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Abused horse can't get over her past

This is a discussion on Abused horse can't get over her past within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        07-29-2008, 04:56 AM
    Originally Posted by loosie
    A LOT of desensitising for starters, at all sorts of stuff. Use approach & retreat to very gradually(so as not to overface her) get her confident with things. Using lots of positive reinforcement will also help, but don't try to bribe or lure her with treats.

    I would be working on her paying attention to you while stuff is happening elsewhere too. If you can enlist a helper, you can have them operate the 'scary' thing while you work to desensitise her & show her that you're in control. Don't try to force her to go touch the object, but ask her to keep going past it & stopping again - sort of half circle lunging. Starting at a distance where she doesn't have much problem and gradually progressing closer as she becomes confident will allow you to practice the 'right' behaviours and minimise practicing the wrong ones. If done right, this will give her more trust & respect in you as her leader too, which will rub off on everything else.
    Loosie is right on! One thing you can do if the object is especially scary is let her "chase" it. For example, if an umbrella scares her, have someone hold the umbrella, and have her "chase" it by walking after it. It sounds funny I know, but it really works. It gives them confidence because they are "getting" the object instead of it "getting" them.
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        07-29-2008, 11:58 AM
    I really like the idea of 'chasing' the thing that's scaring her. I never thought of that but it makes sence. That's reminds me of when I let her out with the cows, she chases them and seperates them all out and then will just stand there and watch them for about 5 min. Its really funny to watch.
    Anyways, thanks everyone. If anyone has anything to add feel free. Im alwasy checking this forum.

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