I have just recently purchased a second horse. A snuggly two year old Missouri Fox Trotter gelding, 'Red'. He is a very people-friendly, curious, affectionate horse with only one vice: He's no longer halter broke.
He was fully halter broke as a foal, but now he simply refuses to wear a halter. When you attempt to put one on him, he will put his head up and out of reach and backs away. He has not had any bad experiences with halters or people with halters. He, basically, has just forgotten his manners (my other gelding, his half-brother, is also like this. You don't work with him for a while -a week- and he promptly throws his perfect saddle manners out the window. We're successfully correcting this issue though)
I have not attempted to confine him in a round pen to force the halter on him, as I fear he may end up injuring himself or me. Instead, all I have been doing is throughout the day, walking up to him in the pasture, halter and lead rope in full view over my shoulder. Gently, I will touch the halter and rope against his hindquarters, midsection, or even shoulder, talking to him a firm, encouraging tone all the while. Then, I will carefully move it up, let it brush against his legs, under his belly, moving up towards the neck and head area.
I do not put the halter or the lead rope on or around him, only rub it over him, letting him smell it and see it. He still is nervous about having it near his head, but this seems to be improving and he is (slowly) becoming more relaxed and confident about it.
Does anyone have any tips or suggestions? Is there anything I'm possibly doing wrong? I'm taking this as slowly and as cautiously as possible to avoid any possible injury to either of us, and to (hopefully) encourage a more trusting bond.
Also, at the moment he is boarded about 30 minuets away in a neighboring town, I am only able to get out there every Saturday or Sunday so anything that I do goes at a snails pace. I understand that once a week is simply horrific, even more so that I'm taking it slow to begin with. But in a month or two both horses are going to be moved to five-minuets-away pasture and I'll be able to work with him daily. Hopefully, by then, I will be asking for lunging tips instead of halter-breaking ones
Thanks in advance,