Desensitizing your Horse, Part 2

Some horses are fidgety about their legs. They just cannot stand having someone or something touch them! Here is how to address this problem without getting kicked.

If your horse is really violent about having his legs touched, get something long and soft – a 1 meter long (~3 feet) foam pipe insulator works well, that is what I use. The point here is to desensitize your horse, not get kicked in the knee so you will never walk again. Use caution! Stand well to the side. Horses can strike out forwards, backwards, and to the side! Start high up on the horse’s front left leg. Start touching him there with the insulator until he relaxes. If you have already completed Lesson 1 Desensitizing, he should be O.K. with you touching him here. Work slowly down his leg. As soon as he protests, stop there and hold the insulator on his leg until he stops moving. Again, use discretion. If he is about to run you or someone else over, get the insulator off his leg and try again. However, try to keep it in contact with him, because taking it off will reward his evasive manoeuvres. As soon as he stands still immediately remove the insulator and start again at the top of his leg where he is more comfortable. Do this until he no longer protests. See why training requires so much patience and persistence?



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