How to Fix a Drama Queen? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-04-2011, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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How to Fix a Drama Queen?

My mare is afraid of an open door on one side of the arena because a couple weeks ago, they left the arena dragger there.. So for the first few laps or so, she'll shy away from it, crane her head to gawk at it, etc. She's part saddlebred, so she does the arched head, prancy-prance, and nose snort. She's not afraid of it, she's just a twit. I was wondering what specific exercise would help her shut up and keep moving?

What I do already is:
I bend her to the inside, give her a good strong inside leg, smack her shoulder if she gets ridiculous, circle around there until she shuts up, and rest there often.

Is there anything else I could do?

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post #2 of 3 Old 11-04-2011, 08:56 AM
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I can only tell you that was what I always did when my guys acted silly by that door.....but then when I was working with a trainer (more of a natural cowboy type...hard to explain) last summer I learned a new technique. We have the same issue with the arena door. He would work the horse HARD in the rest of the arena. Not going anywhere near the door. Then when it is time to rest, they can only rest at the door. That becomes a happy place to be. Do this a few times, then go back and work as usual.

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post #3 of 3 Old 11-04-2011, 09:08 AM
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I'd hand walk her back and forth there, ride her in and out of it. I'd even take her to the dragger and introduce her to it, ride her around it, but don't let her focus on it. I wouldn't let a horse learn that the door is a happy place because then she'll want to keep going there, gravitate to it to end her workout. My horse learned that, and when I first rode him he rushed to the gate and I had to work him past it again and again to change his mind! Now he avoids it cause that area means more work!
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