scary steers and llamas

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scary steers and llamas

This is a discussion on scary steers and llamas within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        04-27-2008, 10:56 AM
    scary steers and llamas

    I just got my first horse recently, she is a 6 yr old appy mare. The trails that I will be riding on require us to go through what I call "the gauntlet". We have to pass by the neihbors steers, stallions, then llahmas. Yesterday I tryed walking her through and she flipped when she saw the steers. I have noticed that she is only this spooky when she sees other unfamiliar animals, not unfamiliar objects. What is the best way to get her comfortable with it? Just repetition? Anything helps...
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        04-27-2008, 12:12 PM
    Play it again sam... I've found its really best to just keep showing them the scarry stuff a bit at a time untill they can wrap their mind around the fact that its not going to hurt them. That being said...Don't get yourself in a situation where you could be hurt.
        04-27-2008, 06:04 PM
    Next time try getting off and walking her past, maybe even close to them so that way she can lick n' chew and feel silly. :roll:
        04-27-2008, 08:06 PM
    If she's freaking out really bad then talk her for a walk and when she reaches the point where she tenses and flips just stop and let her see whats she's looking at and that its not going to hurt her. Walk her on with confidence. Don't say anything to hear or pet her or anything to try and calm her. This will tell her that what she is doing is ok because in reality you are praising her for spooking. Don't push her past her threshold though.

    The next time you do it you should be able to get further past before she freaks out. She may even learn quick enough that there is nothing to be worried about. Just be patient with her and keep persisting. Don't let her bug out as soon as she freaks or she will do that thinking that's all she has to do to get out of facing it

    Good luck with her :)
        04-28-2008, 11:38 PM
    I agree with everyone else. My horse went crazy when he saw two little goats. I walked him up to them and he checked them out. After that he's been fine. Hope she gets used to them!
        04-29-2008, 12:03 AM
    Just keep working with her, going towards them, trying to get further. ;) She should get used to them sooner or later, it may take some time.
        04-29-2008, 12:22 AM
    Thanks everyone for the ideas....thats good to know about not petting/praising her when trying to calm her down, but just being confident and calm as I try and get her to walk by. Right now, she wouldn't get close enough to the gate to smell them, but maybe just getting her to see them from a distance will help her realize they aren't scary monsters trying to kill her. This might sound so ******ed but...would it help her to see me go up to them and pet them?
        04-29-2008, 12:46 AM
    Yes its really important to be confident and calm. Really watch how you are when you are coming up to this spot as your horse will pick up on absolutely any nerves you show whether you think you are showing them or not. For example:

    - don't tighten your grip on the reins in readiness. This alerts your horse that you are bracing yourself for something...but what??? OMG!!! It must be really scary. Before you know it your horse is looking for something to spook at. If you want him on a short lead going past the scaries then have him on that length of lead the whole time.
    - don't speed up your pace. Again another thing to indicate a problem. What do horses do when they are spooked? They speed up :)
    - this is going to sound silly but sing a little song or talk to your horse. Chances are your heart rate will rise when you are getting near this spot. I truly believe horses can sense even that so, if you are singing merrily away or having a good old chat with your horse then you are less likely to emit nerves through that form

    If your horse is looking to you for comfort he wont be well comforted if you are tense as well. Don't worry about something happening until it happens. Just be safe about situations and you can always be ready for anything even if you arent consciously thinking it
        04-29-2008, 08:39 AM
    I hope none of my farmer neighbors read this but we chase cows.
    Most areas we ride have cows on both sides of us. Sometimes they will all come running when they see us, guess they think its feeding time. Anyway, at first it scared our girls till we started going after the cows. A horse isn't going to be afraid of anything that runs away from it. Act like a cowboy and try to get the llamas cows whatever to move away from you while on your horse. We chase everything, deer, cows, turkeys, dogs whatever scares the horses. Not sure if its proper but it seems to help build confidence in the horses. Do a YEE HAA and chase those critters away

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