Finally, total success with my ear sensitive boy. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 09-25-2011, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Finally, total success with my ear sensitive boy.

Some of you may have seen my post, about how my gelding is very ear sensitive and goes balistic at the sound of people clapping, and the PA system echoing of the coliseum roof.

He's the type of horse that gets over excited at shows, looses all focus, and gets cranky if theres too much standing around.

Well, the local western circuit started off yesterday, and I went in with some new things.

Foam ear plugs and a calming paste given to him prior.

Now, I debated forever about the calming paste. I felt like it was a form of having to drug him to show, and that's something I just don't believe in. But, this paste is all natural vitamins and naturally soothing ingredients for high stress situations, and it's completely show legal. I was also concerned about it having a drugged effect on him, and he'd be lethargic and no energy. He could be a total different horse, the list was endless of the bad things I could think off. But I was quite wrong.

We went in for the first class which was showmanship, and completely nailed it. He was completely focused on me, and never even flinched when the announcer spoke or people clapped. When it came for the riding classes, his energy level was up, he was springy and light, just like he is at home. Not drugged down at all. But he was focused and listened to everything. He took everything in stride. Even the hectic warm up ring, where children are flying around everywhere playing cowboy. I was, for the first time, able to give him a nice, slow and thorough warm up, which I've felt I've never been able to do, since I was always trying to work him down.

He never once got irritable about having to stand still and wait around for our classes.
Anywhoo, I'm super proud of him, and glad I've got a working show horse again. Shows will be so much less stressful and we can go out and just have fun with it now.
If this attempt didn't work, I was just going to not show him, and let him have fun with other outdoor competitions, like trail rides and such, and then see if I could catch some rides on other peoples horses in shows. But now, he's not stressed at all, and seemed to actually really enjoy himself yesterday.

This is the paste-Total Calm & Focus Paste Calming Supplement < Calming Supplements < Horse Supplies|Dover Saddlery.

Sorry about the novel, I just wanted to share, should anyone have a horse who's spooky at shows, or horses who get over excited, and just get really stressed at new things.

"You're just as sane as I am."~Luna Lovegood.
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post #2 of 2 Old 09-26-2011, 11:39 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Congrats on taking him to his first show! I personally think ear plugs are gifts from heaven for certain horses. It's amazing what a difference they can make!

I'm also not opposed to calming pastes either, assuming they're legal. When I work with young horses I don't want their first experience at a show to be 1) over terrifying or 2) negative because he had to get his legs lunged off to be remotely safe.
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