This is kinda daunting for me.. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-11-2010, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Outside of Oklahoma City
Posts: 2,653
• Horses: 6
This is kinda daunting for me..

I have had my gelding for 2 or 3 years now (my brain is fried I can't remember lol) and he is terrified of everything. He was left in a pasture with no human contact for two years. He reverted to a pretty much wild horse. I have been able to work with him and I ride him all the time and he is an amazing horse, but...I'm scared of desensitizing him. Yeaah I know it sounds stupid, but I have tried everything and nothing has worked for him!!!! Things people say to do, only make him more scared. I'm not at all scared of him, I'm just afraid of yet another attempt and failure at getting him atleast slightly bombproof. It really sucks becuase he is supposed to be my drill horse. Yeah. Right. Like I would take him to a rodeo! He would be sooo scared and hurt who knows how many people!!
I really need help, and sending him to a trainer is not an option at the moment, due to money and I already have one horse at the trainers.
I know my question doesn't exactly exist, but if you understand what I am getting at, could you give me some advice?

Oh, and just a random thought, yesterday was his first day. In two years. To go in a ride in a trailer. We haven't been able to take him anywhere becuase the trailer is a moster! But I have been working with him and he took it like a trooper!:)

Be wary of the horse with a sense of humour. - Pam Brown
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-11-2010, 08:13 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 615
• Horses: 1
Well I'm not shure if it will work with your horse but to bomproof my horse I did alot of simply showing her new and different things for example a coat or a ball, a pillow , hat and when he gets more comfortable a rain coat then a plastic bag just alot of scary things. With these objects let him sniff it get him famlier with it then rub it over his body till he doesnt move away or flitch from it, you most have alot of patience for this. :) But in the end it pays off. After that you can introduce him to loud and scary noises. Just alot of stuff like that.. Hope everything works out ! Good luck !
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-11-2010, 08:31 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 4,761
• Horses: 6
Is he stalled at all or does he stay loose in the pasture all the time. If he is truly afraid of everything, it might be best if you didn't approach him with "monsters" at all for a while. There is another method you can try. If he's stalled, this might be a bit easier, you would just have to be extremely careful not to come to close, but take something a bit "scary" into the barn and mess around with it for a while, but completely ignore him. For example, take in a raincoat, stay a dozen feet (or even two dozen or more if that's what he needs to relax and watch, without panicking), from his stall, turn your back on him and ignore him completely and shake it out gently, or fold it, or hang it on a hook and "dust it off", play with it for 15 minutes, then take it and leave. Don't even make an effort to let him sniff it. If he doesn't feel threatened, he will become curious, wonder why you are messing with said thing. Do this for a couple days. When he no longer reacts to that, move closer, until eventually you are just outside his stall and repeat, again, don't react to him at all, or try to actively show it to him. If he makes a move to check it out on his own, hold it very still, or lay it down within sniffing distance and let HIM make the move. After a few times of this, with different objects, once he sees these odd things aren't out to hurt him, I'd be willing to bet he'll relax and be able to handle a little more pressure. You can do the same in a pasture, but it may take a little longer. The main key to this approach is not to push him, but to ignore him, and let him figure it out on his own. He will eventually have to stand up to more stress, if he is ever going to leave the farm, but this is a good jumping off point to build his trust in YOU, that you aren't going to bring anything to him that will hurt him.

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-11-2010, 09:34 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Riverina, NSW, Australia
Posts: 113
• Horses: 2
I had a gelding like that, exactly the same circumstance taken off the track left for 3 years in a 100 acre paddock. crazy and spooky when i got him, everything sent him climbing up the stable walls or slamming through pasture fences. i simply handled him excessively, 4-5 hours on every day ont he weekends, 2 on week days. I played lot's of noises in his stable at night on a cd I made, of trucks hissing, horns blowning, trains, cattle, sheep, trees falling. I just got the noises off the internet and mad ea compilation. during the day I would take him for walks along the quiet road, in a 20ft bullnose rope lead and a rope halter. the road were wide and the driver's very horsey and so they'd go slow and he'd spook and carry on like a monkey, i'd just stay calm, I did join-up with him which really helped him build trust in me. Eventually over time he learnt to mimic my behaviour and if I was calm, he'd go to snort and spook then look at me, see I wasn;t worried and compose himself. It really helps if you work to bond the horse to you, so to create his safe place.

I can't change! I'm like a Chameleon...always a lizard!

Last edited by Redial; 10-11-2010 at 09:36 PM.
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