Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Valley of the Sun
The problem with that approach, is you are using a bribe, and I rather give a reward, AFTER the horse does a task, if I am going to use R+
I don't work on the hopes that if I expose the horse to everything possible, then that horse is de -sensitized.
I do very little de sensitizing, but a whole lot on respect, which generates trust, and so you then can get you and the horse , safely through stuff they have never encountered before
A horse might accept plastic, by eventually learning it contains a treat, but that still might not be enough, when something like what happened to Stitch (full sister to Smilie) when I was riding her. I had just gotten on her, again, out by my trailer, on a windy day.
A plastic bag blew right under her belly. You need other things besides just gradual de sensitization, and one is teaching a horse to face the object of his fear, trust you, and not try to' leave 'Dodge'[/QUOTE]
This made me think of an example of why trust is important.
I was trailering with a friend who had a slant load. My horse had never been in a slant load before. My friend started unloading the horses while I unloaded tack. She always unties her horses then let's them turn around and walk out on their own. I always back mine out. My horse started backing out, then tried to turn around in the doorway and got stuck. Fortunately he trusted me enough to get him unstuck instead of thrashing around which could have seriously hurt him.
I take precautions to avoid situations like that now, but it wasn't really a situation I could have anticipated at the time so there was really no way to desensitize against it.
Your horse has to be willing to rely on your Judgment at times like this and look to you for leadership.
I'm sure techniques like flooding have their place when used correctly, but I think something like that would undermine the foundation of trust you trying to build with your horse
So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.
Last edited by flytobecat; 11-24-2016 at 09:21 PM.