I acquired my mare May 26th. I have known this pony for over a year now, and rode her on and off throughout the year. She was bought and returned to the farm because daughter lost interest in riding. She was sent off on consignment to the lady who first broke her and returned to the farm in May unsold due to the trainer being overcrowded and low on time. Bella is a 5 year old Connemara Cross (guessing, we don’t actually know for sure on breed) 14.2 hands very dainty build. Last summer when I rode her she required 5 minutes of lunging prior to being ridden to get her “wiggles” out (per owner instructions, not my own accord). When she came back to the farm and she was offered to me as my own, she was going very good without lunge work, and performed amazingly with me. From that time to present, she has gained muscle, stamina and has just come a long way in such a short amount of time.
Jump to the past two weeks.
She’s a bitch. There’s no way to put it any other way.
she went from sweet lovey dovey pony to Dominant bitch. Her old owner (she is still boarded where she lived with the old owner) said that she was a VERY hard headed dominant mare when she went for training. I have never experienced (neither last year nor in the near two months that I’ve owner her this year) experienced her acting out dominantly towards me until now. Swinging hind end towards me, pinning ears back and making ugly faces at me, and even going so far as to attempt biting me in the shoulder when I get after her about the hind end. Popping her in the round pen, she occasionally tries to kick out at my head if I ask her to do something that she doesn’t want to do.
Frankly I’m just extremely frustrated with her and feel defeated and my feelings are hurt. We were doing SO good. Started jumping small cross rails, courses, and were really going beautifully on the flat. She was taken on her first trail ride and was such an amazing champ. I thought we were doing GREAT.
The other odd new behavior is her sudden opposition to being saddled/girthed. She has NO ouch in her back or her girth area yet she swishes her tail, half kicks out (not as aggressive as the round pen incidents) and sometimes turns her head and bites the girth. While I first thought it was a bad saddle fit, she also reacts the same way with the surcingle.
Her previous owner told me that she had a basic parelli background. The dressage trainer who broke her had done parelli work for a month before she felt comfortable saddle training her. She seems to think that Bella is just being testy and acting out to see what she can get away with now that I take care of and deal with her almost exclusively. She showed me a few basic parelli type games to establish that I am dominant and that Bella is to respect me. While she remembered the games, she also retalliated on several occasions by attempting to bite me and strike out with her front feet.
Can someone give me insight? Is she just being testy? (She is not in heat) I feel like she hates me all of a sudden. I think I am just heartbroken because we were doing SO well and I was so happy with where we were. And now this. How do I regain courage to work through it with her and what can I do to get through this?