Cows are scary! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 7 Old 08-14-2013, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Cows are scary!

I have two horses that are said to be afraid of cows. I know for a fact the Paint is, because he actually hurt himself trying to get away from three SMALL CALVES in the pen next to him.

The other horse I'm not sure of, but nonetheless.. How can I get them accustomed to cows without endangering myself and them? Like I said, Riot, my Paint, has already hurt himself once trying to climb a round pen to get away from three baby calves in the pen next to him. Sliced his front left left up pretty bad. (It's healed now. No lameness issues, just trust issues.)

I don't have open access to cows without taking the horses somewhere else, but I'm weary of that because around here, people like to use the "beat and push into submission" method of training, where they pretty much FORCE the horses into a scenario that scares them, but make them stay there until they quit freaking out. I personally don't like this method and want my horses to stay far away from that attitude of "training".

Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-14-2013, 11:22 AM
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With some horses, the total immersion thing is the only way to get them used to cattle. Other horses may NEVER get used to them. I had a gelding who went ballistic every time he saw black cattle. Really bad for him, since I moved to an area where beef cattle are raised. That poor guy never got used to seeing those evil, black horse eating monsters!

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-14-2013, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, that's about the way Riot is. Apparently the size of the cow doesn't matter either! My friend has a miniature bull that is sweet as can be, but Riot freaked out at the sight of him. Anything that smells like cow must be evil!
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-14-2013, 11:34 AM
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Conny never cared about any other color except black. Could go past a whole herd of moos and he'd never bat an eye if they weren't black.

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post #5 of 7 Old 08-14-2013, 11:35 AM
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I know a not so fancy warmblood Selle Francais that is terrified of cows. He lives around them and has been for 8 years. His owner wants to put him out in a pasture with two cows sometime....

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” - Unknown
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-14-2013, 08:19 PM
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My TB is terrified of them, or at least mortified by their smell. If he catches scent of one, I had better be ready. He has recently conquered his fear of deer, but cows might be a lifelong hangup of his. A lot of horses seem to hate them.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-14-2013, 08:35 PM
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I have found that riding with someone that has a confident cow horse that won't feed off your horses energy is a fast way to show that he can actually control the cow/ calf...bovine.
Once the horse figures out that he can control the movement of the cow then the confidence level comes up.
It works faster than trying to turn them out together and just hope the horse works it out. If you know someone that has a confident horse that will work a cow just tag along. Let the confident horse track a cow around to show that he can push it and control it. By following the cow it will increase the curiousity. Once they get curious they "latch on" naturally and want to track it around. Won't be long and soon you will be able to position him where he learns that if he steps to the eye he can turn them and to the hip to move them forward. Even horses that aren't cow bred enjoy it and learn from it. Just keep it slow you don't need to be practicing for NCHA the first time. You don't want him to feel like he gets defeated or pushed too hard too soon.
Good Luck!
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