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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of bombproofing my haflinger mare and am running out of ideas for different things.
She goes through puddles, plastic bags don't bother her, she can be touched anywhere, goes over wood, tarps, jumps, and that kind of thing. If she can see it it doesn't bug her and she has heard farther off gunshots and been fine.

I'm trying to figure out more of the sound things, like sudden, loud sounds. We're planning on breaking her to ride and drive so I'm just trying to get her as bombproof as possible.

Does anyone have any more ideas on different things to expose her too? Soon I'll be able to lead her around a town and expose her to cars, dogs, and some more of that.
 

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We have haffies too! I have a mare/gelding pair that I have been hoping to start as a driving team, haven't gotten that far yet but due to lack of time not any fault of their own.

I had them pull a tire using a surcingle and chestplate before I had the harness. I also used empty milk jugs with gravel, hanging off their sides bouncing on them, bouncing at their legs, and dragging behind (use caution!!) to hopefully accustom them to the heel chains..sounds of machinery ect.

I also worked with them with ropes around their legs. I would tangle a lead line (a round rope one that wouldn't get stuck easy) and let them realize they couldn't move a leg, then congratulate them on standing still and let them go. They are both very mellow with things tangled around their legs...in case there was a harness malfunction, hopefully they would remember this lesson and wait for me to help them.

My mare daisy did greet me at the gate one morning trailing about 20 feet of tangled hotwire that had been torn down from some fence some where by some goat. it was tangled all up in her hind leg. It took some doing to get her undone, but she just walked up to me with it rattling behind her like "scuse me, but could you get this thing off me?" then slept while I untangled her LOL. I do not think that is thanks to my training, she is just a good girl!! She was not hurt either thank goodness.

My horses have great minds...I love seeing them think their way through things. Duke was galloping in from the back of the pasture to see me and there was a telephone pole laying down in his path. Pastures have grown up since it was dropped there so not necessarily visible from where he was. I stood there thinking, oh please don't crash into that pole...please see it...and sure enough, he slowed down, looked at it, was too lazy to jump or step over it and walked around it :) Haffies are so cool.
 

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Sounds like you're doing a lot of good desensitizing. Stock whips are good for a loud popping noise. Some other things you might want to expose her to...balloons, beach balls, pool noodles. Also, if you have a four wheeler or something similar. I like to teach mine to lead behind my quad. Gets them used to the sound and it can come in handy. I also like to teach mine to pony of another horse and take them around and expose them to things out on the trail, etc.
 

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Umbrellas always get horses, get her used to those, also wouldn't be a bad idea to get her used to a rain slicker. If you have access to either of them get her used to bicycles and baby strollers. (without a child in it) I know that sounds odd but never know what you might run into at a show or on a public trail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We've come a long way from where she was.
When I first met her it was at a rescue I was volunteering at. I found her in a bottom set of standing stalls, she had just come in not to long before, was a yearling, thin, and was afraid of everything. I was there helping work with a lot of the younger horses anyway and so I grabbed a lead rope and brought her out. We were bathing horses(a group of them had rainrot and we were trying to get rid of it) this filly flipped out at the water but with a lot of calm talking and moving her away from the rest of the horses she got her bath and I was amazed. I had thought she was brown. With a lighter brown mane and tail. Nope. She was sorrel and white. I kind of took her on as a project and learned more about her. She had been emaciated and hadn't really ever been handled but was supposedly purebred Haflinger. I looked at the thin pony and could imagine that she was mixed, but not full. I had been trying to get her used to other people because she was becoming very attached to me(imagine a bottle baby kid seeing the owner with a bottle and you would have a pretty good idea of how she acted toward me) because I was trying to get her ready so someone could adopt her. Then the rescue owner gave her to me.
She's filled out, both in personality and build. She can still be the in my pockey baby but is more independent and has some more attitude. We have taken her to a couple shows, trying to show people that rescues can make awesome horses too. It helped that she won Grand Champion in her height division.

Thanks for the ideas!! I'll have to find an umbrella, rainslicker and some milk jugs.

Horse Working animal Plant Liver Horse supplies
 

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She is very beautiful, you have done an excellent job with her.
Good for you!!
How old is she and how man hands tall?
Haffies make excellent horse though I have heard sometimes they can be a bit hard headed. LOL each one is an individual though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
She is very beautiful, you have done an excellent job with her.
Good for you!!
How old is she and how man hands tall?
Haffies make excellent horse though I have heard sometimes they can be a bit hard headed. LOL each one is an individual though.
She's around 5 now. Her estimated birthdate is Nov. of '08. She's something like 13.2 now. When I met her she was like 12 hands.

She can be hard headed at times. Lol. Except she just plays dumb. Like trying to teach her to jump inhand and on the lunge line she would trot/canter up to it, stop, look down and sniff it then look at me, or she'd just step over it.
 

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13.2 isn't a bad riding size if you aren't really tall, I am about 5'4" and I rode a 13.3 hand large pony for years, He was built stout much like a Haffie, but he was appaloosa/Peruvian paso. He is the one you may have heard me talk about that lived to be 36. If you are really tall, teach her to drive. Then anyone of any size can enjoy her. She is actually at a very good age for being trained to ride or drive, she isn't too old to be set in her ways and she isn't too young to have a good attention span. Sounds like you are doing great with her, keep up the good work.
 

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There is a program out there (probably can find it or information about it on the net) that they use to bombproof police horses that other groups use to either bombproof their horses for duty or for fun. I know it included, banging trash cans, gunfire close and far off, lawn mower, car backfiring, confetti, pool noodles, tarps hanging, tarps on the ground, tarps balled up and making noises. I know that other folks swear by a louder, younger barn environment, ie pony club barn or 4H barn, with kids running around and yelling.
 

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Hang some streamers, or caution tape around her pasture/ pen/stall. You have no idea how many horses wig at it... saw a rodeo queen group riding down a major highway. The dummies decided to ride between a vehicle and a long row of caution tape and cones. Rodeo queens horse is freaking at tape, rodeo queen spurs horse to go, it does, then it kicks the car, breaks the mirror spooks at that, runs into tape, long piece of caution tape somehow gets stuck on horse. Horse runs like hell... through traffic.

Her other friends walked AROUND the vehicles.
 

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Have her trail a tarp behind her. Put her in a round pen and have a bunch of people play the number game around her. But yelling.
# game is where there are a bunch of people and you close your eyes (if you want to) and you try to count up without overlapping others. No patterns! So you try not to say the number at the same time. Must be tellopathic! http://bit.ly/18gonkA
 

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Used pots and pans clanging, loud music with base thumping, lil poppers the kind you throw down and pop as well as the kind you pull a string and it pops with confetti coming out. Use some roman candles if you can get ahold of them. aluminum foil scratching down a tin building, a few strings of tin-cans hung like wind chims , and old washing machine on spin cycle with it very un balanced also just regulr spin, dry with shoe tin cans, marbles etc in it OR a barrel with the items in it and roll around him inside and outside his run/pen. Pill bottles like Tylenol full of pills shaking. borrow noisy kids toys and play with them making all kinds of racket. Old barrel and break glass bottles and etc in it.
 
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