Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Working With a Scared Horse

Hello Everyone,
I have been told that I should start a Blog.  Here we go I hope that you all enjoy them and if you have comments and questions let me know I will do my best to address them. 

I picked the topic of a scared horse because I know there are alot of people out there who have issues like this.  We currently have a horse in training with us that is very scared of people.  We have been working with him for approximately 14 days.  I have been able to touch him twice now and Tiffany can rub her hand or a brush over his shoulders and finally across his back. 

When working with a horse that does not feel comfortable being close to humans we often think that we should put them possibly in a stall and that way they have no choice but to let us near them because they have nowhere else to go.  That may work but what if you get caught in a corner or the horse get so scared that he or she forgets about you and you end up run over or worse.  An option that you have is to put the horse in an area that is small enough he or she would at some point need to acknowledge you but big enough that he or she could stay in his or her comfort zone.  When working with the horse try not to demand that they stand still for you to walk up to them.  We work with tracking them not encouraging movement but allowing them to express themselves.  When the horse acknowledges you are there by a flick of the ear, turn of the head or even turning towards you back up and reward that.  This may go on for days be patient they will start to turn toward you and get more curious.  When that happens you can then start approaching them but do not start by going straight to their head. Approach their shoulder, they will need a place to go if they get uncomfortable and I would much prefer them to go forward than spin there hindquarters toward me and chance a kick out as they turn.  Approach slowly but not hesitant.  Let them smell you and eventually you will be able to touch them.  Go for the shoulder first not the head, again they can move away from you if needed.  Keep this up as long as the horse needs it.  This process will go for everything that you introduce to them.  The greatest gift the horse has is his mind and they remember everything, Good and Bad.  The horse will not lie to you, we as humans will blow smoke all day long because that is what we think that is what you want to hear.  Do not lie to the horse they will remember. 

Remember, Slower is faster! If you think that you are going slow, slow it down a little more!  Do on to others as you would have done to you!  This does not only apply to other humans but animals also!  Be kind - trust in yourself and you will achieve greatness.  We all have it in us we just have to let it out.

Thank you,