Making a horse afraid - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 102 Old 04-29-2010, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Making a horse afraid

I had the pleasure of riding a different horse today. HIs problem is he likes to spin and run and if he can't run he backs into anything or side passes into brush or anything else. He looses all focus and just tries to move his feet. He is a danger and you never know when he is about to explode. He rides in a gag bit and is hard mouthed.
I rode him and you could be approaching something as simple as a rock pile and suddenly he will spin and run and if you prevent him from running he slams you into anything he can. He did this 3 times to me in about the 1st mile.
Each time he did this I hauled him down after the spin, slammed the spurs as hard as I can while yelling at him. Again I would slam him as hard as I could. I ride with totally loose reins,no contact so he is really free to spin.

After the 3rd spin he settle right down and continued the ride for the next hour without a single incident. I know of 2 places that his owner could not get him to go past but both times I touched him with the spurs ,steadied him with the reins and he walked confidently past these obsticles.
I know the next time I take him out he will settle right away. He is more afraid of me then of the things we run into.

This horse is not really afraid, it is a habit that he got into because of a weak rider, one afraid to put the fear into him. By being rough, and I mean as rough as I can he learns to stop playing games and settles into his work and by settling you actually leave him free to do his job, a looser rein and more freedom.
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post #2 of 102 Old 04-29-2010, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by RiosDad View Post
This horse is not really afraid, it is a habit that he got into because of a weak rider, one afraid to put the fear into him. By being rough, and I mean as rough as I can he learns to stop playing games and settles into his work and by settling you actually leave him free to do his job, a looser rein and more freedom.
I don't know if this is necessarily what I would agree with. I would prefer to think that the rider has to be confident enough to know what a horses limits are and in turn make the horse confident and look past its fear. A truly fearful horse would completely shut down no matter what you did.
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post #3 of 102 Old 04-29-2010, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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This is the first time I rode this horse but I have ridden with his owner alot in the past. This horse is a danger and all she can do is follow. To lead is a problem. If she is leading the horse just spins out of control at every turn. I rode this horse and after 3 stupid spins he totally quit, settle down and was a good boy. No spins, no tight reins. I even picked things I knew she couldn't get him past with his spinning and running and he passed them all without incident. I even took him into a cluttered farm yard and while he did try to duck out a bump with the spurs had him walking through without acting up.
I would like to know how you would do it better?
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post #4 of 102 Old 04-29-2010, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by justsambam08 View Post
I don't know if this is necessarily what I would agree with. I would prefer to think that the rider has to be confident enough to know what a horses limits are and in turn make the horse confident and look past its fear. A truly fearful horse would completely shut down no matter what you did.
I can't speak for Riosdad, but he says right in his post that this horse wasn't fearful, but more taking advantage of weak riders. I would not take nearly as aggressive an approach, but then again I have much more time to work on the problem since I only have my one horse. With the "putting you on" horses, I take a more passive-aggressive approach. I won't force the horse past the questionable object, but I won't let him leave either. I'll one rein stop his butt off until he finally decides I'm nuts and moves calmly past the object. I literally sat and read a book once when my horse refused to go past a wood pile. We sat there for an hour before he gave up and moved on. I definitely agree that the rider cannot back down once the situation has come into play. Riding is gold. Being a passenger is dangerous.

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post #5 of 102 Old 04-29-2010, 10:00 PM
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I am just curious to know are you working with her horse and also working with her? Showing her how to work successfully with a horse like this Or have you told her to forget it ....move on to something more suitable for her confidence level?

Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.
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post #6 of 102 Old 04-29-2010, 10:03 PM
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Does the owner of the horse know you are calling them a weak rider or is this just something you post on a public website because you could spur the horse, or haul it down, as you call it and make it go places someone else could not...... I usually find your posts helpful but to me this one- not so much.
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post #7 of 102 Old 04-29-2010, 10:06 PM
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I do not need my horse to be afraid of me; I need him to be obedient. He is not allowed to come out of a frame (read: round) to spook at anything. He is not allowed to change gait or bend without my say-so. I control his hindquarter, ribcage, and his shoulder, and he has his attention on me. His head is his to do what he pleases with - but he's expected to be round, so his head is round with his back, but I do not control his head; it goes there naturally because he's carrying himself correctly. Besides, if I control his shoulder, his head has to follow. The horse's head is just an ornament, in the grand scheme of things. Anyways, if I control the shoulder, rib, and hindquarter (through exercising control, NOT making my horse fear me) then he cannot spook.
If you have these things, you do not need the horse to "fear" you. I find fear can work against you in the long rung... Fear only works as long as you are the scariest thing around - which you can't always be....
What does it take? Correct, confident riding.


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post #8 of 102 Old 04-29-2010, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
I do not need my horse to be afraid of me; I need him to be obedient. He is not allowed to come out of a frame (read: round) to spook at anything. He is not allowed to change gait or bend without my say-so. I control his hindquarter, ribcage, and his shoulder, and he has his attention on me. His head is his to do what he pleases with - but he's expected to be round, so his head is round with his back, but I do not control his head; it goes there naturally because he's carrying himself correctly. Besides, if I control his shoulder, his head has to follow. The horse's head is just an ornament, in the grand scheme of things. Anyways, if I control the shoulder, rib, and hindquarter (through exercising control, NOT making my horse fear me) then he cannot spook.
If you have these things, you do not need the horse to "fear" you. I find fear can work against you in the long rung... Fear only works as long as you are the scariest thing around - which you can't always be....
What does it take? Correct, confident riding.
:) your post made me smile, thats something my mom would say.

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post #9 of 102 Old 04-29-2010, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by RiosDad View Post
This is the first time I rode this horse but I have ridden with his owner alot in the past. This horse is a danger and all she can do is follow. To lead is a problem. If she is leading the horse just spins out of control at every turn. I rode this horse and after 3 stupid spins he totally quit, settle down and was a good boy. No spins, no tight reins. I even picked things I knew she couldn't get him past with his spinning and running and he passed them all without incident. I even took him into a cluttered farm yard and while he did try to duck out a bump with the spurs had him walking through without acting up.
I would like to know how you would do it better?

My point was that I think your use of the word fear is not correct. The horse was not afraid of you and your spurs and your yelling. You let it know that you weren't going to put up with crap, sure, but fear? No. Have you ever seen a fainting goat? Its a neurological defect, but when the goat gets scared, its body freezes up. The same happens with a truly afraid horse. You made enough commotion to bring the horse out of its "fight or flight" mode, and then you were there to provide a stable and level headed presence to keep it moving forward.
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post #10 of 102 Old 04-29-2010, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post

I do not need my horse to be afraid of me; I need him to be obedient. He is not allowed to come out of a frame (read: round) to spook at anything. He is not allowed to change gait or bend without my say-so. I control his hindquarter, ribcage, and his shoulder, and he has his attention on me. His head is his to do what he pleases with - but he's expected to be round, so his head is round with his back, but I do not control his head; it goes there naturally because he's carrying himself correctly. Besides, if I control his shoulder, his head has to follow. The horse's head is just an ornament, in the grand scheme of things. Anyways, if I control the shoulder, rib, and hindquarter (through exercising control, NOT making my horse fear me) then he cannot spook.
If you have these things, you do not need the horse to "fear" you. I find fear can work against you in the long rung... Fear only works as long as you are the scariest thing around - which you can't always be....
What does it take? Correct, confident riding.
Excellent post! I agree 150%! And the beauty of it is that it works for the truly spooky horses as well as the ones who have learned to "spook" out of habit.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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