I heard a term “neophobic” used to describe a certain animal type and the behaviors associated. I have a little filly, turning 4 this year, who certainly fits this label. She has been with me since she was 5 months old but I KNOW her dam was extremely fearful of people and well, most everything. I’ve done an extensive amount of clicker training with her, but at a slow pace because I thought time and maturity would help.
From time to time I’d like to share some of the process and see how this might be relevant to any of you. I’m sure there’s at least one out there with a neophobic horse.
I also think her body type predisposes her. I’ve done so much with Peggy Cummings and have seen how perpetual tension in certain parts of the body can make the training more complex. I’ll do my best to keep a record though. The good news is we don’t have to go this alone when we have each others experience to draw upon.
There is a place in the neck, just where it joins the base of the neck, that can be so tight on some horses, like piano wires. This is part of her confirmation. So I’m working with massage along with the click when she soften her neck.
I’m also going to do really short walks; I’m backing way down. I let her get overfaced on two walks lately (the trucks put her over the top). She we’ll step back. It’s going to work out, I know she has overcome a lot already. But it IS nice to have my other horses to remind me where we can get with time and patience.