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By: Megan T
on May 04, 2009
in Hunter / Jumper Questions
My horse is quite skittish and spooks at almost everything...a door closing, a car starting outside, the wind making a noise, and gets especially worked up if another horse starts acting up in the same arena. It doesn't take much to make him tense, but it takes a while to calm him down. I do my best to keep him focused and in a frame and not looking around for distractions, but he still spooks quite a bit. I still have aspirations of showing him, but at the moment I'm not sure we would finish a course. I've been hoping time will just help him relax, but does anyone have any alternate methods or recomendations as to how to help him relax and spook less?
Are you open to feeding supplements? If so, I'd recomend smartcalm or smartcalm ultra - its done wonders for my roommate's horse who was always spooking! Feel free to take a look at it and/or read the reviews on smartpak's website, www.smartpak.com
lavender is a soothing sent; used to lower anxiety and tension and to relax; sounds to me though that you just need to distract him keep him busy and ignore his spooking but reward when he doesn't...even the slightest improvement always reward. Just expose him to different sounds and be confident:)
im not sure about this but heres an idea. when your horse gets spooked, if he's not bucking and freaking out, stroke him and feed him a little treat or something, make him feel more secure and safe. hope it works :)
My gelding Memphis is like that, he thinks to much for his own good. I just desensitize, desensitize,desensitize to everything I can think of. I will desensitize or play with him on the ground first to everything from walking beside the tractor/vehicle to chasing bags. I go very slow with him in the beginning and once he starts to relax we will stay at that pace for a little bit then make it a tiny bit scary again until he relaxes. Lots of petting and telling him that he is doing good. I got the Boom proofing you horse book, its been pretty helpful in finding new things to desensitize him to. I hope this helps even a little.