View Full Version : How should I handle Shying
15th Aug 2003, 09:51 AM
Bob, a black stable pony I often hack on, is the most nervy horse I've ever known, He shies, stumbles and half rears at the slightest sudden movement. Does anyone no how I can handle him to keep him calm and prevent him from this.
18th Aug 2003, 04:09 AM
If you find out let me know ;)
but seriously, your riding is probably the key. The more centred, focused, forward and relaxed you ride the more your horse will settle too ... its very humbling but a lesson that I've had to learn (and am continuing to learn). The stumbling can be either physical or mental (laziness) - if its mental, ride him forward as if he's in the arena and you're looking for impulsion - his hind end will work and so will his attention.... alternately, just live with it.
I personally found that I was probably interpreting stumbles as 'shies' sometimes (or preparation for shying) once I learned to just accept it - then the whole shieing thing seemed less of an issue too.... I understand what you mean about having a horse who stumbles tho' , now I just work on the principle that if he's too lazy to pick up his feet and falls then my only objective is to fall ON TOP of him - and quite frankly I'd make him get up with me on too!. :)
29th Aug 2003, 02:59 PM
I have an ex-racehorse TB who has days when everything is worth shying at, and I try to find other things to occupy his mind when he is like that:D - I know you are out to have fun on a hack, but try doing some schooling exercises or practice transitions or leg yields etc - a) they are all good things to practice and be able to do and b) your horse will have to pay attention to you as he will be waiting for the next instruction - and hopefully with not shy at every horse-eating butterfly or horse-crushing leaf that he sees!:D
Happy Appy 16
19th Sep 2003, 06:37 PM
You are not the only one with a horse like that
i was at a clinic once and it started to storm
my horse started freaking and was shy
for the next month or so...so what i did was
i started out in the stall i would go in a do this
thing called T touch and i worked on this for about 2 weeks
(it calms them down) the i would groom him slowly
until i gained his trust and we gained our confiedience
togeather.... now he is the calmest horse again!!!
If you are interested in my methods please e-mail me at Gradof10@aol.com
make sure the subject has something to do with the message board or i wont answer you
26th Sep 2003, 03:53 PM
MMM is pretty sensitive to her environment and will shy at everything from shadows to the big evil horse eating car (my tiny little two door) :D. She's getting better, though.
If she actually spooks at something i just move her away far enough that she calms down. After some pats and rubs on her neck, i get her to step forward until she's too uncomfortable to get closer. We stand some more, and i rub her neck and chatter to her until she's calm enough to step closer. We keep doing this until she's able to walk right up to the 'monster' and then start working near it in the arena until she doesn't even flick an ear at it.
Does she spook less? I think she does, atleast for me, because she's learned to trust me and that she's safe from everything as long as i'm with her. Hopefully she'll think the same thing when we get into the hunter/jumper rings with the flickering flag tape. Oy! :rolleyes:
26th Sep 2003, 04:24 PM
If you know what spooks Bob the most, be ready sit up nice & straight, take a good deep breath & ride forward with a positive seat.
Talk to him...in a calm voice as if you were chatting to a friend..you feel silly but it works. "OOohh Bob look at the scarey plastic bag...let's ignore it shall we..?" If he ignores it carry on chatting & praising him..if he shies still chat to him telling him things like "walk on silly....you can do it walk on".
Let him have a good look by all means..so he realises nothing is going to hurt him.
I know how hard it is to ride a stumbling spooky horse..you go all tense waiting for the next "episode" as you ride along & of course the horse feels it too.
Mine stumbles over matchsticks in walk & can trot & canter over very uneven ground without problem :( .
....Good luck hope you & Bob come to an understanding soon..!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Horses are Usİ (http://groups.msn.com/cf8k73k2lh28qh2p4tfobko851/_whatsnew.msnw) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
30th Sep 2003, 10:01 AM
Another idea Lala-rider - try doing join-up or playing games on the ground to try and build up a good relationship with your boy! If you can convince him that you are a trustworthy leader and that if you think it is ok to be there, then the 'monster' maybe wont eat him! Horses are flight animals who take their cues from the other horses around them - if one, especially one of the leaders of the herd, takes flight the rest will follow. If they see something and decide that it is safe, then the rest will stay put grazing! so, convince him that you are a good leader and hopefully he will trust your decisions and become less flighty and nappy!:D
30th Sep 2003, 11:05 AM
I find that the biggest thing that makes Rhi shy is the fact that she looks around her for something to shy at then gets a fright at something totally different and all because she was looking about. It is so annoying as it is always at little things like paper bags. The bigger things like trucks she is fine :rolleyes:
30th Sep 2003, 11:23 AM
My horse isn't particularly 'spooky' but I have noticed that if something scares her on a hack she will be on edge for the rest of the ride and will be looking for 'monsters' everywhere. On our hack last Saturday, a squirrel ran out in front of her so she shied and did about 5 canter strides - luckily she came back to walk after that, but spent the rest of the ride jumping and starting at everything. NOT a relaxing ride for either of us. :eek: Then the next day, we did the same route but weren't 'attacked' by squirrels and Cindy was really relaxed and chilled out:rolleyes:
I find it hard to stay calm and relaxed when she shies - which I know doesn't help matters......
30th Sep 2003, 11:29 AM
Horses can often stumble when they are a bit on teh forehand. Even though you are hacking out rather than schooling, try to ask Bob to work - use your legs to get him to try to take his weight back onto his back legs and give him a bit of a contact to work into. That should balance him a bit better and help wtih teh stumbling.
This may also help with the spooking as he is trying to work on something and his brain is occupied - i find Tango spooks a lot more when she is just strolling along rather than working. if you ask for a bit from bob ,like a few transitions, maybe a bit of leg yield or shoulder in that also may help to keep his attention on you.
I hope that might help, if it doesn't you'll end up with a good stickable seat with all the spooking!
6th Oct 2003, 01:40 AM
When I got my horse he was very spooky out on the trail and what I did was if I found him looking at something I would distract him or pull his face away from it. Do something unexpected. I move my legs all over his sides so instead of thinking "AHHH!!! DOGS!!!" he thinks "Heeeyyy... whats going on with you, crazy lady?" That helps alot. also, DO NOT NOT NOT stare at whats scaring him (if hes really eyeing something). it may be hard, because you want to keep an eye on it, but it you just look at something else it helps SOO much. He will think "if it dosent bother her, it shouldnt bother me"
I hope I helped.
6th Oct 2003, 01:54 AM
She could have of been abused as a foal. I know of one who will bolt at the slightest sound. Do not feel scared around the horse, or the horse will feel tense/scared too.
6th Oct 2003, 01:59 AM
Try to anticipate when he's going to shy- look for pricked ears, head coming up, stiffening, etc. Before he has a chance to shy, sit deep and straight, ride him foward, and keep him between your legs and your reins so he can't duck out. If he does shy, circle him back around and walk him past what he's shying at until he walks past calmly. I do this with Ginger to get her used to it, and then later I'll bring her back and do the same thing. Gradually she's learned that I've never ridden her into danger, and it helps boost your own condfidence when you succesfully ride past that "demon".
6th Oct 2003, 03:28 AM
Yes, I've beginning to learn this - keep them busy! If he starts to tense up ask for something hard(er) - leg yield, 10m circle, half pass whatever standard the horse is at and definitely ride forward into you hands. Don't look at the thing he's shying at, concentrate on what you are asking for.
This is absolutely the biggest lesson I've learned in the last couple of months - completely counter-intuitive for me. You think ohno scarey things and go into defensive mode trying not to be thrown off but instead you have to learn to be quite assertive - riding forward with lots of leg and asking him\her to do something. Of course, I never believed anyone when they told me this (not really) but after you've been forced to do it a couple of times during a lesson and managed to use it yourself with good results it gets through the old skull eventually. ;)
Good tip - find an instructor that you fear\admire more than your horse! I found the first time I had to do this on my own I was on the point of backing down\getting off (he was really hyped up) and a little voice said "if Julie see's you now...." so I took a deep breath and kept using the techniques I'd learned. Each time its easier now because my horse is becoming more and more confident that I know what I'm doing as a rider\leader.
6th Oct 2003, 07:14 AM
I'm a big believer in keeping them working... and keeping their attention on you to prevent any major shying or craziness. I was riding Jimi yesterday and he hasn't been ridden for a while. He was looking to spook at everything, then a girl rode past on a Clydesdale and he thought it was the scariest thing since plastic bags. Because I haven't been riding horses that do anything more than plod for awhile at first I picked up both reins and let him stand there staring and snorting but of course he just got worse. So I came to my senses, remembered all my prior training and got him doing some bending and engaging his mind and body in less scary activities. It works :).
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