Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/Nervous horse
Hi, my name is Sue and I recently purchased a handsome palomino who has a very nervous disposition and doesn't let anything or anyone do training with him past his shoulder without becoming a nervous wreck. I am building trust with him and he is becoming cheeky and confident now, I use a broom handle with a glove on the end to run down his back legs and he will lift up his hind leg for a second or two. Would you have any ongoing advise for training him to become less nervous so that he is rideable as I feel that he only has a problem with someone getting behind his line of sight is what he fears most?
Sorry for the delay, I just got back from competing at the Haras Cup. You have the right idea with your broom handle- that can work with touching back legs. Here are some ideas to help- think of it as a game of advance and retreat. Stand next to him and pet his neck when he is comfortable take one step further back and pet his shoulder. Then when he is comfortable take one step farther and pet at his girth- when he starts to feel uncomfortable take a step backwards until he feels comfortable again. As a prey animal he is pretty sure that you are going to get back there and pull out a fork and some catsup! Where he will allow you to stand is secondary to how he FEELS about you when you stand by him. If he feels like you are friendly and if he gets uncomfortable you back off and approach again he will start to trust you and then he won't worry about where you are. That being said it's hard to tell from a question if he is nervous like a green horse or a mustang or if he is resistant and pushy. Let me know what you run into- a great thing to try is a light silk or sheet you can throw over his body so he sees it and feels it but you can easily stand in front and sack him out with.
Let me know what you come up with when you try these!
Caitlin Day Huntress