Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TB filly that bulges out to fence and refuses to move

I have a three year old TB filly that is off the track, on the ground she is sweet and respectful, not spooky, and tries to please.But when I get on her she is impossible to ride, all she does it bulge sideways (feels like she is going to fall over) and goes to the fence (dragging herself basically, and does the classic rub riders leg against fence. I have barb-wire fences, my arena has no fence and is in a barb wire paddock. Unlike most horses, no matter how much I kick , she refuses to move, just presses into the fence harder, and WILL NOT move, I have tried blocking one side using both reins and outside leg, but it does not have any effect on her, she seems to completely ignore everything. When she presses into the fence I know it has got to hurt her too. I have sat out consistently tapping her with a dressage whip and my heel as she does this for about 15 minutes, and she still wouldn't move (except into the fence even more). I have lunged her and what not but she is VERY hard to get to go, she does OK overall. I have no idea what to do, and everyone I have talked to that has ex-racers has never had this problem, and she isn't my first ex-racer. She is physically sound. I know the farm she was from and I know that they do very little if any groundwork, and everyone tells me to start from scratch, and that is what I have done already, I just can't train this habit out of her and continue with her training.

Hello Karmi,

First of all, it is very important not to be influenced by anyone telling you that she should know better, or that other TBs they have had did not have this problem. Every horse has different experiences and responds differently to these experiences..(as you obviously already realize).

She clearly just has no clue, and remember that this is in no way HER fault....now you have the responsibility and it will be a really interesting experience on learning how to help her.

She does not seem to understand the basic aids, and going forward or away from leg pressure is not a reflex with her, or she once knew it and someone confused her.

I strongly recommend that you purchase some Linda Tellington Jones
DVDS, and one of her Complete Training books. I think you should start right off from the beginning with the leading techniques. It is not a longer process or a waste of time and you will get results as the mare starts to understand.

The second leading position...what Linda calls the Dingo, will get the mare to start learning the basics all over again. (By the way, I get no kickback from recommending her). LOL...I do not recommend round penning with your mare....or some of the forceful Natural Horsemanship methods. Some are fine, but she has enough to figure out. I also think you should try using a Bitless Bridle so she will respond from direct pressure from all over her head, not just her mouth. I will be happy to help you more....my email is

Summersdressage@aol.com and my website, www.MitziSummers.com

I am more than willing to go step by step with you...