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training a spooky horse

This is a discussion on training a spooky horse within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Spooky horses training

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    01-22-2013, 12:49 PM
I have trained and worked with some really spooky horses in the past. The best way in my opinion is to take him on walks, expose him to as much as you can BUT use another horse that is really confident and not spooky and bring it along. It worked out great for all my horses. Watch your body language while training/working with him, when he spooks and you remain calm and relaxed he will calm down way faster and will become more confident - it might take some time though, so rushing is not the way to go! Oh and I agree, the past of the horse does not really matter that much, just think about the here and now and your horse will do the same!!!
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    01-22-2013, 12:57 PM
Agreed. A super calm experienced horse will do more to train for you than you alone. I would make a list of everything that spooks him, and start desensitizing to those things. Plastic bag fear is also flags flapping in the wind and a tarp on the ground, so it's worth the time putting up high on your list.
This is why the tv trainers use a halter, long lead and a whip. The whip replicates most of the fast moving, fear producing stimuli that a horse will encounter.
Mostly, you want your horse to look at you as the herd leader that represents safety, and look to you for security and trust.
Remember, too, that a 5 ft. Spook is an acceptable first step to something scary, instead of rearing, bucking or bolting to the other end of the field.
    01-22-2013, 10:07 PM
You have compliance but no trust. When the trust builds, the things that might spook him start falling by the wayside. When your work, let's think play with him, try to never hurt him and never get angry. If you feel frustration/amger coming on, unhalter him and walk away until it passes.When you go back have a big smile on your face because you are happy to see him. My one horse would spook five or six times a day. Months were spent building trust. Now I can't scare him because he learned if he couldn't take the pressure he could leave. I'd just wait and we'd start again.

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