Bombproofing a horse requires patience, consistency and a plan. The goal is to build the horse’s confidence and trust so that he or she is not afraid of new things.
The first step is to get to know the horse. The bond of trust between the horse and rider can be created by this. The rider is a safe and reliable presence for the horse. Get to know the horse’s personality and individual quirks by spending time in the stable and on the ground. Talk to him, groom him, and work with him on the ground to get used to being handled.
Bombproofing the horse is necessary once a bond has been established. Desensitization is the best way to do it. Start small, introducing the horse to something that he already likes, such as a plastic bag or tarp. Allow him to become familiar with the object and then reward him with praise or treats.
The horse needs to be introduced to more novel objects. Start with objects that are not likely to cause fear or anxiety, such as a large beach ball. Allow the horse to look at the object. Gradually increase the size and complexity of the objects, until the horse is comfortable with a variety of different items.
The horse will be introduced to new environments. Start with an environment that the horse is familiar with, such as a field. Introduce new elements, such as a tarp, a plastic bag, or a helium balloon. While rewarding the horse with praise or treats, allow him to investigate and become familiar with the environment.
It is time to introduce movement once the horse is comfortable with new objects. Start with simple exercises, such as walking around the arena or performing basic transitions. Increasing the complexity of the exercises will introduce elements such as ground poles and small jumps. Add elements of surprise when the horse is more confident, such as having a helpers run or wave a flag.
The horse needs to be introduced to more novel situations. The horse could be introduced to a variety of sounds, such as a gunshot or fireworks. Increasing the complexity of the exercises will reward the horse with praise and treats.
Bombproofing a spooky horse requires patience and consistency. The process should be positive and reward the horse with praise and treats. The horse will develop trust and confidence over time. It is possible to create a bombproof horse with a plan.