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Horse Behavior and Training

Rescue Horse


I am about to re home a 10year old Mare, from S.E.P.E. in Spain. This horse has been in the rescue centre for about three years, after being picked up with a mule and another horse after being hit by cars on the road where they had strayed. The Mare after treatment for her injuries fully recovered the Mule and the other horse was not so lucky. I have been working with her at the centre and she is a very calm and well-behaved horse. I have noticed though that she seems to get tense and nervous when there are vehicles about, which is not very often as the centre is fairly rural and there is not a lot of traffic about.
How should I go about this, after join up, follow up or will this sort it self out.

Miriam (Holland&Germany)
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Dear Riograna,

You have a remedial horse at your hand, it will surely not sort itself out, you will have to desensitise your horse in a serious way, otherwise both of you are in danger!
I suggest you find help with a professional to help your horse overcome its trauma.
After that you may enjoy a calm and well-behaved mare. A world without cars is most unprobable, so there is no way to avoid a confrontation with traffic.
Take care and good luck! Miriam


my suggestion is that after you have the mares trust, desensitise her you know with a lead or a crop just moving it over her body until she's fully calm and trusting, and isnt tensing up. Then get like a parked car and see if she will walk 10 feet away from the car, then if she does that well encourage her, then move a little bit closer. If she spooks be sure to let her know its OK and try again maybe moving a foot further back than you were when she spooked. If you get to where her nose is touching the car (not moving) but she can smell it and see its not gonna eat her, make sure you end on good note. then have someone NOT CLOSE! to drive just so she can see it and hear it DO NOT GET HER within 20 feet. (close enough it will get her attention and she can watch it, far enough where she wont totally freak out or worry about it changing course) dont move her closer just let her watch and get use to it moving and hearing the noise. then just do that a few times. you mentioned she's been hit, you know that where she got her fear. its just a big excercise but i hope it helps:) -Katelyn:)


we just got through working with two rescue horses with stories slightly similar^


Thank you Katelyn that is very helpful ,I had an idea it would be along those lines but it is nice to know from someone that has the practical experience.
Simara was quite badly damaged in the chest area and in foal ,she was at S.E.P.E for 3 years. Her son Eddy has been recently re homed.
Thanks again