New mare won't stand for tacking up or mounting.

Liz is a Recommended Associate of the Intelligent Horsemanship Association, and can help with behavioural issues
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New mare won't stand for tacking up or mounting.

Postby Rachy01uk » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:04 pm

Ive had my 14.2 cob mare for just over a month now and she is becoming increasingly difficult. She moves away from the numnah, hates being girthed and having the saddle put on. She's completely fine with putting the bridle on. She also won't stand still for mounting and moves backwards as soon as I get on the block. I've started to mount and put her saddle on from the 'wrong' side which helps a bit but it's still not great. Once I'm up she's great and loves being ridden. She's easy to catch just tacking up and mounting is a problem. And she won't let me pick we feet up so the farrier is a problem too. Help!!

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Re: New mare won't stand for tacking up or mounting.

Postby Expert_LizPitman » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:50 pm

Hi there,

The first thing I'd want to look at here is her back. It sounds like she's saying she's uncomfortable somewhere. That would affect both how she feels about being tacked up/mounted and how she feels about picking her feet up for the farrier. Even if she's ok to have her feet picked out, don't forget that a farrier will probably want to lift the leg higher, at a different angle and for longer than you will.

As well as back, the other areas that can cause this sort of problems are ovaries and stomach. The back is probably the easiest starting point, though. I'd get a good physio to give her a thorough checking over, including looking at her saddle. Make sure whoever you call out is the best you can find and is properly qualified. If you can't find one recommended, check through - there should be someone in your area.

Even if you do find that that is the problem, you may well have to do a little training to explain that these things no longer hurt - don't forget a horse won't be able to say "physio's been out so that saddle will feel fine now". On the tacking up and mounting, work using pressure and release - so breaking down the steps involved (picking up numnah, lifting it near her, touching her lightly, etc.) and when you get to a point that she starts to look worried, hold it there and ask her to stand still, then when she does take it away. If she moves, move with her till she stands still, then take it away. You should be able to progress that way to her understanding that it's ok.

With the leg handling, when you are picking out feet start lifting her leg a little higher, holding it for longer, and moving it back and forwards (hinds) or in gentle circles (fronts). Work towards being able to hold her legs out to the side as the farrier would, and even between your legs in a farrier hold. In other words, show her that these things are ok and she can do it.

Clearing any underlying physical problems has to come first, though. She won't be able to understand it's ok if it still hurts.

If you're still having problems, then I'd call out one of my collegues to come and see what's going on. There may be something that we're not aware of that an expert pair of eyes on the ground would be able to spot.

I hope that helps.


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