Halter Breaking 8 month old filly.. please help

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Halter Breaking 8 month old filly.. please help

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    01-06-2013, 06:54 PM
Halter Breaking 8 month old filly.. please help

I bought this filly off of CL about a month ago. The man said she was halter broke, sound, and an all around "great horse". This horse has climbed out of EVERY pasture I have, and now stays in a round pen. She doesnt have her shots, I had a vet come out here to check her out. I tried to halter her, but apparently she has NEVER been worked with. The vet wont give her the shots until she is haltered, and I can't take her to a trainer until she has her shots... See my problem. I've been able to pet her face, but mostly she will stay as far away from me as possible if she sees a rope in my hand. I've asked friends to come and try, but no. She will keep running as fast as she can around the pen. I wont sell her because she is a beautiful and very smart horse. She needs her shots, but she needs to be haltered. If I can get the halter on her, I can train her from there, its just she FREAKS when she sees the rope. She is a full Blood Tennessee Walker. I go out there every day, several times a day, and just pet her face and feed her when its time to be fed. She trusts me as far as she can throw me. The only time she is happy and will let me pet her ears is when she gets to sucking on my thumb. Im breaking her of that habit. This horse is a very gorgeous animal, she is incredibly smart aswell. She will be a wonderful horse when I get her trained. If yall know a good way to get a halter on her, id love to hear it. I've tried numerous approches. She wont let me walk behind her, only to the side or in front, and I can't stand up because she will take off running like a bat out of hell. Most days I just go out to the pen and sit on the rails and talk to her. She eventually calms down. I honestly don't know what to do. She's a fantastic animal and I want to keep her, and im not giving up on her. If yall tell me to sell her, well I wont. I could really use some advice. Thanks!
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    01-06-2013, 06:57 PM
Green Broke
A bit more about you would be helpful here - how much experience do you have in working with horses? (not just riding - WORKING)
    01-06-2013, 09:15 PM
    01-06-2013, 09:22 PM
I would get her to like treats. Then let her sniff the rope and take it away and give a treat. Do this several time, so she sees the rope as being a good thing.
Take baby steps, each time releasing the pressure and giving a treat. Soon you will be able to put the halter on. After that put a little pressure on the halter, when she gives, take way the pressure and give a treat. And keep going. I recommend starting with a slight turn instead of a forward motion.
    01-06-2013, 09:33 PM
How did you get her from the seller's place to where she is now?
themacpack likes this.
    01-06-2013, 09:36 PM
Green Broke
How did you not realize she was not as advertised (ie halter broke) when you went to look at her, moved her to where she is now, etc?
Chiilaa and oh vair oh like this.
    01-06-2013, 10:13 PM
I was going to wait to see what others would say, but I think I'll chime in now. Just my 2 cents worth.

The quick way would be to get somebody who can toss a rope to rope her. It's a pretty quick thing to break them to control with a rope around the neck. Then it's not too much problem to get them to accept a halter from there. Especially when the horse already knows you.

What I would probably do (bad shoulder, can't toss a rope) would be to go ahead and start training her to longe in the round pen, without a halter and get her to become submissive and obedient to commands. I would do it with a lead and halter in my hands, sort of as "visual aids" for the commands (swing the rope to get her to go, etc.). Once she is doing well at that for a week or two, I would get her to approach me (that's part of the longeing training) and slip the rope around her neck for a little control. Then I would work on getting her to accept a halter. Once she is submissive on the longeing controls, it should be much easier to get her to accept a halter. Got to get that rope around the neck, though.

There are other ways, but since she's in the round pen, why waste the time?
dashygirl and livelyblueyes like this.
    01-06-2013, 10:38 PM
I agree with Thenrie. You have her in a round pen already, start from there.

I would start first by asking for forward movement. Don't expect a full cirlce around the pen at first. Start with small steps. Ask for her to move off (either with a whip, or lead rope), once you get a few steps stop asking and back up a bit. Repeat until you get her moving forward consistently. Once she is relaxed about moving around the pen when you ask, start having her change direction. At this point she will have realized that you are in control.

Next I would start asking for her attention. Lets say she is ignoring you as you climb into the pen. Kiss, slap the rope on your leg, jump up and down what ever it takes until she looks at you. If she completely zones you out, make her move. Not a slow dinky walk, but a brisk trot. Back off after a lap or two. Once she has stopped ask for her attention again. If you get her attention, then start moving around. Go to her left, then her right. Make her move around to keep her eyes on you. If she looks away, make her move off again. Eventually she will understand you want her attention. This is a great time to bring in the treats! Slowly circle her, going from side to side and getting closer each time. If you think she is going to shy away, don't push it, back up a bit. At some point you are going to end up close enough to touch her. I would only touch areas she is okay with at this point. Only pet her for a few seconds and then walk away. Make each time you pet her a bit longer. If she runs off while you are petting her, don't let her stop on her own, make her move a bit, change directions, you want being away from you to be work.

I would keep going at this until you can touch about anywhere. Desensitizing the face first would be best. Then you can get a halter on and control whether or not she can run off a bit more.

I hope that was mildy helpful!
    01-06-2013, 10:43 PM
Watch some John Lyons videos on Youtube about longeing.
    01-06-2013, 11:26 PM
My father used to foster horses from the SPCA all through my childhood. When I got to be of age to actually help, I would. I can halter fully grown horses mainly because we had them in stalls. Eventually they would warm up to us and let us halter them with rope halters before switching to normal halters. This is my first filly. I've tried to get her in the barn and stall her up, but she wont move from her round pen. I was able to get her into the trailer because she followed her momma. We took momma out when I had her in the front. Like I said, the man told me her shots were up to date and I stupidly believed him and he said he would fax the paperwork over to me when he found them. I have her registraion papers, but never got her shot record. When the vet came about, he said she probably never had her shots and needs to be dewormed. I am in the process of scrubbing the trailer down to clean it out to make sure. All my other horses have their shots. I was able to halter them with ease because they were worked with, but she was never been worked with. Thanks for the advice. Ill keep trying. Patience is a virtue in this :) Thanks!!

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