Leftover 4th Of July Fireworks Are Great For Bomb Proofing The HorsesLeftover 4th Of July Fireworks Are Great For Bomb Proofing The Horses

The Goal

I was working with Vego and Gemini today. I have been working on desensitizing them to loud noises. The final goal is 1) to be able to shoot a gun while sitting on their backs and 2) to be able to ride them down a street filled with people, flying streamers, loud noises, fireworks, etc. Basically, I am trying to bomb proof my horses.

Look What I Found

4th of July had just passed and I still had fireworks. When I was younger I would have never had any firework left over. That would be a sin. I guess I have slowed down a bit and it is not so important to light every firework off or see how many I could light at a time before I had to run away from the eruption of flames, sparks and explosions I had initiated at ground zero. Because of my new found self control, we had some Black Cats left over. These are the little fireworks that just explode and make a big bang. I had 2 packs left with 100 firecrackers in each. So, what should I do with these firecrackers? I could save them till next year. No way! I recalled reading many forum entries were people had posted topics about the 4th of July and how the fireworks scared their horses. I would reply and tell them that they should desensitize their horse to these noises. So, that is just what I decided to do with my horses.

4th of July All Over Again for Vego and Gemini

I decided to start my lesson with Vego. Gemini was in a holding stall next to the arena where I was working with Vego so she could hear and see everything going on. I had a rope halter and lead rope on Vego. I then started to walk Vego around the outside of the arena. While doing this my 11 year old son was in the center of the arena. He started to light the firecrackers one by one. Bang! The horse was a little bit startled but we just kept walking. Again the firecracker went off and Vego jumped but we just kept walking. My son continued to light firecrackers one by one and I continued to walk around the arena circling in closer to the center. When we eventually circled to the center of the arena we stopped. One by one my son threw firecrackers all around the horse. He did not throw them so close that it could hurt the horse but rather out in front of the horse or behind the horse 6-10 feet away on either side. Near the end of the lesson, in the center of the arena, Vego was not bothered by the firecrackers. He would not even flinch as they exploded.

I repeated the same procedure with Gemini. She did equally as well. As a grand finally we lit off a string of about 20 Black Cats while walking the horses around the arena. They had no problem with noise and continued to walk at a relaxed pace.

Conclusion

This was not the first desensitizing exercise that I had done these horses. The results I had during the firecracker session went very smooth because I have at least one desensitizing exercises every time we have a training session.

by Todd Mera
References and Bibliography

Todd Mera is a Biochemist that has always had a love for horses. Todd started training horses in his 30s. He has worked with and trained many horse starting from birth and older problem horses. http://www.EverythingEquus.com

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