|Mississippi 3 year old Paso Fino working in
Halter and Western Saddle in round pen.
Question: Three year old filly training just started. She accepts lounging
and saddling with no problems. After several days of being saddled and
turned loose in the round
From Panelist Laura
Sounds like this is something she will just have to get used to.
Keep working her quietly and pretty much ignore her acting scared
of her tail. Are you sure she's not reacting to the saddle or other
tack? You can start de-spooking her by waving blankets around her,
be sure she is in a safe place like a round pen, so she can run away a
little and get a good look at whatever you are waving at her.
After she gets used to seeing something being waved around, you could tie
strips of cloth to the saddle and let her get used to seeing strange things
waving around her while she is moving. Let her wear the "scary" stuff
until she relaxes and will stand quietly. Then put on something else
scary. Don't do this all in one day - try new scary things on consecutive
days. BUT don't put her up until after she relaxes with each new
object. You don't want to give her a horsey heart attack but
From Panelist Erica
I would work on your filly, getting her used to things behind her and accepting them calmly. Working with a rope around her hindquarters and along her hind legs. Or even a dressage whip to rub down the backs of her legs.
She sounds overly sensitive to the new saddle and the only thing she can think of that is causing it is her tail - of which it isn't, but helping her get through and over this obstacle will help her in future training sessions in which you introduce new things.
With a rope, you can sling it over the horn of the saddle and let it fall over her rump, but keep it above her hocks while she goes around the pen. Once she relaxes and accepts the rope, reward her and change sides, then allow it to fall a little lower on her legs. Never allow it to become so long and loose as to catch her hind feet and get tangled.
Fraom Panelist Jonathan
Wow! This is different . I have a gut feeling you are leaving some info
out of your question! When exactly did the symptom start , ie; when you
first put her under saddle ? When you finished with a series of long
term longing ? After sitting her for the first time ? Have you been up
on her yet ?
Sorry I don't have more for you .
From Panelist Liz
In this case I would unwrap the tail and continue to lounge her and
saddle her just as you have as well as let her be loose for long periods
of time in the round pen. Her tail will always be there and for what ever
reason she has decided to react to it , she needs to get
When she starts kicking at her tail do not give her a reaction. Just
let her be if she is loose
Be sure your round pen is a safe one that when she is kicking at the tail she can not kick and get a leg hung in a rail . 3/4 inch plywood lining of the inside of a round pen is a good safety barrier.
Please be careful and don't get in the line of fire when she is kicking.
Fraom Panelists Theresa
You mentioned she was fine for three days, then began bucking "at her
1) I would wonder if the horse is actually seeing the stirrups
2) If all of the above check out ok, then you may choose to have
3) Is she coming into heat? Does she cycle normally? If this goes away
From Panelist Stella
The unfamiliar sensation of the saddle has her heightened her awareness
of all tactile sensations, new and old. Just because a horse is not overtly
bucking and running doesnt mean they have accepted the saddle and are relaxed
with it. She is likely roaching her back against it somewhat, which often
causes the tail to tuck between the legs more than normal. Being you are
using a western saddle, be sure that it is fitting her properly, this is
Wrapping the tail simply adds another new element for her to worry about;
her tail has always been there, and its best just to leave unwrapped. Rather
than turn her loose, give her some confidence by walking her with the saddle
on with the lead; lunging her at a walk and slower forward speeds, gradually
encouraging her to stay relaxed, where you can control her easily, help
build her confidence. She sounds like she may be a little timid and
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