Pasture pet needs basic training

I own a 12 year old quarter horse mare. I have owned her since birth, and unfortunately because of personal circumstances she pretty much has been a pasture pet for her whole life. She lived with my ...I own a 12 year old quarter horse mare. I have owned her since birth, and unfortunately because of personal circumstances she pretty much has been a pasture pet for her whole life. She lived with my ...

Story originally posted by: Dr. Michael Lowder, DVM, MSUniv. of GA School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lowder:

I own a 12 year old quarter horse mare. I have owned her since birth, and unfortunately because of personal circumstances she pretty much has been a pasture pet for her whole life. She lived with my parents and four other horses. She was fed daily, and played with, but no formal training other than haltering-leading-stable manners.

Two years ago I was finally able to move her to my new property and start working with her. My plan was to use her as a broodmare-she has very nice bloodlines. However, she is afraid of everything…new people (vets, farriers), spray bottles. Some days she is more tolerant than others…never can tell what she is going to be like. My vets checked her out and found her okay to breed, but she was to flighty to breed artificially. My vets recommended live breeding, at least in the beginning.

Friends of mine have a new young stallion they are promoting, and they took Nikki in early November to prepare her for breeding early this season. They have now called and want to return her. She is just very unhappy, paws a lot and grinds her teeth. They have her stalled, which is new to her and it seems like everything is a fight with her.

I am wondering if there could be a medical reason for her goofy attitude? A chemical imbalance or something? She has never been abused or anything, except for being left as just a pet. She generally is very sweet with me, I have sacked her out, she loves brushing and things like that-she is just very unpredictable.

Any thoughts you have are greatly appreciated.

Mary Lynn Veranese

Mary Lynn,

There is no medical reason. You just have an untrained 12 year old mare that needs training. I suggest you contact a professional trainer in your area that is willing to work with a mare of this age and see if they can help. Horses of this age that are not trained can take some time to work with and can be dangerous for the novice to work with.

Good Luck,
Dr. Lowder

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