What to do when they spook.... - The Horse Forum
 1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 Old 03-25-2012, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 487
• Horses: 2
What to do when they spook....

Lately my 16 year old QH mare has spooked at large vehicles on the road. First it was a school bus, the next time it was a pickup with a yard trailer behind it.

I've always been taught to let the horse see the object, but don't over react if they spook, to keep on riding forward like it was no big deal. However, someone else said I should have turned the horse away from the vehicle and either stopped the horse or ridden in the same direction as the distraction.

What would you do? TIA.

Laura
"When you're young and you fall off a horse, you may break something. When you're my age, you splatter." -- Roy Rogers

Last edited by ridesapaintedpony; 03-25-2012 at 02:14 PM.
ridesapaintedpony is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 Old 03-25-2012, 02:22 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 325
• Horses: 3
I ride on the road (and a very busy one at that) on an almost daily basis. When my mare spooks I always start off by moving with the spook (to keep from hopefully falling off) and try to keep her facing it at all times. Once they spin and are looking the other direction they're very likely to bolt, and that's no fun to get back under control. By keeping her under me and facing the scary thing we do just fine. If at all possible I always try and keep her moving forward. If she starts to get sticky (ie she doesn't like sidewalk lines some days) I move her back and forth until we move forward. The only time I turn her is if she starts going backwards and I can't quickly get her going forwards so I'll do a one rein stop just to break the backwards motion and then go back to looking at the object. I never let her freeze and stare for more than a second, that's just asking for her to blow. Looking at the object while moving is a totally different thing. Good luck! I absolutely used to hate road riding (people suck. ) but now that I do it so much I've learned to not anticipate every bad thing that could happen.
Posted via Mobile Device
tinyliny likes this.
TKButtermilk is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 03-25-2012, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 487
• Horses: 2
Thank you for your response. Thankfully, she's a lazy thing and besides some side stepping and sometimes a couple of half rears, she doesn't do anything else. I only have the option of riding on the roads near where she is boarded. The roads are not very busy (again, thankfully) and this is a new thing. I have ridden her on the shoulder of a busy road in the past and she never thought anything of it, just plodding on ahead.

I was confused that I might be making it worse by keeping her facing the thing. Then I wasn't sure if I should stop her and let it approach us that way or just ignore it and keep on riding.

Laura
"When you're young and you fall off a horse, you may break something. When you're my age, you splatter." -- Roy Rogers
ridesapaintedpony is offline  
post #4 of 13 Old 03-25-2012, 02:52 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: In a barn.
Posts: 410
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by ridesapaintedpony View Post
Lately my 16 year old QH mare has spooked at large vehicles on the road. First it was a school bus, the next time it was a pickup with a yard trailer behind it.

I've always been taught to let the horse see the object, but don't over react if they spook, to keep on riding forward like it was no big deal. However, someone else said I should have turned the horse away from the vehicle and either stopped the horse or ridden in the same direction as the distraction.

What would you do? TIA.
Always let the horse see it. Don't play the "Momma" figure and try to make it less scary for them. Unlike children, horses have to be able to care for themselves, otherwise they wouldn't survive. I would ask the horse to keep going, and eventually he or she will learn that the bus is not going to eat him or her.
Ripplewind is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 03-25-2012, 05:37 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 8,551
• Horses: 4
I only have one data point - my mare. With her, it is best to let her face the scary thing. If need be, back up until she feels a safe distance, and then slowly approach. A few steps, stop & rub her neck and talk to her. I cannot PUSH her past it. I need to CALM her past it.

If I try to push her past it, it becomes even scarier. If I turn her, she assumes I want to run away...not good! It is best if I notice her fear soon enough that I can just stop her, let her observe, give a head down cue, maybe rub her neck, and approach a few steps closer. It takes time, but it is the only thing I've found that works with her.

... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)
bsms is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 03-26-2012, 01:03 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,193
• Horses: 0
There is a thinking eye and a flight eye. Usually the thinking eye in the left one. Try to turn her so she see's the object with her left eye and ask her to keep moving, even if you direct her away. She'll be concerned about this firebreathing dragon attacking her hindquarters so use your leg to move them away, even if you have to sidepass her away from the object. Don't pet on her afterwards as she may see that is a reward.
Saddlebag is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 03-27-2012, 01:38 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 1,356
• Horses: 2
Bend the horses head towards it, so they can see it clearly. And keep riding don't let them stop and look at it, or make a big deal about it. If you can make sure you can go past the same object a few times just to get your horse used to it.
palominolover is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 03-27-2012, 01:53 PM
mls
Trained
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 5,464
• Horses: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripplewind View Post
Always let the horse see it. Don't play the "Momma" figure and try to make it less scary for them. Unlike children, horses have to be able to care for themselves, otherwise they wouldn't survive. I would ask the horse to keep going, and eventually he or she will learn that the bus is not going to eat him or her.
They NEED to trust their handler and not 'care' for themselves. When a horse is attached to a leadrope or reins, the leadership role belongs to the human at the other end.

I keep riding but have an exit strategy in case they spook or have a rock fly and smack them. Be aware of holes in the ditch, rocks, fence, mail box, culverts, etc.
mls is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 03-27-2012, 02:33 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 37,289
• Horses: 2
I agree with Buttermilk; don't let them turn their back to the scary thing. They can keep moving, but cannot turn away from it. I dont' force them to go up to it.
tinyliny is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 03-27-2012, 03:41 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 561
• Horses: 0
When my horses spook ill take as long as they need to go and touch it if it is possible. If its a rock ill get my horse to sniff it then we will move on. If it happens again and I can ill get the horse to sniff it and trot around it.
cowboy bowhunter is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How does your horses spook? SonnyWimps Horse Talk 43 10-19-2014 08:56 AM
Spook Gotta Gun - What do you think? StylishK Horse Breeding 33 11-24-2013 05:27 PM
Spook training mystikal222 Horse Training 1 09-01-2011 11:44 AM
Spook - Contract EquineLover Horse Law 3 04-25-2011 03:06 PM
Top Ten Spook List SonnyWimps Jokes and Funnies 8 07-08-2008 07:39 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome