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Doveguy 06-01-2010 09:37 PM

Can I bombproof my horse?
Hi everyone,

I have a 13 y/o TB/QTR horse. He is 16.1 and I am 50 y/o intermediate rider. When I inherited Indy from my son, he was dangerous, disrespectful, and spooky about everything. I bought Clinton Anderson videos and worked through all the groundwork and riding exercises. Indy is a new horse now. He is sweet as sugar and respectful and I love him. The problem is that he is still spooky about stupid stuff. He won't bolt for the barn or spook at a mailbox. But he will jump out of his skin at something that pops up. I just can't seem to control his reaction when it comes unexpectedly. I have fixed countless static fears that he had. Like fear of the hedge and fear of cross ties. For example, he stepped on a stick that made a snap sound and jumped vertically. I flew out of the saddle. My daughter and I were riding in our arena when my daughter (who was lying against her horse's neck) suddenly sat upright. Indy took about 4 steps sideways like he was cutting cattle. I fell off him. I am afraid that I will get hurt one of these days. I bought the book "Bombproof Your Horse" and I have been working through the excercises but I don't know that it will do any good. My wife wants him off the farm and he is for sale on for a $1000. I can't help but think I am making a big mistake selling him (especially for such a low price). Can he get so that he is really bombproof or will he forever spook at unexpected things that pop up? Thanks for reading my long post.

truefarmersheart 06-20-2010 12:41 AM

Hi, I use to ride a horse that was the same, except he use to spook at still objects as well like rocks lol. If the exercises aren't working and you've tried getting him use to plastic bags, blow up balls, loud music etc maybe he just needs to be wearing blinkers? It'll limit his sight to only ahead of him and that way if you see something he may spook at then he can just turn his head away from it and he won't see it.

Solon 06-20-2010 12:45 AM

There is a really great book called Bombproof Your Horse by Sgt. Rick Pelicano. It has tons of exercises to do to work on getting your hors bombproof.

That said, a horse will be a horse and even the calmest will have a day that they are going to spook. You have to be aware of what they are doing all the time, no matter what you think their bombproof level is.

Doveguy 06-20-2010 11:26 AM

Hey Solon,

I don't know how it happened but this post went up a couple of weeks ago and we got 5 pages of discussion including some on Pelicano's book. Go back a week or two and read all about it.

Solon 06-20-2010 08:47 PM

I don't see five pages on this thread, only the the five posts here.

I just saw yesterday that Pelicano has a new book out with additional information on Bombproofing methods.

Doveguy 06-21-2010 06:42 AM


Isn't that wierd. I don't know what happened to them. Maybe the moderator knows what happened to all of it. I don't see any of the pages either.

Solon 06-22-2010 02:15 AM

Did it break out into an argument?

x Branded Heart x 06-22-2010 04:11 PM

If you have trails, I suggest bringing him on some trails with a quiet horse. It really helps for him to see that he doesn't need to jump at every little thing. Just talk to him and don't anticipate. Be ready.. but don't anticipate. Just sit deep and grab a chunk of mane if you need!

Silvera 06-23-2010 01:13 PM

^^ I have to agree with doing work on trails. If you aren't confedent in your ability to stay on then I would suggest getting someone with a great seat that won't come off. I would highly suggest going on as many trails as possible, as many places as possible. Take a calm, been there done that horse, as they will help let your horse know that the things he is spooking at are no big deal.

I have a 16yr old Arab gelding that I'm sure never saw the outside of an arena until we got him 4yrs ago. We do a lot of trail riding so he needed to figure that out. He would spook at ANYTHING that made a slight noise or movement, including a blade of grass moving unexpectedly. The only way we found that worked to get him ok with things was to just go out and ride him through the scary bush. We started riding with 2 or 3 other people so the other horses could tell him it was ok. Now we can take him out by himself and he is pretty good. He still spooks at the occational things but it is usually just a standing spook now. I don't think he will ever be 100% spook free....but then again, even my dead calm bambproof horse has the potential to spook.

Good luck and I hope everything works out for both of you

Doveguy 06-23-2010 05:43 PM

There was no argument. I was helped in that I came to the conclusion that I needed to sell my horse and I did sell my horse already. The new owners are much better suited to him and now I am looking for another horse to buy. I don't know where all those posts went.

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