Could use advice on a fear problem - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-14-2011, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Could use advice on a fear problem

Ive never had a fear of horses but something happened recently that through me off my game and I've been a little spooky since.

I've been working with the same group of horses since this past winter and have gotten really close with them and we have a great trusting relationship. Everyone in the herd is really sweet and I never felt nervous around them. Lately there's been some new horses put in the herd, but since the other horses like me so much the new ones accepted me right away.

A couple weeks ago I went out there and there was a new paint out with the herd. We had people coming out to the ranch for the opening and I was in charge of cleaning up all the horses so I greeted the new guy but didnt pay him much attention. I had just grabbed one of the young mares we have and was giving her kisses and saying hello, when I noticed the new paint come up behind me. I was turning to see what was up when he lunged for my face. I was able to turn my head just in time that he took a chunk out of my ear and not my face. Needless to say I answer back with a decent right hook and he took off into the pasture.

I left, obviously, so I could get my ear cleaned up and change my shirt. When I got back I found out the the paint was a STALLION YEARLING that they put in with the herd until the got his own area set up. Wow, thanks for the warning .

Now my problem is that I've been really jumpy around horses ever since. I just started at a new ranch and I'm having problems bonding with the horses because they dont understand why I'm so nervous. Every time a head comes toward me I have to try not to flinch. Its rediculous, and I'm fine with the horse I already know, but I need to get over this stupid fear. Does anyone have any advice?
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-14-2011, 11:01 PM
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Hi Spirit11,

First, I would like to say that I am very sorry for what you experienced. I can not imagine how tramatic that would be, but it is not a "stupid fear." You obviously love being around horses and is not something that you are willing to give up. I do not blame you. I would suggest that you be gentle with yourself and give yourself the time to overcome this fear. Also, it might be helpful to look at your own actions right before the incident happened. It may give you some insight into the causes.

I also think that it is important to remember that horses are wild animals and no matter how much we love them and they love us, they can still be unpredictable at times. We always just need to keep our smarts about us and ensure our safety at all times.

Best wishes with your emotional and physical healing. I hope that this experience will just make you a more experienced horsewoman and a stronger person in general.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-15-2011, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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After talking to the lady who owns the stud it seems like this is behavior he gets away with all the time, just yesterday I found out that she had been kicked down by him the day before and he's gone after her husband twice. Personally I dont feel that this lady can handle a stallion nor should he be in a herd with 7 mares, none of which I feel should be bred. Turns out that 2 of the mares, one was the one I was taking out, were in heat. No wonder he got pissed that I was taking her out of the herd. I think this all could have been avoided if I had been properly informed. Needless to say she took him out of the herd now. Unfortunatly that was the last straw for me and I wont be going to that ranch anymore. There are too many things that need to be changed and addressed and I dont think its gonna happen.

I just really wish I wasnt so nervous starting out at this new ranch.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-15-2011, 01:01 AM
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What were they thinking? That is just nuts. YOu could have been seriously hurt or killed. I would definitely have words with that owner and the BO.

I think I would be fearful, too. I have never been badly bitten, and certainly not attacked in the face. just thinkiing about it gives me nightmares.

But, you want to work on . I hope that you'll recover your balance with horses. When I am out in the herd, I try not to let the horses put their heads too close to mine. I am pretty nervous about that and dont' fully trust any of them that way. Not so much that they'll really attack, but even Mac, who is such a nice guy to humans, will nibble, and sometimes put his teeth on, kindof by mistake. Not on my face, please!

I have no advice to give at all. Just wishing you a full recovery soon.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-15-2011, 06:41 AM
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I agree with Sterling. As much as you were comfortable in the herd and felt accepted, always keep your wits. You just never know. Having that kind of confidence is great but when we have too much confidence we loose site of the bigger picture.

You never know who's having a bad day or if one horse comes in for a pet and kicks out to the other horse to move we get caught in the cross fire.

And when new horses are introduced into a herd, it upsets the apple cart. I'm upset at the fact no one warned you of this stallion. That was putting you in danger and very irresponsible.

Your fear is validated. The only one that can get you through this is you. Taking your time and getting to know how the herd works or a particular horse is. Watching them from a distance. Go slow and introduce yourself with two horses then three and so on. If you feel unsafe, take someone with you or carry a crop.

I'm not sure what your job entails but so far that is my advice. Good luck and stay safe.
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