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Horse Behavior and Training

horse spooks from gravel

Please upload your photo 100 lessons completed
i drive my horse a lot and she really spooks from the sound of gravel, if i drive her on a dirt road 
and gravel starts flying even a little bit she REALLY takes off. what should i do? also she fights with the reins a lot as well and any suggestions are most welcome thanks 
JoHewittVINTA
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Hi Nat & welcome to the Uni. Would I be right to assume that your mare was sold to you as drivable coz she's showing signs of a training job badly done - she's not relaxed & accepting, she's stressed & anxious. I would study Monty's methods, practice your controlled breathing & your body language, use Join up, a Dually head collar & longlines. Your aim is to work with your mare to achieve acceptance. Work incrementally, making sure you work at her pace. Stop using the cart & harness until she works quietly & comfortably in the Dually halter with you on the ground. Progress to dragging things, like a log or a tyre, but using the Dually halter so no blinkers or bit. I think her training has been rushed & she's been forced rather than allowed to understand what is required, hence her spooky, irritated attitude. Follow Monty's methods to retrain her & you'll get a relaxed, happy partner as well as have great fun & a real sense of achievement. Good luck. Cheers, Jo.
nathanielbowman6677
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You pretty much figured it out i think, i have driven her as is for about 4-5 years now as is 
and have only come across the monty roberts method in the last year or 2.Since then i have come to the same conclusions as you but i have yet to find a source that gives me a detailed and complete understanding of the Equus language and i only obtain bits and pieces from watching monty's videos, therefore when attempting join up i think i might be missing essential bits of information because i haven't had luck getting join up to work.  
JoHewittVINTA
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Hi Nat, again. Get Monty's book 'From My Hands To Yours' - it's a great investment. You'll get a very full & complete explanation of Equus, Join up, everything. It's not a fun read, it's work - often parts of the reply to the weekly Q & A are direct quotes. However, when I say not a fun read that's because all of it is pertinent so full concentration is required. Put a Join up video on & practice, with Monty, in a mirror. You can practice controlled breathing almost anywhere. Even if all you do is slowly take a very deep breath & slowly fully exhale your mare will react - showing some sign of reduced anxiety/relaxation. 

If you want to know what's possible, there's a post in behaviour & training from 2016/17 - Trust is a two way street. My ponies were just pasture pets at the time, no Join up, no rider & they let me take a real liberty. Keep in touch. Cheers, Jo.
nathanielbowman6677
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Alright thank you!