subbing this thread for my sis :) while my 3yr and coming 2yr mares don't spook at ANYTHING! Her 5yr big baby gelding tries to take off when I pick up a shirt off the trailer. He was abused though.
Congrats on your gymkhana coming up! Best of luck!!
What my sis did do , was tie a plastic bag to a lunge stick and dance it around him, between the legs and everything. We also built a bridge and have an old mattress for them to walk over. We'll also be able to toss a soccer ball back and forth over his back and then long ways, head to tail. And he's pretty good. She also go thim to where she can put a coat over his head.
Thank you, I've been to many gymkhanas with my other horse Cheyenne but never with Maverick so we're just going to trot the patterns this time since he's never been to the show grounds. I don't want to stress him out either, he's only 6 years old.
Anyway, yeah I was planning on doing that too, waving it around him and rubbing it all over him :)
Thanks for the reply, good luck with your sister's horse :)
While desensitizing is definitely needed, it doesn't come from only 'sacking out' your horse with objects. Confidence comes from building your relationship with your horse and becoming a leader. While it is great to test your horse's confidence by using objects, you will never expose your horse to everything it will encounter and it comes down to him trusting you or his confidence in himself. I have a crazy mare who has no confidence, but completely trusts me and will do something I ask her even if she is shaking inside....and I trust her completely since I know how she is always going to react...like a nut. I have two other horses who aren't very spooky at all, but have, on occasion spooked over something so small....but it is still important to have that same relationship with them to keep them confident.
Good to keep in mind, thanks :)
Originally Posted by Island Horselover View Post
You are desenetizing which is a good thing to do. But you will only get the real experience on the trails, it takes routine for the horse and a good relationship between rider and horse, trust each other and go miles and miles and miles, only that way you will make sure that your horse becomes safe and used to certain situations. But you sure listed some fun stuff up there which is a super good way to help getting rid of some spookyness!
Yes, we've taken him on quite a few trail rides lately and he isn't really spooking at that anymore. The only thing is when a plastic bag flies by or whatever, he goes crazy.
As others have said, developing your relationship is key. I think you're likely to find however that helping him work through "scary" things like you've described is likely to build on that relationship. I've gentled my mustang colt from scratch... he has learned over time to trust me enough that there are fewer and fewer things he really worries over any more. It started with throwing ropes all over him every which way, then blankets, then tack, plastic bags, etc etc... just building building building. ;) It can be pretty fun!
haha yeah I can see it being fun, I'm going to be doing it with my friend so that'll make it even funner (I've made that a new word ;) ) and it'll be nice to have an assistant and she has loads of good ideas to use on him to help him get over his fears of strange objects :) and yes, I figure that'll help our relationship. Especially the tarp and walking through the streamers. He'll need to trust me to follow me through the blowing streamers :)