Panicing getting out of control - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 25 Old 06-18-2013, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
This horse is just plain spoiled and you are in far over your head.

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.

Sometimes I wish I would be abandoned for a few hours......sigh This is why I feel no guilt leaving my horse for two weeks while I go on vacation.....
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post #22 of 25 Old 06-18-2013, 03:08 AM
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It sounds like this horse has right-brain times & then flips to left-brain (fearful to confident & thus looking to take over leadership): the shaking in fear in his stall can't be faked, as well as going starkers & hurting himself. If he does indeed have this complex "horsenality", one must be a very capable horseperson to adapt to his quick emotional changes & deal effectively with them: when he's scared, you must be reassuring & a confident leader for him, when he's playing you, you must be firm, but without getting mean or angry with him.

I don't like cross-ties, accidents can happen easily in them, horses can't turn their heads so feel claustrophobic, (perhaps his message there reached you) & you need a partnership with a horse so that he can stand quietly for you to groom him, with the lead looped over your arm or ground-tied.

Seems like just grooming him in this way would be a good place to start: you're feeling of him, so that he can feel back to you, establishing friendliness toward him, & not asking him to DO any more than that. Till you've established a friendly partnership to that small degree, you shouldn't go on to bigger tasks.

It's never the horse's fault, we must remember that always.

I suggest that you get a rope knotted halter with a 12-14' lead, also, so that you can stay safe & have some leverage.

Last edited by Northern; 06-18-2013 at 03:13 AM.
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post #23 of 25 Old 06-18-2013, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by boots View Post
The fact that he stopped, dropped (his head), and grazed so quickly, suggests more of a disrespectful attitude than panic.

Is there anyone around that you can ask for an opinion? Someone who can observe the behaviors?
This horse has learned he gets what he wants by acting like a lunatic. It's fairly common in breeds that are known for spookiness (arabs, TB's)

They act like this because it gets them what they want.

My advise is to make this kind of behavior more work than reward.
Don't tie him. Put him on a halter and lead and expect him to stand still. Any sign of this behavior - flex his head to either side and hold the flex until he stops dancing around. When he stands quietly with his head flexed softly release the flex, scratch his neck or wherever he likes to be scratched, and go about your business.

Punish the flaky behavior. He's allowed to startle for a moment if a lawnmower misfires for example, but he is not allowed to jump out of his skin at imaginary birds or any other common place noise or event.
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post #24 of 25 Old 06-18-2013, 07:05 PM
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I forgot to include that a rope halter'd be better because he's likely learned that he can break ones with hardware, having broken some on the cross-ties.
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post #25 of 25 Old 06-19-2013, 12:13 PM
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You could try the method where when you approach him, wait until he has a small reaction (maybe just a snort at the thing), maybe a single step back, but don't push it, and then back off so the 'scary' moves away before he has a chance to really freak out. Then just work your way closer with the scary objects, and back away before he has a chance to react, so that he learns that reacting doesn't get him away from 'scary' things, standing still does.

If it's a disrespect thing, make him move his feet like his life depends on it, literally back him up at a run, make him do laterals and take his mind of what he was reacting to and make him focus on you instead. All in all though, if he's scared he still has to focus on you, and should look to you as to what to do if he really respects you fully.
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