Advice on a horse with anxiety; herd bound? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-12-2011, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Advice on a horse with anxiety; herd bound?

)': Does ANYONE have any ideas on how to fix a heard bound horse? ): I am at total loss and I don't even know who I could hire to help me fix it! I have asked friends, done research, and cant even find anyone to come to him and help! Its so upsetting I cant stop crying. ): He is herd bound and now its gotten to the point he has become almost too much for me to handle. I cant take him into the barn in mid day because all the other horses are outside and he will freak. He paws, whinnies, kicks, and totally forgets his surroundings. As soon as I manage to tack him up (ALWAYS a struggle!!!) then he obeys me.. but when he is tied up he freaks. ): Please please please please PLEASE help!!! He is 13 years old by the way. ):
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-12-2011, 08:17 PM
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Any good coach should be able to help you work on this issue.

The easy answer is this : He needs to be able to trust you to be the "safest" place for him.

Naturally, horses feel safest with their herd - when we work with them we ask them to view US as their herd (so to speak)... but they can only relax with us once they realize there is nothing to fear by doing so.

Generally "herd bound" horses (those which you cannot take AWAY from the herd) are letting you know they DON'T trust you as much as they trust "those" horses over there. So the start of fixing it is to establish "trust"... and then gaining respect.

To do this you'll find a good coach can really help give YOU confidence... which will pass along to the horse.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-12-2011, 10:53 PM
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take a look at this posting Jynx has taken to temper tantrums...,,, this horse is having the same problems. there is lots of info in this post that can help you. and give you ideas..
hope this helps some.
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-18-2011, 10:14 AM
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to top off everything that has been said here, at our barn, we also move the horses around pens to stop them from getting too herd bound, as it does help to switch them up from time to time with other horses.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-18-2011, 04:28 PM
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I too had a herdbound horse and I can relate to the frustrations. For me, my horse and I just needed to build up trust. I know this sounds simple, but what I do is keep a whole handful of treats in my pocket, and just walk him around by hand and slowly move farther and farther away from the other horses, giving him treats when he stops and settles down. You want him to start to associate good things with being out alone- it's a long hard process but it's pretty manageable with patience and baby steps.
I make a point to work my horse (a good hard workout) alone in the round pen where he is able to see the other horses, but it's still me whose in charge. Then his cool down is me leading him (not riding him) through the trails with treats and lots of petting. I'd also recommend working with him alone, and not just trail riding with other people- you want him to respond to you, not just follow the other horses.

I know how hard it can be! Just keep your chin up and stay calm around him- if you relax, he'll feed off that and start to relax too! Hope this helps.
snookums is offline  

anxiety , energetic , herd bound , nervous , struggle

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