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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2006
    Location
    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
    Posts
    2,364

    Default sacking out ideas - I need your best ideas

    Okay - I am on a mission - to collect all the best ideas for sacking out a horse.

    I have a 4 yr old rio grande mare that is getting a thorough education and I need to challenge and sack her out - everytime she encounters something new she has a melt down - so now I am going to throw everything I can get my hands on at her.

    I have started driving her in long lines, which is allowing me to totally control her body and need things that she will be scared of to drive her past and around.

    We started with a children's pop up tunnel today - it was a challenge but we managed to conquer it.

    We popped it out, rolled it at her and put it on her. then we hung it and swung it. The goal is that this horse will not be bothered by anything that is thrown at her and nothing will phase her.

    I am not being mean - but she is a challenging horse and she needs to know that everything she is asked to do, she will handle.

    So give me your ideas - I can't wait to hear them.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2005
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,740

    Default

    Google Rick Pelicano- he's the "Bombproofing Your Horse" dude. Should be some pictures of what he uses in clinics.

    I had a horse that could be an idiot about new things in spite of the fact he was broke by an Amish guy and did all kinds of funky stuff while he was there. The Amish guy chased cows, checked traplines, and shot off his back and could completely cover him up with a blue plastic tarp, among other things.

    I hung banners and flags on the rail, blasted the radio while I was riding, had DH weed-eat the edges of the ring while I was riding. I walked him over feed sacks and plywood, through the scary hay barn and near anything else I thought he might react to. I rode him near the tractor and had DH start it up while I sat there. I rode him in my hayfield that runs next to the road as much as possible, not that my road is busy but any little bit helps. Because he was a dork, I also took him to a couple of fun shows before we ever went to a real show. Silly horse wouldn't bat an eye at a Ferris wheel, but would spook at the announcer's booth.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    16,485

    Default Clinton Anderson

    There are things i don't like about Clinton Anderson but he is BY FAR the best on desensitizing
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2005
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    3,122

    Default

    trick or treat coustums I was thinking of an MM costum that we have would be fun. lol
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2009
    Location
    SE VA
    Posts
    465

    Default

    While you're on the right track, I ask that you also consider the WAY you expose your horse to these things. Flooding them is one way of course, but the absolute best way to build their confidence is by approach and retreat. Approach with something just to the point where she accepts it calmly, then back off immediately and approach again. sometimes just give her some time to soak it in. Learn to watch for true signs of relaxation and that she is actually thinking about what you are doing and reward her for that by retreating with the scary object. This is where the true NH comes in. I have also attended a Rick Pelicano clinic and the ideas were great but there were cases where his assistants just pulled the horses through/across a scary place and I think such horses would have benefited more if they were allowed to learn those parts in smaller baby steps to build their confidence --- but the clinic was not set up that way but you can do the baby steps at home.

    Bridges (planks on a frame); tarp, starting with it small; plastic bags; tires; balloons; tie tarps etc in strange places; have a friend ride a bike around you first going away from the horse and have the horse follow to build confidence; do that also with a friend with umbrella. Use a long lead rope to throw over her back, hind legs, front legs. (Those rope halter/lead combos sold by BNT on TV are great weight for that. Usually better than average.) Don't be afraid to move quickly around your horse. Jump up and down. Crackle an empty plastic water bottle. Have someone throw things back and forth while you have your horse nearby. Or you yourself throw some safe up in the air and catch it by your horse.

    Another thing that helps while you're exposing your horse to these things is to learn how to control their feet so if they feel they must move their feet YOU stay in control of that. If you just make them stand while they are nervous and snorting they will not learn (as quickly?) And your friend or you whoever is moving something will have to keep doing it a VERY long time to find a positive relaxed moment to reward and stop.

    Use your imagination. Party streamers. . . Ugly lawn ornaments. Trash cans on their sides. . . lids strewn about.

    Have fun!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2005
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    3,122

    Default

    Ugly lawn ornaments. Trash cans on their sides. . . lids strewn about.

    Have fun![/QUOTE]

    LAWN FLAMINGOS!!!!!
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
    Posts
    18,472

    Default

    Excellent post... I have seen horsed ruined by flooding.

    QUOTE=cutemudhorse;5151866]While you're on the right track, I ask that you also consider the WAY you expose your horse to these things. Flooding them is one way of course, but the absolute best way to build their confidence is by approach and retreat. Approach with something just to the point where she accepts it calmly, then back off immediately and approach again. sometimes just give her some time to soak it in. Learn to watch for true signs of relaxation and that she is actually thinking about what you are doing and reward her for that by retreating with the scary object. This is where the true NH comes in. I have also attended a Rick Pelicano clinic and the ideas were great but there were cases where his assistants just pulled the horses through/across a scary place and I think such horses would have benefited more if they were allowed to learn those parts in smaller baby steps to build their confidence --- but the clinic was not set up that way but you can do the baby steps at home.

    Bridges (planks on a frame); tarp, starting with it small; plastic bags; tires; balloons; tie tarps etc in strange places; have a friend ride a bike around you first going away from the horse and have the horse follow to build confidence; do that also with a friend with umbrella. Use a long lead rope to throw over her back, hind legs, front legs. (Those rope halter/lead combos sold by BNT on TV are great weight for that. Usually better than average.) Don't be afraid to move quickly around your horse. Jump up and down. Crackle an empty plastic water bottle. Have someone throw things back and forth while you have your horse nearby. Or you yourself throw some safe up in the air and catch it by your horse.

    Another thing that helps while you're exposing your horse to these things is to learn how to control their feet so if they feel they must move their feet YOU stay in control of that. If you just make them stand while they are nervous and snorting they will not learn (as quickly?) And your friend or you whoever is moving something will have to keep doing it a VERY long time to find a positive relaxed moment to reward and stop.

    Use your imagination. Party streamers. . . Ugly lawn ornaments. Trash cans on their sides. . . lids strewn about.

    Have fun![/QUOTE]
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2009
    Location
    Northeast Ohio, where mud rules your world...
    Posts
    1,366

    Default

    swim noodles are nice because they are light weight. You can wave them around for some time and your arms don't get tired.
    ...don't sh** where you eat...



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2002
    Location
    Cave Creek, AZ
    Posts
    7,908

    Default

    At the Scottsdale Police Mounted Unit clinic, they had lots of the things mentioned above, plus:
    • Mylar ballons
    • Empty soda cans tied to a long string - the police horses will tow that around and tolerate having it flipped from side to side over their heads
    • Soda cans with rocks/gravel sealed in them - protestors shake those in the horses' faces
    • A U-shape made from PVC pipes, with yellow caution tape streamers hanging down (this requires friends on the ground to hold the "car wash" up so you can ride under it
    • A stuffed gorilla in a baby stroller - with a string around one wrist so it can "wave"
    Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
    "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2006
    Location
    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
    Posts
    2,364

    Default

    some great ideas - this horse has already seen a lot - it is more of a challenge thing with her - not so much that she is afraid but that she uses that as a "I am not going near that - make me" attitude. and I am saying - you need to trust me and listen to me when I say you have to go - you have to go - it's a bit of a tough attitude to deal with in an eventer but her abilities are phenomenal and I really hope we can work things out.

    Whenever you tell anyone she is a RIO GRANDE - there is the all knowing nodding of the head.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2008
    Posts
    961

    Default

    I am not familiar with a Rio Grande, so can you explain what the breed is?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,084

    Default

    Slow and steady wins the horse. You've already gotten some great advice and I will just reiterate Too much Too Fast will shock and eventually shut down even the most curious horse. Also I have found there is at least one item every horse spooks at no matter how many times you introduce it. Don't push that one item and know what it is. I've had horses pick that item to be flowering bush in high wind (trail riding nightmare) to flashing neon signs (police lights were fine go figure.)
    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
    Originally Posted by alicen:
    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    11,853

    Default

    What cutemudhorse said.

    Empty milk jugs placed around the turnout, some milk jugs filled w/ rocks to make noise if they are hit, a bag filled with empty Pepsi cans- eventually drag that from your horse, the swim noodles are good but a cheaper source is the plumbing section of the hardware store- foam pipe insulation, plastic black drain pipes in a coil, PCV pipe of different sizes, 1 liter soda bottles strung on a string- use to desensitze when hanging in various places and to drag from the horse, a lasso- be able to toss it at your horses feet/over his body and throw it from your horse when mounted only because it will desensitize your horse if you ever have to toss something else from you to the ground.

    And ditto Clinton Anderson on desensitizing. That guy is good, real good, with his methods on this issue.

    Good luck!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2005
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    4,354

    Default

    One thing I used to do to my mare is drag a branch behind her when I was leading her. We graduated to doing this when I was riding her.



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