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Horses/calming down spooked horse


hello Anne. while hand walking a horse, if it get spooked, it would act up, turn around in circle, tries to drag the handler away. now, what should the handler do to calm down the horse? would smooching sound be enough to calm down the horse?

Hi Rohit.
   A smooching sound is the last thing you want to do! In most cases it would get the horse even more riled up. When walking a horse, I ALWAYS use the chain of the lead shank over the horses nose. If the horse behaves he won't know it's there. If he does act up, it gets his attention and gives you some control. Speak in a soft tone (whoa, easy, quit, it's alright, etc) and do not make any smooching or clucking sounds. These are often used as signals for a horse to go faster, and that's the last thing you want him to do in this situation. Depending on what spooked him(a car or truck, or branches blowing on a tree, for instance) you might want to get the horse stopped and turn him so he is looking at whatever frightened him. Always keep both hands on the lead shank, and remember the chain is over his nose if you need it to regain control.
    Hope this helps!
Anne Stepien


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Anne Stepien


I am knowledgeable regarding Standardbred race horses (trotters and pacers). I can answer general questions, questions regarding conformation, rigging, lameness and some shoeing questions.


I raced standardbreds (primarily trotters) for 9 years on the Grand Circuit and in overnight events for approximately 15 years.

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