Desensitizing.. - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-13-2009, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Desensitizing..

So lately I've been having trouble with my Gelding and his spookyness.
He's never put me in danger from a spook, I have only fallen from him once (touch wood) when he shied at a metal pole on the ground, but it was more the sound of the stones he kicked onto it...
He also shies at barrels when he kicks stones onto them. Making it slightly harder to jump.
He also shies at lines draw into the arena, but I think that's just him pretending to be scared. ;)

My question is, how do you desensitize a 500+ kilo horse?!
If he were to continue shying it wouldn't be too much of a hassle, but I just feel, for us to progress together, he needs to get over his 'silly' shies. :)

Thanks in advance.

It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-13-2009, 10:19 PM
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Patience, praise, time, and lots of riding and/or lots of practice with the things that spook him.
For the stones hitting barrels or poles, start by putting him on a lead and tossing stones to make the noise.
For the lines, walk him back and forth over the lines. BTW, this is not unusual...some horses are very careful about where they put their feet, and often want to take a very close look at lines, ditches, etc. before stepping on/over them.
Praise every bit of progress, don't get frustrated, and remember you're asking your horse to overcome a very strong flee instinct.
Finally, if you can do any of this along with a very seasoned horse that doesn't spook, your horse will watch and learn even faster.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-13-2009, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares View Post
For the stones hitting barrels or poles, start by putting him on a lead and tossing stones to make the noise.

I had thought about doing this, but the thought of my man trampling me, or popping my shoulder isn't too appealing. :P
I might try some lead work with him though.

It would have been nice if he was desensitized earlier in life. I guess that's not always first priority.

It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-13-2009, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Eyes View Post
I had thought about doing this, but the thought of my man trampling me, or popping my shoulder isn't too appealing. :P
LOL. I understand. If you're doing this in an arena or paddock, you can even start by tieing him at the other end while you make the noise(s) and gradually work him closer based on how he responds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Eyes View Post
It would have been nice if he was desensitized earlier in life. I guess that's not always first priority.
In my experience, it is often a low priority for horses mainly worked in the arena/ring because it can take so much time, repetition, and to be honest...not much fun at all compared to other things. I ride mainly on the trails/roads and it is my #1 top priority for my/my horses' safety.
Some horses desensitize a LOT faster than others, and be aware than some horse have their own set of special monsters that they never really feel comfortable with (just like people).

Good luck.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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