Exercises/Ways to Help Relax a Nervous Horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-28-2009, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Exercises/Ways to Help Relax a Nervous Horse?

So I recently passed out of a Senior Rider test on my favorite horse (Thumper) which means that I can ride him on my own. He is a very nervous horse who tends to speed and tense up. Then he will sometimes begin to ignore your aids and not bend or anything. So I was wondering if anyone had any ways or exercises that I could do on my own to help kind of get Thumper to relax. He is a perfect angel when someone is on the ground next to him, but I guess he gets nervous when there's no one there. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-28-2009, 10:46 PM
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I'd say serpentines, circles stuff like that to get him bending. Is he ok on a loose rein? If he is, I'd just ride him around letting him go wherever he wants (probably better to do this one in an arena) at whatever speed he wants for a few minutes each session. I found that that helped my horse calm herself down a lot becuase she kept anticipating my cues and totally freaking herself out wondering what I was gonna ask for next.

Good luck! And congratulations on passing your test! =)

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post #3 of 18 Old 06-28-2009, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the ideas- he's okay in the beginning on a long rein, but after we start trotting and cantering he will start speeding up on a long rein. It's not like he'll freak out b/c of the long rein though. I like the idea of just letting him do what he wants for a few minutes; it sounds like that and the small circles and serpentines will help. I might be riding tomorrow, so I'll see how it works if I am!
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-29-2009, 02:35 AM
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I have the same problem with my horse, but i just do circles,serpentines,loops etc. to make sure she is listening to me :)

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post #5 of 18 Old 06-29-2009, 08:27 AM
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I know it may sounds dumb , but when I feel my horse is VERY nervous (generally on new trail), I just start talking to her non-stop. She listens - I can see it from her ears position, and it seems to help.
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-29-2009, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
I know it may sounds dumb , but when I feel my horse is VERY nervous (generally on new trail), I just start talking to her non-stop. She listens - I can see it from her ears position, and it seems to help.
I do this too. I tell her its Ok and I won't let anything eat her I also sing.


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- Anatole France
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-29-2009, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks sooo much for all of the suggestions! I really hope I can ride him today so I can see how it works with him.
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-29-2009, 12:39 PM
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I also sing.
I'm too afraid to scare people around to do that. Lol!
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-29-2009, 01:13 PM
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LOL, I should try singing. I talk to Soda, I find it calms me down too. The others have great ideas too, keep them moving so he needs to focus on you. Otherwise work with him on the ground, maybe he has some trust issues?
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-29-2009, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Tigerstripes- do you mean at a faster gait or just plain moving? I do some stuff with him on the ground and I hand graze him after I ride so we get some 'bonding time' :).
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