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My views on Bombproofing

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        03-20-2012, 08:19 PM
      #11
    Trained
    I had what I would call a "bombproof" horse. Sure, she looked at stuff but when or if (rarely) something startled her, she just stood in place & froze, waiting for reassurance from her protector (rider). No, she wasn't the perfect horse, she was mareish witchy mare, but she never did anything unexpected when startled or scared, just stood.
         
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        03-20-2012, 08:32 PM
      #12
    Trained
    More than anything else, in my experience with plenty of horses, "bomb proof" horses are born, not made.
         
        03-21-2012, 12:37 AM
      #13
    Foal
    Great thread and agreed. Pheasant can be a problem here. Luckily my horse slides his back legs under him when he spooks. It's great. He actually sets me deeper in the saddle when he does it. But I don't think he'll ever get used to the crAzy wind here. And neither will I :)
         
        03-21-2012, 02:09 AM
      #14
    Yearling
    There is no such thing as a bombproof horse…only bombproof riders.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digggin    
    Great thread and agreed. Pheasant can be a problem here. Luckily my horse slides his back legs under him when he spooks. It's great. He actually sets me deeper in the saddle when he does it. But I don't think he'll ever get used to the crAzy wind here. And neither will I :)
    The wind bothers a lot of horses…I think it's because they are wired mentally to pay attention to movement, and when it's windy, everything is moving…it's distracting/irritating. They also don't like the sound of the wind in their ears, it's distracting/irritating as well.
    Foxhunter likes this.
         
        03-21-2012, 02:49 AM
      #15
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Horse Poor    
    There is no such thing as a bombproof horse…only bombproof riders.
    that's my take on the issue.
         
        03-21-2012, 06:57 AM
      #16
    Started
    I have come to the view that horses have to face their fears throughout their lives. So much depends on how they grew up.

    The most stable of the nine horses which I have been close to, was brought up in a school. He was a union shop steward by mentality and he refused to ever put himself at risk. He was a dull but very safe ride. I bought him to teach my brother. He'd been with a young woman and had taught her to ride. She had bought him from a riding school. I think he tolerated humans because he knew he had to. I never really developed an affection for him, but I did trust him. Later I sold him to a friend whom he taught to ride.

    My cob Joe had a similar cussed streak in him. He'd spent his life in a trekking centre until they let him go. If he didn't like the rider, then he'd go down on his knees and threaten to roll on them. He never did roll, but the incompetent rider had got the message.

    With hindsight, he fought with me partly because I put him with a classical riding instructor who tried to put him 'on the bit'. When, after a few sessions with her, he started to rear I told her to go away - but he never forgave me. He was pretty bombproof in so many ways. Little actually frightened him.

    But then he discovered his ultimate weapon against all humans:- he would stop, balk, then whirl through 180 degrees to the left and take off at the gallop. When he discovered how to to it downhill, on a hard surface I had to give in. He was virtually lawless.

    I sent him back to the woman who had known him all his life to re educate him - she was a professional rider (not a trainer). One day I watched her riding him, he respected her and he obeyed her without resistance. As a rider she had no style: she slouched, she smoked, she rode with loose, sloppy reins. One day I watched her ride him off into a looming hail storm. Later I watched him with her 4 year old son - whom he meekly took around the paddock sitting on his back. She used to ride one hore and lead her young son, sat on Joe.

    Joe had formed a bond with that woman and there was no way by which I could replace her in his mind. Through a combination of circumstances I gave him back to her. He was, I thought, safe with her.

    Six months later, he went lame again from a weakened check ligament and partly for financial reasons, she put him down. I don't know the details, I suspect she had let some stranger ride him
    He had fought me almost to the extent of being lawless, yet he had worshipped her, who killed him.

    You'll not make a bomb proof horse, it is either in them to be one or it isn't.
    The rider can only bring the trait out.
         
        03-21-2012, 09:25 AM
      #17
    Weanling
    We had a Bar Flower mare that carried my daughter to AQHA shows from the time she was 5 years old until the time she was 13. She was an unflappable mare that would jog right on by litteraly anything going on. When my daughter first started riding her (when she was a wee one) if she began to even move in the saddle like she was loosing her balance that mare would stop, wait for her to get straightened around and then move on like nothing happened. As my daughter got older and started loping, (she would go out and put a bridle on the mare and ride her bareback in the padock) once in a while she would fall off(usually if the mare stopped to hard for her LOL) and that mare would put on the brakes and stand there right beside my daughter so she could crawl back up on her.
    She was a truly awesome mare, that for several years was a trusted and faithful babysitter for my daughter from the backyard at home to the Major Shows in Canada such as Quarterama back in the 70s.
    Horses like her are hard to find and never can be replaced. The mare I believe was born with a very kind and calm heart and mind, trained by people who reinforced and nurtured her personality and finally when she came to us as a partner for our daughter had already had seven years of experience.
    The mares life was almost orchestrated from the day she was born by mother nature and great training, to become who she became. Had one thing been different in her life I think she would have been a different personality.
    So I believe Bomb Proof horses are born of great blood lines, and nurtured by great trainers. If both ingredients are not there it wont and can't happen even to the best bloodlines.
    waresbear likes this.
         
        03-21-2012, 10:30 AM
      #18
    Started
    QUOTE:
    Horses like her are hard to find and never(RARELY) can be replaced. The mare I believe was born with a very kind and calm heart and mind, trained by people who reinforced and nurtured her personality and finally when she came to us as a partner for our daughter had already had seven years of experience.
    The mares life was almost orchestrated from the day she was born by mother nature and great training, to become who she became. Had one thing been different in her life I think she would have been a different personality.
    So I believe Bomb Proof horses are born of great blood lines, and nurtured by great trainers. If both ingredients are not there it wont and can't happen even to the best bloodlines. UNQUOTE

    Annie, well said.

    You can't read up on how to do it - either you do what you believe to be right for the horse - or it doesn't work.
    And
    Until horses learn to talk, that's the way it will always be.
         
        03-21-2012, 10:46 AM
      #19
    Super Moderator
    My horse has been trained to be a bombproof trail horse. He's been exposed to any scary object you could think of, will ride blindfolded, in pitch black darkness, is not afraid of tarps, umbrellas, sudden noises, wild animals...anything at all. Yet he is a horse with normal horse instincts, so he, naturally, spooks from time to time. And here comes the training - he then just freezes and waits for my instructions. If something really, really scary happens, he might take a step or two back, but otherwise he will keep his ground. That, for me, is a truly bombproof horse.
         
        03-21-2012, 11:05 AM
      #20
    Started
    There’s no such thing as a really bomb proof horse that is still walking about. So much depends upon the interplay between horse and rider. If a bomb did go off, then so would any horse.

    I know of a delightful and very capable mare who is looking for a new home. She is at her prime time of life and doing well in dressage. The reasoning for her owners looking for a new home for her are not of the horse’s making and is nothing to do with economics. To the right home she’ll almost be given away. But the right home is so hard to find.

    There is a problem with her - she is sensitive. She’ll skip about for no good reason if the mood suits her, but she is never dangerous - just a little lively. However if you want a horse that is forward going and sensitive to the touch then that is what you must expect. Also she is an individual, you’ll not find another mare quite like her. She has a sense of right and wrong.

    Knowing her situation I have spoken with a couple of horsey people about her. I ask what they are looking for in a horse and nine times out of ten they will say ‘a bomb proof horse’. Immediately I’ll switch off and change the subject. After all, a stable sensitive horse is half of the combo of horse and rider and nothing will go right when the horse is calm and the rider is neurotic.

    Remember when it comes to schooling, the horse goes round the edge of the arena and the handler stands in the middle. It doesn’t work the other way around.
         

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