Fears from the ground. And that darned gravity law.
 
 

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Fears from the ground. And that darned gravity law.

This is a discussion on Fears from the ground. And that darned gravity law. within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How to teach a stallion to walk beside me
  • Broken wrist and ground work with horse

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    05-11-2012, 01:31 AM
  #1
Weanling
Fears from the ground. And that darned gravity law.

So I have to admit this. I am scared out of my mind to lead/stand next to my horse. I got run over about a month and a half ago. Brought horse into round pen, took him off the lead (regret THAT), and that's when he apparently saw the grim reaper coming to eat him. Someone on a hill bent down to pick something up, and when they stood up and *reappeared*, it was all over. Horse hopped a couple of times toward me, I
was standing at his shoulder (regret that too), knocked me down, jumped over me, I got a hoof tap to the face (thank god for bare feet) enough to make my teeth and nose sore for a few weeks, and a fractured wrist. Thank god that's all I got, I'm a lucky son of a gun :) anyway I can't stop tensing up when I'm around him, which doesn't help him any at all. We're working on groundwork (TONS), especially focused on him staying out of my space, but do you guys have any opinions (I'm sure some of you do!) or helpful advice for me to get the *underside of his belly* view out of my head. I want 'healthy respect of horses', not 'oh my god, I might freak out in a minute', and I'm sure my horse would rather that too. So anyway, I'm working on him, but how can I work on me?
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    05-11-2012, 01:47 AM
  #2
Weanling
And I just want to add, now when I hear someone say 'safety of the round pen' I cringe... I hate it when people say that now!
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    05-11-2012, 01:49 AM
  #3
Super Moderator
Well, that's a very scary experience. I have had something nearly as bad, in that the horse ran into me, landing on my foot, so that I could not move out of his way, so I fell backward, but fortunately, he was tied and could move no farther. Didn't break my toes, but darn near! Now, when I tack and untack him I am very aware that he can do this at any minute and I curl my toes up into my boots, no kidding.


I think that the time is still short from the incident, so dont' assume that any issues you are having now will be permanent. Do you have anhyone else that can work with you for a bit? Or, can you do some practice ground work with another , less explosive horse, to get your game back?
     
    05-11-2012, 01:59 AM
  #4
Weanling
Yep my boyfriends dad ( I'm 29 just for the record...lol) rode him tonight. He's my guinea pig now. I like to get him to ride before I ride so I can see what happens to him :), and when I lead the horse I try to coerce him Into walking beside me so if the horse hopped toward me I'd have some help. Of course, I'm way more fearful on the ground at this point in time. I've gotten into the habit of walking on his left side, holding his lead with my left hand, and pushing lightly on his neck with my right hand. I have to work on that. He's not incredibly explosive, I just didn't expect it (NOW I DO!).
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    05-11-2012, 02:12 AM
  #5
Weanling
Okay maybe I don't push that lightly on his neck while leading him. Maybe I push my fist (hands still swollen from fracture, can flatten it against neck) into his neck a little while keeping too tight of a grip on the lead, trying to keep that shoulder away from me. I'm working on it.
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    05-11-2012, 02:20 AM
  #6
Showing
Poor girl!!! That sounds terrifying! I'm glad you're alright though.

You've gotta get someone to help you through this fear. That horse shouldn't have run over you, regardless of on lead or what. I would kill my horse if he even thought about running me over.

Is there someone you can work with that can help you with ground work? Man I wish I was there to help!
     
    05-11-2012, 02:30 AM
  #7
Weanling
Yeah I know he shouldn't have. Since then we've realized he's a 'jump in your lap' kinda horse. We've been working on that a LOT. Also we sent someone up to that spooky hill while boyfriends dad was riding him. He rode him through his spooks (each one smaller) and then rode him up on the hill with the person up there moving some brush around. He did well tonight. I did good. I walked him all the way to the round
pen without crapping my pants (gotta add the humor somewhere...)
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    05-11-2012, 02:34 AM
  #8
Showing
Well good for you :) Just keep on working at it. What halter is he in?

Once my horse jumped into my lap and landed 1400lbs of weight on my poor foot. It still bothers me today (atm actually) so I cannot imagine what you are going through :/
     
    05-11-2012, 02:41 AM
  #9
Showing
Carry a dressage whip when you lead him. You may not need to use it, but it's there in case you do need it. By carrying a dressage whip, you're adding that much more length to your arm and if he decides to try running over you again, you have a little more umph to keep him off you and put him back in his place.

My three-year-old was becoming pushy while on the ground, which isn't a good thing when you have a 16hh, 1500lbs three-year-old. So I bought a dressage whip and carried it with me when I led him. All it took was one time getting whacked across the chest for trying to get ahead of me and be pushy. He used to buck and rear a little when I'd go to turn him out, as well, and try to break away before I had the halter completely off him. Took the dressage whip with me and as soon as he tried to get too frisky, I smacked him once with the dressage whip and he realized I meant business.

Is he really spooky on the ground or was him running over you a one-time thing? Looking at it objectively, are his ground manners overall good, or does he take advantage of you (I'm not asking what you think he's doing when you're leading him, but if you stepped back and were assessing him as a horse you'd never met before, how are his manners)? If his running over you was a one-time deal, I'd say you need to start repeating a mantra to yourself when you're leading him. Something like "He's fine. He's fine. He's fine. I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine." Anticipating negative actions has a nasty way of making those negative actions happen, because the horse starts feeding off your negative energy.

Last year, I was thrown from a black and white pinto mare. She completely rodeo bucked me and I came off hard. Blacked out for a few seconds (during which time the mare came after me while I was out of it on the ground...only my friend's timely intervention saved me) and ended up screwing up my ankle (ER said it was fractured, ortho said it was sprained...a year later it still gives me serious issues, so I'm beginning to think it was actually fractured). After I was cleared to ride, I found I was terrified to ride my own horse (who is also a black and white pinto) because I started imagining all the things he COULD do to me. He has never offered to buck or do anything stupid under saddle...ever. But, I would still have panic attacks at the mere thought of climbing up into the saddle. If he even twitched, I would scream and try to curl up into the fetal position in my saddle (yay for poleys!). It took making riding a game before I could seriously even think about getting on my horse without feeling like I was going to cry.

So, I can honestly say I know how you feel.
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    05-11-2012, 02:54 AM
  #10
Super Moderator
My mother always said "If you can't take the heat in the kitchen, don't cook!"
If you cannot take the knocks and downs of being around horses then take up sewing or painting.

Horses are big and potentially dangerous animals regardless of how well they are trained there are times when a human will always get hurt. Generally this is something minor but often can be major.

Pain is relative. If you think it is major then it will hurt more, learn to shove it away!

I once had a horse jump on my cold toe whilst giving the rider a leg up. It hurt but I was busy. I rode, taking four horses out. I finished mucking and turning out. Did all the general day to day things.
When I finished that evening and went indoors, I did some washing up and then noticed blood on the floor. Thought it was one of the dogs, then realised more was by the sink, took my socks off and my toe was split from the joint all the way over the top to the joint on the other side. Toenail was in my sock. After a bath and cleaning it, I could see the bone. Cleaned it with some antiseptic, put a dressing on it making sure it held together and carried on the next day.

When things go wrong it is generally the rider/handlers fault.

What you are doing is correct in teaching better ground manners - just learn to get tougher with your horse and yourself.

Good luck.
     

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