ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: De-spooking

Re: De-spooking

Susan F. Evans (suendavid@worldnet.att.net)
Wed, 19 Mar 1997 08:11:54 -0800

> Diana said:Finally, in desparation, I tied 12"
> > ribbons all over his bridle

Wendy said:
> 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.

I guess I'd have to side with Wendy on this one---when I bought Cato, I
also bought his brother Remington, a gorgeous 16 h grey Trakehner
look-alike as a dressage prospect. A week later a friend begged me to
sell him to her, eventually I gave in (which I deeply regret). I told
her repeatedly both of these young horses were Country Boys and afraid
of blowing plastic of any sort. She figured what the heck, he'll get
used to it, so she rode him the second time in the wind with a plastic
saddle cover over her saddle. After riding in a large arena, she jumped
off to open the gate, the plastic blew free of the cantle and flipped
forward over his neck. Rem broke away in a panic, galloped full speed
around the arena looking back trying to get away from the monster on his
back, crashed through board fencing and got tangled up in a stack of
disassembled pipe corrals. He was so badly hurt he had to be put
down---all from stupidity on his owner's part in trying to
"desensitize" Rem. (And I'm not saying anyone else is stupid for trying
this method, just that Linda was for ignoring everyone else and taking
the easy road). Yes, you bet I'm still bitter over this little episode.

So I guess I'd have to agree with Wendy that hard work in the arena is a
better, and much safer way to de-spook. I eventually de-spooked Cato
(just as afraid of plastic) by working in the arena and asking for
constant circles in frame, gradually working him closer and closer to
the goblin. Worked very well, he's now very reliable and best of all,
is alive.

Just my two cents, of course...

Susan Evans

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