My new horse is scared to be ridden. What do I do?

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My new horse is scared to be ridden. What do I do?

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    10-03-2008, 02:53 PM
My new horse is scared to be ridden. What do I do?

Hi, I bought a 4 year old mare last week. While she is easy to saddle up when I try to get on her back she freaks out. She is also very afraid of new things and scares easily. What can I do to get her past the fear of new things and ridding her?
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    10-03-2008, 05:59 PM
A little more info about her background would be helpful but I'lll try to make suggestions anyways and just assume she's had minimal training.

I'm no expert but I would suggest hiring a profesional trainer who knows what they're doing. Your horse may have not been started undersaddle yet since she is only four years old. Also, she may have had something bad happen to her in the past that could make her scared of having humans on her back.

Another suggestion is to go back to groundwork with her and but up trust between you and her. Just take long walks with her around the property and just let her graze next to you. Get her used to wearing a saddle and bridle around. Teach her how to lunge and free-lunge and respond to voice commands, etc. I could go on and on with all the groundwork you could do. I think that once she realizes she can trust you things will go much smoother.
    10-03-2008, 10:43 PM
My first thought would be to teach her to stand still when she gets scared instead of freaking out, sounds impossible I know, but my horse has almost got it down pat lol
Start with just a halter on her or if you feel you have more control then a bridle, get something that moves like a dishcloth or a peice of fabric and tie it to a stick or even a lounge whip. Kind of wave it at her and if she moves keep the flag(we'll call it a flag) the same distance from her, the second she stops moving and is relaxed take the flag away and reward her. Don't try to hold her close to you or she will feel trapped so let your lead rope or whatever out and step towards her if she moves backwards or to the side. Eventually you will be able to get the flag in front of her face and she shouldnt move at all until you take the flag away then you reward her, you have to be really fast, the second they relax reward, then give it a minute and try again, when she starts to relax faster get closer to her with the flag. Don't start to close to her, I would suggest where she starts to tense and eye the flag or dance around. When she masters the flag move to a can full of something noisey, just increase the intensity as you go, I would suggest you do this until you think she can handle you on her back,
While you arent doing this get her used to you like the user above me suggested, give her love and attention
Im not saying this is the best thing for you to do but it worked with my horse and my neighbors horse, I know every horse is different but its worth a try,
This could also end up kind of ugly so please be careful!!!!!!
And good luck!!!!!!!!!!!
    10-04-2008, 03:26 PM

Thanks I really appreciate the advice. I will definitely give your suggestions a try.
    10-06-2008, 07:47 PM
Sammy you need to get a rope halter with about 6ft of lead. You need to desensitize her. Slowly start taking the ends of the lead and rub her and let it hit her on the neck back legs feet and head (Not beat or slap hard just kinda throw it up there on her. Keep doing this until she quits shaking or moving, if she wants to back up and move on you keep it up and when she stops let off the pressure and reward her with a rub on head never pat the horse they see that as the same as slapping with a rope...Do this daily until you can halter her and do this with no reaction, if she still want stand still hobble her then she has no choice, also when done with that take a bag on end of pole and start shaking that all around her and rubbing her with it the same way until she doesn't move this is called desensitizing....will help greatly when you ride
    10-06-2008, 09:42 PM
If you are experienced enough I would go right back to the beginning and treat the situation as though she was unbroken because she may possibly not be.

If you don't have the experience for that though send her to a trainer.
    10-06-2008, 09:56 PM
Have you had her vet checked?

Her back may be out somewere, or even her teeth might be sore.
    10-06-2008, 10:26 PM
Good point! Im usually the first to talk about pain being a factor but didnt even think of it this time.
    10-07-2008, 12:05 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by sammycole0417    
Hi, I bought a 4 year old mare last week. While she is easy to saddle up when I try to get on her back she freaks out. She is also very afraid of new things and scares easily. What can I do to get her past the fear of new things and ridding her?
Find a trainer and get help. You need to go back to square one with the mare and gain her confidence and trust. You also need to find the holes in her training and repair them.

So for now, just work on leading her from both sides and ground manners. Keep working on that until you can find a decent trainer to help you.
    10-07-2008, 12:10 AM
How much experience do you have with horses? Generally, a 4yr old is not for a novice. She will have training issues for some time to come. Don't try to ride her for a long time. She has also only been with you for a week. I don't ask a new horse to do ANYTHING at my place for the first month except be respectful and allow me to lead, groom and pick feet. You both need time to settle in. An older horse that already has all this ingrained is a different situation. Don't expect your 4yrold to be calm and cool. Always expect the unexpected and be patient!

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