Desensitizing materials - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Desensitizing materials

So I started my new horse today with some "scary" items.lol I took one of those plastic shiny tinsel looking birthday cake decorations and a plastic bag. I started by rubbing him down with the lunge whip as directed by Clinton Anderson and he did great. Then I moved on to the shiny thing he didn't really move his body, just flinched his skin and I rubbed him all over even his butt. Then he proceeded to follow it around and try to eat it.lol. So not as scary as I thought. Then the plastic bag began to blow away and he just looked at it and that was it.

Any other interesting items in mind to introduce?

Also I think he is playing the whole chase me game in the field, happens every time I go to catch him. I showed up early enough to get him from his stall the other morning and today another girl went out to get him. He didn't go up to her either, but she took a few steps up and then back and then tried that for like 15 mins. It finally worked but I get so anxious just knowing he's going to run from me when I go to the field. Has anyone else had this problem?

Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls- they give us hope!
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 09:55 PM
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I like to "play"... The other day I took an empty shavings bag and rubbed it all over my gelding... Then up his neck, all over is face, and finally had him wearing it over his head. He couldn't see a thing, but just stood there. Love trust.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 10:16 PM
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Flags, ropes, chip/ plastic bags, tarps, hoses, quads, popping noises, miniature horses( haha I know funny but on of our tb mares pulled a trailer a few inches sideways when a minnie came near her at a show) carts, and anything unusual really :)
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-20-2012, 10:20 PM
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There is NO limit. Use your imagination, plus there are already several threads.

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post #5 of 11 Old 06-21-2012, 11:19 AM
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I take a sturdy bag (like a burlap) and fill it half full with empty paint cans (have a great rattle sound) soda cans, rocks, large bolts- anything to make A LOT of clanking noises. Tie the end and then attach a long lead rope to it. We drag it along the ground around the horse then move to dragging it over their body- both sides- we shake it as we move it along their body and on the ground.

This should be done with two people if possible, one to drag and one to hold onto the horse and reassure it. Once they are good with it on the ground, I move to the saddle and tie it to the horn and lead the horse so it drags it along each side. This is especially good to teach your horse NOT to shy away from something be drug from it (could be a person someday and you would want the horse not to freak out because something is attached and moving along its side).
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-21-2012, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Those are great ideas, all things I will work on this week. I am starting bright and early for the next 3 mornings!

Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls- they give us hope!
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-22-2012, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Today I took my western blanket and it stretches out large so I could tell that he would tense up when I came near him with it, although he's worn it before. I am starting to realize that his body language tells me when he feels like he has to trust me unwillingly and when he wants to trust me and he's willing to. So at first he was tense so I rubbed him a very long time with it until he would stand still, then I spread it on myself and he thought that was weird. LOL. Then I spreaded it to full length and made him move with it, at first he was real tense and after a while he relaxed and got that true western walk with his head level. Awesome:) I moved it alot and spent alot of time just with that. I tried the sparkler thing again and the plastic bag, he actually doesn't show as much interest. I am still going to make sure and try different things, but honestly I feel that the people who had him before just made him do stuff with the saddle and mounted him without him naturally liking it. Today I made alot of headway by showing him through holds and releases that its ok, truly a much better way and I think he's much happier.

Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls- they give us hope!
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-24-2012, 06:49 PM
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We came up with a great one today at the barn-quite accidentally. A lawn sprinkler. In our case it was the oscillating (back and forth very quiet) type.....2 out of 3 would not get within 20 ft, and were blowing and snorting.

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post #9 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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haha. Funny

Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls- they give us hope!
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-25-2012, 10:42 AM
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A little trick that helps with desensitising is to show the dreaded object to the horse then back away 3 or 4 steps, then approach again. Do this until he appears bored or drops a hip. It's the yo-yo effect that helps desensitize. Pressure on, pressure off.
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