suggestions with starting a VERY difficult mare
 
 

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suggestions with starting a VERY difficult mare

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  • Difficult mare horse
  • Training difficult mares

 
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    06-12-2011, 01:03 AM
  #1
Foal
suggestions with starting a VERY difficult mare

I have been starting horses for years now and I have never come across a horse as difficult as this one. I have been working with this five year old arabian mare for 5 months with little sucess. The barn has been working with her for 8 months before me (i was badly injured) she has had consistent training using the same methods. I started her half brother 3 years prior and her was a challenge...not as much of a challenge but still difficult. Annie is VERY bright but she gets very scared of new things and runs. She would get used to the saddle then a ground squirrel would pop it's head up and all of a sudden she has no idea what the saddle is anymore. The first time she was ridden didnt last long. She was fine until she had to take a step and then she bolted and made it a few strides before falling. This is not a safe situation for anyone. She free lunges better than any other of my young ones and understands the bit really well from the ground. But we are hesitant to get on her because of her fear with change...any ideas?
     
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    06-12-2011, 02:49 AM
  #2
Super Moderator
I can only through out some ideas, but not based on my personal experience, since I have never started a baby.

Perhaps, just perhaps, she needs more expereience dealing with scary things but being allowed to move forward instead of the methods used by many trainers whereby the horse is "desensitized" by the person keeping up the scary stimulus until the hrose stnads still / The goal being that the horse stand and allow the whip or stick or whatever to move around them without the horse moving his feet.

. I have been told by another trainer, that this often results in a hrose that just shuts down emotionally, who sucks it up and "takes it", (just stands and in a brittle manner, puts up twith the icky , scary stiumulus because they know that's waht they are supposed to do), but when the scary stiumulus is more than they can tolerate without movement, they "blow!".

This trainer askes the hrose to accept the scary stimulus but allowes them to move. Instead fo waiting for them to stand, she looks for them to be able to walk forward (on a short lead rope) around the trainer and she removes the stimula only when the horse is walking forward with an indication that the stimulus is not so bad (looking for the smallest change in the attitude at first .), Then, she stops applying the scary stiumuls and allows the hrose to rest or stand as they wish. She is looking for the horse to know that it can move forward even though it's scary, and eventually will not need to walk but can stand calmly. Not "taking it" with frozen fear, but actually not being worried.

It's a fine line of difference, and I am not sure I could replicate this. I am only throwing out this idea, and hoping I made it even somewhat understandable.

I do hope you make progress. I could not do your work!
     
    06-12-2011, 05:27 PM
  #3
Foal
That was great advice, I understood the difference between the two processes. I think you explained it really well.
     
    06-12-2011, 06:16 PM
  #4
Foal
Also, if you are to desensitize a horse you must you associative learning. Pair the negative stimulus with a positive one. This may make it go faster, however, not past what the horse can handle, the main thing in starting young ones is being persistent and taking your time.

This horse sounds like she could use some leadlining. I would suggest taking a seasoned trail horse, a strong saddle, and a good leadrope and head out to some woods and expect the unexpected. This will allow her to see the reaction of the other horse.

I've started a gelding myself and once we started riding him we led him behind other horses so he'd feel comfortable with me on his back. And if anything were to happen the other horse could keep the other from taking off.

Hope I was of to some help :)
     
    06-12-2011, 06:35 PM
  #5
Showing
Unfortunately, it seems that there are just some horses out there like that. I have one right now that is going home today that is the same way as yours. No matter how many times you do something like apply leg, she would just sometimes get startled by it and her first instinct was to fling her head and bolt. I tried several things with her that only seemed to make her worse. I finally began to have some success using (possibly over-using) the one-rein stop.

Whenever she would lose her head over something, I would just use one rein to stop her and then just let her sit until she came back down. If I knew what had spooked her (leg movement, bridle rein brushing her leg or butt, etc), I would repeat the stimuli over and over after she had begun to "think" again just to show her that yes, it may have been scary but no, it doesn't hurt. She is still not completely over the spooking, she may never get over it, but at least now when something spooks her, her first instinct is to just stop her feet.

With a horse like that, I would suggest that you have a header (either on foot or on horseback) who can lead the horse around with someone riding. I normally don't like to use that method, but extreme circumstances call for extreme measures. Other than that, pretty much all you can do is ride them through it.
     
    06-12-2011, 06:56 PM
  #6
Showing
I have one, or rather had one. No, I didn't get rid of him. Parelli exercises didn't help him. The methods or techniques that he's responded to very well are those of Carolyn Resnick. She has a web site that contains a lot of reading. Luckily it is broken down somewhat. But I also came across "Erin's Carolyn Resnick's Notes" and she breaks it down to simple to follow steps. The horse is worked at liberty ie in a large paddock and without a halter or neck rope. Don't read the entire menu on the left called Waterhole Rituals but just the first two, otherwise you will wind up with too much information. Give it a try, you have nothing to lose and will only gain trust from your horse. Mine took a month, but various methods over two years had done nothing to help him overcome his spookiness. In order for this to work you must begin with no agenda and no time frame, basically a blank mind. Keep in mind a horse can read you faster and better than any shrink.
     
    06-14-2011, 11:07 AM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I can only through out some ideas, but not based on my personal experience, since I have never started a baby.

Perhaps, just perhaps, she needs more expereience dealing with scary things but being allowed to move forward instead of the methods used by many trainers whereby the horse is "desensitized" by the person keeping up the scary stimulus until the hrose stnads still / The goal being that the horse stand and allow the whip or stick or whatever to move around them without the horse moving his feet.

. I have been told by another trainer, that this often results in a hrose that just shuts down emotionally, who sucks it up and "takes it", (just stands and in a brittle manner, puts up twith the icky , scary stiumulus because they know that's waht they are supposed to do), but when the scary stiumulus is more than they can tolerate without movement, they "blow!".

This trainer askes the hrose to accept the scary stimulus but allowes them to move. Instead fo waiting for them to stand, she looks for them to be able to walk forward (on a short lead rope) around the trainer and she removes the stimula only when the horse is walking forward with an indication that the stimulus is not so bad (looking for the smallest change in the attitude at first .), Then, she stops applying the scary stiumuls and allows the hrose to rest or stand as they wish. She is looking for the horse to know that it can move forward even though it's scary, and eventually will not need to walk but can stand calmly. Not "taking it" with frozen fear, but actually not being worried.

It's a fine line of difference, and I am not sure I could replicate this. I am only throwing out this idea, and hoping I made it even somewhat understandable.

I do hope you make progress. I could not do your work!

I just wanted to point out that if the horse is 'just taking it with frozen fear' the person is doing the exercise wrong. You want to horse to stand [you can do it moving too, but that is a lot of things to focus on for a lot of people] and introduce the scary object and don't take it away until they are relaxed. If you taking it away when they just holding still you are not teaching them to relax even if they are introduced to something that scares them. Its the moment of relaxation you are looking for, not the moment of standing still.

How does she lunge ? You said she free lunges well, but what about with a lunge line ?
     

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arabian, starting a horse

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