Halter Breaking a Yearling... Advice Please!!

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Halter Breaking a Yearling... Advice Please!!

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    01-13-2009, 03:44 PM
Exclamation Halter Breaking a Yearling... Advice Please!!

I have a yearling that flat out, wont lead. Well.. when he wants to he will. I've had about 9 years of horse experience and I've never had a horse like this one. He isnt head shy the least bit, he is pretty good when handling his feet (dispite getting bored with it quickly), and he is very friendly. He does have bad knees. I don't really think that that has anything to do with his stubborness though (if im wrong please correct me). Unfortunately, he's not the typical yearling either that you can kind of "manuver" using their own weight. He's 16 hands high already and is VERY strong. Sometimes he will lead but seldomly. Any tips or advice on how to get him to walk and other tips on how to deal with my stubborn horse would be greatly appreciated!!
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    01-13-2009, 04:25 PM
Send me an email and I would be happy to go through the steps on teaching a yearling to lead.

Email: jdun722@aol.com
    01-13-2009, 04:31 PM
Ok. Thanks!
    01-13-2009, 05:41 PM
When he refuses to move I would suggest focusing on other types of motion. Backing him, disengaging his hindquarters any and everything. Be agressive when asking for it. Most horses I know get sick of doing these repeated movements and eventually start looking for a release (moving forward).
    01-13-2009, 10:23 PM
Originally Posted by Jdun722    
send me an email and I would be happy to go through the steps on teaching a yearling to lead.

Email: jdun722@aol.com
Any reason you didn't feel you could post some suggestions here? Although I don't have this issue, I often read threads just to pick up advice for future or friends or sometimes pick a bit here and there that I can use with my horses in other situations.
    01-14-2009, 04:10 PM
A horse not leading is either an ignorance problem or a disrespect problem. When I teach a young horse to lead (or to do anything in a halter) I try to start off in a roundpen, a set of small cowpens, a small paddock, anything where he can't get too far away. I start off without a lead rope and send him in a circle away from me. My theory is that when you send a horse away, the only thing he wants is to come back. Go both directions at a trot or lope, making him change by stepping in front of his face. A few minutes after he decides he wants to be friends again, let him come into you (make sure he is facing you) and put the lead on. Do basically the same thing as before, but now it is like lunging since you have the lead. Make sure as he is going in circles his nose is tipped in and he is not pulling on the rope. You can work on that by gently giving and taking with the rope. I use the other end of the rope or a lariat to send towards the hind end to keep them moving. When you want to change direction, switch your hands on the rope, turn your body to face his hindquarters and tug a little at his nose. The goal here is for the colt to swing his rear end out and turn to face you. When he does that, send him out again on the other direction. Basically what you are trying to achieve is for your horse to be soft to the halter, responsive to your body language, and to look to you for when to move what part of his body.

With a big ole horse like that, I wouldn't want to deal too close up with him! That's why I like sending them off away from me. Less accidents!

I don't know if I explained this well, but I hope it helps. It works with all the colts I start.
    01-15-2009, 01:56 PM
You explained it very well. And yes, I know exactly what you are talking about. Only problem is that my horses are in a new place and I don't have a round pen yet. But I've been making the best of what I do have and he's improved already. I do the backing (like onetoomany suggested) but what I also do is like... half way lunging?? Only closer and on a lead rope. Not very safe but its all I have. Fortunately so far its worked!! What I've done is made him do circles over and over, and if he doesnt want to, or he's moving too slowly, I swat his butt with the lead rope and that gives him some insentive :) the last two times I've lead him he's almost willing lol. But we are getting there
    01-16-2009, 01:28 AM
It will take some time but it does sound like you have the right idea. Just make sure that you keep those lunging sessions short on a short lead rope because it is rather hard on their joints, especially the young ones.
    01-16-2009, 01:08 PM
I have a question, and it's not meant to be rude or anything, I'm really wondering...
Why did you wait so long to break the yearling to a halter? IMHO, a colt or filly should be taught to wear a halter and should be leading perfectly by the time they're two and a half months to three months old.

I'm just wondering; I'm not bashing you or anything... I just wanna know.
    01-16-2009, 05:13 PM
The lunging on a lead rope does not take long at all to get him going... maybe 30 second sessions. He's very responsive to it.

To britt's question: I've only had this horse for about 3 months. I got him form a QH breeder (one of the leading ones in the state) he was born with bad knees- I also have another thread on here about him- and so the breeder thought he didnt have to work with him as much as the other horses I guess... he didnt do anything about the knees either and didnt work with his feet much either. I've had to start from the ground up with him but a year late. And I did mention that he is a BIG boy for a yearling. The only reason I took this horse is becasue the breeder said that he was going to shoot him. In my opinion, this guy was ignorant. I took on a huge project with this guy and that is my own fault. But my heart went out to him!! Lol. He's a great horse, and I knew it from the first time I saw him, so I couldnt let him be destroyed.

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