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First steps with new horse - what to do?

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  • What to do with a new horse
  • Steps to smooch

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    12-24-2011, 12:23 AM
  #11
Foal
I don't know if this will help since it's like the opposite of what you are doing, but when I was like 9, my trainer would have us "run" horses that couldn't be caught in open fields. Looking back, I'm not sure if it is ethical but I was young so please don't bash me for it people! Lol I've done it a few times over the past few years and it has always worked for me. Though my horses weren't scared of the halter, they just didn't wanna get caught haha

Anywayys what she had us do was walk up to them like we normally would to halter them. If they would run off, we would run after them for about 10 steps and smooch and flail our arms. Eventually they would stop at some far end of the pasture and we would calmly walk over to them, keeping our eyes down and bodies slouched (no threatening). If they would take off, we would repeat the above steps as many times as it took. Usually after about twice though they would realize it was easier to just get caught and we would have the haltered :)

Again, I don't know if this is quite suited for you since your horse seems to be more timid and afraid of you/the halter at some points instead of just ornery about it... You seem to be making progress with what you are doing though!
     
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    12-24-2011, 12:47 AM
  #12
Yearling
If I were in your situation, I would just keep doing what you're doing! Getting up to her at least to stand doesn't seem to be a problem, from what you're saying, so the next step would be just getting her used to being touched. Gently touch her when you can, if she draws away slowly, gently keep the pressure. If she's drawing away fast, then just drop your hand and let her do what she wants to. I like to make the horse feel that it's their idea to come to me, so try bringing treats or something that's going to peak her interest. Stand still, holding the treat, and slowly retract it towards you until she's right next to you, and repeat touching her gently- the shoulder, the neck, anywhere you know won't freak her out. It's a patient method, but it pays off- eventually, she'll feel relaxed with you enough to let you start working with her head (I usually use the same method with their head). Good luck!
Another thing is to breath deeply and calmly- I've always found that your breathing will affect the horse. If you feel relaxed and unfazed, she'll pick up on that. And if she trusts you, she'll feel relaxed when you do. :)
     
    12-24-2011, 07:46 AM
  #13
Foal
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions! I really appreciate them!

Every day, progress is happening. I think my biggest challenge now is to simply not be in a hurry. I'm happy that I don't have to go back to work until after New Year's, so still have a week when I can go out and work with her a few times a day.

Still haven't gotten the halter on her, but I've stopped worrying about it. We're just taking it slow.

After the past week of "work":
*She comes to me every time I go within 50 feet of her unless she's eating.

*She's no longer pushy for treats - I hold up my hand when she gets to my space and she stops. She's mostly stopping on her own now.

*I've learned that to touch her head, I can start at the neck, then scratch ear, then slide hand down side of face. Works every time!

* She'll stand still and let me stroke her all over, pick burrs out of her tail and feathers (she wouldn't let me touch her feet AT ALL before).

* I can gently push on her front, her shoulder, or her hip, and she yields and moves. So, I push her around a lot!

* I'm carrying a variety of things like hats, lunge whip, bags, and she's starting to be way less reactive. She's curious.

I think this is great progress!!!!

My goal for next week is to be able to pick up a foot and to get the halter on. But no rush.

Thanks again for the encouragement.
aggiegirl14 likes this.
     
    12-26-2011, 02:56 PM
  #14
Foal
SandyCreek, it's been my experience that horses don't want to be caught wind up having some respect issues. So, take things one step at a time and only focus on one thing at a time, instead of working on moving her around, etc. It just winds up confusing them, etc. So, for the next week, I would suggest strictly working on just getting her used to the halter, not scared of it, etc. You should try touching her neck with the halter and rubbing her with it. If you can rub her with it, then try slipping it on her face. Most likely she's had a bad experience with halters before, causing her not to trust them now. So your job now is to teach her to trust them and they won't hurt her. Then, once you get her caught you can work on her respect issues.
     
    12-26-2011, 02:58 PM
  #15
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by kywalkers2012    
SandyCreek, it's been my experience that horses don't want to be caught wind up having some respect issues. So, take things one step at a time and only focus on one thing at a time, instead of working on moving her around, etc. It just winds up confusing them, etc. So, for the next week, I would suggest strictly working on just getting her used to the halter, not scared of it, etc. You should try touching her neck with the halter and rubbing her with it. If you can rub her with it, then try slipping it on her face. Most likely she's had a bad experience with halters before, causing her not to trust them now. So your job now is to teach her to trust them and they won't hurt her. Then, once you get her caught you can work on her respect issues.
Thanks, kywalkers
     
    12-26-2011, 03:02 PM
  #16
Foal
Your welcome. Let us know how it goes. You definitely wanna work on those respect issues once you get her retrained to accept being caught. There's nothing worse than having a pushy HUGE draft horse that doesn't respect your space. It really hurts when they step on your little pinky toe lol.
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    12-27-2011, 01:17 PM
  #17
Foal
I personally never start to train a horse to lead by putting a halter on him. I much prefer to go up to them and use rope such as a lariat or any rope with a loop. Put it over their heads and then flip a loop around their nose. I prefer this because the horse will learn to accept a rope over him head. If you always go under his neck and just buckle the crown the horse wont be accepting to things over their head. I once rode a horse that wouldnt even let me put the reins back on her when I was leading her. Hope you found this comment helpfull.
     
    12-27-2011, 01:19 PM
  #18
Foal
What always works for me is the grain in the bucket noise trick. Get her used to the noise and when she gets near reward her with some grain.
     
    12-27-2011, 01:23 PM
  #19
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by geo102094    
I personally never start to train a horse to lead by putting a halter on him. I much prefer to go up to them and use rope such as a lariat or any rope with a loop. Put it over their heads and then flip a loop around their nose. I prefer this because the horse will learn to accept a rope over him head. If you always go under his neck and just buckle the crown the horse wont be accepting to things over their head. I once rode a horse that wouldnt even let me put the reins back on her when I was leading her. Hope you found this comment helpfull.
Thanks, Geo!

The more she settles in here - it's been 3 weeks now, and the crabby #2 mare is letting her eat at the hay feeder now - and the more I mess with her head/face, the better and calmer she's getting. I'm in no rush. She ALWAYS comes to me now, and I can touch her whole face/head without her jerking away at all. She's spooky when I touch her with the halter and she walks away. But now she couldn't care less if I hold it out or wave it around, and last week that would have sent her running. So, I think we're winning! Like I said, no rush.
     
    12-27-2011, 02:22 PM
  #20
Foal
Glad to hear you are making progress. Just keep taking it slow and she will keep making progress. You never want to go too fast with any horse.
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