Scary Plastic Bags?
So I just recently started working with a disrespectful spooky mare. She is a saddle bred and im not sure how old she is tho(broke to ride and behind a cart). She is hard to catch and if she decides something is scary then she goes into a major hissy fit and bucks and bolts.
I have been doing lots of join up with her to gain trust and I have been brushing her and spending lots of time just catch and release. She is getting better so next I desensitized her to the whip. I can now slap it on the ground as hard as possible next to her and she does nothing. I can also swing the rope end over her whole body and rub her everywhere with it.
The next step was to desinsitize her to plastic. I took a plastic bag and rubbed it all over. She eventually calmed down and seemed fine with it. Then I tied it to the end of the longe whip and brought it close to her. She freaked out and turned circles around me forever. I was holding her with a lead rope to her halter. She just wouldn't stop and so I tied it to part of her halter away from the face. I let her go and she would not stop bucking and bolting around the round pen. I had to stop eventually because I didn't have a whole lot of time left. She took over 20 minutes to cool down and was completely lathered in sweat.
I don't know how else I could go about desensitizing her. Like I said before she is a very flighty mare.
Is there any tips you have for me?
Try tying some plastic bags around the paddock or whatever contained area you work her in and just let her be. Even in most spooky horses, eventually curiosity usually wins out, and she'll go check them out. After she gets to that comfort level, you can slowly start to work with them on her body again. Be prepared, this can take awhile.
I agree with what Paintedhorsemares said! thats what i did. i tied a bunck of plastic bags all around the round pen..also, i took some pebbles in some plastic bags, tied them up and layed them around the pen..as well as loose bags...once my mare got curious...she was ok..my next step..witch was a little trickier..i took the bags that had pebbles in them and tossed them behind her. at first she spazzed and took off around the pen but i just kept tossing them at her feet (make sure you got a bunch made up lol)...while she was running around the pen..the ones that i already threw were in the way of her running..so she'd slow down a bit..out her head down and take a whiff, the first few she went around...after about 5 minutes..she was running right over them...than she got tired...and i was finally able to toss them at her feet and she's just stand still....just takes patience...and repitiotion if needed.
Agreed with the above posts ^^
Here's what I did though. I rubbed the plastic bag all over my mares body, and of course she flinched here and there, but eventually go used to it and it didn't bother her anymore. Than, tied it to the end of the lunge whip and went down by her legs. She cow kicked at it for a minute, but I just kept the pressure on her until she calmed down and stopped moving. That worked wonders for me. I just don't stop until they stop.
Saddlebreds are notorious for this if they've ever been shown or been a show prospect. Tying a plastic bag around something to shake at them is one of the training methods to make them hold their heads up. On the one that I had, I didn't do the paddock or the working area. I did it in the stall he stayed in. I put them everywhere. From the walls and ceiling; and tied a few at his feeder and on his water bucket. It didn't take long for him to realize that it wasn't going to eat him. I knew he was desensitized to them when I walked in and found them laying on the floor where he had ripped them down.
NO NO NO!!!!!!!!! Horse's learn from the RELEASE of pressure. How the heck is she going to get any release when you attached the bag to the halter..........??????????
You use a approach and retreat method with something like this.
Plus if don't have time to get the job done on HER time schedule then don't start something like this. All you've done is to teach her that if she doesn't like something I run around and buck and my person makes it go away.
Just because you used this "technique" once and got away with it doesn't make it right!
G and K is right, you have to give her some release. as soon as she shows a sign of calming down take it away. You have to go slow, with some it just takes a long time. Take little steps, maybe just approach her with the bag, then get closer and closer. You could also drag it in front of her-she'll most likely get curious and follow after a while.
The release is the reward. As if your saying "See? Its not so scary" . Tying the bag to your horses halter is just ridiculous
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