How to gain a horses trust? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-25-2012, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Portland, OR
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Question How to gain a horses trust?

My horses pasture mate is a sweet QH mare that was bought out of a pasture with another horse. I don't think that she had any experience with people before she bought and even now the guy that owns her(and the horse I lease) never does anything with her. I think she is just a doll so I decided to do some work with her.

Anyway, she has been saddled before but I won't even do anything like that with her. She is super shy and won't do most anything without my horse in the arena too. I can ask her to go over the bridge, over poles and has the BEST ground manners of any horse I have ever been around.

I feed her treats, groom her and just talk to her. She is so willling and is going to make someone a wonderful horse but she just needs to come out of her shell. Any ideas on how to make her not so shy and more outgoing?


"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity."
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-25-2012, 10:21 PM
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What does she do when the other horse isn't there? She sounds wonderful- but it sounds like she'd do really well with a friend, if that spot is taken she may not really be looking for another one. Our TB mare at the rescue is like that - the Perfect horse, one of the few we could rehome, but needs to be without other horses, otherwise she bonds extremely highly with the other horse and disregards humans, she'll do what we ask, but doesn't care for us. But before she was a girl's life partner, she lived alone with some sheep and loved her human, but when she went lame they got rid of her. Then she bonded right away with our horses and we haven't been able to do hardly anything with her.

My thoughts for that horse, try popping her in a round pen without the other horse and just hang out with her. Let her realize people can be pretty cool to hang out with too. Of course maintain basic respect while in there too. That's my proposal but I'd like to know a bit more about her?
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-25-2012, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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She just has more confidence with another horse in there. She will let me catch her with him near by. I have him there so she sees that if I rub her neck it is okay and going over poles is okay. Cody is a spooky kind of horse too but he will let you rub anywhere on his body. But the mare just likes her forehead rubbed when she is doing good. She leans into it so excitedly. I can only ever rub her side while grooming or if Cody is standing right by her.

"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity."
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-25-2012, 10:47 PM
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If it's just a lack of confidence it sounds like she needs a confident handler to help her overcome this. I would separate her from the other horse to encourage her to look to her human for confirmation, not to the other horse.

Take her to a round pen or an empty field, I wouldn't honestly round pen this horse, it sounds like if you chase her you'll just scare her. So Take her in on lead and practice her letting you touch her all over. Rub your hands up and down her body, in a pleasant sort of rub, not tickling like bugs and not invigorating or rough. Start somewhere she likes and move around, work in each area until she's completely comfortable, if she becomes very uncomfortable move back to where she was and ease your way back to where she wasn't. Work on this until you can touch her Everywhere.

Then practice basic ground work, yielding in all directions, backing, yielding front end and hind end. Leading her around, build her confidence in people. Give her a reason to trust people, not depending on another horse.
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