please need help - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-09-2011, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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please need help

Hey yall I need help with a paint I've had since Feb. She was very neglected and abused. I've finally just got her to trust me and come up to me when I go out in the pasture to work with her. She tries very hard to please me. She is about 4 yrs old and has had alot of groundwork done with her, but she very hypersensitive about everything. It's the first time I have ever had a horse this sensitive to very thing. I need advise on where to start with more training to help her chill or relax a little more.

Alice
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-10-2011, 12:55 AM
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How much grain is she getting? If she's nervous by nature adding a sweet feed will only make it worse. Since she has just now started to trust you you need to be careful that you don't overdo anything and make her lose that trust. I would start off with getting her to join up. That works very well for getting the horse to see you as the leader and that increases the trust and also the respect because you are making her move her feet and she only gets to stop when you, the boss mare, says it's ok. Once she joins up and is really focused on you I would start with taking the end of a whip, or the end of the lead rope,etc and just tossing it over her back, flicking it lightly all around her. If she shows she's a little unsure just talk to her, touch her with one hand while calmly flicking the whip/rope all over. If she moves away, turn her nose toward you and walk with her. When she stops and relaxes, make sure you rub her and talk to her and stop when she is relaxed. If you stop when she is still trying to get away that is what she is going to remember and she will keep doing that in every situation where she gets scared. By keeping her nose turned you are able to control her much better. Once you introduce that and she accepts it all over I use a plastic bag and do the same thing. I use as much as I can to desensitize a horse. When you are working her and she gets scared of something, say a plastic bag waving on the fence or something, have her go up to it and encourage her to sniff it and check it out. In my experience once a horse actually sniffs or touches something they think is going to eat them it's like they go "Phew...it's not a monster, it's ok." And next time they see that "monster" they just think "Oh, that's just that flapping bag, nothing to worry about." lol Main thing is to not let her run away when she gets scared of something but at the same time you want to introduce things slowly and in a positive way so she doesn't feel like there's any need to be scared. Don't push her or overwhelm her and always encourage her and praise her.
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-10-2011, 06:42 AM
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Having a sensitive horse can be a good thing. My arab mare was very sensitive and picked up training very quickly. Now, through that training she would tremble and if you went to pet her she would flinch. Just as if someone had hit her. But the more I did with her and the more I pet her afterward the more relaxed she became.

What horsecrazy is talking about is Clinton Anderson training. The only thing I've learned with a scary object is to Not face the animal to it. What Clinton will do is have the animal follow a scary object. As if the animal feels he/she is chasing it. A confidence booster. Or working around the scary object and giving him/her time to investigate it on their own.

Ignoring something that scares them can help. If you know they are afraid of something and you approach it, they can pick up your anxiety or worry if the horse will react or not. If you ignore it they can pick up that confidence and it helps them to accept it better.

The more you expose her to everything the more relaxed she will become. But train yourself on relaxing too. To help her with confidence you need to have confidence. Goes hand in hand. Good luck. Take your time and have patience.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-10-2011, 08:02 AM
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One thing I would like to add to the previous posts, which are very good, DON'T treat her like an abused, neglected, rescued horse. What I mean by that is do not coddle her, do not let things slide, don't be overcautious, don't be overprotective, expect her to behave like a normal horse. When you treat her like she was abused and neglected, she will stay that same horse with small improvements. Treat her like a normal horse and she will become a normal horse.

Everyone should be allowed at least one bad habit, and that's NOT owning a horse!

Mares RULE! Geldings drool!
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-10-2011, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: I'm only here cause I'm not all there.
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Thanks you guys worked with her a little this morning she is getting off to a good start she is actually letting me brush her all over her and even her tail. I have to do all my work with her early in the morning its 90 degrees by 9:00 here. She is doing much better than expected I'm starting on the ropes and plastic this afternoon when my husband gets home. And thanks again everybody.

Alice
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