Making progress..... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-17-2011, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Location: South Mississippi
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Making progress.....

So in the past week and a half we have gone from not being able to touch my mare at all to nose rubs and scratches between the ears during feeding. We are still looking for a trainer to take on our green gal but without much luck. What can I do in the meantime to try to get closer to my horse, to get to the point that I can touch her all over, groom her,
etc.? Should I just continue spending as much time as possible with her? Or is there something more specific I could try??
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-17-2011, 12:32 PM
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Congratulations on your progress. I don't know anything about the history of this mare. Really, I don't have any concrete , step by step advice. However, I know that if you can make the mare curious about you, and get her to follow, or "chase" you, that might open up her willingness to let you touch her more.

Since you have made this progress, you shall surely make more. post a pictrue sometime.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-17-2011, 06:49 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Utah
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First, big kudos to you on the almost overnight progress! That must be encouraging. I think she'll keep coming around for you. Here are a couple of ideas.

Horses are naturally curious, so capitalize on that! Spend lots of time in the barn/pasture. I always talk and sing to my horses. I usually pick some old spiritual or song like "Dinah Won't You Blow" or some song I can sing over and over in a low tone. Do the things you need to do and just don't pay too much attention to her. Sweep, shovel manure, pull weeds, organize the tack room, repair fences, whatever you can think of. Stay non-threatening. It's SOOO hard! I know you must want to drape yourself over her and kiss her nose, but take the time now to help her feel safe.

Take a book or something you can work on, such as untangling a rope or cleaning a bridle, or reorganizing your brush box and sit where your horse can come investigate you in the pasture or paddock away from where she's standing. If she's really skittish, you might want to skip bringing a chair, but sit on a turned over bucket or barrel or a bale of hay. Be careful you don't get hurt. When she comes near, talk or sing to her in a low quiet voice, but resist the urge to reach out and grab or touch her until she seems ready to accept it. If you reach for her and she jerks away or seems uncomfortable, keep talking or singing and keep your body still. If she doesn't come back within a few seconds, go back to what you were doing. Try doing this as often as you can (several times a day is ideal, but once every couple of days works also). Eventually you'll be able to touch her, then rub her, then brush her, etc.

Let us know how it goes.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-18-2011, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Location: South Mississippi
Posts: 13
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Thanks ya'll for the advice, it made me feel better about what I have been doing. Much of my time with her has been doing many of these things, singing to her, talking to her constantly, and spending as much time with her as I can. She does like to follow me around when I'm cleaning up and sometimes I just pull up a bucket and sit with her and she always comes up to me and starts nosing around my head.....she does not nip at me, just sniffs, its really kind of funny. But I AM anxious to throw my arms around her and brush her hair..... All in due time!!
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-18-2011, 03:39 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Western MA
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I once read that the one thing you throw out the window when working with horses is a watch! lol The more patient you are, the better the relationship will be.
momo3boys is offline  

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