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Miss_Fortune

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My new mare has never been worked with much. She knows the basics; walk, ho & pick up your feet. But other then that she is kinda new to everything. Some times the leadrope scares her. & you still have to be very slow to walk up to her. You have to introduce yourself every time. She really is a great horse she follows me around the whole time & would rather be watching what Im doing then eating! She is a beautiful mare, just needs a little muscle on her. I really want to show her in some halter classes next year, but Im not sure how to go about training her. I dont want to scare her at all, but Im still learning how to train myself. How would you work with a scared horse? She wasnt ever hurt or anything, but she was only a brood mare & a pasture pet. Any help at all would be great!

Lorna
 

Miniv

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I'm definitely not an expert, but when something is scarey to a horse, I would go very slow and easy and desensitize her to the lead and whatever else worries her.

Show her that the lead isn't the bad thing that she thinks it is.....try to make the lead mean something positive. For instance, show it to her, rub it on her gentley, and use it to lead her to wonderful experiences -- such as some green grass or a dish of cut up apples (away from other horses). Give her lots of praise and scritches too!

Do that a few times and the lead may change its meaning for her.

MA
 

Connie Ballard

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I start very small...and in their own stall. I let them see, smell, touch the rope, blanket...whatever they are fearful of...least being in their own stall they have a slight comfort zone when they are truly scared. If they spook at something, I always take the time to gently show them what it is...like walking by a big rock (aka...booger rock at end of our drive). I speak low and soft and tell them its ok...get them to go up and see it..I touch it...show them I can touch it then they usually try too.

I like to work a horse like that in the roundpen too...get them responding to me, locked into me and my commands to walk, trot, jog, whoa...then when we are out and about...they tend to maybe consider listening to me easier...when I tell them the booger rock wont get them! LOL

Bottom line: patience, time, consistant reinforcment of what you are showing...telling them...will build a sound trust and a solid horse.

Good luck...you'll do great!
 

Voodoo

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Hours and hours. Just spend lots of time with her, show her everything you possibly can and be her stable force to fall back on. The one she comes to when something scares her. I have a big horse that I bought not too long ago and you couldn't even touch her when she came here. Now she is still spooky, but by showing her that I would "protect" her from anything that scares her she has an immense trust in me now. No matter what happens she comes to me and just says "save me". I am riding her alot and even started roping on her. Everything scares her, but when I say it's OK she believes me. Now all I have to do is never jeopardize (sp?) that trust and we'll be fine. Same goes for you and your mare. Then even if she's spooky when you first start showing her you can still control her fears by being there for her whenever something scares her. Good luck and I'm sure you'll do great. Lots of love and many hours will cure almost anything.
 

countryrose

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It just takes lots of time together.

I have a 2 year old stallion that had little handling. He did not lead well and was spooked at anything I did. Walked way behind me all the time.

We take a lot of walks, spend a lot of time rubbing him, especially at feeding time to gain trust.

This is since March or April.

He is now sidepassing, backing, pivoting and setting up for halter. The more we do the more he gives me.

Love and attention and always a treat at the end of your time!
 

Miss_Fortune

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Alright, thats what I thought but I wanted to make sure that there isnt a secret to it or something. Ive been brushing her & walking her around as much as possible. So I guess Im doing the right thing.
 

ChrystalPaths

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It sounds like you are doing just the right things. How long have you had her? Many times it takes a while to get them settled in. Talk to her alot, just sit with her and explain about your day and your hopes for her. She'll settle.

May I suggest a chat with our beloved Bonnie Fogg? She is an amazing lady woh has the God given ability to understand and empathize with animals. Many of us totally believe in her and have used her on many animals.

[email protected] Her web site is at www.bfogg.com Her fee is $45 and all she would want is your horse's name and a picture, no more info at all.

She sounds wonderful and you sound like a very good horsie mom.
 

justaboutgeese

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Time, time, time. keep working on the animal and getting them used to all the things that unnerve them. Do not dwell on items after they have lost their fear of them. Keep moving forward at their pace. When they become used to an item start on another one. Keep up on refreshers and keep adding the new ones. The further they progress the faster they will progress. We have a long two year old who was literally afraid of shadows on the ground when he arrived here. He is working as the near horse on our wheel team now and been hitched as part of a four in hand without incident five times now.
 

whitney

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I've had really good luck with putting them with 1 or 2 dead broke horses, the kind that LOVE people.

I do nothing with them at all. I do everything to the dead broke horses it is amazing how they pick up courage from SEEING all those strange things being done to another of their herd and they DO note the other horse LOVING it. Make sure good itches (the lip curling kind) is one of the first things you do.

After you notice them no longer big eyeing the new "stuff" I very nonchalantly snap a lead rope to them and do it to them. i.e. pet, brush mane, pickup a hoof. (IN VERY SMALL DOSES)!

The horses that provide the greatest challenges also provide the GREATEST rewards.

Good Luck
 

ClickMini

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I can't recommend clicker training highly enough for a fearful or suspicious horse. If you want a good head start on it, get the following book and video:

http://www.theclickercenter.com/2004/store/books01a.php

http://theclickercenter.com/2004/store/vids01.php

I have worked with Alexandra for several years now, and it turned around everything I have ever done with my horses...for the better!

Working patiently with your horse will definitely work, and you have gotten some excellent advice on this thread! But adding in the clicker to this work will accelerate your relationship building by leaps and bounds!

You do NOT have to use a mechanical clicker, a tongue click will do the trick. There is no special equipment necessary.

Good luck! If you get the materials and have specific questions about the work, I am happy to help! :D
 

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