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Overcoming Fear (For Humans and Horses) & More fearful rider


Hello; Okay my first question is about my Quarab filly is this: She is 1 and a half and I have been training her since she was 4 months old. She is as smart as my stud colt. No one could get near her when we first bought her. I mean no one could get within 100 yards from her without her taking off. It only took me 2 hours to get her so that most people could come up to her and pet her face shoulder and belly. And it only took me an additional 1 hour to halter break her and partially lead break her. Now you can saddle her, bridle her and put light children on her without having to worry. My question is am I just lucky, or am I just a good trainer?? I don't go for pedigrees so I don't think it could be that. Both my Stud colt and Filly have parents that all you can do with them is put a halter on them and pet them (no one can ride the parents of my horses). I would just like to know whether it's the horses breed or what exactly? My stud colt is a QH/ Welsh and the Filly is a Quarab.

Okay now with my Qh/Morgan 6 y/o well broke gelding: I might have to tell you a short story to make this all clear.

When I first purchased 'Duke' he was the best horse ever. Now he is somewhat less than that. I decided to take him out for a trail ride with some friends about 2 weeks after I bought Duke. My friends lived across the road from me so it wasn't far (and the trail we were going riding on was right by their house). I mounted Duke when I got to my friendís place. The first thing he did was trot back to my barn. I walked him back to the friends place and this time I didn't mount him until we were at the spot where we were to go riding (out of sight of my barn). I mounted and he turned towards my place and so I bridge reined him (because the neck reining wasn't working) and that made him buck and rear up because I wouldn't let him go. He reared up so high I feel off and broke my arm in 3 places and had to get surgery and stay in hospital for a long time.

I decided that after my arm was fully healed I was going to try and ride him again. I had a very, very experienced rider come to my place and ride him first before I got on Duke. Duke was fine with this experienced rider and did everything he told him to do. I felt that the horse was safe enough to get on and so I decided I was ready to give it a go. I mounted and he listened to me for the first few minutes then he started to get out of control. I hit my head on a roof ledge and cut my head open a bit. I had enough of Duke's bull.... so I turned him around and made him do everything I wanted to do. I must have gotten too rough or something because after a while he started bucking and I flew off. I haven't got on him since. I hardly go near him anymore. I get really nervous around him. I am fine with any other horse but him.

Now, here's my question, what can I do to get over my fear of my horse?? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time and concern, Brittni
P.S. I love you site it has helped me a lot with my training

Hi Brittni,

Yes, some breeds are hot blooded like Arabians and Thoroughbreds and some are cold blooded like Quarter Horses and Morgans. The Quarters and Morgans are frequently somewhat more mellow. But basically, it's you! It is your abilities, sensitivity and skills that make it work. You are on your way to becoming a fine trainer, one who develops relationships of mutual trust and respect with horses. Keep those things in the forefront along with learning and continuously gaining knowledge and you can't go wrong. This not luck, but rather what trust looks like when it relates to horses.

OK, now for Duke and the Ďfearí. He has you fearful and that is not good. Sounds like the first go 'round he was exhibiting herd bound tendencies. He was being afraid and not stubborn. But, by trying to push him through his fear, as opposed to dealing with what he was fearful of, you got into a battle which the horse will usually win (and you got hurt).

NEVER GO INTO A BATTLE WITH A HORSE.

NEVER GO TO MAKING HIM PUSH THROUGH A FEAR.

Fears addressed properly will have a successful outcome. But patience is first and foremost in all those situations. You must get over being too attached to your agenda or what you want to do. That is when you lose patience and things go from bad to worse. That is why you got hurt.

When the "experienced" rider rode him, did he/she take him off the property and on to a trail? It would have been good if they had. How much more experienced is this rider than you are? Horses know everything. They know your strong points and your weaker ones. They know where you are fearful and that makes them fearful and opting to fend for themselves. Their leaders in the wild are never fearful in dealing with them. Rather, they are confident, precise and right on target with all movement, signals, actions and intention. This is what you need to develop more of. To get your confidence back with this horse I would recommend going back to the basics on the ground, and lots of it for a good while. At least until you begin to feel you have re-established your leadership and proper relationship with the horse. Forget about riding him for a time. Don't feed him 'hot' grain. Better to give him hay for a while. He'll get plenty of exercise on the ground if you put in the time. Give him at least one session per day for as long a time period as you can spare (several hours would be terrific). Two sessions would be even better. You need to get used to him again. Get him used to yielding to you again too. You should do lots of lunging (short and long line), sending him (at the end of the line) and bringing him back while you stand in one spot. Practice sending him into a trailer or the stall, through gates or around a tree half way, stop him and have him come back. Do a lot of action and movement. Play games with him and make it fun always. End your sessions on a positive note every time. Do not feed him treats from your hand. Let your love be the big carrot. Keep praise appropriate and do not over input anything. Remember your horse is not wrong or bad, he is afraid pure and simple. As well as you did with the first horse we talked about, you can do this with this horse, but it will take longer.

A question to ask yourself is; do you have the desire and patience to do this? You really need to ask this question of yourself. How strong is your commitment to this horse? That is a factor. It is wise to know when not to continue in a particular direction. Consider that also. There is time for you to take on more challenging horses. You do not need to do it all at once. Perhaps you should back off from this horse. But only you can make that decision. You will not be being a quitter if you decide to move on. It happens and you'll take on other challenging horses when you are ready.

So, I guess there is a lot for you to consider. I extend Blessings to you always for following your heart and listening to your intuition. They will support you in going towards the right direction.

Please keep me posted. I care......

Sincerely, Franklin

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