My horse is nervous, how do i go around plaiting him? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-25-2013, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down My horse is nervous, how do i go around plaiting him?

My new horse, is nervous of his mane/forlock being touch and wont let me plait him any ideas of what i can do?
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-25-2013, 06:21 PM
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What's the purpose in braiding his forelock?
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-25-2013, 06:39 PM
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All of his mane or just the area up near his ears?

If up near his ears it gets a little harder..it may not be the mane that is the problem but he doesn't like having his ears touched. Instead of trying to braid/plait, work on desensitizing the area. Rub his poll and occasionally drop your hand down over his ears. He may toss his head but don't stop rubbing until he drops his head..then take your hand away and rub his shoulder. Go back to the poll etc. You may need to first do this when he is not cross tied. Do it on both sides, tugging his mane a little on that side but releasing and continuing to rub. Eventually have a band in your hand and work at banding a section of the mane lower down..then work your way slowly up. It is going to take time to get him settled. AS for the forelock same thing. Rub his face, get him to relax..reach a little higher and maybe just give his forelock a light tug, go back to rubbing his face.....when he relaxes stop rubbing his face and rub his shoulder or other area. Eventually he will figure out that when he relaxes the "irritation" goes away.

If it is the entire mane chances are you can't pull the mane either. I had a horse that would back up and move forward whenever I tried to pull it. I finally had to resort to tying him up in his stall and working in there as he had no where to go.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-31-2013, 11:28 PM
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I'd just ignore his behaviour. He's hoping you'll go away. Surprise him and just keep plaiting. A foot stool will make it easier and stay closer to his shoulder so he doesn't whack you in the noggin if he slings his head. He'd run into my fist if he did that.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-13-2013, 07:25 AM
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Unless you're showing the horse, don't bother. The horse needs it's tail to swat potentially diseased bugs... Well, get beside your horse and feel his neck/buns. If he doesn't even like that, you have work to do lol. Anyway, feel him up and get him used to your hands around the area, keep doing that until he doesn't mind. And be confident and unafraid of your horse, but don't be pushy or spastic either. Note that horses have a 2 minute memory span so you can't just do things once and expect the horse to remember it forever, you have to be persistant. Good luck C:
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-13-2013, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostlita View Post
Unless you're showing the horse, don't bother. The horse needs it's tail to swat potentially diseased bugs... Well, get beside your horse and feel his neck/buns. If he doesn't even like that, you have work to do lol. Anyway, feel him up and get him used to your hands around the area, keep doing that until he doesn't mind. And be confident and unafraid of your horse, but don't be pushy or spastic either. Note that horses have a 2 minute memory span so you can't just do things once and expect the horse to remember it forever, you have to be persistant. Good luck C:
HUH? First, reread the OP. She asked about plaiting the MANE/FORELOCK, not the tail. Secondly-"feel up" a horse? Seriously? "Use your hands around the area"???? I am going to take a wild guess here and say the OP probably has worked on her horses mane and forelock MANY times before.....since it is typically a part of grooming.

It is pretty obvious you have never plaited a horse.

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post #7 of 10 Old 08-13-2013, 05:55 PM
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Honestly just spend an obnoxious amount of time messing with his forelock, put it in a band, comb it out, smooth it down with your fingers, etc. Eventually he won't care and you can try braiding.

With braiding, don't do it overly tight as it may break hairs which is the last thing you want.

As for mane.. same thing. My horse wasn't too fond of either things until we spent some time on it.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-14-2013, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thankyou, i have repeativly played with my horses mane but he has had a bad past!
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-14-2013, 02:16 PM
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Quit making excuses for him .. He won't get over his past until he recognizes that YOU aren't living in his past.

Every single time you handle him, mess with his mane. Start where he is comfortable, even if its' at the withers. Move up inches at a time and just carress and mess and comb UNTIL HE QUITS FUSSING. If you quit WHILE he's fussing you are reinforcing his behavior.

Don't worry about braiding until he's comfortable with you messing with his entire mane and forelock.

Good luck!
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-14-2013, 02:40 PM
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When you are plaiting, be sure to not pull on the mane as this is uncomfortable on his neck.
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