My Horse is easily spooked - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 7 Old 09-24-2013, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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My Horse is easily spooked

Hi people so I have a huge question so my wife's mare gets spooked easily she does good when we ride her away from the road but if she feels a car close by she will freak out even if the car is parked well only when they get close to her butt how can I fix that she does good riding except for that I don't want it to cause an accident one of these days
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-25-2013, 10:34 AM
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if a horse spooks at something you need to desensitize it. Can you ride it in a parkinglot with your car there? Ride her near it untill she calms down then start it, then drive it near her..just take it step be step and not let up until she relaxes.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-25-2013, 10:48 AM
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Spooking and shying are "generalised" behaviours rather than specific ones; that is, a horse may spook or shy at one thing but is generally anxious for some reason. It's that you have to work on...the general anxiety that brings out the behaviour in your horse. There's lots of methods and theories and natural horsemanship trainers have similar approaches. There are lots of excellent books, DVDs and online tutorials to help you with this.

Have you heard of Rick Pelicano? He has 2 books out about bombproofing your horse. I haven't read them as yet but the synopsis makes them both look like good reading.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-25-2013, 10:52 AM
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First, stay off the roads as much as possible when you ride. Vehicles and horses are not a good mix.

Second, desensitizing is key, as well as getting her used to a lot of different scenarios, sights and sounds. This will take time and a lot of patience on your part.

Third, and this one is going to seem a little crazy but I swear it works on my hyper-sensitive Arab gelding, get her a set of ear poofs. With my gelding it's not so much the sight of things, but the sound. Once the sound is muffled by the poofs, he's a lot less reactive to things that used to send him into a tailspin.

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post #5 of 7 Old 09-25-2013, 11:20 AM
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Can you drive a vehicle into the pasture? Maybe leave it parked there and let the horse get used to it being there? Rde around it. Then start it up and let the horse follow it, ride with it, and then towards it. Rev the engine, honk the horn, back up. I would do this over the course of a few days. I have found this to work with other scary things...umbrella, clippers.
I'm not a fan of road riding but I know many people do this. You need a horse to be accepting of this or it's a danger to horse, rider, and driver.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-25-2013, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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alright thanks everyone for the help I will try the car thing in the pasture sounds about right and about those books i'm about to order them off from amazon right now thanks again I really appreciate it
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-25-2013, 09:44 PM
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My horse got over his concern with vehicles when I would feed him out of it. Like I used to lug my hay around and as a "treat" he could take the first few bites from the car. He thoroughly enjoyed it, and now loves going near cars in hopes of treats or hay.

It's all about getting your horse's focus on you and making it a positive experience.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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