sheepskin blinkers for spooky horse query

rubysmum

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Sep 11, 2006
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since ive moved my horse to a more urban area with MUCH busier roads & less patient drivers - her spooking at plastic bags/cans/fag packets/crisp bags - you get the picture - in hedges/at side of road has moved from being mildly anooying/sometimes just funny to potentially dangerous - let me stress her spooking has not got worse - just her environment has changed - someone has suggested that i try sheepsking blinkers - i think they are called french rollers - but i could be wrong - i know nothing about them so any info would be welcome - thank you:)
 

flashy33

threadkiller
you mean like these
IMG_0001.jpg


my horse used to be very nappy , but have made huge differance on him at one time i couldnt even get him in a school
and he just ignores all traffic and other scarey monsters
 

rubysmum

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thats exactly what i mean - ARE they called french rollers ? and do them come in specific sizes ? & do you know where i can get them from - thank you so much for yr help:)
 

joosie

lifelong sufferer of restless brain syndrome
Oct 28, 2004
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Personally - although I know it depends on the horse - I wouldn't use any kind of blinker for a spooky horse. One of the best ways to deal with a spook at a particular object is to allow the horse to look at it properly and realise that it's nothing to be scared of. Plus, sometimes a horse spooks because of something they have heard or sensed that they can't see, and blocking their vision could make them worse there too - they like to be able to get their head up and snort and look around.
 
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rach4uk4

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Sep 9, 2005
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i didnt get the luxury to let my horse stop and see the spooky object to get him used to it, i was on the floor (it was a road) before i even knew wat had happened, and he galloped home without me. dont thik blinkers would work in his case of spookiness, just a brain transplant perhaps :rolleyes:
 

joosie

lifelong sufferer of restless brain syndrome
Oct 28, 2004
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Ha ha brain transplant, I totally get what you mean! :rolleyes: When a spook happens that quickly, of course there's nothing you can do to stop it!
But I believe that horses are less likely to spook dramatically like that if they are used to encountering - and facing - the common hazards.
 

Peaches

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I personally wouldn't recommend them for a horse in your situation. Use for focusing the horse is ideal, but for a spooky horse (not in all cases but many), the blinkers act in blocking 'scary monsters' from approaching but instead the 'scary monsters' appear right in front of them - ie the horse has no chance to see the scary things until it's on top of them which can be even worse.

If possible try to condition your horse to some of the things. 'plastic bags/cans/fag packets/crisp bags' etc are reasonably easy to condition her to be unfazed by, or at least tolerate. Use a longish stick, get her used to this touching her all around her body to begin with if she's touchy. Then attach the various items to the end of the stick (the larger flappier things wrap around so not flappy to begin with). Make sure you do this in stages and don't overdo it or do it too quickely- the last thing you want to do is make it MORE intimidating. Make sure it is in a controlled environment with people on hand to help.

By all means try the blinkers, but as I say, while they work for some, they make no difference to others, and make situations worse for others. I really can't urge you to encourage her to become used to the things though. It will strengthen her trust in you (always a good thing =] ), and give her more confidence that you can guide her through and past scary monsters without her resorting to dangerous spooking etc...

Good Luck...x
 

Sticky's GF

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Sep 10, 2007
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I am not sure blinkers would be the answer, they may well make the problem worse too. Just as an example, my hacking buddy's horse has one eye and if he catches a tiny glimpse of something on the blind side with his good eye he goes nuts and has to rush sideways and spin around to focus on what he thinks he's seen. Not being able to see something or just getting a glimpse of something may make a spooky horse spookier.
 

rubysmum

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thanks for all yr responses folks - lots to think about - the reality is the roads were we now have to ride [& there are NO other options - no school or safe field] are so busy that my previous response which was to allow ruby to have a good look, walk round snorting or walk around the item of terror are no longer safe as there are so many cars - we are working on desensitising [ sorry spelling] on the yard - she is generally much less spooky when being led but seems to "forget" what she has learn if she sees a scary item while out hacking - i too am considering a brain/personality transplant - but not sure if for me or her;)
 

Mac b

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Aug 27, 2021
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thanks for all yr responses folks - lots to think about - the reality is the roads were we now have to ride [& there are NO other options - no school or safe field] are so busy that my previous response which was to allow ruby to have a good look, walk round snorting or walk around the item of terror are no longer safe as there are so many cars - we are working on desensitising [ sorry spelling] on the yard - she is generally much less spooky when being led but seems to "forget" what she has learn if she sees a scary item while out hacking - i too am considering a brain/personality transplant - but not sure if for me or her;)
hi, my ex racer was exactly how your described your horse, in my case blinkers has had a positive outcome , he is more relaxed, forward going ,more concentration, alot less spooky, and in the 2 yrs useing them had no bad encounters. this was something I never thought I would resort too, but for us it has worked wonders, good luck.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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hi, my ex racer was exactly how your described your horse, in my case blinkers has had a positive outcome , he is more relaxed, forward going ,more concentration, alot less spooky, and in the 2 yrs useing them had no bad encounters. this was something I never thought I would resort too, but for us it has worked wonders, good luck.
Hi Mac b, the thread you are replying to here is more than 10 years old and I don't think the member is on here any more. It's always worth having a look at the date of a thread before responding -I remember getting this wrong a lot when I joined. Nice to meet you, anyway!
 
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