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RE: [RC] affecting the horse - McGann, Barb

Another technique that works well with some horses (besides NOT looking at the 
object) is to look at it briefly and dismiss it!  As your going down the trail, 
you'll see your horse flick his ears, tip his head at something.  My belief is 
that as part of the herd behavior, he's trying to protect you and saying "Oops 
theres something spooky there - what do you think". He's asking you as his herd 
boss for either reassurance that it isn't spooky or confirmation that it is.  
If you just look once at the object and then very loudly (in your head) say, 
"Oh, thats just a ...." and then look away, on up the trail then you have 
answered him.  It might not work the first time or the second, but if you just 
keep it up and you are proven right many times, they will start to believe you.

The flip side of this is that if it is something truly dangerous (and that 
varies from horse to horse - I had one horse that would tolerate everything in 
the world except a motorcycle coming up his butt - I had to learn to let him 
turn around and face it), then we have to allow them some room...going wide 
around it, facing it, whatever.  By doing that, we're saying that he really can 
trust us to make that judgement and save him from the true monsters, while 
dismissing the safe ones.

Barb McGann


-----Original Message-----
From: Jonni Jewell [mailto:jonnij@xxxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 8:43 PM
To: Ridecamp
Subject: [RC] affecting the horse



If you have a horse that is spooky and goofy at things along the trail, try
this. Next time you see that stump, bush, rock, plastic bag or what ever
scary thing is up beside the trail that you are convinced your horse will
spook at, do NOT stare at the item. Look past it, on up the trail, relax
your mind from thinking that the horse will spook, and think about the trail
beyond the scary item.  if you find you are still waiting and worrying for
that big spook, try singing to your horse. (you can not hold your breath and
tense up when you sing) I find when I do NOT look at the spooky thing, and
look beyond, the spook never comes, or at least is not as dramatic. Then, to
test the theory, try really focusing on a spooky item, stare at it, keep it
in your vision as you approach. The spooky horse usually will spook, and
some who rarely spook, will do so if the riders is worrying about it.

These are sensitive animals, that we often do not give enough credit for
what they sense, feel, and think. If the rider is bold and brave, usually
the horse will be also. Timid scare riders, often create timid scared, and
spooky horses.

Jonni



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Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
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Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

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