What do you guys think about this? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2012
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What do you guys think about this?

Okay so My gelding Sunny, I took about 3 weeks off riding him because his feet were so tender after getting his shoes off.. I started riding him again about 2 days ago. I thought that he would be normal again. Act like he did before his feet went haywire. I was riding him in the community pasture as I call it, it's not fenced no one lives there so everyone around here exersising there, and EVERYTHING scared him.. tumble-weeds, bags, ANT HILLS!, and before that we were just on a dirt road and other horses were freaking him out.. and he freaked once and was in the middle of the road when a car came and THEY DIDNT EVEN SLOW DOWN!!!! GRRR PEOPLE THESE DAYS... so i figured that was enough.... I took him home..

Yesterday, I set up an obsacale course.. I set up 2 flags that would blow with the breeze,, at about neck height that he would have to walk through. Put a tarp on the ground with wood so it wouldn't fly up and what not.. put a log down for him to walk over.. and a HUGE tire for him to walk in and out of.. Also, another log for him to pull around......

NOW, for the wierd part.. he did all of it without hesitation..:/ didn't even spook at the tarp but one time.. and out on the trail its a different story.. but in a pasture he had not been in for over 4 months he does it like a pro... and to make it worse.. I told my dad that he had been acting crazy and freaking out so my dad watched and thought it was me that was crazy...

and noises normally get to him to.. and my dad started a snow-mobile right next to sunny.. no reaction.. and i would stand next to a metal barrel in my course and drop a rock on it... same...

Why is it only in certain areas that my horse freaks out? even in the same pasture over the same things over and over!

AND is that a good course like thing to desenitize me horse??

http://www.horseforum.com/member-journals/sunnys-thread-160521/ << read about Sunny and I. Our journey
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 05:03 PM
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it could just be that he is in an area hes not used to and his sense of direction causes him to be nervous. Ive had experience with horses that would be fine when riding in an arena they were used to, but take them out into a pasture theyd never been too and see the same kind of gate, and spook just because it was in different surroundings. I would try riding a more calmer experienced horse to the pasture and just pony him and let him get his nerves down and slowly begin riding him there.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thanks:) that is a good idea:) he has been in that pasture before though.. which is weird... if i have another horse with me he is fine too.. I think he has confidence issues.. so we will keep working on that as well:)

http://www.horseforum.com/member-journals/sunnys-thread-160521/ << read about Sunny and I. Our journey
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 05:33 PM
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My horses will often spook at the jacket I wear all the time and throw over them and over the doors but if its hanging somewhere different they spook then feel ashamed of themselves. They feel at ease with familiarity and that brings confidence. My old horse will always be like a fizzed up bottle of soda for a while if I take her to a new arena. Having a calm horse with you will help a lot and then this stage will pass
If you want to be spooked yourself - when I first began working on a yard in a new area I noticed that all the horses were spooky in one particular place. When I mentioned it to my boss he told me that about 10 years before the bodies of two murdered children had been found buried there
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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^^ wonderful story://// umm is this course going to help at all with his confindence in me?

http://www.horseforum.com/member-journals/sunnys-thread-160521/ << read about Sunny and I. Our journey
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 06:01 PM
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Probably just fresh. No matter how much preparation (lunging, groundwork, etc.) I do before a ride in the early Spring after the ponies haven't been ridden in a while, I always get a somewhat crazy ride. Even from the old rusty-trusty horses at my barn! It usually takes my horses 3-4 rides to get them back into the swing of things after a long break, so I wouldn't worry about it. With some more riding your horse should be back to his old self..

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's the voice at the end of the day that says "I'll try again tomorrow"...
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 07:34 PM
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I would try lunge your horse in the pasture area if appropriate. That way she can get her goofs out, get tired and you get on and can bop around. I also notice with my horse that when I expect trouble I usually get trouble. So, try to put your last ride behind you and not let the bad juju of the pasture get into your mental process.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-13-2012, 10:40 PM
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I also wanted to ask: how do YOU feel about new places your horse spooks at? Sometimes even a little tension from you can go a long way in telling the horse 'we should be on alert'.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-14-2012, 12:09 AM
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Sounds a bit fresh :) Did you adjust his diet while he was off work?

If it were me, I'd start by lunging him for a week - take him to the pasture, let him have a look around, then ask him to work on the lunge.
Also desensitizing at home is fabulous - you can get him to walk/trot over the tarp, besides the cones, etc .. Maybe take a tarp out to the pasture too.

He's allowed to be scared, but not stupid. It's a good thing that he's expressing himself, I know it may not feel it when you're flying sideways from an ant hill - but he's telling you it's all a bit much. Take your time, don't "baby talk" him (as it's actually a vocal reward) - talk to him like you would me in a conversation. It shows confidence. "Come on, let's go look at the tree with the scary branch. Have a sniff, have a touch. Good boy!" and leave it. Make it easy, and if you can, repeat to make it boring ;)
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