Please help!?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-02-2013, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Please help!?!

Well I got my pony in January this year.. He's 6 in may was very very nervous when I first got him.. On the ground he was a nervous wreck in the saddle different pony.. He had only been broken in 2 weeks before I bought him which I didn't know at the time I was told the girl I got him off had had him a year and done all sorts.. He's very sensible in the riding aspect.. At least until spooked.. He began to trust me quite quickly as I spent alot of time on the ground with him I found he had lice so I fully clipped him out myself (first time he's seen clippers well I believe) scared but calmed down quickly with reassurance.. Every gate we used to go through he would rush through it and spin round so his bum was away from me quickly.. I realised he was very scared o people being near his bum! Tensed up there when clipping.. Would kick out at you trying to pick his back feet up.. I took a whip in the field with me once as it was bringing in time so had all the horses at the gate and some are not nice so was to protect my self.. Walked up to my pony.. He just stood there absolutely frozen! Eyes couldn't of been wider! He was trembling and didn't know whether to run away from me or trust me! He decided to trust me and soon realised that I wouldn't hit him with it.. Started doing loads of ground work with whips.. Was fine with me being between him and the whip when he was comfortable with that I made the whip flap about between me and the pony.. Which he didn't like much at first but trusted me to do it.. Can now pick all feet out although his back legs tremble whilst doing them but he's getting there.. Today I've tried to long rein him which he absolutely hated the lunge lines being behind him wasn't scared of me it was the lines and bolted.. Galloping round the school in a big scare.. I managed to stop him with my voice just telling him to stand once he listened he ran to me in a panic.. I wondered if there's anything I can do to work him from behind so he's not as scared of things behind him.. He's also bolted out hacking before as he heard a drill from behind him and panicked.. He is young and green but I'm doing lots of ground work and excerising him properly I want him to be as chilled as poss! Any excersise ideas welcome will try anything to try to stop thins near his bum being so scary! He's had bags all over him etc not bothered very odd really.. He's definitely been hit on his back end with a whip. Thanks In advance x
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-02-2013, 09:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Use your lunge line and halter. Stand on his near side and pass the line under his neck then walk toward his hindquarters leaving room for his hindquarters to turn. Gently pull on the lead to unwind him. Be careful back there as he may panic when it touches his hindquarters. That's why you want to give him some room. Keep doing this and as you turn him hold the line at different heights. Be sure to do this on both sides. The more you run ropes or your line over him - rub his back, let it slice down his hip, etc the better he will get used to it. Even pass it around a leg and gently seesaw it up and down. Let him feel it up under his tail.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-03-2013, 05:19 AM
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Sounds to me like he's probably not at all relaxed & calm about being ridden, but too terrified to show much... until a 'final straw' causes him to have a big reaction. Sounds like he hasn't been desensitised to things generally or taught to trust much at all. He may not have been punished with a whip or on the rump, but without learning how to *respond* to it with understanding, he's reacting to it - & you being near his rump - in fear.

Sounds like this pony needs to be started *well* this time. I'd start with the basics before going on to 'harder' stuff like ground driving, riding, etc. Gradually & keeping it easy & low stress/confrontation, you will be able to get him used to all sorts, but if you're not absolutely sure how to go about it, I'd find a good, understanding trainer/instructor to help you.
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-03-2013, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Well I got him from a dealer so where he's been before I got him I don't know.. The change In him since I got him has been amazing but he's still got a very long way to go! He was broken 22nd December 2012 I bought him January 9th 2013 so he had been broken 2/3 weeks before I got him I was told he was broken a year!.. In trying to trace the one and only person on his passport that owned him in 2008! He's coming on in his general ground work but is still nervy of people behind him.. He's not long started to let me pick his back feet out and his legs tremble whilst I do them! But I could jump around his stable being a idiot and he wouldn't bat a eye lid so he does trust me but not completely.. What other desensitising things can I do with him?
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-03-2013, 06:43 AM
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What can you desensitise him to? Lots of stuff is necessary if you're going to do much with him. Hooves, ropes, whip, saddle, trailer, you being behind him... the list goes on. It's the way that you do it that I think is vital. Perhaps he thinks he has to allow you to have his foot, but if he's trembling, he's definitely not happy about it & sounds like an explosion waiting to happen!

There are a number of ways to desensitise & I suggest you learn about 'approach & retreat' methods, to learn how you can do it with minimal confrontation & stress. For eg with his feet, I'd start wherever he's comfortable & only ask for a little more. Repeat this sort of thing, but in short 'sessions' so you don't overdo it. Only after he's comfortable with that step - not just accepting - would I ask him to accept a little more. I tend to be more gradual with a horse that's learned it must accept but is frightened about it than I'd do with a horse that just hasn't learned anything. It can be tedious to begin with, but it tends to get much quicker the more you do & rubs off on other 'tasks' as he learns to trust you.

So... With hoof eg, lets say he's now comfortable with you standing at his shoulder but not touching his leg. I'd start with him on a lead, not tied, so he can move his feet when he needs. I'd touch the top of his leg but only for a second or few(whatever you think he will take without panicking or shutting down). Then stop. Move away a bit. Start again. Get him comfortable with seconds of before minutes, at whatever step you're at. So say he's fine with having his legs touched & held but not picked up. When you first 'ask' with a bit of pressure & the instant he *starts* to pick it up, quit. Get him understanding about that cue before you hold his leg while it's up for a few seconds. Another reason it's important to do this gradually with feet is that every time the horse manages to get his foot away from you, especially in fear, the more he's likely to do it. But even little horses can be hard & dangerous to hang onto a hoof when they're reactive. So set it up to make it most likely for you *both* to win without any 'losers'. Make things as easy as possible for him. Ask for only small improvements at a time.
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