reward. pause, then drive her back another step. click as soon as she moves. Use a soothing "good girl" as soon as she takes a step back from you. Let her lick and chew.

If she is on her hind feet, you need to drive at her with more energy than she is throwing at you, then as soon as she takes the slightest step back, back off.

Take it in baby steps. Horses are smart. Something is going on with her that is not obvious. maybe the alfalfa is a bit too hot for her? Some horses don't tolerate legumes as well...

Keep at it. You'll be fine.
 

Knottymare

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Cupcake-not...Devilsfood Cake - yes


I agree with the other comments.

In the pictures it seems more like she thinks it's playing or roughhousing, like horses can do with each other, except she thinks she can play with you.

I say that because her ears aren't "pinned" like she's angry? More like she's thinking you might want to play?

I had a friend who allowed the roughhousing and rearing and kicking when the baby was small and it was cute...the baby grew---and it was no longer cute. Took a while for the baby to realize the behaviour was not okay.
I noticed the same thing about the ears...

Charge into her space like a maniac. Lots of energy.

And if you are not deliberately teaching your big boy to rear, that rearing directed AT you is not cute.
 

Marty

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Put yourself in her place. She's a young healthy growing girl with no friend of her own species who wears a muzzle and is not allowed to graze freely. That is all un-natural for her. I really feel she needs another mare or filly to play with and be allowed to be a horse. I have had my share of pot belly babies too but I would not put a muzzle on them. Instead I manage them in the dry lot with grass hay for a while and manage the pasture time better when they get too fat and that takes care of it. She should not have stored up energy if she's on daily turn out. As far as the biting and rearing, I think its just horse play because she has no other horse to interact with. When she gets too aggressive, I'd tie her in her stall an also in the pasture for a few minutues a day,(not ever leaving her unattended)and work around her, and with her such as groom her etc. and claim the space as your's, not her's. Good luck with her. She is a cutie.
 
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disneyhorse

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Horses only do or get away with what the human allows tfem to... And if they do it all the time then the human has trained them that way. Very few horses are naturally aggressive, they are made that way.

If carrying a whip gives you the confidence to be a strong leader, then carry one. Whatever helps you keep a strong state of mind is needed. Lots of good advice here.

ANY sort of biting, rearing, kicking, charging, or attitude (playful or otherwise) is NEVER permitted around me. I've got a playful modern Shetland with tons of energy, but he's got to be a gentleman when I go into his stall or come into his space.
 
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HGFarm

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If she did this to her mother or another horse, she would receive a swift hard kick or two to put her in her place. I totally agree with a couple of hard swats- and I mean hard- to put her in her place in the 'herd'. She is getting away with it. I guarantee if you rain on her parade once or twice, it will stop immediately. If they are allowed to act like they are in a circus with no punishment or correction, they will continue to do so.
 

Cupcake

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She got away with it quite a few times when she did it in the pasture and I didn't have a whip handy and she ran away too fast. Took your advice, went inner stall today to let her outside and had the dressage whip with me, once she was in her pasture, I walked up to her (which is all intakes recently to have her rear), she started to rear and I immediately gave her 2 good swats before she was even in full rear mode. She looked entirely confused and ran off. I made her run and change direction, whoa'ed her and she immediately turned to me and backed up on her own, made her yield and back up some more, lots of praise and she was as sweet and respectful as she could be. So new course of action,not letting anyone near her without the whip and instructions.


As far as the muzzle: this girl eats ANYTHING. And by anything I mean the worst weed, prettiest flowers and even cactus and agave (spikey!) before she will even tofu any grass. So not only is she wearing it for the potbelly, but also to protect her from ingesting something harmful or poisoning herself. She gets 1-2 hours turnout, gets to go back in the stable to eat and rest and then back out. I'm home almost every day all day so I can manage this pretty well. She has figured out how to nibble a bit of grass here and there through the muzzle, keeps her content and busy without getting fat.

Playmate: I had my gelding since July of last year and he desperately needed some company other than the neighbors horses across the street. My choice was to either be able and afford a big (husband size) horse that's suitable for a very beginner (husband, son) and low maintenance (as mine is high maintenance and cold back already and there are only 24 hours in a day), or a mini. Of course in an ideal world I would have 2 minis and two big horses. But hay is ever so expensive here in Texas, at $22 a bale that he goes through in a week, $22 for alfalfa, which she kills in 10 days and $17 a week for feed, I have made the choice to get a mini, plus ever since visiting Tonys Little Americas ranch twice, I fell in love and knew one day I would have one. I rather have 2 horses I can afford and provide with the best care than own 4 and can't afford them or give them the time they need. I can't remember the last time I went to a mall or bought myself clothes other than for riding LOL, but I did built lots and lots of fence,a stall, a riding arena and shop at TSC and the feed store weekly. I understand a lot of you are breeders and you make a living with your horses, mine just cost money.
 
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