How to desensitize horse to things coming up from behind?
 
 

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How to desensitize horse to things coming up from behind?

This is a discussion on How to desensitize horse to things coming up from behind? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to stop a horse being frightened of things behind it
  • Desensitize a horse to joggers

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    11-18-2012, 12:47 PM
  #1
Foal
How to desensitize horse to things coming up from behind?

Hi everybody,
My horse gets very spooked when things come up from behind her on trails like cars, joggers, ect. If they are coming toward her, she is usually fine, it's mainly from behind. Any ideas on how to desensitize her to them? I drag things behind her, logs, barrels, tarps, and she is as calm as can be with those things..
Thanks in advance!
     
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    11-18-2012, 01:05 PM
  #2
Started
Here's what I would do...Start in the pasture on the ground and round up a friend or two on foot, maybe with a backpack, a bicycle, walking stick, even carring an umbrella. Let her follow them so she knows what it is and then have them follow her. Start over if she gets frightened. After she gets to where she accepts that, mount and repeat. If you can do this on a trail after pasture practice it would be helpful also. She needs to not feel like prey from something coming up from behind.
Good luck to you.
     
    11-19-2012, 01:37 AM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustbunny    
Here's what I would do...Start in the pasture on the ground and round up a friend or two on foot, maybe with a backpack, a bicycle, walking stick, even carring an umbrella. Let her follow them so she knows what it is and then have them follow her. Start over if she gets frightened. After she gets to where she accepts that, mount and repeat. If you can do this on a trail after pasture practice it would be helpful also. She needs to not feel like prey from something coming up from behind.
Good luck to you.
I agree with Dustbunny....also if you hear a quad or something coming up from behind turn the horse to face it where they can see what is coming....I did that with my mare for awhile and now she's pretty good at not freaking if something comes from behind....
     
    11-19-2012, 02:52 AM
  #4
Green Broke
The problem with dragging things behind her is that it may be making this worse.

Wet saddle blankets do as much to get a horse over this as anything. It may also be that she is always going to be more reactive too. Might be changed with feed changes?

But I would stop the dragging deal, if I were you.
     
    11-19-2012, 03:05 AM
  #5
Yearling
I have dragged logs/tires behind my mare, I don't think that is going to make her worse.....
     
    11-19-2012, 03:27 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
My neighbor's mare was like that. She finally sent her to a trainer, who worked the snot out of her. She is fine now. So, maybe the "wet saddle blanket" theory has some merit. A lot of mares are like this. I think they are naturally more focussed on protecting their hind area.
goneriding and Thunderspark like this.
     
    11-19-2012, 01:38 PM
  #7
Foal
I agree with Thunder. Practicing turning horse to face whatever is worrying him from behind really helps and puts you in a much safer position to respond if your horse does react.
     
    11-19-2012, 01:50 PM
  #8
Green Broke
When you realize something is coming up behind you (ie you hear a jogger, etc) are you anticipating her spook?
     
    11-19-2012, 01:52 PM
  #9
Super Moderator
By the way, I didnt' mean my post to sound flippant. I actually have no idea how you would cure that issue. I only mention the one person I know whose mare was really a problem and that's how they dealt with it.
     
    11-19-2012, 06:55 PM
  #10
Foal
Thanks for all the replies! I'll try what the first poster said as well as turning her to face the objects!! I don't think dragging is making things any worse because she is perfectly calm dragging. Being a ranch horse, she has to be able to be handy like that!
     

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