My horse is a huge sketchbag..
 
 

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My horse is a huge sketchbag..

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  • Norfleets delta cheif
  • Scetchbag

 
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    02-12-2010, 09:00 PM
  #1
Weanling
My horse is a huge sketchbag..

Okay, so my horse is scared of EVERYTHING. I really don't know why. He was perfectly fine when I first got him, but it's getting harder and harder to walk him even, so I'm a bit nervous about riding him and having him spook at everything. First off, he's scared of cars driving even remotely close to him. He's even scared if he sees people driving by on the road. He's scared of all loud noises. He's scared of bags, doors, and the newest addition, people. I was walking him a few days ago to stretch his legs and he caught sight of a person jogging up the road and he reared, snorted, pranced, and tried to bolt. He was fine after I calmed him down a little, but when I took him back in the barn and put him on the crossties, he almost had a heart attack when someone walked into the barn carrying a bag of shavings. I don't know. I haven't been riding him lately due to icy conditions and such but I'm a bit nervous about riding him now. Any tips or whatnot on how to cure him of his fears?
     
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    02-12-2010, 09:34 PM
  #2
Started
Haha, I can't stop laughing at the word scetchbag. It's a new one for me.

The only tip I can give you is you need to work harder to introduce these things to his slowly.
     
    02-12-2010, 10:23 PM
  #3
Weanling
Haha I use sketchbag a lot :) I guess I should try a bit harder, but I'm not exactly sure I know how to introduce him to things so he won't get scared.
     
    02-13-2010, 12:58 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Horses are a lot friskier in the cooler weather, and we tend not to get as much riding done because of the snow/mud/ice. So I know in the summer my Mustang is nearly dead broke, and in the winter he is more likely to spook or have extra energy (which in his case is a good thing!) because he isn't getting as much riding as he does in the summer.

So how long have you had your boy? Is his whole environment new to him, or was he perfectly calm and normal at his current home and nothing seemed to change until the weather got colder? Does he have any turnout? If you can't ride, one of the best things you can do is make sure he has room to run around a bit on his own.

Hmm. I'm not sure what else to suggest. Horses are naturally afraid of things (how does that saying go?........Horses are afraid of two things, things that move and things that don't!), but usually with a lot of training, handling and life experience they get used to a lot of the things they are naturally afraid of. I think the big question is if he was fine before, and nervous and scared now, what has changed? The environment, the weather, the feed, the turnout, something else?

I wish I could be of more help.
     
    02-13-2010, 12:59 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Have you had his eyes checked?
     
    02-13-2010, 07:54 AM
  #6
Foal
Some good advice above. The only thing I would add, is take LOTS of walks. When you are leading him, you take the role of herd boss. The lead horse always watches for danger. If the lead horse (you) isn't scared, then the follow horse (him) learns that the object isn't dangerous. This may take LOTS of walks by scary things. If he gets leary of something, stop and let him look. Take your time. He will learn that you aren't afraid to approach it FIRST, so he will slowly follow.

Doing this over and over and over, he will not only desensitize to these things, but he will learn to trust you. If you say it's ok and reassure him, he will trust that he is safe. You are his leader and he will follow your lead.

This is a good thing to do in winter when you cannot ride, but also anytime. Just be sure you have good tread on your boots so you don't slide if he pulls you.

Also, if there is something scary ahead, stop often and just give him time to look, listen and smell. Then go a few more steps and stop again. Never be in a hurry to get him to the scary things
     
    02-13-2010, 02:05 PM
  #7
Yearling
Another thing I have found doesn't help is when you EXPECT him to spook at something. When you see the objects he is usually spooky at, you automatically find yourself tensing up and getting ready for him to spook at that certain object. Just relax, and don't tense up and shorten your reins when you see the object coming. He is then more likely to stay relaxed as well and see that his master is calm about it.

But since you say that he was fine when you got him, I agree that something must have happened for that to have changed. Is there something different that happened, like what trailhorserider has meantioned, or has his eyes been checked? Look for what might have happend that made this particular change.
     
    02-13-2010, 02:14 PM
  #8
Foal
You havent been taking him out as much lately that might be the reason he is a little high... I mean im sure he did not get worked as much as he used to when the weather was better. Horses do get a little more ancy when its colder... so maybe if you lunge him before you get on the horse and then he might be fine. Lungeing does not just get all the yahoo´s out it also helps the horse to have a clean mind before you get on. Im not saying to lunge the horse to make it tired just get all the excess energy out so he is ready to focus on you.
     
    02-13-2010, 02:23 PM
  #9
Foal
The first thing that jumped out to me,is him being drugged. How long have you had him? Some drugs can last up to several months. That might not be the problem, but if everything else is ruled out, you may have a very large problem.

I would just slowly work on de-sensitising him to everyone, and everything. If you have a round pen, put him in there, and take a longe whip, dresage whip or anything else and tie a plastic bag on the end. Just slowly let him smell it, then rub it on him, etc.

You could also put him in the roundpen, you get out, and urge him on from the outside, and put "scary objects" all around the outside of the pen, and keep working him until he canters around nicely, and stops looking at all of the objects.
     
    02-13-2010, 04:28 PM
  #10
Yearling
My first thought is, if he was fine when you got him, maybe it's you making him nervous, they can tell when your afraid or nervous, and if you are antisipating him spooking you may be causing it to happen.
     

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