Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind
I have found with the skittish horses you are better off just doing and not cooing your way through things.
Yes yes yes yes yes. We have a few horses we bred and raised out of the same stallion. We are finding they all tend to be hyper sensitive to noise and fast motions. Will be wonderful in the pen working cattle but frustrating to train until the light bulb goes on.
Halter the horse. Don't tie him and if he 'has' to back away - let him back a bit. But do not let go. Stand with his nose to your left shoulder, lead in left hand and brush in right hand. Approach his shoulder and brush. Wash, rinse, repeat. Speak softly but firmly. No cuddles, no coos.
I find showing a horse the object of their fear only forces it on them. You can't get mad, you don't know if they are truly upset or trying to work the system. I've had boarders teach their horse to be scared. I walk or ride the horse back and forth and I ignore the object. I am the the leader, the horse will follow what I tell it to do.
Think of the child that falls while learning to walk. You don't rush up and ask if you are ok in a big teary voice. You check them over but encourage them to try again. You cry - they cry.