please help me!
   

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please help me!

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  • Will having a dog help a spooky horse
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    06-03-2012, 04:03 PM
  #1
Foal
Smile please help me!

I have just started to loan a horse and he is quite spooky but he is bred to hunt does anyone have any lesson plans that could help me but at the same time not put too much pressure on him

Many thanks!! :)
     
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    06-03-2012, 04:15 PM
  #2
Started
Hello there. We need a bit more info I think please

What is your level of riding?
What is his history, what do you know about him?
Are you at a yard where an instructor can help you?
What has his owner suggested you do to start building a relationship?

Let us know as much as you can
     
    06-03-2012, 04:29 PM
  #3
Showing
Just be sure not to pet, rub or speak to him in a soothing voice as he will see this as a reward and it will get worse. Try to carry on as though nothing happened.
     
    06-04-2012, 08:46 AM
  #4
Foal
Agreed that we need more info. Ground work is very helpful but I can only give you a "lesson plan" once I know what you're comfortable with. I can also give you some exercises to deal with the spooks if you'd like :)
Juliane
     
    06-04-2012, 08:48 AM
  #5
Foal
Also let me (us?) know what some examples are of his "spookiness," so that we may be able to help you deal with them...sometimes horses react out of disrespect but sometimes they are genuinely nervous so it's good to know the difference. Thanks!
     
    06-04-2012, 04:06 PM
  #6
Foal
Well I am intermediant (i can't spell) he spooks quite a bit he spooked at a dog barking he is bred to hunt but he spooks to much, I have a instructer to help he listens to your verbal commands/instructions I have started to make him trust me at the moment
     
    06-04-2012, 04:45 PM
  #7
Foal
So I would definitely start slowly exposing him to things and noises that make him spook with you on the ground, where you are much safer. Ask him to approach the scary object, or make the scary noise (you can get recordings of dogs barking) and when he calms down, take it away as a reward. Reward the slightest try, such as him taking a single step in the general direction, so that he knows what you're asking of him - if you keep pushing when he starts to do the right thing, he won't understand, and won't be motivated to continue.
Beforehand, however, I would make sure that he knows basic ground work such as backing up and yielding the hindquarters, because if he gets scared he might try to run you over to get away from the scary thing. If he respects you you will be safer and he will trust you more, which will make him more compelled to explore the scary object.
Sometimes, when he's doing really well, it's tempting to want to keep urging him closer and closer to the object but remember that if he's doing well, the best thing to do would be to ask him to retreat. This way, retreating is your idea. Always make sure to end on a good note, and then pick it up again later - consistency, not length of session, is key.
When you've earned his respect and he's safer on the ground, you can transfer this idea under saddle. Also, encourage him to want to explore scary things by asking him to work away from them and letting him rest near/on top of them (tarps, wooden blocks, etc). Often, the motivation to rest is stronger than the horses' actual fear, espec. Once they trust you!
But never be afraid to get off if a situation is dangerous and lead him past it! (Therefore, make sure he stands nice and still for mounting!) You're always safer on the ground and horses feel better with you next to them rather than on top. Having to get off is not "losing," it's training, especially if you get your horse past the scary thing in the end.
Oh, and also, once you introduce a horse to a scary thing, make sure you feel up to dealing with your horse's reaction. For example, never try to get him over a stream, and then give up if he intimidates you - persevere until you get it (and if you feel unsafe, go get help). Even if "getting it" is just him putting a foot in, and then quit. Horses have GREAT memories and once they "win" once, they will never forget, and if might seem like no big deal to a human, but some will let the stubbornness even overcome their fear! Always end on a good note.
If you need anything clarified, let me know! Also, if anyone else has any other ideas, let me know too! Spookiness is an incredibly common problem and there are many ways to approach it. Vocal commands and reassurance are great, but often not enough for some horses (at least, that's what I've found)...
     
    06-09-2012, 01:26 PM
  #8
Foal
Ok thanks alot I will try it! :)
     
    06-10-2012, 03:00 AM
  #9
Foal
What type/style/level of riding are you? Whatever you feel compfortable doing should just let your horse learn from it and the trust grow stronger
     
    06-10-2012, 04:20 AM
  #10
Showing
OP I'm really concerned about your OP. You loan a horse that is known for being spooky, which you then say he's bred to hunt (as in hunters or fox hunting??) as that's some sort of reason he's spooky?

Spooky is a sign of something. Maybe his diet is too rich, maybe he's not getting exercise, maybe there's a lack of training, maybe he needs to go on a calming supplement. My horse can be spooky but I have the experience (and continually gaining) to deal with it. From your original post.. you sound like you aren't quite experienced.

Do you take lessons at all? It would benefit you to seek some guidance from someone in person because when dealing with a spooky horse you have to have a certain demeanor or attitude throughout it or you can make it worse. And that can't really be accomplished through the internet.

Bottom line is you have to narrow down why the horse spooks and learn how to cope with it. Maybe he spooks because he's not focusing on you and worrying about everything else, maybe he has too much energy. Maybe he's not for a certain level (beginner, intermediate, etc.)

I wish I could give you more advice but :/ I don't feel comfortable.

Best of luck.
     

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