My horse gets scared all the time. What should I do?

Does your horse get scared all the time, while others are just fine? Does your horse start running away when he gets scared or does he just get scared and remain still? Either way, your horse getting scared is unpleasant and can be dangerous, so here is how to train a scared horse.

Most people don’t realize that you can influence whether your horse gets scared or not by your attitude. A little change can turn a scared horse into a confident one.

If your horse cares about what’s going on around, instead of focusing on you, he is generally more likely to get scared.

Tips and tricks on how to get your horse less scared of everything

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So how should I be working with a scared horse?

I always try to get all my horse’s attention on me. If my horse focuses on me, he is less likely to get scared by the surroundings.

If he starts paying too much attention to other things, or other horses around, I always instantly try to get his attention back by asking him to do some basic things that he already knows. For example, a small circle in trot, gait transitions, stopping or anything else you feel like.

The goal is to immediately get back his attention.

I also focus on using as little pressure as possible to get my horse to react. This way I can make him less prone to getting scared as well. The lower the pressure your horse reacts on, the more attention he has to be paying to you.

You will probably not see a huge change in a week, but you should be able to see a considerable difference in around two months.

What do I do when my horse gets scared and starts running away?

I always quickly stop him using my reins, and then I back up to the place where he got scared.  I leave him standing there for around a minute. After that, I continue with whatever I was doing before.

There is one thing you should definitely avoid!

What  I believe is completely wrong, is when you somehow stop your horse after he gets scared, and then you praise him for stopping. This way he will start thinking that it is good that he got scared, started running away and then stopped.

If you back up to the place where your horse got scared, you basically tell him “I don’t want you to run away when you get scared.” Back up to where he got scared, but of course,  don’t punish him for getting scared.

So this is how to train a scared horse. If you follow this advice, your scared horse will get a confidence boost. He will still get scared, for example he gets surprised by some wild animal while hacking out, but he won’t start running away.

 

My horse gets scared all the time. What should I do?
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