nervous horse

Members Only
As I continue with a rescued 10 year old, we have gained ground. She has stopped her kicking at other horses. However, after working with her all summer, when my daughter took her to the local county fair horse show, she was out of control. She had been to the arena all summer and seemed pretty comfortable. But the crowds of fair seemed to be too much. She gets real nervous when someone is behind her. She can't stand still at all. She really blew up at the fair and had to be taken home to prevent injuries to her or others. So, does anyone have any suggestions on how to get this horse to settle down in a crowd?
Sort by:
newest post
  • oldest post
  • newest post
Members Only
ear plugs may help, even giving a small dose of ace.
Members Only
You probably have a better take on the horse than anyone else considering the time you've spent together. Listen to your own intuition. Your horse has every right to react the way she does so just take more time. It may take another year... or two to break through her fears. You mention that she doesn't want people behind her. Are you aware whether she can change eyes comfortably and disengage her hind quarters slightly to keep an eye on her blind spot. Quite often horses that spook and pull back when tied cannot change eyes effectively causing the blind spot to be larger than necessary. I won't go into this at length unless you have doubts about this. There are some very specific things that you can do to cure this. However, the general fear in crowds is something that needs to be approached by frequent exposure, which I know can be difficult to arrange. If you can arrange at a clinic or other gathering to have horses in an arena while the audience stomps their feet and shouts on queue can be effective exposure as the horses will have plenty of space around them to work through this.
But DON'T get discouraged. When you take on rescue cases you often are committed to the long haul. Don't judge your progress by a human's time clock! Over time I have learned the value of patience and consistent perseverance. There have been many horses that I've worked with that just wouldn't come through as expected, but... all of a sudden one day out of the clear blue sky they did!!! Go figure??? That's what is so miraculous in helping these rascals.
Members Only
Have you tried Blinkers? I used them at the suggestion of an old cowboy friend. Worked like a charm. I used full blinkers first, then went to a half blinker, now I use none.