Haflinger Freight Train...

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Haflinger Freight Train...

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  • Haflinger horses stubborn
  • How to train haflinger horses

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    12-07-2013, 07:23 PM
Haflinger Freight Train...

I just purchased a rescue Haflinger. I have only had her 2 weeks and allowing her to settle in. She is very outgoing and fearless but on the lead, she is a freight train. She will totally pull the lead rope out of my hand and she is so strong, I can barely hold on. I will use a stud chain next time however I would assume that she has been allowed to do this. Any brilliant ideas how to retrain her?

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    12-07-2013, 07:53 PM
You don't really need a stud chain for this, but go ahead & use it if you feel you need it, but carry a whip, if your horse gets ahead of you, smack him on the lower part of the front legs. You stop, they should stop, if not, smack those front legs to where he's back even with you. I find this method works the best rather than a stud chain.
    12-07-2013, 08:14 PM
Super Moderator
She can only pull it out of your hand if she gets her neck braced and away from you at a large enough angle. What I mean, is if her face is kept bent around to facing you more, and she tries to barge off away from you, youi'll be able to put a good firm pull on the rope, and she'll have no choice but to disengage your hind and she'll be facing you.
Mac does this sometimes, especially when I try to give him a bath. He can barge the rope right out of my hands, and no amount of strength can stop him, even in a rope halter (which I recommend you use).If he gets his head facing AWAY from me, gets real stiff in his neck and then can pull away from me so fast it's amazing.
The trick is to never allow him to tip his nose more than 45 degrees off from directly facing me. He can still walk forward, around me or with me as I lead him, but if I allow him to straighten out his neck, I am toast.

So, keep a bend in her neck, nose tipped well toward you.

That's kind of a short cut, though, since teaching her correct leading will be your real goal.
Wallaby, 2BigReds and Boo Walker like this.
    12-07-2013, 08:15 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
^ this, and if they barrel past you or stop paying attention and start goofing off on the lead, I've found that QUICKLY changing direction and giving them a good self-induced tug on the rope, using a rope halter, works just fine. My filly tried it twice, decided that was no fun, and never tried barging again.
    12-07-2013, 08:20 PM
The thing I found with using the whip on the front legs, once they know what happens when they get pushy, at the least the couple of dozen or so horses I have trained this way, they lose the pushiness and you can lead them with a silk string after that.
    12-07-2013, 08:25 PM
When I got my KMSH mare, she did this to me. I made sure I was always at a 45 degree angle as Tiny described above. I kept a sharp eye on her at all times, and always used my longest lead line so if she pulled free I still had the other end of that long rope. I think it was 25 ft.

She will get better as you do ground work. Ella is now quite an angel! I've had her 2 years.
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    12-08-2013, 12:34 AM
Green Broke
Welcome to the world of Haflingers. Awesome horses but they are pushy independent stubborn little freight trains :)

It is key that you are a step ahead of her and on top of her every move and that you are above all consistent.
    12-08-2013, 01:17 AM
Super Moderator
That is a good way to put it: stay a step ahead of her. Physically and mentally.

If you see her mind leaving you, and she's starting to look away from you, getting stiff in her body and lifting her head up, you know she is has left you mentally and is getting ready to leave you physically. Get her mind back now! A little wiggle or jerk on the line can often be enough to get her back to you. The sooner you get her back with you, while she's still soft and not barging, the easier it will be. Watch her "mind" as she walks with you and change it before it makes the decision to barge forward.
    12-08-2013, 03:35 AM
Green Broke
Yes, my post was intended to be general, but definitely includes the issue at hand. I agree with "retraining" her. I personally would use a stud chain, but whatever works for you. I find if I am too slow (try not to be of course but it happens) a good hard tug in the right direction(and potentially an elbow to the neck) will pull a horse off balance and get you back in control. Once ANY horse has their neck and shoulders lined up and you behind them, too bad. If she really does pull just let go, don't get hurt, and wear gloves! She sounds just like a spoiled little mare at my work. Pushy little thing, but there's a great horse under there. My neighbor, a trainer, had her own young horse she was raising. Much more well behaved worked with daily and you still had to stay right on top of her, it's a Haflinger thing :) but once you get this issue sorted out and have her respect they are fun fun horses, you just need to have the right mindset. Good luck
    12-08-2013, 11:27 AM
Thanks for all the advice. I will implement these ideas.
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