horse terrified of being alone
 
 

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horse terrified of being alone

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  • Horse is scared when riding alone
  • Do horses get scared of being alone

 
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    05-11-2008, 11:49 PM
  #1
Foal
horse terrified of being alone

Ok, so there's a horse I've been riding on and off for the past 2 or so years. I found out when I leased him this winter he can't stand being alone, to the point where I felt unsafe riding him without another person riding with me, which was annoying since I could only ride when one of my friends could go riding. But even then, he freaked out if he couldn't always be behind the other horse. He's great (well sort of ) in lessons where there's several other horses with us, but he gets super nervous if he's alone anywhere, or if I ask him to move away from the other horses. I can understand the being nervous about being alone, but I don't get why he always has to be directly behind another horse-he'll refuse to pass them, even though he usually trots/canters a lot faster (well he'll pass horses in a large group, but not if there's just two of us in the arena). I figured maybe it's my fault and he doesn't percieve me as a strong leader so he wants to follow another horse instead. I did a lot of ground work/bonding with him over the winter. But then my lease ended and track season started and I haven't been out to see him in a while, so I don't know if it made any difference in him. I doubt anyone else has been riding him (he's spooky and hard mouthed and has too much energy, so not many people can put up with him), so it'll pretty much be a start over for him this summer. I'm looking for suggestions for how to get him used to being alone. I have other questions about him too I'll post in this thread later.
     
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    05-12-2008, 05:01 PM
  #2
Trained
I've found that there is a big difference about respecting you as a leader as far as respecting your space, etc, and being confident when being ridden alone. Our 2 young mares (4 and 6 yrs) have great manners and respect, but there are still some 'obstacles' that we can come across, for example, a narrow, one lane, wooden bridge, that they will be very cautious crossing when I ride them alone, but will go right over when following our seasoned (14 yr) 'boss mare'. As a confidence exercise, I pony our young ones with the seasoned one, and it's easy to see their confidence level...when they feel confident, they will be neck and neck (or even wanting to lead), but if they are unsure about something, they will tuck right in behind boss mare (like you mentioned) until the 'danger' has passed. From what I've been told by a trainer friend, some horses just take a lot longer than others to gain confidence when riding alone.
     
    05-15-2008, 11:30 PM
  #3
Foal
Any ideas of what I can do to help him gain confidence?
     
    05-27-2008, 01:35 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom
Any ideas of what I can do to help him gain confidence?
Ride him alone. :) The more you do it the better he will get about it. Keep the rides short at first, get longer as you go. He's just used to being with other horses, especially if he's turned out with them and is always ridden in a group. It's not that uncommon. If it's really bad, he could be moved to single turnout (maybe have a buddy in the next field but not in with him). A friend of mine had a pony that was rediculously attached to my horse (pasture mate). She actually took off on the lunge line once while she was working her and ran out to the field... it got so rediculous so she stopped turning them out together. Actually I think she kept her in the stall for about 3 days and would come a few times a day, take her out, groom her, play with her, take her for a walk, or ride/lunge her. After a while the pony bonded to her instead of the horses and was much more dealable.

Still had a crush on my horse though.... :)
     
    05-28-2008, 08:21 PM
  #5
Foal
Well single turnout isn't possible. I'll see what I can do with him this summer. I'll be really busy though and I don't know when I can start leasing him again. The other problem is I don't want to ride him alone when my parents are around because if he does anything really bad they'll think he's a bad horse and not want me to ride him any more...and then the stable will sell him since I'm the only one who rides him... :(
     
    05-29-2008, 07:12 PM
  #6
Showing
Take him out one on one for walks. Spend quality time with him to teach him you guys are buddies. He needs to learn that he can trust you and that you are his friend that way regardless of what you guys do or where you go he will be calm and happy as long as you are with him.

Anything that can boost is confidence in you.
     
    05-31-2008, 06:43 AM
  #7
Foal
I agree with my 2 geldings it sounds like it could be fun, picking a bit of grass along the way lunging in suitable areas and just relaxing. L have an 18 onth old colt that's heard bound and he looks forward to our walks
     
    05-31-2008, 03:25 PM
  #8
Foal
I can try taking him out on walks but I don't know if he'll like it. He's a very impatient horse who always needs to be doing something interesting. I've tried doing things like tieing him and spending a lot of time grooming him and giving him treats (not too many or he'll try to eat me for the rest of the day ) but he hates it because he doesn't like standing still. Frustrating horse to work with at times. :roll:

The good thing is I can get my lisence any time now so maybe next fall I can drive out every day possible after school and just spend time with him. I think he just needs more consistency. For example he used to be terribly spooky on trail rides. Last summer when I rode him during horse camp (I was a counselor) we went out on the trails every day with the campers and by the end of the summer we could go a whole trail ride with just a couple small spooks or even none.
     
    06-01-2008, 08:07 AM
  #9
Showing
It sounds like you are afraid of him? If you don't like being by yourself with him in the first place, then you need to work on that before you can work with him.
He will for sure not like going out anywhere, that's why you keep doing it until he gets used to it and settles. If he won't stand still then you are having some respect issues with him. Once again you need to take care of that before you take him out anywhere or expect any positive improvements.
     
    06-02-2008, 04:36 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by My2Geldings
It sounds like you are afraid of him? If you don't like being by yourself with him in the first place, then you need to work on that before you can work with him.
He will for sure not like going out anywhere, that's why you keep doing it until he gets used to it and settles. If he won't stand still then you are having some respect issues with him. Once again you need to take care of that before you take him out anywhere or expect any positive improvements.
Of course I like being with him, that's why I was leasing him. The thing I'm afraid of is not him but that my mum will see him acting up if I try to ride him alone and will think he's a bad horse. He really is a sweet guy and very fun to ride, he just needs more work and I don't want my parents to say I can't ride him anymore if he does anything bad. Like I think I mentioned before, as soon as life gets a bit less busy and I get my lisence I will be going out more often to work with him. What I was looking for were suggestions of things I can do with him. Like you said I need to keep taking him out until he gets used to it but we both get bored with just lunging. Oh and as far as not liking to stand still, I meant he's fidgety while tied, not like he walks away when I ask him to stand. But I won't say he's the most respectful horse ever born (thank his pony half for that).
     

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