myriamw

My Horse Is Scared To Death Of My Neighbor..

Recommended Posts

I have noticed that anytime i'm riding my horse and my neighbor drives his car down to his house, she freaks out and will not move at all till i get off and drag her home. If hes walking in his yard she starts galloping to the lowest part of her pasture and stands down there, watching him. Today i was lunging her and she was doing a fantastic job, then my neighbor came out and she nearly plowed me over several times. She wont walk past his house even, I dont understand why shes so scared off him. Last summer he'd walk up to the fence and put apples in there so she could eat them. He mows his grass and dumps the cut grass in her fence for her. I dont understand this new behavior she has towards him. Anyone got an idea of whats going on with her?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yuck, the first thing I'd wonder is what did he do? =\ What kind of a relationship/history do you have with him? If you went over and talked to him about it would he be honest with you, if there were anything, you think?

Or maybe it's a recently developed or emphasized male gender thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i don't think he had to have done anything-she is just being reactive , instead of focusing on you.Could just as well be another horse is the distance, a tractor or any number of things. When Smilie was two of three, a neighbour would jog down the road, past our outdoor arena. I knew darn well he never did anything to her, and she was just being a young reactive horse. The solution was to make her focus on me and put her back to work

Next time, it was a blue tractor, working up the field across the road, that had a front end loader on-again she tried to stare and freak out. I got her attention back on me and made her work. This is called seasoning a green horse

Every time you let her stare at your neighbour, her attention is not on you. The fact that she tried to run over you, again points to basic training holes.

I would have him stop feeding her lawn clippings and apples-for her health sake.

I very much doubt that your neighbour did anything to your horse, or that she is even freaking out at him personnally-just freaking at some distant movement, being a horse

Another example. I rode a young horse out in the field next to us, that has a hill, going towards the far fence and the highway. Before you go up that hill, you just see the tops of cars whizzing by-my horse tries to bolt towards home, having no idea what that movement was. . I had to work her on some body control exercises, get her mind back on me, and then ride her up to have a look

I would suggest

a - get her mind back on you

b work her

c ask your neighbour to walk up, while you keep working her

Is she an only horse, thus constantly on the alert for any strange movement, and without a more seasoned horse to assure her that the movement is not dangerous or a threat?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Careful with the grass clippings. It makes horses choke and can make them sick because it ferments very fast.

He probably did something that scared her. Doesn't necessarily mean something bad or even towards her. He could have started a chainsaw or make a loud noise or movement when she was close to the fence and unaware and spooked her and now she is just being reactive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.Waiting for more info. How broke is this horse and how seasoned?

The fact that she also watches his car, has me pretty much convinced, until proven otherwise, that her reacts have nothing to do with the neighbour himself per say, but more that of a reactive horse, reacting to anything different moving in her general sight, esp if she is an only horse in that pasture.

No different than taking a young horse to his first show, where all at once the new stimuli have him distracted and being reactive, so that he is a very different horse than when it is just the two of you at home

The fact that she tried to run over you, more or less tuning you out, shows me less a real fear of your neighbour per say,and more one of loss of respect towards you, tuning you out when something else gets her attention

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My horse generaly doesnt mind cars at all unless their 18 wheelers or loud engined trucks, so i dont think its her being afraid of cars. Normaly when riding if she gets spooked ill make her stop until i have her attention back and then go on. Things like farm equipment or wild animals normaly spook her, but for a second then she'll continue. She LOVES people, Anytime im riding her and we see someone shes got to go up and sniff them. Ive been friends with my neighbor since i was 9, i know he didnt hurt her but he may have scared her. He does target practice in his yard with his gun, so she maybe associating the loud gun shots with my neighbor. I've never had my horse walk towards me and nearly plow me over to get behind me before though, i mean she was trying to hide behind me because she saw him walking through the yard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I tend to agree with Smilie, but one thing sticks out to me.

You said "I have noticed that anytime i'm riding my horse and my neighbor drives his car down to his house, she freaks out and will not move at all till i get off and drag her home."

Maybe she is picking up on your expected reaction to the neighbor and this works to her benefit as far as getting out of work. Horses read us just as we should try and read them. We often train them to react by our body language without meaning to do so. Especially if it's a horse that is smart and very intuned(in good & bad ways) to the person on the ground or riding them.

Also,if she's trying to hide behind you, shes's not respecting your space or trusting your judgement to lead her at your shoulder. I agree, she lacks focus to trust you.A horse is in most cases a mirror of the handler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you do when she spooks exactly? Do you pretend it didn't happen and continue with your lesson and work her out of it? Or do you coddle her behavior and essentially tell her she really DOES have something to be afraid about? Horses will pick up on how YOU are feeling, reacting, good energy/bad energy, etc, if you give your horse nothing to react to, they will follow suit. If you are not a confident leader, your horse will become nervous, about anything new and strange. If you are defensive, looking around for the next loud noise or reason for your horse to spook, your horse will be doing the same thing. Are there any other horses with your horse? A level headed companion can help tremendously.

Personally I would politely talk to my neighbor and see if he would assist you in desensitizing her to his daily activities by driving his car, mowing his yard, shooting his gun, or whatever he does. Enlist a professional if you are not confident handling your horse while he is doing things that would normally make her spook, and see how your horse feeds off their (hopefully) calm assertive demeanor. With the end result being that their different, more positive energy helps move your horse past the spook at everything your neighbor does stage, and they can give you hands on pointers on how to control YOUR energy and emotions to help your horse along. You may not even know you are reacting in a certain way, so a second pair of eyes, of a knowledgeable horse person, can be so so helpful.

Edited by Smokum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now