Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Not What I Thought

This is the second of some videos I took to show y'all how my pony was super girthy and pissy.  The first video cut off her head so it was harder to know what was going on.  The video is super short but I noticed something very interesting.  She's not reacting to the girth at all.  You can see that when I am tightening the girth she's not really doing much.  Also, by tightening, let me say that you could house a small family in the space between girth and belly at this point.  We tighten again in the arena and then we have to walk around for a while or I will find another Grand Canyon of space between girth and pony after I mount.

So, you'll notice the only time the princess puts on the Pissy Face is when I walk in front of her and then when I am on her right side fussing with the girth.  I chose not to react to her face at all because I wanted to show everyone what she does without any interpretation from me.  Okay, ready to give me some thoughts?  Ideas?  What would you do?  She mostly is just threatening, but when I first got her I was cleaning out her front hoof and she reached around and bit me on the butt.  Not cool, princess, not cool at all.  

I have a saddle on trial for the next TWO WEEKS!!!!  I will be posting about attitudes and changes and hopefully then will be posting about how awesome my new saddle is  Of course, I may have to sell my child into slavery but what's a little child slavery compared to a new saddle.....


  1. No, it doesn't look like she minds the saddle too much. It looks like "mare personal space" to me. You need to decide whether you care or not if she snarks at you. If you don't like it when she snarks at you (and try not to ever take a step back when she does as that's a submissive gestrure), you need to say something - just ask her to do something - take a step backwards or to the side, or wait for ears up and then praise her. I've seen a lot worse in mare-land - Dawn frequently shows her teeth, particularly for blanketing/unblanketing, but I know her well and it's all show and doesn't escalate, and she never actually bites me - she knows the rules. When Pie pins at me, I have him do something. Drifter also tries to nip sometimes, but that's stallion/gelding play behavior that can shade into aggressiveness - with him, I always insist "no nibbies" and immediately ask him to do something else to take his mind off his mouth.

    I guess what I'm saying is that it depends on what you want and on your horse - make a decision and be consistent. What I saw in the video doesn't look too bad at all, although I'd likely do something when she snarks - take the lead and ask her to back a step or two. Otherwise you're agreeing that it's OK.

  2. I love seeing videos!

    Absolutely zero reaction from her to saddle/girth.

    100% reaction to you!

    Of course, to me it looks like she's just trying to get your attention. She actually seems a little disappointed that you don't do anything back.

    She looks like a four-year-old trying to get you to play her game on her terms.

    I agree with Kate, you decide if this bothers you or not. I think it's great that you gave us a baseline to look at with no interference from you. I also agree if you want to stop the behavior, don't step back from her. I bet a little growling would go a long way.

    But then again, so will just ignoring her, just like you did in your video. Going about your business calmly and ignoring her will probably solve the problem. Arabians can be very reactive and don't respond to harsh correction the same way a quarter horse would. They can become resentful. It's a fine line.

    That being said, the way she's acting is definitely a learned behavior, since it's so focused on you as her handler--it very well could have been due to a poor fitting saddle in her past, an old trainer, etc. Who knows.

    I'd actually try the "just ignore" approach, as long as she's just making faces and not trying anything dangerous like nipping, etc, and just see what happens.

    If she does try to bite, a quick pop to the face and immediately going back to calmly doing what you were before should be enough to stop it.

  3. i agree with Kate. She doesnt seem concerned about the saddle but she definatly is not a fan of you walking in front of her. Shes super cute though lol. G does the same and will nip at my toes while riding or nip at my butt while im trying to pick out his feet its always when he feels we are not doing enough so it always results in him being asked to do something. He learned quickly that he can stand quietly or if he wants to nip he has to work.