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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, My horse is absolutely petrified of cows. I mean petrified. He'll see them, and keep forward but the closer he gets he stops and stands perfectly square with his head far up and ears forward, then his legs start trembling. I took him for a short in hand walk down the road and there were some cows just minding their own business and he starts freaking out. He followed me till about20 feet away from them and then he just started rearing and spooking and walking right through me. And this is the horse that normally I don't even need a lead for, I can loop it over his withers and he'll stay with me. But around cows its like he has a panic attack. Any way I can fix this? It totally blew my confidence with him :-(
 

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Do you own cows? You could try putting him in a corral beside him, so he gets use to them without putting you in danger. My filly was like that, but once the cows moved in beside her, she learned to like them and always had her head over the fence with them!
 

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I think you have to find out what it is about the cows. Is it the scent? Maybe the contrast of the white on green?

First I'd rub a cow with a towel and get him used to the scent of the cows.

I would suggest bringing him around them more often. Bring him to where he starts to tense and ask him to relax. Let him eat grass, etc. Then bring him 5 feet closer. If he loses his cool retreat to where he was comfortable and make him move and think! Small circles, change direction, back up, yield the hind, etc. Onces he has had enough with moving and his attention is back to you bring him back to that same spot. You just have to get him out of the flight mode and into thinking mode, which can be tricky! I'm sure you have seen a horse that spooks and runs for it, then there are horses who stop and process a little bit.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Breezy, no we don't own cows but some live across the road and all around us. That's why I want him to get used to them because you cant go a 1/4 mile without seeing a cow here.
Slidestop, Thanks for the tips, ill be sure to try those out this weekend! -off topic but I love the horse in your avatar!-
 

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I got one just like yours Oliveren. The pasture across the road has cattle in it so he sees, smells and hears them everyday and he's still petrified of them. You can bet if they are anywhere near their road frontage fence then he's going to be as far away as he can get from his road frontage fence. It especially freaks him out if they moo. He's such a wuss!
 
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