Should I stop working with her to let her get used to other people? - The Horse Forum
  • 3 Post By Skyseternalangel
  • 1 Post By starsunset
  • 1 Post By VickiRose
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-09-2013, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Should I stop working with her to let her get used to other people?

Hey everybody! I know its been awhile since I've been on here, but hectic work schedule and beautiful weather have been keeping me away from the computer :)

So Scars has been doing fantastic with me and I've been extremely proud of her. But we went to trailer her from one place to another the other day and it raised a bit of a concern for me- should I have someone else work with her more often so she gets used to other people and not just me?

Heres what happened that made me wonder:
We needed to trailer the two horses across town. Working against was the fact that neither horse had never been in a straight load before, it was almost dark, and I two non-horsey men with me. Getting Scars in the trailer was easy (which surprised for never being loaded into a straight load before). With the front window open, she followed me in slowly only trying to back out a couple times, but after a few soft words and gentle tugging in the line she hopped right in. And my bf instantly shut the door behind her so she couldn't back out. I tied her loosely then got out.

Then things started going not so smooth :( Since the trailer had no divider we couldn't keep Scars from standing in the middle of trailer, so I went around and held her line thru the open window at the front of the trailer and kept her straight so the 2nd horse could load. The guys were having a little bit of hard time getting the 2nd horse in (not enough room in the trailer for someone to walk him in so he pretty much needed to walk himself in). Since Scars was happily munching on her hay I didn't think anything of asking my bf to stand at the window and keep her head from swinging around. While I was walking around the trailer, Scars looked up and saw someone else other then me she exploded. She tried to back up, but hit the door so she tried rearing and tossing her head around and smashed it into the side of the trailer, tried sidestepping but the other horse was halfway in so she really didn't have a lot room, but she still cut herself up really bad.
Soon as I heard the first thump followed by the squeal, I realized I'd made the mistake of having my bf hold the line, so I told him to get out her line of sight and I hoped up and yanked her line so she was facing me and could see me. She was still rolling her eyes and breathing hard, but she calmed down after a few minutes and went back to her hay and we loaded the 2nd horse with no hiccups.
The whole thing just got me wondering if I should let someone else handle her for a few weeks so she gets comfortable with other people when I'm not around. She fine with other people handling her now, but I realized I'm always in sight for her. So should I just let the trainer work with her one on one for a few weeks without me around? Cause I can't ALWAYS be there if something goes wrong.
Hope this ramble make sense! Let me know if anything was fuzzy or unclear
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-09-2013, 04:19 PM
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Subbing. I'm having a similar concern and I'm curious what others have to say.

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post #3 of 9 Old 10-09-2013, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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You should always expose your horse to as many people as you can, safely, so that they aren't completely relying on just you.
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"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-09-2013, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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She had been around other people and handled by them often-but I'm always there so I'm just wondering if I just leave her alone with someone else for a few days who will handle her and get her used to being handed when I'm not around and not see her at all for those days?
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-09-2013, 06:28 PM
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Yeah I don't see how it would be a bad idea :)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-09-2013, 06:42 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
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My cousin has a horse that is abosolutly perfect for her, loads, clips and bathes. A while ago she went off to college and another girl has been riding him. Suddenly he's a complete spaz in the trailer, and wont let any one near his ears. After having to deal with another person's one-person horse I'd say that's a fantastic idea and I wish my cousin had thought of it before she left.
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-10-2013, 12:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Western Australia
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I have a similar issue. Our pony was great when we went to look at her before we bought her. Chilled out, easy going, didn't bat an eyelid when I picked up all four feet, felt over her legs etc, even stood placid while two dogs had a fight nearby. Great, I thought, nice pony, we took her on trial. She loaded perfectly, travelled well, no probs. BUT, like in your case, her owner was always there in sight.

Got her home, she was hard to catch, spooked and ran when you moved around her, quivered in fear at the dogs, acted like she'd never seen a saddle let alone worn one.

I thought I'd been duped, maybe she'd been drugged when we'd seen her.
We started training her from scratch, catching, haltering, desensitizing, picking up feet etc etc and she began to get back on track. Spoke to the girl we were buying her from and she was astounded at how Rose was behaving. She came over to visit and Rose went back to being the horse we'd seen that first day !!

Turned out she'd never had anyone else do anything much with the pony. He family weren't horse people and Rose had been paddock boarded at a property. The poor pony lost her security when she lost her owner

Now, Rose is getting a LOT better. She is great for me and DD, but still has issues with other people. We are working on it but its slow going. Luckily we have no intention of Rose being anything other than a farm pony. She is 13 so we may never train this out of her, hopefully you can prevent your horse from getting this way.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-10-2013, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
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You do not need to stop working with her. You just need to get her around more people in varying circumstances. You need to invite others to walk up to her when you are on her or handling he and ask them to pet her on her shoulder. Ask them to NOT reach for her head or face but to approach toward her shoulder and quietly reach out and pet or scratch her shoulder and then back away. This works very well to get horses used to being approached and handled by strangers.
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-10-2013, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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So we (trainer and I) ran a little test on her last night. With me in the house it was impossible for them to catch her- as soon as I came out and she could see me, she was easy for the other person to catch. As long as I was in sight they could handle her fine (shes never really friendly with people she just "tolerates" them)- touching her face and ears, picking up her feet, and being all around well behaved. Then they tried riding her, which she was fine with again. We went for a little walk around the property together and she was fine-not spooky and very relaxed. The 2nd time he made the trip by himself and when she rounded the corner and couldn't see me anymore and she got super jittery and spun and bolted back to me. We ended up with him just holding her around the corner out of sight until she started to relax and they would walk slowly back to me and each time go a little further until she did the whole 5 minute walk. She was still nervous by the time we stopped but she wasn't freaking out and trying to bolt back to me
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