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Mare out of control
Some horses will try you everyday in the dominence game. Sometimes they will give in and quit. Other times, you have to watch them everyday and not give them an inch to do anything wrong. The big thing is to watch her every move as much as you can when you are around her. Keep your entire attention focused on her. Try to see what she does right before she does anything aggressive... anything. What you are looking for are suptle signs that will telegraph to you that she is going to try something. Once you learn what to look for, you can stop her bad behavior before it gets full blown. This is not easy to learn, and there are times that I totally miss the signals, myself, with my own horses.

You are right that it is firmness more than hitting and smacking the horse. But the firmness or being strict with your horse goes hand-in-hand with anticipating what your mare is going to do and stop it before it ever becomes a dangerous situation. The quicker you can stop it, the less she will try you, and the more she will be willing to accept you as herd leader. But that firm, strict attitude that you must have, must be there all the time and it must be real. I had a mare that was an excellent jumper, but if there was the slightest hesitation in me when we approached a jump I wasn't sure of, she'd stop dead in her tracks and not take the jump. I tried acting brave and like nothing was wrong, but it didn't work. She knew I was faking it. Your confidence in your mare MUST be real or she'll never believe you mean it.

I had a similar experience just last night. I always put Terra(my mare... and not the same one I was just talking about[Wink]) out when I get home from work (after 11:00pm) for the night. Last night, she didn't want to go out because it's been muddy around here and she didn't want to step down out of her stall and into the mud. She tried it and turned back into the stall. I stood off to one side in the stall(my stalls are 10'x14'), waved my arms, and told her, "GET OUT OF HERE!" Vwoom!!! She made a flying leap and was out the door[Big Grin]! LOL! I was firm, I never laid a hand on her, and I shouted like I was going to skin her alive... and she believed me. I was the herd leader, and she knew she had to do what I told her to do, or else. I gave her no chance to question me or balk me.

The whole thing is, the more your mare wins over you in this dominence game of hers, the harder it's going to be for you to change her behavior. The change has to start now and must be permanent. If you cannot do this, then you would be better off selling her and getting a horse with a much more docile temperament more suited to you. It sounds like she's a wonderful horse, as you've said when your Fiancee rides her. The difference is that she knows he's the herd leader, and they get along together just fine. If you cannot fill that roll, then I really don't think she's the horse for you. There are other horses out there that would suit you just fine and not give you these kind of problems.

So it's all up to you, and I truly wish you all the best, my friend[thumbsup].
"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
Thanks I have been taking all that into it is all up to me and my actions.....I will apply them to the best of my abilities and see what comes of it.....I can do this and like you said no faking....fingers crossed!
To measure for a bit take a stick or string. i find that something solid works better then something like string. Mark a spot on it a few inches from the one end. Place the stick in her mouth with that mark up to the corner of her lip, mark on the other side. Measure this and then depending on the style of bit you will need to add 1/4-1/2" to it. What type of bit is it?
I really like john lyons methods too, sound and practical. It sounds like you have taken a big step forward, you know what you have to do. IT won't happen overnight so little goals are probally the best. There is a good book by john lyons called "growing up with baby." I know she is not a baby but it might help her and you get started from the beginning again. I think it's good for any age horse that needs to go back to basics. I still go back to it when our training goes backward. Good luck, look forward to hearing of your accomplishments.
stormie I have all kinds of different bits in the barn,,,BUT the one I want to keep in her mouth is a simple snaffle bit. My trainer has some pretty rugged shank bits. I do not want to put those in her mouth no matter what. I can't see doing that to a horse. I am smart enough to know that I need to have control of the horse, and not rely on a harsh bit that makes her uncomfortable. Besides that is not how I want to win her attention over anyway. I want a partnership. I have today off...I am trying to think of what to do with her? Something simple yet something where I can show my dominance, and let her know it's my way or work.....HELP PLEASE????
The last thing I would be thinking about is what bit I'd use. If the vet said she is fine physically, then you have a major disrespect issue going on. She needs a Clinton Anderson tune up big time!!! "Gaining Respect and Control". If she's that nutty on the ground, a blow out is waiting in the saddle. YOU will feel and be more in control only when you have the tools. Be careful!

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