Frightened Horse - best way to overcome fear? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 28 Old 12-14-2013, 07:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 10,653
• Horses: 3
Originally Posted by Zexious View Post
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.
lol the horse is checking out the new lambs (a month or two old here). The one on the left that you can half see is a larger adult. They are Shetlands, one of the smallest breeds, and they are pretty cute if I say so myself :) and friendly- (the one in my sister's lap is sleeping in that position... he has his head stretched down on the other side lol)

Yogiwick is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #12 of 28 Old 12-15-2013, 06:10 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: SW UK
Posts: 10,927
• Horses: 0
I don't think the horse was actually frightened by the dog collar but was using it as a good excuse to have a high tail around the field had she been truly frightened then she would have gone to the furthest point away from the dog and stood and watched.
She will become frightened of the dog, collar or not, if you think she will be - they have an uncanny way of reacting to your thoughts!

Just take the dog out with you and ignore her behaviour.

As an aside, better than the Elizabethan collars is to get a child's swimming arm band and use that inflated, around the dog's neck. Works just the same without restricting its vision.
Yogiwick and Pastures Green like this.
Foxhunter is offline  
post #13 of 28 Old 12-15-2013, 06:45 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 10,653
• Horses: 3
Excellent post Foxhunter.
Yogiwick is offline  
post #14 of 28 Old 12-15-2013, 07:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 7
• Horses: 1
make her face her fears!
Pastures Green likes this.
PleasureLoverxx is offline  
post #15 of 28 Old 12-17-2013, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 15
• Horses: 1
What a great idea re the arm band, might be time now, she has just learnt to use the collar as a weapon lol. My horse is getting a lot better now with exposure - but, you know what she is a bit of a drama queen, initially she did go to the far end of the paddock but kept on coming back up for 'looks' of course she got attention !
Pastures Green is offline  
post #16 of 28 Old 12-17-2013, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 15
• Horses: 1
Our dogs haven't been around horses at all so they are only allowed on the otherside of the fence. Have known my horse for 6 months or so (learnt to ride on her ) but only had her on the property for about 5 weeks so am a bit unsure on how fast to take things. Just want the dogs and horse to be safe. Luckily she is used to sheep and cattle, oh and your wee sheep look gorgeous :)
Yogiwick likes this.
Pastures Green is offline  
post #17 of 28 Old 12-17-2013, 12:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 10,653
• Horses: 3
I would get a helper and have someone hold the horse and someone hold the dog and introduce them (without the collar for now!) No reason not to introduce them, just make sure to keep them separate unless you are right there until you are sure they are ok together.
Pastures Green likes this.
Yogiwick is offline  
post #18 of 28 Old 12-19-2013, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 956
• Horses: 0
Some good replies here! I'll just add this. A horse has the capacity to get used to about anything that scares him so long as that scary thing doesn't cause him pain and that his fear isn't amplified by your own. All horses spook at times, but look at it as an opportunity to build upon your relationship! He will follow your lead if you're not scared when HE gets scared. Of perhaps greater importance than your reaction to the thing that scares him is your response to his fear. Anything you make a big deal of, he also will but if you can remain cool when he jumps and snorts then pretty soon he'll believe you and settle down too. I don't think of trying to make him get used to it, nor do I try to make him ignore it. Both of those things hold the possibility of adding more fuel to the fire, though both are popular approaches. Instead, I simply acknowledge the fear, take appropriate action to control the situation if necessary, and then let it go so that my horse can too. :)
Posted via Mobile Device
Ian McDonald is offline  
post #19 of 28 Old 12-19-2013, 07:50 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: In Sunny, HOT and HUMID S.C.
Posts: 1,531
• Horses: 2
Originally Posted by Pastures Green View Post
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 :)
I guess I'll be the odd man out with a slightly different approach.

Since you say your horse is stable and not prone to spooking readily I would suggest having the dog (in collar) freely walking around outside a paddock. You be with the horse (halter and lead). Feeding times are good since the horse will be focused on getting fed instead of just the dog (and as suggested, actually feeding can be useful with this too). Talk with the horse to calm it (it's not what you say, unless you've taught it words for being calm - they can be taught words-, as much as it's your tone). When it settles down in the presence of the dog give it praise (you can even wait until it shows even a slight calming response before feeding...they'll equate that to a reward). You're also there with the horse being calm and not focused on the dog (which translates to the dog not being a problem and not mattering). Be the "lead". If the leader doesn't worry about it then the herd tends not to either.
Doesn't always work easily with all horses though. Sometimes the horse sees themselves as the lead or at least on par with you. Then they are less concerned with how you react and more focused on what they feel the risk is. In those cases you're being calm does not always translate as not being a threat to them.

At any rate. Whether you're with the horse or the dog, as has already been pointed out, exposure and time should help the situation.
Pastures Green likes this.

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
its lbs not miles is offline  
post #20 of 28 Old 12-20-2013, 08:33 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 5,995
• Horses: 0
Horses get brave very quickly if they follow the fearful thing.

Have your husband lead the dog and you lead the horse behind him and the dog. Do this at a distance that is comfortable to the horse. This works very well with cattle, 4 wheelers, motorcycles, etc. Do not let the dog face the horse or take even one step toward the horse. Just keep following the dog and then put them both away. Do this 2 or 3 times, following closer each time. You should see a great deal of difference in the horse's attitude if you do not force the horse and let it decide it is OK.
Pastures Green likes this.

visit us at
Cherie is offline  

Quick Reply

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
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can this fear be overcome? AZRJ New to Horses 37 01-28-2014 04:52 PM
I'm Terrified Of Horses But Love Them and Want To Overcome My Fear shalisha Meet the Community 18 09-14-2013 04:20 PM
How can I overcome mental blocks and fear when it comes to jumping? VintageLocket Jumping 6 05-15-2013 11:16 AM
How to overcome fear...if it's a habit AllThePrettyHorses Horse Riding 12 10-02-2011 11:06 PM
How to overcome pony's fear of spray bottles...? pinkhorseofcourse Horse Training 5 03-11-2008 11:28 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome