Spooking - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Texas
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No, we do not lunge just to get him tired or for the sake of doing it. We are working with him on getting him to trust and respect us and to listen. Sorry, didn't mean to sound like I was doing it to tire him out all the time. He is getting one scoop in the morning and one at night along with 4 flakes of hay and turnout. He shares four acres with my donkey, so there is plenty of grass. I think I answered all the questions...hmm.
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post #12 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Southcentral Kansas
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Wasn't sure what your lunging consisted of. ;) Scoop? lol I have lots of scoops, they are all different sizes. LOL I'll assume the scoops are not gallon size.. ;) So maybe 2-4 cups of feed twice daily? Doesn't really sound like a feed issue then.

I guess it's a trust issue. Take the time to work him thru it and he should come around.

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post #13 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Texas
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Haha, yeah. Not the gallon size. I guess I just really need to get him to fully trust me and that should help the problem. Also, when he spooks, what should you do? My friend who has been a trainer for 25 years said to let him look at it and then walk him by it a few more times..just interested to see what yall have to say. Different people have different opinions and I would like to hear others.
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post #14 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 02:25 PM
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Also, when he spooks, what should you do?

Kind of depends on the spook. Spooking when his poo hits the ground, ignore it. LOL If he is spooking as a way of evasion then I usually want him to face the object. If it is something that can be moved away from him so he can "follow" it that helps a lot with fear issues. Kind of like chasing the dog. lol Sometimes I'd want to pass it return b/f and keep going past it until he's bored to death with it. If I'm wanting to cross water/whatever and the horse is trying to evade by leaving the scene I want to keep him facing and without forcing the issue too much I want to encourage forward. You can let them stand and look a little bit but too long seems to encourage the flee response. If you are leading, I sometimes like to be at the end of my line and allow the horse to work thru the issue. Like walking over a tarp, thru a puddle, past that possessed mailbox, etc..

Does that help?

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post #15 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Texas
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Yes, very much so. I will get him out and work with him once my husband gets home. Thanks again.
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post #16 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 02:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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You question has been answered but when I got Misty she was the same, she just needed time to settle in and trust me, it will take a few months

A good horse can never be a bad colour...
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post #17 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 04:28 PM
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Location: Ireland
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yeah he will settle..eventually!!

i now know what my horse spooks at (small ponies for some bizarre reason...hes terrified of them!!) i find that if you reassure him with your leg...like keep a nice confident leg on him when you pass the object (or ponies) it makes him feel a little less scared...like someone holding your hand or something!! and talking gently. that helps too haha!! :p
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post #18 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 06:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Missouri
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MY 2 QH's would spook at darn near everything when we very first got them. After a few months... maybe 6 they had settled on their own quite a bit. Seem like once they were comfortable with us we then went on to "de-spook" mode. I used a step in electric fence post in the middle of their small pen and tied plastic bags and used hoola-hoops, I would toss empty milk jugs into the pen, I used some of my son's larger ride on plastic toys in there for a while... Just anything new. Now they're in great mental shape. I just didn't try to hide anything from them... I let the kids be loud maniacs around them (but outside the pen). I know not everyone will be able to do this but turning them loose in my yard helped a TON. We would mow and weed-eat with the horses out and they would take off about 20-30 feet but then get interested and investigate. It got to the point where we would have to shoo them off.

Time and Patience. You can do it. Most importantly than any silly object is to prove yourself the leader. I love angel leaguers advice on the I stop game and I never ever ever give up grain without asking for the horses to behave and stand patiently first. I'm alpha and you'll look to me for help (and feed). Eventually he'll look to you for guidance on spooking too... Give it some time.

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20

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post #19 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 07:38 PM
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Freelunge him, then do some basic groundwork, such as leading, you will know when he trusts you, he will easily follow you around, and when something is bothering him, he will look at you with "worried eyes". When he looks at you with the "worried eyes" you need to halt, and comfort him. Many horses find it comforting when you lead your neck against theirs and face the opposite direction, put your left hand around under his chest, and massage both shoulders, just pressing inward gently and moving your fingers in circles and you should be able to feel his muscles start to relax and he should start to drop his head and relax, then you can move on with leading. Lead him EVERYWHERE but work with him slowly and patiently, introduce new areas slowly, let him take a break and take in a good long look at the new area then relax him. He will learn to trust you and believe when you are calm he is calm.
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post #20 of 27 Old 12-30-2008, 08:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
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Most of the above posts sound really great. I think he needs to learn more trust in you. When I first got my Mustang, Dobe, he would spook at everything that he had not encountered on the prarie which was EVERYTHING. Plastic bags were the worst. Not only would he spook, but at first he would bolt and nothing could stop him. I just spent time with him, leading....petting....giving treats. If something spooked him, I would stop him with the lead rope (after I taught him to respect it in a roundpen) and just stand at his shoulder and pet him until he calmed down. Now, on the rare occasion that he does spook, he looks to my side for protection and will follow me anywhere I ask. The most important thing he learned is that he is safe when he is with me.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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