I'm interested in hearing about everyones method of halter breaking, or some methods you've seen. Why do you like them? Why don't you?
Everything changes from one foal to another, but what I try to go by is:
a) Getting the foal used to me - scratching it (everywhere I can), feeding, spending time with it. I do this until the foal COMES to me.
b) Introducing the halter, ropes, saddles, anything really. It seems to keep them curious. This doesn't take long for them to get used to. Normally a week at the most.
c) Then I work on rubbing them with the halter and getting them used to the buckle. Normally takes a day or two.
d) Next I put the halter on. By now everything is fun to them so there ok with it. I put it on and take it off again. Normally there trying to eat it during this. Then I do this for a couple days.
e) By now I can easily put the halter on, so I work on pressure and release with bending and leading for 2 weeks. Until the understand quite well.
f) Then I tie them up to something that wont break. I start for only a few minutes and work my way up.
I've never had a horse that was over 3 months and not leading like a little champ:)
For clients I:
a) get the halter on and off a bunch of times
b) add pressure, wait for the step, then release. Until they get it.
c) once they understand what I want I sometimes use a butt rope, or pony them.
One method I don't like:
a) catch them
b) let them loose for a week with a halter and rope on. It makes them really still, and prevents them from becoming soft.
It's not training. It's breaking.