New horse spooking at people - The Horse Forum

 6Likes
  • 1 Post By tinyliny
  • 3 Post By DanielDauphin
  • 1 Post By waresbear
  • 1 Post By Customcanines
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 05-12-2014, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 558
• Horses: 5
New horse spooking at people

I would like some opinions on our new horse's behavior. He's a 6 year old appaloosa, and as far as we know, here is the background. He was shown english by a young girl, then sat for a year when she got tired of horses. He was then purchased by the people we bought him from. They wanted a barrel racer for their young son, but they said he just wasn't fast enough. When we tried him out, he was calm and not spooky. When we got him home, he spooked a few times, but I didn't think much about it. However, after riding him several times and working him on the ground, I see a definite pattern. He is completely calm when being ridden, whether in the arena or on the trail. He is attentive, but absolutely no spook. When he is being worked on the ground, he doesn't spook at the normal things - dogs jumping out of bushes, plastic bags, tarps, tractors
Etc. The only thing he seems to spook at is if a person makes a sudden movement toward him. (Getting up from a chair, losing their balance, etc. Then he seems almost frantic for a few seconds. In the field he wants to come up to us and will follow us, but will back away if we try to approach him. We can catch him easily, but seems on the verge of flight until we have him secure. I HATE to suggest he was abused - I know that is seldom the case, but I can't figure out why it is only people he seems frightened of. He also does much better with me and my daughter than my husband, which is unfortunate, because it is his horse. (My husband is very gentle with him). The only other issue we had was a couple of "temper pops" - maybe 4" off the ground when he got frustrated. Both times I kicked him hard forward and made him work hard for a few minutes. He hasn't done it since (keeping my fingers crossed). I has almost forgotten that some horses aren't *gasp* perfect. Been working with Nibbles too long lol. Anyway any input would be welcome. I know I've left something out, but oh well. Thanks!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1080153 (1).jpg (39.0 KB, 46 views)

Customcanines
Customcanines is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 05-12-2014, 07:21 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 38,473
• Horses: 2
is your husband "creeping" around him? I mean, trying so hard to not do anything unexpected that the horse suspects something?
DanielDauphin likes this.
tinyliny is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 05-12-2014, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 558
• Horses: 5
No, absolutely not. We're both pretty experienced.

Customcanines
Customcanines is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 05-13-2014, 10:18 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 382
• Horses: 1
This doesn't sound so abnormal to me. I'd simply do standard desensitizing, but with fewer aids (flag, sack, stick and string, etc). Instead use your hands, jump, yell, make a fuss. Get him so that you can run right up to him and jump while yelling and clapping your hands.
As to being abused, glad you hesitate to go there. He could simply be this way, or maybe those kids spooked him and they never noticed or dealt with it.
Oddly, my personal horse is mistrustful of women. It happens... Lol
DanielDauphin is online now  
post #5 of 9 Old 05-13-2014, 10:26 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
Posts: 11,408
• Horses: 3
My horse who has been shown at fairgrounds with midway rides, next to an airport with helicopters landing, been in a pasture with a bulldozer skidding out trees, still spooks at a butterfly, then shivers. Suck it up horsie.
weft001 likes this.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
waresbear is online now  
post #6 of 9 Old 05-13-2014, 10:31 PM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 1,242
• Horses: 1
He probably wasn't abused. He may have associated a quick motion with a bad outcome (someone who was quick to correct?). I'm not so sure that the cause needs to be identified here though. More that you need to desensitize him.

I agree with everything Daniel said. In fact, if there is a small-ish pen you could put him in (not a stall, more like a round pen), I'd put him there and then be loud, run around, play music. Have some (older) children play in the area (as long as they understand not to get too close or go in the pen). Then after he is used to the quick sudden motions from a distance, start working on it in the round pen.

Just to point out, an especially quick motion can scare even the calmest of horses. Any horse will spook given the right set of circumstances. You can't breed the prey instinct out of them.
horseluvr2524 is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 05-13-2014, 10:35 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 382
• Horses: 1
Look at it this way. If it doesn't work out with him, he'll make a helluva rug in front of the fireplace.

For the sarcasm impaired, that was a joke. Buhduhm chee
DanielDauphin is online now  
post #8 of 9 Old 05-13-2014, 10:37 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 5,235
• Horses: 2
Maybe he needs time to get to know and trust you guys.

I had a BLM Mustang, wonderfully trained, that was shy and didn't want to be caught when I first bought him. Hated being hugged. Baths or sheath cleaning, forget it! By the time he died about 10 years later he was a big teddy bear that I could do anything with. Actually, I had a Paint gelding that was pretty much the same way.

It sounds like he doesn't trust people right off the bat, but if he is a well trained horse otherwise, I'm sure the trust will get there when he gets to know you.

Another thought I had is that Appaloosas sometimes have eye problems. But if that were the case he should be spooking at dogs and stuff too, not just people.

He is gorgeous by the way! I would love to own a pretty boy like that!
trailhorserider is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 05-14-2014, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 558
• Horses: 5
Thank you, everyone. I was just puzzled why it was only people he seemed to spook at. I have already started de-sensitizing. And Daniel, I'm glad someone else has the same sick sense of humor I do. It always gets me in trouble with the indignant types! Lol
DanielDauphin likes this.

Customcanines
Customcanines is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Horse spooking on trails. TigerLilly16 Trail Riding 10 06-10-2013 12:09 AM
Spooking Horse Complications DappleGrayHunter Horse Riding 15 01-10-2013 12:41 AM
Help with spooking Beckie65 Horse Riding 4 11-04-2012 03:05 AM
spooking at everything socks Horse Training 15 07-07-2010 03:12 AM
Horse Spooking Explained bthny158 Jokes and Funnies 2 09-14-2007 05:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome