If a horse wants to look at something it's scared of, do you let him? - Page 7 - The Horse Forum
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post #61 of 82 Old 03-20-2015, 02:51 PM
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I am not trying to be a butt, but I can think of at least one instance where a shying horse nearly killed a good friend of mine. Well-broke horse, very experienced rider, but the horse shied right off a cliff face. Friend was lucky to survive but had to be airlifted off the mountain.

Granted, dumb stuff just happens sometimes, but I would be hard-pressed to allow my mount to think shying is okay.
One of the few injuries that I received in my career resulted from a horse jumping sideways right out from under me when something rattled a bush next to him. Of course it was on the return from a moonlight trail ride and I was totally relaxed riding bareback with the reins on his neck! (I was a crazy 19 yr old at the time) I ended up with a few bruises and a broken wrist. I certainly take most of the responsibility for that but this horse didn't do a little side step. He took one hell of a jump and flew back to the barn.
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post #62 of 82 Old 03-20-2015, 03:00 PM
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I wonder if by "shying" she meant "spook in place"?
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post #63 of 82 Old 03-20-2015, 03:01 PM
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This video suggest that if a horse is too scared, perhaps you should not push him too hard.


The Mustang has no place in modern society. The Mustang belongs either free on the range or in a forever caring home.
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post #64 of 82 Old 03-20-2015, 06:15 PM
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There was a lot wrong with that video.
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post #65 of 82 Old 03-20-2015, 06:35 PM
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It is always good to let your horse relax and look at something that he is curious about so that he can get comfortable with whatever it is that is new. Keep yourself relaxed, calm breathing that way you are telling him it is ok and nothing to be scared of. Many riders make the mistake of tensing up at the same time their horse is exploring inadvertently sending the message that he should be scared. Stay calm, let your horse look and then move on keeping your horse busy. You don't have to look at something new long just give your horse a chance to look, smell etc.. then move on.
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post #66 of 82 Old 03-20-2015, 10:01 PM
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There was a lot wrong with that video.
If I'm out riding and hear a motorcycle coming I'll be so far up the hillside they probably won't even see me when they go by.

At first I thought they should have let the horse up right away without taking the saddle off but then I thought about what would have happened if the guys foot was hung and even worse if his leg was broken.

And of course a horse that had not been introduced to motorcycles should not have been out on a trail like that until he was introduced.

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post #67 of 82 Old 03-20-2015, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I wonder if by "shying" she meant "spook in place"?
Here at the ranch they call spooking in place "bracing", as in spreading all four legs in preparation to go whichever direction needed.

For shying they refer to a horse sort of walking sideways past an object while maybe snorting a little. Shying away.

Other parts of the country or contries may be different.

The Mustang has no place in modern society. The Mustang belongs either free on the range or in a forever caring home.
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post #68 of 82 Old 03-20-2015, 10:30 PM
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I think the rider was in error. A lot. He set his horse up to fail and it did. In epic fashion.

Not knowing the rider or horse's history with dirt bikes or ATVs, I can only speculate. But the way that horse was shaking prior to his spin and slip, I would guess neither had had a lot of face to face time with motorized vehicles on the trail.

First, I would have asked the dirt bikers to go down the little spur trail off that main one, turn around and face the horses.

Second, and I have asked this, I would have asked if the man in the full face helmet, if he wouldn't mind taking it off.

Third, if my horse didn't have face to face time with dirt bikes. I would have not tried this with two pack horses.

I deal with dirt bikes and ATVs all the time and have found the riders to be very respectful. They turn off their machines and are very polite. I have asked for their help with training, and most are happy to do so! If they are wearing a helmet and I ask them to take it off they do, and then I'll ask if they will put it back on. All the while just talking mundane stuff. I have asked them to turn their machines back on and idle so my horse can go by it idling.

Then I ask if we can do it all again with me coming from the opposite direction. I do get the puzzled look and explain how horses have right and left brain issues. And o. Top of that they are small brained, and prey animals.

Usually they will ask my horses are so scared of dirt bikes,etc., and I ask the what do deer do when you come up on them? They think about it and generly reply run a short ways and turn to look. I reply that deer are prey animals, as are horses. And that horses first want is to run a few yards and turn and look.

For me. I have had positive experiences with vehicles on the trail and have taught some non horse people a little about horses.

So, my horse is fine with them, as long as the vehicle doesn't scream by us.

Now road bikes and mountain bikes have been a little trickier! There is no warning sound. All of a sudden there is a 'creature' hunched over another 'creature', going fast and silent in a brightly colored shirt!
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post #69 of 82 Old 03-20-2015, 10:48 PM
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I also ride where we encounter quads and other ATVs
They don't bother horses as much, as when they first encounter mountain bikes, suddenly coming up on them silently and over the crest of a hill, or up behind them, coasting down a steep grade !
Most mountain bikers have encountered horses often enough, that the slow down
I was riding with hubby in K country, where there are both equestrian trails and multi use trails. Hubby was riidng a fairly green trail horse, that got a bit more excIted each time some mountAin bikes suddenly came at up from over the tOp of a steep hill, or up behind us.
Most of the bikers slowed down, or even stopped, so Rubix handled it, as my horse was fairly calm
Then, one group came up without slowing, where hubby's horse sort of lost it, spooked into a ditch and went down. nothing too serious, but I heard him yell 'slow down you bitch'!
As that gal whizzed by me, I heard her ask, 'was he speaking to me or his horse?'
I replied, 'he is riding a gelding', but doubt she got her answer, not being a horse person!
Spooking to me, in place, is a horse that handles his spook reaction, tot he point that his body moves, but his feet don't. I've had grouse fly up right under my horse's nose, and that horse never reacted beyond that short take.
What i consider a bad shy/spook, is horse travelling some distance, quickly, sideways, and it does mater, beyond being able to stay with that horse!
Once, we wound up packing out an elk in the dark. Hubby's saddle horse suddenly decided to be aware that she was leading a horse with game on his back, when we were almost all the way back to the YA Ha Tinda campground
We were just riding above thew falls, along the cliff, and it sure does matter then , when your horse spooks towards that drop off!
Luckily, Bonnie, stopped in time!
So, depending where you ride, the degree of that spook, certainly matters, and thus I want my horse to be at the point where he will spook in place
When you go over a cliff, it really does not matter how well you cna ride out that spook!
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post #70 of 82 Old 03-20-2015, 10:57 PM
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I road cycle, and back in the day could get over 25 mph on the flat. When I come up on an Amish carriage, I always past on the left calling out, passing in the left!

I'm going fast, I'm quiet, I'm hunched over like a stalking big cat, and I have sport sun glasses and a colorful shirt. To any prey animal I must like some wild big, fast colorful stalking cat!
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