Any advice on how to regain confidence on a horse that you dont trust

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Any advice on how to regain confidence on a horse that you dont trust

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  • How do i regain confidence with my horse
  • How to regain my confidence horse

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  • 1 Post By corgi
  • 1 Post By Koyuki

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    05-15-2012, 08:25 AM
Question Any advice on how to regain confidence on a horse that you dont trust

G'day there!

Im about to get my little-bit-loopy mare back after about 4 years of riding very occasionally-with no happy riding experience on her in that time. I have been riding for 14 years (10 of consistant riding. I have never had any confidence issues on any of my other horses, and they were not all perfect! To be honest, none of my worst falls were even on this mare, but I am so scared of her. Obviously she picks up on that, and that is probably what is causing her to be nervous around me. Even on the ground if I try to catch her in her stable she will back up to me and kick out. Her ground manners leave alot to be desired. She is a sweet heart deep down, and I don't want to give up on her.

I am just very concerned that if I don't get over my fear of her soon, I am going to ruin her or something :(
Does anyone have any advice on how to come across more confident around her? I can read her body language fairly well, but she can read mine even better!!

I appreciate any advice anyone can give me :)

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    05-15-2012, 08:48 AM
The only thing I can suggest is to have a trainer work with you and your mare together. That is what I had to do to work through my confidence issues with my mare. Took less than 6 lessons to get to a point where I could ride her out on the trail, alone. I was surprised at how quickly I gained my confidence back!
Skyseternalangel likes this.
    05-16-2012, 12:36 AM
I would definitely get someone out to work with the both of you. Starting with her ground manners, then eventually riding. Depending on how long ago she was backed, she could probably use a refresher course. Or two. Or three. Because it doesn't sound like she's 'nervous' so much as taking advantage of you. And I'm not entirely sure you'll be able to get over that without some outside help.
    05-16-2012, 12:41 AM
Ride. Ride. And ride some more until you feel comfortable. I don't trust Selena. I have never trusted Selena nor will I ever. But I went from being scared of her to willing to kick her a** when she tries to pull her old tricks on me. All that changed was the fact that I rode her through all the fear.

A trick I can tell you is always talk in a soft voice. Sing. She won't be able to pick up on your fear as easy because as long as you're talking or singing, you're breathing evenly. People don't realize that when they get scared they tense up and hold their breath. That's what the horse picks up on.
    05-16-2012, 01:05 AM
Funny you mention singing- when I used to ride her when I was a teenager I had to sing constantly from the second I took her out of her stable until the second she was back in her yard. It doesnt seem to work so well anymore.

I went out there today to see if a new saddle I bought fits her and she was fine until she thought I was going to mount, she pulled back, reared up at me, struck at me, pushed me into the fence and cornered me. I stayed calm the whole time (as calm as I could with a huge fat horse trying to squish me), and just ignored her behaviour. She stopped and got over it. Then I tried to check to see about these wolf teeth I have been informed of and the second I touched one she reared up again and lost it.

The vet is coming out to remove them tomorrow, yay. And im still waiting to hear back from the people that will hopefully be retraining her. Until then im going to have to work super hard on her manners and basic ground work. Just to take her halter off today resulted in me being trapped between her rump and the fence :(
    05-16-2012, 01:09 AM
Do some of Clinton Anderson's groundwork. Get her feet moving around you, Make her yield and if she fights you fight her back. She is dangerous but you have to make yourself her worst nightmare every time she misbehaves, and when she's good, you're her dream come true.
    05-16-2012, 01:10 AM
Also if she pushes her butt towards you, smack her hard with the rope. She can't kick you if her butt is too busy scooting away. Hell, do it even if she's not pushing into you. You'll get her respect by moving her feet.
    05-16-2012, 01:15 AM
I had this problem with my new mare too when I got her. I had been riding for about 9 years and felt pretty confident. But I had been riding my older mare for 5 years and she took care of me. My new horse was an ex-race horse and she was allot to handle. She was 16.2hh and she was very smart. She scared the bejeezus out of me once she reared up at me to try to get out of being lunged. She also had/has some bad ground manners. She would bite at me when being groomed and tacked up, and would kick at me when I blanketed her this winter. So I asked for help from some of the more experienced people at my barn, and got my trainer to help me teach her. These were all very important to gain confidence and get my horse on the right track. Another thing I did was just spend LOTS of time with her. I would just hang out with her in her pen. I would make sure she was exercised allot. I turn her out before I ride and lunge her for at least ten minutes before I ride to get a feel for her attitude that day. I got over her ground manners by spending time rubbing her down and tacking her up in the round pen for hours. She has gotten way better. So ask for help to get some confidence. I can now just ignore her behavior or give her a little smack and go about my business, and the ground work has gotten her to stop the biting and realize I'm not going to be rough with her. I also just spend time grazing her and hanging out with her so we get to know each other and I get to know her reactions and get rid of some of my nervousness. Hope there were some useful things in there I think I rambled on a bit.
    05-27-2012, 11:17 PM
Thanks everyone, all this great advice has truly helped me. I am so happy with how things are going with my mare. Her ground manners have never been better. Every morning and night I spend atleast two hours each time grooming,cuddling, and doing some basic lead work with her. Unfortunately, since I got her back the weather has been horrid and very wet so I havent had the opportunity to ride or lunge her yet, but I plan to as soon as the ground firms up. She is actually showing me affection now rather than aggression and loves anything I do with her! Im just so thrilled to finally see this horse as a friend
Skyseternalangel likes this.
    05-27-2012, 11:34 PM
Originally Posted by Koyuki    
Im just so thrilled to finally see this horse as a friend

That's great, but careful.. some horses go from "I'm going to challenge you as a leader by physically pushing and threatening you" to "I'm still testing you, but trying a sweeter walk-all-over-you approach to see what I can get away with"

So keep up your boundaries, correct when necessary, praise her at appropriate times but don't spoil her.. and you should be good to go :)

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