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rainyspirit

flaky Arabian

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I have an 5 yr old arabian gelding that will be coming back from 30 days of training. But there is a few things we have to work on. He kind of gets alittle flaky around objects out on the trail. For an example if he see a bird fly over head or a huge rock on the ground he gets wide eye and thinks its gonna eat him alive. Does anyone have any ideas on what I can do to try to get him to settle down a bit? I know being an arabian they are usually flighty anyways.

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I have an 5 yr old arabian gelding that will be coming back from 30 days of training. But there is a few things we have to work on. He kind of gets alittle flaky around objects out on the trail. For an example if he see a bird fly over head or a huge rock on the ground he gets wide eye and thinks its gonna eat him alive. Does anyone have any ideas on what I can do to try to get him to settle down a bit? I know being an arabian they are usually flighty anyways.

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That last line tells me you have already lost the battle here. I've kept and raised Arabians for 30 years, and they aren't any more "flighty" than any other breed, when properly handled.

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That last line tells me you have already lost the battle here. I've kept and raised Arabians for 30 years, and they aren't any more "flighty" than any other breed, when properly handled.

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Well, he is handled properly. I should rephrase that MOST Arabians that I have been around were high spirited. I did not say anything bad about the arabian. I love arabians highspirited,flighty or not. I was just asking for Advice. I am not looking to get slammed.

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Well, he is handled properly. I should rephrase that MOST Arabians that I have been around were high spirited. I did not say anything bad about the arabian. I love arabians highspirited,flighty or not. I was just asking for Advice. I am not looking to get slammed.

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Sorry. There is a big difference between 'flighty' and high spirited. Have you tried talking to him as you ride? TELL him he's being silly and nothing will get him. Seems to do a lot toward calming my bunch if something makes them tense. Let him stand still and check it out if needed, til he learns to trust your voice. Then there is the fact that Arabians are smart, and will often pull such stunts just to see if YOU are paying attention. [Wink]

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Sorry. There is a big difference between 'flighty' and high spirited. Have you tried talking to him as you ride? TELL him he's being silly and nothing will get him. Seems to do a lot toward calming my bunch if something makes them tense. Let him stand still and check it out if needed, til he learns to trust your voice. Then there is the fact that Arabians are smart, and will often pull such stunts just to see if YOU are paying attention. [Wink]

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Thanks,I read my post over again and I totally understand where you are coming from thats why I wrote it over. [big Grin]

The trainer told me,he will stand real stiff or he will try to spin away from what ever frightens him. Its not constance it happens when she leaves the area from which she trains him and takes him on the trails. I am wondering if I lead him on the trails that I will be taking him on and help him get familiar with the surroundings if that would help him any. I know the local people here sometimes have get togethers and go trail riding. Also would it help any if I had another horse riding with us would make him feel more secure. But then again I will be trail riding alot by myself.

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Thanks,I read my post over again and I totally understand where you are coming from thats why I wrote it over. [big Grin]

The trainer told me,he will stand real stiff or he will try to spin away from what ever frightens him. Its not constance it happens when she leaves the area from which she trains him and takes him on the trails. I am wondering if I lead him on the trails that I will be taking him on and help him get familiar with the surroundings if that would help him any. I know the local people here sometimes have get togethers and go trail riding. Also would it help any if I had another horse riding with us would make him feel more secure. But then again I will be trail riding alot by myself.

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I have owned Arabians almost exclusively for about 36 years now. In all that time, I have only ever had one that was the stereo-type. I have shown them, endurance ridden them, trail ridden them and gamed them and with only the one exception they have been wonderful horses. I believe I would have found one exception in all that time in whatever breed I had. Don't let people talk you into expecting less of them just because they are Arab. In my opinion, you should expect MORE because they are Arab. HE will settle down with a lot of patient and consistant exposure. There is no substitute for saddle time.

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I have owned Arabians almost exclusively for about 36 years now. In all that time, I have only ever had one that was the stereo-type. I have shown them, endurance ridden them, trail ridden them and gamed them and with only the one exception they have been wonderful horses. I believe I would have found one exception in all that time in whatever breed I had. Don't let people talk you into expecting less of them just because they are Arab. In my opinion, you should expect MORE because they are Arab. HE will settle down with a lot of patient and consistant exposure. There is no substitute for saddle time.

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Maybe if, like you say, you always had arabians, so you really don't know what a nice, gentle slow, non-reactive horse is like, the less reactive arabian seems dead gentle to you? [Wink]

Just teasing! [Razz]

I had a few goofy ones, arabians, TB's, AQHA and you guess what grade mixtures.

Arabians don't have a monopoly on that personality.

My first best cowhorse was a half paint, half arabian gray gelding.

One of the several registered arabians we had developed Cushings and needed special management.

We donated him to the local college, that used him for beginner's lessons for many years, then in their horse theraphy.

He was quiet and sensible, no flightiness to him at all.

The original poster may have one of the more sensitive, alert and flighty horses, of any breed, here arabian.

Many miles and exposure to as much as you can manage, under controlled conditions, that will help your horse, along with more months of training, to become more stable and secure, less reactive, up to a point.

If he is so by nature, it may always be a little of an effort for him to learn to stay quiet, when things get hot.

Continued good training will help him.

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Maybe if, like you say, you always had arabians, so you really don't know what a nice, gentle slow, non-reactive horse is like, the less reactive arabian seems dead gentle to you? [Wink]

Just teasing! [Razz]

I had a few goofy ones, arabians, TB's, AQHA and you guess what grade mixtures.

Arabians don't have a monopoly on that personality.

My first best cowhorse was a half paint, half arabian gray gelding.

One of the several registered arabians we had developed Cushings and needed special management.

We donated him to the local college, that used him for beginner's lessons for many years, then in their horse theraphy.

He was quiet and sensible, no flightiness to him at all.

The original poster may have one of the more sensitive, alert and flighty horses, of any breed, here arabian.

Many miles and exposure to as much as you can manage, under controlled conditions, that will help your horse, along with more months of training, to become more stable and secure, less reactive, up to a point.

If he is so by nature, it may always be a little of an effort for him to learn to stay quiet, when things get hot.

Continued good training will help him.

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You and your horse need to bond. Arabians will create very strong bonds with their owners if you try. When you get him home, just spend some time with him. Groom him, talk to him, bathe him, give him treats when he's good, graze him, etc...

Also, take him on "walks" in hand on the trail, just the two of you. When he gets scared at something, walk him up to it and let him investigate it. Talk to him, pat him, touch the object yourself so he can see it won't eat him. Encourage him to sniff it. Stay next to the scary thing until he stops snorting and has calmed down. Than walk off. When you do walk off, make him walk slow and relaxed; ask for his head to come down and pat him to calm him. When you get a "safe" distance from the scary thing, let him graze if there is any grass available. Grazing releases endorphins in the horse and creates a sense of well being.

Go out on walks as much as you can. Keep walking him in hand until he starts looking to you for comfort and he'll stop and look at whatever is scaring him instead of trying to run. Arabians are very curious by nature, so let him know that being curious about scary things is good too.

We did all of the above with our Anglo Arabian (TB x Arab cross) and he has turned out really nice. He's very bold on the trail. When he sees something "Scary" he snorts at it, may start (kind of jump in place), but then he wants to run up to it and check it out (snorting the whole time of corse, lol). It's really fun and has made him a much more confident horse.

One thing to mention, do NOT pony him with another horse. You want him to look to you for comfort, not his best trail buddy...

Good luck and remember to always wear your helmet when riding!

~Barbara

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You and your horse need to bond. Arabians will create very strong bonds with their owners if you try. When you get him home, just spend some time with him. Groom him, talk to him, bathe him, give him treats when he's good, graze him, etc...

Also, take him on "walks" in hand on the trail, just the two of you. When he gets scared at something, walk him up to it and let him investigate it. Talk to him, pat him, touch the object yourself so he can see it won't eat him. Encourage him to sniff it. Stay next to the scary thing until he stops snorting and has calmed down. Than walk off. When you do walk off, make him walk slow and relaxed; ask for his head to come down and pat him to calm him. When you get a "safe" distance from the scary thing, let him graze if there is any grass available. Grazing releases endorphins in the horse and creates a sense of well being.

Go out on walks as much as you can. Keep walking him in hand until he starts looking to you for comfort and he'll stop and look at whatever is scaring him instead of trying to run. Arabians are very curious by nature, so let him know that being curious about scary things is good too.

We did all of the above with our Anglo Arabian (TB x Arab cross) and he has turned out really nice. He's very bold on the trail. When he sees something "Scary" he snorts at it, may start (kind of jump in place), but then he wants to run up to it and check it out (snorting the whole time of corse, lol). It's really fun and has made him a much more confident horse.

One thing to mention, do NOT pony him with another horse. You want him to look to you for comfort, not his best trail buddy...

Good luck and remember to always wear your helmet when riding!

~Barbara

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IMO (I've been working with Arabs for 2 years) some horses spook/look at things as an excuse. They just want to play! [Razz]

You say this horse is 5 years old. Still a lot of maturing to happen here IMO.

Each horse, of any breed, is a little different. Some need to be "sacked out" and some need a firm hand to get them beyond issues.

My Arab can be as flaky as any horse in the world, or as steady as can be, depending on his mood and how he is being handled.

You might consider more than 30 days of training. [smiley Wavey]

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IMO (I've been working with Arabs for 2 years) some horses spook/look at things as an excuse. They just want to play! [Razz]

You say this horse is 5 years old. Still a lot of maturing to happen here IMO.

Each horse, of any breed, is a little different. Some need to be "sacked out" and some need a firm hand to get them beyond issues.

My Arab can be as flaky as any horse in the world, or as steady as can be, depending on his mood and how he is being handled.

You might consider more than 30 days of training. [smiley Wavey]

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Ooops my bad... He will be 6 in October. Wow time flies. I sent him off for training cause I was having health issues. Its just a minor thing and I think with all the Advice I am sure I can nip in butt.( I think thats how the saying goes)

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Ooops my bad... He will be 6 in October. Wow time flies. I sent him off for training cause I was having health issues. Its just a minor thing and I think with all the Advice I am sure I can nip in butt.( I think thats how the saying goes)

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rainy spirit,

That horse is messing with your head and your trainer's head. Like Oz, Tazz and other longtime Arab owners will tell you, Arabs will constantly test you...deliberately.

My second horse, whom I got when I was 10 and he was 4, was an Arab. That horse kept me out of more trouble because he was, believe it or not, smarter than me and my friends. Jack saved my butt more times on trail and in the showring.

We currently have a gelding whom some might classify as the stereotype at first glance. However, sit and watch Sadeek a while and you'll note that he is a master Machiavellian as well as having a diabolical sense of humor.

Arabs must be entertained and occupied at all times. Without a job or a diversion, they go one of two ways. They either get horribly depressed and become "mean and vicious." (Incidentally, Morgans get that reputation too. Our current sweetie Jack had that reputation.) Or they develop all kinds of games to entertain themselves...voila, the amazing horse eating leaf, fence post, etc!

I play them into another game I call get the [whatever object it is]. My three love it. Just the other day they were in the turn out while the neighbors were having a kids birthday party complete with shrieking children, snapping favors and a huge flapping bedsheet. What do my goobs do? Run over to see if they can kill the sheet and maybe score some snacks.

It's all in how you , not your horse, reacts. If you expect him to act "flighty," he will because you transmit that expectation as soon as he starts his game by tensing up in one way or another. The psychological term for it is self-fulfilling prophecy.

As soon as you occupy his attention otherwise or involve him in "getting" the spooky object, you will see a huge change.

Good luck, and here's my hope that you will learn to come up to the challenge of being a partner with a highly intelligent horse. [smiley Wavey]

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rainy spirit,

That horse is messing with your head and your trainer's head. Like Oz, Tazz and other longtime Arab owners will tell you, Arabs will constantly test you...deliberately.

My second horse, whom I got when I was 10 and he was 4, was an Arab. That horse kept me out of more trouble because he was, believe it or not, smarter than me and my friends. Jack saved my butt more times on trail and in the showring.

We currently have a gelding whom some might classify as the stereotype at first glance. However, sit and watch Sadeek a while and you'll note that he is a master Machiavellian as well as having a diabolical sense of humor.

Arabs must be entertained and occupied at all times. Without a job or a diversion, they go one of two ways. They either get horribly depressed and become "mean and vicious." (Incidentally, Morgans get that reputation too. Our current sweetie Jack had that reputation.) Or they develop all kinds of games to entertain themselves...voila, the amazing horse eating leaf, fence post, etc!

I play them into another game I call get the [whatever object it is]. My three love it. Just the other day they were in the turn out while the neighbors were having a kids birthday party complete with shrieking children, snapping favors and a huge flapping bedsheet. What do my goobs do? Run over to see if they can kill the sheet and maybe score some snacks.

It's all in how you , not your horse, reacts. If you expect him to act "flighty," he will because you transmit that expectation as soon as he starts his game by tensing up in one way or another. The psychological term for it is self-fulfilling prophecy.

As soon as you occupy his attention otherwise or involve him in "getting" the spooky object, you will see a huge change.

Good luck, and here's my hope that you will learn to come up to the challenge of being a partner with a highly intelligent horse. [smiley Wavey]

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quote:

It's all in how you , not your horse, reacts. If you expect him to act "flighty," he will because you transmit that expectation as soon as he starts his game by tensing up in one way or another. The psychological term for it is self-fulfilling prophecy.

As soon as you occupy his attention otherwise or involve him in "getting" the spooky object, you will see a huge change.


I couldn't agree more! [big Grin]

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quote:

It's all in how you , not your horse, reacts. If you expect him to act "flighty," he will because you transmit that expectation as soon as he starts his game by tensing up in one way or another. The psychological term for it is self-fulfilling prophecy.

As soon as you occupy his attention otherwise or involve him in "getting" the spooky object, you will see a huge change.


I couldn't agree more! [big Grin]

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Well, here we go again.

Arabs are a lot smarter than the average cat. They ride a lot higher headed until fully trained to drop it. They have a 'tendency' to be a little 'flightier' if you baby them and let them.

But, they will move off of you leg and you can turn their head AWAY from what they are afraid of, just like any other horse. They can be trained to let you take their head to you knee for a 'time out' to cool down and relax, just like any other horse.

I rode them for years and years. Got in some of the most spooky, goofy, petted and hand fed nut cases in the World. I made a US National Top Ten Trail horse out of one of them, a horse named Salty Sage and made a National Champion Arabian Race horse out of one named Kontiki, the first great Arabian race horse in the US. Salty Sage also won AERC Endurance Races and even won 'Best Condition' at one that we finished first in.

I'm not trying to brag, but I thought I would qualify my coments. I've ridden them - not just read about them.

I first made them respect my leg and get off of it. (Leg yielding exercises). I wanted lateral flexion as they went forward. That takes their attention from the scarry thing to you.

Then, I rode 'hard and fst' and did not give them time to think or look EVERY time they started to raise that head, perk dem ears and get ready to lock up because they thought they were 'terrified' of that horse eating monster behind that big rock or deadfall log coming up on the trail. If I had to spank their butt a time or two to keep that forward motion, so be it.

Don't let people try to tell you that you can't spank an Arabian. He can take a spanking just like a cold blooded horse. He is just smarter and it won't take more than one or two of them and 'he'll get the heck outta Dodge' when you tell him.

People just get it in their heads that Arabs are such 'hot bloods' that you can't get after them. Not so. You just better be sure that they know what they're doing wrong and then they will stop the behavior quicker than most other 'thick skinned' horses.

[ 07-23-2006, 07:35 AM: Message edited by: Cheri Wolfe ]

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Well, here we go again.

Arabs are a lot smarter than the average cat. They ride a lot higher headed until fully trained to drop it. They have a 'tendency' to be a little 'flightier' if you baby them and let them.

But, they will move off of you leg and you can turn their head AWAY from what they are afraid of, just like any other horse. They can be trained to let you take their head to you knee for a 'time out' to cool down and relax, just like any other horse.

I rode them for years and years. Got in some of the most spooky, goofy, petted and hand fed nut cases in the World. I made a US National Top Ten Trail horse out of one of them, a horse named Salty Sage and made a National Champion Arabian Race horse out of one named Kontiki, the first great Arabian race horse in the US. Salty Sage also won AERC Endurance Races and even won 'Best Condition' at one that we finished first in.

I'm not trying to brag, but I thought I would qualify my coments. I've ridden them - not just read about them.

I first made them respect my leg and get off of it. (Leg yielding exercises). I wanted lateral flexion as they went forward. That takes their attention from the scarry thing to you.

Then, I rode 'hard and fst' and did not give them time to think or look EVERY time they started to raise that head, perk dem ears and get ready to lock up because they thought they were 'terrified' of that horse eating monster behind that big rock or deadfall log coming up on the trail. If I had to spank their butt a time or two to keep that forward motion, so be it.

Don't let people try to tell you that you can't spank an Arabian. He can take a spanking just like a cold blooded horse. He is just smarter and it won't take more than one or two of them and 'he'll get the heck outta Dodge' when you tell him.

People just get it in their heads that Arabs are such 'hot bloods' that you can't get after them. Not so. You just better be sure that they know what they're doing wrong and then they will stop the behavior quicker than most other 'thick skinned' horses.

[ 07-23-2006, 07:35 AM: Message edited by: Cheri Wolfe ]

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Trust, saddle time, consistency. Arabs are REALLY smart. If they can get away with something they will. Learn to be two steps ahead at all times. One thing I am learning with Czar is that I have to be thinking the entire time I am riding because HE certainly is. No zoning out-stay tuned in to them. If you feel tension building (and there is no mistaking that feeling) poke him gently in the shoulder and say "BOO!")I know this sounds stupid, but it might just diffuse the imminent spook that they are building up to. They will jump and forget what it was they were getting uptight about in the first place. I thought it was dumb when my instructor told me to do it, but I had a chance to try it on the trail the other day and it really did work. I don't know if it is just a generalization that arabs are hotter and more sensitive than other horses, but when I compare him to my hubby's quarter horse, it seems to be true. His horse seems to take most things in stride whereas any minute change in the environment seems to put Czar on alert. The more miles we put on seems to be changing that though. Good Luck. Oh yea, for the record, listen to Cheri. If your horse is balking really bad DO get after him even if you have to whack him a good one. It will only take once or twice-she got me out of a potentially dangerous situation with that one and since these arabs are smart, you don't have to keep making that point once they know you really are in charge.

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Trust, saddle time, consistency. Arabs are REALLY smart. If they can get away with something they will. Learn to be two steps ahead at all times. One thing I am learning with Czar is that I have to be thinking the entire time I am riding because HE certainly is. No zoning out-stay tuned in to them. If you feel tension building (and there is no mistaking that feeling) poke him gently in the shoulder and say "BOO!")I know this sounds stupid, but it might just diffuse the imminent spook that they are building up to. They will jump and forget what it was they were getting uptight about in the first place. I thought it was dumb when my instructor told me to do it, but I had a chance to try it on the trail the other day and it really did work. I don't know if it is just a generalization that arabs are hotter and more sensitive than other horses, but when I compare him to my hubby's quarter horse, it seems to be true. His horse seems to take most things in stride whereas any minute change in the environment seems to put Czar on alert. The more miles we put on seems to be changing that though. Good Luck. Oh yea, for the record, listen to Cheri. If your horse is balking really bad DO get after him even if you have to whack him a good one. It will only take once or twice-she got me out of a potentially dangerous situation with that one and since these arabs are smart, you don't have to keep making that point once they know you really are in charge.

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