What do you guys think? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-16-2009, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
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What do you guys think?

I'm honestly not sure where to put this. I thought training cause it does help with training, or it can.
So what does everyone think of Aromatherapy and Ttouch. I have a barely greenbroke horse that gets very nervous when i ride him, he spooks at a lot of things. I was wondering what ya'll thought of using Ttouch and aromatherapy on him. Or even on my close to beign bomb proof horse?
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-18-2009, 03:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Be careful with aroma therapy. Some horses can be very sensitive to certain smells and can have allergic reactions.

As for T Touch...it's basically massage. And that's good. But I don't think it's enough. (also, the videos I've seen of Linda Tellington Jones...she uses a stud chain and doesn't address a lot of training steps....and that to me is using unnecessary things...like chains. you never need a chain, you just need baby steps in your lessons). I'd stick to other types of NH instructors like Clinton Anderson, John Lyons, Chris Cox,...

and I'd add desensitizing with "scary objects" like plastic bags on a stick, tarps, balls, things that makes noise, etc.... using approach and retreat....a lot of it....you can teach your horse to be more relaxed.

Also...if your horse is very nervous....what kind of diet does he have? If he's getting lots of feed with grain and not being handled much or kept in a stall most of the time...he's got pent up energy and nothing to do with it...and that can easily turn a horse spooky. Cut out grain and anything other than plain ol' quality grass hay if you're not working him much.

Alfalfa can make a horse feel jumpy as can certain grains even if you are working him close to daily.

Also...how confident a rider are you? If you're nervous and react to him, this will add to his anxiety.

If you're not active, meaning, you don't ask much of him, this can cause him to be spooky, too. Some horses need to put that nervous energy to good use...he can relax. So for a young barely green broke horse....if he's closer to 4-5 years of age (I don't believe in hard work for anything under the age of 4)....I'd do lots of bending exercises....that require him to disengage his hip....cross those back feet....that is more work than going straight ahead. I'd do a trotting session of serpentines for a few minutes at a time, building up to 20 steady minutes at a time.

If the horse is 3 years old, I'd still do serpentines but more of a brisk walk and some trot, but I'd keep the riding "light" but still emphasis on Bending exercises. Flexing and hip overs. A lot of em. Backing up. One Rein Stops...all One Rein Exercises.

It's like if a person who's naturall hyper....is asked to just go for a walk, it's not going to drain that nervous energy as well as telling that same person to go for a jog or a run.

Also....before anything else:
1) teeth. if his teeth have not been checked by a vet in over a year, sharp points or other teeth issues can cause spookiness
2) saddles that pinch or if you overcinch, or if he's "out" somewhere....pain is a spook motivator
3) wrong bit...too much bit in the sensitive mouth of a nervous horse can cause spooks. simple is always better. unless you're showing, you can stick with a simple snaffle bit (no shanks) that gives the horse mild and simple cues
4) be sure that you're not rushing him through training/riding. He's barely green broke...and he's scared? be sure you're not using two hands if you've not done enough one rein work. two rein pressure can scare young horses easily. Be sure that you aren't rushing him through the basics of go forward at all gaits and stop and giving to the bit....keep it simple....and don't progress til he's got each lesson down.

Last edited by Calamity Jane; 05-18-2009 at 03:41 AM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-18-2009, 08:03 AM
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I really don't know a whole ton about aromatherapy or T touch, but I do tend to be one who leans towards not believing in it. I have seen how massages have been beneficial for horses, though. Not so much to calm them down (though some will start to doze off while being massaged) as to help loosen up some of those tight muscles and allow for more freedom of movement.

I know that there is a woman at our boarding barn who does all sorts of these things to her horse. He's on an extensive regime of herbs and oils in his grain, and he gets lavender water and other stuff put on him frequently... I really don't know how much good or bad any of this does for him, but I can say that he is an absolutely gorgeous horse with a sleek and shiny coat.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-18-2009, 11:24 AM
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T Touch is AMAZING.

For those of you who don't think much of it - have someone try it on you. It works. My former dressage instructor did several clinics with Linda Tellington-Jones. Incorporated many things from the clinics into our dressage lessons.

I still use the forelock pull and gum massage to calm a cranky horse. The belly lift has helped many horses with gas colic.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-18-2009, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Just to clarify, I do think a lot of massage. It's great and awesome for horses that are uptight and also "out" somewhere....

But I don't believe it's enough to fix a nervous horse especially when under saddle. You need cues to tell the horse to redirect whatever nervous energy to a more productive thing....giving to seat, leg, rein pressure....like in training.

I tell everyone to get a massage therapist all the time for their horses. I strongly believe in it. It is a good compliment to good training methods. As a stand alone, I don't think it's enough.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-18-2009, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Alright thanks guys. I've been looking in to stuff and reading and I think I might try aromatherapy to see how it goes. I have heard many things of how Lavender calms horses and i might try some of it.
I have a book on Ttouch just haven't gotten around to using it.

Jane you might be right in your first post. I feed him a small scoop of pellets in the evening but he hasn't been worked in a while. Also i hate admitting it but i am nervous to ride him. When i was 9 and started his training i had a bad fall where he stepped on my back. It frightened me and we just haven't had the same connection.

He is 7 years old i believe. We had started his training when he was a 3 year old but after my fall I stopped for a year or 2 and now his training is unsteady and only in the summer months. He has cleared a 3 foot fence unasisted though and it kills me that he ain't reaching his full potential. HE could be an amazing show jumper.
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