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    [RC] Overly sensitive mare - Mike & Laurie Hilyard

    Lysanne (I KNOW I didn't spell that right):  My idiot ex-racehorse had the same problem.  First, I had to take the bit out of his mouth - we ride in an English hackamore (short shanks) with a padded noseband and a leather chinstrap.  He would lean into a snaffle at speed and panic with a curb.  That way, sudden movements on either part (mine or his) didn't lead to a postive feedback loop, and gradually, he learned to settle down.  As a sensitive horse, he has picked up my largely unconscious signals for turns and half halts (picking up one rein, changing my grip from one to two hands).  We wouldn't win a thing in a horsemanship class, but it works for us.  Now, if I could just get him to back out of a trailer! The hardest part was letting him know that going faster was NEVER the right answer.  It was a process that took 2-3 years, but a less wired horse would likely learn more quickly.  After being told for the first two years of training that faster was ALWAYS right, it's no wonder he has a complex.  Good luck!
    Laurie in Clare Michigan, who actually got to RIDE yesterday.  Just waiting for my son to grow up. . .