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This is a discussion on bombproof? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Bombproof

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    05-26-2007, 01:49 PM

Have any tips you might have to bombproof a horse?
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    05-26-2007, 04:02 PM
Work on anything and everything you can think of. If there is something specific that your horse is afraid of start there, otherwise, just pick something. I like to desensitize to plastic bags as here in the USA they are blowing around everywhere, and most horses spook big time. Also work with tarps, you want them to be able to walk on the tarp, have it touch them, cover them... Get a trash can and put it in the corral or round pen, roll it around, get the horse accustomed to the can in different places, standing up, laying down, rolling. Get some wood and have the horse walk across it. Have them walk on a blanket or rug, have things like wind chimes around, those flashy twirly things that shine in the light. Take then him/her across water, around wheelebarrows, have them lunge around and over plastic buckets, orange cones (like the road crews use,) over hoses, ropes, anything you can find around the barn, or can think of and get! The more the better. Paper crinkling and blowing around, kleenex tissues taken out of your pocket and waved around...

Also get the horse used to an umbrella. You never know when some idiot is going to open one up right beside your horse! This also helps with kites that might blow into the corral/pasture.

Loud noises. Take a spoon and metal pan and do a little banging, get them used to vehicle noises, and that those things move. Loading and unloading from horse trailers. Being touched all over with ropes, blankets, kleenex, hoses, plastic bags, buckets...

And please don't forget to make sure horse is NOT afraid of dogs. Whether they are barking, sitting, running, or running around horses legs. (I was thrown and got a broken nose and internal brusing because my bombproof horse was afraid of dogs and I didn't know!)

To do the bombproofing: With plastic grocery bag, have horse in a round pen preferably, or a smalish corral (you want the horse to be able to move away, but not take off out of sight.) Stand outside the pen, and crinkle the bag, then shake the bag, then wave it around. Now, walk around the outside of the pen doing this until horse is not running around, but is standing still and watchiing you. Then move closer and continue. When you can get right up to the rail and the horse is not spooked, enter the pen and continue walking back and forth, or around in a circle. Allow the horse to move away, don't push the horse. If the horse starts to freek, move farther away. Keep at it until you can move all around the pen without the horse spooking. Now, slowly hold out your hand with the bag in it toward the horse. Let the horse come up and sniff the bag. If he/she doesn't, then take one step toward the horse. Once horse has inspected the bag, gently and slowly touch chest, and shoulder with bag, then retret. Praise like crazy. Keep this up until you can touch horse all over with bag. Now step back a little and open bag wide, then shake bag, and repeat. This may take 1/2 hr. Or it may take a couple of weeks, just depends on the horse. Patience is what is important. If the horse becomes afraid, or feels cornered then what has been learned is fear. If the horse stays calm, then it learns not to be afraid.

Same principle with the tarp, etc.

Hope this helps. :)
    05-26-2007, 04:23 PM
Wow thanx for the tips.
I've done the plastic bag before and he sort of just blew it off didnt care, all he did was eat the grass. So what do I do if he always does this? Does it mean he's not afraid or does it mean he's not paying attention?
Once again thanx for all of your help.
You said to lunge him over buckets, can I still do this if he's only 3 and people have said not to jump him due to the fact that his legs might still be growing?
    05-26-2007, 04:31 PM
If he doesn't react to the plastic bag, then he's not afraid of it! Yeah!

Yes, you can lunge over buckets. I use the small hand buckets, an old one and take the handle off (don't want it to get caught on his leg.) Then just toss it in the area when he is going to be lunging. He can step on it, kick it or jump it. As long as you don't over work him, it shouldn't be a problem. Also teaches him to watch where his feet are, and learn to avoid things on the ground.

I also got an old dirt bike tire, and let Christy play with it. Also have her put her front feet in the center and move only her hind end. Around in a circle. Then I reverse that, and have her only move her front end. I also lunge her over and around it. It's her favorite toy. You can also put polls down and walk, trot, lunge them over the polls. Also teaches them to pick up their feet, and pay attention. Helps with coordination too.
    05-26-2007, 04:34 PM
Lol that sounds cute *her having tier as a fav. Toy* i'll try these out when I get the chance, but I can't right now cause i'm getting ready to fly off to germany for a month and a half. I'll miss my baby so much!!! :(
    05-26-2007, 04:35 PM
Green Broke
You have some great ideas Connie.

I think I might try some of those with my daughters pony!
    05-26-2007, 04:35 PM
Wow! That sounds like fun!

You can work on an itenery (sp?) for when you come back! LOL!

Have a great time!
    05-26-2007, 04:41 PM
Lol, yeah well I guess an upside to leaving for a while is that I can read the books my school assigned me to read over the summer. Lol that was a problem last year I always wanted to ride instead of read.
    05-26-2007, 04:43 PM
You have some great ideas Connie.

I think I might try some of those with my daughters pony!
Meggymoo's mummy.
LOL! Thanks. I am sooooo tired of spooking bucking horses!

I ride trail, and I encounter just about everything, including some very horse stupid people who don't have a clue that a horse can spook. We also have lots of strong wind so there are always "things" blowing around. I usually ride alone, so if I get thrown and hurt, I could be there a while. (Especially if I land on the cell phone. :roll: )

As I haven't been able to ride much (weather) I have been working on everything I can think of. I now have a horse who wants to play with plastic bags, umbrellas, and went nuts trying to catch the neighbors kite! (Wish I had a video of that too, she was so funny!)
    05-26-2007, 04:45 PM
Green Broke
I bet that was fab to see! You could of sent it into one of those tv shows.

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