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Self confidence

This is a discussion on Self confidence within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        03-21-2010, 06:48 PM
      #11
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Five Furlongs    
    its really more noises and things that you can't see, like in bushes or something, when she gets spooky. And she gets nervis in new environments. But just in general , not thinking about her spooking, I feel like she needs a mental exercise I can do with her to get her relaxed or something. I don't know if anyone knows something like this. But I will definitely do some bombproofing sessions with her, that will probably help :) Thank
    Yep, it's not so much about any specific thing or noise, but mainly that she has trust in you to look out for her & keep her safe in scary situations. So approach & retreat 'bomb proofing', walking in front of her, or between her & 'monsters' on a scary trail, etc are great 'mental exercises' for building that trust & confidence in you to control the situation.

    As is NOT throwing her in any 'deep ends'. I don't think 'flooding' - which is the behavioural term for it - is a particularly helpful to your relationship or the horse's attitude about scary situations. Just conditions them to 'shut down' generally.

    Start with easy things, at a distance, getting her confident & blase with them first, before asking for gradually more/closer. I like to keep going backwards & forwards, with horse going in between me & the 'scary'. But as suggested above, if we found ourselves in a situation we weren't yet ready for, I'd be prepared to get off & put myself in between her & the offending... bit of plastic, cow, whatever.

    I also teach my horses the 'one rein stop' **Note you need to *teach* this thoroughly, with lots of repetition, so it becomes an automatic response, not just attempt to force the horse's head around. This does have a bit of a calming effect too, but is mostly an 'emergency button' which enables you to control the horse effectively before or when they may start to panic & react.
         
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