Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Gloomy Indianapolis
I have just recently gotten over the same issue with Jack. He acted like a complete idiot every time we got more than a few hundred feet from the farm. I started riding him up to his freak out point, but no matter how much he crow hopped and tried to turn back I would make him take at least 3-4 steps past that point, then I would turn him back. Gradually the freak out point got farther and farther away until it disappeared altogether. I don't like using a crop, but I started carrying one. I would tell him NO firmly and a tap on the neck when he really started to act up, I could see the thought process "I don't wanna, I don't wanna, Oh Ok." Now we can go all over the place alone, he actually loves to go out. Ears are up, he doesn't spook at the horse eating blades of grass or creepy shadows on the ground, he's safe around traffic and construction equipment, and he doesn't want to turn back home anymore at all! Imo the key is being calm and assertive with them and not accepting a no from them, but at the same time avoiding getting into a fight with them over it.