Helping a horse overcome bad experiences - Page 3

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Helping a horse overcome bad experiences

This is a discussion on Helping a horse overcome bad experiences within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    04-16-2013, 12:13 PM
Agree with Speed there, although I don't tie for lessons like the scary object, the OP says he is NEVER tied, and that is an issue that needs to be addressed if that is the case. A horse who can't be tied is a real PITA, and that is where my softly softly approach gives up. I do have a blocker type ring to allow them the chance to learn by approach and retreat, and if that fails I hard tie, to an immovable object then sit back and watch them learn that standing still IS the only option.
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    04-16-2013, 12:17 PM
Exactly, GH. A horse who NEVER ties isn't one I'd have in my barn.
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    04-16-2013, 12:18 PM
Green Broke
Sorry speed I did misread your question. And no I'm not saying he should never be tied, because of course yes he has to be tied at times. But what I meant is not when you're introducing things like the saddle and stuff. Because if he's tied while he's scared then yes it basically is forcing. And tbh there are a lot of people who don't know that/don't know better
    04-16-2013, 12:19 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
Exactly, GH. A horse who NEVER ties isn't one I'd have in my barn.
That's not at all what I meant...
    04-16-2013, 12:25 PM
Originally Posted by Nokotaheaven    
That's not at all what I meant...
Good, because I'd have to question your sanity, what will all your horses running around loose all the time!

I also have to respectfully disagree about not tying the horse while introducing the saddle. That gives the animal the option to refuse, which means he's making the decision about when his training happens, and that doesn't work for me.

Introduce the tack slowly and back off if the horse really appears to be going to blow, but handing him the decision whether or not to cut and run? No.
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    04-16-2013, 12:46 PM
This is where it is invaluable to watch the tv trainers programs. You never know what they will talk about. Ken McNabb had a women who was badly injured when a dog attacked her horse on the trail. She was convinced that, after a year, her horse would have as much fear of the incident as she did. Ken had his obedient BC help him with both horse and rider. His point was that yes, the horse was scared, but the horse and rider needed to learn how to deal with the same situation. When Ken worked with her horse, it took practically no time to de-spook the horse. The gelding had a little fear of the dog, but he got the dog onto the saddle in a short amount of time. Definitely less than one hour's time.
The rider took longer to get over her fears. He taught them both to turn and ride towards the dog bc dogs will back down especially if they are not in a pack. My horses live in my back yard. My two dogs (60lb and 70lb) are great friends of my horses. They like to run with them and even chase them. Periodically the horses tire of it, turn, pin ears and charge them to say, "back off." I know that I could get them to do the same on a trail bc the dogs haven't hurt the horses and the horses haven't hurt the dogs.
My POINT is that your horse needs approach and retreat with the saddle until you have bored him to tears. How about a whole morning of this, then a whole afternoon of saddling/unsaddling?
Even though I suffered some falls and throws and really lost my confidence for awhile, I've never put up with a disrespectful horse. My QH, "Buster" was spooky a few years ago, and tried to spook right into me--they will do this when they are scared if they don't respect you. I took the whip and moved him 1/2-way around my training area, reminding him that I am the food-bringer and that he will NEVER panic and try to slam into me EVER!! Panicking and spooking away from me is okay.
It really is all about who is the leader. Horses want strong leadership bc it makes them feel safe.
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    04-16-2013, 05:48 PM
As others have illuded to I wonder why this horse is not tied. I think it sounds like we are putting the cart or the saddle in this case before the horse. If this horse has never learned to be tied that should be addressed before. In the OPs other thread it mentioned the horse getting away from her in the pasture which is the exact reason a horse should be tied and not groomed in pasture (provided you want the horse to not wander off).

I think I would start with ground work. Get him leading, tying, backing, turning and desensitized to "horse equipment" before I started to throw a saddle on him. FWIW the saddling of a horse is not totally traumatic. I have heard of numerous cases of horses (granted all former harness horses who were used to equipment being on them) who had saddles and riders thrown on them without the rider knowing the horse had never had a saddle on. To me, the horse would have either shown some indication that they were uncomfortable with the saddling process prior to the saddle being on. I would regard that history as suspect. Don't let your horses past dictate his future.
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    04-16-2013, 06:27 PM
Originally Posted by rookie    
Don't let your horses past dictate his future.
There is a good signature line looking for a home, very good thought.
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    04-16-2013, 06:33 PM
He is never tied because he doesn't know how. I don't have something sturdy to tie him to, either.
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    04-16-2013, 07:07 PM
Sink a post in the ground and start working on tying, then worry about the saddle. You need to teach this horse that he can't just run off whenever it suits him. Then when he stands tied you can work on brushing and use cloths that gradually get bigger until your cloth is the size of a saddle pad.

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