How do you get your driving horse used to traffic
Would love to know what steps you take to get your driving horse used to traffic. We are fortunate that we live on a dirt road but still have very large semi trucks come down once in a while. I have ground driven my gelding down the road, but could use some other tips on desensitizing him.
I basically get them used to it by walking them around roads, ground driving them on roads that kind of thing our horses live on a paved road and see hundreds of cars a day.
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Thank you! :-) That is what I have been doing also. I wish my horses could see the cars on a daily basis, though I drive the tractor and bikes around them often.
can you find a patch of grass by the side of the road and tether your horse on it for a few days it will soon get used to the traffic
Use an open bridle, not one with blinders. The groundwork you do should be building trust. In order to do so you need to give your horse a say in the matter. I do this at liberty. If the horse doesn't like what you are working on, he is allowed to walk away. Wait a few minutes then approach from the front and try again. This way you let him deal with it and he finds out that new things aren't so bad.
Teach him how to chase cars. I'm not kidding. Horses are spooked by things coming up behind them or along side or toward them but like to herd other animals. It's like a game to them In a large open space have some one drive a car or truck slowly and follow along behind it at the trot. Do circles and figure eights. When the horse gets into it bring it along side the vehicle and then progress to being in front of the vehicle. I finish by making a large circles with the vehicle approaching me from the front. I pass it closer and closer until it replicates a road situation. When I start something new like this I always do it under saddle first. My horse used to freak out just at the sound of traffic in the distance. Tying him and driving a vehicle past him quickly got him over that but don't drive too close at first. I would never begin traffic desensitizing on a road. Some drivers don't slow down or move over and you can never tell how a green horse will react or in which direction it may jump. No different than a deer when it panics.
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