Horse is nervous and panicky
 
 

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Horse is nervous and panicky

This is a discussion on Horse is nervous and panicky within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse nervous away from the barn
  • Natural horsemanship for the nervous horse

 
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    03-10-2010, 09:18 AM
  #1
Weanling
Horse is nervous and panicky

I was given my mare in July, and she hadn't been used for anything in at least 5 years. I am a new horse owner, and have spent the last 7 months doing nothing but ground work, trust building, playing, and liberty work. This past Monday was to be our first real ride, out on the trail with the other 2 horses from my barn. We made it around the backside of the barn, then all hell broke loose. She sat back on her haunches, and RAN backwards, stepping on her tail and scaring herself further. I got her to stand for a few seconds, then she starting spinning in circles, trying to get back to the barn. Basically, it seems as though not only is she herd bound, she's barn sour as well. I've taken a few steps back, and gone back to ground work and respect. We have started separating her from the others at turnout, and when I'm working with her, we're trying new things. Now, when the other horses are close, I make her work, work, work. If she wants a break, we walk away from the others, so she understands that being separated isn't a bad thing. I was lunging her yesterday, out of sight of the other horses, and she completely panicked. She was running me over on the line, and paying absolutely NO attention to me. When I tried to get her to join up with me, she wouldn't acknowledge I was even there, rather she backed up and reared, screaming for the others. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can someone give me some ideas or games/exercises I can do with my girl?? Just for reference, I have no round pen, no ring, etc. It's just the paddock and pasture area, as we are at a very small hobby farm with only 3 horses. Thank you!
     
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    03-10-2010, 09:34 AM
  #2
Green Broke
The thing that stands out to me is she RAN over you, or even just pushed into you. Do you have a carott stick? Or a flag would work great, if my horse EVER ran over me or tryed to push through me there would be some 'kicking' going on. What 'type' of natural horsemanship are you doing? Because I know a lot of natural horsemanship people would look down upon hitting ahorse, but we can't hurt them, and her running through you really mean you need to lay down some ground rules. None of her horsey friends would let her run over them, and that's the same ofr you, her getting into your space in a dominant way is a huge no-no. Do you have a strong rope halter? With no buckle on the end of it? If I were you I would walk her by hand out on the trail. Make sure to wear gloves, and that you have a strong halter. Sorry, I am in a hurry, but I will come back and post some more (unless other peoples have given some realy good advice already) I hope she gets better for you! And remember, a herd leader would give her a boot (but do NOT hold a grudge for even a second, never hit them out of anger) if she tryed to go through them, and your supposed to be the herd leader, so don't accept that.
     
    03-10-2010, 09:38 AM
  #3
Weanling
Thank you ridergirl. I gave her a smack with the end of the lunge line, and made her back up until I said she could stand still. I don't have a carrot stick or anything like that. I'm not doing any one form of NH right now, as I have no clue where to start. I also don't have a rope halter. She was badly abused and beaten when her previous owner sent her to a trainer, so I don't want to use whips or anything on her. As soon as she ran me over, she was made to back up, and then work, work, work. Once I had her attention, we ended on a positive note. I hope at least that was the right thing to do.
     
    03-10-2010, 09:43 AM
  #4
Trained
I think you are getting some great advice already :)
     
    03-10-2010, 09:45 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by centrestableswendy    
I was given my mare in July, and she hadn't been used for anything in at least 5 years. I am a new horse owner, and have spent the last 7 months doing nothing but ground work, trust building, playing, and liberty work. This past Monday was to be our first real ride, out on the trail with the other 2 horses from my barn. We made it around the backside of the barn, then all hell broke loose. She sat back on her haunches, and RAN backwards, stepping on her tail and scaring herself further. I got her to stand for a few seconds, then she starting spinning in circles, trying to get back to the barn. Basically, it seems as though not only is she herd bound, she's barn sour as well. I've taken a few steps back, and gone back to ground work and respect. We have started separating her from the others at turnout, and when I'm working with her, we're trying new things. Now, when the other horses are close, I make her work, work, work. If she wants a break, we walk away from the others, so she understands that being separated isn't a bad thing. I was lunging her yesterday, out of sight of the other horses, and she completely panicked. She was running me over on the line, and paying absolutely NO attention to me. When I tried to get her to join up with me, she wouldn't acknowledge I was even there, rather she backed up and reared, screaming for the others. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can someone give me some ideas or games/exercises I can do with my girl?? Just for reference, I have no round pen, no ring, etc. It's just the paddock and pasture area, as we are at a very small hobby farm with only 3 horses. Thank you!
Very difficult working without a ring. Absolutely begin separating her from her buddies but only in baby steps. You don't want her hurting herself. Make sure she is in sight of other horses and give her hay so she has something to do. Also on the ground, get yourself a lead rope with a chain. Hook the chain through the side rings on the noseband of the halter running the chain under her chin. Then walking at her head do a series of walk, halts giving the verbal command. If she doesn't walk touch her on the belly with your whip as you give the verbal command. If she doesn't halt when you give the verbal command, check with the chain and repeat until she stands still. Technique is very important so you may need a trainer to assist.
     
    03-10-2010, 09:48 AM
  #6
Weanling
Thank you. It is definitely difficult without a ring. She was left in her stall by herslef for an hour on Monday, and then 3 hours yesterday. She was upset, but didn't do anything stupid, just paced. Once she was calm, she was permitted her turnout time with her friends. Today I will be separating her from them in the other pasture, away from the barn. I do have a lead with a chain, but wasn't sure if that was the way to go. I will definitely try that though! Thank you. Please keep the advice coming!!1

Kim, thanks for pushing me to ask for help from the NH peeps, haha. They rock, lol.
     
    03-10-2010, 10:38 AM
  #7
mls
Trained
Had you ridden her at all prior to taking her on trail?
     
    03-10-2010, 10:51 AM
  #8
Trained
Good advice already posted. This takes time and patience...the safety of the herd instinct is very strong in horses. Be prepared to go through a similar routine again when you ride your mare away from the barn, especially if you go by yourself. All the ground work is a good foundation, but being under saddle on the trail will seem like a different world to your horse.
     
    03-10-2010, 11:05 AM
  #9
Weanling
I have ridden her under saddle 2 times before attempting the trail. However, with it being the first time, I kept it short and sweet, and close to the barn. She didn't offer any resistance then at all. I don't want to push too hard and undo the past 7 months of hard work, but I also know that we need to progress onto new things, for both of us. We all figured she'd be ok going on the trail ride, as she is the low man on the pecking order, and would want to stay close to the others. Her fear of being away from the barn and her fear of being away from the others appears to have made her just panic. I love my girl so much, and having her is a lifelong dream that finally came true at age 29. I want to do what is best for the both of us while keeping it safe. Do you think I should try again with the trail ride this coming Monday? There is going to be a trainer there, and she offered to pony us alongside my horses daughter.
     
    03-10-2010, 01:23 PM
  #10
Trained
One of the risks with ponying is that you have to worry about two horses stepping on you if you fall off. I think you need a trainer to ride her for you. When a horse acts like that you need to be able to react to them without thinking. You also need to be able to ride really well. The only way you learn to do either one is by riding for hours and hours there are no shortcuts to that. You will do no favors to anyone if you get seriously injured trying to ride her.
     

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