Disrespectful mare/Sore hooves, or both?

E-mail I sent to a natural horsemanship trainer.

Hi Rick

Been watching a lot of your video’s on YT. Any advice would be appreciated.

I just bought this mare on the 25th of last month. Her previous owner said she was hard to catch. No biggie. We are keeping her in a large round pen, and that is where we work her. From the ground only. There are 22 acres here and she is not trustworthy enough to be turned out with the other horses at this point.

Is it bad to keep her in the area she also gets worked at?

It took me 8 days, working with her twice a day, just to get her to the point where I could pick up, hold, and clean her front hooves out. A few days ago, I was finally able to pick up, hold, and clean out her rear hooves. I do not know when she was trimmed last, if ever. Her hooves are being trimmed the end of this month. She does tie. One thing I noticed she does on her back legs, especially her right rear, is you can pick it up, she sort of tucks it in…then slowly with sorta jerky movements – she extends the leg almost all the way out, then pulls it back in. ???

While she has made grand improvements on being able to walk up, halter her, release her..groom her and clean her hooves out. She has no respect. When I work with her, I give her lots of praise when she shows me she is learning, she does lots of chewing. So I know when she ‘gets it’. But at times…I will go out just to pet her, or walk up to her relaxed and holding a lead rope at my side and she avoids me, turns away, shows her butt, pins her ears. Yes, she has also kicked out at me during free lunging. She tried to bite my friend once, and she tried to bite me – I corrected her and she hasn’t tried it since.

But turning toward the fence, stopping, and not moving ….I get her going again with some active movement on my part, but her head will go way up for a few strides, her ears will be back, her front half will be nearer the fence and her back end will start drifting out. I keep working with her, making her change direction.

Just to add. Yesterday I was working with her the same way. When I was done I slipped her halter off, and just stood there scratching her neck and shoulders, yadda yadda…I turned and started to leave and she followed me. I was tickled. So I stopped and gave her some more scratches and praise. Started to leave again – she followed me…yay?

But seeing how she was today – No joining up from her yet. A few times I was forced to hurl a lead rope at her butt to get her moving again. Because she had turned it toward me and wasn’t moving.
Also, sometimes when I ask her to stop – she will remain parallel to the fence with her head lowered. She won’t look at me. She is a bit underweight, and with her hooves not being trimmed till the 25th, I should not work her too strenuously correct?

What am I doing wrong, what am I doing right? This is a new horse, other than the few things her ex owner told me and what I am seeing for myself, or taught her to this point. I do not know her previous history.


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