Desensitizing a horse is a very good thing to do, especially with a young horse. You can do it with a crop, lead rope, or a flag. You must remember that horses are prey animals, so they are naturally afraid of anything higher then themselves. If a horse feels threatened, he might rear to try and scare off an enemy.
To begin, take whatever you are using and let the horse smell it and rub it on his neck. This shows the horse that you are not trying to hurt him. Next, take the rope and gently throw it over the horse’s back. Don’t throw it to high at first, and make sure its not hard enough to hurt the horse. Repeat this until the horse stands calmly and ignores the rope. Then work it around his legs, neck, rump and head. Be careful around his head. Warning: If you have a horse that you don’t know much about his history, or a rescue horse, be extremely careful. He could have had a bad experience with a whip and spook or even be aggressive. Here are some pictures of me desensitizing our mare, Zane’s Athena.
Thanks for reading, Sarah, aka, Donnysfriend.