Fastest and best way to make scared horse friendly ?


Jun 20, 2010
I just got 3 very scared, frightened mini weanlings (3-4 months of age) from an auction. They appear to have been weaned, fully body clipped and ran thru an auction all at once, so it makes sense that they are frightened. I would like advice on best way to handle them. I have them in a round pen/dry lot area with my other 3 weanlings, all of which are very friendly. Would it be better to let them come to me on their own terms or should I catch them and just groom and love on them until they relax? Would it be better to separate from each other or perhaps put them one on one with my friendly filly? Also, I have to bring animals to a petting zoo this weekend, should I bring these 3 and let them get loved on all day or would that make them more scared in the long run?


8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
Lugoff, SC
I would NOT bring them to a petting zoo. You can't force trust. I think I'd separate them and work with each one individually. Go slow...there is no fast way to earn trust.


The truth is out there...
12 Years
Mar 5, 2007
Phoenix, AZ
I don't think I'd bring them to a petting zoo. Your best bet is just to work with them slowly. Feed them while you are in their area. Also, pressure and release training is great for training scared horses. Working with them individually would probably be your best bet. You already have the round pen, so I would get as close to them as they will let you, let them relax, then move away. Think of your body and the distance from the horse as the pressure. Therefore, you can apply the pressure by moving forward, and release the pressure by moving away. As soon as the horse relaxes, move away. Give the horse a few minutes, then move in as close as the horse will let you. I find pressure and release training to be extremely effective with horses if you do it correctly.

Good luck and I'm glad you were able to rescue those three babies!


8 Years
Aug 14, 2011
A calm quite place. Not a lot of busy people or kids screeching in glee. Work and mess with them daily, or several times a day in short bursts is better. Food in a great motivator, esp in minis. Firm and you are the boss, but never rough or tough handling. They are young which is good, they will get over any emotional distress faster.

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