Desensitising/bombproofing a youngster plus update (long sorry) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-25-2010, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: England, (cheltenham)
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Desensitising/bombproofing a youngster plus update (long sorry)

Well everyone, Ricohs been messing around in the field a lot recently and when I had my farrier out she noticed he was stiff in his hips and he's very resistant on one rein on the lunge so back man is coming out tomorrow to hopefully work some magic and give my boy an MOT before I start riding him

Also, finally got the money together, so am going to get my new barefoot treeless saddle tomorrow so once his back is sorted, ridden work can commence :)

His lunging is almost perfect now. His stop is much better and he listens to my voice now, no pulling on lunge and hardly have to use whip so im really excited about transfering over to riding. Unfortunately weather is awful atm so I hope it clears up

Well I have carried on walking him out in traffic and in narrow lanes he's fine with cars behind/infront of him and on the big wide road he's fine with it but there are few cars. Came across a motorbike yesterday and the man riding it was soo nice he was going to switch it off and walk behind us until we turned off but I told him that Ricoh had to get used to it so he got back on and passed wide and slow Ricoh was such a good boy. All he did was shift his bum around a bit and keep an eye on it.

Im following same route atm and pushing him a bit farther each day so eventually I can go down lanes, down big wide(but empty road) and finish up on busier narrow road back to my yard. This is all inhand with me leading and a friend walking too although last walk my friend was behind him and I was walking back by his girth so he wasnt using me for security so much!

Anyways, just trying to get some more ideas that I can do with him to help bombproof him that are easily available or I can make such as bridges or any more groundwork.

Would like to teach him to sidepass on ground? He sorta goes sideways. He knows how to move forehand and quarters so when I push gently with one hand on shoulder, one near bum he does walk sideways so I was just going to continue with this, but gradually reducing pressure. That ok or is there a better way to teach it?

Anyway, he has seen an umbrella today(trotted in a semicircle then came right up to it and sniffed it), seen cars,mopeds, had a tractor in field next door/his field, had my boyfriends car revved next to him and behind him(loud exhaust and music), walked over tarpualin, had plastic bags on him.
Im thinking a makeshift bridge next?

Anything else people can think of and any more groundwork I can do?

Also, been looking at loads of liberty videos and would love to give it a go Is it sorta teach all the moves online/long lining then progress to liberty or start liberty and get him following at walk/trot/canter and build up to moves?

Thanks guys

PS. Sorry for the essay
SarahRicoh is offline  
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-25-2010, 06:38 PM
Green Broke
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Location: Oregon
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How old is he?

Unless it weighs a ton... it's just a horse. Draft horse motto.
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-26-2010, 01:21 AM
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Anything & everything you can think of, so long as you introduce it in a non-confrontational manner. Sounds like you've been doing well. Taking him out & about to shows, etc is good experience.

How have you been teaching him & preparing him for being ridden besides lunging? You've been doing some yielding exercises obviously, but what about other than direct pressure on shoulder or hip?

As for sidepassing, yes, I start with getting them really good at moving one bit at a time, then start alternating between shoulder & hip while focussing over their back, then I gradually start bringing my hands in closer to where legs would be when riding, and stop alternating - just ask with one finger. It's helpful if you start with a fence in front or behind, to block forwards or backwards motion until he gets the idea.
loosie is offline  
post #4 of 12 Old 08-26-2010, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: England, (cheltenham)
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He's 4 years old.
I want to take him to some shows but until my sister gets a 4X4 we cant go anywhere :(

I walked him over and between(like a corridor) poles today and he also trotted over them. Was really good :)

Well my next piece of groundwork is longreining as he relys on people so much so I feel him learning to go forwards,turn etc on his own will be good for him. Once his backs been done im going to start moving his quarters,sidepassing,forehand and doing more but iv been gentle with him til now because of his back/hips.

So next up is longreining and anything else we can all think off... Within means
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-26-2010, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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He was also lunged in his new saddle today and apart from one little buck in trot was good as gold
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-26-2010, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orange County, California
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List of things I have to desensitize our beasts to (in addition to what you listed):

Wagons/carts behind a horse
skateboards/razor scooters
roller blades
bikes (mountain, road and BMX) they are different to my guys
lawn mower
weed eater
leaf blower
water crossings
big trash bags (like for collecting leaves) that big sound they make when first opened
mylar balloons
barking dogs
Harley Davidson motorcycles
fire engines
lawn irrigation
signs hung on fences and flapping in breeze
parked cars with doors opening and closing
compressors/generators (portable ones used in camping)
being poked by a needle (by a vet) - for this I use a toothpick and periodically go out and "pretend" to give an IV injection.
walking on crunchy leaves
walking on gravel

Also, I've found there is a difference in the horse between when you are on ground versus in saddle. In the saddle, the head of the horse is ahead of you, so the horse seems to take more "responsibility" for being aware of scary things and reacting. So, sometimes, something that causes no problem on the ground will make my horses spook when first encountered on horseback.
CanyonCowboy is offline  
post #7 of 12 Old 08-27-2010, 04:47 AM
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Bridges(over & under) and water. My current guy is unflappable with just about everything when I'm on the ground with him, but still quite green when riding & I find that while he doesn't hesitate to cross water & bridges when walking, when I'm aboard he's not so sure yet!
loosie is offline  
post #8 of 12 Old 08-27-2010, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: England, (cheltenham)
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Brilliant list Canyon Cowboy Thanks so much. Im going to do it all on the ground and then once iv got him going with the riding il try them all again :) Bridges are good but we have none around me :(

Anyone got any ideas how to get him used to going under and over motorway bridges?
SarahRicoh is offline  
post #9 of 12 Old 08-27-2010, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hawthorne, FL
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the best thing my trainer ever came up with and used and i have used to.. is if u can get ur horse in a stall.. put some chickens in with him! lol i know it sounds crazy but it really helps with spookiness haha bc chickens are loud, they run and flap and it totally works wonders on them.. Swoop i swear to god is not afraid of anything now hahaha he's had guns go off behind him and motorcycles and semi trucks and all that go by him before for the first time and could care less and its bc of the **** chickens

"The horse you get off is not the same as the horse you got on; it is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible the change is for the better."
FoxyRoxy1507 is offline  
post #10 of 12 Old 08-28-2010, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Lol thats a good idea..I have no chickens but strangely enough there are chickens next door to his field and they come in so hopefully that'l be good enough
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