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Spooking while on a lead line

This is a discussion on Spooking while on a lead line within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        07-11-2010, 04:27 PM
      #11
    Foal
    So I've not been doing the right thing by trying to calm and re-assure her that there is nothing to be afraid of?
         
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        07-11-2010, 04:31 PM
      #12
    Trained
    Nope, there's no monster there. If you reassure her, to her that means you saw it too.
         
        07-11-2010, 04:36 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    K N O T S ! ! ! Every time I handle with a horse that spooks on lead, I always tie knots in the rope. Tie them each about 1 1/2 or 2 feet apart, and tie as many knots as you want chances to keep her in your hand. 3 is always a good number of knots. This, way, the rope wont slip out of your hand, but the knots will give you 3 chances to stop your horse from escaping.

    There is, of course, the alternative. If you just want the spooks to stop alltogether, put her in a stall or roundpen, find as many noisy and spooky things you can (trash bags, jingle bells, vehicles, etc.) and shake them around all over the place and make as much commotion as you can, until she gets used to it. This should reduce her episodes.
         
        07-11-2010, 04:59 PM
      #14
    FHF
    Foal
    My simplified opinion: Take her out more and give her a job while doing so.
         
        07-11-2010, 05:02 PM
      #15
    FHF
    Foal
    Also coming outside into an open area is always exciting to a barn kept horses. Try excersizing her a bit before coming out. (If you havn't already.) And definitely work on some ground manners. I appreciate both Parelli and C. Anderson's Methods. But I feel your pain You just want to take her out to graze.
         
        07-11-2010, 05:13 PM
      #16
    FHF
    Foal
    Triple 8 vegas has a good method. Make sure whenever she faces the scary object you stop shakin it. Then shake it again until she stops moving and faces it. Takes a long time at first but you will have a better horse from then on. Also the patting and telling her its ok will make you feel better and she will take comfort in being next to you just as babies do with their mothers. They push into them in the field when scared. However, it is a behavior that shouldn't be allowed in the horse human relationship. She will get way more good from doing desensitizing exercises and their are tons to choose from.
         
        07-11-2010, 05:37 PM
      #17
    Showing
    Does she respect your personal space at all? I mean when she's around you is she next to you? On top of you? Do whatever she wants to you? What happen if you ask her to keep the space between you both? I agree with other people, you need to do groundwork and looks like some desensitizing to the scary things.

    When you lead, don't stay in front of her, stay by her shoulder may be with the stick, ready to drive her AROUND you if she spooks and bolt. I also really recommend to put on the gloves so she wouldn't burn your hands with the lead rope.
         
        07-12-2010, 01:59 AM
      #18
    Foal
    I completely agree with AQHA13. And whatever you do, I can't say this enough, DO NOT have any fear or uncertainty when you approach, lead, or ride a horse. I know it is incredibly hard sometimes & human nature, especially when you've had bad experiences but when you do have these things built up inside you, you will only get more bad experiences and bad results. Your horse needs to see you as a confident leader and someone she can feel completely safe and protected around. Groundwork exercises are an awesome way to earn your horse's trust and gain confidence with a new horse, or any horse really.
    I just bought a new gelding about 2 weeks ago and just moved him to a new facility yesterday. He can be pretty spooky sometimes, especially in unfamiliar surroundings, but he's so much better when he is handled with confidence. He really responds to a relaxed person. I will be doing some groundwork exercises with him tomorrow. Let me know if you want to know how it goes so you can try them with your horse, I'd be happy to give you advice as you progress with her.
    A good tip for being around any horse: Before you even go to the barn, set your goals. What are you going to get done that day? After you set your goals, physically & mentally let go of all the stress you have inside. Take a big, deep breath and relax. Release any tension in your body & be loose. When you go to your horse, handle and/or ride her, keep reviewing your goals in your head as you go and 'know' that you will get them done. When your horse senses that you have everything under control, it feels it can relax and trust you. I don't know how they know what we are thinking but they do!
    Now if worst comes to worst and your horse just doesn't want to listen, DO NOT get flustered or give up! Just brush it off and try again until you get your goals done. If your horse refuses to listen still, keep yourself calm, don't freak out. Just move on to something else. This way you're not 'giving up' on your goals, you're just setting them aside and doing it in a little different order. Just remember to breathe and stay relaxed! I really hope this helps you and anyone else who has these type of problems.

    - Brie.
         
        07-12-2010, 08:19 AM
      #19
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
    It's sounds like these are fairly explosive spooks, but any chance you can do absolutely nothing when she spooks? If you talk to her and try to calm her when she's excited, you'll only be re-enforcing her fears and/or bad behavior. If you just keep walking like she was still walking calmly next to you, it will provide a far different vibe to her. Walk confident, tall and keep the lead slack. Maybe use a longer lead rope so you have some like to let out if she does jump. When she spooks, let her back up or jump sideways, but if it's safe to do so, keep you body facing in the direction you want to go and do not acknowledge the spook. As soon as she puts slack back in the line, take it up and continue walking like nothing happend. If these are far more explosive, than the above suggestion sucks, but if she is just playing you, this might work. Only you can be the judge of that.
    100% agree! Tango is the same way. I mean, she rarely spooks to begin with, but if she does and you go up and fluster her with: "Oh, pretty pony, it's Ok! You're alright...blah blah blah" then it just freaks her out more. Your horse might be the same. Just keep walking like nothing happened. Lol. Whenever I do this with Tango now, I'll hear her start beside me but don't even acknowledge her and pull her on, with the mindset: "Come on, you foolish horse. I don't have time for your shenanigans" and she just quietly follows me.

    For the first few times she might have severe spooks anyways, but the less YOU react, over time she'll realize that she doesn't need to worry. Of course, you need to make sure you're the boss mare. If she looks up to you and trusts you it'll make the whole not-spooking thing a bit easier.

    And like RioPony said, make sure you are confident at ALL times! Unless, of course, you're doing something that's going to kill you, NEVER doubt yourself.
         
        07-12-2010, 08:21 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FHF    
    Triple 8 vegas has a good method. Make sure whenever she faces the scary object you stop shakin it. Then shake it again until she stops moving and faces it. Takes a long time at first but you will have a better horse from then on. Also the patting and telling her its ok will make you feel better and she will take comfort in being next to you just as babies do with their mothers. They push into them in the field when scared. However, it is a behavior that shouldn't be allowed in the horse human relationship. She will get way more good from doing desensitizing exercises and their are tons to choose from.
    thanks, took the words right out of my mouth : )
         

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