Halter HELP. - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By animallove
  • 1 Post By gothicangel69
  • 1 Post By rookie
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-14-2012, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Halter HELP.

I admit I'm not very experienced with horses. I also admit I am rather short and my horse is rather tall. So, in the mornings, I usually put fly spray on my mare because she gets an allergic reaction to flies. The problem is my horse is really grumpy in the mornings. I try to put her halter on so I can tie her up, but she's got other things on her mind. I get to the stage where I am about to buckle the halter on when she tosses her head up to a place I can't reach until the halter slides off her nose. By this time her ears are back, and she's backing away from me. So I go to the fence and wait for her, then try again. Same thing. I always have to give her like two treats before she allows me to put her halter on. What am I doing wrong? I mean I try to handle her, she just ignores Me!
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-14-2012, 07:24 PM
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Your best bet is to find someone very horse savy and ask them to teach you how to handle a horse. Most are more than willing to help out a newbie :). Horses are much different than dogs or cats as they rely solely on body language and are herd animals that establish hierarchies. Sounds like your horse is telling you that she is the boss. You need to learn how to speak horse and communicate. Learning this will fix any problems you are having. You may also consider hiring a training to help you out (make sure you ask to work with the trainer so both you, and the horse, are learning). Good luck, horse ownership is a wonderful thing once you get the hang of it!
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-14-2012, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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The problem is, she is fine in the evenings when I put her halter on. It's just the mornings where shes all grumpy. Any idea why?
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-14-2012, 07:39 PM
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It sounds like she's the boss, and is only letting you put the halter on when she wants, not when you do. Maybe she's not a morning mare? Lol I know people get like that, so why not a horse? She could also be playing games with you, which is also a sign of disrespect and dominance. Without seeing the mare, its impossible to tell why she's doing it.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-14-2012, 07:44 PM
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The best way to fix this is to learn her body language and herd behaviour, so you can clearly establish your dominance and put her in her place. There are many different techniques in how to do this, some aggressive, some passive. You need to figure out the method this particular horse needs, and learn how to train and talk to your horse. The easiest way to figure out how to get her to obey, is to get someone to teach you. We can explain it over the internet, but its very difficult to give training advice over the internet, and if done wrong, can quickly put you in a dangerous situation :).
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-14-2012, 09:55 PM
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I understand the drama that comes with a horse that is difficult to halter or only halters on her terms. I have a mare that was basically untouched for 15 years of her life. Getting a halter on her was a project and a half! I want to know if she gets grain and if you put her halter on before or after she gets grain. What worked with my snotty 15 year old untouched mare was that she did not get grain until she approached me and let me halter/catch her. I gave her some hay but no grain. I went out at dinner time and she did not approach. I went out a few hours later and she did not approach. The next morning she marched up to me. She missed one grain meal and snapped right into line. I think your mare is playing you a little bit. She needs to work for something good. If she wants breakfast than she needs to let you put the halter on.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-14-2012, 10:32 PM
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What a brat. She knows what the right thing to do is, she's just not doing it because she doesn't feel like it.

I went through a phase with my horse were he didn't feel like going into the halter, and evaded it. It was a bloody nuisance, because - according to my trainer - the thing to do when this happens is to make that horse move. It's the old "make the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy" deal. So I'd go in with the halter, and he'd evade it, and then I'd have to drive him away, give him a chance to go in the halter, and when he didn't, I'd have to drive him away again. Keep his feet moving until he realized that things were a LOT harder if he refused than if he just did what I requested.

And this had to happen every. blasted. time. he evaded the halter. I wouldn't go in the paddock at all unless I had made certain that I'd have 20 minutes or so for our little paddock rodeo (since my horse can be pretty willful and stubborn, and it was taking 20 minutes or so of this before the penny dropped for him). This went on for what seemed an absurdly long time...maybe 6 weeks. But we got through it, and he went back to standing for the halter every single time.

So this is 100% a training issue - for you, on how to handle her, and for her, on why it's important to pay attention and follow your instructions.

Your mare can be grumpy all she wants on her own time, but she should not be expressing grumpiness at you. *You* should be able to expect that your horse will stand to be haltered AND that the mare will drop her head to receive the halter. These would be minimum expectations, IMO.

It is also something that it should be fairly easy to fix once you get the help of a trainer. They are VERY used to dealing with this kind of problem.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-14-2012, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your help! It's working!
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