unusual fear - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 05-09-2008, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 674
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unusual fear

Hi everyone

I was just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience. I feel kinda silly being scared... I feel as though I should have gotten over it by now, Anyway, here's what happened:

In January this year, my horse had an accident which involved her panicking while tied, rearing and as the bailing twine snapped, she lost her balance and came down on a nearby fence post, slicing 25cm long & almost as deep to her brisket. She's fine now, but I was too scared to be away from home for almost 3 months (she's kept only 15metres or so from our house). I don't think I slept at all the night she got hurt and the first two weeks after, when she was quite sick, I got headaches all the time and just didn't feel like doing anything.

I think her accident freaked me out more than I realised because I still am terrified that she'll get hurt again. Every morning when I go to feed her, I worry that she's hurt herself overnight... or jumping, I worry that she'll fall and hurt herself. We're going on a pony club camp in a few weeks and she isn't too bad with floats, but still not the best, I'm worried that she'll hurt herself floating. I feel like I should just get over it but I can't. She's a very flighty horse and one of those that is always getting hurt, but normally only minor. Has something similar happened to anyone else? How did you help yourself get over it>

When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~William Shakespeare
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-09-2008, 09:15 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2008
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"you have to get back on when you get thrown off"

The only way I know is to go ahead and face your fear - do exercises at home that will allow you to build your confidence in her again...practice the hard stuff (in small steps)

If she had something to entertain her on the float, would that help? (I don't do overnight stuff, so I'm not sure that's even possible??)

Good Luck and Hang in there!!

Justin (qh/tb)
Boo (asb)
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-09-2008, 10:47 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: USA.
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Aww...I'm sorry that happened. :(
But yeah, start out slow- doing things you DO feel confident doing. ;) Then like said above, you'll build more confidence. Good luck.

Success comes a [bit] at a time.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-09-2008, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oklahoma
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Also, if you do not think she is ready to go on a float then don't make her, because sometimes its best to play it smart. It sounds like you got a accident prone horse, which I can understand will worry you. I would definantly face your fears but don't rush yourself, I mean things happen, and we don't have control over what happens in our lives...

Build trust in your horse, and give her lots of love..

Hope things work out,

I love my horse. She is the wind beneath my wings.

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post #5 of 14 Old 05-09-2008, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Jersey
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think positive! If you think that she's going to hurt herself, you'll be more than likely setting it up that she will. When going on the float, imagine her loading beautifully, standing in there like a pro and just being fine with everything! If you're confident, she will be too!

I know it's hard to not think the worse when something bad has always happened, but just try your hardest to think positive thoughts, and imagine how it's going to go!
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-09-2008, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE Kansas
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I've not had anyone get that badly hurt, but I know how you feel. I have an emotional attachment to my horse too. I go out every morning to make sure everyone is ok and made it through the night. I worry every time it storms. I keep a big spotlight near the back door and have on many occasions gone out in the freezing cold in my PJ's to check on them. I think in time your anxiety will lessen. Just always think "SAFETY" when your horse is concerned. Accidents happen but if your aware of your surroundings and check-double check everything, you can let the anxiety go, at least enough to get back to enjoying your horse.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-09-2008, 04:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
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The worry does lessen over time, but it does cause you to remember that your horse can be hurt regardless of how careful you are. Last year, our 6 yr old mare got about a foot long cut on her flank, peeling the skin back (the actual deeper cut looked to be only about 2 inches). 30 stitches later, she was all fixed up..luckily, our horses live with us and the wound was fresh and clean. A month later, she was back on the trail, but I still give our mares a good look over 3 times a day..for my own piece of mind...imagine a wound like that unnoticed for days in a pasture horse. BTW, she was in a paddock and we looked over every inch of it and the fence and never did find the cause (our vet said that's not unusual). What I came away with was that horses are big, strong, and heavy, and the more 'stuff' in their space, the more likely they will get injured even with all we try to do.
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-09-2008, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 674
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thanks everyone, for the helpful answers. I really like this forum because people give helpful and friendly answers. On some sites, people just stay stuff like 'sell your horse' or 'look after her better'. Totally uncalled for stuff that just isn't helpful.

Its good to know that you understand. I guess I'll just have to keep on doing stuff with her in a safe environment. People joke with me and say she's my baby, and she is. I think she's giving me grey hairs... and I'm only 18!

I know its just her temperament, but is there anything I can do to make her calmer and less prone to panicking? Any training in particular? She in incredibly spooky, and has been ever since I got her 4 years ago so I don't know if there is much I can do...

When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~William Shakespeare
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-10-2008, 09:27 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,172
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Justin was afraid of everything when I first bought him (he nearly fell down when he spotted a stump on our first trail ride --no joke)

To remedy that, everything he was afraid of he had to chase - or at least walk up to - and stand there until he started licking and chewing. When he was convinced that the wild turkeys on the property were going to eat him, we chased them - to the point where he is quite the turkey herder! He's even gutsy enough to chase cyotes out of the field now!

With other stuff, I would work him in the roundpen until we joined up, then proceed with introducing every imaginable scary thing I could find - milk jugs (eventually became a necklace of milk jugs around his neck) - tarps (eventually became a superhero cape) - bouncy balls (the huge kind kids play with), Lariat hats (combined with his necklace and superhero cape, made him look quite fashionable!) We worked on, and worked on this kind of stuff until he simply did not care anymore. It took a while - and a lot of energy, but definitely worth it!

Justin (qh/tb)
Boo (asb)
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-10-2008, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Sundre, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 6,285
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Aww I totally feel for you!

A couple years ago I rescued a little Red Roan Quarter Horse stud colt. He was only three months old and had been weaned from his mom already. The barn I was keeping him at had stangles go thru it! Unfortunatly my little Decker got it and it spread to ******* strangles. After a long battle of trying to fight it Decker finally passed away about nearly two years old. I can still remember the morning when I went out to feed him and he was gone.

Now evertime I go out to see Dillon (we have formed a bond very similar to what Decker and I had) I'm worried that something might have happened to Dillon even though he is perfectly safe and healthy and nothing has ever happened to him.
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