horse afraid of cars behind her

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horse afraid of cars behind her

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:47 am

Hello- I have a problem with one of my mares that I'm hoping you can help me with. She had a bad experience several years ago when two men on dune buggies came zooming up behind us when we were riding down a back road. She has been hyper sensitive to motorized vehicles ever since then. I've tried turning her towards the approaching sound, and that seems to help her get a grip, but now she whirls towards the sound on her own. I've tried desensitizing her with things at home, but same thing. She whirls towards the sound. I'm just over it. I need for her to get over it too. Help!



Sandy, MN
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Re: horse afraid of cars behind her

Post by Paul Williamson on Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:00 pm

Sounds like your horse has decided that it's her job to worry about possible dangers on the trail. What you need to do is to give her a new job. Whenever she starts getting herself all worked up over something, you divert her attention by giving her another job. Ideas could be circles of various sizes, figure eights and speed changes but once you have got her attention back, you should just remind her of what you were just doing - direction and speed wise - until she realizes that you have the whole situation under control and that she gains nothing from acting up. The main issue here is to get her to snap out of that "job" and make her focus on what you ask of her. So - whenever you feel her try to grab the bit and/or try to maneuver her body so she can spin around, immediately give her a cue to an exercise she's familiar with.



I wish you the best of luck and I'm sure that you will be successful as long as you approach this problem with confidence, determination, and consistency.



Be safe,

Paul
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Re: horse afraid of cars behind her

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:23 am

from former panelist Cody:

I'm thinking that any time you want to desensitize to sounds, the best way to do that is to introduce the sound when the horse is eating. That's the way we introduce our horses to gunshots. We give them grain, let them eat for a moment, and then start off the shots from a distance, progressively getting closer. It takes no time at all for them to get accustomed to the sound. It's not necessary to wear them out over it, just little by little will get you there soon enough. If it's all motorized sounds, start with something easily mobile, like a lawnmower or 4 wheeler. If and when you cause anxiety by being too close, go back to a place where she was comfortable and start over. You'll get there.

Cody
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