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nervousnellie

Help My Horse Is Very Scard Almost Jumped The Fence

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Hi I'm new here. My horse is deathly scard of the sleigh riders that he can see about a 1/4 mile away. This happened once before but the snow melted very quickly so it was ok but the snow isn't going to melt for a while this time and I don't know what to do. Yesterday he kept running all over the pasture trying to get away he almost jumped the fence all the way in the back. In and out of the barn a 100 times. One time he came into the barn so fast he slid his feet came out from under him and fell on his side. I tried to lock him up but he didn't like that at all.

I don't know what to do.

can anybody please help me?

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He needs to be desensitized to driving horses and bells.

I;m assuming your horse is pastured alone, since you didn't mention the other horses running around. Horses alone can feel extremely insecure and vulnerable when scared because they do not have ANY safety. A herd, even a herd of one other horse, would provide him safety, in his mind.

I bet if you had another horse in the pasture with him, who was an older retired horse, been-there, done-that, that when your horse got scared he'd just hang with the other horse and take a clue from him that there's no reason to be afraid.

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He needs to be desensitized to driving horses and bells.

I believe the OP is referring to sledders not driving horses. I'm afraid I'm not much help beyond that.

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I would go out and work with the horse on a lunge line and try to get him focusing on you instead of him. IMO, by putting him to work and concertrating on you (you might have to tire him out a little) you are engaging his more logical brain instead of letting the emotional side of his brain run wild.

I might also consider tieing him up somewhere waaay away but in sight of the sledders. I mean... as far away on your property as you can get. The point isn't to freak him out and force him to deal with it (... lol.. well, actually it is) but to restrain him from hurting himself while he learns to adjust.

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...horse is deathly scard of the sleigh riders that he can see about a 1/4 mile away.

He needs to be desensitized to driving horses and bells.

I believe the OP is referring to sledders not driving horses.

Which is it?

Regardless, the OP's horse needs to either be de-sensitized or confined in a safe manner to prevent him from harming himself.

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I agree with those who said the horse needs to be desensitized safely. Is there any way you can safely take the horse TO the offending, fear inducing things? Stay quiet and calm, don't "feed" into his fears and let him know they aren't going to kill him!

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Agreed! This horse needs to learn to accept having them around! See if you cant get one of the riders to bring the sled to your place and you can have a training session with your horse. It would be such a great experience! They may seem really weird to him because they are so far away, if he got a chance to see it up close and sniff it I bet things would be totally different. If you dont want to do that, then keep him confined in the stall, you dont really have any other options it seems.

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Which is it?

Regardless, the OP's horse needs to either be de-sensitized or confined in a safe manner to prevent him from harming himself.

...horse is deathly scard of the sleigh riders that he can see about a 1/4 mile away.

Because of the use of the plural for riders I also took it to really mean kids out sledding. You don't see a lot of groups driving their sleighs on a regular basis.

I did think it was an odd wording though... for what it's worth. I think we used to call it sleigh riding when we were kids though. That or "sledding"... which to me now means snomobiling.

I'm curious to know too if it's a horse and sleigh "sleigh riding" or a kids going down the hill on sleds.

Either way you would treat it similarly in my opinion.

Edited by mrs

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If it's the sound of the jingling bells. braid a small bell or two (cause they're quieter) into his mane. He'll soon get used to the sound. Then you can do a bigger bell, till finally you're using a real big one. That works. Probably isn't the bells so much tho, more likely the sleigh itself.

If it's snowmobiles, you can ask one of the owners to come over (slowly), and just let it sit and run for a bit, till he's more used to it. Then move it a bit (slowly) back and forth. They get used to it pretty quickly. If it's one of those extra loud racing type sounding ones...forget it. Those scare me too.

When we were out on a trail ride this summer, one of the kids had a horse that was scared of the wagons. So they tied him to one of the big draft horses (pair) pulling one of the wagons, and let the big draft pull that little sucker the whole ride. He was a little snot. Next day, the wagons didn't bother him at all. :happy0203: That's always an option.

If it's kids on sliding sleds, get them to come over with them. Or get one yourself and drag it around in the pasture with you. I don't think it's kids on sliding sleds tho.

I think I've covered every case scenario. :winking::happy0203:

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Thank you so much for your replies. This is the first time I'm back to the computer again since this morning.

So sorry about the wording I used about sleigh riders. I'm from Queens NY and that's what we use to call it back when. They are kids sleigh riding. they are far away.I just think he can't tell what they are so he thinks these little black dots that disappear behind a house are coming to get him.

He dosn't care if my kids are in the yard sleigh riding or sledding.

Called the vet she said get him locked up before they start sledding and come up to the office for some drugs (ace).

Well running around all day getting ready for another storm. 1 1/2 more feet of snow on top of 2 feet. Went down to the barn when I got home. He was very calm. He can't see them now. Didn't give him the ace but gave more hay. Now it's getting dark and the sledders are still on the hill I wish they would go home so I can let them out.

When you lock them up you have to feed them more hay and with all this snow I don't know when I'm going to be able to get more.

I do have 2 horses but they are in seperate pastures because they fight so much. My other horse got 2 teeth kicked out. He also on different occasions had numerous cuts scrapes wounds etc. So I seperated them with a gate in the middle of the aisle in the barn. And a fence down the middle of the pasture which was supposed to be used for rotation purposes but the vet was coming ot so much I had to seperate them.

Well thaks so much and if there is anymore advice I would apprecciate it,

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