Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
I totally understand how hard it is to work with a horse that's afraid of the world. I had one who couldn't tolerate his own shadow. o_O Have faith, your love and patience in him will eventually pay off big time. Have you considered the Monty Roberts join-up? It has always worked really well for me, and it also makes it that much easier to catch them. =] Of course if you don't have a round pen or at least a small-ish arena you don't mind running around in, the join up is next to impossible.
Oh, and in case you don't know what a join up is, you basically use your body language to drive the horse away from you, standing tall and your shoulders square, facing him. Look for signs such as his inside ear staying on you, licking and chewing, any kind of relaxation. Eventually you want to turn your back to him and have him come to you, for him to decide that he wants to follow you as you walk away. It sounds harsh at first to chase your horse around, but the idea is that the horse will start looking to you as the head of the herd. The head of the herd is the one they look to for guidance. Should I flee? Nope, boss isn't running. That kind of thing. It's just beautiful, using natural means to create amazing bonds. =]
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."