Seeking Advice - Exposure Training/Calming down overly excited horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 05-19-2011, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by terry6970 View Post
You're right, it may be what I'm doing, and that hasn't been working and that's why I was asking for some other suggestions. Have any?

Well just what do you do when her attention is distracted. I mean exactly what do you do?
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post #12 of 17 Old 05-19-2011, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
Well just what do you do when her attention is distracted. I mean exactly what do you do?
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post #13 of 17 Old 05-19-2011, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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I have tried a variety of different techniques. Usually what happens is she spots a horse in the distance either on someones property or on the trail, her head goes up, eyes get big, she starts snorting & whinnys, tail goes straight up, and she bobs her head and starts prancing and pulling. That’s when I tense up (because it is very scary) and have tried turning her in circles or tried keeping her moving in figure eights. This just upsets her more and rearing and bucking are added to the mix. I have also tried turning her in the opposite direction to get her going away from the horse, but she just keeps backing up, turning, bouncing and keeps her body in the direction of the other horse. I have also tried “correcting” her by a few quick pulls on the lead rope to say “hey, unacceptable”, and get her mind on me and off of the distraction. This usually gets her rearing and bucking too. On the opposite side of the spectrum , I have tried getting her to calm down by asking her to lower her head, but she is completely in another world, and pays no attention to the cues she has mastered at home. I have done extensive ground work with her and she is respectful and well behaved at home, other than crow hopping when she changes gates from a trot to a canter. Any advice on what I may be doing wrong would be greatly appreciated. I have heard that I need to stay calm, that horses can sense when you are scared, but it is truly freightening when she does this and it is very dangerous.
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post #14 of 17 Old 05-19-2011, 01:38 PM
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I have a 16 yr old mustang gelding, and what your describing sounds VERY familiar. All of the other advise that was given to you is very good, but what helped me was I had to take the ground work a step farther. Once he was good at home, we took our show on the road. I did extensive ground work away from home. We had to start a little at a time. First right outside of the gates...make his feet move. I would stop when I could get him to lower his head and relax. Then the next time, we would go a little farther away. If I felt that I was loosing his focus (head up...looking everywhere but at me) I would make him move his feet. A lot. He soon learned that when his attention wandered to the man on a bike or the people walking their dog, he had to move his feet. And this can be done anywhere. I had to do this on residential streets as I live a mile away from the trails. If your mare respects you...then she should move her feet when you ask. Lunge her in different directions. Once you can get her to lower her head and relax, stop there and try for more the next time. If it frightens you when your in the saddle, then you definately should be doing more from the ground first. But the same concept can be used from the saddle.
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post #15 of 17 Old 05-19-2011, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you mustangrider! Excellent advice, and can't wait to try your techniques. :)
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-10-2011, 07:39 PM
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I had an idiot gelding that I didn't feel safe on when he came unglued. So I got off. Carried a lungeline on my saddle and whenever bending and circles didn't work, I would get off and lunge his little butt and do lope/long trot transitions until he decided to pay attention. He would only fight himself and I stayed safe. When he started slowing the trot down or turning his ears to me, waiting for a cue, then I would praise him, get back on, and head back down the road. If he acted up, off I would go and make him work up a sweat. It was always much harder on him if I got off. It worked pretty well, but you have to be patient and praise the good behavior and make bad behavior more work.

There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Nelson Mandela
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post #17 of 17 Old 07-10-2011, 08:05 PM
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Her diet could play a big role, Try cutting her back to just hay for a month and see if that doesn't help her. Most horses today are overfed because the owner is concerned that the horse get the best but unless the horse is working for a living (6- 8 hrs day) he builds up energy he doesn't know what to do with. Your horse sees the other horse as offering security and it is natural she'd want to be there.
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