Frightened Horse - best way to overcome fear?

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Trainers

Frightened Horse - best way to overcome fear?

This is a discussion on Frightened Horse - best way to overcome fear? within the Horse Trainers forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How to train horse easily frightened
  • Easily frightened horse

Like Tree18Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools
    12-13-2013, 05:05 PM
Frightened Horse - best way to overcome fear?

Hi all you great and knowledgable people out there :)
I have a wee problem with an unexpected reaction. My girl is 6 years old and is pretty steady, can be obstinate etc but doesn't tend to scare easily. However one of our dogs has had to have an Elizabethan collar put on to stop her from pulling out a drain in her chest. My horse totally freaked when she saw her. Tail raised, snorting, galloping around, coming back to fence and starting all over again. Her nostrils are as big as saucers and she is way out of her comfort zone. This morning I took our dog past her paddock as I feel she needs to get used to this (what would happen if I was riding her on the road and a dog popped up with one of these on) but being new to the horse world not sure how fast I should move with this. This morning she was just the same. What is the best way to train and familiarise your horse with something that obviously scares the half to death ? My thoughts were to simply keep taking the dog by the paddock until she realises there is no threat, but what if she doesn't? Any and all advice would be appreciated :)
Sponsored Links
    12-13-2013, 06:12 PM
Just do what you're doing, take your dog around your mare everyday. Don't make a big deal of it or bring any special attention to it. Horses are comfortable with what they know and hate change/new things. After 3 or 4 days, they're usually much better.
    12-13-2013, 06:29 PM
Frightened. Horse

Thanks PaintHorseMares, much appreciated, will carry on. Cheers :)
    12-13-2013, 07:00 PM
If you have a friend who could hold the dog on a leash, you could, if you feel safe, walk her past him with you between her and the dog. That way if she spooks, it should be away from him AND away from you. Don't put her between you and the dog or she might spook away from him and right on top of you.
Give her lots, LOTS of room--in other words you & she to be quite a distance from the dog the first time you walk past him. You be matter of fact, ho-hum--what dog? No big deal, keeping your focus forward to the point you are walking to.
If she handles that calmly, then rinse and repeat , but a bit closer. If she seems nervous or upset, then increase the distance untill she can relax as you walk past. After however many passes it takes (she is the one who decides), you and she will finally get close enough for her to be calm and even curious close to the dog. When she shows calm curiosity, she has probably conquered her fear of the horse-eating dog.

Just wanted to throw out another option,,if you have the time and a helper.
Be safe!
Pastures Green likes this.
    12-13-2013, 08:57 PM
Green Broke
Do not feed her. Put hay by fence, and let her out to eat it and then walk dog by several times.

Belly will overcome OMG every time.
Pastures Green likes this.
    12-13-2013, 11:46 PM
Green Broke
If you could have someone watch the dog for a few minutes I'd take the collar off, let your mare smell it, rub it on her, and then when she figured out it was no big deal have her watch while you put it back on the dog.
Pastures Green likes this.
    12-14-2013, 12:52 AM
Thanks everyone, will try taking the collar off the dog - didn't even cross my mind to do that. My help is hubbie who is a bit nervous of my big beautiful girl so not a good mix. She was a wee bit better this afternoon when we passed the paddock, but freaked out again when we stopped, in fact she galloped around and then went and hid behind some long grass and was peeping over the top ! Back to strolling for now. It all kicked off last night when I was feeding her her favourite food which she refused to come back for so I may try restricting her food once I have had her sniff the collar. Thanks again, really don't want to get it wrong
    12-14-2013, 03:06 AM
I would get her used to the collar on the dog too. Moving collars are scarier, looks like a weird alien dog.

You can imagine the first time my horses saw this:

adults in full fleece bouncing through the snow (and yes they are as tiny as they look, horse is maybe 14.2.. they really do bounce!)

As you can see with the sheep right there they have gotten very used to them, and we even put them out together sometimes (nasty horse tries to eat them if they get too close but everyone else gets along great)

My dog had a cone for several months. He is used to tagging along and being underfoot (literally, he stands under them). While non of the horses were afraid of the cone with the two that were up there same nasty horse really went after him and very sweet clueless horse was VERY curious. I removed him so he wouldn't get hurt, even by the curious one accidently. There is hope :)
    12-14-2013, 09:22 AM
I would take the dog into the pasture with me and offer the horse a little grain or carrots. When a horse lowers it's head to eat it relaxes. It also senses if you're not concerned about the dog then it's ok. Just carry on as usual.
    12-14-2013, 11:56 AM
Sorry to be off topic, but... Yogiwick, are those sheep things full grown? O.O So cute...

Best of luck with the frightened horse, OP! Sounds like you're getting some pretty solid advice.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

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:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


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.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can this fear be overcome? AZRJ New to Horses 37 01-28-2014 05:52 PM
I'm Terrified Of Horses But Love Them and Want To Overcome My Fear shalisha Meet the Community 18 09-14-2013 05:20 PM
How can I overcome mental blocks and fear when it comes to jumping? VintageLocket Jumping 6 05-15-2013 12:16 PM
How to overcome fear...if it's a habit AllThePrettyHorses Horse Riding 12 10-03-2011 12:06 AM
How to overcome pony's fear of spray bottles...? pinkhorseofcourse Horse Training 5 03-12-2008 12:28 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:44 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0