Am I On Right Track? - Normal? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 39 Old 12-30-2010, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Sarahver - Thanks for the info. This is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm think I'm confused on how far and how fast to push him. It sounds like I'm doing it right so far, so I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. He's making progress, so I guess I'm not messing him up even more.

Thanks :)
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post #32 of 39 Old 12-30-2010, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Darla719 View Post
I mean about him being completely petrified of me, but yet wanting to interact and be close.
Because he is looking for you to be his leader.

Notice how the lead horse spooks and the rest follow suit? Even if they have no idea what they are spooking at?

I would lay money on it that once you put his halter on and brush him, his head drops and he starts yawning or licking and chewing.
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post #33 of 39 Old 12-30-2010, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the worst), how bad would you say his feet are? and how much priority should I give them at this point?
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post #34 of 39 Old 12-30-2010, 12:57 PM
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^^ This will depend greatly on who you ask. Some would be horrified at his feet and tell you that you are a horrible owner for even asking.

As for me, they don't look that bad. Sure they could do with a trim and a balance but from what I can tell he isn't being ridden or worked hard at all so they won't harm him being in that condition for a while. In fact, the hoof itself looks to be pretty healthy and should shape up beautifully with a trim.

However, now would be a good time to start working with picking up his feet and getting him used to you fiddling with his hooves/legs. Start slow since he is nervous but be firm and persistent. Run your hands down his legs, pick up his feet, rub his legs, tap his hooves and get him used to all those sensations so that the farrier visit won't be a huge shock to him.

Of course don't be threatening in any way but you must be firm and don't show any weakness yourself as he will interpret this as justification for his fear. Just show him that he can survive all these scary happenings by getting him through them!

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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post #35 of 39 Old 12-30-2010, 12:59 PM
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Considering they have not been done I say they look pretty good.
Yes, they need to be shaped and cleaned up. But for a horse whose feet have been neglected long term I think they look pretty darn good.

I agree with MLS on the leader thing. If you act in charge (vs acting like someone who is asking him to do something, please) he will come around much more quickly and have a ton more confidence.
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post #36 of 39 Old 12-30-2010, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you - this gives me even more to work on and a direction to go in :)
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post #37 of 39 Old 12-31-2010, 03:14 PM
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Darla, sounds like you're doing great with him. One thing occurred to me when you said that he act both terrified but also like he wants to approach and be with you... It sounds like he might be wanting to trust you but reading signals you're unaware you're giving off. You might want to think about how you are thinking and feeling when you work around him. I would bet that your heart rate is up a little bit, and you are thinking, "What is he going to do? Is he going to be frightened? I need to be cautious and not go too fast, I need to be careful if he blows up so that I don't get hurt!" (I've done this self-talk, it's natural!) He is looking for a leader and he can sense any hesitancy or tension in your body that you might have. So, instead, you should put in your head, "I am going to fake this super-confidence until I actually AM super-confident! I'm going to take deep breaths and be calm and relaxed! We are gonna be fine! He is going to feel my confidence and be confident himself!" See if he doesn't seem less terrified and more trusting of you!
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post #38 of 39 Old 12-31-2010, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Ladytrails - you are SOOOOOO right! I actually did exactly what you just said yesterday and today and there is already a very noticeable difference. While I'm not afraid of Argy, you pegged it when you asked if I was thinking things like: "What is he going to do?" He spooked so bad the first few days that he actually reared up a little while I was standing right next to him. I found it in myself to not even flinch and just stand there and ignore it. He came right back to me after that, but I admit it did instill some hesitation on my part. Yesterday I went to him several times and rubbed him down with both hands on him at the same time. He was stiff at first and jumpy, but today he seems more relaxed about it.

Suggestions like this help me so much and I appreciate them big time. I think baby steps is what is going to work with him. I think at first I was trying too much too fast. This morning he RAN to meet me at the gate. First time :) I was very touched by this :)

Happy New Year!
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post #39 of 39 Old 12-31-2010, 08:09 PM
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Wow - if he is running to greet you, you are way ahead of where you thought you were! It'll go faster from here on out - he's learning who you are! This is great news - congratulations!
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