Horse very spooky - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-11-2008, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Horse very spooky

Ok so my friend has a horse and he is a jumper, he rides nice, but has a little bit of an attitude...well yesterday I was at the barn and I was watching her and we were walking up to the jumps (in another field) well there is a white fence laying on the ground and he completely has what I call a panic attack, he starts breathing hard and just decides when he wants to go...yes she has to force him sometimes, but he just is very skiddish.

My friend and her mom say its because he does not like white, well thats all fine and well, but how can they break him of that?

I said he needs more ground work, but her mom is the "frofessional trailer" ;) at least she comments
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-11-2008, 09:29 PM
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In short, I would just suggest a desensitization program - start working him around things that are spooky, don't let him get out of position, and correct him when he isn't. Slowly he'll hopefully start to accept the spooky things and figure out they're really not as spooky as they seem.

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post #3 of 17 Old 04-25-2008, 11:21 AM
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Saddle Spooked

Hope you don't mind that I am piggy backing on your topic.

I live in the Midwest and did not ride my horse for about 3 months. I am now wanting to ride again and he has become spooked about being saddled. I saddled and rode him the first time with no problem. The second time he moved to the right and the belly strap touched his back leg which sent him into a frenzy. I was able to get him under control (with alot of effort) and now he is frightened of his saddle. I have been working with him daily and can lay the saddle on him with those 'huge' scared eyes but have not tempted to strap it on. This weekend I will. Can you move too slowly with a horse. I have been trying to desensitize his sides with ropes of different weight, the saddle blanket you name it. It is just when the saddle is on and you touch his sides he seems to freak.

Has this every been a problem for your friend or any one out there?

Thank you.

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post #4 of 17 Old 04-26-2008, 03:53 AM
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One possibility to check, ChocolateGal, is the fit of your saddle. Since your horse has been out of work for 3 months, he probably lost a lot of the muscle that he had before when the saddle fit him! For his first ride, it probably wasn't a problem. But then, since it made him sore, he was uneasy about saddling up the second time. The girth hitting his leg probably escalated it all too!

I think it's good that you're working slowly to reassure him that the saddle won't eat him. Desensitizing his sides sounds good too. You're on the right road.

Are you riding bareback and/or doing groundwork with him during this time too? If saddle fit is a problem, you can probably build back up his muscles through groundwork so that the saddle will fit like it did 3 months ago!
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-26-2008, 05:37 PM
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Thank you for the suggestions.

I have been ground working him but since he has been a pretty easy horse I did not have to work him to get him to pay attention to me or to get him to join up.

Your comments about his muscle tone and the fit of the saddle make perfect sense to me. Even though I don't ride my horses hard just the change of having the weight of the Western Saddle and myself could make him sore.

Thanks again.

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post #6 of 17 Old 04-26-2008, 07:42 PM
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if hes spooky id work on desensitizing.
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-26-2008, 08:09 PM
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Do you have some specific desensitizing techniques or objects that have worked well for you? Would you even try to saddle him up or wait until he is calm with alot of other desensitizing?

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post #8 of 17 Old 04-27-2008, 02:03 AM
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Well has spooking bee genuine or is he pushing her around?

If it's genuine they need to spend a lot of time desensitizing him to all those things that worry him. Work him next to those things he dislikes. Take him over, show him, touch him. Keep him around those objects, colors he dislikes. The more he sees them and the more he is exposed to them the more he'll get used to it and get over his fear. It's the only option. With time he'll probably get very bored.

If he on the other hand he is pushing her he needs a lot of handling and ground work and needs to be taught some manners and not let get away with anything.

Hard to say which one it is when you havent seen the horse. Keep us posted.
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post #9 of 17 Old 05-25-2008, 03:28 AM
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Hi there, I work with arabians and I can tell you everything is going to 'eat' them. The best thing I've found to do is to walk them up to something scary and get them to touch it with their noses. One I do that, it seems to be a lot less scary for them.

Do not go where the path may lead-Go instead where there is no path and leave a dusty trail.
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-25-2008, 03:54 AM
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doesnt like white??? not sure but something tells me thats not the problem

anyways, my old arab would spook at his hay he was so spooky. i really had issues with it when i first got him. way back then i had no idea about desensitisation etc but i started working on increasing the amount of spooky things that were around him all the time. i ties plastic bags to the trees around his stable (he was kept stabled), i hung bailing twine from the roof of his stable and went out of my way to make sure i exposed him to as much as possible. with the scariest things i would show it to him and let him have his freak out while i stood there and waited for him to finish. then we would try again. each thing took a while but with patience he started to learn that not everything was a scary monster about to eat him. it didnt work well for things that seemed to jump out of nowhere at him but it did make a big difference :)

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