Last year at Black Friday Horse camp a participant brought her horse named Crosby.
She told me that she had rescued him from a kill pen, and he needed help getting past the trauma that happened to him while he was there.
I was happy to oblige.
Crosby was very bothered when anyone, even his owner, would try and do anything with him.
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The owner also told me that Crosby reared up a lot.
So, to fix this, here’s what I did:
Here’s a breakdown (too long, didn’t watch) if you didn’t take time to watch:
1. I showed confidence in my body language while I rubbed him all over his body. I didn’t tip-toe or “walk on eggshells” around the horse. This helped the horse realize that I’m not trying to be sneaky which gave him boosted confidence.
2. I got him to unlock his feet. This is probably the #1 cause for bucking, rearing, and a bunch of other really bad habits. If a horse is locked up in his feet, he’s locked up in his mind. The goal of this exercise was to get the horse to turn loose in those feet and flow easily and gently instead of being stiff and sticky.
3. I’m rewarding him when he moves his feet or makes a change by releasing pressure immediately. This is where a lot of people mess up. When the horse does what they want they get happy and they keep doing the same thing. They don’t stop and release the pressure which rewards the horse.
4. By the end of the video, Crosby is lowering his head and walking around much more calmly and smoothly. His feet are much less sticky, and you can tell he’s relaxed.
Remember, everything with horses is interrelated.
The most insignificant little nuisances are key indicators of bigger issues in the horse.
Most people overlook these small things because they’re focused on what they believe to be more dangerous, annoying, or significant problems.
But what they don’t realize is the key to fixing those “bigger” things is going back and dealing with all those small things.
Once the small holes or “gaps” are fixed, those bigger things disappear.