Desensitizing a Horse with a Rope - Jesse Krier - Greatmats Horse Training Series

Date Published: 11-13 - 2021

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In this segment, we’re going to actually teach this filly to be desensitized to these ropes. We’ve already drove her around a little bit. Now we’re going to up the ante a little bit, if you will. We’re going to get this a little more intense for her. We’re going to get her a little bit more desensitized to these ropes. This is a process I like to do to get them so that they relax when there is adversity as opposed to get more high strung during adversity.

During this process, we just start flopping the ropes until she stops moving her feet. When she stops moving her feet, she’s given to the process and she’s figured out the process that she’s not going to get away from it with flight.

Flight is an option that horses explore to get away from fear. We want to show them to just stay the course; stay there until the water’s hot; and ask her to relax.

What we’ll do is we’ll just turn her around here. Flop that rope over her butt.

Start flopping it on her body. She gets a little bit agitated. Change directions so it’s a little more user friendly for me.

Oop. Sorry Girl. Sorry.

You’re alright. Process. So here, she’s gotten a bit agitated and we’re going to keep pulling until she gives to us. She’s fighting us here - fighting that give. Process it. Process it. At a girl! Good girl!
Then it sets us up too to get the rope up where I wanted it in the first place.

So we start flopping this rope around on her, asking her to give and relax and stop her feet.

I should point that out. I’m not really asking. I’m just waiting on her to give.
Got to get it not between the feet.

There - now we’re set up to desensitize

If she’s going to keep moving her feet, she’s figuring out the more she moves her feet, the more the rope keeps flopping.

She starts to stop her feet.

We do it a couple more seconds, just to set it in stone. Show that moving those feet didn’t get her anything. All it did was get her more exercise. She took a big deep breath there. We release, walk up to her, and reward her.

So now we’re going to do the other side. The first side’s always a little more invasive. She gets a little more disoriented, I guess. Now we’re going to ask for the other side. This usually goes a lot faster on the other side because she’s already figured out stopping moving those feet is where it’s at. Where she gets her rest. Where she gets her relaxation. And then we can just really sink it in stone that stopping the feet is ideal - not taking off running from everything is the best option.

She’s just about there. She’s thinking about it.

I’ll maybe bump just a little bit in the face, just pull her to me. I’m not going to pull her to stop. I’m just going to ask her to stop her feet a little bit. Try to give her an inkling of an idea to stop. She’s just about there. She’s just still on guard a little bit. She doesn’t want to give 100 percent yet. She still wants to keep that option open of running away.

There. She’s there.

Just do it a couple more seconds to desensitize. Really sell it. Good girl. She’s licking her lips, relaxing, seeing that it’s not a bad thing.

#HorseTraining #DesensitizingAHorse #RoundPenHorseTraining