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Spooky horse

This is a discussion on Spooky horse within the Endurance Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Horse too spooky for endurance
  • Horse is too spooky

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    03-04-2013, 03:22 PM

I worked my Arabian first in the round pen to get him used to scary things. Then I rode him out and had people walk out from behind trees and carry scary things. All the time teaching him to spook in place...Meaning do not run for the hills! Take alook at a John lyons youtube video on the subject...It works as my horse was a total spook too. He still spooks but does not bolt anymore.
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    03-04-2013, 05:10 PM
Thank you :)
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    03-04-2013, 08:06 PM
Green Broke
My only suggestions is to always have a secure seat, like your horse is going to spook any moment (not literally, don't be tense). But always have your leg stretched down, a deep seat with a secure lower leg.

I know with me it seems like the minute I relax my position, my horse does something silly. Luckily, my thighs of steel have the ability to perform a death grip within a nanosecond and I usually stay on. On a trail ride/camping trip last year I had just taken my feet out of my stirrups (English saddle) and let my heels come up and, lo and behold, she spooks and jumps sideways. My thighs clamped down so fast they cramped! LOL. But I stayed on!

Sorry you aren't feeling well after the fall. Hoping you heal up soon!
    03-04-2013, 08:08 PM
Apparently my mom looked at my left side and I have bruising all down my left side, my face, my neck, my chest and my hip.
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    03-08-2013, 03:14 PM
I like to ride in full seat riding breeches even if I am in a western saddle. That gives me more sticking power.

You need to be ever on the alert if your horse tends to bolt. I would work on brakes at home. Your horse needs to learn to stop even if you have a bear after you. What kind of bit are you using? Also, I would keep some contact on my reins all the time. Looped reins are not going to be ready for stops in emergencies.

It is very likely that your horse will get a lot better if you keep riding on trails. Trail riding is not something that is automatic for most horses. It takes experience for them to figure out that goblins are not out to get them.
    03-08-2013, 03:45 PM
I'm using a long shanked hackmore thing, he doesn't work well in a bit at all.
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    03-08-2013, 04:05 PM
Well it didn't work in an emergency, which means it isn't working well. You might be better off going back into the arena and really working on perfecting your starts and stops. This is a young horse and it is a little soon to expect perfection.

My horse was a bit psycho this time last year. I have persisted in riding her often and she is much better. I also went from a snaffle to a short shanked curb bit. I get much better response to this. I personally have not had much luck with bitless bridles. Other people do real well with them. My issue is that I don't feel that I get the fine tuning control that I do with a bit. I keep a fairly loose rein but I have the stopping power when I need it.

I believe that it is better to take her out often on shorter rides than to only go out every few weeks on long rides.
    03-10-2013, 11:28 AM
My horses have been through and continue to go through serious desensitization training. Every two weeks at my barn we have a complete course set up with balloons, flags, tarps, hanging things, noisy things, etc. Yet my horses still can and do spook on occasion. For horses it's not just about getting used to things, it's about visual and hearing perception and even their mood. So to me it's not about stopping a horse from spooking, but about being able to stay on "almost" no matter what.

If a horse bolts and you go over the back of the saddle, something is wrong with your seat. Same with spinning, scooting sideways, etc. Our minds can't react in time for our body to adjust consciously to a horse's movement. That's why I believe in using the receptors in our hips, knees and ankles that telegraph movement to our brain before we are conscious of it. We use these every day when we are walking. That's why you can trip and catch yourself before you fall. It's a reflex.

We can tap into this reflex the same way we do when we're walking: by putting a moderate amount of weight down through our leg and onto the balls of our feet in the stirrups. This means your leg has to be balanced underneath your center of gravity. Then, just like it would if you were skiing, your body will automatically adjust for changes in the horse's position: side to side, forward and back.

If you're sitting on your butt on a stool, someone can easily push you over. If you're standing balanced with your feet on the ground over the stool, then someone will have a very hard time pushing you over.
bsms, Charley horse and greentree like this.
    03-10-2013, 08:53 PM
Huh. Never thought of it like that
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    03-13-2013, 04:23 PM
Would ponying him around on my big horse be a good idea too?
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