Too sensitive horse question

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Too sensitive horse question

This is a discussion on Too sensitive horse question within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Overly sensitive sides on a horse
  • My horse is over sensitive to my leg

LinkBack Thread Tools
    12-07-2009, 11:32 AM
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...
Sponsored Links
    12-07-2009, 11:45 AM
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
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
To go along with the breathing, humming or singing to yourself can help both you and the 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
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
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
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
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
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
Green Broke
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."

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sensitive Back legs Gettinbusylivin Horse Training 4 05-01-2009 03:39 PM
Can liniment gel burn the skin of a sensitive horse? eventer89 Horse Talk 12 04-23-2009 04:44 PM
Sensitive horse ilovelucy Horse Training 9 04-12-2009 02:30 PM
Is your horse extra sensitive in the Spring? Jubilee Rose Horse Talk 11 03-30-2009 11:19 PM
Horse is VERY sensitive on sides: how to turn and speed up? kitten_Val Horse Training 6 11-30-2007 09:39 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:41 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0