fear of getting in with my horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-27-2008, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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fear of getting in with my horse

I all ways feed my horse in a feeder that hung over the fence so i could keep him busy when i went in his pen to get his hay. My husband said i need to start taking the feed in the pin with me and feed in the stall but when i get in the pen and dakota my horse comes to me i about freak out because i thank he is going to run me over or something to get to the feed. i don't think he will but i have that in the back of my head. Can any one help me with that fear. I'm even afraid sometimes to go out there by myself to groom him. I want to not be afraid and get in the pin with him and spend time with him. My fear started when i tried lunging him and rared up at me so now i think he may do something else with me in the pen with him. Please write to let me know . Thanks
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-27-2008, 02:23 PM
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I'm not real good with words but I'll try to take a stab at this.....

Fear aint the same as being cautious and/or aware.
Being cautious is healthy but fear aint.
You should also know that fear has a smell. That smell is caused by your body's natural responses which amoung other things, includes a distinct odor (caused from an increase in adrenaline and sweat production). That smell is unmistakeable to a horse and may/will cause it to react in a defensive manner.

In other words, your horse will know that you are afraid and because of that, you can bet that YOU aint going to be the one in control.

My suggestion would be to have your husband acompany you during your trips to visit. After you get more comfortable, you can begin to take braver steps.
At this particular point, I'd also hold off on entering the pen with a can of feed in my hand. I doubt that your horse would intentionaly hurt you but this aint the time in your relationship to tempt fate.... if you get my drift.

That's about all I know.
I hope it helps.

DGW1949 is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old 06-27-2008, 02:42 PM
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Get your husband to do it a few times so you can see him doing it and give you a good idea as to how to go about it. There is a lady at the barn who has a yearling filly (who is VERY ill mannered) in with my 2 babies. This lady is terrified of my filly (she is 1 and a Clyde Cross, the sweetest horse you will ever meet). I think she is just not used to caring for horses.

One thing that this lady does(because she is afraid she will get hurt when my apparently monster horse comes to attack her) is go in the field with a dressage whip.

It helps her keep all the babies away when she goes in to catch her filly.

Hope it helps.
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-27-2008, 02:43 PM
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Boy am I going to get slammed for this but not all people who love horses should have one. Fear is reasonable but unreasonable fear can be dangerous. A horse will sense this and you will not be in control.

If you can have someone with you to give you encouragement and confidence then you can face your fear. If not then it truly is best not to put yourself in the position being alone with them.

Sorry about being so blunt but I've owned horses for over 30 years and my wife, although loves them dearly, has too much fear of them to be safe around them. When I go away for business, I have a friend come over to feed them. Neither of my horses would ever think of being aggressive but they are fed together and the mare will sometimes chase the gelding and someone not in control could get inadvertently hurt.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-27-2008, 03:30 PM
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I have a feeling that your horse is not respecting your space and is all over you when you lead him around. I'm betting that he has an in your pocket personality and that is what is making you nervous, as it should. He/She needs to learn to respect your space.

You need to start working him from the ground. He needs to learn to respect your space. Start by leading him, stop right in front of him, quickly, he should stop. Hold a crop so that you can use the handle as a preasure (don't hit him with the crop unless, us the handle to push him away from you). He should stop whenever you stop. If you walk towards him, he should move away. It takes "agressiveness", when I say that I don't mean "Meanness" like you don't have to hit him, well, you might have to use your leadrope to get him to move away from you, but he needs to always be focused on you and your next move. I think that's your issue, he's pushing you around. I don't think fear of horses is a bad thing, I think everyone should have some fear and some respect, they are huge animals.

You should be able to go into his pen with him.
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-27-2008, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks alot ya'll. The fear thing i don't understand in a way. When i first got him i was so loving to him not afraid one bit i took him for a walk around the yard to eat grass and to strech his legs abit and just learn him. He bent down to eat just as calm has he can be . Ears in the right direction up slight back not much at all though, I was standing my arm lenght distance right at his shoulder/stomach and before i knew it i was on the ground he cow kicked me and i had no idea why . So being afraid may not be me being afraid just aware of the problems that might come up. Because i love on him over the fence and he is so loveable some times pushy but i back him up with pressure with my thumb on one side of the nose and middle finger on the other side and say back little step i love on him.
thanks alot guys. I think i just need aliitle more time. I have thought alot on i'm i ready to do this horse thing ang i always say to my self yes even threw the bad things i just have to take control and just do it but in a safe loving way. :)
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-27-2008, 04:00 PM
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How old his this horse? How long have you had him? What has his extension of training been? Do you ride him or is he just a pasture pet? I am guessing you dont do much with him since you are afraid of going into the pen with him. lol So he is probably bored too, so the only thing he has to look forward is you coming in with food and he is ready for you and knows you are timid. If he disrespects your space, carry a small crop/dressage whip and do a sharp, short tap to get his attention and tell him "out of my space!!" You dont have to do anything big, and I am sure with consistancy it will get better. Having your husband with you the first few times might help until you get the hang of it. Good luck! :)

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post #8 of 15 Old 06-27-2008, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by iridehorses
Boy am I going to get slammed for this but not all people who love horses should have one.
i agree with that statement. if your afraid hes going to run you over (even if he hasnt before) how are you going to ride him? all horses rear (on occasion) so i think you should really take lessons or something and sell the horse you have now to over come your fear.

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post #9 of 15 Old 06-28-2008, 03:06 AM
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Does the horse know and respond to "backup"? I mean just the verbal cue and nothing else....Nela used to be really pushy and bad at feeding time and I wasn't letting myself be fearful or intimidated - she was just plain big enough to stick her head over my shoulder or over my arm or step in the way and start eating before I'd set her meal up for her.

When we got the chance the first thing I did was work on back up - ironically often followed by "You're in my bubble dammit!!!!" (during which I shouted and made a mean face I'm told - she's on the stubborn side just a little bit) We did this until I could wacth her from thecorner of my eye while we were just standing in the round pen and say it when she crept up close to me and have her respond. Now all I have to do is say the phrase "You're in my bubble" or backup and she does it - even if she's quite far away. I don't even have to be talking to her - she still looks around like "Who? Me?" and takes at least a few steps in reverse if nothings behind her.

I don't think you are one of the people who shouldn't have a horse - people with no business being horse owners are the people who DON'T ask for advice - people who do ask for advice are being responsible in getting help. You may just be going too fast for yourself, but it sounds like your husband is very involved, so that's a great thing too, a tool you have at your hands really. Maybe some lessons will help build your confidence, maybe even just working with your husband could be the trick instead of spending money on a trainer - it all depends on how confident you are in him as a teacher. either way if you keep the idea of taking baby steps in mind you should be able to build your confidence and skills day by day.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-28-2008, 01:47 PM
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I had a stick...nothing special just about a 2" in diameter, 2 1/2 foot long stick out of a tree. I carried it with me while I was in the pen with the horses (2 geldings) when we first got them and still do to this day when they have been on pasture for a while. Its my "bubble stick" If they are comming too close I'll hold the feed bucket behind me with one hand and the stick in the other as an extension of my arm. I'll just say back (they know the verbal cue) and they back up. Twister is my boy that wants to test you and he has has the opportunity to test the stick. He either runs into it or gets chased off completely with it. I have never had to "whoop" him. I also don't feed the horses unless they are being respectful. I will stand on one side of the trough feeder and make them wait for just a few seconds untill they calm down before I pour it out of the bucket. I do the same if I am feeding hay, I have a large bucket that I put it in and make 'em wait to eat. That's what works for me.

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20

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