I want to open a thread on the Spook and Panic subject so I could post for you dear ones how I deal with such problems and I hope it could be a little help for those who need such information.
Let me start with this first :
The IMPRINT TRAINED HORSES are much less spooky and they less panic this is general for all Horses and this is very important.
Spook and Panic could kill a rider or it could end up in a bad and sad situation for the rest of someones life.
Horses are not to blame for spooking or panicking its their basic instinct for survival.
1- Basic Instinct.
4- Human fault.
If we want more we have to do more but ...
We all have the experience of without warning in our ride the Horse flights,panics, twists,reverses direction and bolts away. Something has obviously scared him/her. It could be a attack,rock,bicycle or a deer jumping in the path ahead of you or something which we didn't see but our Horse did either by eye,ear or the senses which we don't have (this part is very much important so please give it a good amount of time thinking about it).
I have said before and I am saying it now we could try and DESENSITIZE our Horse to these things like bicycle,sound of a dry plastic,a pig (Horses are really afraid of pigs when they see one for the first time) but DESENSITIZING method works only for the SPECIFIC experiences and there are simply too many items in the world to get our Horse used to all and DESENSITIZE them all what must we do riding in the wild from light until night is very helpful , riding as much as we can especially in places which we could give our Horse more experience and desensitize them to unknown objects as much as we could is great but there is something else something greater than the ones I said above , WE HAVE TO TEACH THEM WHAT TO DO WHEN THEY BECOME AFRAID, we must ALTER their natural instinct like flight,spin and bolt reaction to fear so they stop and facing that he/she scared from.
One of the main reasons that we say never carry a whip or never scare your Horse (we say the same for the human children also) is this so they would find the courage to face what they fear from (Mules have this in their blood more than Horses) but we have to be with them and to show them there is nothing to be afraid of because when they gain confidence from their handler then they see many things with the reaction of their handler they feel true our feeling if we are afraid they become afraid if we are nervous the become nervous if our blood pressure is high their blood pressure will rise too thats why we say don't call them PETS call them PARTNERS.
This is not finished so please give me more time I have to make my thought to text , translate them then type them for you .
The training technique based on communication both mental and physical that develops a partnership between the horse and human.
Traditional training normally starts with physical restraint then forces the horse to submit to the handler's commands. The INTELLIGENT trainer looks at the horse/human relationship from the horse's point of view and then works with the natural language of the horse.
Horses communicate primarily through gestures and positioning of their bodies only followed with physical contact in extreme cases or mutually friendly grooming. Horses are also natural followers and need a leader who knows where they want to go why I say Horses need a good INTELLIGENT leader because for example when a young and unexperienced Horse reaches an obstacle he/she either wants to step back , go round or do something else other than what you want him/her to do.
Every horse no matter what his training level, breed, age or past experience, will benefit from all the experience. Every horse lover, from a beginner to a professional trainer will develop a better relationship with their horse if the NON VIOLENT techniques are properly applied.
We could try and desensitize our Horses to many objects like Deer, Bicycle, Chair, Car, etc but there are simply too many items in the world to get our Horse used to all of them and we can't ask our Horse simply not to be afraid. So what do we have to do?
- We Must Teach Them What To Do When They Become AFRAID.
- We must ALTER their natural SPIN and BOLT reaction to fear to one of stopping their feet and facing that which scared them.
Start with your Horse in his/her halter in a 30 foot rope attached to the halter.
Stand 10 to 15 feet in front of your Horse while facing him/her and holding the other end of the rope in your hand.
Start making the Cow noise but not so loud and vigor just enough to have him/her hear you making the noise.
If he/she stands still go up and pet him/her.
Now go back to your original standing point and try again with just a bit louder noise if your Horse dose not move go up and pet him/her and repeat this and each time put more energy to your noise and do the petting.
After the Cow noise add the noise Poof (like the air coming out of a balloon) then mix these noises together with great energy while making these noises move your hands up and down like the bird wings flying up and down mixed with the noises and each time that the Horse dose not move pet him/her.
Shake a noisy plastic bag at him/her if he/she dose not move drop the scaring object at the point where you are standing then go to him/her and pet NEVER take the scaring object with you while going towards the Horse for petting NEVER.
Your Horse is learning that if he simply stops his feet and looks at what is scaring him/her the scaring will stop.
If the Horse try at any point during the lesson to run off go with him/her while you continue scaring him/her with whatever your using (Never get behind the Horse because they think the scaring object is chasing them). Try to stay in front of the Horse withers not directly in his/her path where he/she can see you use the rope and gently tug at it to encourage him/her to look at you and stop his/her feet when he/she stops you should immediately quit scaring him/her drop the scaring object and go to him/her and pet.
This is not a DESENSITIZING lesson at all .
We are not trying to get the Horse to use to the sound of these object the only thing we are trying to do is to teach him/her how to handle his/her fear.
The SPOOK PROOFING teaches him/her to stop his/her feet and LOOK at what is SCARING him/her that is the reason we we don't APPROACH the Horse with the SCARY OBJECTS we DROP it and WALK UP to pet them without anything in our hands from the point which we drop the scary object up to pet him or her we try to show them we have nothing in our hands and this is very important for what we want to achieve.
We have to do this lesson every day with different objects for example a TRACTOR WITH A HORNE is a good tool for scary object but we have to come off of the tractor and go up to the Horse and pet.
I have trained many Horses for HUNTING the Horses which I have trained for hunting they become very good in spook proofing , first the smell of the gun and the gun powder is very important then gun touching the Horses body , the sound of bullet going from the chamber to barrel , holding the gun while on the Horse , shooting from the Horse coming into contact with the Hunt and all of that .
I do not train Horses for that purpose any more because killing any kind of animal even a fly it's not me any more and I hate it but we are trying to teach the Horse for SPOOK PROOFING and teaching them how to leave their fears behind we are not talking about killing animals.
I have taught many Horses how to attack Wild Dogs and Hyena or Wild Boar (Wild Hog) I hope I have write the name correctly but wild boar is very dangerous for Horses I have seen a male one hitting and opening a mare stomach from one end to the other because they live in very dangerous places.
I am saying these to tell you Horses which grow up naturally in that sort of places they normally have no fear but the Horse living around us they have never see these thing or heard any strange noises thats why we have to take their fear away from them and I am not saying its an easy job but nothing is easy in life especially dealing with a living creature and we have to do it we have to it is our duty or otherwise we should not keep them this is what I believe in .
Gradually they will its like taking something out of them and gaining their Confidence first and letting them know that not all things coming to you either from front or behind are scary.
In nature the wild prey like Big Cat, Wild Dogs, Wolf and all the Hunters in general they go to their Hunt from the back.
The most sensitive place in the Horses Body is the FLANK AREA this is the place which all Horses are afraid of and most of the Hunter they go for the Flank area.
After some time the Horse will realize that all things which are coming from behind are those which he/she has seen from the front but for a Spooky Horse everything is Spooky therefore you have to do your work in a way that it wont Spook the Horse from the Start.
My own experience I have trained many Hunting Horses all of them become Spook free when the training is done and let me tell you something they rely on you as their rider.
I have a question a Horse with a rider and without a rider dose he/she act the same when seeing a Wolf or a Wild Dog?
At the same time we are gaining their confidence too.
What I mean is a good trained Hunting Horse (the hunting Horses which we train not for FOX hunting) would never panic from a Wolf or Wolf herd but a normal Horse without a rider would panic.
What I want to prove is our Horse has confidence on us especially the well trained Hunting Horse and we have confidence on our Horse , we gain their confidence and they gain our confidence like a 2 way road.