new horse owner in need of help
 
 

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new horse owner in need of help

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  • Horse nervous moved to new barn new owner

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  • 1 Post By Lexiie

 
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    11-06-2012, 02:16 PM
  #1
Foal
Question new horse owner in need of help

My daughter and I just got our first horse, 19 yr old AQHA. He has been at the new barn for 2 days. Previous owner said he was spooky about things and he didn't seem to be when we tried him out on a couple of occasions. Got to the barn late this morning and he hadn't been turned out (I will be working on this tonight) so I got him out of his stall to hand walk him around. When we were outside walking back towards the indoor arena when he froze with his head way up ears pointing forward. He acted nervous rather than stubborn which makes sense since there was a bunch of equipment and things around the door. Figuring that I needed him thinking/moving rather than reacting I gave him a quick pop on the butt with the end of the lead rope. When that didn't move him forward I decided to turn him away and make big circles progressively getting closer and closer to what was getting his attention to the point that I could walk him into the arena. I know there are many schools of thought on things like this but my question is, am I doing anything that is going to cause a problem in the future? My thought is that he doesn't really know me yet and he certainly doesn't think of me as the leader of the herd yet, but if I can move his feet and eventually get him where I want him I am making progress on becoming his herd leader.
     
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    11-06-2012, 02:21 PM
  #2
Foal
I have an 8 year old appy that thinks anything and everything is out to get her ... when she acts like that I just stop and let her stare at it for a while, as long as she is just staring and not acting a fool I let her check it out, usually within a few minutes she is the one that takes the interest to get closer and see what it was that she was freaking out about. Then after seeing that same horse eating object a few times she starts to know that is in fact not out to get her at all and she ignores it.
It will take your guy time to get used to all the new things at the new barn that he is at so just give him time and have patience.
     
    11-06-2012, 02:24 PM
  #3
Started
It's only his second day, he's just got to get used to everything.

What you did, getting him moving, thinking abut something else is GREAT.
Getting his mind off the scary thing and on you is exactly what you want.
He sees that you're calm, so that big scary machine must not be scary!

Good job(:

I do the same thing with new things when my mare is in hand. We walk up to as close as we can, circle away, circle back and sniff some more.
     
    11-06-2012, 02:36 PM
  #4
Started
Keeping them moving by the scary object is the best thing to do. When one of my horses are nervous about something scary I just make them keep moving and act as if there is nothing special about it. I may walk them by it a few times when they feel relaxed we move on. If you stand still you let the horse think about it too much and reinforce the fear. Horses will look at their handlers body language if they see your not making a big deal out of it then they realize they must be safe. Teaches the horse to rely on you.
     
    11-06-2012, 02:50 PM
  #5
Started
First off CONGRATS on your new horse! I know you rejected a few that were not the right fit. I hope your new one is everything you want and more!

I think you did fine. I let my horse stand and look for a few seconds. My rule is that if he stops and stares at something then we HAVE to touch it and stand quietly next to it. I know people disagree with this. I just hate for something stupid like a pile of wood to become a recurrent issue. Ie. Every time we walk past the wood we have to stare, snort and try to bolt past it. So, we stop once, he has to touch it and then its no longer a deal for either one of us. This means that sometimes we wiggle back and forth. He finds that there is no way to go except forward. In general, I like a horse that stops when its afraid of something rather than one that runs when its afraid.
     
    11-06-2012, 03:27 PM
  #6
Foal
I think the above advice is all great. You mentioned he hadn't been turned out yet when you arrived. Whenever possible, I've found that avoiding working with a spooky horse when he has been in his stall for a long time is really helpful. I have often given a horse I'm working with a good chance to get his kicks out and run around on his own if I sense any pent up energy before doing anything else. It can make things so much easier!
     
    11-06-2012, 04:03 PM
  #7
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by rookie    
First off CONGRATS on your new horse! I know you rejected a few that were not the right fit. I hope your new one is everything you want and more!

I think you did fine. I let my horse stand and look for a few seconds. My rule is that if he stops and stares at something then we HAVE to touch it and stand quietly next to it. I know people disagree with this. I just hate for something stupid like a pile of wood to become a recurrent issue. Ie. Every time we walk past the wood we have to stare, snort and try to bolt past it. So, we stop once, he has to touch it and then its no longer a deal for either one of us. This means that sometimes we wiggle back and forth. He finds that there is no way to go except forward. In general, I like a horse that stops when its afraid of something rather than one that runs when its afraid.
But if you do the walking away when scared thing right the horse when scared learns to neither stop nor run just to rely on the rider/handler and continue on. That's how I've made my horses pretty fearless where ever we go, low calm energy from human transfers to low calm energy in the horse.
Even my mare who I've just started to retrain and ride again after two years of being a pasture ornament is great when we go places very little bugs her on the trail she might glance at it but she walks on. The other day I took he to team penning practice with me. I rode her around the arena and a guy came up fast behind us swinging a lasso. Well it startled her she jumped sideways real quick then glanced at what scared her and went back to walking around the arena like nothing happened. He passed us again later doing the same thing and she didn't look or pay attention to him. ( the guy apologized to me btw I told him not to worry about it, she hasn't been in an arena in years and it was good for her).
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