Scared horse...think he was abused

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Scared horse...think he was abused

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    10-02-2012, 09:10 PM
Scared horse...think he was abused

So how do I help my frightened horse. I am thinking time and lots and lots of it. I bought him this summer and he is fabulous under saddle and he is considerate on the ground...not pushy or anything like that. Starting to really trust myself and my daughter but the poor guy acts like he has been beat on a lot. If you toss the saddle up to hard or move too quick he jumps. When I take him to the mounting block (I have some health issues and it is much easier for me to get on ) if my daughter holds him to make sure he doesn't take a step he is quiet...if someone else does he is scared. He is a beautiful dun/roan with the kindest eye... and I am so happy with him. Just want to get him over his fear.
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    10-02-2012, 09:25 PM
Don't react when he spooks. I have a gelding like this. He was never abused in his life(we raised him) and he had severe fear issues. While is is perfect now, if you move too quick of even reach you hand up to quickly to scratch your nose, he will throw his head up like he has been hit repeatedly in his past, which of course he hasn't. He gets so worked up and worried. "AHH!! It'sgonnaeatme!!!" With work and us not reacting to his spooks, he will spook, and go back to being fine. We don't do anything. We don't yell at him, or discipline him, or run up and cuddle him and tell him it'll be okay. We just let him spook, and when he comes back down to earth, we go on with what we were doing. His spooks have gotten fewer and fewer until they are hardly noticeable. He will always be incredibly alert, but he is great now.

Routine helps a great deal. Do one thing until he is perfect and then add a little more.

If we had gotten after him for spooking it would have given him a reason to be afraid.
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    10-02-2012, 10:54 PM
I agree with LD. I had a spooky kind of mare and I often wondered if maybe her eyesight wasn't 100%. I tried to find a way to test that, but all I could find was blindness tests, not accuity tests.

Also, when you say that when someone else holds the horse and you mount, he is nervous. Is there any correlation between the gender of the person and the reaction of your horse? My spooky mare was much calmer around men then around women, for example.
    10-02-2012, 11:48 PM
My gelding was horribly abused before I acquired him.. I just spent time with him, not working him, just being around him and now he is the sweetest, most gentle horse I've ever been around.. He still is jumpy around other people if he can't see me, but if he can, he is completely fine, although no one else except me can bridle him :/ It just takes time and patience and a gentle hand and he will come out of it, just like mine did. =) He may always be leary around others (Jack, my gelding, is still terrified of men) but as long as you and your daughter can control him, I wouldn't worry about it.
    10-03-2012, 07:32 AM
Even I am noticing that the horse that I bought is still in a bad condition. It seems that it has been abused and for that I guess I need to saddle him and make him to make a round so that he is able to feel fresh and I also need to be sweet and give special training also.
    10-03-2012, 07:40 AM
Gotta agree with LadyDreamer. My friend's horse Star was a nervous wreck when my friend got her (at 5, no sign of abuse), we just ignored the skittishness and jumping at the tiniest thing, did things like dropping brushes and flicking girths again and again til she realised they weren't anything to be scared of, and she's perfectly sane now.

What's your horse fed at the moment, WickedNag?
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    10-03-2012, 08:07 AM
Thanks everyone. He is not spooky under saddle at all. And maybe he has never been hit but it seems weird to only have that fear/spookiness just on the ground. Lots of time and patience. Maybe he will get over it. He is not nervous around my daughter anymore at all but my friends will make him skitterish.

He is on pasture yet EHOD. I don't do a lot of grains or treats.
    10-03-2012, 08:16 AM
Have you considered trying a magnesium supplement? I've not used one before myself but other people I know have found it very useful (obviously only where magnesium deficiency is the problem). I have no knowledge of soil nutrients in your area but it might be something to think about if calm and consistent handling fails to make inroads.
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