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Thread: Taking youngster on road for 1st time

  1. #1
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    Default Taking youngster on road for 1st time

    I took max out on the road for the 1st time tr other night and was just walking him in hand a few hundred yards from our drive. A car came a long and he pooed his pants! Tried to spin and run away. I kept talking to him and tried to give praise where due. The next car came and again same result... Is this normal behaviour when you take a 2.5 year old out for 1st time?

  2. #2
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    it depends on the horse, but if he's never had cars etc come past him on the road or close by to the feild / yard regularly then i would say its "normal". But it really all hinges on the horse / pony, some are more sensitive than others, some learn very fast and others take more time and need more reassurance etc. I would suggest if he was that nervous of them it might be worth taking it back a step and taking him to the end of the drive to stand with you and watch the traffic and get used to it that way so its some what safer for both of you?

  3. #3
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    If possible I would have him in a field by a busy road if possible or meet cars in a safe environment in the field, possible standing on the other side of a gate watching cars go by. The level of reaction is of course individual with each horse, but gentle safe exposure goes a long way to a better response.
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  4. #4

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    I tend to let them stand at the bottom of the drive first and let them see traffic passing first. Then I get a friend to drive towards and past us while we are stood still, then when moving. Only when comfortable with this do I progress so scary 'from the rear' action. I always get them used to dummy cars first (ie everything is staged) before letting them face the real thing so there is less room for the unexpected.

    He's only 2 and a half and if it's his first time it's perfectly natural. Just get him comfortable with cars first. A car park is a good starting point.

    One thing to remember is cars are shiny and they can see their reflection which can be VERY scary lol

  5. #5
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    Ditto everyone else, if you can get him in a field next to a busy road that will help.

    For now otherwise I would go back a step and stand at the end of the drive and let him graze and watch the traffic go by.

    Then next time try and see if you can get another horse out with you to be a nanny horse.

    If he hasn't ever seen traffic or been off the yard like that before then it is going to be frightening, that's a lot to take in for the first time out.

    I am lucky I can go off the yard a couple of hundred yards and stand in a big gateway to the farm, they can munch and watch traffic go by, most of which won't slow down for them. Has always been the best bombproofing for anything we've had in like that.

  6. #6
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    The first yard we had River was next to a road, and fortunately a very large field, so she could get well away from the traffic if she needed to. It was really helpful for desensitising her to the noise. Farm machinery goes up and down the lane, as well as buses and other large vehicles, so there very little in the way of traffic noise that bothers her now.
    When we left that yard and were somewhere much more rural, we made a point of introducing her to our car and friends cars. We started off with parked vehicles and moved up to switching the engine on. Then we moved to a yard where I was permitted to drive across the fields, as my two were such a long way from the track, so she got used to the idea that when I came to see her, the car literally came into the field. When she figured out that the car was where I came from, and occasionally produced feeds from, she became a little bit obsessed with anything on four wheels and would fuss around the windows until she was allowed to put her head in and examine everything. And occasionally had a snooze with her nose on the bonnet Now, the sound of the Land Rover when I arrive is usually enough to get her heading across to the gate.



    Because we often had to go down to the nearest farm for the farrier and dentist, my husband was walking her in-hand along the bridleways by the time she was a year old, so crossing the road and walking close to fast moving traffic were introduced early on. Little walks in hand like this can help give them that extra bit of reassurance (because if the cars are hungry, they're bound to go for the human first )

    She's not been on the road under saddle yet, but we had a little bareback wander down to the main gate last weekend and she wasn't fussed at all (she was more bothered about the idea that my feet were hanging around her sides and kept having to turn to nibble them). Little steps is the key to desensitisation, and just as an aside, make sure you cover bicycles, too! Unlike cars they can be almost silent coming up from behind and I've had far more near misses as a result of a horse being spooked by a cyclist than I ever have with cars.
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  7. #7
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    he has been so good in everything that i have asked of him in terms of training. he is soooooo laid back in most things, i just assumed he would take it all in his stride. I'm going to stand at the end of the drive with him and hope he gets better. Unfortuantly the fields are behind the house so not near a road, however when i harrow the fields with the 4x4 he doesnt bat an eyelid and comes over to lick the bonnet!!!

  8. #8
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    Brian didnt know which way to go when he first saw a car! he went left right up down forwards and backwards. I made sure i was between him and car no matter if it was correct or not and just showed him i wasnt worried and that it was ok to stand still and watch them! He soon came round
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  9. #9
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    This is a common thought when you have got a baby that is so good. If they are good with everything else then people start to assume they will be good with other things they try and introduce.

    The best and most effective way of training a baby, is not to expect the worst, but expect the least from them. Never ever assume they are going to be fine with anything. Always expect them to act up with new things, then when they don't you will always be happy with them and pleased with the results.

    If he reacts like this to anything else always go back a step. Never ever try and rush anything with them, take the tiniest steps towards each goal as you can. It might mean you can take 2 or 3 steps towards that goal in one session if they are really calm about things, but it also means you can be sure you are never over facing them with anything and potentially causing problems down the line.

  10. #10
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    I took him to the gate tonight and just stood there and he just watched cars go past.... I'll keep doing this for the next week.

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