Bringing a Horse to New Places/Around New Horses
This may sound like a stupid question but I was wondering about bringing a horse to new places, and her being around new horses and how she would react...
I've recently started working with my six year old Standardbred mare to break her into Western and it got me thinking how she would react being at a new places and around new horses. The reason I'm thinking of this is because I was at my local county fair this past weekend and I hung around watching the other horses in events and such... and I thought to myself how they were so calm around the other hundred horses or so and how they were fine "meeting" other horses. And, some of the horses had never been on that location/site so the buildings and everything were new to them.
How does one get they're horse to be calm at all areas? Do some just adapt and realize its nothing scary to them? I know that touching your horse with tarps, blankets, towels, carrot-sticks, balls, etc... will help them lose fear of objects and realize they're no danger to them. And when most horses meet another new horse, they somewhat tend to squeal and kinda freak out with each other.
SO... my main question is, how can I get my horse to be calm at new places and around new horses? I know when I move my two horses into another paddock with a few others, they tend to fight and squeal with each other for a day or two until they begin to like one another.
Is this a STB off the track? If so, chances are this may not be an issue. Just take her places and let her hang out-then do ground work-work up to riding. Be careful not to let your anxiety rub off on her.
You do it exactly the way you do any other training on them, by exposing them LOTS to whatever it is you want them to be comfortable with until they are de-sensitized.
In this case it means taking them lots of places so they get used to it. Putting new horses together in a paddock is different, not totally something they can be fully de-sensitized to as each individual horse they could encounter is different.
You just have to jump in feet first and start going places, unless you take her out your not going to know how she will react. If she does get worried put her feet to work lunge her, yield her HQ, whatever ground exercises you do at home do wherever you go. As far as meeting other horses I have a rule about my horses sniffing other horses they are not allowed period, if I have to stand somewhere in a group I keep them close to me with their head up and attention on me. I have seen to many people get hurt when their horses go to sniffing each other and they go to bite, strike or kick and the person gets it. Or people will just let their horse run up on another and get kicked. Have fun and hit road.
Thanks everyone else. I'll just have to expose her and take her out. But I will not let her sniff other horses- thanks gssw5.
Each of my horses reacts differently when taken to a new place. My quarter horse iss very calm when she goes to a new place, and really doesn't change from home all that much. My Hackney is much less experienced, and can be nervous, but he gets better each time.
My OTTB on the other hand... As she has been a racehorse, and has been to numerous shows you would think she would not be near as stressed and nervous as she is. Anytime I take her to a new place or show she is much more nervous than at home. She doesn't particularly enjoy herself either... but that is also her personality, change can be hard for her, she loves her routine!
So all horses are different, the best way to know how your horse will be is to take them out to different places whenever you get the chance.
Don't let them act up. Period.
They can do this easily.
We just take them and tie them up in a safe place and leave them for several hours. We particularly like informal playdays and practice ropings. The bar is pretty low at these places as opposed to a real show where they could be more of a distraction to serious riders. Go without your horse first and ask if they would mind you bringing your horse to the next one and check out ahead of time where a good safe place is to tie her up. I do not try to stop them from misbehaving. I do not want a fight or a confrontation. I want them to figure out on their own that they are going to be OK. When they decide it is OK, they are done acting up. If I can, I do not move them from that spot until they have their head down and a hind foot cocked.
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