Fun with my Horse - Page 2 - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ThatFishThough View Post
He'll be 7 in May, I believe. Sat in a pasture for years 4 & 5 so he's basically green broke. We did pretty well at our shows this past summer. It's really hard not to compare him to the older horses, though, especially when we have one good show and the next he decides to spook 18 times (literally). I struggle to not put pressure on him; he can do it when we understand each other, but the second I get frustrated or tense up he freaks out... see example picture. I saw someone going to move a trash can out of the corner of my eye and he spooked more at me than he did the noise. He normally looks okay, though. The third pic is from our first show together.
Oh yeah, he just needs some time and direction. How often do you spookproof or play games with him? One of my favorite things to do is spookproof, I use a style of spookproofing more akin to that used for police horses or warhorses. Most people go about spookproofing by teaching a horse that each individual object is okay, but I've trained my horse to confront what she is scared of. It works great, since horses tend to get scared of just about anything that wasn't there yesterday, or the other side of a brick block that they didn't see yet. It sounds like what happened at that one show was he spooked at one thing and then throughout the rest of the show never calmed down and decided it the scary thing was hunting him, which is why he kept spooking.
I'm a huge believer of spookproofing, since it deepens the bond between horse and person and helps them learn to calm down once scared and place more trust in their person.

Speaking of pressure, Temari has trained me pretty well to not put pressure on her hen she gets scared. She freezes and thinks about what is scary, if I push her she runs backwards, but if I leave her be she finishes thinking and goes past it by herself. Its probably the one fault of my training, she has a mind of her own and can out think someone not prepared for her. But it also means I can go trail riding and just let her choose to paths, we used to wander for miles before we switched stables.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 10:18 AM
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I personally never spookproof him (does chasing turkeys count? lol), but I believe he's had some 'desensitizing' from his owner.

He'd be a terrible ranch horse; we went on a trail ride once and my friend & I decided to chase a group of turkeys that was on the path; Duncan did fine until he realized what we were chasing... Spooked, did a 180*, and took off galloping in the other direction, all in one motion. Luckily I stayed on (and I admit that it was fun) but my dreams of bringing him to my uncle's ranch and working cows pretty much died, lol.

I like the way Temari sounds; Duncan reacts first, looks at it later. I'd love it if he could chill the heck out. We went to a show at a new place at the end of the summer and he was *terrified* of the announcer's stand. I worked him near it for nearly 2 hours before the show started, and he just. couldn't. go near the darn thing. He ended up spooking at it in our first W/T/C WP class and took off bucking around the arena... Judge didn't see it and we got second! O.O

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Lucifer, Gabriel, Titan, King, Finnegan, Fin-again & Ricky.
Lucifer & Gabriel are my only non-rescues...

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2017, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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I personally never spookproof him (does chasing turkeys count? lol), but I believe he's had some 'desensitizing' from his owner.

He'd be a terrible ranch horse; we went on a trail ride once and my friend & I decided to chase a group of turkeys that was on the path; Duncan did fine until he realized what we were chasing... Spooked, did a 180*, and took off galloping in the other direction, all in one motion. Luckily I stayed on (and I admit that it was fun) but my dreams of bringing him to my uncle's ranch and working cows pretty much died, lol.

I like the way Temari sounds; Duncan reacts first, looks at it later. I'd love it if he could chill the heck out. We went to a show at a new place at the end of the summer and he was *terrified* of the announcer's stand. I worked him near it for nearly 2 hours before the show started, and he just. couldn't. go near the darn thing. He ended up spooking at it in our first W/T/C WP class and took off bucking around the arena... Judge didn't see it and we got second! O.O
The think first is a trained behavior. When I first got Temari she spooked at GRASS moving in a gentle breeze All the Time. Anything that wasn't her hay or grain had the ability to be scary. Especially anything outside the stableyard, I had to pull, turn and backup for about twenty minutes to get to go outside the stable, she was so barn sour and buddy sour it was outrageous. There was no such thing as 'alone' for her. But I worked for four years to get her rock solid like she is now. That's why I love spookproofing(and training), it takes a spooky, shy horse and turns it into a safe horse for even beginners.

Duncan is just young, with work he would probably make a good ranch horse. Young horses don't have the training to stand their ground, so they only know the two things all horses know: Fight or Flight.

When Temari finds an object scary beyond all reason we don't go straight at it, we circle it. Like a shark, we start out farther away and keep an eye on it, circling closer until we are right next to it and then I give her the command 'sniff'. Its another command I taught her to help her gain confidence in scary things. Sniffing and touching a scary object helps them realize it isn't going to hurt them, even if they jerk away. I keep treats on me most of the time, so I give her treats when needed, like when she listens to a command and confronts something scary. Treats given at the right moment are a powerful motivator.
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