How to deal with high strung horses?
I have a 4 yr old horse who tends to be very quiet on the ground but always looking around,whinnying, spooky and not paying attention under saddle. How best to deal with this?
- Anonymous1 decade agoBest Answer
The only suggestion I can give is to take it slowly. On the ground he sees that you are with him and you offer him confidence, that confidence is diminished when you are in the saddle, as he is confused and he can't look to you to see your reaction.
When you are on his back, ask him for simple commands in a quiet and gentle way, and when he gives you the response you are looking for, loads of praise. I found rubbing his neck with the back of your closed fingers is best, that way you don't have to loose contact with the reins. If he doesn't comply, keep asking and give him time to work it out for himself. I would say it's a confidence issue- he's worried and he's reacting the way his insticts are telling him. I found that circling is a good way to calm a horse down if they are getting flighty. When they have relaxed, you can move off.
This is going to require a fair bit of patience and consistency on your part. You are his parent and it is your responsiblity to teach him how to react to different situations in an appropriate way. If you ever feel that what you are doing isn't working, or you fear for yours or the horses health or safety- get a trainer in. He is still very young and he'll need you to remain relaxed and calm in all situations, as he will draw his confidence from you.
Good Luck- hope it goes well for you.Source(s): Years working with and riding horses- mainly re-training ex-racehorses
- ElizabethLv 44 years ago
I have a horse that likes to stiffen up his head and neck and just go. The only way to get past it is to ride him very often, and do lots of transitions and keep him on a circle or changing directions with a figure 8 or serpentines. A few years ago, I decided to try to use this to his advantage and entered him in a 25 mile competitive trail ride. This worked great! He wanted to go, go, go for the first 10 miles or so, then settled nicely and still had enough left to keep a nice pace until the end. These days, he's the horse I don't have much time for so he only gets ridden occasionally. When he's in regular work, he's much better (but will still want to go faster if given the chance).
- Horse crazyLv 41 decade ago
Like a typical youngster he's inquisitive. Let him get used to his surroundings. If there's something he keeps spooking from just let him stand and see what it is, patting and reasuring him at the same time. I would also suggest doing some groundwork like walking over poles etc to get him used to paying attention and then try doing the same exercise under saddle. Another option is to "play" with your reins. This is basically putting very light pressure on them swopping between pressure from the right to the left hand and so on, but don't overdo the pressure. This should get his attention. Once he responds the way you want him to reward him by releasing the pressure. He'll soon learn that when he does something good he gets rewaded and will start paying more attention. And remember NEVER be forceful but rather passive. Another suggestion would be to read some of Mark Rashid's books like Horses Never Lie. Good luck.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
That is a complicated question I have broken a lot of horses over my life time and all I can say is you have a full blown person at about age 6 in a 1,100 lbs body .
Now somtimes the answer is to be asertive and at other times it is to be patient and then there are other times and other reactions.
Over the internet is a bad forum for this.
What you need to do is find someone who can see the horse that knows what he/she is talking about to make a judgement call .
As time goes on you can make them yourself it is not a hard thing to do but it takes timeand effort and as musch empathy as you can muster. When I say that I mean somtimes you have to be a ***** and at other times that can get you killed - so empathyis being able to put yourself in the horse's head and then still make it do what you want it to do -
I hope this has been of some help
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- 1 decade ago
You need to handle your horse quietly. I have backed a rescue horse who had been abused, and you need to teach them absolutely everything.
Put a headcollar and leadrope on your horse, and take him out for walks with a friend. Try to avoid busy places at first. Keep praising him and reasurring him. Then, after about a month of doing this 3-4 times a week, get a friend to hold him, and just lean on his back. Do this daily for two weeeks.
Then get two friends. One again to hold the horse, the other to lift your legs up. Put two hands in the centre of your horses back and get your friend to lift your leg. With this, do a small leap, and hang your torso over you horses back. The friend who lifted your leg up, then needs to hold both legs. Stay in this position for about a minute, then quietly jump down and give your horse lots of praise.
Then slowly, after a few weeks of doing this, introduce the bridle and saddle. Your horse just needs experience. Remember that horses are classed as prey, and so are flight animals. Meaning that when they hear or see something they don't like, they tend to run away from it.
- 1 decade ago
I have to agree with the gentalman above, you need the advice of a export who can see what the horse is doing and how it is acting,
one thing i will add is If you have him/her on sweet feed or oats you may try tacking him/her off this feed for a while due to the fact that this hops them up.
If they are on oats or sweet feed it will take a couple of weeks to see a diffrance but you will.
other than that time, in a round pen and under saddle will help.Source(s): Owner-breeder and trainer
- MJane21Lv 51 decade ago
To be honest I do thing there is much you can do except exercise him a lot. Some horse are just like that flighty. Maybe take him out with another horse for a while, he is still young and a little green I would also guess
- 1 decade ago
lunge him/her around with the saddle on and make him work.....make sure him/her is paying attention to what your telling him to do and if he doesn't do what you ask, make him go back and do it again until he gets it right but be patient......introduce him/her into the things that are scary and give him/her some kind of a reward for every time him/her reacts in a positive way.......until he reacts in a positive way (i had to do the same with my 11yr old appaloosa)Source(s): Owner/Trainer
- 1 decade ago
your horse probably feels vunerable and insucure. they are natural herd animals. one way to see if getting your horse to relax is taking him to see other horses and see if he's calmer if so you may have to get a companion for him. or just deal with it but he most likly is lonely and scared.
- 1 decade ago
Tighten up the bit.