my horse freaks out on trail rides - The Horse Forum
  • 4 Post By Ian McDonald
  • 1 Post By Hawksnest Farm
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-23-2012, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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my horse freaks out on trail rides

when i ride my horse on any kind of trail ride he starts to freak out. he rears, tries to run, side passes, crashes into the forest, fights me the whole way and and is very alert when we get to the opening of a trail. i dont know what to do about it. any suggestions?
( my horse is 29 but in great shape, and very broke. he was also taken on trails by a past owner who would ride him drunk and the horse would come home without him sometimes, but that was over 20 years ago)
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-23-2012, 11:08 PM
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The actions of your horse say that he is very scared of being out on the trails. So, you have to work on making him feel ok about it.

one common way of getting a horse to accept something that scares him is the "approach and retreat" method. This works becuase you ask the horse to go toward the scary thing, and just before the horse gets to his "cant' tolerate a second more" point, you turn him away from it and retreat, allowing him a break in the emotional pressure. Then, after a bit, you ask him forward, a tiny bit further, and again allow him to retreat (at YOUR choosing, and BEFORE he can't handle another second).

Once the hrose knows that he won't have to go forward endlessley , without a break, then he will become more confident about the whole affair.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-23-2012, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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that is great! thank-you! i will definitely try that :)
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-24-2012, 03:52 PM
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Perhaps taking up drinking would help XD
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-26-2012, 10:13 PM
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We have a problem 3 year old too....try hand walking him....we take our gelding out with us on trail rides and hand walk him. It's really helping
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