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How do I unbore a bored horse?

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How do I unbore a bored horse?
  • We have a horse that is taking out her boredom on being naughty. I am new to the horseworld so I feel a bit lost here. Only thing I can think of is training tricks but not sure what treats to use since she is a little on the overweight side of the scale. 

    Tips please! :) 
  • Welcome. How about ear scratches instead of treats. Mine do anything for a belly or ear scratch.
  • Thank you ':)' 
    Hm.. strangely havent thought of that. She is very cuddly. She is very motivated by treats though like babycarrots so that is why I was on the thought of food rewards. I can always try it, but I dont know if it would motivate her enough or not. I know dogs and horses are very different, but I have experience in easily bored dogs and when they dont have a good enough reward its just not worth doing. ^^'
  • Is she with other horses?  If so, they usually keep each other occupied ':)'  Also, if you only ride in the arena, add some trail riding and vary her routine.  There are treat balls horses can roll to get treats out, takes time, occupies the mind more like grazing.
    Tell us about her and what you do with her and how you know she is bored ':)'
  • She has a horse and a donkey and aprix 35 cows as companions usually, but we just had a calf baby that she stole from the mother so she had to be put in with the bulls for now so the baby wouldnt dehydrate. She has also bitten the other horse and left a few wounds on her. Things are better now that the second horse accepted her as the higher ranked horse. We havent been able to ride because the ground has been covered in solid watery ice for a long time which is the biggest reason I suspect boredom. We hope that the grass will grow quickly now so she can be in the summer pasture with the others, but as for now the watersupply in that part managed to freeze in the ground. Oh, another sign is that she has chased the heifers from time to time what seems to be "just for fun". 

    I am completely green with horses and abit afraid of hights so I "can" only be on the second horse for now since she is calmer and safer. The ice has finally cleared up, but we cant saddle the second horse because of a wound right where my leg would be that the first horse caused. I was on her the other day while the horse standing still, bareback, just to get used to the feel and then out of nowhere the first horse bit her, thankfully not enough to break the skin. Of course it kinda spooked me. If I thought I could trust her I could saddle her and train riding on her, but I simply does not trust her at this point. She is too unpredictable and maybe even a little too headstrong for a green rider. 

    When I am on the ground she is the sweetest ever and greets me and loves when I pet her head and she is very easy to lead. She spooks easily. 

    The "troublehorse" is the bigger red in the picture, while the smaller buckskin is the calmer one. You also get a small fraction of the kind of area she has been in, free to roam and run to lose some weight and live a little more natural. 
  • Wow!  Where are you located?  Both horses (buckskin and bay) are beautiful.
    Sounds like she wants to work cows!  Some horses really like it ':)'  Do you know what she did before you got her?
    It's really not safe to ride in the same area as a loose horse so be very careful.  You never know when the loose horse might whirl and kick or spook your horse or as you experienced, bite the other horse!
    Good for you for knowing your limits.  Do you have a trainer in mind to work with her?
  • I am in minnesota and helps out on this ranch owned by someone that is more experienced in horses (Mr Y) than I am, but he has only had one horse at the time (and donkey) before. Tindra (the bored horse) is still very young, only 7-8 years old. Before us she was owned by someone that had her for about 4 years and rode her maybe three times. When Mr Y rides Tindra Cheyenne (the buckskin) whinnys after her like a foal after its mother and Lizzie the donkey hollers after her and it makes Tindra very nervous and somewhat stressed I think. 

    We hope that once Cheyenne is healed up we can both be on one each horse so they have eachother and yet is better controlled. Mr Y can control her pretty good once she is saddled up. 

    Since the ground is better we just talked about using her as the transportation to check the pregnant cows. I think Mr Y can be my riding teacher since he grew up on horses and helped his kids back in the day, but if we need more aid we have some people we can call that has said that they'd love to help if needed. ':)'

    I just need to find other ways to have her use her brain for now I believe. I have time doing this while Mr Y is at work part time. 

    Thanks for wanting to help me! ':)' All tips are great right now! 
  • Give her things to do that make her mind work, like laying out a pattern with poles on the ground and having her walk through without stepping on poles, have her back through, step her front end over it and have her step sideways to get off of it. Work on side passing by putting her nose to a fence so she will step sideways and not forward. There are lots of ideas on the net!
  • Thank you! Great ideas!

    As she was ridden for over half an hour today I dared asking to have her saddled up and have Mr Y lead her around with me ontop and it became a walk of about a mile. Its the first time I wasnt scared up on her compared to before when she has started to jump around in joy when I got up. This time she was calm and acting great and I think I will use your ideas to make her life a little less boring mixed with more riding now that weather allows better.

    Thank you all so much! I am so driven now to get started! 
  • [':)']
  • If you don't already have a helmet, buy one. Wear it every time you ride. Not knowing your horse except for what you've said, I might even recommend that you wear it when you are with her on the ground. You say she is very loving, comes up and wants her head rubbed. She is also dominant. It's OK to rub their head if you initiate the rubbing. For the horse to come up and demand it or begin rubbing on you is a dominance issue. My horse likes his head rubbed, also. But it only happens when I put my hand up in front of his face so he knows that I'm wanting to rub his head. I would NOT feed her out of my hand. Maybe later when she knows that YOU are the leader, maybe never. She does need groundwork from you. Two things will happen: she will have a job to do, which will make her less bored, and you will begin to become her leader. Good luck. [':)']
  • Thank you ':)' I do have a helmet, and she is not "my" horse, in the matter that I am not her main rider. We realized that we needed a horse each to be able to cover more ground during the summer once I am better and I needed a better fitted horse as well as Tindra needed her friend, so the dapple buckskin is "my main horse" in the line of duty of the farmlife. She is a follower and 13 almost 14 years old and more experienced with beginners than Tindra. Her main rider has been riding all his life and she knows she cant mess with him, I just want to improve her lifequality regarding the boredom since her owner works part time and I am home all day. It would be great training for me as well. ':)' Not to mention the fact that Cheyenne is still healing from the bite she recieved from Tindra a couple of weeks ago. She is almost healed but not enough to be saddled again yet.  

    Thanks for the tips. ':)' Really helpful. ':)'