I have had my mare for three months now and she has been perfectly fine; but recently she started refusing to walk up to the mounting block. Today, she would randomly refuse to walk on at all, even after I got on, and when I asked her to trot she would put her ears flat back. This behaviour is not like her at all, and shes not in heat and I have had her checked out by several professionals and she doesn't have any pain any where. Any help would be greatly appreciated.  I apologize if i have been rude to those people who are kind and giving me suggestions, I was not clear enough at first that I have had her checked for pain, and I doesn't seem to be a factor. I really dont want to be one of those people who wont take advice when they've asked for it. I was also wondering if she has gone barn sour, which would also be strange, and if she has, how I could fix that ?? 

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how do you know its not pain related? First thing is back, when someone mounts it puts pressure on ribs, wither, and spine which can get sore, and go out of place and need chiro work.

Second, she puts two and two together, rider gets on mounting block=being worked. She may not enjoy your riding technique (I know my new gelding in which I have owned for 4 months now has just started to realise that I am not going to just ride him on the rail as the previous owner did, and I want to do patterns, it took me 3 months of him getting confused on his show job, and me having to lay on the pressure for him to realise he doesn't need the rail to do his job) Now that being said, both of you are new, she is figuring you out as much as you are figuring her out, horses will test your boundaries on what they can get away with.

first, get her checked for pain, no horse should be "forced" into succumbing to something that they are quietly refusing because they are trying to tell you that they are in pain. Get a registered massage therapist, or chiro (preferably one who doesn't know the horse or the previous owners, but has good refrences) to check the horse over.

second, check tack, especially the saddle, a bad saddle fit can cause the horse pain when there is nothing wrong with the horse until they are mounted

if horse is sound, bring the mounting block during grooming sessions, make the mounting block a positive thing, if she seems fine with it near her, put it back in the riding arena, and lead her to it as if you are getting ready to mount, if she refuses, make her move her shoulder and hip in and out with pressure, but keep her either where she is or closer to the mounting block don't let her back or turn away from it. Once she is at the mounting block, get her to patiently stand in a relaxed position there beside the mounting block, work on wrapping her legs, stretching her legs, lengthing and shortening your leathers/fenders, petting her ect ect. DO NOT get on the horse, reward her for being patient and showing no ill will to the mounting block, and finish the lesson. Do this for a good 7 lessons, no riding just postive positive positive, then add another step, mounting, mount once she will pateintly stand at the mounting block for a good 10 minutes, once you have mounted, give her a pat, and get off. Walk her around the mounting block, bring her back to the mounting block, make her stand patiently again, then mount again, give her a pat, make sure she doesn't walk off, and then dismount, call it a day and go brush. Once she shows no ill will to mounting and being patient then continue to ride while still making ehr be patient at the mounting block. If she then starts to act up again, you ahve narrowed it down to her being sour to your riding, or she has a bad work ethic and you ahve to make her like working.

this should take a good 2 months if you ride 3-7 times a week:

week 1: get her checked by chiro and a saddle fitter
week 2: start grooming her with the mounting block beside her
week 3-4: get her to stand with the mounting block in the arena, then progress to standing at the mounting block while owner fusses with gear in the arena
week 5-6: start mounting, reward, pressure released by dismount and moving way from mounting block, remount, continue until there is no ill will
week 7-8: start slowly bring horse into work, still using week1-6's information
Thanks for the suggestions, but I am as about sure as you can be that her behaviour is not pain related (I'm not 100% sure because I can not get inside her head).. I also do not believe that she is work-sour, she loves to work, the more work the happier she is. However if doing some ground work with her and establishing with her that I am her leader does not work, I will try your tip with the mounting block. Thank you :)
I'm with Sassy. It sounds like pain to me. Palpate that back and check her saddle fit first, then work your way around looking for anything that hurts. If she's changing shape with the seasons, the saddle probably doesn't fit the way it used to. A pad with shims is always a good investment. Also, if she has any arthritis, this is the time of year for it act up. Regardless of the source of the pain, some MSM will likely help the healing process.
I have had her saddle checked by myself and many experienced people and we all agree that it still fits properly. We have also checked her back over for any sore spots.. nothing, my instructor is of the opinion that she is testing me, and that she is just checking to see if I am her leader... thats for the suggestions though.
I have a question, and I am sorry if it comes off rude (as I am not trying to be), why do you ask for help, and then contradict peoples good advice when you believe you have the answer? I had this same issue with another person on advice.

Instructors ARE NOT registered chiro or a vet by all means. I and my world champion riding instructor thought my horse was testing me, but because I listened to someone on a forum I went for 2 chiro treatments seemed her back, shoulders, poll, hips, and a few ribs were all out, then I had another "oh she is just testing you" and guess what she had a HUGE ulcer in her mouth (by huge I mean this vet had never seen anything this size before) and a rotting tooth. It is worth checking out, as I felt seriously guilty by trying to show her I am boss and she can't be boss when she was being a honest good horse by showing disobedence in the nicest way she could to show me she was hurting, the RI and the vet and the chiro said my mare was worth her weight in gold because she didn't harm me..interesting enough she wouldn't let me mount with a mounting block (sound familiar). What do you know about her loving to work? My gelding loves to work, the mare I was talking about loved to go fast, but hated actual work, there is a difference between going to work, and moving.

sorry, I believe my horses should get chiro just like farrier, same with dental. Call me spoiled but I believe (even if your horse isn't out) that atleast you know. Atleast you can 100% check off that she is sound and happy..that seems more ethic for this animal that works for your pleasure, doesn't buck you off, and brings happiness to your life, just to make sure she is happy..some horses feel the need to hide their pain as its a weakness and in the wild they would be picked out and eaten.
Im sorry, i don't mean to contradict people and I guess I should have been more clear in my question that i HAVE had everything related to pain checked out, our vet came just last week for the regular checkup , and there is someone at my barn who is a practicing chripracter who also has checked my horse out, and given a few massages too. I dont meant to be rude or contradictory, I just want to be clear that pain is not a factor here. I appreciate people's advice and I am sorry that I did not make it clear that we have had every possible thing checked out on her pain-wise. Also as to how I know she loves to work?? well I cant be positive of course, but all her normal behaviour, before and after I bought her, seems to suggest that she loves it. For example, alot of horses (at least schoolies anyways) are quite happy to go and stand in the center. My horse, on the other hand, will try to go back out to the track and work if we are standing around. She has challenged my leadership a couple of times, for example when I first got her she was very pushy and just try to run right through me to get through a gate instead of waiting, things like that.
I guess what I am looking for is advice of what could be going on with her, other than pain. is she scared?? frustrated?? bored (like you suggested) ?? she could be work-sour, but if she is it would be very sudden.. I am sorry if I am just rejecting people's advice, as I also hate when people do that, I really dont mean to come across that way its just that I am trying to make it clear that I have ruled out pain, and at the same time, im trying to give an idea of what she is normally like. Once again im sorry if I am being rude or condtradictory, i really dont mean to be
I thought about not replying, because I don't want to seem argumentative, but... I've been where you are. In fact, my journey down that road just ended with permanent retirement for my 14 y.o. TB. I've only had him for a year. No one could find the pain, but the resistance continued. 'Work through it', I was told, 'It's just attitude.' It got worse and worse. I finally had to put my foot down and pull him out of work. I don't know how bad the damage was before I bought the horse (PPE was o.k.), but the leg in question was, at this point, worn out. Now, the pain was easy to find, there was fluid on his stifle, and the flex test showed a 3. Now I'm paying $125/mo. for him to sit in a pasture. It should be noted that this horse has a terrible attitude toward people. He had a lot of trust issues and it was easy to blame it all on attitude. If a strange behaviour arises suddenly, look to physical causes first. Maybe just try giving her a couple of weeks off, just to see if it helps. Best of luck to you both. I really do hope it's nothing at all.
thank you, I certainly dont want to have that happen to my girl, she's only 5 years old.. I will try giving her a little time off and see if it helps, I actually gave her today off, I just went out to the barn and loved her
What type of saddle?
I seem to be picking up that your mare objects to weight being put into the stirrups.
I have had success with sour movers with the Corrector saddle fitting system (thecorrector.net.)
Feel under the padding of your saddle (the part that goes on your horse's back.) When I felt under my 30+ yr old jumping saddles I felt dimples above the padding, which according to the guy who developed the Corrector is fine. In my oldish dressage saddle I felt a vertical band about 2" wide and about 1/4" thick. In my Wintec GP I felt a conic protrusion around 1/2", sort of to the back. If your saddle is like the last two the Corrector will protect your horses back from these protrusions. Some saddlers say these protrusions are to make the seat aids stronger, but Len Brown (the Corrector guy) says they can eventually cause a lot of pain while riding.
I hope this helps. Horses sure can be puzzling at times, can't they?
There is a lot of information on the Corrector site, and lots of pages. I think the saddle stuff was on page 11.
thank you, i will check to see what her saddle feels like.. its a cheapy (a supra) so if it needs a pad added on its no big deal cause i didn't pay much for the saddle in the first place.
Sorry to be another contradictor, but there is pain somewhere.

My guess is a problem with your saddle or your horse's teeth, but the pain could be anywhere.

Do you have an expert saddle fitter near where you ride? A saddle fitter is different that a certified master saddler (such as Jochen Schleese who blogs here).

What about teeth? Do you have a vet who is very good at equine dentistry?

I know she's been checked, but a sudden change in behaviour just out of the blue almost always says pain. Sometimes the pain is very hard to find.
thank you, I've had her teeth checked out twice, once before I bought her and then again last week by my vet, and I haven't noticed anything else that usually indicates a mouth problem, although if we keep having issues I will have them checked again. I dont believe I have a professional saddle fitter in my area, although I remember one came here in the summer, I will try to find out when they are coming back and if they are around before the issue is resolved to have them check my saddle out. In the mean time I believe that I will try a pad on her and see if it helps since all of the suggestions here are pain-related, I thought I had ruled out pain but I realize that it is true what you and Kinni P said, sometimes pain is hard to find until it is too late.. thank you for your input


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