Horse will not work in school on her own

Uliy

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13 April 2013
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112
Hi everyone,

I am after some advice.

I have been working with a horse for 5 months now and I have been really impressed with how far she has progressed. She's gone from a spooky, almost unrideable mess who loved going round at 100mph to a much slower, much happier horse and I've had some really perfect rides on her recently.

However, she is mostly worked with at least one other horse in the school and on the occasions I have tried to work her on her own, she has reverted to the unrideable, spooky mess that I started with! She will not listen to me at all and her ears are pricked right forwards. It is as if she is terrified and very, very wound up! She will spook at anything and everything.

Does anyone have any suggestions about how to tackle this? My goal is just for her to be a happy, confident horse. The way things are when she's on her own results in both of us being unhappy and me becoming quite frustrated which is obviously not how I want to feel. When she is with another horse she relaxes and really listens, so I just want to help her relax when she is by herself.

Thanks for any help! :)
 

Cowpony

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17 May 2013
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2,418
Have you tried in-hand work in the school on your own? I'd be treating her like a horse that won't hack alone, so doing groundwork, short periods without another horse, perhaps being able to see another horse over the fence and gradually moving them away over a period of time.
 

Equi

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25 October 2010
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Agree on that, and get her trusting you more. Lots of ground work and praise so she forgets that shes alone and is more focused on you.
 

Uliy

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13 April 2013
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112
Thanks, those are good suggestions. I hadn't thought about thinking of it like hacking alone!

I will look into that Kelly Marks book :)
 

Fiagai

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21 February 2011
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771
The main thing I get from your post is that the horse is spooking - and without another horse present is hyper vigilant.

I purchased a late start horse with a similar issue especially out hacking alone. I was recommended foam ear plugs and despite being reluctant to use them initially- I did and the horse successfully learned to become densentised to sounds and other potential 'threats'. The horse can now be ridden alone without using the ear plugs however I still keep a pair for just in case occasions ...
 
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Uliy

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Joined
13 April 2013
Messages
112
Hi Fiagai, I have sent you a PM with a few more questions about the earplugs - hope that's okay.

I would be interested to hear anyone else's experiences with earplugs too!
 
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