Too sensitive horse question
 
 

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Too sensitive horse question

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  • Training a sensitive horse
  • Equine training context specific

 
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    12-07-2009, 11:32 AM
  #1
Green Broke
Too sensitive horse question

So I went from working with a horse that was so dull sided it is insane to my new appy mare who is so sensitive that she goes into a bucking spree when you put pressure on her sides. I think it has a lot to do with this trainer that was abusive to her and gave her the trust issues and probably used spurs on her a lot. Sooo, how do you make a horse that is super sensitive and scared of any pressure on her sides less sensitive? My only thought is to lunge her with a saddle on so the stirrups do rub on her sides and she will hopefully eventually know that it doesn't have to be scary. I dunno...
     
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    12-07-2009, 11:45 AM
  #2
Weanling
IMO I think a super sensitive horse is great. I love my guys to be super sensitive. It makes it alot easier to turn and to do alot of neat things.
For the bucking spree, are you just maybe putting too much pressure on her sides? Your sensitive mare might just need a simple you turning your body in the direction that you want to go. Turning your belly button to the direction and looking where you want to go will automatically put some pressure on her sides and maybe that is all she needs ;)
     
    12-07-2009, 11:46 AM
  #3
Trained
That works. But the problem might not be having her sides touched but rather having a rider how is touching her sides.

I'd work a lot with trust, show her you don't mean her any harm, spend a little extra time grooming her, take her out to hand graze for a few minutes. And no, I don't mean stop riding her, just do all this as well.

Also, if you are able to ride out her bucks without getting unraveled or dropped, just keep riding very, very softly. Use your breathing a lot. And instead of using your legs, use your seat. For example, take a deep breath in and as you exhale, tighten your back and seat and tummy muscles, close your fingers, and try to restrict the movement of the horse underneath you. The goal here is to stop. Then when you take your next deep breathe in, relax all those muscles you just tightened, the goal being for her to walk on.

Good luck! Whens she comes around, she'll be a great mount!
     
    12-07-2009, 11:52 AM
  #4
Weanling
To go along with the breathing, humming or singing to yourself can help both you and the horse...lol. I had an old horse that if you hummed or whistled he would almost immediately relax. His old owner had whistled to him quite a bit on trails. It reminds you to breathe.

I also agree with ride out the bucks if you can, and if you can't I would ask someone else that can to ride her for a litle while. If you get off she will learn relatively quickly that bucking= done.
     
    12-07-2009, 11:52 AM
  #5
Started
My mare is the same. I let my sturrips dangle and just ride, and I stop her somewere and gently brush her sides a little with my legs, and as she is calm and isnt as responsive, over time I move my legs a little more, bigger and faster. It could take weeks or months. You just kind of brush the horses sides with your legs, you don't ask for forward movement, you want the horse to understand the weight of your legs vs leg pressure. It take time. When I first asked my mare for a turn cue, she just went faster. So you also have to "perfect" the art of body position and body pressure, not just leg or hand cues.
     
    12-07-2009, 11:58 AM
  #6
Yearling
I have a 16 year old mare that is the same way about her sides. Super sensitive. I am not sure what will help you out besides maybe not wearing spurs but taking them and pressing on her sides rubbing them on her at first until she doesn't react to them then slowly adding more pressure. I would do this from the ground not on top of her.
     
    12-07-2009, 12:04 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Well yesterday when she went into the bucking spree I was getting ready to dismount, she went into a bucking spree and I came off and dislocated my hip so I will not be riding for a bit. I guess I should have said that in my original post, I am looking for ways to work on this problem from the ground.
     
    12-07-2009, 12:09 PM
  #8
Started
This is an u/s training issue. Its about leg cues more then ticklish sides. Maybe get a friend to ride her while you lunge. But since she's injuring you this bad you best bet is a professional trainer you know/trust or a new home with a more experienced rider. My mare can get out of control but she's never bucked me off, never injured me or anyone.
     
    12-07-2009, 12:10 PM
  #9
Started
Is she really sensitive when you groom her? Like, does she try to sidestep away when you brush her sides? Maybe you could do some desensitize/sensitize work with her. Rub her sides to condition her to the feeling, but be sure to go back and do "I touch here and you move" exercises to balance it out. If you do all desentitizing, you'll lose that lovely "yes Ma'am" response to your cues, but if you do all sensitizing, you'll end up with a basket case. It's kind of hard to explain in words... I hope that made some sense.

Hope that your hip feels better soon! That just sounded painful reading it!
     
    12-07-2009, 12:26 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillybunny11486    
This is an u/s training issue. Its about leg cues more then ticklish sides. Maybe get a friend to ride her while you lunge. But since she's injuring you this bad you best bet is a professional trainer you know/trust or a new home with a more experienced rider. My mare can get out of control but she's never bucked me off, never injured me or anyone.

I am not ready to give up on her yet, I think she will be a very nice mare with some work, just needs to learn that pressure does not mean it is going to hurt right away.

She does okay with saddling and grooming, won't try to get away from me, but is very "twitchy."
     

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