Watchy Horses

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by DunsNPallys, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2004
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    I think it really depends on the buyer.

    Some horses are born leery and watchy, but a lot of older horses that have been knocked around and roughed up too many times over the years are made rather wary of people. An abrupt move, a hand waved at their face, a move that looks like you're going after the horse, and they want to get out of there.

    Occasionally, if a really wary horse is pushed too hard, he might come at you. I haven't seen that happen often, but it does.

    There was a gal who had a horse like that she really didn't 'get'. She had done a couple really dumb stunts with the horse, and scared herself when he reacted as he obviously would, and she insisted he was a dangerous killer.

    He wasn't. She just insisted he was and convinced herself of that. The more she got herself convinced of that, the more she jerked on him, yelled at him and jerked her hands at his face - she didn't even realize she was doing any of that. Every time he flinched the tiniest bit or tried to back away from her, she insisted it was 'out of the blue' but he was very clearly reacting to her. That's a mismatch made in Hades.

    My pony was like that when we got him - he actually was kinda dangerous if you expected him to 'act like any other horse' and tried to handle him like any other horse. I saw someone try that schtick with him, it weren't pretty.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
    Peeperpuppy likes this.
  2. Arem

    Arem Senior Member

    Dec 17, 2009
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    My friend has a pony who is super watchy. I love him! Super easy to work with and a fantastic work ethic! I can regulate his trot rhythm on the lunge or driving by singing. He settles into the tempo. Last time I was out there, I wanted to smuggle him home in the back seat of my car. He’s fantastic.

    Brandi’s not watchy, not noticeably anyway, but she is super sensitive and reactive. She used to be hard to catch and gets super upset if you’re remotely close to being hard/heavy handed in dealing with her. Very in tune to my body language.

    I would rather have a watchy or super sensitive horse than a dull pocket pony who is dazed by nothing. I hate those types. They just don’t take you seriously.

    In my opinion, horses who have been so desensitized that they no longer react to things are ruined.
    GONE ROPING and manesntails like this.
  3. stb_chance

    stb_chance Senior Member+

    Apr 6, 2005
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    I recently sold my watchy mare after owning her for two years. She was always watchy when anyone went to catch her. She was also an alert, brave, athletic, cow bred mare. By the end of my time owning her, I could easily walk up and snuggle her in the pasture and catch her in any field no matter the size, but she was always snorty when anyone approached her. That is just her personality.

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