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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2009
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Question Anybody use herbal remedies to calm the crazy show horse?

    I have a gelding that is sane at home but NOT in the show ring.... Walking in the arena he rears or straight up refuses to enter...fun I know... I have tried using ani-meds vita calm before event sto calm his nerves and I have recently tried ace with ZERO effect. Vet has checked him out...no pain from dental issues or anywhere else on his body. He is as close to perfect health as you can get him...But these horsey anxiety attacks have GOT TO GOOOOOO!? He will go in eventually if you pony him in with another horse and than he is back to excited to perform but done trying to kill me... I have some new training tips to use to try an get him over the anxiety through drills but I am looking for something he can swallow to sooth his nutty self! Suggestions????
    don't squat with your spurs on!



  2. #2
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    Jun. 18, 2009
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    Michigan
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    Please don't be offended, had a similar problem myself.

    Have you had your trainer take the horse in a class? Or if you are the trainer, what about talking a nerves of steel friend into taking him in a few classes?

    I found that my jumper started with minor show ring spaz moments, that I brushed of as baby stuff, and it started escalating. It got to the point that I was getting tense and worried and therefore he was getting tense and worried, and dangerous-"If mom does'nt want to go in the ring, there must be something bad in there"....Mine was not, first show wigged out-got worse from there. Mine was a 3 shows in, he started getting more and more uptight until it was scary for bystanders.

    Through the years I have discovered that if a rider has a good base of trust with a horse shows and home are'nt any different. How I act at a horse show however has a huge impact on my horse.



  3. #3
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    Jun. 14, 2009
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    No offense taken and he is my horse and I am the trainer at the present time... I have spoken to two other md trainers and most say either tactics I have already or they say just change disciplines all together... i am not interested in changing disciplines! He is a totally different horse at home.. I have come to calll it Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde syndrome lol I bought him 2 years ago with this issue and after a year off before attempting a ring entrance again he still went spazzy but to a lesser degree (if that makes any sense). The people who sold him to me said he was a backup mount to a more "automatic" horse their daughter more regularly used.... So that just tells me he never got to be a horse and have any fun and just being hauled away and asked to perform when she broke the other one.... I have had experience with other horses with similar problems and none of the tricks that worked on them work on him...The behavior is only at the ring entrance....and than once your in its over and he is down to business....
    don't squat with your spurs on!



  4. #4
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Is this the older gelding who needs weight? I'm just trying to figure out the players
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  5. #5
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    Jun. 14, 2009
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    Baltimore, MD
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    No maam! lol good question though This is a 12 year old Appendix Quarter Horse!
    don't squat with your spurs on!



  6. #6
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    Nov. 18, 2004
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    Catonsville, MD
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    The only herbal remedy I recommend is turnout. :-)

    It seems like the thing to do w/ Mr. Tense is to take him to every $10 a class local show you can find and try to show him how truly unremarkable the show ring is. Is he good to trailer? Is he good off the property but not at horse shows, like being trailered somewhere to trail ride? You could always take him on a trailer ride to a nearby park or even to a show grounds when they aren't having a show, take him out, take him in the ring, walk around, go home. Rinse. Repeat.

    When I have helped my trainer take greenies to show, I have often walked them in hand all over the show grounds, letting them graze, hang out, look around, etc., which helped a lot. The more you can get them to believe that the show is not anything different or worrisome, the better.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  7. #7
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    Jun. 14, 2009
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    yea he is great in the trailer, great trailered off grounds to strange trails...really a nice horse. HE IS ON TURNOUT!!!!! I gave him a year off and sentenced him to a life of trails and swimming for a year after his forst big pen freak out than I did take him to the local equestrian center for a local show and even entering that dinky ring he does the same stuff!!!! Now....if there are other horses in a ring warming up he will happily enter BUT if noone is in there but obstacles he is going skyward! lol

    I took him to a "fun show" (not so fun lol) this past saturday and he still did the same crap....a reduced version of his former self...but still reared and got progressively worse with each ring entrance ( they had 7 events... you should of seen me at event number 7! omg...no bueno lol)
    don't squat with your spurs on!



  8. #8
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    Jun. 30, 2005
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    It sounds like he is ring sour. My gelding will be reluctant to go into the ring when we are at shows but he is not as bad as you are describing. What helps my boy is to do some schooling rounds where I just go in and walk around that arena and not do a pattern (I show in reining). I am sure that there other things to do for the ring sour horse and maybe some of the trainers here can chime in.

    Good luck!



  9. #9
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    Nov. 18, 2004
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    That sounds tough. Is he always unwilling to go into a ring alone, whether showing or not?

    I didn't mean to suggest you weren't turning him out, merely that it's the most effective reducer of horse nuttiness I know.

    Good luck, and it could be true that he is just not a show horse.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  10. #10
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    Jun. 14, 2009
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    he enters my home ring just fine. never a rear at home...just at shows. something had to of happened to him in that little space that he just cannot move past...I took him to a clinic at J Bar W Ranch here in MD last year and he made a liar out of me with his well behaved self lol I'm at a loss with how to handle his antics
    don't squat with your spurs on!



  11. #11
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    Mar. 9, 2006
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    Chapel Hill, NC
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    This may be controversial, so flame suit on...

    I use Bach Flower Remedies Rescue Remedy. 3cc orally for pony, 3 drops orally for me on days that one or both of us is anxious.

    Per USEF, anything used to calm is not legal even if it doesn't test. So I do not condone it's use at a licensed show, nor do I know if it does or does not test. But for schooling shows, etc. you could see if it made a difference.
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.



  12. #12
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    Feb. 16, 2006
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    I would suggest have a friend bring their nice calm horse and plan a big day of just entering the cake walks at a local show. Spend the day watching with no intention of actually showing. After the show if possible spend time in ring. I would also suggest if you have friends to ride with go to their farm and play horse show. Lot of time lot of effort but if she is a nice horse it may be worth it.

    How is she on trails? Perfect time of year to get everyone to go on a trail ride with the goof ball at the back of the line. Long enough ride and they get the hang of it.

    Don't feel bad, I also have stupid at the end of the lead rope in the barn. I move the rake at the front of the barn and I have to spend 5 min. getting her past it. Anything new and we have to study it, look at it, run away from it, then actually run past it just so we can get outside. Gets old. The mare is 10 years old.
    The View from Here



  13. #13
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    Jun. 30, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestrocket View Post
    he enters my home ring just fine. never a rear at home...just at shows. something had to of happened to him in that little space that he just cannot move past...I took him to a clinic at J Bar W Ranch here in MD last year and he made a liar out of me with his well behaved self lol I'm at a loss with how to handle his antics
    This sounds like he is ring sour. They get worse at shows because they know that everytime they go into the show pen that they have to work harder. Most of us get a bit nervous when showing and convey that energy to them. I know that I tend to get a bit more grabby with my reins and just push things much harder when I am showing. Plus if you are doing 7 events at one show he has to be tired and that could make him not want to go into the ring. As someone else pointed out maybe he is not happy showing or needs to do something else for awhile like going on some trail rides.



  14. #14
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    Jan. 18, 2009
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    maybe a strange suggestion, but try a little meditation before you go in...

    If he is truly not sore and generally likes his job, then the difference might be you. If you are up there worrying about the class or about his behaviour, you are telegraphing your fears to the horse. They can pick up very subtle signals. So perhaps if you get your anxiety completely under control he'll respond better.

    Good luck!

    If the problem is just him, of course you have to rule out all the things that might be causing the behaviour before trying any chemical fix.

    Back in the early 80s, I had a OTQH that was a fantastic mover. She would blow in unfamiliar surroundings. At the time it was suggested that I try Equinime. I'm not usually a fan of using supplements for training, but I tried it for this mare. After a couple of months, we got through the sticky spots and she never had an issue again. Later, I tried it on another TB mare I got because her trainer pronounced her a liability and too dangerous to be at the track. She was wildly unpredictable and would blow up with no concern for her own or anyone elses safety. I was at a boarding barn at the time and would provide the supplement, but they would forget to tell me when they ran out. I was surprised that I could really tell when they ran out by her personality change. For her it took a little longer to come around, but eventually she did and it really seemed to help her through the rough patch.

    All that said, I'm not sure they are using the same formulation these days, back then it smelled strongly of valerian (although exact ingredients were not listed) and now they claim it to be valerian free. I was pleased with the results, it's not a substitute for training issues or anything, but it seemed to take the hyperresponsive edge off these two mares so that I could work with them.

    And the last note of course is that it is really against the rules to show with any mood altering substance, testable or not...
    Turn off the computer and go ride!



  15. #15
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    Oct. 2, 2004
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    Have you had him checked for ulcers? Maybe the stress of going to horse shows is causing an ulcer flare up?



  16. #16
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    Pink ponies- I have never had him scoped for ulcers...but other than rearing at the entry way he goes right back to placid after all is said and done..he will practically drag a$$ out of the ring when all is said and done. He eats perfect and doesn't have any issues... The whole thing is just odd... You can gate him all day long and he'll watch the other horses run in and out and he'll fall asleep. I can haul him to trails off my barn and he is the lead pony. Will walk through fire...But that alley!!!!! ahhhhhhhh!!!

    I really don't think I am feeding him via my nervousness... I mean I was nervous at first but now I come to expect it..so I talk to him and eventually I get the oh fine and he goes in (ponied in). He doesn't bolt i or anything and aside from rearing he still listens when all four feet are on the ground lol maybe I should start carrying a bottle of nyquil around for myself!

    foggy do you still use Equinime? Anybody else use this? I have never heard of it....but I'm up for some googling!
    don't squat with your spurs on!



  17. #17
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    If this was my horse, I would go to a very cooperative local schooling show, and I would arrange to ride him in the ring, have a helper come in and feed him loads of carrots or sugar, and then ride out.

    Maybe the next time, I'd get carrots, I'd walk him around once, carrot, ride out. And I'd do that all day. Maybe I'd have him go in first, have another horse come in after, ride around a bit more, but lightly, ride out.

    This would be even easier if you don't need a show to duplicate the behavior. Can you just haul to a place that has shows, but on a quiet day? Get him to the point where he goes to that arena, walks in and out, nothing bad happens? That would be a good base to start on. Then go back to that same place on a show day, and do the same.

    Clicker training can also be useful for reworking an old, painful experience. It is, in fact, tailor made for quickly building new neurological patterns, particularly for such a simple behavior.

    Think about what may have happened to this horse. Maybe an old rider always hit the horse with a stick before entering the ring to jump. You need to erase that memory and overlay it with new memories, and you won't do that with pharmaceuticals.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  18. #18
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    Nov. 9, 2005
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    uk
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwestrocket View Post
    I have a gelding that is sane at home but NOT in the show ring.... Walking in the arena he rears or straight up refuses to enter...fun I know... I have tried using ani-meds vita calm before event sto calm his nerves and I have recently tried ace with ZERO effect. Vet has checked him out...no pain from dental issues or anywhere else on his body. He is as close to perfect health as you can get him...But these horsey anxiety attacks have GOT TO GOOOOOO!? He will go in eventually if you pony him in with another horse and than he is back to excited to perform but done trying to kill me... I have some new training tips to use to try an get him over the anxiety through drills but I am looking for something he can swallow to sooth his nutty self! Suggestions????
    1st get him off any grain given and feed him hay only half the time horses play up as its food related so knck the grian on the head, dont worry horse wont die and wont stave
    it will take about 2 weeks for any grian to come out of his system

    this will calm the horse - so will a pasture that isnt lush in grass as makes them gassy a hot headed
    then check his bridle and his teeth,, have his back checked and his saddle
    ok once thats all done then
    now we have a much clamer saner horse to work with
    when you get to an event tack up and work the horse in - ie get on him and wrok him in a quiet area so that he listens you dont just expect the horse to enter and ring some dont
    as sometimes its a big deal as they havebt enough ring expreince behiind them and the atmostphere is quite danting to them so they re-act to it

    also becuase you know he does you re-act to it to,


    this is the only time i would use spurs to when horse goes up pony club kick and say oilk--------
    excuse me - some will say lead the horse but then he learns to be relay on another it defeats the object as some horses are just pants and are very bossy and like i say this is the only time i would use spurs as i am not going to work harder than the horse and i am alpha
    and i will tell them -

    we had a show last week end and one of the people there had a naughty horse that was constantly rearing now most shows would ask you to leave as it dangerous
    this horse had this girls no- so my daughter says give him to me as i was judging at the time
    on another ring
    10mins of debs being on him he tried to get her off by rearing and not wanting to go into the ring so she immedaitely got her spurs out of the car and went back and got on him again and he tried big time sstraight up vertical he went ------- and
    she booted him hard and pushed him on and forwards as he landed giving no option but to drive him forwards into the ring and jumped him she didnt care he was going into the ring and she wasnt going to let him get away with - period

    the girl wanted to do another class and as soon as she was on him tried his stuff agian
    again debs got on him-- but this time he knew - he didnt even bother so swapped back after 10mins with debs and the girl went into the ring and did her class
    my piont some times they do take the piss big time then you have to get tougher

    in gerneral we always work them in if new or lack of expreince by working him with a possitive secure leg on,, independant seat and soft hands outside the rings in a quiet area

    the more work you do the less likely they do it, the more events and things you go to the more they accept the hussle and bussle and atmostphere but it has to be consistent
    no good doing the odd one as it will never be over come

    take himout and about and let him see things -- start of with simple things
    if x/c then sponsored rides then x/c then h/t or p/c or r/c club events before eventing
    so horse learns as he goes and gains confidence

    if show jumping then local shows and clinics or combine training etc
    if dressage local low keyed stuff then move upwards

    you want lots of low keyed stuff wherby there not loads of people but enough to start him of with then as he learns to accept it do better things

    also take the time to read my helpful links pages as horses dont go up unless theres a reason - ie it could be you antispating him so are jabbing him in the mouth the imedate re-action of a horse is to hollow up or go up
    so have your trianer work on your hands seat and legs

    read all of page 1 and all links http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=178116

    when working the horse in -- i mean work as in work not lunge - this will get him focussing on you
    then attempt to enter the ring
    lots of transitions and working trots extended and medium so he lengthens and shortens keep him thinking on you

    it will also help you to relaxed as it could be that yourself plays a part in his re action to the ring
    as it can be becuase you sending him a doubt which is a fear factor off

    oooh no we go to go in the ring now and i know hes going to play up at the entry
    so horsey does exactly that becusae you have told him sub conciously to

    and the doubt in you mind has signal in fear in his mind so up he goes -- so clear you mind
    and concentrate on working the horse in out side - even if its just going to shows to show him the hussle and the bussle of the show having a wander round getting the feel of things
    then when settled if something there thats tiny to do like say clear round jumping or low keyed
    showing class then have a go dont expect to win thats not the object of the exercise

    the object o the excercise is ring expreince to gain ring expreince -- that way your winning and the horse ends on agood note and something to think about and sleep on

    then when hes behaviour has improved and you may want more from him then and a little more energy re introduce grain little bit and trial and error with it if hes to hot to handle then reduce the intake if hes to lazy increase the intake but you do it at you pace and this way the horse will be a little calmer and easier to handle
    Last edited by goeslikestink; Aug. 21, 2009 at 04:32 PM.



  19. #19
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    Ditto what poltroon suggested. You may not even need the treats, just go in, walk around & right back out. It won't be quick, it won't be easy, but it sounds pretty logical.
    Cindy



  20. #20
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    Jul. 5, 2007
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    OP - is this a barrel racer?



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