So Fi my 5 year old IDH has an absolute fear of things following her as she backs up or anything laying in front of her.
The first week I had her I made the mistake of dropping the lungeline and she took two steps back, started snorting like a bull (whilst I'm trying to tighten my saddle) before she took off at a dead gallop. She galloped the pasture about 10 minutes before she finally got hung up on the ATV, saddle under her belly and all. This is vital, I'm pretty sure. But the problem started before this incident, but wasn't aware.
Fi was worked up and down on a tarp as she grew up, same with me when I frst bought her. Loads of groundwork with the tarp, no problem!
Last week was her first day back to work after the radial nerve paralysis and decided to play around with a tarp.
Long story short I got on her, walked to the tarp, let her investigate, took a step on it, she backed up and the tarp got stuck on her hoof thus it came with us. I had her on the buckle with the rein so she had no guidance from me on how to react. When I saw this materializing I made a snatch for the reins, but it was too late. Her flight kicked in. She'd tugged the tarp and fled in the opposite direction. Leaving me on my bum in the dirt. Stopped about 8 feet away.
First fall in over three years and my first off of her
I worked with her and this "scary" tarp for about 10 minutes before I resumed our ride. Then followed up the next day with the tarp again. She was fine walking on it after my husband managed to convince her after I tried earnestly for 40 minutes to even get her to think about said tarp. She had gotten to the point where she would get within an inch of the tarp and shut down. So the hubby took over, we moved her to the high-wall round pen, set the tarp down and she walked right over, backed over it, turned around, etc. Took it back to the arena that the incident happened (different spot) she hesitated, but humored us and walked over. Moved said tarp to original panic location, she wouldn't walk on it for about 5 minutes. Who said horses weren't smart
Needless to say getting on, off, and turning on the tarp is no big deal. The problem is something that drags in front of the horse as they back away kind of deal. So... How would you desensitize a horse that panics at an item that follows them whilst backing
(essentially something they can't see all that great) I mean heck, she freaked out when I went to catch her and her reins were hanging on the ground (same applies to the leadline on the ground).