How bombproof is your horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 50 Old 09-24-2011, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: St.Louis, Missouri
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How bombproof is your horse?

I was thinking about it. And only us crazy horse people try to find what our animals don't like..then do that over and over and over until they don't care. And there really isn't anything you shouldn't desensitize them to. So I'm wondering.. what are some things you've done? This is to help me get ideas :) I'm having a hard time finding something my boy doesn't like...
The things I really thought he wouldn't like were bottle rockets and fourwheelers..not the four-wheel drive ones but the REALLY loud race ones. I rode him on a trail with my boyfriend on his fourwheeler and his friend on a dirtbike. Told them to gun it past us. My boy stood alert and watched, backed up a step when they got next to us but didn't run away.
Now I have some smoke bombs and those little plastic confetti Popper things. You know, pull the string and confetti shoots out...should be interesting right? :)
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post #2 of 50 Old 09-24-2011, 08:01 AM
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Back in 1992 I was training at a beautiful facility in Colorado Springs called BARA Farms (Now known as Cactus Creek Ranch). The back pastures were up against land owned by Fort Carson Army Base. Parts of it were used as a bombing range, though the parts where the bombing went on were far from that pasture....except on one day.

One day I was riding along the back fenceline when a bomb hit about 100 yards away from where I was. The mare I was riding just froze in shock as she watched the plume of smoke go up. I swear if another had hit....I would have died that day. I bet some gunnery Sgt had a heart attack seeing where that bomb landed!

At least I now know that THAT horse was, indeed, bombproof.
Tymer, Reiterin, MicKey73 and 4 others like this.
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post #3 of 50 Old 09-24-2011, 08:12 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Wow that was a close one Allison Finch.

Down behind my house on a particular trail there is the army shooting range. We can normally hear when people are shooting down there from our house. The other day though we went for a trail ride down there when it was full of army guys shooting, I thought I was gonna go def it was so loud. They would have been less then 50 metres away on the other side of a fence. Neither of my boys blinked an eyelid as we went past though they were watching with curiousity. The only time anything happened was when our back was to them as we went past and they has just had a break then started again. Sammy jumped at the first shot but that was pretty minor.

I thought that was pretty good of them.

My two horse Apache and Sammy are my world
along with our dogs Patch and Bear.
But I will always love you Jimmy R.I.P
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post #4 of 50 Old 09-24-2011, 08:43 AM
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Wow Allison, I'd have probably p'd my pants! That would be one that you could legitimately call bombproof!

I try to expose mine to as much as possible. One thing I love about our place is that we have a train track that runs along the whole north side of our property, amtrak + several regular trains hauling grain cars come through everyday. It's always interesting to see reactions to the train on horses in for training the first time we ride next to the tracks. Mine barely raise their heads when it blows the whistle at the road crossing.

They are used to all kinds of equipment, 4-wheeler, bobcat, tractor, etc. My hubby is an avid hunter and shoots clays so they are used to gunfire. I even shoot clays with him off of my sorrel mare on occasion, I've been target shooting my compound bow off of her recently as well. The whirring noise of a released arrow bothers her more than a semi-auto shotgun. She doesn't move but is more alert.

The best desensitization at my place though is my 6 yo daughter. She plays in the barn aisle if I'm riding in the indoor or in her 'pen' if I'm working in my outdoor. She's exposed them to hula hooping, jump rope, her powerwheels car, party noise makers, her bicycle, pretty much any toy that makes noise, they've seen. I let her drive her car in the pasture with my older mares, they follow her around like the pied piper. She stops on occasion to give them a pet and then right back to following her they go, it's pretty funny.

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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post #5 of 50 Old 09-24-2011, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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The first year I rode in a huge parade there was little that would spook my mare. By the time the parade ended, there was nothing that bothered her in the slightest.
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post #6 of 50 Old 09-24-2011, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: St.Louis, Missouri
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Holy cow. A bomb?? That's pretty intense! My horse is boarded right next to St.Louis Lambert airport and there's also a Boeing place nearby. Planes don't phase the horses nor do the fighter planes they sometimes fly around. Traffic doesn't get him either. I'm really happy with my boy. He's the kind to stop and stare vs run. The only time I have to watch him is if we aren't moving..he has a tendancy to doze off...:) lazy paint. The one and only time I fell off was when we were in the middle of the arena at night bareback and I wasn't holding the reins we were just sitting there. He was also new, may e there a week. When a fellow boarder came down the hill on the side of the arena... poor Gunnar was sleeping and she fell down the hill. He woke up and bam she was filling into the gate. Scared the bajesus out of him. Haha it was funny. Just slid right off. But if he's awake nothing seems to phase him. Still trying to find something he doesn't like..
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post #7 of 50 Old 09-24-2011, 10:51 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alabama,USA
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You guys give me something to strive for!

Sunny is the kind who spooks straight up in the air and then stops to look. She has never bolted. She is just very looky.

Right now we're working on getting her to handle her spooks a little more respectfully. She has the tendency to nearly jump on me with the, "Mom, SAVE ME!!" look on her face, which I don't like because it's dangerous.

There are lots of tiny things that give her little spooks, like horses popping their heads out of their stalls inside the barn, but not many typically "spooky" things bother her.

She is fine with ATVS, cars, trucks, planes, gun shots, etc. Those things always scare me before her!

The one thing that does get her is umbrellas. She doesn't mind when they are opening, opened, or closed. She just doesn't like when they close.

For a three year old, I'm happy with her.
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post #8 of 50 Old 09-24-2011, 12:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southwest Missouri
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My QH mare and I became one another's in 1995 when she was an 8 year old. She is now a healthy and thriving 24 year old. She and I have over the years have covered many, many miles of trails and road riding.

When my Candy and I were riding the many miles of backroads around our country home the things that she spooked with the most gusto was large stone rocks at the roadsides!! Or pastures with Boer Goats in them.

Semi-tractor double decker cattle trailers never upset her from the git-go. Haying tractors of any sort never upset her, either.
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post #9 of 50 Old 09-24-2011, 12:38 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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My 2 year old gelding stood still as a statue as a young child was running in circles around him, screaming. He's for sale and this family was obviously not horse savvy. Not long after I asked the father to contain his child from running around BEHIND my horse, this same child ran straight at my horse's face, screaming. To his credit, Levee simply backed up a step and then stood quietly.

I also know he's cat, dog and goose safe too. haha.
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post #10 of 50 Old 09-24-2011, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Iowa Park, TX
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With Dove Season starting the frist of the month, all of the neighbors are hunting out their back doors Cat has since learned not to jump at gun fire!!! Not 2 wks after I got her, I was doing some ground work with her, and the neighbor came out, walked back into his pasture and started shooting up TOWARDS his house, she jumped and ran the opposite way, irritating a previously torn rotator cuff (mine), but since dove season, she doesn't even flinch.

ETA: And, my parents great grandkids are always riding the golf cart and doing Lord knows what back where she is, and she's always right in the middle of them.
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