How to get a horse to trust you. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-19-2012, 05:39 AM
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Wha thas been mentioned here is correct...time and unfocused attnention. Horses are naturally curious which is what gets them into trouble so often :). By being around the horse but not being "around" the horse will get the horse's natural curiosity going. Interacting with other horses, giving them treats, grooming, just spending time, eventually the more shy one will want to join in..partly out of curioisty and partly out of jealousy that they aren't getting the same treatment.

Call it reverese psychology. The more you ignore the horse while being in the horse's vicinity, the more they will want to get your attention.
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-19-2012, 05:58 AM
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< I think that depends on the situation, horse and how you deal with it.

I think what's more important like most of these 'help me' threads is understanding why it happens in the first place instead of how can I...

I think it's more beneficial to learn to prevent instead of correcting or treating the 'issue'.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-19-2012, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ConfusciusWasAGreatTeachr View Post
< I think that depends on the situation, horse and how you deal with it.

I think what's more important like most of these 'help me' threads is understanding why it happens in the first place instead of how can I...

I think it's more beneficial to learn to prevent instead of correcting or treating the 'issue'.
Agree. But a lot of times, the damage is already done. So you could have a PhD in prevention, but that still won't get you the treatment. As for the OP being an "amateur" trainer, I wouldn't be as concerned at this point of causing any further set-backs for this horse.

They seem like they are willing to listen to advice. Understandably, they are looking for tools that will shorten the length of time it will take to get the horse to trust them (I'm in the same situation, but a few steps ahead of the OP). I've noticed that the ones that ask questions, are most often the ones that in the long run will do fine. Maybe just in a round about way:) It's the ones that don't who typically make things worse.

To the OP: I was in the same situation starting last Oct. Let's just say I froze my toes quite often just standing by her in the field. This was my timeline(IN NO WAY AM I SAYING THIS IS HOW LONG IT SHOULD TAKE!, just an example) Oct.- could not get near Dally, especially in the field. She would run away when I got close to her and shake when she saw a halter.

End of Dec. - was finally able to walk up to her anywhere & pet her as long as I didn't have anything in my hands.

Mid-Jan she would walk away when I would approach with a halter it brush, but only a few steps. So we would do our little "dance", I wouldn't go away, but I wouldn't corner her either. Usually it only took a few min for her to let ma pet her. I still couldn't put the halter on.

Early Mar - finally able to get halter on. Usually took about 30-60 min of "dancing" (her letting me get close, then feeling anxious. But instead of running as far away as she could, she would either take a few steps away or stay put, but tense up & pull her head away.

Mid-late Mar to now - she's to the point where she's not afraid of me & trusts me, but there's still a lot of baggage she has to get over. Most days it's a game for her now, which at this point I'm fine with. As long as I don't have anything resembling a halter or lead I can walk right up to her no problem. If I have just a halter, it takes about 2-10 min to get her to let me put it on. If I have a halter & lead, figure anywhere from 5-30 min depending on her mood.

Interesting enough, once tacked up, she is ALWAYS an arms length away and will follow me everywhere.

Sorry it got long, but Good Luck!
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-19-2012, 07:16 AM
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My first horse was totally wild and just barely broke to ride and she was very skiddish around me for the first few months. She even tore down the stall walls, slightly embarrassing for me:( I moved her to another barn and she was much happier, but honestly its the time that had passed and the fact that she saw me everyday taking care of her. They will get to know you and eventually get curious about you. One day I knew like always she wouldn't pay me any mind so I just sat down in her field to wait for my ride and she walked all the way down to me to be beside me while I waited. I couldn't believe it! Then some kids came over and she let them walk underneath her and all around her and it was just like all of a sudden she trusted her surroundings and me :) Its so rewarding but it takes time. I just purchased another horse, had to sell my first to go to college sadly, and its taken 12 years until I could finally get this one. I should have her by this weekend and I am expecting the same rebeliousness at first.LOL You can't blame them, they can't talk and they are prey animals. I am sure things will get better and I'm just about to go through the same thing.lol Happy training :)

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post #15 of 16 Old 04-19-2012, 10:47 AM
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You need to become your horses leader before you become your horses friend.

Super Nova
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-19-2012, 12:22 PM
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Time and patience. You also need to establish yourself as the leader. Your horse doesn't trust you because you haven't proven yourself as alpha yet. Horses like to be able to rely on someone to keep them safe and right now you haven't proven it. I always do a join up with a horse by free lunging them in a round pen. I make them turn several times to go the opposite direction. Then I wait for them to come up to me. If they don't, send them out again...if they come up to you but don't follow you...send them out again. This might happen right away or it might take hours. After you get a successful join up I would suggest just rubbing the horse all over until it stops flinching. Try picking up hooves gradually, brushing, etc. Just be around the horse as much as possible and remember to keep the horse out of your personal space as well. Clinton Anderson groundwork did wonders for my horse who thought I was a complete annoyance and predator when I first got him.
Super Nova summed it up short and sweet.
Good luck!

Last edited by Blondehorselover; 04-19-2012 at 12:24 PM.
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