Panicing getting out of control - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 25 Old 05-08-2013, 06:47 PM
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Sky was like this. You have to be on them. You have to gauge their reactions and change it up before they blow up, and push it further and further to the edge of their comfort zone. It's a pain in the butt when they're like this but it can be fixed.

Best to re-teach him the basis. Pronto.

Get him out of his own head. Where is he scaring himself silly.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 05-08-2013 at 06:50 PM.
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post #12 of 25 Old 05-08-2013, 10:54 PM
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Horse has your number I would say.

He is being reactive because he can be, and because you are not running the show, and more than likely have caused much of this.

Horses do not dwell on "I was left uncared for by myself...oh boo hoo". A human that takes that mindset is setting themselves and horse up to fail.

I imagine if this horse had been bought/obtained by someone that wouldn't put up with his foolishness, he wouldn't be like this.

As for the right brain/introvert? Hogwash.

That has come about because of the fact that people have poor horse handling skills that have gotten into horses late in life, or had no formal instruction, the "wonder trainers" needed something to explain why these people were having so much trouble, so they made up a whole lot of malarkey, and now have an excuse, instead of having to flat out tell people "You are ruining that horse."

Best thing you can do for horse and farrier, is not show up, and let farrier correct him, as I imagine it might do a world of good.
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post #13 of 25 Old 05-09-2013, 01:05 AM
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Horses that break free then run and stop when they see the first patch of green grass are served really well by being taugh to spook on the spot. I'd seriously consider finding a trainer who will not be emotionally attached to this horse and I'd have him taught to be hobbled, cross hobbled, sideline hobbled and front leg hobbled.

He's learnt to evade situations by running away......hobble training solves that pretty fast.

Once he's hobble trained PROPERLY, your farrier will have no problem and neither will you. Sometimes we assume that running a horse in a pen then asking it to stand still while we 'desensitize' is the way to do things, however i think it can be quite counter productive. Because this horse uses his legs just fine and uses them to avoid any pressure he and yourself would be served well.....take his legs away and get his brain back
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post #14 of 25 Old 06-17-2013, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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^^ This is something I've considered, but as I don't have any experience and live in English dominated area, not having a ton of luck finding someone trustworthy to guide me. Given his reactions to being tied, I'm nervous to try it on my own.
Unfortunately not long after the post I did have a trainer come out to work with him and me, it ended with him panicking in the roundpen and needing stitches all over the place. A mixed blessing as it's given me the chance to start some things over while he's healing and becoming more fit. Still shopping for assistance, we've made some progress on our own. The medical care required me to be at the barn 2x a day... I have since continued that pattern.

Is this my fault? 97% sure that's a yes, I'm the higher being here. But I don't think letting someone man handle him will be the answer as he is already weary of strangers/people in general.
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post #15 of 25 Old 06-17-2013, 10:58 AM
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I have worked with several like this, and my cousin owns a 2000# percheron like this. Best thing you can do is 1) dont feel sorry for him, and 2) start dragging him outside his comfort zone.

learn to push his buttons, hard enough to cause a reaction, but not hard enough to cause complete panic. then keep repeating, and repeating, and repeating, until you 'pushing the button' causes no response. he should get to the point where, when he sees the scary thing coming, he takes a nap and cocks a back leg. then move on to something else. DO NOT STOP PUSHING THE BUTTON UNTIL HE RELAXES. Huge mistake. if you stop when he is tense, you will make the problem worse, instead of better.

the most common thing I see with this type of horse is people afraid of provolking them, tip toeing around to avoid having them blow up. the more you back off when the horse reacts, the stronger he will react next time, until he is a bundle of reactive nerves, panicing all over the place. they get to the point where they have figured out, in their own minds, that panic/pulling back/bolting, essesnsially escape, is the only way to respond to stress of any kind.

you need to teach him the opposite - the only way to repond to stress should be to look to you for leadership, and calmly accept the situation.
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post #16 of 25 Old 06-17-2013, 11:08 AM
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The instant this horse is free he self rewards with grass. Hmm.. that is how we train them.

Sounds like a horse that needs a solid-can't-be-broken tying session and sacking out. Sidelining and so forth.

FWIW every time he breaks away and rewards with grass will make it harder to fix so it looks like you need to hand hold his lead line while working grooming and so forth. Can't break and get away from that which is not fix tied. OTOH the first time he finds out he can yank the lead line from your hands you will be hard pressed to train him not to.

He has learned this. When you extinguish it remember he may try harder for a while.. before he quits and you win.

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post #17 of 25 Old 06-17-2013, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
You might look into supplementing magnesium.
Magnesium for Horses | Natural Health for Equines
I agree that this could well be his issue. Have the vet pull blood and ask where in the range his magnesium level fits. Even if it is within normal limits, IF it is atthe low end of normal, he probably needs magnesium.

I was giving another (joint) supplement to an old pony of mine and he started acting panicky (and never had before). Turned out some horses have that reaction to this supplement. Took him off and problem disappeared, so magnesium could be an issue, especially if he is getting higher amounts of calcium (like in alfalfa).

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post #18 of 25 Old 06-17-2013, 01:09 PM
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If it is a mag. deficiency then he would remain panicky for longer than just finding grass and filling his face. Even if he is low he has learned the behaviour and will continue it unless corrected and a deficiency is no excuse for behaving this way.

To many people like to look for excuses to fulfil their lack of experience and having to reprimand a horse.
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post #19 of 25 Old 06-17-2013, 03:15 PM
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It could be both
Mg deficiency can cause overreacting for no apparent reason, among other strange behavior. "Requiring stitched" after working with a trainer in the roundpen tells me it's not only disobedience and having figured out how to evade work.
Unfortunately we all can only guess from what we read. Seeing the horse behaving( or not) would be the only way to be certain.
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post #20 of 25 Old 06-18-2013, 12:48 AM
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This horse is just plain spoiled and you are in far over your head.

Primo has always been an over-reactor, consequences of being abandoned in a field for 4 years.
This is just plain NOT TRUE! There is nothing a horse love better than being abandoned in a field for four years unless he is being abandoned for 10 years.

He over-reacts because there is a 'pay-off' for it. He gets away and get the green grass. This is as much of a pay-off as one can get. He break halters and X-ties and gets the same pay-off. He is calling all of the shots and you are following him around trying to play 'catch-up'.

First of all, stop putting him in X-ties. Buy a good heavy rope halter, learn how to fasten it correctly (put the end around the loop BELOW where it goes through that loop -- not above it) and break this horse to tie solidly. Tie him to something immovable that is higher than his withers. Make sure you have someone experienced helping you and always have a sharp pocket knife with you. This horse needs some manners and you need to learn how horses think and why they do what they do.

Right now, you are not in charge of anything -- he is. It would take a book, not a post here to teach you how to properly get in control, but teaching this horse to respect a halter would be the place to start.


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