Shy miniature horses - new here - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-03-2007, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Shy miniature horses - new here

Hello. My name is Aimee. I am new here. I work at a farm and before I started working there they didn't have good employees who loved animals. They have a few miniature horses and mini donkeys. The donkeys are really friendly. Really really friendly. The mini horses aren't though. I can get them to come up to me if I have apples or grass. They will sometimes allow me to briefly touch there faces while they are eating, but that is all. They will allow no further contact. Two of them are younger. They are 8months and 1yr. I don't know the ages of the rest of them. One is prego and she is the nicest one, but I think that's just cause she wants the food more. How would I go about getting them to accept grooming and petting? My employer is going to start opening(she has exotic animals) on the weekends next spring. So people are going to be coming to see them, and she wants pony rides, but I am not sure if they are the ones going to be ridden, but it seems like it since they are the only horses besides two larger ones. I would just like them to be more comfortable with touch right now though. Maybe then I could groom them and they'd be less nervous when people entered there pen. Thanks a bunch. I have very little experience with horses. I have only ridden them when I was younger.
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-03-2007, 08:02 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Florida
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Welcome to the forum! :)

It sounds like the minis either don't like people (timid, unconfident, or afraid), or they think people are useless and could care less. In either case, I would spend 30 minutes of undemanding time with them for 7 days in a row. Go in and sit with them and then wait. If they come up to you, great, but DON'T touch them. Let them be the first ones to make contact. If you can pick out the ones who are the most unconfident or uninterested, if they have stalls, maybe do the 30 minutes in the stall with them, that way they don't have too much distraction. You will be surprised how this will change their perception of you, and hopefully people in general.

When you do interact with them, make every moment count. Do LOTS of friendly things, like give them treats, scratches, take them out to graze for awhile. When you lead them, puts lots of slack in the line. Believe it or not, if you lead a horse tightly or shortly, that affects how they precieve you (in a negative way). It would be great if more then one person would spend the 30 minutes of undemanding time with them, that way it helps them get confident or interested in all people.

This is all about changing perceptions. The more friendly things you can do, the more natural you can be with them, the more they will want to be around you.
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post #3 of 3 Old 11-07-2007, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Thank you very much for the advice. I usually can spend all day friday with them because it's the only day off that I have a baby sitter. I don't think it's safe enough to bring her in with me.
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