Most horse people are familiar with a technique called desensitization. This can be applied in a few ways, but the classic cowboy method is called “sacking out”. A young horse is tied tightly to a solid post, and the cowboy approaches with a blanket. He then rubs the blanket all over the horse’s body. The horse may struggle and try to pull away, but is held firm by the post. This process continues until the horse stops struggling and accepts the situation.
down. If he misbehaved by jumping around he may have been shanked or smacked. Many horses are frightened and confused by punishment and learn to hold still to avoid pain. A horse may freeze, becoming rigid and holding his breath, or shut off his awareness so he does not notice frightening things going on around him.