scared of a ball? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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scared of a ball?

so my horses are scared of this ball that's an exersize ball that they can play with but they wont I have gotten my QH and moms horse use to it when inhand or in a pen with me but my Paint acts like it will kill him and runs around me and I got him inhand and walked past it but he just flips out if it moves, so I had it move away from us and he got better and we could walk around it but he still is so scared of it and I need a little advise to get him use to it more. Its been in their pasture for the past year but it doesnt seem to matter my horse you can kick it to him and he doesnt care you can bounce it off of him roll under and many other things but Flash still flips.
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 02:33 PM
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appraoch and retreat. Just do what you were doing before, moving it away from him. It will make him more comfortable. If he is a super sensitive horse, it may take him longer to gain confidence with it.
You could even get him to approach it himself and if he looks afraid, back him off, wait a second, and move him towards it again. He just needs to feel safe around it and know you're not going to push him to like it.
Eventually, you may get him to walk into it and move it himself.
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"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 02:40 PM
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Put him in a small paddock with the ball and leave the two there together. Eventually he'll get used to it and realize it doesn't actually eat horses.

If you want to continue and bomb proof him for balls after he learns they actually don't eat horses. Put him in a larger paddock, one large enough he wont feel inclined to go over/through the fence for an escape. Go in and kick the ball around, start out kicking away from him. As he settles down you can kick it closer and closer to him. Eventually you'll be able to bounce it off his legs with out a reaction (takes time).
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 06:15 PM
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Follow it and follow it and follow it.

Have someone else roll it and you & the horse need to 'chase' it. They will have a neurotic meltdown if something comes toward them but will quickly get brave if they chase it.

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post #5 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 07:29 PM
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Just to point out how long these confidence games can take, I just came back from my mother in laws where I was working with one of her Arab geldings. He's in his teens and apparently well broke but he's super sensitive, flighty and afraid of anything strange touching him.
It took me over 2 hours just to get him to stand quietly and calmly while I threw my rope over his back and he still wasnt ok with it touching his bum/tail!
It took alot of approach and retreat and letting him relax when I saw that he was afraid or seriously uncinfident.
This is an exercise that I will probably have to repeat several times before he's completely ok with it. It may just be the same with your horse andthe ball but stick with it and end on a good note. Don't push it. Even if you just get him comfortable with the ball being near him that is something to set down as foundation then just build on it ;)

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 07:45 PM
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-03-2012, 11:37 AM
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There is a simple rules used by those whom train horses in agility;
Look at it from a distance, then walk away and do something else.
Get closer and almost touch it, then walk away and do something else.
And finally get him right up to so he will touch it, then walk away and do something else.

Works for me every time, whether a tarp, a ball or a bridge!
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-04-2012, 11:54 AM
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Have him "chase it" as someone else said. Things are less scary when they are "chasing it".

Make sure you are sacking out correctly in that you are removing the pressure when you get a positive response from your horse.
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-05-2012, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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today after 20 minutes I got him to push it away and walk into it. He still shakey when it gets pushed away from him. One is from the other day and the short one is today.

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post #10 of 11 Old 09-07-2012, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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today we were rolling the ball backto each other and he still stiffens a bit when it rolls away.
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