Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
A lot depends on how you define "desensitizing". Around where I'm at, judging from what people call desensitization training, it is creating a laundry list of things the horse is used to seeing. That doesn't work well when a javelina pops out in front of you for the first time, unless you have a pig farm where you can practice riding.
Also, some people seem to think it means making their horse freak out as opposed to raising and then lowering the stress level WITHOUT pushing the horse into a panic.
Good desensitizing means teaching the horse to handle fear in an acceptable manner (stopping instead of bolting, for example) and then looking to his rider for instruction. Done right, it is fantastic for a fearful horse. Done wrong, it will ruin a horse. IMHO - not a trainer, instructor, competitor or anything.
"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."