I've just gotten Kate - the spotted draft in my picture. She's about 12, and has been trail ridden a long time ago, according to the previous owner.
My other two horses are docile old arthritic pasture ornaments. I've never really trained or worked with them. But I want to learn about working with Kate, because I'd love to ride her some day. Please excuse my total ignorance w/ regard to training. Everybody has to start somewhere.
Every day, I go out and spend time with her (she's been here 2 weeks now). I go and stand about 15 feet from her and look down. She comes over to me every time. I slowly touch her shoulder. She'll let me, but then immediately backs up a step or two. It's all about the backing up. If I stand in front of her and just point at her, she backs up. That's cool, but the constant backing up when I touch her anywhere is not so good. If I try to pick up a foot, she backs up. What should I be doing?
Also, she's EXTREMELY head shy, and I haven't been able to get a halter on her. If I come near her with a halter she tosses her head and - you got it - she backs up.
This girl was a pasture bum for the past 5 or 7 years. She was always turned out in her halter. The halter is too small for her, and has made a dent in the top of her nose. So I'm sure it hurts her. I made a rope halter for her that will fit comfortably, but she's so head-shy I can't get it on her. (I've ordered a break-away halter that will fit her).
Are there other games or things I should be working on first? I don't have a round pen, and obviously haven't gotten the halter on her. How should I be spending our time together? I do make her move her feet - walking in circles, moving her back end away from me, backing her up (no problem there! )
Any help will be appreciated. Thanks!