Getting a horse good in traffic - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-04-2011, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Getting a horse good in traffic

I have a 4year old welsh cob that i can not ride on a road. I have tried lots off diffrent ways to try to get her use to it granted she is better but we carnt overcome the fear of buses lorries and we seem to be at a dead end now. Any ideas help its hard to take her to shows or anywere because off this issue and i dont want a accident. Were just not getting anywere arrgghh
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-04-2011, 09:29 PM
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What kind of things have you tried? I usually try to keep the legs moving but in a safe direction. I did this on the ground first, we haven't had much saddle time yet. I make sure he knows its coming but nothing to be afraid of.

Have you tried having someone else ride him near cars? Because you know he's going to stress out you might be anticipating it, just a thought. Good luck...
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-04-2011, 09:49 PM
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Depending on what exactly you have and haven't tried, these ideas may or may not be helpful...

Have you tried taking her out in the company of a horse who has a lot of experience with roads and is comfortable with the traffic? Sometimes a quiet buddy does a lot for stressful situations.

If you have to tackle the problem yourself, I recommend finding a fair-sized field that borders a road (obtaining the permission of the owner, of course) to practice in. The field should be large enough that you can work far enough away from the road itself that your horse is comfortable and able to focus, and you can extend figures closer to the road and safely extend her comfort zone. From here, I'd tackle the road like any other spooky object: approach and retreat, and allow rest close to the spooky thing.

Another option, if it's cars in general or moving vehicles period that are the problem rather than heavy road traffic, is to start very small and follow a car around. Start leading the horse from the ground, have a friend drive ahead of you fairly slowly, and just follow the driver until the mare starts acting curious rather than fearful. When she's comfortable on the ground following at the walk and trot, try it mounted. The idea is to make the vehicle nonthreatening by having it "run away" from the horse, rather than behave like a predator to be feared. When she's good following, try riding alongside the vehicle, and eventually in front of it. It takes some coordination, but I've seen it done.

Other than that, controlled exposure is key. I'm "fortunate" in that I live on a busy road. I don't ride on the road as it is simply too busy to be safe, but my home arena is only a few yards away from highway speed tractor-trailer traffic - the sights and sounds become old hat pretty quickly with that kind of exposure. Not having immediate access to that kind of area makes the process harder.

Good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-04-2011, 11:22 PM
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I live on a very busy US Highway, US 177 between Sulphur and Shawnee, OK. Literally thousands of semi rock and gravel trucks go by every day as several rock quaries are just south of me and OKC is north of me. Many rock trucks and hay haulers have loose tarps that flap in the wind. We get all of the oversize loads that are not allowed on I-35 15 miles west of us.

Our big pipe roping arena and our 150 foot round cutting pen border that highway. I just tie young horses to the arena fence and let them go through all the anxiety levels they want to. After a day or two of it, they are standing there with a hind foot rested and sleeping. After that, I can ride them along side of this highway or any other.

Just like tying horses out to get them over being buddy sour, I am a firm believer that they school themselves more quickly and with fewer problems if you just tie they out and let them work it all out in their own minds. For me, this beats fighting them and trying to get them to focus on me instead of the problem any day. Leave them alone and come back and they are over it -- once and for all.

I do the same thing if I have a horse that is terrified of cows. I take them to a practice roping or a cow sale barn and tie them in or to the return alley. Four or five hours later, they do not mind cows at all.

Last edited by Cherie; 06-04-2011 at 11:24 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-10-2011, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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I have stood for countless hours at the side of the road with or without company she just tries to run away from all lorries buses vans etc. I can manage just to ride down a road with just cars in company but is still very nervous i can walk her over a bridge on top of a motoway because its as simple as the cars are far enough away not to be sacred. I am trying to find a field next to a very busy road to put her in but with no luck.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-10-2011, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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She also uses her weight to her advantage when scared i would love to find sumwere close by to put her and let her figure it out but there is no were. I think i am just gunna spend my summer stood at the side of a road
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