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The silly things you desensitize your horse to

This is a discussion on The silly things you desensitize your horse to within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        01-03-2014, 12:25 AM
      #11
    Green Broke
    I used to be a foster mom. Most often to deaf children or family groups.

    I'd get them involved in chores and barn projects while I had young horses tied to posts. Ai! The noise level! And many were (a bit!) hyper. Very good for young horses. I had cowboy friends ask to rent some of them. Lol No. Of course I didn't.
         
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        01-03-2014, 05:23 AM
      #12
    Super Moderator
    I have never spent time desensitising any horse, I really don't see the point of it. You can get a horse use to a polythene bag on the end of a stick but that it totally different when such a bag is blowing towards you whilst riding.
    What I do is to handle the horse firmly and fairly. I demand that they do everything I want the moment I tell them. I do not beat them up but do make them do whatever immediately.
    This makes them realise that I am in charge and they have to do what I want when I want so, if anything untoward happens and I say that it is OK they trust me enough to do it.

    If a horse starts to mess around for some reason or another then it is firmly corrected.

    On a day to day basis I do not stop anything going on. Small children riding pedal cars, kicking a ball, yelling and screaming, heavy machinery working about the place, shooting around the fields, all goes on and none take notice of a thing.
         
        01-09-2014, 01:00 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Great ideas, everyone! I will often grab large branches while on trail rides and drag them behind me... Prodigy used to get a little wonky but he is perfectly fine with it now! I've found the best desensitizing is to real situations on the trail (Deer, pheasants, bear and we have even been about 10 feet away from a coyote..) but it doesn't stop me from messing around with unnatural things at home. :) This year I plan on doing as much as possible with April and Jagger. I started with Jagger so far... He's not reactive to much.

    I had the feed sack full of pop cans and he was very unhappy about it, but now he's fine. I can rattle them anywhere and everywhere and he doesnt give a hoot.

    Honestly, he is mostly only afraid of noises from things he can't see. I'm pretty sure he'll get used to it on the trail with all the scurrying wild animals we come across.

    Nokotaheaven and 4hoofbeat like this.
         
        01-09-2014, 11:16 PM
      #14
    Foal
    Any thing and everything I find!
    My horses hate it, but its good for them:)
    I've done things from polo wraps on the head to throwing tarps at them. We ride all over and its good for them to be used to everything!
    Nokotaheaven likes this.
         
        01-10-2014, 01:27 AM
      #15
    Green Broke
    This is a horse I assisted in training a few years ago. I desensitized him to many things, including dragging a pair of winter overalls with a rope while riding lol.

    Fen Leads Albert 064.jpg
    Apr.19, 2009 154.jpg
    Island Idol [Izzy] and Lindsay 123.jpg
    4hoofbeat likes this.
         
        01-11-2014, 11:57 PM
      #16
    Green Broke
    I think some crucial desensitizing steps were missed with my 23 year old mare lol. She is an AMAZING horse to ride, I ride her in rodeos, drill team, parades, with flags, you name it.

    You actually SHOW her something, she flips. It's a constant worry of what random thing might scare her. Mainly normal things, brushes, boots, saddles. You can put it on her and go to town, but SHOW it to her? No way!!
         
        01-17-2014, 02:13 AM
      #17
    Yearling
    If you plan of showing get them use to clippers blowdryers and other noisy scary things, if you can get a megaphone that might help to do a mock class and have a friend do announcing so they don't freak out at the loudspeakers at shows...and if you jump get the flower boxes or other decorations they use with jumps so your horse will see it as a normal jump instead of a jump that looks either tasty or like it will eat them
         
        01-17-2014, 11:35 AM
      #18
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foxhunter    
    I have never spent time desensitising any horse, I really don't see the point of it. You can get a horse use to a polythene bag on the end of a stick but that it totally different when such a bag is blowing towards you whilst riding.
    What I do is to handle the horse firmly and fairly. I demand that they do everything I want the moment I tell them. I do not beat them up but do make them do whatever immediately.
    This makes them realise that I am in charge and they have to do what I want when I want so, if anything untoward happens and I say that it is OK they trust me enough to do it.

    If a horse starts to mess around for some reason or another then it is firmly corrected.

    On a day to day basis I do not stop anything going on. Small children riding pedal cars, kicking a ball, yelling and screaming, heavy machinery working about the place, shooting around the fields, all goes on and none take notice of a thing.
    Well, in a way that is desensitizing the horse. With other things going on, and you correcting the unwanted behavior, he is in effect being desensitized.
         
        01-18-2014, 10:21 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foxhunter    
    I have never spent time desensitising any horse, I really don't see the point of it. You can get a horse use to a polythene bag on the end of a stick but that it totally different when such a bag is blowing towards you whilst riding.
    What I do is to handle the horse firmly and fairly. I demand that they do everything I want the moment I tell them. I do not beat them up but do make them do whatever immediately.
    This makes them realise that I am in charge and they have to do what I want when I want so, if anything untoward happens and I say that it is OK they trust me enough to do it.

    If a horse starts to mess around for some reason or another then it is firmly corrected.

    On a day to day basis I do not stop anything going on. Small children riding pedal cars, kicking a ball, yelling and screaming, heavy machinery working about the place, shooting around the fields, all goes on and none take notice of a thing.
    Thank you Foxhunter, you said it. I have never been a big fan of the desensitizing of horses, teach them to look to you as the rider for how they are to react and you horse should need little to no desensitizing. I work at a summer camp and run the horse program part of my job is training the horses for the campers to ride. I don't desensitize the horses I train, I teach/train the to look to me in all things, after all if I tried to "desensitize" everything that a horse might spook at it would be never ending. Since the thing that spooks my horses the most is deer and moose how would you go about desensitizing a horse to a moose? Look at the definition of the word is this the kind of horse that you want? I don't. I feel that a lot of desensitizing training is too much "just bombard your horse until the give up".

    de新en新i暗ize

    /diˈsɛnsɪˌtaɪz/ Show Spelled [dee-sen-si-tahyz] Show IPA verb (used with object), de新en新i暗ized, de新en新i暗iz搏ng. 1. to lessen the sensitiveness of.

    2. to make indifferent, unaware, or the like, in feeling.
         
        01-19-2014, 09:16 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    Whether you want to call it desensitizing or training, horses need to be exposed to things that they will see at some point. Case in point, my gelding has been hauled a ton, but rarely stayed anywhere long enough to be fed out of a hay bag until this summer. It never crossed my mind that he would spook as I put the hay bag in front of him. Once he realized it wasn't going to eat him, and he could eat it, he was fine, but he jumped about a mile when I first put it in front of him. Think about those things when you're training.
         

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