You are right Amanda, no one can do anything once a horse is in panic mode and running. They're just triing to save their lives at that point. What I meant by my comment is this: If riders spent as much time teaching their horses to be brave, to think more and react less, we would have fewer of these wrecks everyone is talking about. I'm not saying you can prevent every disaster and Heidi is right, its usually the other guys horse causing the commotion. Every horse is different, but if you have a reactive horse, with a long flight line (like most Arabs I know:-) alittle work at home can make a big difference when you put them in a ride setting. Its not that difficult to do, just pick up any natural horsemanship book or video. You want to teach your horse primarily to yield to pressure not lean into it. I make my horse very uncomfortable when he pulls the slack out of my lead line. I also let him graze with a lead line on. Yeah he pulled back on it in the beginning, but
he soon learned how to release the pressure by picking up his foot. The other thing you really want to teach your horse is that you are their leader and you're a good one. That way they check in with you when they're worried. If you watch the veteran riders and their horses you will see this. Something goes flapping by, horse gets alittle nervous, checks in with his leader, leaders not worried so horse relaxes. Pat Parelli calls this synchronicity. Its much like a foal with its mother. You can teach this to your horse. Most riders do this subconsciously because of the sheer amount of time they spend with their horses, but some horses need alittle extra help in this area. The problem is that horses synchronize with other horses way more easily than with us, so its like a domino effect when one horse panics. So we have to work overtime to maintain our horses respect as its very easy to lose. I have experience with this because I have a bulldozer for a horse. When
I first got him he would barge through anything, electric fencing, stall guards, wooden fences, anything. But instead of thinking it was kind of funny, I educated myself and then went to work with him. Now I'm not going to tell you he's perfect, but he doesn't panic as often, doesn't run through things, when he runs, he runs back to me (once his brain resets) and his flight line is much, much shorter. Can he get in a wreck, sure. But at least I am actively addressing the issue not just hoping for the best. Jennifer.
PS wish I were as eloquent as Howard.
OK - how do you teach a panicked stampeding hosrse not to run through tape
pens in the dark? C'mon,
there is only so much a horse can be taught, and relying on training to
avoid tragedy is a recipe for heart-ache.
If it was that simple. why not just train all horses to ground-tie and not
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