ridecamp@endurance.net: De-spooking


Wendy Milner (wendy@wendy.cnd.hp.com)
(no date)

Diana said:
> He was so full of
> himself, he just couldn't quit it. Finally, in desparation, I tied 12"
> ribbons all over his bridle so they were free and would move lot. My
> rationale was that, "Okay sucker, you want to look for things to spook
> at? By golly, I'll give you something to think about ALL the time!"
and Leonard replied:
>Thank you for the advice, Diana.
>I will try tomorrow.
It is extreamly dangerous to tie anything to a frightened horse.
While Diana got away with tying ribbons to her horse, another horse
might panic and try to get rid of them, or run from them. Since
they are tied to the horse, there is no way to run from them.
I have seen horses run through fences and even into a train once
because what frightened them would not go away.
If you want the horse to think about something other than a spook,
try working on the highest level of dressage that the horse has learned.
Try going from walk to trot to walk to canter, side pass, round,
more transitions. Keep the horse "off-balance" because it doesn't
know what you'll ask for next. Make the horse work hard and you'll
loose a lot of the spooks.
If you want to desensitize the horse to outside stimulus, then work with
a ground person, in a safe and closed arena, where you can anticipate the
problems and have more control. Never tie scarey things to the horse.
Wendy Milner HPDesk: wendy_milner@hp4000
Hewlett-Packard Company e-mail: wendy@fc.hp.com
Mail Stop A2 Telnet: 229-2182
3404 E. Harmony Rd. AT&T: (970) 229-2182
Fort Collins, CO, 80525 FAX: (970) 229-2038

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