sacking out - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 30 Old 09-10-2010, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Arkansas
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I do not do a lot of sacking out as what you would think of as the norm. I start them once they hit the ground learning how to react when something scares them.

How exactly do you teach them how to react, I think every horse reacts in a different way anyway. I had one gelding that would literally jump when he got spooked, the Mare I'm riding right now reacts totally different- a couple of steps. I do try to sack them out, but as mentioned above, you can't prepare for everything.

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post #12 of 30 Old 09-10-2010, 04:07 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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One method I use for teaching them to just freeze when they spook is by using lots and lots of tight circles. When a horse spooks and moves their feet, I will take one rein as if I was going to do a one-rein stop. I will apply leg and keep them spinning in that little circle. When I feel like they have had enough that way, I will turn their nose the other way and do the same thing. All in all, spending maybe 3 minutes just turning circles. Then I let them out and ask them to walk off again. Do this every time they spook and move their feet and soon, they will start spooking in place. Worked wonders for the little Arab gelding I started a few months ago. This method also works for horses who want to buck or hop around when you're riding them.
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post #13 of 30 Old 09-10-2010, 05:15 PM
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Location: N.W. Ohio
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That is just it. Like SMROBS stated. You give them a job. I start my in some ways like what was described. I tend also once they get to the point where they do not spook st things I ask them to stop and stand still. That is their reward. Once they learn that nothing is going to hurt them by standing still that is where they go a lot of the time.

Like the other night. We had a Fox in the back paddock where the horses come at night. There is now a big role out for them. The Fox was right up next to the role of hay. The horses just stood and watched the fox until one of my dogs barked at the fox and he left. Not one horse spooked. Same with anything that might spook them. Just like my mare who seemed to think that carts where horse eating machines. It did not take long for her to get over it. She was worked around them and b/c she has been taught to not react especially under saddle she was fine even though they scared her to death.

-I'm so busy... I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse.
-An Armed Man is a Citizen an unarmed man is a subject.
-Where ever free speech is stifled Tyranny will reign.
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post #14 of 30 Old 09-10-2010, 05:19 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2010
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My favorite thing to do, (and many many not agree with this method) is to carry a crop or stick on trail with me. When I can I take my stick and hit trees, bushes, anything close enough that will make noise. The horses I have done this with are usually quite a bit less spooky on trails after a week or so of doing this on a daily basis.
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post #15 of 30 Old 09-11-2010, 12:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Illinois
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Mostly, I taught my mare to spook appropriately by trying not to let her turn away from the thing that she decides is scary. She was never really a bolter to begin with, but her idea of spooking is to jump sideways and then try to turn around real quick. I accept the jump because something genuinely startled her, but I do not let her turn away. If she wants space, she's gonna have to back up to get it. Most horses will give up quickly if you make them back. And, keeping her facing the thing she's afraid of, I ask for some steps. Then I let her stop and assess the situation and then I ask her to move closer. I don't force her past her comfort level and I don't kick her or hit her with a crop because she's scared. It's kind of like approach and retreat only I don't let her retreat.

I've had her for 8 years now, and this is how I trained her from the beginning, so now if something scares her she generally will jerk and tense, and then just look. And then if I ignore it, we'll walk on past whatever it was. Hope that's helpful :)
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post #16 of 30 Old 09-11-2010, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Central California
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I've used tractors, ridden a bike around her, umbrellas, tarps (walk on and blowing in wind), american flag, plastic bags, sleigh bells, harness, paper plates, excersize balls, water, and I even called our fire cheif out a couple times to sound of his ambulance siren and horn. lol
I picked up a big, old tire yesterday so I can start leading her while someone pulls the tire in front of her and then behind her as an introduction to driving. I also want to set up a tent on a windy day, since I plan on taking her camping. I try to think of everything she could possibly encounter on a trail.
Tenacity doesn't flinch at much, but she doesn't like the noise of tarps near her in the wind and the noise of weed whackers. Funny, cause you can't get her leave a running tractor or dirtbike alone. and she fell asleep at the siren. lol

Emmy2, I like your reply! "Proper way to react". I don't believe I'll ever forget that.

"All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and she'll listen to me allll day."
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post #17 of 30 Old 09-11-2010, 03:11 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2010
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ha ha, today Cinny had a new one. We had a horse show at our stable and the food vendor decided to put plastic red and white checkered table clothes on the tables....and it was WINDY...ha ha ha ha. Cinny got a dose all afternoon as they put the food only about 20 feet from his temp stall (we volunteered our stall to out of town showers).
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post #18 of 30 Old 09-11-2010, 03:58 PM
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Location: N.W. Ohio
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Good way to get horses use to flapping tarps is cover their hay with one. They have to stick their head through the tarp to get to their hay. have done this for years and even the weanlings get use to the tarps.

-I'm so busy... I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse.
-An Armed Man is a Citizen an unarmed man is a subject.
-Where ever free speech is stifled Tyranny will reign.
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post #19 of 30 Old 09-11-2010, 04:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Bucharest, RO
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It's a great idea to get horses used to a lot of things that may scare them. But in the same time you never know what thing you can encounter on a trail ride.
I did a trail ride yesterday and the horse almost freaked out when a train passed near us. The horse's reaction was fine though because he just spooked in place. He did just a couple of steps in the same place with the head high in the air.
But he is a spooky horse because he was spooked by a cow, by bags on the road etc all in the same trail ride .

"I am not what just I am - I am who I am not yet" (M. Heidegger)
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post #20 of 30 Old 09-14-2010, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
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I am curious, what are things that your horses tend to (reliably) spook at?
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