halter breaking help
   

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halter breaking help

This is a discussion on halter breaking help within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • My horse is scared of the halter
  • Foal rears when halter training

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    02-12-2012, 04:28 AM
  #1
Foal
halter breaking help

Ok, I have been training for years now but find myself in a place that I'm not sure what to do or what will be the most safe method for my horse and I.

I do not have small pens, my horses move freely on almost 6 acres. My new colt, Rascal, was halter broke as a baby after being orphaned. I'm thinking he had a rough go of it because he is severely frightened by ropes. He comes to me to be scratched but the minute he realizes I've got a rope around his neck or the poll strap ready to latch he completely freaks. I don't want him going thru a fence, I'm more scared for his safety than my own but I know I won't do him any good if I'm unable to walk to feed him. I'm at a loss here because I have no access to cattle or horse panels to block him in a small space. I didn't realize he hadn't been worked with at all since his weaning or I would have haltered him before he was unloaded off the trailer (the guy brought him to me as I don't have a trailer)

Any advice?
     
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    02-12-2012, 04:59 AM
  #2
Foal
Will he take treats from you? What does he do when he freaks out? Rearing, bolting? There are a few ways you could approach this. One way is to very calmly, but quickly, put his halter on. If you aren't able to do that quickly enough, I would take a couple of treats that he likes, and a halter and lead rope. Let him take the treats, and while he is eating them, rub him with the halter and lead to desensitize him. He may run away, but chances are he will come back if you have treats. Just keep doing that until you can put the halter on him. Make sure you wear gloves before you plan to put the halter on him. Once you have it on him, he might rear or try to bolt. Just hold onto him (by the lead rope) until he stops pulling. When he stops pulling, immediately release any pressure on the halter. Wait a few seconds. He may pull back again, do the same thing. Once he stops trying to pull back, gently ask him to move forward. He may rear again. Do the same thing, once he stops pulling release all pressure. When he finally takes a step forward, release pressure again. Repeat the process until he is able to take a few steps forward. Then approach him quietly and take the halter off. That is his reward :)
     
    02-12-2012, 05:15 AM
  #3
Foal
He always just turns and runs away. Thank you sporthorsegirl for the advice! I will definitely try that.
     
    02-12-2012, 09:01 PM
  #4
Foal
Try just walking around with the lead and halter over your shoulder. Treats, praises and rubs when he lets you get close. I even walked around with one dragging behind me for a while till one of my colts got used to the fact that it was always there. (I would flick it around and play with it while walking throught the pasture.) Then start touching him with it, rubbing and all. Took a bit, but now Mister thinks ropes are play toys and is always trying to steal them off the fence.
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    02-13-2012, 12:59 AM
  #5
Foal
I rubbed Rascal's halter and lead all over him tonight and he didn't move until it got to his face so he is making progress before I got the rope to him I rubbed and scratched him all over, reaching over his back and hip, under his belly and down his legs. He is so gentil but not gentil all at the same time. Can't do much with him later today because its snowing (our first snow YAY!) but still plan to pester him at mealtime lol.
     
    02-13-2012, 01:03 AM
  #6
Banned
Just continue what you are doing.
Halter him, love on him, take halter off, then repeat
With patience and love, over time he will come around
     
    02-13-2012, 01:18 AM
  #7
Foal
Congrats and great job on your progress with him :) Keep at it and he'll be leading soon :)
     
    02-14-2012, 10:33 PM
  #8
Foal
I am SO proud of Rascal! He let me put the halter on him tonight!!! I left it on but also left it at that, didn't want to force the issue more than I had to because he is so fearful. He took it like a champ though! Getting a good look at his face where the halter sits was a hint to his pitiful past......... He has major scarring on his cheeks and some on the bridge of his nose. The ones on his cheeks are not fully healed yet but the halter I put on him is a bit big so it doesn't hit the wounds, his hair was covering them so they couldn't be seen. I'm honestly surprised he's trusting me so quickly with everything that's obviously been done to him and who knows what else that didn't leave a physical scar, only a mental one that hurts just as bad if not worse. I'm wanting to get a better look at his right hind leg, he's got a BAD scar that looks like he was tangled in barbed wire. I can't wait to get more pix of him for everyone! Will try to update again tomorrow.
     
    02-15-2012, 12:46 AM
  #9
Yearling
That's not a really good thing to leave a halter on him, especially since you said it's too big. The scars are probably from somebody leaving a halter on him all the time because of his freak-out tendencies.

Not posting this to be mean, but I see at least one horse a year dead from having a halter on in the pasture.

And horses are all scared of ropes at first. Doesn't mean someone beat him

Hope you get him halter-broke safely
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    02-15-2012, 01:42 AM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian    
That's not a really good thing to leave a halter on him, especially since you said it's too big. The scars are probably from somebody leaving a halter on him all the time because of his freak-out tendencies.

Not posting this to be mean, but I see at least one horse a year dead from having a halter on in the pasture.

And horses are all scared of ropes at first. Doesn't mean someone beat him

Hope you get him halter-broke safely
I know your not posting that to be mean.

I didn't type out the 'its too big' part correctly. Its loose enough that it sits just below his scars. If it were 'fall off' loose I wouldn't have left it and normally don't either way. I will be taking it off within a day or 2, just leaving it long enough for him to know it won't hurt him when I catch him and I have been checking on him often tonight and have 2 others taking shifts with checking on him when I get too tired to stay awake. (my horses are at home with me and my family)

I know all horses are scared at first but the signs are there. I've worked with his type before on rehabilitation (at that time I had stalls with small turnouts for rescue horses)

I am sorry if this sounds mean in any way, it is not intended like that. Thank you for your input.
     

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