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You are in... Forums > Welcome To Your Horse Forum > Hints and Tips > how can I help my horse relax and feel more confident?

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sxy0180

Joined:

Feb 09

Posts: 149

sxy0180 says:

how can I help my horse relax and feel more confident?

Hello,

I need some help/tips. I own a gelding arab x cob and recently I've noticed he seems to be more nervous and flighty. He never use to be scared of pedal bikes but recently he trys to rush past them. However, when he see's anything he spooks and hunks up and try's to bolt. It just doesn't seem like him to try and run for it. I'd rather not have to give him calmer or magnesium stuff to calm him as I wouldn't want him to get any side effects but I've been told calmers are good but I think there might be something behind it. His backs fine and his teeth and getting done soon. The only other thing I can think of is recently I put his in a treeless where as, he was originally in a normal made to fit saddle. I'm not sure if this is what has made him start behaving or could it be down to his girth?. If anyone has any hints or tips I would be glad to have some suggestions. 
 
Thank you, April 
 

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msg_minx

Joined:

Oct 07

Posts: 396

msg_minx says:

Re: how can I help my horse relax and feel more confident?

Have you changed his feed lately?

Turn out or less exercise?

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sxy0180

Joined:

Feb 09

Posts: 149

sxy0180 says:

Re: how can I help my horse relax and feel more confident?

 He lives out 24/7.  i haven't changed his feed and he gets ridden out at weekends due to the fact  i am still at school tll june/july x

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msg_minx

Joined:

Oct 07

Posts: 396

msg_minx says:

Re: how can I help my horse relax and feel more confident?

Something has upset him if he didnt do this before and his girth wouldnt have that effect.  He would be more likely to nip when girhting if it was bothering him.

If you take him out in company of a quiet companion to give him confidence and get him out as much as possible for the repetition.

My mare is very spooky on hacks (we have country roads no bridlepaths) and I need her out as mcuh as possible or she will be very jumpy. 

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millymoo22

Joined:

Feb 12

Posts: 4

millymoo22 says:

Re: how can I help my horse relax and feel more confident?

 Hello 

 

Have you tried using equine calming supplements? Might help? Have a look at The Pet Medicine Company, they have quite a good selection and they are fairly priced 

 

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Cocosmom

Joined:

Jan 09

Posts: 2546

Cocosmom says:

Re: how can I help my horse relax and feel more confident?

How long have you owned him for? Just wondering as a lot of horses will be fine for a month or two when you first own them and then when they start to feel their feet or if they do not settle into their new homes and feel insecure they will start to mis-behave of show signs of insecurity in their behaviour.

 

Does he do this just when you hack out alone or when with others as well? What about in hand, is he nervous then or more relaxed than when you ride him? Are you a nervous rider as if he feels you tensing even slightly when a bike comes towards you in anticipation of his nervous behaviour this will highlight to him that his rider is scared too.  

 

Is it just bikes he has become nervous of? If so could you try and desensitise him at home in the yard and field? For example, could you handle him and get a friend to bring a bike over for him to sniff and look at? Then maybe get someone to cycle around the yard/field while you hold and handle him, keeping thier distance at first and as he relaxes get them to start cycling a little closer and closer until he realises they are not out to get him and you are with him reassuring him and keeping him safe. Cyclists on the road dont always understand horses and can sometime come wooshing past out of no where which can cause horses to spook and become wary of them. Coco always had a problem with cyclists who stand and cycle and kind of bounce up and down and make the bike move from side to side underneath them. 

 

It does sound more like he is nervous of something rather than a tack issue so I would work on ground work, reassuring him and trying to give him confidence in you that you wont let anything get him. Be calm, be relaxed and confident that bikes are fine and safe and he should start to feed off your confience and relax the more he comes acorss them.  

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