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Horse Behavior and Training

Starting my horse again

Hello!
Hello, new student here. I bought my beautiful 8 year old cob mare, Miri 18 months ago. First horse of my own for many years. Expected it to take a good while to settle her and it did. We bonded quickly though, she basically has a lovely temperament: very friendly, loves human company, has to help with everything in the field (lives out), calls and comes running when she sees me. But to begin with, would not move under saddle! Slowly, gently, with lots of encouragement (no whips, never carry one) could ride out alone or in company but she wasn't happy. Very anxious, lots of head tossing and serious napping (tack all checked out for comfort), constantly looking to left or right, very snorty, but would just plant herself and go backwards, has never reared, bucked, bolted or spun and is rock solid in traffic. Gradually got better, no head tossing now, but over the autumn, for good reasons, my various riding partners.dropped away for a few months (covid, laminitis, other stuff) and we were soon unable to do anything more on our own than trot round the village, some days not even that. Eventually i decided that the teenager I bought her from (who'd had her from a 2 year old and loved her to bits) had not had the experience herself to train Miri properly and her anxiety stemmed from just not really knowing what was expected of her (open to opinion on that). So I decided to take her right back to basics, joined the Uni and have started retraining her by Monty's ways. Bad time of year - wet English winter and short days - so only had a few short hours so far but (to my amazement i have to say) she did join up at the first attempt and already is working really well in hand with the dually halter. Perfectly calm, ears pricked, head down, not treading on my feet any more, leading and standing beautifully, not quite so good on back up but, hey, early days. Can't believe the transformation already. After Christmas we start serious work in the saddle. Am feeling much more confident in myself but I know it's going to be a long slow journey with plenty of setbacks.
Miriam (Holland&Germany)
Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed 200 lessons completed 250 lessons completed 300 lessons completed 350 lessons completed 400 lessons completed 450 lessons completed 500 lessons completed 550 lessons completed 600 lessons completed 650 lessons completed
Hi Julie,

Welcome to the Uni and the Forum!
I'm sorry nobody answered your post of late December....
Of course there wasn't a direct question in it, but reading it, I'd like to ask you if you ever tried to longline your mare. Since you did Join-Up with her, she'll be very aware of your bodylanguage, so you can use both the lines and your own posture to guide her in the first place. Watch all the videos for longlining, there's so much to learn here and the two of you can have a lot of fun. 
Please feel free to write about your progress, this Forum is full of good advice.
Kind regards,

Miriam
Julie_G
Hello!
Hi Miriam
Thank you for your response - i was really just expressing my joy at making progress with my mare at last (have added subsequent question to the forum). All continues to go well, just starting work on the napping problem using blinkers and giddy up rope (latter only used once so far). Early days but already improving, Taking her a while to get used to the blinkers but we have already followed a friend around a familiar route twice and both times been able to also go willingly a few hundred yards along a track we formerly refused to go down at all, turning round as soon as I felt her start to tighten up and before she stopped. Am well pleased with progress. 
I'll look to try longlining her when the weather improves - it's just me, a horse and a field (I have no access to an arena) -  and it is very muddy right now!
Julie
BRICKSON
Please upload your photo 100 lessons completed
Hi, Julie, New to some of the terms...what is "napping"?  Bridget in SE PA, new-ish student, starting an unbroke 9yo biter/people liker/sensitive princess of a gelding who recently decided to not let me pick up his feet right after successfully going through Monty's stand-still lesson!
JoHewittVINTA
Please upload your photo 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed 200 lessons completed 250 lessons completed 300 lessons completed 350 lessons completed 400 lessons completed 450 lessons completed 500 lessons completed 550 lessons completed 600 lessons completed 650 lessons completed
Hi Brickson. Welcome to the Uni. Napping (or balking) is when the horse stops suddenly & then ends cooperation temporarily. It can be a reaction to something unknown or frightening but it can also be a response to human instruction. Go to the series 'Walter won't walk forward' in lessons to see Monty addressing this issue. Cheers, Jo.