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

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    08-06-2007, 12:15 AM

I bought my horse in november last year, and just pleasure ride and flat work.I ve not had a problem until just recently when riding out he is shying at everything from gates to piles of dirt to even branches on the ground.We ride in the same places and he has been past them heaps of times.
What he does is stops dead,or bends his body around like a banana.when he stops he is very hard to get going again and will side step from side to side refuses to go foward even to the point where he has reared slightly, he then turns around the other way.
I persoally think he is being a bit piggy.
What can I do to keep him going foward?

Today when we went out he was being silly about it and I faced him up to it and encouraged him to walk foward towards it then praise him up.
Any one else had/have this problem..any ideas would be appreciated.
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    08-17-2007, 04:51 PM
Foal advice would be to ride in a very safe and non-spooky arena...gradually place obstacles in the arena that make spook your horse..add more and more untill he no longer shys away...if he feels confident in the spooky arena...... try taking him out on a trail....see how he does!!
    08-17-2007, 05:16 PM
I used to have one that did that: he was just being a diva. Luckily, he also had a very one-track mind: I learned to ride him forward aggressively and keep his attention on me, me, me....especially when he started to think about spooking.

Be confident and assertive, try to anticipate when he's going to try to stop and don't let him. Keep him moving and give him a few half halts to remind him you are up there. If you have to, do a circle or a figure eight; just something to redirect his attention.

Anyway, that's my two cents. Since your post indicates that this is a recent problem, I assume he's being pigheaded (like mine was), but could be physical as well...some sort of visual impairment for example.
    08-17-2007, 06:48 PM
Get him used to the surroundings ON THE GROUND. Don't get into a fight with him under saddle. And whatever you do.......DO NOT PUSH HIM FORWARD PAST HIS THRESHOLD. That is the WORST thing you can do. If he hesitates or gets unconfident and needs to stop, LET HIM, rub him and wait until he is confident then proceed on.
    08-17-2007, 07:47 PM
My horse did that on a trail. We had been on that trail several times but when it came to going down this one hill (not very steep!), he would just stop! He would gladly turn around or go sideways but not forward. If I was on the ground, he would lead down the hill no problem! Since I don't carry whips with me, I grabbed one of mother natures whips (a thin branch with a few leaves on it ). I just had to wave it a little behind him and on he went . I then went back to the spot and kept going down until he stopped refusing. I don't know if he thought the boggie man was there or if the hill looked too hard to handle but either way, you have to find the safest way to make him trust you. I wouldn't say mine is the safest.... But I know if I let my get away with refusing once... he will keep doing it and probably get a little worse before he gets better . Good Luck.
    08-18-2007, 08:50 PM
Thanks all..
I havent had the chance to go put on another trail since my post,mainly because im a little scared of going out on my own. I have ridden in the arena since though, and this is what happened.
He was working really well, untill all of a sudden there was this great big scary monster that only he could see, he did this ripper shy to the right straight into the fence, thankfully we didnt go over or through it or he didnt totally freak out, I gave him a big kick foward with a 'GET UP' and he went foward again..
He has never behaved like that in the arena.then as we were going around he started shying at water in the what I did was turn him round and come back down that side of the arena, and hey the water in the troff wasnt so scary any more..
I can't use a whip on him, I ve tried and he falls to pecies, the head shoots up and he autimatically starts pacing takes me a good 5 mins to settle him down by getting off and patting and rubbing him.. so whips are out of the question.
Here is a pic
    08-19-2007, 08:19 PM
Well, I wouldn't have kicked him forward when he got scared. Horses don't do that to be bad, they do that because they think they are going to DIE! It's an INSTINCTUAL RESPONSE and to punish him for that and do push him past his threshold can be very damaging to the relationship. It can also lead to the horse being MORE spooky because the rider punshing him for spooking makes him even that more upset and when their emotions come up, so does the adrenaline. Then the horse gets hyper-alert, and because the rider is acting like a predator....well, no wonder the horse spooks.

Him being afraid of whips, in my opinion, is NOT a fear of the whip. It's a trust issue he has with you, and it can easily be fixed. Interested?
    08-19-2007, 09:05 PM
Well what is he scared of??? The arena is also used as a yard.there was nothing different to any other we went around and came back to the same spot he went passed no was when I started working the other way and on the opposite side of the arena he shyed again at the water troff that he drinks from daily.
Yes I am interested in this trust fixing soloution.
    08-19-2007, 09:50 PM
Here's the big question!!! Will he shy only on a certin side? Lets say you are riding out side shoulder on the right side, he'll see the troft and do nothing but when you change diaganail and come back on the left side he'll spoke? Have you had a vet check his vission?, I had a mare who was losing vision in one eye (it was later removed) and she did the same thing
    08-20-2007, 02:28 AM
Good thought..someone else mentioned a vision imparement aswell.
No, it doesnt matter what side he will shy both ways.

I just came back from a ride out with my friend, today he was so much better. Sometimes we ride past an arabian stud and he has shyed at the gates to the property, today he started looking and tensing[sp] up,i just talked to him and said 'walk on', I was going to let him stop and have a look if he wanted to but he kept walking still looking, I then praised him telling him 'good boy' etc.
I continued to talk to him, because there was a weanling running around I started talking to cap about him when he was a

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