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Old 05-12-2013, 08:39 PM   #1
Cattleman's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 148
Default Desensitizing your horse

I thought this might be a good thing to discuss with all the great people here. I have heard the term "desensitize" a lot recently. Referring to "sacking a horse out" or making it used to a lot of things. Yet the same people who promote desensitizing your horse, also are always the first to talk about how sensitive the horse is. If a horse is so sensitive, and we want it to be sensitive, why are we desensitizing the horse?
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:19 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 45

This is a very interesting question. I started to think over it when I stumbled over the following article by Martin Black:
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:50 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 87

Brannaman talked about this "paradox" at his clinic in Bozeman last summer, too. I understood him to mean that some kinds of "flooding" to get a horse used to ropes, noise, slickers, etc., etc. is a 'way different thing from whatever sensitivity he brings to communicating with his rider . . . now to read what Black says !
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:01 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 4

Here's a horse that I got last year. He was off the track, had a bad case of White Line. Had to resect his foot, let it grow back out, and have started him back this Spring. He is very "sensitive" in that he sees everything, but does not have a lot of respect/awareness/presence...not sure what word fits best. At times he is oblivious to what's going on around him...including me.

The other day I worked him in the roundpen and laid him down. I picked up a front foot until he was giving it. I took half a wrap around the horn and let him find his way down...I didn't pull him over.

After he laid down, I rubbed him all over...moved his feet and legs around...rubbed him head to tail.

I can't exactly say what changed, but he seemed more in tune with me the next day. I've laid a few down over the years. It's not something I do with every colt. I like a quote I read on here the other day that Ray said...something along the lines of "I don't do it to the horse, but for the horse." I think that attitude is key in laying one down. I didn't conquer Medwick...just trying to partner with him.
I'm going to try him in the hackamore. He's run at 880 in a snaffle, so I thought I'd try to re-start him in the hackamore. I've been doing a good bit of ground work on him to prep for this.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:53 AM   #5
JB Horse
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 38
Question JB Horse

What is your prep & process for laying down horse?
Have you laid down horses prior to the horse you described?
How did you "learn" the process? i.e Through teaching or trial & error?

I have always been curious about the need for, & outcomes.
I have witnessed horses that have been "taught" to lay down & they would lay down when not asked; with rider on the horse.

I have witnessed well respected horsemen lay a horse down in extreme cases -- with extremely agitated & very fearful horses.
In my opinion; it could dangerous to attempt laying down a horse which is dangerously aggressive, confrontational, & intends harm. Also, this could intensify aggression & resistance; making situation worse.


Last edited by JB Horse; 08-22-2013 at 11:04 AM.
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