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Re: [RC] help with trail shy gelding - pat holsebeke

Hi there.A word of hope. I too have a horse prone to
shying. What I have found after 4 long yrs. and many
tears, was that my horse lacked experience and
confidence. The answer to that was to ride and ride
and ride. I also had to concentrate on my own
relaxation because he is so sensitive that he could
pick up on the slightest stiffening of my butt which
happens even when you don't realize it at the appoach
of any obstacle that has potential to spook a horse.
The more relaxed I became the more confidence he seems
to have and it is a night and day difference. He now
is confident crossing water, going over bridges and
just about anything I put him at. Sometimes he has to
get a look but I don't allow him to turn away from the
obstacle just wait and encourage and he goes. He is
such a happier horse now and I also am glad that I
didn't give up because he is awsome and we have really
bonded. He goes alone because he trusts me and he
loves his work now. He was former show horse. Good
luck and keep trying. I think the key is for the horse
to trust you to take care of him and be his herd
leader. Pat 

--- Barbara McCrary <bigcreekranch@xxxxxxxxxxxx>

I recently sold a gelding I had worked with for over
3 years to my 13-year-old granddaughter.  The horse
was great on technical trails, but a violent,
explosive spooker on roads or open country...at a
trot, that is.  At a walk he was much better and
manageable.  My observations:  1) Sometimes it is
not possible to take the spook out of an individual
horse...they're hard-wired that way. 2) A confident
rider has better luck than a timid or fearful one.
Here's how it shook out for us and the horse: The
teenage g'daughter is a good rider, fearless, much
younger than I am, and bounces when she hits the
ground.  The horse does not spook as much with her
as he did with me, as I was riding defensively all
the time (outside of a walk) and the g'daughter does
not.  The horse also was/is much better in
competition, since he had/has other horses around to
protect him from the boogers out there in the world.
 I often think some of his nonsense was carried out
for entertainment value..."What are you doing down
THERE?  You're not supposed to fall off when I jump
6 feet sideways without any notice."

Refusing to go is one thing, and should be dealt
with, but spooking you may never cure...and then
again he may change, but don't count on it.
We have a young mare we bred, and her refusal to go
forward at times is being dealt with.  She was
submitted to a lot of Parelli training and is now
out on the trails with a younger rider than I am. 
She gets a bit balky occasionally, but the rider
pushes through it.  We think she will overcome it as
she gains age and experience.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Amy Major 
  To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 12:01 PM
  Subject: [RC] help with trail shy gelding

  I was wondering if anyone could give me advice.  I
have a gelding that use to do endurance, was retired
for a while, but now I want to do an LD with him. 
He has the experience, I don't so logically he would
be a great horse to start with.

  One problem is that when alone, he is either
refusing to go on trail or spooks left and right (I
think it is a trick to get me to give up).  We spent
a few weeks re-establishing respect and are still
working on that.  I know that I need to make the
right thing easy and the wrong thing hard but I
don't know where to start.  

  Has anyone had this problem and can anyone give me
some advice.  I have the Anderson stuff and do some
of the Parelli stuff.  Is there anything else I can

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